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 23 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #230

Jun 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 24,866 miles


Pulled out of parking lot, the transmission malfunction indicator came on with message. Car would not go above 10 mph and the tachometer would flip from one side of the dial to the other. Pulled into another parking lot and put car in park and tried turning the car off and then starting the car again to see if it would clear the error. Same error and will not move above 10 mph. Had car towed.

- Coppell , TX, USA

problem #229

Jun 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I purchased a 2012 Ford Focus less than a year ago and have had trouble ever since. I have had my car in repaired once for the transmission issues accelerating and coasting. My car is shaking and hesitating with any type of acceleration. The car is making a clunking noise when driving, turning corners and braking. I am beyond disappointed with the quality of the 2012 Focus. I dropped my car off at the dealer and wanted it looked asap. I also contacted Ford directly about my concerns, they informed me about the dual clutch transmission as a reason for the drive (an excuse I have heard numerous times from the dealer). After a couple days the service department called to let me know they had looked it over and everything seemed fine. They later test drove it and he informed me that everything looks great and that the way my car is driving is just the way these Focus' drive due to the double clutch transmission. He informed me that it tends to drive the way I was describing if people have a "light foot", if I would drive with a "heavier foot" or "accelerate faster" it most likely wouldn't have these issues. When I brought up the instance where the car shook and made a large clunk when I turned it off, he stated that it was probably a "fluke". it is very discouraging that I am told that this is just how the Focus vehicles are going to be. I emailed Ford about the results and have not heard back. I picked up my car and it still drives jerky and the clunking noise is even louder. I dropped it off with 40,618 miles and picked it up with 40,630 miles. I think it is frustrating that it is deemed as a standard drive with a 12 mile trip. I am disappointed that I am expected to hit the gas harder to hopefully have a somewhat less jerky drive... not sure how to do that in parking lots and neighborhoods. I do not feel that I have a safe quality vehicle and don't know what to do next.

- Andover, MN, USA

problem #228

Oct 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
Transmission started jerking, grinding and not shifting properly. Car has been in the shop 6-8 times in the last year. The latest issue with the transmission was basically feeling like it went out of gear and the car had no power. Dangerous when it happens going down the freeway at 70 mph and in traffic. Definitely a safety issued and needs to be addressed. From what I see online the is happening with many, many people who have the 2012-2013 Focus with the dual clutch transmission. Someone is going to get hurt if they don't recall this car or make arrangements for a new transmission to replace the current one.

- Royse City, TX, USA

problem #227

Nov 082013


  • 67,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 45 mph, the transmission slipped in and out of gear with extreme hesitation. The failure occurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to an independent for diagnosis. An unknown trouble code was detected and the mechanic recommended the vehicle be taken to a dealer. Additionally, the motor mounts fractured. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 67,000.

- Bastop, LA, USA

problem #226

Jan 012013


  • 8,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while parking, the transmission slipped out of gear. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred a second time after parking in her residential garage and the vehicle went forward, crashing into a wall. The driver sustained minor injuries. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician stated that the vehicle was working up to standard. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 8,000 and the current mileage was 12,000.

- Inverness, FL, USA

problem #225

Jun 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
In the past year, I have experienced issues with my transmission where my car has difficulties shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. It shutters and jolts, feels like I have a manual transmission. I commute daily, especially in traffic, so this has never been acceptable. On June 1st, I was in a parking garage coming around a corner when my traction control light appeared and I lost power to the engine. The interior lights, radio, ac were still working, I just couldn't move the car. I was stalled and was nearly hit a few times since I was stuck in a turn. I tried turning the car on and off, no luck. I had my car towed home, and Ford towed it to the dealership the next morning where I was told the car was stuck in gear. It needed a new transmission module. The new module was replaced and I was told my car was ready for pick up. I went in the next day, the porter pulled up my car and I could not drive it off the lot, because now it was stuck in "park". I was very frustrated and I was told by the dealership that the computer may have had a glitch when reprogramming or it may have reset itself. I was told this can more than likely happen again, how disappointing. I don't feel safe driving my car and especially long distances. I'm afraid this can happen again, but even worse, while I'm on the road. Needless to say I will be looking into lemon law or trading in this vehicle.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #224

Jun 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles


When exiting grocery store parking lot, as we pulled out into traffic, the car experience a sudden loss of acceleration/drive train power, while electrical systems started to flash, and electronic gear indicator transitioned from gear to gear. Rpms, were still registering and on acceleration, drive train was unresponsive. This happened all while in traffic, when oncoming vehicles were approaching. We turned on hazard lights and moved to the road shoulder. Powered off car for a minute, then restarted. Car started but still experienced severe hesitation on acceleration, and seemed as if it was struggling to stay on. Pulled onto a side street to get out of traffic, then after turning car off, it would not turn back on. After approx. 10 minutes, tried to turn on car again, and it started. Was able to carefully drive car home, however check engine light has now been illuminated. This will be the 5th instance (all instances documented by dealer, and serviced by dealer) that the car has had this issue, and we have brought it to the attention of the dealership, with no 100% remedy being given. Will be taking car in once again to dealership for service and hopefully resolution of this ongoing issue of hesitation on acceleration, and total failure of drive train during vehicle operation.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #223

May 062013


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled while making turns at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the transmission overheated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 38,000.

- Dunn, NC, USA

problem #222

Jun 152012


  • 1,747 miles
On-going problems with the transmission. The first incident occurred approximately one month after purchase. I took it to the dealer and they told me that the shuddering/shifting problems that I was experiencing were "normal" and that the vehicle needed an adjustment period. I was told that it would smooth out once it got used to my driving pattern. The problem continued until it got so bad that I took it back in December 2013 and the transmission required repair. It went back to the dealership in may of 2014 for the same problem and the dealership had to replace the clutch assembly and several seals. The vehicle shudders badly, on take off, and has bogged down to the point that I was nearly rear-ended, I have also experienced problems with rollback on hills and problems when trying to accelerate uphill.

- Soddy-Daisy, TN, USA

problem #221

Jun 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 47,090 miles
I have a 2012 Ford Focus sel. I am making payments on this car. I purchased it as a certified pre owned. It had roughly 30,000 miles on it when received. It has been 18 months since date I received the car. I have had it four times for the transmission. All for the same thing witch is grinding of gears, slipping and not shifting properly. The dealership has updated the software and other services on it. It has continued to do all of the stuff I had it for.

- York, PA, USA

problem #220

Jun 022014


  • 30,000 miles


Shudder vibrations and acceleration lag due to the malfunction of the dtc (duel clutch transmission) in my 2012 Ford Focus.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #219

Dec 272013


  • 25,146 miles
When lightly accelerating from a state of rest, the car hesitates when the gas pedal pressed, even when a little more pressure is applied. Then it unpredictably "kicks" into gear, forcing me to hit the brakes to accommodate for the sudden jolt. It also slides backward when releasing the brake on hills. None of these issues occurred severely in the first year after purchasing the car new. The symptoms became noticeable around October 2013, and has occurred since, most often in the lowest gears -- slowly backing out from a parking spots, stop & go traffic, etc. I had the car serviced at the dealership under warranty three times, and taken to another Ford dealer for a second opinion. Three days from receiving my car back from the dealership after the third service, the car continued to shudder and hesitate while applying pressure to the gas. Only this time I nearly caused an accident while reversing out of a supermarket parking lot. Usually it shudders when in reverse, but this time the car did not respond at all when in reverse and with light pressure on the gas. After about 3-5 seconds of light, even pressure on the gas pedal to inch the car out of the spot, the vehicle shot backward, nearly sending me through the store wall. Fortunately, no other vehicles or pedestrians were nearby, but this incident makes me afraid that the car is a danger to myself and others.

- Hatboro, PA, USA

problem #218

May 152013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
The transmission vibrates in 1st and 2nd gear and sometimes doesn't get into proper gear. When shutting vehicle off sometimes lurches. When stopped on a hill, in gear, if you take foot off the brake the vehicle will roll back like it's in neutral have returned 3 times to dealership still not fixed needs to be recalled.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #217

Jun 032014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 73,538 miles
An unexpected loss of power while driving resulting in a stall-like condition. Shifting gears lock up. Have to shut off car, let it sit for a few minutes and restart it.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #216

May 312014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
Car's transmission felt sluggish (hesitate to accelerate) after 15-20 minutes of low-speed driving (0-10mph) in a traffic jam. Ten minutes later, engine stalled on freeway at 70mph. Tachometer dropped to 0 and speedometer displayed was 0. car restarted, and continued to be driven for 15 minutes. Gear disengaged when turning into a parking space, car rolled backwards. Power did resume after 2 seconds while constantly giving gas. Restarted the car after around 30 minutes, car stalled again few minutes later. Engine would not restart instantly. Only clicking noise was heard in the engine bay when turning keys. Waited 10-15 minutes to restart. Car accelerated to 70mph before stalling again after 1-2 minutes. Gear indicator was flashing. When the car stalled, engine raved with lost of power for 1-2 seconds. Car felt like in neutral even shifter was in drive. Tachometer then dropped to 300rpm and never rav again. Car was pulled over. The cycle of stalling and restart repeated 5-6 times until I arrived home. The next day car was drivable again (I only have a 5-mile commute). Similar troubles occurred three weeks ago when car was totally disabled after 20-30 minutes parking lot driving. Car hardly restart and refuse to go into gear. Gear indicator constantly blinked. I previously thought the issues were related to the usage of S gate, where it happened for two instance. There are 3 occurrences of similar troubles. First time was about a month ago when car refused to start, but it was perfectly drivable again after being cool down for a night. Towed to dealer but problem could not be duplicated. The reason that prompts me to write this report is due the lost of power on freeway which I believe is a safety related issue. Also, there doesn't seem to be a trouble code in the computer, which makes it hard for dealers to diagnose the problem.

- La Jolla, CA, USA

problem #215

Aug 292012

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
My 2012 Ford Focus had the control module (tcm, PCM) transmission that jerks in low gear. I was not told at time of purchase about the dual transmission. I purchased the car August 2012.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #214

May 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
4 transmission failures in 25K miles still have problems with transmission slipping, jumping, lurching hesitates grinding and shutters, when you press on the gas from a stop it sometimes jerks you into movement or if you press the gas a bit harder it will shutter, the more we drive the worst it just until it cools down.

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #213

May 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 56,665 miles
Transmission was shifting poorly, then like an engine miss, power loss, step on gas it slowed down, turned corner at intersection and almost didn't make it thru intersection. Very light foot on the accelerator would allow it to gain speed. Missed 1st gear on stop at stopsign, took off in 2nd or 3rd (automatic)/ check engine light was on until I got home, shut it off. Started back up and ran fairly well to dealership. This is second time in a week I've had to dealer. They did a tsb electric reset of shift points and said it was all related. I was charged for that even tho there was a tsb performed. Also my rf window motor is out. It was rarely used as I commute about 55 miles a day solo.

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #212

Feb 082012


  • 6,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving various speeds, the clutch was making an abnormal noise. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 6,500, and the current mileage was 49,000.

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #211

Jun 062011

Focus 6-cyl

  • 3,800 miles
April 2011 -- issues began within a week of purchasing the vehicle. Complete electrical system shutdown (causing air/radio/sync system to be of no use). Brought vehicle in because I was scheduled to go on road trip to mass. (sync system shut down in route to mass.). soon thereafter, the jerking and shaking of the vehicle. Each time I called or brought the vehicle in, I was told "we cannot replicate the problem". back and forth meeting with management at waldorf Ford dealership and phone calls with Ford in detroit. Continued issues with the jerking and vibrating of vehicle; continued complaints that the RPM needle would race up and down and the engine would revved because the engine was not getting into gear; May 2013 50K miles -- while in columbia, md was still having the jerking and "shifting" issues that the dealership "could not" and I received a message on the vehicle that said transmission failure service immediately. I was in traffic and was almost rear ended on several occasions until I arrived at a friend's. drove home hours later; transmission/powertrain system "fixed"; May 2014 74K miles -- jerking/vibrating/grinding sounds; engine light on and off (not flashing); vehicle not getting into gear from a dead stop and above 50 mph; autozone plugged into vehicle system and received following message/code P2862 "shift fork 'B' acuator circuit high" unable to access any information about the problem; an issue which Ford considers a "common failure" with this vehicle. Nothing like putting a driver and passengers at risk as well as causing accidents. Why are these vehicles still on the road with as many complaints that have been made??

- White Plains, MD, USA

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