Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: You should probably steer clear of the 2012 Focus. Otherwise, you might not be able to steer at all.

The 2012 is the first Focus to offer Electronic Power Assist Steering (EPAS). It's also the first year with massive power steering failure. These things are not mutually exclusive.

And while you wait for your steering to disappear, you'll be greeted with a transmission that shudders, vibrates or won't shift at all.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
18 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
10 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,930 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 Focus drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 11 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #470

Jul 282015


  • 68,300 miles


After having the car repaired from a recall, the 6th time for repair; the car broke down and had to be towed to the dealership. The transmission control module is out now and it is in the shop for the 7th time related to the same issue. I consider this car dangerous and will ultimately cause an accident or death. Why are you not doing anything about this issue. It is for all 2012 Ford Focus vehicles.

- Peachtree City, GA, USA

problem #469

Jul 162015


  • 50,000 miles
While driving in open country, vehicle suddenly shut off. After approximately 15 minutes the vehicle could be restarted. Drove the vehicle approximately 10 additional miles after restart and then the vehicle suddenly coasted as if in 'neutral" even though gear shift was in "drive" position. This time the gear indicator light flashed and the engine continued to run with the vehicle in "drive." Shut off vehicle. Shut off the engine. After approximately 10 minutes, restarted the vehicle and drove remainder of trip without incident. Next day while driving in local country traffic, vehicle again coasted and appeared to shift to "neutral" without warning. Gear indicator light flashed and engine continued to run even though shift lever was in "drive." Had vehicle towed to dealer for service.

- Palmyra, VA, USA

problem #468

Jul 262015


  • 67,025 miles
The vehicle would not turn over. There was no clicking of the vehicle trying to start. After 4 tries to start the car it was left to sit for 30 min before we tried again. The car then was tried to start again did not start until the 4th try. Then the car started. It seems to be skipping a gear while driving will go from 6K RPM to all of the sudden jumping down to 2K rmp. There is something wrong with the clutch/ transmission with shifting and now something going on with the starting system.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #467

Oct 012013


  • 27,000 miles


The vehicle's transmission has failed three times; twice it required a new clutch and seals, and once (most recently) it required a new transmission control module. In each case, the car either stalled while driving or became stuck in a gear (most recently, in reverse).

- Wrentham, MA, USA

problem #466

Jun 012012


  • 2,000 miles
The transmission shudders when shifting at low speeds. Also shudders when starting from a dead stop. Reported to the dealer several times but the problem persists. Dealer said that the transmission learns your driving habits. They disconnected the battery for a period of time and that seemed to correct the problem temporarily then it returns to the shuddering.

- Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #465

Jul 252015


  • 36,000 miles
I was driving, and the transmission stopped delivering power to the wheels. The engine was running, and revving when I pushed the gas pedal, but no acceleration. The transmission was in drive. I changed to L, and no power. I pulled over and put the gear into park, back to D, and no power. I had to restart the engine twice, before the transmission engaged.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #464

Jul 012015


  • 34,000 miles


Letter from senator isakson on behalf of constituent re 2012 Ford Focus issues. (attn: Hanna yu). The consumer stated the vehicle had four major repairs and 6-8 minor repairs done to the transmission. The vehicle would jerk. Also, while in the middle of a making a turn, the vehicle suddenly stopped.

- Crandall, GA, USA

problem #463

Jul 232015


  • 42,740 miles
Bought the car used in May. It drove fine for the first month and now the check engine light comes on with a code for the transmission. The car hesitates and shutters when you start from a stop and when you get going it feels like it shifts into neutral, RPM goes real high and then shifts hard. The code that pops up is P2862, P2831, P2832, P2837, and P285F. For 2 of them the code is shift fork a and B position circuit shift, and the others say no definition found.I don't know what to do from here.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #462

Jul 192015


  • 67,000 miles
Accelerating up a shallow hill the transmission began to stutter and jerk and grind as it changed gears. In the middle of the jerking the car shifted into neutral and revved up. Complete loss of power at speed. Pulled over to the side of the road (on a hill) put the car in park and shut the car off. When I released the brake the car rolled backwards down the hill - clearly the car was not engaged in park. I applied the brake to stop the car and engaged the E brake. I tried to restart the car it would not start. Error kept flashing 'parking aid malfunction - service required'. the failure left us stranded on the side of the road on a 95 degree day without the ability to start the car. I am currently waiting for Ford dealer to determine the cause of the failure. The jerking and stuttering of the transmission is a very regular occurrence for my car. It happens at almost every startup, especially when hot. The jerking and stuttering has in the past resulted in loss of power to the point that I have almost been hit by oncoming cars when I tried to pull out into the street. I had also brought my car to the dealer previously complaining of severe jerking and stuttering and was told this was normal for the transmission.

- Ipswich , MA, USA

problem #461

Sep 252014


  • 29,000 miles
Purchased car March 29th 2014 with 12K miles. Shortly after car would shutter consistently upon acceleration and not excel in a timely manner.on Sept 25th was driving and the car and it did not want to move from a stop. RPM would would just go to 4 or 5 and eventually engage. I was able to drive it a mile home and park it. Took it to the Ford dealer a few days later when they could get it in. They replaced the body control module $744.68. Drove it home and the next day it was worse. Called the dealership back and they told me since it was a transmission issue they could not get it in for three weeks. I drove it like this for months. March 2015 I took it to a different Ford dealership and the diagnosis code P0902 came up. They replaced the clutch actuator and updated my sync. $452.65. They stated the code was an software issue. After that it was an intermittent problem. Drove it home and the next day nothing had changed. My sync no longer works.took it back to that same Ford dealership and they now wanted to replace the transmission control module $873.41. And at this point I asked what if this don't work is there any guarantee" they said no. With it being an intermittent problem they could be anything. Before I brought it back the 2nd time they made sure that the check engine light was on so that they could put it on the computer and drive it.I love my car and just want it fixed. My car now has 57K miles and I continue to drive it not knowing if I am ever going to be able to make it to my destination. I can drive it for 1K miles with no issues or for three weeks straight barely wanting to move. I have read a lot on the forum website and there are hundreds of people with the same problems. Why" so today I am reaching out for some sort of assistance in finding a fix for my car, since the dealership showed no concern. Any help would greatly be appreciated. Thank you.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #460

Jun 212015


  • 112,000 miles


First incident traveling approximately 45 mph, as automatic transmission shifts gears, the transmission slips out of gear. Shifting to neutral and back into gear does not work. Pulled vehicle onto the shoulder, put into park, turn off the engine. Engine will not start, no crank. Let vehicle sit for a minute, retry starting, vehicle runs normally. Next incident around 2 weeks later. Similar experience, but travelling approx 75 mph on highway. Required to pull over, restart vehicle. Check engine light on at restart and engine running at lower RPM than normal in all gears. Vehicle rests overnight, runs normally with no check engine light. Subsequent incidents increase in frequency, without check engine light. Simply need to pull over, restart vehicle. Most frequently occurs while traveling on the highway at higher speeds. 6th or 7th incident, about a month after the initial incident. Check engine light remains on. Vehicle service scheduled but not yet performed due to backlog of transmission service repairs at Ford service center.

- Wayzata, MN, USA

problem #459

Sep 032014


  • 47,781 miles
We have been experiencing on multiple occasions a transmission shudder and loss of acceleration during shifting.

- Cookeville, TN, USA

problem #458

Aug 152014


  • 55,000 miles
This vehicle has a pretty significant engine shudder as well as a rattling noise between first and second and second and third gears. Vehicle at times feels like it is going to stall out. This is a safety issue in all intersections and this vehicle should be recalled.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #457

Jul 082015


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle was engaged into the drive gear and it suddenly accelerated independently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was informed that the vehicle was operating as designed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000. The VIN was not available.

- Eats Haven, CT, USA

problem #456

Jul 162014


  • 40,000 miles
During times of frequent stop and go (accelerating and de-accelerating) the car shudders and acts like it is going to stall. It does not accelerate or de-accelerate properly sometimes. I did not notice until about 40,000 miles and have had this problem ever since. Some model of Ford focuses are under recall, however when I went to the dealer they said my car specifically was not being recalled yet it was exhibiting the same issues.

- Brown City, MI, USA

problem #455

Jun 122015


  • 68,800 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving at 45 mph, the vehicle started to decelerate. The contact coasted the vehicle to the side of the road and shut the engine off. Once restarted, the gear shifter failed to shift into drive. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but the failure could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 68,800.

- Mannington, WV, USA

problem #454

Jan 082015


  • 20,000 miles
Starting this past winter, my Ford Focus's transmission shakes, shudders, and slips, etc consistently when starting from a dead stop. The first time it happened, the vehicle actually wouldn't accelerate. I've had it in to Ford and they made the problem a little better but the vehicle still noticeably shakes when accelerating. It can also be very hesitant to accelerate when at higher speeds as well. Ford has checked the issue again and says that its "within tolerance". I find it absurd that they would consider what my car does to be acceptable. This is both annoying and a safety concern considering the acceleration is not always there the way it should be.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #453

May 012015


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 40 mph, the vehicle lost power. In addition, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate as the rpms increased. Also, the contact mentioned that the horn failed to function. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who diagnosed that a module in the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000. Updated 09/10/15

- Soddy, TN, USA

problem #452

Jun 262015

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
It's like it doesn't want to shift and then that hesitation you feel and it'll kick in, ? driving down the street transmission will stop working. There is never any warning signs. Very dangerous. Does not matter if you are going up an hill or driving flat road and speed has no factor either. Then the car will turn off on its own. There are a lot of complaints with transmission problem with Ford Focus. Every complaint is about the same transmission issue. Ford Focus 2012 is a lemon....... now family can't ride in this car. Not safe! it just sits at home.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #451

Jul 012015


  • 62,000 miles
7/1/15 car had sudden loss of power. The double clutch transmission was in D but acted as if in neutral. Pulled into a business driveway. Parked car. Put selector in P, car dash said car was not in P and would not allow key to be removed. Called a Ford dealer, had car towed to dealer. Waiting on them to work on car. (they said they did not have available time in shop until 7/9/15)

- Westminster, MD, USA

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