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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,335 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2012 Ford Fiesta drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Ford Fiesta Owner Comments (Page 1 of 8)

problem #149

Mar 182016


  • miles


The vehicle has been in the shop 4 X since purchase for either the clutch or transmission, it has been in repair more than in my driveway and I am getting nowhere with Ford or the repair center. This car has stalled in traffic, won't start, drifted backwards. This happens on city as well as highways. Im in fear of losing my life in this car or hurting someone else. I believe the desler that sold me this car knew about the defects.

- Rosnike, VA, USA

problem #148

Jul 232016


  • 108,000 miles
Transmission failures on Ford Fiesta. I have had the the current recall done back in November of 2015. At that time I also had a clutch installed on the vehicle. Since then the transmission has locked up and failed again. The vehicle will not go into reverse only forward. I believe the transmission issues on the Ford Fiesta are far worse than what Ford is reporting. I would like to have an investigation started to find out what the underlying issues with this and to see if Ford is hiding anything. I believe that this is the inherent problem with the transmission that Ford has put in their Fiestas and focuses. The Ford Fiesta has become a dangerous vehicle when the transmission locks up will not accelerate will not shift into gear.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #147

Jul 292016


  • 66,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. While driving 29 mph, the transmission malfunction warning light illuminated. The vehicle stalled and abruptly stopped. In addition, the transmission experienced a power train failure. The contact was unable to shift the transmission out of gear. The contact sustained whiplash, a mild heart attack, blunt abdominal trauma, and abdominal contusion from being restrained by the seat belt. The contact required medical attention. The vehicle was flat towed to the contact's residence. The contact stated that the tcm was updated previously under a service bulletin; however, the update failed to prevent the failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 66,000.

- Fort .Worth, TX, USA

problem #146

May 012015


  • 21,600 miles


Car shudders, jerks, and lurches. Concerned about it even being safe to drive. Do not have the control needed to drive safe at all times. The dealer has made repairs and adjustment to the transmission issue more than three times. The dealer claims it is fixed each time and each time the problem remains. Seems like the NHTSA should step in before someone gets hurt. After researching, it is obvious that this problem is far from unique. Please someone get involved.

- Culpeper, VA, USA

problem #145

Mar 012016


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle experienced loss of power and vibrated abnormally. When the accelerator pedal was depressed, the vehicle failed to respond. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the transmission control module and software needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired per service bulletin number: Tsb-15B22 (electrical system, power train); however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 98,000.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #144

Jul 022016


  • 0 miles
Driver side doors lock. Passenger doors do not. Car won't start. Battery is good. Fuel is good.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #143

Aug 012012


  • miles


I bought my car in 2011, and since 2012 my air conditioner only blows hot air. I have had it replaced multiple times, but it continues to break. My transmission, after several recalls, has continued to slip and mess up. Now, in the 4th year of me having my new car, I cannot pump gas at any station. When the nozzle is in the fuel tank, it continues to cut off, causing me to take 10X the amount to pump gas as it used it.

- Valdosta, GA, USA

problem #142

Jun 262016


  • miles
2012 Fiesta will just turn off while driving, it does not matter what type of weather, driving uphill or in regular traffic at a stop. Car is beginning to have problems in traffic and the stopping occurs more during stop and go type of driving. When this happens the engine goes out; light comes on then the ignition switch goes out and sometimes I can restart it and sometimes the signal will turn off everything completely, leaving me stranded in the middle of traffic or in the parking lot of a store;if I'm lucky. Recently it stopped on my mother and had to be towed home. This failure has happened in the middle of intersections, on the freeway or just driving through town. The car will shutter sometimes before it shuts off, or just starts to stall. When this happens I am unable to move to the shoulder or pull off the road to restart the car. This failure of the car just stopping while running has a potential of causing an auto accident. This failure happens at any time and cannot be predicted. Driving unsure what may happen. Currently it is sitting in my drive way it wouldn't restart and I had to pay a towing fee. Need to have it fixed now! am losing time and money with no transportation. This is a Ford misstep and I shouldn't have to pay for a recurring event with this vehicle. Have been driving this vehicle with the stalling and stopping and didn't think much of it, but recently am starting to get the behavior that many other vehicle owners are reporting with the complete stopping anywhere or any time; so I know it is a manufacturer's problem and it's beginning to affect me. I need this issue resolved now. You want the public to drive and use american made products I choose Ford and I'm expecting Ford to keep their manufacturing promise to me. "go further is our global brand promise ". really! Ford come get my car and fix it!

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #141

Jun 202016


  • 54,000 miles
Car jerks and shudders uncontrollably. Lurches into intersections after coming to a stop when clutch fails to disengage. Unpredictable speed. Does not accelerate onto freeway. Jerks violently when taking foot on or off gas pedal. Dangerous and terrifying. Replacement clutch has been ordered by dealership and is backordered 3 months. They must be recalled before someone dies.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #140

Jun 032016


  • 45,000 miles
This is an ongoing problem with this vehicle. When accelerating from a stop the car hesitates/stalls/shudders then lurches forward. There are also similar intermittent problems in all types of situations. Basically if the car is moving there are problems with the transmission. It becomes worse the longer you drive the car. Ford is aware of this problem and has extended the warranty on the transmission due to complaints. The dealership where I purchased the car would not even work on it so I had to go to another dealership. I have been in the second dealership multiple times over almost a year now but the car is still not fixed. They keep telling me the parts are on order but even if they do get them in there is no guarantee they will fix the problem. According to their "transmission guy" these automatics, now in millions of Ford models over many years, need to be removed and replaced with something else as they will never work properly. I agree and think Ford is just ignoring the problem hoping people will give up. The car is unsafe to drive period. Now I have a vehicle that I paid good money for and I am scared to drive it and Ford will not fix it under warranty. I would trade the car but even the dealership won't give me anything for it as they are aware of all the complaints. So basically my car has, in 4 years, depreciated to being worthless. I would like my money back so I can at least buy another car that I can actually drive.

- Clinton, MO, USA

problem #139

Sep 272012


  • 20,000 miles


My 2012 Ford Fiesta SE has the powershift 6 speed automatic transmission. In less that a year, the transmission shuddering problems started. You can feel and hear the shuddering in first, second and now sometimes third gear. The transmission has been in for software upgrades 3 times, has had one transmission rebuild, and I'm now three weeks waiting on my third new clutch to try to fix the problem. Ford Motor Company has obviously been fielding complaints about the powershift transmission for several years, yet other than extending the warranty, has done nothing to actually fix the problem. I bought the car new and was hoping to get 200K miles from it, I don't see that happening. It's time for a national recall on these cars / transmissions!

- Sunbury, PA, USA

problem #138

Dec 282012


  • 35,900 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle jerked violently and the transmission malfunction light illuminated. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 35,900.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #137

Jun 162014


  • 27,000 miles
My car has atransmission problem known by Ford. It shutters & stalls & is slow to change gears to the point where it could be dangerous. I am afraid that it will stall to the point where it could be rearended. It has been fixed once and needs to be again. I think it should be recalled along with thousands of others and the transmission be replaced. There is also a popping noise in the steering when I am turning. The next question asks when it happens and the answer is constantly.

- Jonesborough, TN, USA

problem #136

May 102016


  • 89,000 miles
Multiple problems were reported to me by the dealer as potentially being the cause when I took the car in for loss of power while driving, intermittent check engine light and wrench light along with shuddering in the transmission while driving. The dealer replaced (for the second time in 12-months) the clutch assembly, the seals, the clutch release lever and the clutch slave but stated that while the throttle body was bad and in need of replacement, the problem was not caused by the clutch nor did it contribute to the clutch problem and would not be covered by the extended Ford warrantee of the clutch. I had taken the car in with the same issue several months back but, because the check engine light was not on at the time, they dismissed the issue as normal functioning of the clutch. The same issue was the cause for the initial clutch assembly replacement a year ago. I plan to pursue the issue of the throttle body with Ford in light of the fact they are acknowledging and taking ownership of etb issues with 1.6M other Ford models in the same production period.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #135

May 242016


  • 99,000 miles
3 instances in the last 2 weeks of near accidents due to severe shuddering/hesitation. Almost T-boned at 3 different intersections. Car was unresponsive then shuddered and convulsed with near misses. Waited for nearly a month to get an appointment to check the clutch assembly. Multiple clutches replaced with long back-orders on parts. Car is a hazard to drive. Ford is now not offering a warranty of any kind for the replacement parts. I have lodged a complaint here in the past for the same near death or injury experiences. I have tried since the 1st clutch replacement to get relief from Ford Corp. They are uncooperative. Does anyone even read these things" Ford just posted huge profit margins. Are they too powerful for our gov't to do anything about this long occurring safety hazard? warranty runs out on car at 100,000. I have done my best to get rid of this car, but I have too much invested and Ford refuses to acknowledge there is a problem. How can your Agency not have done an intervention" if you want specific details about the numerous near misses and the cat like 9 lives I must possess, please, feel free to contact me.

- Sparta, WI, USA

problem #134

Apr 152016


  • 69,000 miles
I own a Ford Fiesta 2012, I have taken good care of it. Driven it well checked it often and never crashed it. I bought it in March 2014, got a letter later stating the transmission issue and warranty extension till 100K. Now that my car is having problems I took it in, it shutters and doesn't accelerate well and makes a really loud noise when driving. I have almost crashed several times due to malfunction when going from stop to go or trying to accelerate on the freeway. I do not feel safe in the car what so ever and am scared to drive it again until the issue is completely gone. This car is not safe at all. At times I have had a hard time going from a stop sign. I would stop and then when I am able to go my car jerks back and refuses to accelerate. I do not abuse my car, I drive speed limit and only on paved highways and streets. I have read many cases concerning this issue in this car and so I know the transmission is at fault and it is a manufacturer problem not the drivers. Ford has recalled the clutch and transmission but now states they cant fix my transmission under warranty only the clutch. I did not cause the transmission to malfunction I shouldnt have to pay for their problems and fault. I want Ford to either replace my transmission for free or just buy the car back. I do not feel safe driving it and putting my life and others at stake, having no control of my cars jerky movements and having it stall on me even tho it is a automatic car. I often feel like I am driving a manual car that I have no control off, it is scary! I do not feel safe at all and am constantly in fear driving it feeling like it may break on me any second and cause a crash harming me and possibly others. It is currently at the dealers and I am trying to contact Ford about my transmission but I will not pay 4000 dollars for a new transmission when I am not at fault here.

- Ferndale, WA, USA

problem #133

May 122012


  • 2,000 miles
This is to add to the many complaints about the Ford Fiesta transmission clutch shudder. I bought my car new, it began shuddering in a few months. I've brought it in to dealer for repairs 4 times in 4 years. The last time I was told there is a long, long wait for replacement of a faulty clutch with another faulty clutch. The Ford company has extended a useless warranty up to 150,000 miles, which strongly suggests the company is going to wait out the functional life of the car. The danger, in this case, is the financial loss incurred when trading in a car with a known fault for which the manufacturer is to blame, and receiving full value for a faultless trade-in.

- Northfield, MN, USA

problem #132

Apr 232016

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • miles
Purchased used in 2014 w/ 22754 miles for my daughter. Approx. Six months later, after moving out of town, started to complain about the car - sounds, shaking, sudden lack of power...when she drove. This is very well documented in your archived list of similar complaints with this vehicle and throughout the internet - all pointing to the transmission. Though she has taken the vehicle in numerous times on this issue, as well as a door latch recall, these so called software updates have still left serious issues. Though she says that the shuddering and loud noises have abated, she still has at times felt the transmission disengage. I am writing today because this has become a very serious safety issue - one of which my wife who was just visiting our daughter and as a passenger of this vehicle, witnessed first hand when the car lost all power to the transmission for several seconds. This occurred as they were crossing an intersection and with the loss of power, came close to being in an accident. There is never a warning when the car decides to behave in this fashion. I have now read too much about this problem and frankly shocked that this problem as gone on this long. I do not want my daughter hurt - I do not want anyone hurt. This seems to be an inherent design problem and Ford's recommended steps to remedy have not worked entirely. I do not fault the dealership that has tried everything to help her - even replacing a transmission control module (tcm). Let's do the right thing before someone gets seriously hurt. This goes well beyond just an annoyance problem or even the unforeseen reduction in the cars resale value. Thank you

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #131

Apr 212016


  • 80,000 miles
Transmission/clutch has major design flaws. We have had to have this reprgrammed twice and the clutch has been replaced twice as well. Is going back in to the dealership for the same issue, for what will now be the 4th time, to potentially have another clutch replaced. The vechicle "sputters" and jerks. This is a known issue with the transmission. This has been ongoing since purchase of the car, but most recently 4/21/2016.

- Odessa, MO, USA

problem #130

Apr 222016

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Previous complaint #10807331 follow up. Car still has transmissions shutter that we at told by Ford mechanic is unrepairable. On 4/22/16 I was driving on a residential road and the car failed to down shift when I tried to stop. It pushed me forward when I had the brake applied to stop at a streetlight. Thank goodness I wasn't driving probably more than 20mph because I almost rear ended the vehicle ahead of me before the transmissions allowed me to stop. Pls make Ford fix these issues, I have had this vehicle for over 4 yrs, they won't fix it, buy it back or even take it in trade for another vehicle. It is unsafe & it scares me wondering when it is going to act up again!! thank you if you're able to offer any assistance.

- Livermore, ME, USA

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