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:
19 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
10 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,558 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 2 of 36)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #694

Oct 222016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the transmission failed and the vehicle was driving as if it were in neutral. The vehicle was repaired, but the vehicle stalled while driving 30 mph. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown.

- Evmond, OK, USA

problem #693

Oct 122016


  • 30,000 miles
The transmission is slipping and hesitating, Ford said its a design problem. I have had several near accidents because of this transmission. Ford can't fix this. I would like Ford to buy back this car before I get into a bad accident.

- Watertown, MA, USA

problem #692

Jul 282016


  • 98,842 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced excessive shuddering and delayed acceleration when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission clutch motor was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The failure mileage was approximately 98,842.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #691

Dec 102013


  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving various speeds and shifting between first and second gear, the vehicle would jerk. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch kit needed replacement. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the transmission control module was replaced and the PCM was updated. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was approximately 20,000.

- Groton, CT, USA

problem #690

Feb 292016


  • 30,000 miles
Ford Focus recall for dual clutch assembly: We have had the dual clutch assembly replaced 3 times and continue to have problems with the car not shifting into the correct gear, dragging, and shuttering.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #689

Oct 172016


  • 72,468 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving on an incline, the vehicle began to stutter without warning. Also, when the accelerator pedal was depressed, the vehicle hesitated to increase in speed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 72,468.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #688

Oct 272016


  • 79,000 miles


On a wet pavement in the rain while attempting to make a right turn into a shopping center the power steering locked up and would not turn or respond. The vehicle continued into an island curb breaking off the front left tire causing over $4,300 in damage. The problem with the power steering locking up during wet weather was confirmed by the repair shop. Ford Motor Company (customer service) was contacted but would not send a representative to look at the vehicle. This issue is ongoing as everyone who drives the vehicle has experienced the steering locking up during wet conditions. The vehicle also has a shuddering issue where the vehilcle bucks when moving forward.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #687

Nov 122016


  • 29,800 miles
Very rough idling of engine while proceeding forward at start of acceleration. The "hill assist not available" light on the instrumentation panel came on, while the transmission seemed to transfer itself from a drive position to a neutral position. The car remained stationary while I attempted to accelerate using the foot pedal. At that point, I could not get the car back into a drive gear position. Immediately following "hill assist not available" message, a second warning light "transmission malfunction, service now" came on. During this moment, an additional red exclamation light engaged. When I stopped at a red traffic signal, my Focus's RPM idle quickly increased causing the Focus to lunge forward a few feet into an active traffic intersection. As I proceeded to make a right hand turn, the instrumentation panel displayed no warning signs, then suddenly came back on as the RPM idle went from 2,200 to 5,500 RPM in a neutral gear state. At this moment, I was nervous, as my mind was racing with thoughts of an accident; such as, the transmission could re-engage to a drive position at such a high RPM rate, forcing vehicle to thrust forward at an uncontrollable high speed, or the engine could perhaps overheat and/or the engine block could crack. The warning panel sporadically turned warning messages on and off as it affected the powertrain/transmission control. The waning light displays "hill assist not available" every time the transmission goes into a neutral position, while the gear is physically in its "D" (drive) position. This Focus leaves me wary while behind its wheel. Will this car eventually injure me or another person (s) while the transmission suddenly accelerates once again, causing an accident?

- Rancho Mirage, CA, USA

problem #686

Oct 282016


  • miles
I purchased the Focus in Aug. 2016, took car to dealer right away to have it checked. I get a clean bill of health, including the transmission with which I was having issues. Two months later, the problem has worsened and gave warning. Took back to dealer who now says needs transmission work worth 2,200 dollars. When checking, found out previous owners had the complete clutch system replaced on November, 2nd. 2015, exactly a year ago. I am trying to get apple Ford of columbia, MA fix the vehicle as the otherwise known issue of Ford Focus from 2011 on has not been totally resolved on my vehicle. At the present, the car is with sheehy Ford in springfield, va waiting response from apple Ford. I appreciate any assistance I can get so my daughter can have her car back so she can pursue her college courses w/T having to worry about her transportation. Thank you!

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #685

Sep 202016


  • 102,000 miles
The car failed while driving on a busy road due to the transmission control module failing which is under replacement recall. While at the dealership they informed me that they could not complete the repair without replacing the locked shifter. I explained that the shifter electronically locked when the transmission failed and that I did not want it replaced. I was told that they refused to continue without authorization to replace the shifter for $535 I was forced to agree as this is my only vehicle and I needed it fixed. It is well documented on the internet including by many Ford technicians that a side effect of the transmission control module failing is that the shifter electronically locks in place, and when that happens the dash no longer shows what position it is in. They told me that it was a completely isolated incident that the shifter "broke" ie wont shift, at the exact same time that the transmission failed. I would like to know my options regarding recovering my money for a covered recall. Ford has had my car for just shy of 60 days during the length of ownership. Other issues with the car include the fan does not work, the back door sensor is broken, the two front windows failed, the horn failed, and numerous electrical issues with the lights.

- Ringwood, NJ, USA

problem #684

Nov 082016

Focus 4-cyl

  • 14,000 miles


The car rolls forward/backward when in park. The car shudders and shakes when you take off or when you slow down and the accelerate. I have had the clutch worked, replaced and had the replacement's software updated. It behaves like it did when it needed to be replaced the first time. I was told this was normal and I was told to drive the car like I stole it when taking off and accelerating. I speak the truth when I tell you that....exact it like I stole it. I have modified my driving habits but it has not helped and I feel those habits are dangerous. The passenger side window has in intermittent problem where it will not roll up when rolled down. The door latch may take up to six months to be fixed due to lack of parts and the clutch still stutters and shudders around corners and slow speed take offs. Updated 12/29/16.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #683

Apr 152016


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While traveling at 65 mph, the vehicle lost power and would not accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The contact stated that a grinding noise could be heard while the vehicle was shifting gears. After the vehicle was shut off and restarted, the contact was able to drive the vehicle home and the check engine indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch plate needed replacement. The vehicle was repaired, but the issue recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 36,000.

- Bakersfield, AP, USA

problem #682

Oct 282016


  • 79,000 miles
My 2012 Ford Focus selectshift transmission still has problems. Ford extended the warranty for select Ford focuses and fiesta with no fix. They extended warranties for 10 years on these transmissions but replace with faulty parts. My car has had transmission work done to it and each time I get it back the transmission light comes on again. It's a huge known problem that Ford isn't willing to find a solution to. When driving it the transmission refused to find a gear and kept slipping making me go 30 mph maximum when the speed limit was 55mph through a very busy town. Now it hunts for gears and shot up the RPM's then shot down and doesn't feel like it has near the power after these transmission problems.

- Greenup, KY, USA

problem #681

Oct 032016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact noticed a strong hesitation and delay upon applying the accelerator pedal. The contact had to apply force to the accelerator pedal to increase speed. A mechanic inspected the vehicle, but was unable to replicate or diagnose the failure. The mechanic recommended that the vehicle be taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #680

Nov 042016


  • 184,000 miles
I own a 2012 Ford Focus with the manual/automatic transmission dct the car now has 184K highway miles on it Ford replaced one clutch out of three revisions. The car shudders badly and I'm told I no longer qualify for repair of a know issue because of the mileage. Cost of the new clutch and seals would be @ $1000 I'm being monetarily punished for using their product. The shuddering while annoying still allows me to drive the car from a to B. however, now the tcm module is bad per the dealer and will require $650 to get the car back on the road... I was driving the car when the transmission seemed to go into neutral. One off the road I selected all available gears and the car would not move. I tried shutting the car off and it would not restart. So, I had it towed to the nearest Ford dealer. Now on to the mind scramble... I was told there are 41000 tcm's currently on backorder and the wait time is 3 to 4 months! they expect me to leave my car at the dealer pushed to the back of their lot and stored for 3 to 4 month. Of course they did offer to take my car in on a trade! doesn't this seem like a nice way to increase car sells!" what would they even give me on trade for a broken down car" this is pathetically laughable. It would seem to me that a car that has had three related transmission "upgrades" with seals and clutches, extended warranty for those that rarely drive, and now a tcm reprogramming and warranty extension to 150K is a problematic release and should be a forced recall! as is, my only remedy is to sue Ford in a class action in order to get around the customer service department "feeling my pain". to give a consumer no better answer to a proven Ford related engineering problem than wait four months or trade up for another piece of Ford junk should not be allowed to happen.

- Crossville, TN, USA

problem #679

Mar 242016


  • 25,116 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving low speeds and accelerating from the stop position, the contact heard loud noises. The vehicle jerked each time the accelerator pedal was depressed. The vehicle also roll backwards when in park and when the contact was exiting the vehicle. The contact also stated that the transmission was slipping out of gear and made a grinding clunking noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission slipped out of gear and the transmission control module needed replacement. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 25,116.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #678

Jul 152016


  • miles
Recalled vehicle for computer system. Defect causes breaks to wear early, shuddering in transmission, and eventual transmission failure while the car is running. Is a known problem as I see from many other internet complaints.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #677

Oct 222016

Focus 4-cyl

  • 43,420 miles
While driving around 35mph, the vehicle began to slow down by its self. I had to pull off the road and coast to a stop. The engine was still running, the car was still in drive, the engines RPM's would go up, but the vehicle would not move. Like the transmission was disengaged with the engine. I had to have it towed.

- Northfield, IL, USA

problem #676

Oct 262016


  • miles
I have had my vehicle at the Ford dealership 4 times now for the transmission. I have the bucking, slipping and acceleration while driving. The RPM rev up without notice. This is a huge problem as I'm concerned driving my vehicle now. This has happened numerous time since I bought the car in February 2013. Plus a few months ago the transmission module in the computer went and I had to have the vehicle towed to the dealership.

- Marlboro, MA, USA

problem #675

Oct 072016

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
Hi my name is [xxx] purchased 2012 Ford Focus hatchback in North caroling parkway Ford VIN: [xxx] in the past received several safety recall. 1) clutch grinding 2) car rolling back when on incline 3) system upgrade 4) latch issue I have taken my vehicle to Ford dealer for all of the above with the exception of item 4 - awaiting part. My concern safety - my car still rolls back on incline and clutch makes grinding noise and car jerks. I took into dealer to ask for a review of this continued issue. However I was told my car exceed the 100,000 miles my car has 138,000 miles. Ford will not review my car unless I pay. All the above noted are for known safety recalls which my thoughts are Ford should want to ensure the safety of the consumer. I am not the only person with this type vehicle others have the same issue. Reaching out to you please take exception and send me a recall notices for the car rolling back on incline and my clutch grinding causing car to jerk. Other then the noted safety recalls that I deal with the car is acceptable. My history, I work for an automotive company as quality engineer and fully understand the impact of defective product and recalls. Note: Please understand I took the car in for the original recall; the car was adjusted, the question I have concern the adjustment was not a fix and continue to have issues. When my car was purchased, upfront I paid for all required services on the car and went to dealership within the arranged time for services. Your support and understanding would be greatly appreciated. The date noted below is when I took the car to the dealership the issue is a recurring issue. Kind regards [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Boiling Springs, SC, USA

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