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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 29 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #110

Jul 252013


  • 7,400 miles


Our 2012 Ford Focus electric totally shutdown after receiving the stop safely now warning alert. Car shut down in traffic within 30 seconds of receiving the warning. We had no time to react or pull the car safely to the side of the road. This is clearly a safety issue.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #109

Dec 272012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12 miles
When we drove this brand new Ford Focus off the dealer lot we noticed a sudden jerk in the transmission. We did not know if this was a fluke or normal so we drove it about a thousand miles. The transmission began to jerk more, jump, stall, hesitate, and rev up needlessly and seem to get stuck in gear. We took it back to the dealer with our complaints and they reprogrammed the computer and told us to give it another thousand miles to improve. As of this date, we have had this car back to the shop 7 times with the same complaint. At about 36,000 miles they did put in a clutch kit which helped it for about eight thousand miles. Unfortunately, the problem has returned. It is and always has been a safety issue for us. We never know when it is going to hesitate getting out into traffic...and we have been close to an accident several times. This last trip to the shop, just fri the 19th, they tell us there is nothing they can do...just live with it. I know we are not the only ones that have this problem, the technician told us that outright. We are sick of this car and we have exhausted all our resources. We want people to know this is not a safe car so that is our reason for this letter.

- Benton, KY, USA

problem #108

Jul 162013


  • miles
Transmission is jerky and acceleration is not very responsive. Car also rolls back when stopped on hills.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #107

Feb 142013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


Oil leak from rear main seal leaking onto cluthes. The car rolls back on hills and makes flapping noises. Also, at times it starts and stops like it's not getting gas.

- Danville, IL, USA

problem #106

Mar 012013


  • miles
1. my 2012 Ford Focus is stalling out and revving up at high rpms then stalling out for the last 4 months. 2. this is the fourth occurrence for the same issue in the last 4 months. 3 times in the last three weeks. 3. the first two times, Ford could not find the problem and related to driving at high rpms or spinning on gravel which never occurred. I advised that the vehicle would rev at high rpms but not go anywhere then stall, not on a gravel road but a major highway going 55-60 mph. Twice the vehicle had to be towed. The other times I could drive it to the dealership at 30mph but it would continuously stall out. The third time they replaced the computer which did not solve the problem. The fourth time occurred and my vehicle has been at the Ford dealership for a over a week and they still cannot figure what is wrong with it. My vehicle has 41,000 miles and still covered under the powertrain. Ford is refusing to buy the vehicle back under state lemon laws and not giving me an offer for diminished value for the hit I am going to take on the trade in once I hopefully get the vehicle back operational.

- Scottdale, PA, USA

problem #105

Jul 092013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
I was driving down a bumpy road at 40mph this morning, came to a stop at a stop sign, attempted to turn right and merge onto a busy highway with an 50mph speed limit, the car started to go and then all power cut out without warning and the "stop safely now" and "refer to owners manual" warnings came up on the left screen! luckily, I was not fully into the traffic yet as there were several semis coming. I veered to the shoulder and stopped. If I had got going even for a second more I would have been out in traffic in the path of a semi coming at over 50mph. It took a few minutes of trying to turn it off. Eventually I opened the drivers door and that seemed to free it up to turn it off. I was then able to start it back up again and carry on with my day.

- Surrey, WA, USA

problem #104

Jul 092013


  • 24,000 miles


I see here that several individuals complaining have the same complaints that I do, the incline problems, the vehicle sounding like it is going to die on you. The problems when you accelerate. This is a new vehicle and have had that problem from the time we purchased it. I am thinking it is the transmission. Can someone please guide me. I still have years on the note and it is not fair to pay on something that is as mentioned by someone here, is "embarrassing to drive with a passenger". the speed does not matter it keeps making this rattling noise when you accelerate. Please recall these cars.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #103

Jun 252013


  • 7,875,474 miles
My first incident was driving out of a parking lot, the power steering message appeared with a strange beeping noise followed by an extremely difficult to move steering wheel. When I turned off my car and got it back on, the power steering was back to its normal levels. Later the next day, the car was in movement over 30mph while driving through the highway and the power steering message came on again making my car totally unresponsive causing me to almost crash. It was very difficult to get the car out of the high way in order to have the steering levels back by turn it off and back on again. Today I took my car to the Ford service complaining about this in order to get my car checked but the service manager indicated that there was nothing he could do about this incident for what suggested me to contact roadside assistance during the next incident and have them take in my car to there service to fix it at the moment. I mentioned that if that was to be done my car would obviously have to be turned off and on in the process causing the issue to momentarily disappear for what he would still not be able to witness the incident as he request, just like today. He refused to make any further comments indicating that was the best thing he could do.

- Toa Alta, PR, USA

problem #102

Jul 012011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
This car has had the problem with rough shifting and roll back on hill almost immediately after purchased in May. I reported incident to Ford Motor Company and they did not do anything but later in May 2012 received the service notice for reprogramming. It helped it but did not fix it and this problem returned and actually got worse. We just took it to our dealer for service on 6/21/13 and they said there was a clutch assembly pack they replaced. Once again the car is driving better but still not what I consider normal (smooth shifting/accelerating) for any car. I am concerned that issue will return with time. Ford needs to fix the transmission once and for all. What needs to be done in order to have a recall?

- Kensington, MD, USA

problem #101

Jul 042013


  • 51,000 miles
I bought as a Ford pre-owned. I did not notice the transmission shuddering. After owning the car for about a week. I started noticing the transmission starting to get jerky. I contacted the dealership, and was told that they performed the update before I bought the car. They also stated that there was nothing that could be done because that is the way the new transmission is not getting any better. If I could I would be trading in and getting another vehicle.

- Findaly, OH, USA

problem #100

Jan 012013


  • 6,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving various speeds, the transmission slipped and made a grinding noise. The contact also stated that acceleration power was lost. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times where the failure was unable to be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 6,000. The VIN was not available.

- Penn, PA, USA

problem #99

Aug 062012

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
Transmission shudders had it fixed twice front end want stay lined up have purchase three set of tires eating my tiers up had it lined up three times sick of this car it a lemon.

- Highpoint, NC, USA

problem #98

Jun 272013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,400 miles
When I bought my Focus I thought I was getting a 6 speed automatic transmission because that's what it said on the sticker but now I find out I have a manual transmission(that works off computer) that jerks and stammers after stopped and trying to go up slight incline. The car is embarrassing to have anyone ride in. Yes the dealership reprogrammed the trans but its back to dancing around when going up slight inclines. I don't have money to buy another car because I bought two in 2012, (Fusion and Focus) but now I have a piece of junk really that no dealer will even give you a decent trade in price. You can reprogram it all you want its not going to fix it, read it all over the internet. Its very distracting the jerking the car makes and distracts me and I can have an accident. I don't see why this hasn't been a recall.

- Dickson City, PA, USA

problem #97

Jun 242013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,500 miles
I have an automatic Focus SE, and at 2000 RPM there is a grinding noise and loss of power (sluggishness in acceleration). The grinding noise started to happen at around 2000 miles but only occasionally. Now, it happens 100% of the time. I took it to Ford service and they confirmed hearing the noise. They also have a code in their database for this issue. However, they say that they don't have a fix for it.

- Menlo Park, CA, USA

problem #96

Jun 222013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
I purchased my 2012 Ford Focus new from am authorized Ford dealer. A few days after purchase I noticed that the transmission seemed to slip in an out of gear when accelerating. The problem is worse on hills. Further the vehicle will roll backward when at a low idle on a hill with the engine running. I took the vehicle into the dealer where I purchased it and he said it was fine. But today I was alarmed at how much worse it seems to be getting. I did a quick search on google and discovered a lot of 2012 Focus owners are having the same problem and dealers are giving the same explanation or doing little to fix the problem.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #95

Jun 172013


  • 19,200 miles
The car shift hard when taking off at stop light it fill sometimes that the car can not go shift hard then go.

- Bonner Springs, KS, USA

problem #94

Jan 022012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
I bought the 2012 Ford Focus sel on November 18th 2011 and first recall was Jan 02 2012 they reprogrammed the transmission and there was a 2nd recall and the reprogrammed the transmission again but im still having hesitation on startups and loses power as well but hasn't stalled yet but I thought few times it will stall out but it didn't. I hope Ford can fix the hesitation of this vehicle but if not then I will never buy a Ford again. Also the suspension is very hard on bumps. Feels like there is no shocks on the car. Very disappointed on my front windshield. Cracked when I only had 15,000 miles on the car.

- Clawson , MI, USA

problem #93

Nov 072012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
At highway speeds while trying to pass, meaning speeding, my engine would cut out or loose power which would last about 10 seconds. I am bringing this to your attention because I read about other Ford owners having the same issue. Now Ford said that it was easily fixed by reprogramming the transmission, this fix has alleviated some of the engine power loss but not all. In fact this fix makes my transmission act like it is slipping and the shifts points are way out of range. It is because of these issues I can't stand driving it, please advise as to what my options are since my factory warranty ran out.

- La Crosse, WI, USA

problem #92

May 202013


  • 16,000 miles
Update 05/20/2013 this vehicle keeps getting worse: "reverse does not work very well as it takes a long time to function. On a slight decline the car rolls forward and reverse has difficulty engaging. ?from a stop at a stop sign or red light, the car will attempt to lunge forward sometimes. ?from a stop at a stop sign or red light, the car will often not accelerate when the accelerator pedal is pressed. "at any given time (full stop or in motion) the accelerator must be pressed half way or more to the floor in order to get the car to accelerate. ?the car lunges a lot and misses-then lunges while driving.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #91

May 122013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
I had just exited the freeway and was driving up the street when my car shuddered and jolted furiously and sort of stopped but I was able to continue driving for a short while and while making a left hand turn it suddenly once again jolted more furiously and completely stopped and no gears were able to engage and the vehicle shut off completely. Thank god I was able to backup into a parking lot off the very busy street as I could not move forward at all. I had to be towed to the dealership where it has remained to date from Sunday night until today while they are trying to reprogram and fix the problem.

- Hawthorne, CA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?