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 7 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #550

Dec 132015


  • 1 miles


Parking aid malfunction error: While driving 65 mph on a 3 lane hwy, the parking aid malfunction error appeared which caused the car to completely shutdown. Fortunately I was able to coast to the side of the road with no power steering, no power brakes without engine power. Pam message kept appearing and car would not start. Vehicle had to be towed to dealer. Ford is aware of this problem and fixed the vehicle under warranty via tsb# 15-0101 3068 W40. Ford even extended the warranty for the transmission control module to 10 years 150,000 miles. To have a car completely shutdown while driving 65mph on a 3 lane highway is very dangerous and life threatening. Especially on a highway with cars whizzing by at 60-70 mph. Why isn't this tcm problem under recall" does someone have to be killed before any action is taken"

- Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #549

Dec 112015


  • 22,000 miles
I purchased my 2012 Ford Focus on Sept. 25, 2012. I have had problems with the transmission and clutch ever since purchasing. On 7/16/13 Ford performed a computer adjustment on the transmission. On 7/9/14 Ford installed a new clutch in the car. On 9/17/15 they reprogrammed the transmission. Ford claims that the problems with shuttering on acceleration are normal operations for the car. They have also extended the warranty on the transmission because "on your vehicle, it may be possible for the powershift 6-speed automatic transmission to exhibit excessive transmission clutch shudder during light acceleration. This condition may be caused by fluid contamination of the clutch due to leaking transmission seals." They extended the warranty on the car to a 7 year 100,000 mile warranty for the transmission only. On 12-11-15 I was driving my car on very busy four lane road. I came to a stop at a red light, while attempting to turn left. When I tried to accelerate from the red light my car would not shift from first to second gear. The car would only accelerate to around 15 mph, the speed on the road was 45 mph. Once I hit 15 mph the engine would just rev but the car would not accelerate or shift gears. I had to stop in the middle of the left lane and turn off the vehicle. After restarting the vehicle, it would shift from first to second gear with heavy shuddering. Upon taking my car to Ford for the 4th time they said that the clutch failed and that they needed a new clutch. This will be the second new clutch that that they have put on the car. The car currently has about 22,000 miles. This vehicle is unsafe to drive and Ford is unable to find an appropriate fix for the problem. They are aware of the problems and have extended the warranty on the car but are not able to correct this issue. This car should be recalled due to the transmission issues.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #548

Dec 102015


  • 33,000 miles
The automatic clutch shutter, slips, and causes a very jerky ride. Transmission does not seem to be in the right gear a lot of the time.

- Derby, NY, USA

problem #547

Nov 292015


  • 58,000 miles


I continue to have transmission problems and I'm concerned that the problem involves other systems. I feel their needs to a complete recall on the powertrain and also an extended warranty offered.

- Folsom, CA, USA

problem #546

Nov 192014


  • 45,000 miles
Second problem was at 45,000 miles when the transmission control module (tcm) malfunctioned. The car lost all power while riding down the road and left me stranded in the middle of the highway. The car would not shift into park and was stuck in drive. I could not get the key out or attempt to crank it because the transmission was stuck in drive. I immediately called the Ford dealership and they told me that I had to get it towed and they would not tow the vehicle to the dealership and it would be at least two weeks before they could diagnose the problem. They ended up replacing the tcm module and I received the car back after 4 weeks.

- Greenville, MS, USA

problem #545

Nov 202013


  • 5,000 miles
Transmission problems that Ford would never address! first problem occurred at 5,000 miles when the car would shut down by itself when trying to accelerate. The car would lose power then the engine would shut off and the instrument panel lights would light up. When you crank the car back up it was as if nothing happened. Took it to the Ford dealership and left it for a period of 25 days and they were unable to detect any problems. Nothing was done to correct this problem and the dealership said that it was a normal thing. Basically they blew smoke up my a** about it just so I would stop harassing them about it. They were not even concerned by the fact that this is a major safety issue and that it could have put my life in jeopardy. This problem still occurred but less frequently.

- Greenville, MS, USA

problem #544

Nov 012015


  • 123,000 miles


Transmission/ clutch has always given us problems. We have been in for repairs more times then I can count for seals on the clutch, reprogramming after reprogramming and replacing the clutch itself. It still shudders lurches and does not drive safely. I have tried to get help and given up a thousand times over the three years I have owned the car. Thank god it hasn't gotten me killed yet. Clutch gave out again the other day and it buck and jerked harder than it ever has. I pulled out in front of someone and could not accelerate for a whole 1 min. Was getting ready with my flashers to pull over then it bucked and rolled enough to get to my house... I'm now past the Ford extended warranty... $1700 quote from the dealer to replace a defective part that will most likely fail again within the year. How can they continue to try and cover up this issue??

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #543

Nov 232015


  • 84,000 miles
For the fifth time in only eight months, the transmission has malfunctioned in this vehicle, causing it to stop accelerating or stall. It is a safety hazard, as it has happened on the highway twice and has been on the street in motion the remaining three times. Each time we have taken it to the shop at the owner's expense and it has required towing each time because it no longer accelerates. The transmission sensors (there are two) continue to misfire and fail, despite being replaced several times. This car was bought new in 2012 and has had issues since the purchase. We have two children and another is due at the end of January and I do not feel safe driving this car, as it has almost been the result of several accidents when it stalls and shudders.

- Gallipolis, OH, USA

problem #542

Jul 142014


  • 50,000 miles
Transmission shifts improperly causing shudder effect. At idle the vehicle shudders as if its going to die out. The shudder happens mostly on highway driving.

- Wilmington, IL, USA

problem #541

Nov 062015


  • 48,000 miles
Purchased vehicle 6 months ago from auto nation Ford union city, ga. First there was a problem with tire, then there is a problem with " brake lamp" then there is a major problem with " transmission malfunction". car would not accelerate and stopped in mid traffic. Auto nation "said" they repaired as a result of recall, but I drove the car 8 hours after I picked it up from auto nation and car still having the same " transmission malfunction" problem, I could not accelerate, and car stopped on highway. In addition, the " brake lamp" message also flashed on the dash. I took car back to the dealer where it remains with auto nation Ford, union city, ga. The car is unsafe to drive. Furthermore, please investigate the dishonest service and sales practices at this dealership

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #540

Aug 202015


  • 73,000 miles


Vehicle moving transmission disengages gear vehicle needs to be restarted to reset transmission, veh stopped at traffic control device light, stop sign, railroad crossing transmission disengages gear. Veh needs to be shut off and restarted to be able to move. Veh in said situation refuses to actknowledge park signal so. That it can be restarted.veh has been in motion and had this happen veh has been stopped and this has happened this is on going.

- Mastic, NY, USA

problem #539

Nov 092015


  • 73,000 miles
Transmission bucks, shutters, lags, lurches and slips. Often creates a serious safety concern. I almost hit people in a crosswalk one day when I tried to roll forward a few feet to the stop line on the street and the vehicle lurched forward. I have been pulling out in to traffic several times where it lags or slips and I've almost been hit. Ford tells me this is all normal.

- Lockport, IL, USA

problem #538

Nov 132015


  • 77,250 miles
Owned car for 2 years, in shop 5 times so far for dct issues. Car is completely unpredictable and going to cause me to get in an accident! sometimes I hit the acceleration and it lurches forward unexpectedly causing me almost to rear end someone. Other times I hit the gas expecting it to go and I get a really sluggish response to the point where I'm scared another vehicle will hit me, so I will floor it trying to get it to move, this will result in the back wheels locking up and fish tailing! I have had at least six moments in this week where the car responded unexpectedly and made me think I was going to get in an accident. Tonight in rush hour I was maintaining a speed of about 20 mph, the car decided to downshift and send more forward a few yards. I want so badly to get rid of this car as I have a baby, but I'm very upside down on it. I have various warranties but have been warned by Ford that they are a "one time get out of jail free card" and if the car comes in for the same repair it previously had it will no longer be under warranty! this is horrible, my car is constantly in the shop for the same transmission issue!

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #537

Nov 112015


  • 26,500 miles
After driving for 40 mins, the check engine light came on. I was in stop and go traffic and from stop (0 mph) to 30 mph the transmission would downshift violently and stall. I would give it gas, but the car would not move and the engine would rev up and lunge forward violently causing cars to almost hit me in the rear. I put in a similar complaint a few years ago about a shuttering when accelerating from a stop after 40 + mins of driving. This is unacceptable for a car company to allow this car out on the streets.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #536

Nov 102015


  • 59,800 miles
The transmission is shuttering and the cars does not accelerate. The transmission stopped working on Tuesday. Was on the expressway and the transmission quit while car was going 50mph. I have been told numerous times by Ford employees that this is how the car works. Shuttering, not accelerating, stalling out. Car is currently at dealership. I was given the timeframe of 3-4 weeks to be fixed, the best timeframe of the 4 dealerships I called. 59,800 miles on the car.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #535

Jul 152015


  • 10,000 miles
2012 Ford Focus, purchased used in 2015 with 6K miles, has been jolting and failing to accelerate while driving on streets/highways and has been in for assessment and repair 2 times; currently under repair for a 3rd time as of today (11/11/15).

- Glen Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #534

Nov 062015


  • 80,000 miles
Vehicle has been in for service 6 times for the same transmission issues: Dragging, bucking, loss of acceleration. I had a clutch replaced on Nov. 4th and after only driving 100 miles I lost all transmission power to the car and was stranded roadside. The Ford dealer service manager said Ford is aware of the issues and none of the repairs will correct the problem.the warranty is only extended until 100,000 miles and then out of pocket will occur. The car is unsafe and just stops in the middle of driving. Ford just makes the sane fixes and states the car is suppose to drive this way. Cars just don't stop running mid acceleration and jerk so hard the car bucks.

- Northborough, MA, USA

problem #533

Oct 222015


  • 97,200 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 65 mph, the vehicle slipped out of gear, the transmission light illuminated, and the vehicle overheated. The contact coasted over to the side of the road and left the vehicle there until the next day. The contact was able to drive the vehicle, but it stalled whitout warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 97,200.

- Brewerton, NY, USA

problem #532

Jan 022013


  • miles
Ford has had many issues with their duel clutch transmission which causes the car to lurch forward, shutter, slip when starting or when shifting between gears. They know about this issue and have issued extended warranty but this is a safety issue. The internet is full of hundreds if not thousands of consumer complaints about this issue and a class action law suit has been filed. My issue is the same with thousands of other Ford owners. We keep having to take the car into the shop, they adjust something and tell us there is nothing else they can do. I have had this issue on and off for over 2 years, my car will now be looked at for a fifth time. It would be great if the government takes a look at this safety issue and helps us out

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #531

Dec 172014


  • 23,000 miles
With the engine still running, suddenly no power was delivered to the wheels. I was able to roll to a stop at the curb. I returned 1-1/2 hours later and was able to drive the car about 3 miles before the problem recurred. I had the car towed to a Ford dealership. The problem was a failed transmission control module, which was replaced by an identical unit. Had this failure occurred while driving at high speed on a freeway, it would probably have led to a serious accident. In fact, I would be surprised if there have not already been a number of such accidents. Ford has done nothing to correct this problem. In August I received a notice stating that "the tcm may experience electrical circuit failures causing intermittent symptoms of loss of transmission engagement while driving, no-start, or a lack of power." It goes on to say that a software update is available that will give a visual warning of a potential failure. However, this will not prevent a driver from being stranded, nor, in many cases, will it preclude an accident from occurring. I am buying a new car and trading in my Focus. I could get more for it by selling it to a private party, but I am unwilling to have any connection with the unwitting person who owns the car next. Since the incident with my 2012 Focus occurred about three years after my purchase, it is reasonable to think that such incidents will occur with increasing frequency. Ford needs to treat the design of a replacement tcm as an urgent matter, and to make it the subject of a recall.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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