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:
42,039 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 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Aug 162013


  • 8,010 miles


This is regarding Ford Focus electric 2012. I was pulling out of my office parking lot and driving at about 5 mph. I got the 'stop safely now' warning and within a few seconds the car stopped and I could not drive any more. Fortunately, it was the internal street and around 3 pm when the traffic is very low. I am glad this incident did not happen on the freeway in the left lane (carpool lane in California). I was able to restart the car and drove straight to the dealer(fremont Ford) but they did not have trained ev technicians to look at the car. Asked me to bring the car back on Monday(8/19/20013). Now the car is at the dealer. This is second time I have encountered this issue with this car. The first time I had was when I was pulling the car out of my garage at home. Ford even applied major software updates on my car in July but looks like the issue is still recurring.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #23

Jul 122013


  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while parked with the keys in the ignition, the central locking system automatically locked while a child was inside the vehicle. The police were contacted for assistance however, a police report was not filed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for a diagnostic testing where unknown repairs were made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The approximate failure mileage was 34,000 and the current mileage was 35,600.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #22

Jun 042012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
Myfordtouch: Unable to be heard when I call from the car using my bluetooth connected phone (3 different phones used with same outcome). When driving in the car, directions, traffic, and trying to get the operator is not possible. (note: Directions sometimes work if the car is not moving.) I tried working with my dealership (bob maxey Ford in howell, mi, visiting them many times. The last time I was there, they brought in a Ford engineer (because I had escalated my need within the Ford company). After that it worked "most of the time" for a week, when all four quadrants on my screen showed power off for about 10 minutes then slowly each quadrant powered up. From then on I was back to where I was before ie no traffic, directions, operator, and phone use. Bob maxey Ford's service manager told me on my last visit that there was nothing more they could do.............I've had it!! I've paid for something that doesn't work.......... :(

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #21

Jul 252013


  • 7,400 miles


Our 2012 Ford Focus electric totally shutdown after receiving the stop safely now warning alert. Car shut down in traffic within 30 seconds of receiving the warning. We had no time to react or pull the car safely to the side of the road. This is clearly a safety issue.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #20

Jun 252013


  • 10,500 miles
Incidence occurred twice in 2 day period. "stop safely now" error occurred while driving the vehicle. 1st instance was while breaking as approaching a stoplight. 2nd instance was while accelerating on freeway onramp. Both instances I lost all engine power and could no longer accelerate. I had to coast to a safe spot to put the car into park and turn off the vehicle but was able to restart it and drive to dealership for repair. Serious safety concern with this vehicle as driver may not have ability to coast to safe stop while driving on freeway or busy traffic. After researching online, there is rampant occurrence of this exact failure being described on vehicle owner forums for Ford Focus electric both 2012 and 2013 models.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #19

Jun 262013


  • 5,700 miles
Upon making a left turn vehicle completely powered down with no warning, after a second an audible beep and "stop safely now" message appeared. Vehicle had to be towed to dealership.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #18

Nov 132012


  • 500 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus electric. The contact stated that while attempting to decelerate on a rough driving surface, the vehicle stalled without warning. A warning message illuminated, advising the contact to move off the highway and into a safe location. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was determined that the electrical connection was loose. The vehicle was repaired however, to no avail. The failure persisted. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 500 and the current mileage was 6,000.

- Carmichael, CA, USA

problem #17

Jan 142013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The electrical system has a short somewhere that causes the horn to stop working intermittently and also the brake lights to fail intermittently. I have checked fuses and contacted Ford and there are no recalls. This caused an accident on 02/23/2013. A man backed into my vehicle in a parking lot (with my two babies in the back seat) and I couldn't blow the horn to let him know I was behind him. I was helpless to stop it from happening. I believe it is illegal in most (or all) states to not have a working horn on the vehicle. Ford refuses to recall, diagnose, or repair this vehicle at no cost to me. I believe that this is a very serious safety issue and I feel that nobody will take me seriously.

- Fort Knox, KY, USA

problem #16

Sep 052012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 53 miles
The new vehicle was purchased on 9/3/12. Calls to the service department began on 9/5/12 for complaints of 'bucking and jerking' of the car in low speed shifting. The car was accepted on 9/8/12 for repair of multiple paint chips on the front of the car and for evaluation of the shifting irregularities. Upon delivery of the car (53 odometer miles) the customer was informed that the paint chips had been repaired and the transmission computer was reset. The computer reset was not recorded on the service agreement for that date. On 12/5/12, the car abruptly stopped accelerating and metal grinding prevented use. The car was held from 12/5/12 until 1/8/13 (35 days, odometer reading 7,068 miles) for repair of a broken rear window channel, repair of transmission with replaced clutch. On 1/23/13 the vehicle was towed again due to not starting during multiple attempts by the owners and the tow truck driver. The vehicle was returned to the owner on 1/25/13 with a service report noting a weak battery. The battery was charged by the service provider and no other service codes were reported. On 1/28/13, the steering wheel required both hands to turn and the car narrowly missed going off of the road. Upon attempt to restart, the ignition was weak and multiple warning lights displayed on the dashboard. The odometer reading reset to '0' and the mpg reading went blank. The car had significant change in ignition sound and with uncharacteristic humming noise and was turned off again. When the car was on the tow truck with the ignition off, key out, and door open, the radio began playing and could not be manually turned off. The car was transported to the dealership. As of 2/3, the car has been out of service for 46 days due to multiple infractions. The vehicle has had symptoms of stalling, failure to start, and loss of power steering. Alternator being replaced 2/4.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #15

Jan 232013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,263 miles
On 1/23/2013 at appox at 10:15 am I was driving to work! I was driving West bound 10 fwy! I was going about 75 mph in the fast lane. When all of a sudden the car speed drops to 30 mph in a matter of seconds, I right away turn on my hazards! but do to the fact that I was` in the fast lane it was very hard to get over safety as the car felt like it was going to turn off. I was very scared and afraid for my life I honestly thought that I was going to get hit and end up in the hospital.the thought of not making it did cross my mind. I tried pushing the gas petal to regain speed as the car did not allow me to do so. The RPM cage was going from 0 to 7 with in seconds. I begin to attempt to get the car over to my right shoulder towards safety. All I can see throw my rear view mirror and hear was all the cars that started honking at me, flipping me off, barely messing me as all the cars had to swerving around me. I begin to shake as it was a very scary feeling being inside the car while all you can do is see which car will me the one that's actually going to hit my car and the chain reaction that it could have caused. As I get over the four lane trying to not get hit by the speeding cars, the car turns off and I am now stuck in between the 10 fwy going West bound and the interchange to the 57 fwy going North and South bound. Now being stuck in the middle of these two busy fwy's I felt my life was in extreme danger as my mind didn't let me concentrate because all I my mind could pay attention to, was the rear view mirror as I seen the cars again swerving from hitting me and all I can hear again is the cars honking at me. I get on the my cell phone and call [xxx] for help !!!!(husband) we called Ford roadside service!!!! and the tow company was there with in 20 mins !!! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Montclair , CA, USA

problem #14

Aug 052011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 200 miles


I bought my 2012 Ford Focus hatchback in July of 2011. Almost immediately I noticed problems. The problems included the car rolling backwards on hills, sputtering when stopped (like at a red light), jumping upon acceleration, & briefly losing acceleration while the RPM??S revved. I took it back to the dealership & they told me that the backwards rolling, revving & jumping of the engine was a trait of the car. I told them it was dangerous depending on where I was when these things happened (for example, at an intersection or in stop & go traffic with a car in front of me). They assured me that there was nothing wrong with the car. On October 17, 2011, the car broke down. I pulled out of a parking lot & pushed down on the accelerator, at first the car started to accelerate, but once it got to about 15/20 mph, the RPM"?S began to rev & the car would not accelerate so I took my foot off of the accelerator & the car stopped revving. If I had been on a highway, this would have been very dangerous. My car had to be towed to the dealership. They reprogrammed the powertrain control module & transmission control module. The car would then drive, but the rolling backwards on hills, sputtering when stopped, jumping upon acceleration, & briefly losing acceleration while the RPM?"S revved still continued & after several trips to their service department, the dealership could still not fix these issues. I then received a letter from Ford referencing a customer satisfaction program 12B37 dated May 2012. It acknowledged these issues so I took it back to the dealership. Although they reprogrammed the powertrain control module, transmission control module again as well as the anti-lock brake system, the car continues to have the same problems. These problems could potential cause a wreck, injuring myself or others around me.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #13

Jul 252012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 350 miles
Car lunges when accelerating or attempting to shift thru automatic or sport mode of the transmission. Transmission also temporarily pauses during shifting routine at all speeds, mostly at low speeds. It is like the cpu is overriding what the driver is prompting thru touching of the gas pedal or brake pedal. We've had it in to our local dealerships service department complaining about these conditions, they insist the car is working as designed. If so, Ford is in denial and most certainly appears to be a design flaw. I describe these concerns as if I was having to learn how to drive, all over again. This vehicle is dangerous to drive, safety should always be everyone's number concern. Ditto, the vehicle is not safe either. What is it going to take from Ford to admit and resolve this problem, an injury accident? I hope not. Then, top that off, we bought this specific vehicle for towing purposes. The factory requires the cpu and entire electrical system must be disconnected to tow. Unfortunately, each time the cpu is turned back on (reconnect the negative wire at battery), the cpu thinks it is new, thus, the lunging, sporadic shifting starts all over again. Help... Ford won't listen. Thank you

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #12

Sep 122012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,600 miles
Experienced sudden electrical failure (loss of instruments, brake lights, turn signals, horn, etc.) - same problem as documented by other drivers (for examples, see This behavior makes the vehicle undriveable and unsafe (had these issues occurred at night, the consequences could have been very serious). My dealer, franklin Ford (franklin, MA) seems to be unaware of the prevalence of this issue. I look forward to a speedy resolution. Ford Motor Company also claims to have no knowledge of the occurrence of this issue in other cases. A quick web search reveals that the problem is increasingly common.

- Wrentham, MA, USA

problem #11

Jun 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
When accelerating, whether from a dead stop or coasting, 1st, 2nd (& now starting to do it in 3rd) gears audibly rattle and clunk. Very slow response time when accelerating after car is "warmed up." The more it is driven in stop and go and/or city traffic, the worse the acceleration (and rattling when shifting) becomes. So much so that when trying to pull out into traffic on 09/04/12 I thought the car would be hit. I had 3 kids in the car with me! and I always allow plenty of time to pull out because of this issue. It has been a near constant issue with this car which was purchased in May 2011. Car jerks when accelerating in stop and go traffic and will sometimes "jump" and rev into a higher speed. All the above issues had been addressed and "fixed" twice before the "customer satisfaction" recalls were sent out in May. Issues are resolved for a limited amount of time and then start happening again. Car still rolling back when brake is released at a stop on slight inclines. Another "customer satisfaction" recall. Minor issues: Barely be heard when speaking on the "sync" system while driving *clock changes time randomly *rear defroster doesn't automatically turn off speed changes after car is turned off to a random speed setting *radio will change to a random station *sometimes* after making a phone call.

- Harper Woods, MI, USA

problem #10

Aug 092012


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that all of the wires on the trunk lid were exposed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who did not offer any assistance since they were unable to alter the design of the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100 and the current mileage was 1,000.

- Mt Wolf , PA, USA

problem #9

Aug 082012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 16,100 miles
Vehicle started up but the display screen that is visible behind the steering wheel was black. Shut off vehicle and tried to restart but the vehicle would not start. Also, I had no headlights and could not shift into neutral but the radio worked. A week previously to this incident my date on the my touch system changed back to 4/20/2011 and the time was off by 2 hours previous to the current time. It eventually went back to the correct date and time by restarting the vehicle several times with a delay of about 5 minutes. This is the second time in a month that I had to have the vehicle towed in for repair.

- South Milwaukee , WI, USA

problem #8

Jul 072012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,169 miles
Vehicle started but ran very rough.turned off ignition and restarted and my touch screen came up but then every thing went black. Tried to restart but no ignition, no headlights no radio and could not even put it in neutral. Towing service had to jump battery to get it into neutral so it could be towed.

- South Milwaukee , WI, USA

problem #7

Jun 182012


  • 3,100 miles
Vehicle central locking system locked the car while parked with the keys in the ignition. Locksmith was called to force entry. Alarm did not activate when door was opened.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #6

Jun 242012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Two incidents. While driving at a speed of about 25 miles per hour, the vehicle lost power and stalled on an arterial street. Traffic was light, and there was no danger to me or other motorists. The vehicle would not restart. Had the car towed to the dealer, and was told it was out of gas. The gauge had been reading 1/4 full at the time of the incident. The gauge continued to give false readings (moved from lower to higher amounts during the course of exhausting the fuel supply) over the next few weeks. Eventually the dealer diagnosed the fuel tank was warped, and replaced the tank. One week later, while driving the vehicle at night on an interstate highway approaching a major freeway system interchange, at a speed of approximately 60 miles per hour, the vehicle lost power and shut off, causing me to have immediately attempt to move across four lanes of moderately heavy traffic. This happened on a slight uphill incline, so the car lost forward speed very quickly. During the emergency maneuver, I was forced in front of another motorist, nearly causing an accident. The car was exhausted of fuel, but within ten minutes prior had shown a reading of 1/4 tank remaining. Immediately prior to the incident, the gauge needle was actually indicating 1/2 tank.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #5

Dec 072011


  • 350 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, the transmission began to hesitate in a jerking motion and the vehicle stalled. The engine restarted and the vehicle was able to resume. In addition, on a separate occassion the transmission warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel for a few seconds. The failures occurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer eight times for the same malfunction. A diagnosis was performed in which a trouble code was not detected. The computer system, ABS, and drive train were reprogrammed more than one time. The failure persisted and the dealer was unable to resolve the problem. The manufacturer and dealer stated that the vehicle functioned as designed. The approximate failure mileage was 350.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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