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 13 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #430

May 042015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 34,227 miles


My daughter was driving to work and the car started pulling like a stick shift and stalling. Shortly after, the warning flashed across the screen, "transmission malfunction. Service now". she pulled over and turned the car off. When she turned the car back on, it was still pulling. She drove for a block or two to park the car near a friend's house. She thought she could at least make it to work only to find the car would not reverse. Everything happen without any advance warning at all. Once she had it towed to the nearest dealer and diagnosed, we were told the car needed a clutch pack and would take up to 12 weeks to come in. After looking online, there were several class actions suits filed for the powershift/dual clutch transmission. I also found a 122 page forum with several owners with the same issues receiving little to no help getting their cars fixed.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #429

May 052015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Completely stopped accelerating, janky transmission and constant rolling when accelerating from a stop. I have never had any real issues or any warning lights come on with this car until it completely stopped accelerating while on the freeway with a two year old in my backseat. All of my lights/ ac/ radio still worked but the car wouldn't drive, it almost felt as if it was in neutral because the engine would rev but wouldn't move. I pulled over and finally got it started after a few tries. After I tried to start my car again when leaving the house later that day my car wouldn't even turn on. Again, the radio/ lights/ etc all worked fine, but the car would not start. When you try to start it, there isn't even a sound in the ignition when you turn the key. I had to get it towed and brought it to a close friend and very good mechanic who tried everything from resetting the key to unplugging the battery to trying to start it from neutral and nothing worked. So then he said it must me something electrical. They went in and saw there was loose wiring and fuses and once they tightened those up the car was able to start. He also found the kill switch was activated which is a safety measure with these cars when they get too dangerous to drive and he deactivated that as well. Once they got it running to test it for a bit it just shut right back off. He tried to put it in reverse and the dash would light up with a warning saying transmission not in "P" and we are now back at the beginning. There are still no warning lights on and with the car not recognizing gears we saw that it is a transmission issue. I still haven't gotten the car fixed because this just happened, but what I've read many people are having the same exact issue. Filing a complaint and taking it to the dealer! that is way too big and dangerous of an issue to have with no warning and only being at 60,000 miles!

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #428

May 052015


  • 51,344 miles
While driving in stop and go traffic, my cars engine light came on, as I was accelerating to move forward in line a warning stating the transmission is overheating pull over safely for 8 minutes. This is the fourth time something has went wrong with the transmission since buying this car in September of 2012. The first time this happened I was driving on the interstate going 70 miles per hour and I didn't have anytime to pull over safely, I had to coast because my car was running but would not go forward. That happened in December of 2014. Then two weeks ago I was again in stop and go traffic and the engine light came on and the car would not move forward, but no warning to pull over safely. I have taken the car to two different Ford service centers and though my car has codes stored they state it is how I drive or that an update was needed. When I ask about the car just stopping with the transmission overheating they say it is a safety feature for the transmission. In most circumstances this would be great but when this happens in a situation where the car can't or won't make it to pull over safely then someone is going to be seriously injured. I am very unhappy about the way my car repair has been going especially since I bought this car new and to tell me it is just the way the car runs or it needs an update and that will take care of it is ridiculous. Someone is going to get killed driving this vehicle and I pray it is not me.

- Bethlehem , PA, USA

problem #427

May 052015

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


I have been to my Ford dealership 10 times last year and 4 times already this year. I have multiple check engine light that came on and each time they replace a part on my car. I had my car last week for service and now it's back this week again for service. I have all my repair receipts and I am completely sadden that Ford cannot do anything for me as I called the Ford cooperate office and have their specialist looked at my case and I am having the same issues. My car shuts off on me so many times while driving with me 1 year old son in the middle of the street. They will fix it today and next week I am back in the shop. They have my car more times in the shop than I have on the road. I am extremely tired! I told them to test drive my car each time they "supposedly fixed" my issue and the problem remains the same. I have spoken to [xxx] at the cooperate office in Florida ( 1866-631-3788) ex [xxx] and he has never solved my problems or return any of my calls. --at present writing this issue I am scheduled for another "repair". another check engine light situation. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #426

Apr 102015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Steering assist malfunction when starting vehicle, making it impossible to drive. However when restarted and "warmed up" vehicle function. Ford seems to be ignoring the issue as it did with transmission malfunction. Today May 5 I return to metro Ford.

- Miami Beach , FL, USA

problem #425

May 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
We have this car and they have already redone parts in transmission one in 2014. Now we are having problems again I took to dealership on 4 25 2015 and they confirmed that it was messed up again but parts are on backorder til July but car was safe to drive. I complained that I didn't think it was that it stalls and hesitates when taking off or pulling into traffic. They said nothing they could do and acted they could care less. I then called Ford and pretty got the same response so I said Y'all better hope and pray my wife or I don't have a accident. Wife is very uncomfortable driving car.

- Ayden, NC, USA

problem #424

Apr 222015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 42,189 miles


Car had been into dealer many times for transmission clutch - car shutter at low speed, rolls back after putting in park. Purchased car new and reported problem. At first I was told it was because it was a standard automatic. Three times they claimed they reprogrammed it. Dealer finally agreed that it needed a new clutch. Feb. 12 and would order part. While driving on a freeway 150 miles from home, car suddenly started slowing down. Motor would just rev when stepping on gas. Because it was down hill, I was able to make it at less than 20 mph to a parking lot before it froze up half way into lot. Because it was 2 pm, traffic was light which is the only thing that saved me from an accident. If this had happened in phoenix on freeway, there would definitely been an accident. The module was replaced two days later but the clutch ordered on 2/12 has not been replaced. I just checked for recalls and found module was recalled in 2013, yet my car was in dealers several times and I was never repaired.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #423

Apr 202015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,179 miles
When I try to accelerate from I stop the transmission try's to engage and once it does engage it also disengages causing loss in power and/or no acceleration while the transmission and rpms rev as there in no movement from the car.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #422

Jan 152015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Vehicle lost throttle and eventually died and would not crank. This happened going down the highway. Hillside assist warning light came on. Vehicle would shutter in acceleration at times. Tcm had been reprogrammed before this happened but did not really fix the problem of transmission shutter. Fmc completely changed out the tcm and this helped for three months and then we had complete transmission failure going down the road. We were 1000 miles over our powertrain warranty. Fmc said the reverse gear along with second gear had failed. Fmc is replacing the transmission and our cost is $500. Both incidents were in heavy traffic when transmission failures occurred. Thankfully no one else was involved. We currently are in the fourth week of waiting on car to be fixed.

- Corsicana, TX, USA

problem #421

Apr 152015


  • 52,882 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. When approaching a stop sign, the vehicle would roll backwards without warning. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 52,882.

- Westfield , IN, USA

problem #420

Apr 222015


  • 72,000 miles


Vehicle lost drivetrain power on the freeway. I went to accelerate in very heavy traffic, and the engine revved without moving forward (similar to someone depressing the clutch and accelerating). Shifted the car into neutral, back into drive in order to jog the transmission into operation, that did not work. I shifted into the 'sport' mode in the transmission thinking that would help, that didn't work. I had enough forward momentum to get the car to the shoulder and call for a tow, but overall, the car would not travel under it's own power. At this point, I am quite concerned that I own this car, and it's not safe to drive. Once it's fixed, I am still quite concerned that I've owned this car for 2 years, and it's been in the shop between 8 - 10 individual incidents. I am concerned that I cannot put myself or my family inside this car with any reasonable expectation of safety. Please, Ford Motor Company needs to issue a full, mandatory recall of this car in order to get this issue fixed before someone faces a severe injury or death as a result of this issue. If I was in front of a truck that wasn't paying attention, I could have been killed.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #419

Jan 192014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
Prior to this incident I had brought the car into the shop twice with complaints about the transmission shuttering in reverse and slow speeds. On January 18, 2014 when leaving a drug store to return to our hotel the car would not go in reverse, we had to put the car in neutral and push it out of the parking space. Being a Saturday night and 180 miles from home we had no option to bring it in to a local shop. My husband and son were traveling to Colorado so they took the hotel shuttle to the airport early Sunday morning and I had a family member follow me in the car the 180 miles back to our local dealership. The dash had no warning lights on at that point of the trip. When driving the car it would shudder at low speeds, but did ok around 60mph. About 1 mile from the dealership the service transmission light came on while stopped at an intersection. When I went to accelerate at the green light it nearly died- the rpms blasted but the car had no power. I barely made it through the intersection and to my next turn. The car lost all power about 1/4 mile from the dealership. I had to push the vehicle onto the shoulder and have it towed to the shop. The seals in the transmission had leaked and toasted the tranny and I had to have the tranny rebuilt. The entire process took almost a month. Started to have similar problems a few weeks ago, brought it back into the dealership and they said the seals are leaking again and it's just a matter of time before my tranny goes but that it will be about 12 weeks for them to get the parts.

- Cook, MN, USA

problem #418

Apr 222015


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the transmission stopped shifting out of third gear and the contact was unable to accelerate and the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the transmission was reprogrammed. The repair failed to remedy the failure. The contact mentioned that the vehicle continued to shutter. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- Montgomery, NY, USA

problem #417

Apr 012015


  • miles
2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle transmission assembly problems. The consumer experienced an intermittent loss of transmission engagement while driving. The consumer recevied a letter from Ford, warning her of the problem.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #416

Aug 042014


  • miles
In 2012, I purchased a brand new super economy flex fuel 2012 Ford Focus, which I had there was no problem with vehicle after don seeyle Ford replace the axle and wheel bearing. Last spring of 2014, my car started shuddering violently as I reversed the vehicle into driveway at home. In August 2014, I received a notice from Ford Motor Company that listed problems with the transmission for this vehicle. After receiving this notice, I called seeyle Ford to inquire about the transmission as well as the rear window defroster that has not been working properly either from previous winter. I made an appointment with seeyle Ford to get the transmission repaired, rear window defroster and routine maintenance done. After returning to seeyle Ford, the rushed and thrown the paperwork for routine maintenance to the cashier without informing myself about that no repair was done to the transmission or the rear defroster. However, I noticed that the vehicle was vandalized by punchers holes in the upholstery by the rear window close to the defroster, which I have never punchers holes since purchasing it. Finally, I took the vehicle to galesburg Ford to inquire the same issues, however, I explanations was simply thanks for the business. In March of 2015, received another noticed from Ford Motor Company about the transmission. I called galesburg Ford about the transmission but nothing happened as usual. Finally on April 6, 2015, I called Ford customer to file a complaint with repair issues with the dealerships. On April 7, 2015, I received a call from the regional manager sally basically said żżI can take the vehicle somewhere else because Ford will not repair it unless it total breaks down.or simply the company is going to do nothing about the complaint. So, I basically received attitude of we will listen but the company doing nothing for you.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #415

Apr 132015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 19,599 miles
I was driving the vehicle down the highway and it all of a sudden lost power and would not shift and slowed down to around 40mph automatically and almost caused me to be hit from the vehicle behind me and had to immediately pull of to the shoulder. A message came up on the hud/display and said transmission malfunction service now!. I then shut the car off at a parking lot and let the car sit for over an hour and made phone calls to the dealer. This has also has happened when going to step on gas to yield at an intersection and the motor just went up in RPM but did not move or go into gear while in drive. This is vehicle is dangerous while driving due to these issues and the dealer acts like it is not.

- Brooklyn Park, MN, USA

problem #414

Apr 102015


  • 32,000 miles
The parking aid light came on and the car won't start! I have had the car in three times for transmission and shaking and it has yet to be fixed. The car does not accelerate properly and is going back in again today. Ford will not buy me out of my loan or work with me on replacing it. I bought this for my daughter and I do not feel safe with her driving it at all!

- Concord, CA, USA

problem #413

Apr 102013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
The transmission doesn't function properly -- delaying on acceleration, then 'catching' and accelerating in a burst. I've had it 'fixed' once and am trying to get it fixed again. It isn't safe, particularly in hilly traffic-heavy seattle. Ford really needs to be accountable for the problematic transmission that they have running around the streets. I am in my mid-twenties and this is my first car. It's been very depressing, and I would love fair resolution.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #412

Jan 152014


  • 30,000 miles
Right after purchasing the Ford Focus 1/2014 we noticed a significant slipping/jerking from transmission. The car was covered under warranty and the car dealer took it right into the Ford dealer in boise to get it fixed. It was returned doing the same thing. We notified them of the problem and heard there was a recall for this issue. They, Ford dealer, took the car in and then returned it saying they did noticed a problem but was not significant to repair and returned it to us. The car is still not repaired and runs like crap. 04/6/2015 although this part is now a recall, Ford has not fixed the problem and the car in almost inoperable. The part is on back order and will take 3 months to get it in. It has only been 6 weeks and they do not care. The car has been to the dealer in boise multiple times and is still not fixed. This car is still under warranty.

- Kuna, ID, USA

problem #411

Mar 022015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 62,489 miles
The automatic transmission in the Ford Focus has a clutch that slips without warning. The car shudders and won't accelerate. I was almost hit when making a turn and the car shuddered and stopped in the middle of the turn. Another driver had to take emergency evasive action to avoid hitting me. I took my car to the dealership and Ford service says there is definitely a problem but they cannot fix it because they don't have parts and don't know when they will get the parts. Ford acknowledges the problem is common and has extended the warranty to 150K miles but they cannot fix the problem so thousands of Ford Focus owners are driving unsafe cars. There has already been multiple accidents and injuries attributed to this problem but yet Ford still does nothing to correct the unsafe condition. This Agency should force Ford to issue a safety recall before there are fatalities. It is just a matter of time before people lose their lives because of this defect in a Ford vehicle has is affecting thousands of owners. Extending the warranty is nice but ineffective so a mandatory safety recall is going to be necessary to make Ford take action. The slipping is occurring more and more often yet Ford is unable to fix the problem so I am forced to drive an unsafe car. Time is of the essence to prevent more accidents, injuries, and possible fatalities.

- Durham, NC, USA

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