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.

CarComplaints.com 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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
19 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
10 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,673 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 15 of 35)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #414

Apr 102015

Focus

  • 32,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

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

Focus

  • 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

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

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

problem #410

Jun 102014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 29,850 miles
The transmission is jerking, shifting not smooth, sometimes wont start, sometimes wont shift gears at all. The car has been towed to a repair center twice this month due to the problems and not being safe to drive.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #409

Mar 192015

Focus

  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 60 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle did not accelerate. The vehicle was restarted. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be reset. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 12,000.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #408

Mar 302015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was driving to work this morning. As I was driving my car stopped accelerating. I had to coast off of the interstate and once stopped it would not move at all. I got a warning that the transmission was hot and to stop safely. Recently I had the clutch replaced and was assured by the dealership that they had fixed the problem.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #407

Oct 222013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
In October 2013, my car started shuddering violently every time I accelerated from a stop, going around corners and going up hills. On Oct. 22, 2013, I brought the car in to the Ford dealership for diagnostics and it was determined I needed a new clutch. I was also told that this is a very common problem happening at the time with my make/model. The car was "repaired" and it did not shudder until almost exactly a year later in October 2014. The shuddering was exactly the same as previously - shuddering violently every time I accelerated from a stop, going around corners and going up hills. I brought my car into the dealership on March 25, 2015 and was told the transmission would have to be removed for repairs. I was also told that since so many Ford owners are having this same problem, they are booked solid and cannot do my repair until middle of June 2015 (3 months from time of diagnostics).

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #406

Jan 012015

Focus

  • 56,000 miles
When taking off tranny stutters and slips in know about to dry clutch you guys should recall before some gets hurt then al least Ford would fix problem.

- Middlepoint, OH, USA

problem #405

Sep 162013

Focus

  • miles
In September of 2013, I purchased a used Ford Focus for my teenage son. Soon after purchasing, we realized the transmission seemed to be having problems. It was still under factory warranty, so we took it to a Ford dealership to have it checked out and repaired. We were told that the computer programming needed to be reset, which they did, and that it would take driving it about 1000 miles for the car to "learn" the new setting, and then the problem would be fixed. The problem, by the way, is the car feels like it will stall out when you try to accelerate, particularly during initial acceleration such as after coming to a complete stop. This could put my son in danger if he's in a situation where he needs immediate acceleration (such as to pass) and the transmission doesn't perform. Ford knows about this problem, and has even sent out a notice that they've extended the warranty on the transmission. Yet they won't fix the problem. What's it going to take to get them to fix these transmissions?

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #404

Mar 032015

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Transmission shutters, feels like its skipping a gear, rolls backward down hill in drive. The vehicle's transmission, in the middle of an intersection, stalled and would not shift into a gear. This incident almost caused a wreck. The vehicle has been at 3 different Ford dealerships 7 different times for transmission issues. Ford refuses to admit that there is a serious issue with the transmission and is making customers drive unsafe vehicles during the weeks that those vehicles aren't in the shop.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #403

Mar 252015

Focus

  • 65,000 miles
Driving on I-97 South at speed with cruise control engaged, the car suddenly "raced" and slowed down and accelerator did not respond to more power with cars and truck approaching from behind. I managed to pull over, compose, myself shut down. Car then restarted and I continued on and then it happened again. I proceeded to dave's auto service in annapolis my mechanic who diagnosed that I need to go to Ford dealer to re-set computer module or something tho that effect. Tomorrow I go to bob bell Ford in glen burnie. Md to see what is the problem and get repaired. I was terrified at the sudden loss of power with approaching vehicles form behind at a high rate of speed.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #402

Oct 122014

Focus

  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 45 mph, the vehicle was shifted into the drive position but failed to drive forward when the accelerator pedal was engaged. The contact mentioned that the same failure applied when attempting to reverse. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 54,000.

- Chatham , VA, USA

problem #401

Jan 012015

Focus

  • 67,000 miles
Transmission clutch slips and car shutters and jerks. It is dangerous because the engine revs fast and then lurches forward. Parts are on back order due to so many cars having this problem been waiting 2 months!

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #400

Mar 132015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
I purchased the car used in early 2014. I had this car not even two years and the transmission is a serious problem. The car shakes, rattles, and stalls as I'm driving. The letter I received from Ford states that this is a normal function of the car. The transmission fluid on my car is leaking and contaminated. The transmission fluid would be almost empty in 24 hours. In order to use my car for a day, I would need to refill my car with transmission fluid so it will at least move. The car at times would come to a complete stop in the middle of traffic. The power-shift struggles to change gears and at times won't accelerate. This problem maybe now beginning to affect my engine. The Focus won't even start at times. Another issue is the radio will go on/off and with time, shut off completely. Their are also reports of car will roll back on hills when in drive and it does. The Ford Focus 2012 has too many design and manufacturer problems not to have a recall or lemon lawsuits. This car needs to simply be replaced with another model (not 2013 or 2014 models, same reports) or full reimbursement.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #399

Sep 262014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 99,885 miles
The car was driving fine and all of a sudden the power train quit working despite the fact that the engine was operating correctly. Because of the loss of power, I was endanger of getting hit by other cars. The sudden loss of power is a hazard. The manufacturer said the resulting loss of power train was due to a transmission control module. This particular model has been plagued by transmission problems throughout its life. Mine began while it was still under warranty and continues today. I am going to abandon the car because I feel it is unsafe at this point for me or anyone else.

- Tyrone, GA, USA

problem #398

Mar 152015

Focus

  • 79,000 miles
This has happened multiple times, but on Sunday 3/15/15. My car has flashed hill assist not working and not in park when it was indeed in park after the RPM go up to 5 & 6 at any given time and forcing me to pull over. My car would start, but would not go into gear. When this happen before I was on the interstate doing 70 and the car jumps out of gear and I can no longer go, so I have had to pull over and luckily restart the car and go. I also have been having issues with the car not starting. What if this car causes myself and family to be involved in a accident" what if this happens during rush hour? this is a world wide issues and Ford is fully aware yet they do not have any recalls. I'm not sure I understand when or what will make you Ford stand up and correct the issue by issuing a recall on this unsafe vehicle? death"

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #397

Mar 102015

Focus

  • 60,680 miles
This has happened multiple times, but on Tuesday 3/12/15. My car has flashed transmission malfunction, parking aid malfunction, hill assist not working. My car would start, but would not go into gear. Two cops had to push my car to the side of the road since I was in the middle of rush hour traffic. I have had this happen on the interstate doing 75 and the car jumps out of gear and I can no longer go, so I have had to pull over and luckily restart the car and go. I also have been having issues with the car not starting this past week and it keeps flashing parking aid malfunction, service required. I have two young children and this is ridiculous. If this car causes us to be involved in a accident. This is common issues and Ford is fully aware yet I do not have any recalls on my vehicle.

- Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

problem #396

Jan 232015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 43,941 miles
This is an update to report filed 1-4-15 (NHTSA id #10669989). On 1-6-15 we had our 2012 Focus serviced at a dealership for a serious transmission failure described on previous report. That dealership performed "adaptive learning strategy and cleared all the codes". verbal summary of the problem from the service advisor was that the computer had been confused by a change in transmission demands. We had taken a day trip into hilly, congested san francisco. Our typical drive is small town, country highway on relatively flat terrain. The computer did not know how to behave with different traffic conditions and terrain. After that servicing, all seemed fine until a couple of weeks later on 1-23-15, when the car lost power at a 4-way stop. I hit the gas pedal on green, but the transmission wouldn't engage properly, although the engine was revving--similar symptoms to last time. after multiple attempts, the car was not able to reliably engage, only sporadically, limping through a few intersections. Eventually, I pulled over to the side of the road, and shut the engine off. When I tried to restart the car, the engine would not even turn over. I decided to use Ford roadside assistance again, to have the car towed to the dealership we had purchased the car from. The advisor at that dealership saw the wisdom of replacing the transmission control module (tcm) and programming it. As of today, 3-9-15, odometer at 45,556, we have had no additional symptoms and the car is running smoother than ever, even since new. We still need to test the car on san francisco hills and mountain driving, however. My advice to others is to insist on a replacement of the transmission control module, seals and program at the first sign of this kind of problem. Don't let them merely perform the " adaptive learning strategy and clearing of all codes" on the old tcm. That did not hold long in our case.

- Gilroy, CA, USA

problem #395

Jan 092015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
This is an ongoing issue with the dual clutch powershift transmission that has started shortly after purchasing the car in November 2014. When I take off the car shutters and grinds and sometime looses power. On multiple cases I have gone to pull out into traffic and the car randomly hesitates causing a risk to my safety. On Feb 13th 2015 I was on the free way and the car locked in to neutral leaving me stranded on the freeway. I had to get it towed. Ford replaced the PCM but the problem is returning. I have taken the car to Ford multiple times to have this issue corrected and nothing is being done to fix the problem.

- Riverside, CA, USA

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