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 30 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #90

Mar 272013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles


Since purchasing this vehicle I have had consistent problems where I will pull out into traffic and the vehicle loses power. At some points, where the vehicle is stopped, the car shakes a lot! there seems to be an acceleration problem and it is getting much worse! I was almost rear-ended yesterday!

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #89

Jan 182013


  • 200 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that she was stopped on an incline and attempted to put her foot on the accelerator pedal, when the vehicle rolled backwards. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection but they could not determine the cause of failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 200.

- Agalam, MA, USA

problem #88

Jan 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
I received a letter from Ford in May 2012 regarding customer satisfaction program 12B37. The issue with the car was rough/jerky automatic transmission shifts & roll back when transitioning from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal. My husband took the car into the Ford shop to have this issue corrected on 6/8/2012. Everything seemed to be fine but both issues started up again and became more frequent. My husband again took the car back to the Ford shop on 1/2/2013. My husband was told that this is the way the car drives. But the Ford shop took the car and said they would take a look. We were given the car back the same day and were told that they reprogrammed the car and that everything was working fine. That evening I was about to merge onto the highway but the car would not accelerate. I pushed the gas pedal almost all the way to the floor and the car wouldn't go faster than 30 mph. I was almost rear ended by another car. Luckily the driver was able to swerve into the lane next to me. I got off at the next exit and took the local route home. The next morning I took the car back to the Ford shop. At this point, the car was driving completely normally. I explained what happened the night before. They wound up keeping the car for 2 weeks. I was told that they couldn't figure out how to fix the issue and had to call Ford to get instructions on how to correct the problem. During this time, I placed a call to Ford and filed a complaint with them. We received the vehicle back and everything seemed to be fine but slowly the same issues showed up more frequently. Today (5/13/13), I've taken the car back to the Ford shop. I was told that they would check it but that this may just be the way the vehicle drives. I am very disappointed Ford hasn't been able to correct the problem properly.

- Queens Village, NY, USA

problem #87

Nov 052012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles


Repeated problems with transmission "slipping", lack of power, surging when finally does shift, extremely unpredictable acceleration from stop (e.g., pulling into traffic at intersections, or up hill at highway speeds). Did not display problems during test drive, but at approximately 1,000 miles up to current mileage (about 2,200) it occurs every time I drive. Have had three near miss accidents due to unpredictable acceleration from stops, also on highway under hill load. Had dealer service check three times, first time updated software in PCM/tcm, second time with same dealer returned "no errors", tried different dealer, also "no errors" but was told other customers complained and "that's how it's designed". sent Ford Motor Company demand for refund under California lemon law, Ford customer relations center called and stated they will not pay refund at this time but requested opportunity to send special technician to local dealer. Have not heard back to schedule with special technician after one week.

- Fort Irwin, CA, USA

problem #86

Sep 292012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning. The instrument panel indicated that the transmission was engaged in park. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where an engineer was sent to inspect the vehicle. The engineer stated that there was nothing was wrong with the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 5 and the current mileage was 27,000.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #85

Apr 042013


  • 38,000 miles
The transmission in the car has been reprogrammed for once for jerking and slipping gears than told parts are on back order for up to three weeks for clutch replacement. The car shifts rough, shutters, told by driver its the way I drive. The transmission is getting worst.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #84

Oct 182012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 11,865 miles


While pulling into traffic from a complete stop car would not accelerate. Had to push gas pedal almost to floor to get car to go, that lead to a bucking acceleration, car jumping forward and almost being rear ended. Took car to shop first told that's how the car drives, then told by transmission "specialist" I was not driving my car aggressive enough. After a 2 week stay the shaft seal and clutch was replaced. Did not correct issue called Ford Corp and again was told this is how the car drives basically telling me I was at fault. Car has since been back 2 times for the same reason, even took for a second opinion per Ford request and car stalled on the service manager on a hill and yet I was told that's how the car is suppose to perform!!! not happy. Tomorrow April 15th 2013 car is going back thus again for same reason. Not feeling safe in my car!!!!

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #83

Jan 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,800 miles
Occasional and unexpected roll-back on inclines. Occasional and unexpected lack of acceleration when acceleration is required. Severe judder as the automatic transmission shifts between first, second, and third gears (occurs only after the car has been driven 5-10 miles). The car is fitted with a 6 speed automatic/manual transmission. The problems appear to be getting worse.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #82

Apr 142013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,777 miles
While leaving the parking lot of a store to enter highway, my Focus started sputtering and then shut completely down leaving me and my two children stranded in the road. We got help to push it out of the way when attempted tries to start didn't work. A tow truck came when called and took it to our Ford dealership here who just called (24 hours later) to tell me they "think" there's a problem with the fuel pump. I have had continual problems with the transmission as well, this car rolls back on even the slightest hill, has caused some close calls when vehicles are close behind me. I am a working mom with a non-working vehicle for at least the week.

- Jasper, TX, USA

problem #81

Apr 062013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,800 miles
2012 Ford Focus, automatic trans. The clutches disengaged during acceleration, this time while making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic. Check engine light came on. Then the car has erratic shifting, clutches engaging and disengaging while driving, high rpms. This time taken to dealer for same reprogrammed the control module again. There are many complaints about the trans on

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #80

Mar 082013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,500 miles


I noticed the transmission wasn't shifting correctly and it was hesitating. This happened often and finally I was stuck in the middle of an intersection twice on the same day and the car would not shift into second gear and began shaking and making a knocking noise. This could have caused a huge accident. I don't understand why Ford has not done a recall on this car. I was told my transmission has extensive damage and the part that needs to be replaced was on backorder and could take a few months. I was also informed that I am number 1900 on the waiting list for this part in my region. I asked if I could trade my car in for another model of car at the same cost and they said they would only pay me $14,000 for my Focus. So basically my car depreciated $10,000 in 4 months and Ford will not do what is right and replace the car for me and take the loss. I'm extremely disgusted that Ford was even selling these cars when they knew there was a problem with the transmission and even more so that they will not fix the problem.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #79

Oct 052011

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that after having a manufacturer's recall performed on the vehicle for the gear shifter, the vehicle failed to shift into gear. The contact mentioned that the vehicle started to shake violently and started to make a loud noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician stated that the shifter needed to be reprogrammed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure and current mileage was 35,000....updated 04/25/13 the consumer stated the vehicle had been reprogrammed twice and the failure was still not corrected. The consumer traded in the vehicle.

- Port Norris, NJ, USA

problem #78

Mar 152012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
My Focus shutters while trying to move through first gear. Before second gear engages, first gears feels as if it was slipping. I brought this to the attention of my dealer within the first month and they told me it needed to brake in. After bringing it in several times, they performed a 12B37 update, a full PCM re program and ended having to replace the entire gear box because a seal ruptured. All of this in three separate occasions this last attempt fixed it, but the problem returned. I issued Ford a last attempt request and just picked up my car. The field supervisor states that he noticed the shuttering, but that it was normal for my vehicle. Well, if the same issue persists and it was fixed last time by replacing seals and the gear box, how could this be normal for my car? I will be seeking legal assistance from this point forward and will be initiating a BBB autoline mediation request.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #77

Mar 042013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,604 miles
The car is equipped with a 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. While under heavy braking the car began to stall. The result was the brake pedal losing power assist from the engine. Then because the engine was trying to recover from the near stall, I was unable accelerate to avoid an oncoming car. The engine did recover, but it took several seconds (and a lot of bucking and sputtering) before I was able to move the car after coming to a stop. The week prior, I had the car in for service at a local Ford dealership because the car would shudder during acceleration. The dealership reprogrammed the transmission and the problem is still there, but less noticeable than before being serviced. This new issue with stalling under heaving braking did not occur prior to the servicing. After the near accident, I wanted to know if the problem was a fluke or if it would happen again. I have found that I can recreate the issue almost every time the car nears a stop under heavy braking. The car is scheduled for service for this issue.

- Lexington Park, MD, USA

problem #76

Feb 182013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 34,441 miles
I have reported to the dealership several times about the jerking and stalling when I take off and attempt to accelerate. They reprogrammed the transmission module, but it still does it.

- Dublin, GA, USA

problem #75

Feb 152013


  • 8,000 miles
Just like everyone else, the car stutters and hesitates to accelerate at slow speeds. The transmission feels as though it is going to fall out of the car. I have taken it to the dealership, and the "reprogrammed" the transmission. They said it could take up to 2 weeks for the car to relearn my driving habits. It has been 2 months, and the car continues to stutter and shake.

- Williamsport, IN, USA

problem #74

Feb 082013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
My vehicle transmission was reflashed at the dealership due to hesitation, stuttering, and other issues at low speeds. This occurred after about 1000 miles (dealer said it would have to re-learn my driving habits). I was trying to cross an intersection and car almost stalled out, bucked, and barely made it across the intersection. Vehicle is still have issues at slow speeds and initial acceleration. I took vehicle in again, and was told that is just the way these cars work and nothing they could do.

- Garner, NC, USA

problem #73

Feb 082013


  • 9,827 miles
I was pulling out of the cafe by my home. When I had a chance to pull out I stepped on the gas pedal. At this point the vehicle stalled then took off like a bat out of[xxx]. even leaving tire marks. I almost hit two on coming cars due to the hesitation then the lift off. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #72

Sep 052012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 53 miles
The new vehicle was purchased on 9/3/12. Calls to the service department began on 9/5/12 for complaints of 'bucking and jerking' of the car in low speed shifting. The car was accepted on 9/8/12 for repair of multiple paint chips on the front of the car and for evaluation of the shifting irregularities. Upon delivery of the car (53 odometer miles) the customer was informed that the paint chips had been repaired and the transmission computer was reset. The computer reset was not recorded on the service agreement for that date. On 12/5/12, the car abruptly stopped accelerating and metal grinding prevented use. The car was held from 12/5/12 until 1/8/13 (35 days, odometer reading 7,068 miles) for repair of a broken rear window channel, repair of transmission with replaced clutch. On 1/23/13 the vehicle was towed again due to not starting during multiple attempts by the owners and the tow truck driver. The vehicle was returned to the owner on 1/25/13 with a service report noting a weak battery. The battery was charged by the service provider and no other service codes were reported. On 1/28/13, the steering wheel required both hands to turn and the car narrowly missed going off of the road. Upon attempt to restart, the ignition was weak and multiple warning lights displayed on the dashboard. The odometer reading reset to '0' and the mpg reading went blank. The car had significant change in ignition sound and with uncharacteristic humming noise and was turned off again. When the car was on the tow truck with the ignition off, key out, and door open, the radio began playing and could not be manually turned off. The car was transported to the dealership. As of 2/3, the car has been out of service for 46 days due to multiple infractions. The vehicle has had symptoms of stalling, failure to start, and loss of power steering. Alternator being replaced 2/4.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #71

Aug 172012


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that he accelerated and the transmission stuttered. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection and they stated that the computer module needed to be reprogrammed and the motor that controlled the clutch needed to be installed. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 100.

- Claymont, DE, USA

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