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:
47,842 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 20 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #285

Aug 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles


When pulling out onto a rural highway from a stop sign, my car hesitated between 2-3 seconds after moving partway into the intersection. The feel was distinctly like clutch slippage, and the car refused to move forward despite me applying additional pressure on the accelerator. After almost 2 seconds of very slowly (2-3 mph) crawling into the intersection the transmission engaged abruptly and I resumed moving into my lane. I frequently experience this particular problem, despite two dealers over 4 trips attempting to repair it, and have a good feel for how to modulate the throttle to work through the stall. However, this time it nearly resulted in me being T-boned on the driver's side door by an 18-wheeler traveling 55 mph. Fortunately the truck was able to bypass me in his left lane. I will be taking it back to a local dealer for my fifth trip, this time hopefully to receive clutch revision "F" and transmission shaft seal "D". why the cars built with the dps6 transmission haven't yet been recalled is a mystery to me. I can only guess that (hopefully) no one has died when faced with a circumstance similar to mine.

- Fuquay Varina, NC, USA

problem #284

Aug 172014


  • 34,000 miles
This year vehicle year has a transmission surge problem. Ford Focus 2012. Dangerous to drive. You never know when the transmission will surge, bucking, scaring me almost to losing control. Dealership did not advise me before I bought. Will do nothing to help. Detroit is aware of the problem and extended the warranty, but that does not help me driving it. My opinion unsafe and should not be on the road. I bought this in Feb. 2014 with 34,000 miles on it. I need perry Ford san luis obispo to take it back. It can not be fixed. I see 459 complaints on this. How can I get help. I am a disabled senior.

- Atascadero, CA, USA

problem #283

Aug 152014


  • 25,000 miles
This has happened multiple times. When pulling out into traffic and trying to accelerate the vehicle will not accelerate above, I'd say 10 mph. It tends to happen when it is warmer out and the A/C is on. I have found that if the shifter is put into "sport mode" and I manually shift from first it won't do it. This is my gf's car and she will not use the "sport mode". this is very dangerous and will probably lead to an accident.

- Pendleton, OR, USA

problem #282

Aug 122014


  • 87,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving 65 mph, the vehicle decelerated and the check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed the power train control module was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 87,000.

- Rochester, WA, USA

problem #281

Jun 292014


  • 47,491 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 5 mph, the vehicle made a loud grinding noise and stalled. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 47,491.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #280

Sep 042012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Vehicle would not accelerate on freeway, failed to shift into higher gears.

- Pinckney, MI, USA

problem #279

May 222013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles


The transmission shutters and hesitates to shift into gear while accelerating from stop. Have taken it to Ford multiple times and problem comes back every time.

- Stanley, NC, USA

problem #278

Jul 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 120,200 miles
Driving up light incline on paved highway when traction control light flashes indicating a loss of traction. Seconds later car loses response to gas pedal, flashes "transmission system failure. Service immediately." After pulling over away from traffic and powering off then 30 second wait and on warning is gone and functions are restored. A week later problem comes up again, this time on interstate going 70mph. Cruise control is shut off automatically, no power to gas pedal, traction warning comes on, and same transmission warning flashes. Goes away in a second or two. Pull over as safely as I can while cutting off a semi-truck, power car off and on, all systems normal. Four days later pull out of parking spot with a hesitation of vehicle to start, then a vibrating in reverse. Drive around lot to exit, pull onto main road and same warnings/problems as usual happen. Now blocking traffic perpendicular to flow. Check engine light comes on, put car into park, turn off, and back on. Try to shift into drive. Won't budge. Turn off and on again. Try to shift again. No luck. One more time, wait a few seconds, then again. Car powers on drives to another location with check engine light on and then to dealer with no further issues. Dealer inspects, finds faulty tcm. Directly attributes this to manufacture defect and not to user error.

- Shasta Lake, CA, USA

problem #277

Aug 082014


  • 63,000 miles
I was leaving from the bp gas station from wayne sullivan dr in paducah, ky I had drove from ledbetter which is 10 mins outside of paducah and when I started my car to leave gas station pulling out into busy intersection I went to accelerate and my car would not go any faster than 10mph with oncoming traffic behind me and my 5 year old child in the car with me. I had reported transmission problems before they put computer to adjust it but told me slippage and jerking would be normal due to the type of transmission. My car has always rolled back on steep hills also.

- Ledbetter, KY, USA

problem #276

Aug 072014


  • 64,000 miles
Driving the car, pulled in to post office car died. No power steering or brakes. Car would not turn over. Display says parking aid malfunction no prnd indicator this is a major issue that needs to be resolved. If happened going down the highway someone could be seriously injured.

- Scurry, TX, USA

problem #275

Apr 292014


  • 60,700 miles


Went to make a left turn and the car went into a neutral state and just revved up. The gear indicator on the screen was no longer there. After 15 or so seconds it reappeared and resumed normal function but the check engine light came on. Went to an auto parts store to have the code read and it said a tcm low sh*t point or something to that effect.this was at 60700 miles. After driving a couple of hours the check engine light turned off. Since then it has been happening randomly anywhere from days apart to a month apart. I have contacted Ford assist and they said there is nothing they can or will do for me...

- Riverton, UT, USA

problem #274

Jul 062014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 36,100 miles
While driving on the road, going about 40-50 mph on a sunny, hot day in July, the traction control suddenly turned on and the car started to decelerate. I found it odd as the weather was not inclement and I had not hit a pothole so I pulled over since the car was automatically slowing down. I was lucky not to have been in an accident as there were plenty of cars around and this was less than half a mile from the highway that I was about to travel. After pulling over, I turned the car off to try to clear the traction control as it seemed to be stuck on. The car would not turn back on (the engine was not turning on though the battery was fine). After calling the Ford auto club and having help come out, the car got towed to the dealership. The issue turned out to be with the transmission control module that was covered under the original power train warranty.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #273

Jul 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The vehicle doesn't automatically shift properly. It doesn't shift up when it should and revs up badly. The same thing happens when I go down large hills. It shifts down and it shouldn't, so the engine revs and I have to put it in neutral when going down hills. Further, when I am parked on a hill, it rolls back a bit before stopping. Lastly, the bluetooth microphone is dying and sounds terrible on the other end.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #272

Jul 022012

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
Intermittently when accelerating the transmission feels like it is stalling out, shakes vigorously, and shifts rough. In those times the unpredictability of this transmission makes the car very dangerous to drive.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #271

Jul 022014


  • 35,900 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle shook and became unstable. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the transmission oil seal was ruptured. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,900.

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #270

Jul 012014


  • miles
2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to water leakage on the inside passenger side. The consumer stated two after the vehicle was supposedly fixed, water leaked inside again. The consumer continued to drive the vehicle. Then at 13,000 miles, the vehicle started to shudder and shake when she accelerated. The consumer then traded the vehicle for another a 2014 Ford Focus and she experienced the same shudder problems. The consumer was informed, the automatic transmission, also had a clutch.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #269

Jun 182014


  • miles
The transmission is knocking when it shifts gears especially the lower gears. It stutters really bad as well.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #268

Jun 292012


  • miles
Purchased vehicle in June 2012 and transmission has been shaky, slipping, stuttering, jerking, stalling on acceleration, overheating, rolling back on hills, no acceleration on hills, and grinding ever since. Had clutch seal replaced within a couple of months from purchase which they claimed caused the problem. Problem persisted but they told me to give it time to adjust to the repair. I took it back in at 11,000 and they replaced one of the clutches. Problem persisted only then the car's system indicated the transmission was overheating (while I was on the highway) and indicated on the console that I needed to wait until the car cooled down. The temp on the car was in normal range. I was 3 hours from home with small children in the car and left on the side of a major highway because my car's system said the tranny was overheating. Took it to the dealer again and they said it was a glitch; no concern necessary. I complained again about the jerking in the transmission and they said I needed to give the car some time to adjust to the repair at 11,000. At 24, 000, I was fed up from waiting and took the car in again only to be told that I needed the entire clutch assembly replaced but they were on back-order. Contacted Ford for a buy back and they said "no, that's how the car drives - it's normal" car is now at 50,000 with same problems. Currently working with an attorney on a suit against Ford.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #267

Jan 022012


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle was not shifting into gears properly, would stall sporadically and would jerk intermittently. Additionally, the steering wheel would often seize. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer several times who had not been able to replicate nor diagnose the failure. The failure recurred and the dealer replaced the transmission and transmission sensor but the failure recurred. The contact also mentioned that the lights intermittently illuminated and the radio was making a loud noise when it was powered off. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who then diagnosed that the computer chip in the fuel pump failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #266

Jun 302014


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who stated that the automatic transmission module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000.

- Jersey City , NJ, USA

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