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 7 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #46

Jun 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles


When exiting grocery store parking lot, as we pulled out into traffic, the car experience a sudden loss of acceleration/drive train power, while electrical systems started to flash, and electronic gear indicator transitioned from gear to gear. Rpms, were still registering and on acceleration, drive train was unresponsive. This happened all while in traffic, when oncoming vehicles were approaching. We turned on hazard lights and moved to the road shoulder. Powered off car for a minute, then restarted. Car started but still experienced severe hesitation on acceleration, and seemed as if it was struggling to stay on. Pulled onto a side street to get out of traffic, then after turning car off, it would not turn back on. After approx. 10 minutes, tried to turn on car again, and it started. Was able to carefully drive car home, however check engine light has now been illuminated. This will be the 5th instance (all instances documented by dealer, and serviced by dealer) that the car has had this issue, and we have brought it to the attention of the dealership, with no 100% remedy being given. Will be taking car in once again to dealership for service and hopefully resolution of this ongoing issue of hesitation on acceleration, and total failure of drive train during vehicle operation.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #45

May 192014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The vehicle would not start; Ford had the car for 17 days before they decided it was the transmission control module; they charged us in excess of $1400; we have had the vehicle in for service many times over the past 2+ years for navigation system freeze ups and noise/vibrations in the front end.

- Petersburg, MI, USA

problem #44

May 312014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
Car's transmission felt sluggish (hesitate to accelerate) after 15-20 minutes of low-speed driving (0-10mph) in a traffic jam. Ten minutes later, engine stalled on freeway at 70mph. Tachometer dropped to 0 and speedometer displayed was 0. car restarted, and continued to be driven for 15 minutes. Gear disengaged when turning into a parking space, car rolled backwards. Power did resume after 2 seconds while constantly giving gas. Restarted the car after around 30 minutes, car stalled again few minutes later. Engine would not restart instantly. Only clicking noise was heard in the engine bay when turning keys. Waited 10-15 minutes to restart. Car accelerated to 70mph before stalling again after 1-2 minutes. Gear indicator was flashing. When the car stalled, engine raved with lost of power for 1-2 seconds. Car felt like in neutral even shifter was in drive. Tachometer then dropped to 300rpm and never rav again. Car was pulled over. The cycle of stalling and restart repeated 5-6 times until I arrived home. The next day car was drivable again (I only have a 5-mile commute). Similar troubles occurred three weeks ago when car was totally disabled after 20-30 minutes parking lot driving. Car hardly restart and refuse to go into gear. Gear indicator constantly blinked. I previously thought the issues were related to the usage of S gate, where it happened for two instance. There are 3 occurrences of similar troubles. First time was about a month ago when car refused to start, but it was perfectly drivable again after being cool down for a night. Towed to dealer but problem could not be duplicated. The reason that prompts me to write this report is due the lost of power on freeway which I believe is a safety related issue. Also, there doesn't seem to be a trouble code in the computer, which makes it hard for dealers to diagnose the problem.

- La Jolla, CA, USA

problem #43

Jun 062011

Focus 6-cyl

  • 3,800 miles


April 2011 -- issues began within a week of purchasing the vehicle. Complete electrical system shutdown (causing air/radio/sync system to be of no use). Brought vehicle in because I was scheduled to go on road trip to mass. (sync system shut down in route to mass.). soon thereafter, the jerking and shaking of the vehicle. Each time I called or brought the vehicle in, I was told "we cannot replicate the problem". back and forth meeting with management at waldorf Ford dealership and phone calls with Ford in detroit. Continued issues with the jerking and vibrating of vehicle; continued complaints that the RPM needle would race up and down and the engine would revved because the engine was not getting into gear; May 2013 50K miles -- while in columbia, md was still having the jerking and "shifting" issues that the dealership "could not" and I received a message on the vehicle that said transmission failure service immediately. I was in traffic and was almost rear ended on several occasions until I arrived at a friend's. drove home hours later; transmission/powertrain system "fixed"; May 2014 74K miles -- jerking/vibrating/grinding sounds; engine light on and off (not flashing); vehicle not getting into gear from a dead stop and above 50 mph; autozone plugged into vehicle system and received following message/code P2862 "shift fork 'B' acuator circuit high" unable to access any information about the problem; an issue which Ford considers a "common failure" with this vehicle. Nothing like putting a driver and passengers at risk as well as causing accidents. Why are these vehicles still on the road with as many complaints that have been made??

- White Plains, MD, USA

problem #42

Apr 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
Car sitting in driveway. Went to start would not even turn over. Car completely locked out. Had it towed to winner Ford in dover Delaware. Car is not even 3 years old spent over $700 in repair work. Then on 4/14/14 car broke down again in driveway again. Had it towed to winner Ford in dover Delaware. Now the dealership replace the battery said it was completely dead. The battery is now even 3 years old! I am very fustrated and winner Ford would not provide me with any credit or reimbusement of my expenses. They kept using the car is out of warrenty. I am a first time by of Ford products will not buy another Ford product or use a Ford product even if it was given to me for free. Quality of their cars is awfull and the customer service at the dealership is even worse.kept hiding behind the warrenty terms.

- Magnolia, DE, USA

problem #41

May 222014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Driving down highway, car lost power, the check engine light and the traction control light came on. Would not accelerate, brakes would not function properly to stop. When I finally got the car stopped in a parking lot next to my place of business, the car would not start up again, and when it did, it would not go into any gear. Sat in the parking lot for 30 minutes trying to get the car to start up and go into gear. When it finally did go into gear, I got it to my place of business 2 blocks down and parked it. I am afraid to drive the car as it is a major safety issue. There have been recalls on the electric version of this car, but not the gasoline versions. This needs to be a recall on all of these models as there are several hundred complaints online about the same issue. Ford will not do anything about these issues unless the car is taken to one of their dealerships, which in past experience, they don't do anything at the dealership except overcharge for diagnosing the car, and for them to tell you nothing is wrong with it and that they know there are issues with the cars, but they do not have a fix for them and they can change the parts, however that will not solve the problem and it will happen again. I have been told this by the manager at a dealership and he has stated there is nothing he can do to change the situation. This is a major safety issue and someone needs to look into Ford for the same issues GM is having with their small cars.

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #40

May 212014


  • 53,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate, the vehicle lost power. The contact mentioned that the check engine and the gear switch warning lights illuminated. The door chime sounded and the vehicle was able to restart approximately 15 minutes later. The failure recurred on two other occasions. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the computer failed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 53,000.

- St Albans, WV, USA

problem #39

May 192014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 68,850 miles
I have a Ford Focus 2012 SE with winter and comfort packages. My vehicle suddenly swapped up from 79 mph to 81 mph when I pressed the down button to slow the car.

- Locust Grove, GA, USA

problem #38

May 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 29,187 miles
This car has been the shop 4 times for the same problem. The car randomly does not start for a period of time, absolutely no rhyme or reason. It does start eventually. Everything electrical comes on, interior lights, A/C, heater, radio, exterior lights, just no engine. The problem only occurs after being driven. In other words, it never happens first thing in the morning after sitting all night, it never happens after a full work day (sitting 8 hours). The longest period of time it has set and still not started is about 3 hours. The problem also never occurred until they had to replace the transmission.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #37

Feb 012014


  • 37,000 miles
Alarm system and horn completely quit working- now I have to pay to have it repaired. A few months ago the window motor would not work- electrical problems with car.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #36

Mar 142013


  • 12,000 miles


During a tight turn on a bendy road going about 55 mph the vehicle lost all power. As if someone turned they key off. Lights, infotainment, steering, brakes, everything was effected. Luckily steering doesn't lockup on a Ford Focus. And can be steered but without power assist. Once at a complete stop, the car could be restarted with no instrument lights on, as if nothing happened.

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #35

Aug 202012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 23,892 miles
My car has almost gotten me in 3 accidents and it rolls back on hills I was pulling into a drive way and it started to roll back then it slowed down and there was a load noise and we started rolling backwards it was just a drive way. The car has absolutely no power at all it stutters and when you are driving in busy places and your car wont pick up enough ton enter on the highway or freeway its scary and its unsafe it will shake the whole car when it pulls back and stutters. It is awful and I went on a 3 hour drive to go on vacation I actually rented a car instead of taking my brand new car that I got to last me years fro now was the plan if it makes it another 1 year I will be surprised very dangerous Ford.

- Moreono Valley, CA, USA

problem #34

Jan 032014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
We took our car in yesterday because the engine kept lurching and stalling. They said it was the power train, and that it was a problem with the computer. The berge Ford dealership reprogrammed the computer, and today when I got in the car the radio was on. I just unlocked it and opened the door, and the radio came on. The key was not in the car at all, and the only thing I did was unlock it with the remote and open the door. I did not have this problem prior to them "reprogramming" it to fix the power train/transmission problem. Then when I started to drive it the engine seemed sluggish and it seemed to be lurching again, but not stopping for an instant like before. So I went from having transmission/power train problems, and a seat belt problem to having them both with a computer problem added in... I'm not a computer engineer, but when a piece of equipment has hardware problems it would make sense to replace or fix the hardware instead of reprogramming the software. I'll be taking it back in, and while the computer is out of warranty I think I should be able to get them to look at it and fix it without charging me because they caused the problem.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #33

Jun 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I have had numerous issues with transmission and electrical problems with my vehicle. I have had it in for service about 6 times in the past year. Car shifts hard, when driving, sputters, and even once stalled out in the middle of a intersection. I had these issues from day one with the vehicle but was told the cars computer has to "learn" how you drive. Electrical, the locks sometimes works, or the doors lock when they aren't supposed to. Key fob doesn't work sometimes. This is something that is ridiculous and Ford Motor Co. Should do something about it. My car has 27500 miles on it and runs like it is 15 years old! my warranty is up at 36000, so then all these issues become the consumer problem even though Ford is aware this is an issue they are having and won't recall until someone gets hurt or killed.

- Mt. Washington, KY, USA

problem #32

Oct 042013


  • 5,800 miles
I have a Ford Focus bev ( battery electric vehicle), 2012. I came out from work and unplugged my car from the charging post and got into it as usual to go home. I pressed the start button and a mechanical warning window came up on the dash. I closed it and the "stop safely now" message came on. I closed it and the first message came back again. This went on for several cycles until I hit the start button again. I tried the start button again, and the same thing happened. I plugged it back in, unplugged it and tried again. Same thing. I called the dealer, the lady there called roadside assistance for me. They sent a truck to tow it to a closer dealer, where it currently sits. Initial diagnostics are not showing a cause. I will learn more on Monday. This is apparently a common problem according to the internet.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #31

Sep 212013


  • 10,960 miles
While driving approx 30 miles per hour on a B road, just after turning right the car displayed a "stop safely now" warning and the car lost all power to the drive train and the car literally stopped moving. Luckily, there was no one behind me when the fault occurred. I power cycled the car and I was able to drive away after a few minutes. I have never had an issue with the car until last night.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #30

Sep 022013


  • 1,500 miles
As I was driving all of a sudden a display stating "stop safely now" came on. I pulled over and the car would not go any further. I had to completely turn it off, open and close the door, and restart it to make it go again. It has happened 3 times now in the past few weeks.

- Sierra Madre, CA, USA

problem #29

Aug 202013


  • 15,900 miles
While driving through uptown charlotte, the car gave a "stop safely now" alert and the car lost power. It coasted enough to roll to the right lane and then died. I could not get the warning flashers to work. I tried for about 7 minutes to get the car to turn off, every combination I knew. After that, the car 'reset' and I was able to get it to start. I drove away as if nothing happened. It hasn't happened since. It's not cool to have the car quit in traffic like that. I think the battery control computer picked up a radio frequency interference.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #28

Apr 172013


  • 5,000 miles
The vehicle came to a complete stop in front of the caldecott tunnel that separates the East bay to contra costa county. The vehicle stopped in the middle of traffic during commute time. Also resulted in a terrible backup on the highway. Spent over 3 hours dealing with this break down that included finding care for our children and finding someone to pick her up at dealership as it was after hours.

- Orinda, CA, USA

problem #27

Jun 252013


  • 2,250 miles
I purchased a new 2012 Ford Focus ev on June 7, 2013. Twice (still in June), while driving at speeds approximately 50 mph, the "stop safely now" warning came on and the vehicle lost power. Both times I was able to restart the vehicle within a couple of minutes. I made sure to note all the indicators to provide the Ford service techs as much information as possible. When I brought the vehicle in to be serviced, the technicians professed no knowledge of the issue and contacted Ford for support. They could not repeat the issue and the car had no log of the events. Finally, I was told the problem was a faulted power control module (PCM). Unfortunately, this part was on a national backorder for 6 weeks (probably as a result of the known problems). After the part was finally replaced, I was told that the PCM would not program correctly, and that the transmission control module needed to be replaced. End result, I have my vehicle back, just in time to take it back for a recall. At least it hasn't stalled ??. yet.

- Pismo Beach, CA, USA

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