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 6 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #66

Aug 162014


  • 45,000 miles


Driver's side front power window motor failed and needed to be replaced.

- Shrewsbury, PA, USA

problem #65

Sep 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I started my car ignition, began to back out of my driveway. After about 2 - 7 seconds, the power steering froze up and a caution light lit up on my dash. It reads: Power steering assist malfunction, check manual. Or words very close to that effect. This has happened about 10 - 15 times since approximately September !8, 2014. I took it to Ford dealer and they changed the battery. They showed low voltage to the steering...or something to that effect. It did not fix the problem. The exact thing keeps happening. It happens right after I start up the car. I turn off the ignition, restart the car, and it works okay after that.

- Mount Vernon, IL, USA

problem #64

Jul 282014


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle accelerated slowly on occasion. Other times, the rpms would race and the vehicle would jerk forward. The dealer stated that the body control module needed to be replaced. The contact stated that the dealer was not able to reprogram the computer to install the new part and had to re-install the old part. The manufacturer was notified and the vehicle was taken to the dealer a fourth time to have the new part installed. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The sensors intermittently illuminated for the brake assist and parking aide. In addition, while making a right or left turn, the steering wheel locked intermittently more than once. The contact also stated that the clock intermittently shorted out and the time display was incorrect. The dealer provided an interim remedy and suggested that the contact turn off the gps. The interim fix remedied the failure as long as the contact used the feature to disable the gps auto clock manually each time. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000.

- Edmonds, WA, USA

problem #63

Sep 262014


  • 30,150 miles


The reflective cap that says "Ford" inside the front passenger side headlight assembly fell down, disallowing the headlamp beam to be directly in front of the car causing visibility problems.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #62

Aug 222013


  • 40,000 miles
I turn the key and the Focus doesn't start. At first the dealer said the problem was with the key - they were receiving an error message. The second time, the problem was with the part that read the key and they replaced it. The third time they said they didn't know what the problem was. Sometimes I can hold the key 2-4 seconds and the Focus will start. Other times after holding the key a few seconds, I release the key and the Focus starts.

- Toronto, NY, USA

problem #61

Dec 012013


  • 27,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the plastic glaze on the windshield separated from the glass, which caused poor visibility. Also, while accelerating from a stop, the vehicle hesitated and made a bucking motion. The dealer stated that the computer needed to be recalibrated. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 27,000.

- Alvaton, KY, USA

problem #60

Aug 302014


  • 42,500 miles


I was driving in a residential neighborhood when an error message displayed on the dash computer indicating that there was an issue with the power steering. I was in the middle of a turn onto another street when the power steering went out. This was not the first time that the power steering went out. I have experienced the same issue at least 5 times. On the most recent occasion noted here, the power steering control module (pscm) had just been replaced at my local Ford dealership 4 or 5 days previous. I was told by the dealership that both the original pscm and the replacement pscm were part of the same batch that were apparently defective from the manufacturer. My car is currently having yet another pscm installed by the dealership. If Ford is aware of a defective batch of pscms, a recall should be issued. I am also concerned that the first outage of the original pscm took roughly 2 years to manifest, while the second pscm went out in less than a week. I am not sure if that indicates a broader electrical problem with the car, or was simply a coincidence that the second pscm went out that soon after replacement.

- Liberty , MO, USA

problem #59

Aug 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 51,800 miles
Our 2012 Ford Focus shut off at 70 mph, while simultaneously losing pwr str, pwr brk, & illuminating all inst panel icons as in (key on-eng off). Then while coasting to complete stop, car returned to normal ops & was able to drive away, never touching the ign key switch. Ford dealer cleared multiple codes, which they would not reveal. They did tell me there was a PCM communication failure in history, but could not find any reason for it. They also performed multipoint inspection, with no issues found. 1 month prior to incident the automatic clutch-oil seal recall was performed under warranty. (clutch & inner input shaft seal was replaced). Car has been ok since. This incident occurred while driving in rain.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #58

Jun 202014


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle lost power and stalled on several occasions. The contact also stated that the parking assist error service required and the skid indicators illuminated. The contact was not able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who diagnosed that the electronic sensors needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 62,000.

- Front Royal, VA, USA

problem #57

Aug 062014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 63,500 miles
Without warning, (no lights on dash-board - no unusual noises - no problems starting etc), there were no gears and I was left in neutral. It required coming to a stop, putting it into park and starting again to limp along to get to a safe point to park the car and call for help. Luckily I was not yet onto the freeway! the Ford dealership mechanic was able to replicate these circumstances and he too found himself without gears; he was on the freeway on-ramp and was lucky to not be hit. I can only imagine how dangerous this is if you are in 4 lanes of traffic going 60 mph!!! notwithstanding the severity of this "module" defect, the problem according to Ford does not come under the 'transmission recall' and my car is 3,500 miles over the magical 60,000 power-train recall. I am stuck with a $1,500 bill and the fear that it might happen again; if not to me, someone else with this model/year Focus.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #56

Aug 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 48,500 miles


While driving my 2012 - manual 5 speed Ford Focus down the highway the car lost power. There was no indication that anything was wrong, but all of a sudden while in 5th gear at 70mph the car had no power to propel itself forward, at the same time the radio/entertainment system malfunctioned and turned off. Luckily, I was able to make it over to the shoulder and roll to a stop without an incident. Turned the car back on and there was very little power getting to the car, maxing out a speed of 50mph on the freeway so as not to stall again, made for a scary ride home. This is the 3rd time this has happened since owning the car, which I purchased brand new and now has 49,000 miles on the odometer. The previous 2 times, I took it to a dealer to diagnose the problem, but they said that there is nothing that they can find wrong with it. Now I am active on a Ford Focus forum because it seems that I am not the only person out there with this issue. Ford needs to get it together before they have an injury lawsuit on their hands.

- Hoschton, GA, USA

problem #55

Aug 122014


  • 38,642 miles
Windshield wipers stopped working during heavy downpour. It was not fuses.

- Laughlin, NV, USA

problem #54

Jul 292014


  • 32,000 miles
While driving windshield wipers started. At first it was fast, then slowed down. Wipers continued for almost an hour after turning off engine. Later when clicking alarm remote to enter door, wipers started going again, varying speeds as time went on. I needed to pull the relay from the engine compartment for the wipers to stop.

- Laughlin, NV, USA

problem #53

Jul 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 120,200 miles
Driving up light incline on paved highway when traction control light flashes indicating a loss of traction. Seconds later car loses response to gas pedal, flashes "transmission system failure. Service immediately." After pulling over away from traffic and powering off then 30 second wait and on warning is gone and functions are restored. A week later problem comes up again, this time on interstate going 70mph. Cruise control is shut off automatically, no power to gas pedal, traction warning comes on, and same transmission warning flashes. Goes away in a second or two. Pull over as safely as I can while cutting off a semi-truck, power car off and on, all systems normal. Four days later pull out of parking spot with a hesitation of vehicle to start, then a vibrating in reverse. Drive around lot to exit, pull onto main road and same warnings/problems as usual happen. Now blocking traffic perpendicular to flow. Check engine light comes on, put car into park, turn off, and back on. Try to shift into drive. Won't budge. Turn off and on again. Try to shift again. No luck. One more time, wait a few seconds, then again. Car powers on drives to another location with check engine light on and then to dealer with no further issues. Dealer inspects, finds faulty tcm. Directly attributes this to manufacture defect and not to user error.

- Shasta Lake, CA, USA

problem #52

Aug 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 58,091 miles
I got in car to go to the store put on seat belt started car put car into drive 1/4 mile down the road from leaving my driveway doors unlocked and opened I had to stop immediately and they would not close. Left front drivers door and right rear passenger door. My car was towed to dealer and diagnostic test done and inspections by certified mechanics. They said door latches wont catch or engage to keep doors closed no check engine light came on only blinking display that doors are open only after I was completely stopped and in park.

- New River, AZ, USA

problem #51

Jun 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 30,400 miles
The first incident occurred while in traffic on the interstate highway during rush hour evening traffic. I had to come to a stop on traffic in a construction zone due to traffic at a point where there was moving traffic in lanes on either side of my vehicle. The car was running as normal, no lights came on (nothing to alert to an issue), however, when I went to accelerate my car would not engage the transmission. It was as if my car was in park and I was revving the engine. I put my hazard lights on, called 911 to report I could not get out of my vehicle to move my car as I feared I would be hit since it was rush hour traffic and could not even open my door. I shut my engine off, waited a few minutes, and tried again. The car still would not move. After being stopped and unable to move for approximately 20 minutes, the transmission seemed to re-engage and I was able to get my car off the highway. I had the car taken to the dealer as it was still under warranty. I was told that they could not duplicate the problem after having my car for a week. As soon as I got my car back, I drove approximately 10-15 miles, and this same issue occurred again, but thankfully I was close to home and not in any heavy traffic as I was with the first incident. Again, it was arranged to take my car to the dealer (the dealer had my car from approximately 7/11/14 to 8/1/14). Again, I was told they could not duplicate the problem. Within 2 days of having the car returned to me, I drove approximately 20-30 total miles, and my car stopped on another highly traveled road, but thankfully while in a turn lane. A stranger helped me push my car to a nearby gas station where it had to be left until it could be towed back to the dealer.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #50

Jul 092014


  • 26,400 miles
My car was in the shop about 4X's in 1 month. Issue began driving about 45 mph. Went to accelerate felt a sudden jerk & nothing. Look down to see my drive light flashing & am steadily decreasing in speed with no way to accelerate, like in neutral. I luckily was able to get out of oncoming traffic, put the car in park which began to flash. Accelerated a couple times to be sure it responded before driving but the service engine light was on. Driving again, about to make a left turn, not a mile down the road, same thing happened. This time put it in park, accelerated & nothing. Shut off my car to reset it & my car would not turn on. After waiting for the tow truck, the car would just not turn on, everything related to the battery would turn on but the car didn't. in the shop this 1st time a total of 3 days, still unsure about it being fixed (because they just fixed the "electrical" part, not the issue) lo & behold when I turned into my neighborhood same thing happened (drive light flashed & accelerator didn't respond). I get home to park & turn on my car, after attempting to turn it back on, nothing. Another tow truck came the next morning to get it, this time my car was there 7 days. After 2 days of driving the same thing happened I was on a hill almost began rolling backwards into another car until I put it into P & pulled the E break. Car went in they stated that they figured it out & I hoped 3rd X's the charm. Nope, I was on a highway had to pull over away from oncoming traffic decrease the risk of me being hit. 9 days in the shop after ordering a transmission control module for my car & replacing it, it works. Although I was just informed that the same thing is now happening to a friend with a 2013 Ford Focus. It's something that needs to be looked into because loosing the ability to accelerate in the middle of traffic is very dangerous life threatening & scary.

- Cameron, NC, USA

problem #49

Jan 022012


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle was not shifting into gears properly, would stall sporadically and would jerk intermittently. Additionally, the steering wheel would often seize. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer several times who had not been able to replicate nor diagnose the failure. The failure recurred and the dealer replaced the transmission and transmission sensor but the failure recurred. The contact also mentioned that the lights intermittently illuminated and the radio was making a loud noise when it was powered off. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who then diagnosed that the computer chip in the fuel pump failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #48

Jun 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
The steering wheel would not move, there is an error message, steering assist fault. It happened before, but I turned the car off and back on again and it would turn. Before this incident there would be times when the A/C fan would adjust itself, by going higher or lower and the radio volume would increase or decreases without any help from me. This particular time it would not move and I was forced to leave it in a parking garage overnight. While attempting to get it to work by turning the off and on the brakes went all the way to the floor, suggesting the would not work properly if I were driving the car. Well, the car shut completely down and started to try to turn itself on without the key being in the ignition. After which it would not start at all. I had it towed in and of course it is no longer under warranty.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #47

Jun 102014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
While I am driving (this has occurred three times) the check engine light comes on and the gears keep slipping. I take it in and they reset the computer or whatever they do and it works fine right after but continues to drive like the gears are slipping.

- Alice, TX, USA

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