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:
4 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,795 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #182

Jan 162016


  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle began to decelerate unexpectedly while driving on the interstate at 65 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle was safe to drive. Days after the failure, the key was inserted in the ignition and the transmission malfunction and check engine warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was not returned to the dealer to be diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The failure mileage was approximately 84,000. Updated 04/20/16

- Las Angeles, CA, USA

problem #181

Jan 072016


  • 101,611 miles
While driving my 2012 Ford Focus hatchback, the check engine light came on and the vehicle idled rough and the engine stopped working. Restarted and took vehicle to dealer. Dealer stated that the emissions control system had pulled a vacuum on the fuel tank causing raw fuel to enter the emissions control system and the engine causing the issues. The tank had to be replaced due to collapse and the evap tank, tubing, control valve and fuel pump. Per Ford tsb 11-09-03. Shouldn't this be a recall?

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #180

Jan 142016


  • 47,000 miles
I drive a 2012 Ford Focus. I bought the car used in January 2015. In the fall of 2015 my car began jolting every time I put pressure on the gas, this was alarming. When it became worse, I bought the car to a Ford dealership, and came to find that the transmission was recalled. To fix this Ford had a strict protocol to fix the transmission in a 3 step process. The mechanics are only told to do step 1, and then if the problem persists months after the repair, continue with step 2 and so on. The transmission started jolting again a few months later, this time worse. I have been waiting a month for the Ford dealership to get that part that will "fix" my problem, while I was assured the problem would not get worse. In that time a piece in the exhaust has also been recalled, neither one of my windows in the front two seats will go down, and the jolting has become incredibly unsafe. There have been two occasions where my car has just come to a completely alarming stop while driving up to 20 mph, on a busy two lane street. I take this street everyday to and from work. There is no other option. I avoid the highway completely now. I feel completely unsafe and on guard at all times while I am driving this vehicle. Because of my experience wth this car in only a year I will never purchase a Ford vehicle ever again. I regret ever driving it off of the lot. I am only 25 years old, and can't afford to trade this in right now, and that is all I want to do. It is not a nice feeling to have a pit in your stomach every time you buckle your seatbelt.

- West Roxbury, MA, USA

problem #179

Jan 082016

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving at approximately 40 mph, the engine stalled when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The check engine warning indicator illuminated and the vehicle was able to restart. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 87,000. Updated 02/26/16 the consumer took the vehicle to another dealer, where they replaced the vacuum cylinder. However, she continued to experience problems. Updated 02/29/16.

- Houston, MO, USA

problem #178

Aug 272012


  • 52 miles
My issues with this car started the day I drove it off the lot and have not stopped. There was an issue with the fan that made my engine sound like it was chewing rocks whenever the air/heat was on - this has been fixed. I bought the car brand new and from day one it has been grinding, shuddering and not shifting smoothly. I've had issues with the RPM's skyrocketing when I'm slowing down and the RPM's skyrocketing when I'm trying to accelerate but the car isn't moving. I've had the car feel like it's completely lost power while in stop and go traffic then "wake up" and lurch transmission has been replaced once, my clutch replaced twice. Once I've been told it's a figment of my imagination and once I was told that I need to learn how to drive the car. The clutch I have now is the same one being used in the 2015 Focus's, and though it's "better", it's still's just off so sporadically that I can't bring it in because I don't want to be told it's all in my head again. This car is not safe. It is not a car that I'm comfortable passing on to my child when she starts driving next year and it's not a car that I would drive day to day if I had to drive rush hour traffic. It's too bad, too, because the design of the car is wonderful - it's comfortable, it's got the right set up, but the most important part of the vehicle is dangerous and doesn't operate properly.

- Carver, MN, USA

problem #177

Nov 232015


  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while making a left or right turn, the vehicle stalled. The check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that purge valve not opening properly. As a result, the fuel pump, purge valve, purge tank needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V605000 (fuel system, gasoline). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #176

Nov 112015


  • 45,000 miles


I am currently on my 2nd clutch on my 2012 Ford Focus. I am still experiencing shuddering and miss shifting when driving. This causes lurching when taking off and have almost been in a few crashes. Speaking with Ford corporate there is currently no fix for this issue.

- Richfield, WI, USA

problem #175

Aug 052015


  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the engine stalled without warning on two separate occasions. The vehicle failed to restart and was towed to the dealer. The dealer had not diagnosed the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was no repaired. The failure mileage was 107,000.

- West Point, MS, USA

problem #174

Oct 012015


  • 10,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 70 mph, the transmission overheated, the warning light illuminated, and the engine stalled. The failure recurred seven times. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 10,500.

- Joiner, AR, USA

problem #173

Nov 132015


  • 77,250 miles
Owned car for 2 years, in shop 5 times so far for dct issues. Car is completely unpredictable and going to cause me to get in an accident! sometimes I hit the acceleration and it lurches forward unexpectedly causing me almost to rear end someone. Other times I hit the gas expecting it to go and I get a really sluggish response to the point where I'm scared another vehicle will hit me, so I will floor it trying to get it to move, this will result in the back wheels locking up and fish tailing! I have had at least six moments in this week where the car responded unexpectedly and made me think I was going to get in an accident. Tonight in rush hour I was maintaining a speed of about 20 mph, the car decided to downshift and send more forward a few yards. I want so badly to get rid of this car as I have a baby, but I'm very upside down on it. I have various warranties but have been warned by Ford that they are a "one time get out of jail free card" and if the car comes in for the same repair it previously had it will no longer be under warranty! this is horrible, my car is constantly in the shop for the same transmission issue!

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #172

Nov 112015


  • 26,500 miles


After driving for 40 mins, the check engine light came on. I was in stop and go traffic and from stop (0 mph) to 30 mph the transmission would downshift violently and stall. I would give it gas, but the car would not move and the engine would rev up and lunge forward violently causing cars to almost hit me in the rear. I put in a similar complaint a few years ago about a shuttering when accelerating from a stop after 40 + mins of driving. This is unacceptable for a car company to allow this car out on the streets.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #171

Oct 012013


  • 40,000 miles
This car has been a lemon. Ford has attempted to "fix" the repeated issue I am having with this car stalling out unexpectedly due to transmission failure. Ford replaced the tcm but the car still is unreliable. The service advisor at the O'meara Ford in Colorado told me that this car is a lemon and that he has not seen a product from Ford this bad in many years. He also said that he has advised his family to not ride or drive one of these cars as they are unsafe and dangerous! this car has stalled out while I am trying to make a left turn, in the middle of the highway, and in many situations that have compromised my safety and the safety of my fellow motorists. I feel that Ford needs to buy this car back and replace it as it is clear that this car can not be fixed in any lasting way. I ask NHTSA to please step in and investigate these dangerous cars before someone gets killed! I absolutely hate my Ford and will not by another.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #170

Oct 152015


  • 55,100 miles
On 10/15/15 my car stalled and completely pulled back, died down to almost a halt then kicked into gear again, like a pull and let go motion. Out of nowhere, this gave me a scare since I was driving and could have been rear ended because of this complete stall in the middle of the road on N.E. 163rd street North miami beach towards biscayne blvd. Engine light went on and a screen message showed up asking me to service transmission now! I have had to park car until I figure what to do? this car has turned out to be a problem for me, first with the back driver side door latch where door just flew open while driving, (that's a different claim I have placed with NHTSA). I can't afford to keep fixing these problems appearing to this Ford Focus. Radio also went dead with a super loud disrupting pop sound and loud static electrical noises which could not be controlled by lowering volume or turning off radio, this loud pop sound startled me also while driving on turnpike from davie towards North miami beach. Would like to get Ford motor to recognize that my Ford Focus 2012 is a lemon, if not the right term then it's a product of shoddy parts used to construct this car.

- North Miami Beach, FL, USA

problem #169

Oct 142015


  • 500 miles
Transmission hesitation and car jerking when accelerating at especially lower speeds. Shuttering sound and lack of power and then sudden acceleration after the hesitation. Feels unsafe to drive. Have had in for Ford service 3 times and going back for fourth time this week. Never seems fixed. Inclined stops on hills and intersection quick acceleration are very bad.

- Johnstown, PA, USA

problem #168

Jul 302012


  • 5,000 miles
Ever since I have owned this car since May 2012 it has shuddered when driving, stalled while driving, and shakes and does not increase speed when the accelerator is stepped on. The car now does not even start when it is turned on, despite the battery being good. Car was towed into dealership several times and they supposedly fixed it. Did several repairs to it but to this date it still shudders and stalls while driving. The latest repair they did was to fix the alternator...we will see....have come to the conclusion this model has several defects and would term it as a lemon. It barely has 60,000 miles on it and a car this new should not be having these issues as they are safety issues and I fear for me and my childrens lives and safety as this car does not function safely and stalls when we are driving! when I expressed my concerns to Ford over these issues they took no action except to tape record my complaints...they do not care about these safey issues....the car has been in the dealership service center four times in the last four months....the last repair bill cost me $650....but I have no faith that they (Ford) have fixed the problems.....I am fearful to drive this car but I am a single mother and cannot afford to trade the car in for another as the Ford sales person told me no bank would loan me money on another car as I owed too much on this lemon that Ford has sold me....Ford was of no help and does not care....I told them that it would take someone dying in a car crash from these defects in order for Ford to do something about these issues.....these issues happen while the car is in motion and when it is sitting still...the car will not start and has to be towed into the repair shop...

- Steilacoom, WA, USA

problem #167

Oct 062015


  • 117,000 miles
While driving car lost per and almost caused a major accident I was going 65 mph computer said my transmission was not in park.

- Childs, PA, USA

problem #166

Aug 172015


  • 87,400 miles
What has happened with my 2012 Ford Focus on August 18, 2015 has now happened 2 additional times since then. On 8/21/2015 my vehicle was dropped off at skinner & damulis to reprogram the transmission control module (field service action: 15B22 transmission control module reprogramming for overt tcm failure warning). On August 27, 2015 while driving down the road at 55 mph again I had the same loss of power, this time had an 18 wheeler behind me that was not slowing down, I pulled over to the shoulder and needed to use reverse and the vehicle would not go into reverse, it just revved like it was in neutral. I turned the vehicle off, called Ford, again, and told them my issue. After restarting the vehicle after the phone call I was able to put in reverse. I returned vehicle to skinner & damulis on 9/3/2015, vehicle was "repaired" on 9/4/2015 and invoice stated my concern: Car having issues with revving and won't go into reverse at times and their correction was they found tcm & PCM software update and performed software update. On 9/25/2015 I again had the same issue with revving while driving (35-40 mph) and was again unable to get the vehicle into reverse. Car had 90,111 miles at the time. Contacted Ford and was given case# cas-7944030 and will be in contact with john from Ford by Monday evening. This no longer works for me. This car needs to go, it is going to kill someone, me, people in another vehicle, something and I am not going to have my family sued because this problem occurs again. I need a vehicle as an outside sales person and no longer feel safe in my 2012 Ford Focus. This car needs to be taken back by Ford and destroyed. It has no trade value and I do not want another family to have this car and get killed because of it. Please do something about this, I know I am not the only one with these issues. Kevin fike

- Ilion, NY, USA

problem #165

Feb 092015


  • 15,000 miles
When excelling from a stopped position the car jerks as if the clutch is not catching. I have taken my car to the Ford dealership 4 times in one year. They have replaced the clutch plates and they said I had a transmission leak. A car that is still under full warranty should not be having these issues. The car still jerks although they have replaced multiple things on the car.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #164

Apr 022015


  • 38,000 miles
Purchased new and within 40,000 miles the clutch has failed two times and the transmission module has failed once and has had to be reprogrammed twice. The suspension makes loud noises on the front end whenever you hit any bump. I feel unsafe driving this car because it can lose the ability to accelerate at any time without warning.

- Hammond, IN, USA

problem #163

Sep 112015


  • 57,770 miles
While driving the check engine light turned on, the shift display started blinking (so the "D" was flashing) and then the vehicle slowed to a stop where it was turned off. Vehicle would not turn on again. The next day it started, and after inspection by retailer autozone read tcm module issue. Vehicle had a full tank of gas, recent oil change, and had battery replaced with new one as recommended. Following battery replacement the vehicle again slowed to a stop with shift and check engine light illuminated. Towed to Ford dealership where a software update was done and told it would function properly. Approx 30 miles later the vehicle again came to a stop, but the check engine light did not illuminate, only the gear it was in blinked. Told by separate Ford dealership that the tcm module needs replacement. Prior to software update check engine light would go on, but after that it would not but the vehicle did continue to come to a stop. Could rev the engine but to no avail. Stopping incidents occurred several times within a few days. Very dangerous when driving on highway or street as the 2012 Ford Focus SE stops within a few minutes of alerting the driver to issue and will not restart.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

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