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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,622 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 #159

Jan 302015


  • 23,000 miles


I have had my 2012 Ford Fiesta ses since September 2011. My vehicle was involved in a transmission recall awhile back and ever since it has had constant transmission issues to include jerky shifting, sluggish acceleration, failure to shift gears, transmission failure message appearing on the radio screen and all constant jerking when driving coming from the transmission. I have had it looked at before with being told it was operating as it should. If this is how it's supposed to operate, I will never purchase another Ford.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #158

Nov 282016


  • 70,900 miles
My Fiesta will not shift past second gear. I have to lightly press the pedal for it to move at all, if it is pressed too hard it won't shift out of first. I am at 70,900 miles. I am currently waiting on the tow truck, hoping the issue is covered by the warranty extension.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #157

Nov 232016


  • miles
Transmission, keeps on shaking a lot when in drive and taking off, at times it stops and does not go forward, for 2 or 3 seconds on the road, when the seems to shift to another gear, it shakes and it seems it does not move forward in the middle of a intersection, I have already have taken to Ford dealer several times for repairs and now I need to take it in again after thanksgiving, I have already spoke to someone at the dealer to see if they can replace the transmission, they said no, gas mileage is bad for a small car, getting tired of it, if I trade it in for another vehicle, I will not get a good deal because the transmission is bad, it is a safety hazard

- Kerrville, TX, USA

problem #156

Apr 292015


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. While driving various speeds uphill, the accelerator pedal was depressed and the vehicle moved very slowly. Also, when parked on a hill, the vehicle would roll backwards without warning. The dealer could not duplicate the failure. The vehicle was included in a recall and the clutch was replaced, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified. The NHTSA campaign number was unknown. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000.

- Williamson, GA, USA

problem #155

Nov 092016


  • miles
My wife and I have consistently had issues dealing with the transmission of our 2012 Ford Fiesta SE. The transmission fails to properly accelerate on a regular basis. Specifically switching between 1 and 2 gear which is very important when it comes to accelerating. Also, decelerating has been an issue with the gears not wanting to properly shift down. This is affecting my ability to stop the car. The car was taken to the dealership on 11-9-16 where the transmission control module had a recall and was supposed to be reprogrammed/replaced. The car is still continuously failing to shift properly and is almost as if the car is going to stall. Lastly, there has been multiple occasions where the car would not crank/turn over. I have read many instances of other Ford Fiestas users cars not starting properly either.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #154

Nov 032016


  • miles
The car jerks and hesitates on acceleration the clutch on the transmission has been replaced 6 times and has yet to fix the problem since I bought it used in 2013 Ford will not help us trade in the car even though I was lied to many times about how it is a car that is only supposed to be driven by one person and so on and so on but if that is true how could the sale the car used plus not tell the consumer this before someone buys it they also said it is passed the lemon law time so I guess we are stuck with this dangerous car with my kids just like in other bad company they wait till someone gets in a wreck and dies before they help anyone truly ashame.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #153

Aug 012013


  • miles


Jerks and shudders when accelerating constantly - on highways and city streets. Transmission makes a grinding noise when driving. Sometimes will take a few seconds to accelerate at all - this is very dangerous on highways because the car will get "stuck" and not accelerate.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #152

Feb 222016


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle stalled, but restarted immediately without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed and repaired. The clutch was replaced. The contact stated that the vehicle had an automatic transmission. The failure recurred twice and the clutch was replaced again. The contact was informed that the transmission module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 36,000.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #151

Oct 212016

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • miles
I bought my 2012 Ford Fiesta in 9/2015 with approx.16,000 miles on it. Since I purchased the car, it has been in the shop 5 times (one of which for 26 days). #1 was due to the door latch. My 10yr old was sitting in the backseat when the right side door swung open while I was making a turn. #2 was due to the transmission. The car was having trouble shifting gears & began shaking, then the lights inside & out started blinking and the car completely shut off while I was driving down the highway. #3 was for the transmission again, which locked up while I was driving down I75 in naples the evening of 12/28/2015. The car completely locked up and had to be towed in the middle of the night. #4 the transmission again. While driving North on I75 the car started making a strange whinny noise then shortly after locked up while I was still driving. That time I barely made it off to the side of the highway. Car was towed again to dealership. #5 transmission...again. While driving at 11:30pm at night 8/2016 car lights started blinking on & off and then the car completely shut off while I was driving. Managed to be able to turn it on again and drive it to the dealership...where it stayed for 26 straight days. Tomorrow will be #6...due to transmission problems...again. Car is making whinny noises again, shaking and having trouble shifting gears, temperature light is coming on and A/C is not cooling anymore. Tomorrow I'll be getting an attorney as well.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #150

Oct 062016


  • miles
The vehicle shutters, hesitates upon acceleration and also lurches you into traffic. You can hardly control the vehicle. Terrifying to drive. This is a recuring issue that typically happens at intersections.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

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

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