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:
5 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,117 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 4 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #106

Sep 122015


  • 56,000 miles


2012 Ford Focus sel front passenger-side door is failing to latch closed. Latch mechanism can only be actuated through directly holding the affected door closed and locking the door remotely. Door stays closed if locked.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #105

Sep 032015


  • 42,000 miles
While driving, my car suddenly stopped functioning. The engine light came on, followed by all other lights. I was able to pull the car over, but unable to restart. I called for a tow truck (aaa). After waiting for an hour, I tried the ignition again, and the car started right up. The same problem occurred the following night. The car was towed to the dealership, tom's Ford in keyport, New Jersey, where it still remains.

- Keyport, NJ, USA

problem #104

Sep 032015


  • 58,000 miles
My wife and child were at a red light and when the light turned green and the gas pedal was pressed, the vehicle did not move only revved causing the man behind her to inch very close behind due to the light then honking his horn and yelling. In addition, after my wife and child returned home, I went to run to the store only to find that the vehicle does not turn over, not even sound like its attempting to as there is no noise when turning the key. I believe the vehicle does not recognize what gear it is in, thus will not start and has always had erratic shifting and lurching tendencies. I do not know what to do now, I have a family of five I support and no money to fix this. How am I going to get to work!!! I still have 5 years to pay on this...ughhh. Trapped

- South Glens Falls, NY, USA

problem #103

Sep 012014


  • 48,000 miles


This is not the only issue, but this has been the most dangerous for me... for the past year, the car has lost transmission power while driving - I was on hwy 40 and the car just stopped working - twice I was in the middle of a busy intersection and the car cut off - I was at a near stop and the car stopped responding....this has been reported numerous times by others. The gas pedal just stops responding at all. The time it stopped working in the middle of the intersection, the gears would not allow me to move the car into a park position, it would not move at all. It allowed me to turn my car off, in drive. After sitting there for a bit and multiple restarts, the car engaged again. Ford's fix? they came out with a software update that may turn on my engine light before a failure. This is not a fix. I asked them if someone needed to die in their car or get crushed in an intersection for them to do something. I filed a formal complaint with Ford. So frustrated and angry.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #102

Jul 252015


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the windshield wipers turned on independently. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred even after the vehicle was turned off. As a result, the battery had to be disconnected in order for the windshield wipers to turn off. The failure occurred a second time and the windshield wipers became inoperable. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V149000 (visibility). The failure mileage was 70,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #101

Jun 292015


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The contact stated that several attempts had to be made before the vehicle would start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The contact was informed that the engine control unit (ECU) needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #100

Jul 312015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 48,317 miles


For the past few weeks I occasionally get the "steering assist fault" message while driving and power steering stops working. Usually, when I restart the car it resets and works again. Today I got the message while at a stop light, restarted the cars a few times and it did not reset. I have contacted my dealer and they said they've never heard of this, despite my reporting it to them last fall as well. Update 9/15/15 update: I took the car into the dealership for repair, and the steering gear was replaced. So far, at 49,800 miles, the problem has not happened since the repair. The repair qualified to be covered by my extended service plan, and I paid 4100 deductible for the work. The repair was done at the same dealership where I purchased the car. Updated 09/29/15.... updated 09/30/15 updated 11/10/15.

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #99

Feb 282015


  • 30,000 miles
There was a loss of power in February when I was driving so I took my car to Ford and apparently there was a problem with the transmission. However, two days ago (July 27th), my car stopped working completely while I was driving. I was really scared since all power was off. Then I have to try several times to turn on my car again. There was a loss of all changes, reverse position did not work. Took the car to the dealer again and I am waiting for an answer. I do not want to drive the car until I know it is completely safe to drive it. I have a kid so this situation is very dangerous for me...updated 05-10-16

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #98

Jul 012015


  • 34,000 miles
Letter from senator isakson on behalf of constituent re 2012 Ford Focus issues. (attn: Hanna yu). The consumer stated the vehicle had four major repairs and 6-8 minor repairs done to the transmission. The vehicle would jerk. Also, while in the middle of a making a turn, the vehicle suddenly stopped.

- Crandall, GA, USA

problem #97

Jul 202015


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While attempting to start the vehicle, there was an abnormal sound from the front of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that it could be the air conditioner compressor and stated that the vehicle was safe to drive. The vehicle was not repaired. While driving approximately 30 mph, there was a smell of smoke inside the vehicle and noticed that the rear of the vehicle was smoking. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was confirmed that the air conditioner compressor and the belt needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 51,000.

- Pittsburg, PA, USA

problem #96

Jul 172015


  • 85,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving at approximately 45 mph, all the warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel and the steering seized. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 85,000.

- Canton, GA, USA

problem #95

Feb 092015


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start and the odometer failed to operate properly. In addition, the fuel gauge failed to indicate the accurate fuel level readings, which caused the vehicle to be low on fuel and shut off. The contact also stated that the windows failed to close. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure was unable to be duplicated. The contact mentioned that the battery was replaced on four occasions, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 91,000.

- Waldorboro, ME, USA

problem #94

Jul 162014


  • 40,000 miles
During times of frequent stop and go (accelerating and de-accelerating) the car shudders and acts like it is going to stall. It does not accelerate or de-accelerate properly sometimes. I did not notice until about 40,000 miles and have had this problem ever since. Some model of Ford focuses are under recall, however when I went to the dealer they said my car specifically was not being recalled yet it was exhibiting the same issues.

- Brown City, MI, USA

problem #93

Jun 222015


  • 79,000 miles
The speakers make a loud pop and the radio goes completely out. I turn the car off and restart and the radio works however, the this is happening once a week now. When I went to the dealer they told me they were not aware of any ongoing issues with the any electrical systems and/or the radio and told me I would have to replace the radio for approximately $800. I have had several issues with my 2012 Focus and am not happy about it, I will not purchase another one in the future.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #92

May 012015


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 40 mph, the vehicle lost power. In addition, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate as the rpms increased. Also, the contact mentioned that the horn failed to function. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who diagnosed that a module in the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000. Updated 09/10/15

- Soddy, TN, USA

problem #91

Oct 132014


  • 51,095 miles
I have a 2012 Ford Focus. Only a year after buying this car I began to notice issues with shifting while driving and even complained about transmission issues to my dealer. I was told this was "normal operating condition". before the implementation of the fors customer service program happened, there was a minor recall to reduce instances of rolling back on hills. I took my car in to have that fixed only to have more intense issues surface later. My car has been in the shop for diagnostics more times than I can count with no real results on the transmission. In October of 2014 -2.5 years after purchasing a brand new car. My transmission officially failed as I tried to merge onto the highway. Ford issued a not-quite-recall announcement, and I took my Ford in to get the repair service done with 51,095 miles on the vehicle. I had transmission components (seals and clutch) replaced exactly as was instructed by Ford Motor Company. 10,000 miles later, in April 2015, I began experiencing the beginnings of the same issue again. It would seem that whatever Ford corporate claims is the issue is not the case or that the fix Ford corporate isn't an actual fix. More than this, I've been instructed to do the same replacement process when Ford confirmed that the same issue was happening and the same outcomes were imminent. I ordered the parts on 4/16 because they were on back order and not available. 2 months later, the parts needed to do this are still not available. I'm lucky that my highway merge stall-out didn't end poorly the last time but not knowing whether accelerating is possible or when your transmission will fail is scary. The fact that this is happening at 60,000 miles is inexcusable and unsafe. This "program" allows Ford to avoid fixing the issue and leaves consumers in an unsafe, unreliable and financially draining situation.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #90

Jun 072015


  • 96,000 miles
Since the purchase of this for Focus 2012 two years ago, the engine will suddenly stall out and stop working entirely. I am 6 months pregnant and after bringing this car in for numerous repairs of this issue, with no real resolve, I am now furious. I was driving down a 4 lane highway at 65 mph and my engine said "parking assist failure" and the car died. I was almost hit by multiple cars as I tried to coast my way to the shoulder of the road. I turned the car off and back on and it started again. I called the dealership and was told I could bring it in "but they already fixed it." Then just a few days later I am at a busy intersection, and it stalls again..this time wont turn back on. I have been given the run around from Ford, and the Ford dealership, and I need out of this car. I have always driven volkswagon's, and this was my first Ford. Never again. Meanwhile, I am underwater on my car loan now, because I have a car that is worth nothing.

- Auburn, NH, USA

problem #89

May 262015


  • 64,000 miles
Driver window worked only intermittently and then ceased altogether. Had the switch replaced. Now the passenger side front window is exhibiting the same early symptoms. It took only one week for the first window to fail, so it probably won't be long before we have to replace the second.

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #88

Mar 102015


  • 36,000 miles
Power steering quit and driving was almost impossible for a few blocks. Power steering then came back intermittently. Manual said to shut vehicle off for 10 seconds and re-start. That worked for a few weeks and now steering is going out all the time for a few seconds at a time.

- Sewickley, PA, USA

problem #87

May 162015


  • 70,000 miles
On Saturday, May 16, 2015, I was traveling East on interstate 40, memphis, Tennessee. Suddenly the gas pedal bumped twice and my vehicle went completely dead in the middle of this busy interstate. The electrical system just died, my emergency flashers wouldn, T even work. Iall I could do was continue to lay on the horn and wave my hand out the window trying to get the oncoming traffic to realize my car had stopped. My husband told me to get out of the car. I went to the side of the road. A good samaritan, stopped and was able to push my car across the two lanes of traffic and safely on the right median. This happened between 7:30 and 8:15 in the evening. My husband arrived on scene and we planned to return in the morning with a battery hoping that was the problem. I am currently unemployed since 03/15/2015, I couldn't afford to have the vehicle towed. I do not think this was caused by the battery, I think it was a defective transmission. I purchased the vehicle in March, 2013 as a certified pre-owned vehicle. Every problem I've had with this vehicle has been with the transmission. There was in fact an issue with the clutch, I received a letter from Ford Motor Company that the replacement part was defective and may need to be replaced again. The warranty on the clutch was extended to 100,000 miles. I have a message screen on this car. There were no warnings given to me. I definitely feel this is a safety issue! what makes a car completely die as you are traveling 55mph" I have spoken to Ford and they say that particular model does have some issues, but they said they had no idea what could have gone wrong. I was told to just feel lucky I wasn't killed. All I want to know is why would a car going 55mph suddenly just die, with no warning" I guess someone will have to be killed to get any answers. Thank you.

- Memphis, TN, USA

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