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 3 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #162

Sep 032015


  • 42,000 miles


While driving, my car suddenly stopped functioning. The engine light came on, followed by all other lights. I was able to pull the car over, but unable to restart. I called for a tow truck (aaa). After waiting for an hour, I tried the ignition again, and the car started right up. The same problem occurred the following night. The car was towed to the dealership, tom's Ford in keyport, New Jersey, where it still remains.

- Keyport, NJ, USA

problem #161

Sep 012014


  • 48,000 miles
This is not the only issue, but this has been the most dangerous for me... for the past year, the car has lost transmission power while driving - I was on hwy 40 and the car just stopped working - twice I was in the middle of a busy intersection and the car cut off - I was at a near stop and the car stopped responding....this has been reported numerous times by others. The gas pedal just stops responding at all. The time it stopped working in the middle of the intersection, the gears would not allow me to move the car into a park position, it would not move at all. It allowed me to turn my car off, in drive. After sitting there for a bit and multiple restarts, the car engaged again. Ford's fix? they came out with a software update that may turn on my engine light before a failure. This is not a fix. I asked them if someone needed to die in their car or get crushed in an intersection for them to do something. I filed a formal complaint with Ford. So frustrated and angry.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #160

Sep 012014


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle suddenly lost power and failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine block fractured. As a result, the control module and the engine block needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 150,000. The VIN was not available.

- Trenton, MI, USA

problem #159

Jul 202015


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving at 25 mph, the engine vibrated and the contact could heard a metal to metal grinding noise. In addition, the vehicle would roll back and lose power when stopped. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that there was a transmission failure. The technician cleaned the engine and replaced the clutch and rings, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Adel, GA, USA

problem #158

Jul 152015


  • 83,000 miles
My 2012 Ford Focus has been really messing up lately. After having it reprogramed since it was shuttering and such... on 3 occasions this car has completely fallen out of gear, twice while I am going full speed at approx 50 - 55 miles/hour. The display begins flashing and then complete loss of acceleration. I have had to coast into a turn and turn off the engine and then turn it back on and it would go back into gear and everything would be fine. The first time this happened I called the Ford dealership in my town and spoke to them about this and asked them to look into why my engine would loose power completely and he said that he would look into it and never returned my call. On the second event the drive indicator D flashed and the engine light came on and complete loss of acceleration (50-55mph) and then I coast to a turn and shut off the engine and turn it back on and am able to put it into drive but this time the check engine light stayed on. I call the Ford dealership and they have me bring it in and they look at it and discover it needs a new tcm so they order the part and then I take the car home. The next day I am in town shopping and I turn into a parking place and while I am in the process my car makes a clinking, screeching sound and then acts like it has fallen back out of gear again! this time it does not go back into gear so I call the dealership and they have it towed to them and then the tcm was put into it. I am now actually scared of driving this car. So, I have had the car reprogramed once...3 complete gear tcm... we need Ford to buy back this car it is dangerous!!!

- Carney, OK, USA

problem #157

Aug 192015


  • 79,000 miles
Engine light went on, starting to get on interstate, car would not excelerate past 30 mile per hour all the way home about 45 miles

- Port Chester, NY, USA

problem #156

Aug 082015


  • 73,000 miles


Purchased a 2012 Ford Focus in December of 2014. The transmission has had shifting issues almost the entire time that I have had the vehicle. In may, the transmission began stuttering at low speeds. When reaching speed on an interstate on-ramp, the vehicle showed the message "vehicle not in park" and shut off as I was pulling into traffic. A day later when driving it, it stuttered again and the check engine light came on. Took it, along with a defective part notice to the dealer for the automatic transmission clutch system, which the dealer said was the issue and supposedly replaced it under the warranty. The dealer also reset the "autolearn" feature in the transmission. For a few days it worked fine, then the stuttering and shifting issues began again. On August 8th, 2015 the vehicle was driven to the store, and worked as it usually did, with minor stuttering and grinding that appears to characterize the Ford transmission. It was parked for roughly 30 minutes while in the store, upon starting and putting the vehicle in reverse, the transmission would not turn or gain enough power to propel the car out of the parking space. As it rolled back, it was shifted into the drive position, the vehicle began to propel until it went to shift and the car "missed" the gear and stuttered losing all momentum. This continued from every start/stop. Stopped at another store, when came back out the car would not start on the first crank, and the check engine light came back on. The power issues to the transmission on take off and the missing gears continued all the way to my home.

- Mebane, NC, USA

problem #155

Jul 162015


  • 50,000 miles
While driving in open country, vehicle suddenly shut off. After approximately 15 minutes the vehicle could be restarted. Drove the vehicle approximately 10 additional miles after restart and then the vehicle suddenly coasted as if in 'neutral" even though gear shift was in "drive" position. This time the gear indicator light flashed and the engine continued to run with the vehicle in "drive." Shut off vehicle. Shut off the engine. After approximately 10 minutes, restarted the vehicle and drove remainder of trip without incident. Next day while driving in local country traffic, vehicle again coasted and appeared to shift to "neutral" without warning. Gear indicator light flashed and engine continued to run even though shift lever was in "drive." Had vehicle towed to dealer for service.

- Palmyra, VA, USA

problem #154

Feb 282015


  • 30,000 miles
There was a loss of power in February when I was driving so I took my car to Ford and apparently there was a problem with the transmission. However, two days ago (July 27th), my car stopped working completely while I was driving. I was really scared since all power was off. Then I have to try several times to turn on my car again. There was a loss of all changes, reverse position did not work. Took the car to the dealer again and I am waiting for an answer. I do not want to drive the car until I know it is completely safe to drive it. I have a kid so this situation is very dangerous for me...updated 05-10-16

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #153

Jul 262015


  • 67,025 miles
The vehicle would not turn over. There was no clicking of the vehicle trying to start. After 4 tries to start the car it was left to sit for 30 min before we tried again. The car then was tried to start again did not start until the 4th try. Then the car started. It seems to be skipping a gear while driving will go from 6K RPM to all of the sudden jumping down to 2K rmp. There is something wrong with the clutch/ transmission with shifting and now something going on with the starting system.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #152

Jul 012015


  • 34,000 miles


Letter from senator isakson on behalf of constituent re 2012 Ford Focus issues. (attn: Hanna yu). The consumer stated the vehicle had four major repairs and 6-8 minor repairs done to the transmission. The vehicle would jerk. Also, while in the middle of a making a turn, the vehicle suddenly stopped.

- Crandall, GA, USA

problem #151

Jul 192015


  • 67,000 miles
Accelerating up a shallow hill the transmission began to stutter and jerk and grind as it changed gears. In the middle of the jerking the car shifted into neutral and revved up. Complete loss of power at speed. Pulled over to the side of the road (on a hill) put the car in park and shut the car off. When I released the brake the car rolled backwards down the hill - clearly the car was not engaged in park. I applied the brake to stop the car and engaged the E brake. I tried to restart the car it would not start. Error kept flashing 'parking aid malfunction - service required'. the failure left us stranded on the side of the road on a 95 degree day without the ability to start the car. I am currently waiting for Ford dealer to determine the cause of the failure. The jerking and stuttering of the transmission is a very regular occurrence for my car. It happens at almost every startup, especially when hot. The jerking and stuttering has in the past resulted in loss of power to the point that I have almost been hit by oncoming cars when I tried to pull out into the street. I had also brought my car to the dealer previously complaining of severe jerking and stuttering and was told this was normal for the transmission.

- Ipswich , MA, USA

problem #150

Jun 212015


  • 112,000 miles
First incident traveling approximately 45 mph, as automatic transmission shifts gears, the transmission slips out of gear. Shifting to neutral and back into gear does not work. Pulled vehicle onto the shoulder, put into park, turn off the engine. Engine will not start, no crank. Let vehicle sit for a minute, retry starting, vehicle runs normally. Next incident around 2 weeks later. Similar experience, but travelling approx 75 mph on highway. Required to pull over, restart vehicle. Check engine light on at restart and engine running at lower RPM than normal in all gears. Vehicle rests overnight, runs normally with no check engine light. Subsequent incidents increase in frequency, without check engine light. Simply need to pull over, restart vehicle. Most frequently occurs while traveling on the highway at higher speeds. 6th or 7th incident, about a month after the initial incident. Check engine light remains on. Vehicle service scheduled but not yet performed due to backlog of transmission service repairs at Ford service center.

- Wayzata, MN, USA

problem #149

Jul 122015


  • 55,000 miles
(automatic hatchback) the car rolls back when in gear, on a steep hill. Shifting gears, it will hesitate on the highway and will jump gears and studder. A few days ago I was trying to back out of my driveway to get to work and when I put it in reverse, the car didn't move whatsoever, so I put it in drive to test and see if it was working, and it got in 1st gear just I tried to reverse again with the same issue. Then the engine light illuminated, so I left the car and got a ride to work, however that night when I came home, I tested the car out again and same problem, however a message popped up "transmission is not in park (P)" and I had it in reverse, so I put it in drive and the same message popped up. Now I cannot get it to move at all. While in drive, it will rev up, but it will not move! it will start up no problem, and sometimes it will drive, but it will lose power and not move again.

- Sale Creek, TN, USA

problem #148

Oct 102013


  • miles
2013, 2014, transmission clutch replaced, 2015 waiting for another transmission clutch replacement. Rear ended in 2014 when car bogged down getting on highway. Car died twice while on highway. Told by Ford customer care & dealership car was safe to drive before both incidents. Car revs up to high rpms for no reason while driving.. very scary. !!!! car has not driven correct since the day it left the dealership !!

- Greenfield , MA, USA

problem #147

Jun 152015


  • miles
While driving home, I came to a stop behind a car at a traffic light. When I tried to accelerate, the car would not move. It was as if the car was in park and I was stepping on the gas. The car behind me almost crashed into the back of me. I had to completely turn off my car while in the middle of the road and restart the car. No later than 15 minutes later while on a hill by my apartment, the car once again would not accelerate. If I hadn't pressed on the brake as quick as I did, it would've rolled back on the car behind me. I have had 3 transmission related issues with this car and 2 incidences prior to today that involved endangering my life. I have taken it to Ford 3 times in one year. This car is indeed a safety hazard and with all the complaints and lawsuits, needs to be recalled.

- Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #146

Nov 192014


  • 65,000 miles
In October 2014 there was a recall regarding transmission clutch shudder. I made an appointment to have the transmission looked at on 11.19.14. On the day prior to said appointment, roy O'brien Ford canceled my appointment stating there were no parts available. I have now been calling both the dealership and Ford Motor Company for eight months attempting to have my vehicle inspected. I also filed a case number with Ford on 01.13.15 - #cas5815506. To this date nothing has been done. I finally called Ford again on 5.11.15 and was told, by patricia - a 2nd level customer service rep" that it's "not really a recall". take your car in to see "if" it needs service. Well, I can't very well do that when the dealership won't reschedule an appointment. This is vehicle has dangerous potential to stop running at any moment. These models with transmission issues should never be sold.

- Pleasant Ridge, MI, USA

problem #145

Jun 072015


  • 96,000 miles
Since the purchase of this for Focus 2012 two years ago, the engine will suddenly stall out and stop working entirely. I am 6 months pregnant and after bringing this car in for numerous repairs of this issue, with no real resolve, I am now furious. I was driving down a 4 lane highway at 65 mph and my engine said "parking assist failure" and the car died. I was almost hit by multiple cars as I tried to coast my way to the shoulder of the road. I turned the car off and back on and it started again. I called the dealership and was told I could bring it in "but they already fixed it." Then just a few days later I am at a busy intersection, and it stalls again..this time wont turn back on. I have been given the run around from Ford, and the Ford dealership, and I need out of this car. I have always driven volkswagon's, and this was my first Ford. Never again. Meanwhile, I am underwater on my car loan now, because I have a car that is worth nothing.

- Auburn, NH, USA

problem #144

Apr 262015


  • 69,698 miles
1. car occasionally drops out of gear on highway causing cars behind me to swerve around 2. car at stops signs/stoplights occasionally drops out of gear on acceleration. Almost got hit by a truck when making a left and car slowed to a crawl due to dropping out of gear. 3. reverse gear does not work occasionally

- Los Banos, CA, USA

problem #143

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

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