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 5 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #86

Feb 152015


  • 29,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving at various speeds and attempting to accelerate, the vehicle hesitated to accelerate. All of the warning indicators on the instrument panel illuminated. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine had a leak and needed to be repaired and the brake line and circuit board failed. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 29,000.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #85

May 122015


  • 73,583 miles
Vehicle not starting. Vehicle has power but nothing when I try to start car. Everything works but fuel gauge does not. After several attempts the car starts. I'm still having issues with transmission not shifting right. Dealer keeps telling me they fixed it but same jerking still happens. So fed up with this car.. it is a lemon.

- Cleburne, TX, USA

problem #84

Apr 102015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
Power steering electrical system failed without notice. Noticed that there is currently a class action suit against Ford for this issue and other issues. Not on recall list at moment, and may have to pay for repair due to faulty design.

- Westbrook, CT, USA

problem #83

Apr 052015


  • 68,000 miles


The car was running fine until last week when I drove to the supermarket. After I came out and attempted to leave, the engine would not turn over. Everything works electrically (radio, lights, etc...) but turning the ignition key fully did nothing. This now happens daily after the car warms up. If you turn the car off it will not start or turn over. If you let the car cool down for a couple hours it generally will start. Driving is done mainly at highway speeds and the oil level and engine temperature are fine according to dipstick and gauges. Bought a new battery in case something was wrong with it. It did not resolve the problem. Ensured the negative terminal of the battery was solidly attached to metal (not painted metal) to ensure proper grounding. Nothing helped. Dealer appointment this week. Also received "hill assist not available" warning on dash. A friend of mine who owns the same exact model and year vehicle (2012 Ford Focus) had the exact same thing happen to him. The dealer switched out their tcm (transmission control module) and this fixed their problem. Time for a recall.

- Waterloo, IL, USA

problem #82

Mar 132015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
I purchased the car used in early 2014. I had this car not even two years and the transmission is a serious problem. The car shakes, rattles, and stalls as I'm driving. The letter I received from Ford states that this is a normal function of the car. The transmission fluid on my car is leaking and contaminated. The transmission fluid would be almost empty in 24 hours. In order to use my car for a day, I would need to refill my car with transmission fluid so it will at least move. The car at times would come to a complete stop in the middle of traffic. The power-shift struggles to change gears and at times won't accelerate. This problem maybe now beginning to affect my engine. The Focus won't even start at times. Another issue is the radio will go on/off and with time, shut off completely. Their are also reports of car will roll back on hills when in drive and it does. The Ford Focus 2012 has too many design and manufacturer problems not to have a recall or lemon lawsuits. This car needs to simply be replaced with another model (not 2013 or 2014 models, same reports) or full reimbursement.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #81

Mar 102015


  • 60,680 miles
This has happened multiple times, but on Tuesday 3/12/15. My car has flashed transmission malfunction, parking aid malfunction, hill assist not working. My car would start, but would not go into gear. Two cops had to push my car to the side of the road since I was in the middle of rush hour traffic. I have had this happen on the interstate doing 75 and the car jumps out of gear and I can no longer go, so I have had to pull over and luckily restart the car and go. I also have been having issues with the car not starting this past week and it keeps flashing parking aid malfunction, service required. I have two young children and this is ridiculous. If this car causes us to be involved in a accident. This is common issues and Ford is fully aware yet I do not have any recalls on my vehicle.

- Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

problem #80

Nov 122014


  • 40,000 miles


Horn stopped working checked fuses and relays which all work but after reading there are several people that complain that the wiring in the car causes a problem with the horn becoming inoperative. This is a wider problem and wish to have Ford issue a recall. I have had issues not being able to warn people drifting or not paying attention with no way to warn them. This is a serious safety issue.

- Moore, OK, USA

problem #79

Jan 202015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Was driving with my mom when all of a sudden her power steering gave out and it was incredibility hard for her to steer. I took over and drove home now I drove vehicles with out power steering before but this was by far the toughest steering vehicle I drove. It was completely dangerous and irresponsible of Ford to not address the issue as of yet. Thankfully I was with my mom that day and nothing worse happened but it could have ended alot worse.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #78

Jan 062015


  • 46,000 miles
My car sync has not been working properly and my radio would just shut off while driving. I would have to stop turn off my car and take the kit was definitely something electrical because I could manipulate the frequency sound by turning the heat on and off or the wipers.ey out then open and shut the door start it back up and the radio would turn on. Recently something happened where a loud crackle came through the speaker and the radio went out but then a static came on that I could not shut off. I could not turn off the sound even after I shut off the car the static kept going long after I shut the door and walked away. I woke up to a dead battery. Ford made me pay for a new battery because they said it was a wear item even though whatever was happening to the car was what wore the battery down.

- Mahtomedi, MN, USA

problem #77

Jan 072015


  • 35,590 miles
Both front electric windows work intermittently. Motor misfired at 50mph.

- Newton, AL, USA

problem #76

Jan 052015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 65,600 miles


The horn has stopped working. It worked the first few weeks we had the car, and it no longer works currently. Fuses and relays were checked associated with horn function via owners manual and were not the source of the issue.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #75

Sep 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I own a 2012 Ford Focus SE. I bought my Ford Focus in December 2012 from folsom lake Ford located in folsom California. At 20000 miles I took my car in for its factory service and advised the transmission was not operating correctly. According to folsom lake Ford their service department reprogrammed the transmission computer and ordered parts for the transmission┐┐parts that would take a month to arrive, but never heard back from folsom lake Ford after that. About 35000mls started major transmission issues with my Focus-it would not shift correctly. The check engine light never came on, nor were there any other diagnostic/malfunction advisements from the vehicles information system. Other systems began to malfunction 'specifically electronic systems, idle control malfunctioned-. idle rough, sometimes idling wild and extreme Focus would stall constantly while stopped at intersections, also randomly stalling while at driving speeds. Multiple times my Focus stalled on the freeway, while driving at normal freeway speeds 55-70mph. After my Focus had a stalling incident it would not start at all as if it was due to a power drainage. If it did not immediately fire-up, the starter would continue to operate whether I tried to discontinue or not. When the vehicle did finally start, the transmission always operated unusually after that 'shifting incorrectly, not smoothly shifting into gear, sometimes not shifting into the proper gear or not shifting at all. At about 42000mls service performed on my Focus the battery checked and in good working order. By 43000mls after major transmission issues my battery was corroded/ruined.

- North Highlands, CA, USA

problem #74

Jan 052015


  • 40,000 miles
*ongoing *please see original complaints # 10473215 and #10670375* long history of transmission repairs since purchase. Latest repair on 1/5/2014 was to replace malfunctioning tcm. When getting car back from service, odd noise and hesitation upon starting. Service manager attempted to start. Symptoms of tcm malfunction again, and then complete loss of power. Service states that chafed wiring was found under driver seat, causing new tcm to malfunction and then shorting out all power in vehicle. After hearing odd noise upon starting, I was very close to driving car out onto very busy highway... decided to turn car off instead and seek help from service manager. I am the only driver of this vehicle and I very rarely move the seat. I was told by service that moving the seat on 1/5/2015 caused the chafed wiring to short out the power in the car. I never moved the seat when I got into my car during pickup. This is very frightening and dangerous! I was just reading that chafed wiring can result in fire, also! these vehicles are putting many people at risk of injury or death. Please help the affected Ford Focus customers to get them recalled, as Ford will not help. I have filed 3 claims with Ford and I cannot even get a call back from them. Told that I don't meet the guidelines for buyback or replacement. Very afraid to drive my car, especially now since the weather is bitter cold and have already been stranded in freezing weather with sleet on 1/3/2015 because of tcm failure. Please help!!

- Glenside, PA, USA

problem #73

Dec 312014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 38,987 miles
The car was operating fine up to the point after it was parked at a nearby strip mall. After returning to the car, the car would not start. The dash lights come on, radio works, etc but the starter acted like it was not even getting power. I thought the vehicle had a bad battery, after multiple attempts to jump start the car, it finally started. Once the vehicle was running, I put it in reverse and it would not move as if it was in neutral. I checked the dash indicator to see if it was in reverse and the shift indicator had nothing highlighted. I put it back in park then it highlighted the "P", put it back in reverse and again it acted as if it was in neutral. I rolled back a bit and put it in drive and it still acted as if it was in neutral. It would not engage the transmission. I thought it could be due to a low power battery which also had acid leaking so I replaced the battery with a new battery. The car wouldn't start again but everything else worked (I.e. radio, dash, A/C blower, etc). I let it sit a day and tried again the following day and it started right off the bat. I put it in gear and it went into gear this time. A couple minutes later, an incline assist warning came up on the radio screen and the traction control and ABS alerts were lighted on the dash. Suddenly, the car would not go into gear again. I turned the car off and started it back up which it then went back into gear with no problem. I did research online and found others were experiencing the same issue. Some even while driving, which makes me very uncomfortable to think of that happening on an interstate. I contacted my Ford dealer about the issue and they denied ever hearing anything about that type of issue. Extremely frustrating as this could be a potential safety hazard where someone could get killed and Ford is playing coy to cover themselves. Does Ford care about human life?

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #72

Oct 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Ignition switch failed to start vehicle promply problem progressed until today 12/10/2014 car would not start at all.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #71

Aug 012014


  • 29,000 miles
I have recently had an ongoing problem where my dash lights turn off, head lights turn off, radio turn off, and a message comes on the dashboard saying "hill start assist unavailable". the radio turns back on after about 20 seconds. The dangerous part is when the speedometer shuts off and I cannot tell how fast I am going. I have contact the dealer about this problem, and taken the car in for service on this and they claim there is nothing wrong with the car. I already had a problem with my transmission where I had a full replacement and they are refusing to take any action regarding this problem. This vehicle is unsafe for anyone to drive until they figure this out. I dont know who else to contact regarding this issue since I have gone to Ford, the dealers, as well as independent shops and they all claim they cant find a problem.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #70

Nov 032014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Ford Focus dangerously stall while driving as well as merging into traffic or on an incline the consumer has since traded the vehicle.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #69

May 092012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
In may of 2012 my car had the transmission completely replaced after being in the shop for 6 weeks. The cruise control would stick on and not shut off. The power windows and air conditioner both decided not work at the same time. I have had the struts replaces before 10,000 miles. The gas mileage goes from 14 mpg to 33mpg randomly. The car likes to roll back and not go into gear when driving. I replace tires every 6 months because the car eats my tires up. My favorite problem is loosing power when driving. I have kept all papers regarding the car in the shop. My first year of owning the Focus Ford paid for my rental car to be driven 17,000 miles due to my car being in the shop. I have asked for help with this car for 2 years with Ford to be told I need to learn to drive. I am driving a car know that completely looses power all the time and the transmission sticks. I have had to wait 3 weeks for an appointment on Nov 3 to get these issues looked at. My car is far from safe and I have expressed to Ford I feel this car is going to kill me. I spent 30,000 miles driving this car when in fact I shouldn't had. The dealership can never find a problem on my car. The gas also can only put 10 cents of gas at a time in or gas likes to pour out from the bottom. Sometimes the gas knozzle can't fit in the gas tank because it closes up. Once again Ford couldn't find a problem. I call the dealership and Ford customer care each time there is a problem.

- Iola, TX, USA

problem #68

Mar 142014


  • 40,000 miles
While merging onto the freeway my car would not accelerate. I pushed the gas pedal to the floor and the rpms shot up but car would not accelerate. Finally after almost being hit by other cars it shot off like a rocket. After multiple incidents of jerking and not able to accelerate randomly I took it to Ford and the clutch was replaced in April 2014. Not long after, it started doing the same thing except worse. I took it back to Ford and was told the tranny test results came back normal and that a motor mount was missing or loose. They kept it for 3 days to fix the motor mount. The car is now worse and today the check engine light came on and car had very little power. Going to take it back to Ford and hopefully they will fix it this time. My gas mileage is only 20.1 mpg. Another problem was that my entire sync system went out and had to be replaced in August 2014, costing me $1093. It started messing up by having a very loud popping/crackling noise that would start randomly even when car was off. It was very scary when it would suddenly start making the loud noise while I was driving and almost caused me to wreck at one point.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #67

Aug 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 79,044 miles
My first encounter started in March with a warning condition indicating a default in my steering assistance only when I would turn on the ignition, I called Ford dealership and was told it would go away by turning of the ignition and turning it back on.,and it did go away. Now in August, I was driving on freeway and the warning light came on again while driving and the steering wheel became very hard to steer, I was able to make it to a safe stop on the shoulder of the highway. That was the most scariest for me while on the highway. God was with me..

- San Diego, CA, USA

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