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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 5 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #122

Jan 042013


  • 600 miles


I purchased a 2012 Ford Focus at my local dealership (5 miles on it); brand new. Within 6 months I had it in the shop 2 times. At the time my husband was an employee of that dealership and they gave him the run around. Indicating all they had to do was reset the computer. Supposedly they reset the computer twice however it never fixed the problem. Once it was diagnosed on the 3rd attempt at the local dealership that it needed "parts" I was given the run around by that dealership. After contacting Ford Motor Company on several attempts I finally received a response. I had to beg Ford for a rental car so that I had transportation for the week that the dealership had my car.once the vehicle was fixed and I picked it up; I noticed a really rough idle. After dealing with this for this for several months; the dealership had me bring it back in and had it for another week to fix the idle problem. As of today; it is still not running right. I am taking it back in on Friday to have it looked at once again as the entire front of the car shakes and the dealership indicated it "sounds like the transmission." Not only does it shake and rattle; it clicks at times and jerks/shudders forward. I have on numerous occasions contacted Ford Motor Company and have asked everything from buying the vehicle back and once and for all fixing the problem and get nothing but the run around. Today I my vehicle was taken back into the dealership and I was told that it needs another new clutch and they are backordered. Your Agency needs to do something about these Ford and the Ford Motor Company before it causes a fatality. The way the car lurches forward and shudders; this could cause an accident or someone could get hit by this. Please help Ford owners !! recall these vehicles.

- Arroyo Grande , CA, USA

problem #121

Jan 152015


  • 46,000 miles
I was driving in a residential neighborhood and approaching a four way stop so not going fast. My car stopped accelerating and then jerked forward causing me to have to turn off the road to avoid going through the stop sign. I instead hit the stop sign. The car has transmission issues that have not yet been resolved.

- Mahtomedi, MN, USA

problem #120

Sep 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I own a 2012 Ford Focus SE. I bought my Ford Focus in December 2012 from folsom lake Ford located in folsom California. At 20000 miles I took my car in for its factory service and advised the transmission was not operating correctly. According to folsom lake Ford their service department reprogrammed the transmission computer and ordered parts for the transmission┐┐parts that would take a month to arrive, but never heard back from folsom lake Ford after that. About 35000mls started major transmission issues with my Focus-it would not shift correctly. The check engine light never came on, nor were there any other diagnostic/malfunction advisements from the vehicles information system. Other systems began to malfunction 'specifically electronic systems, idle control malfunctioned-. idle rough, sometimes idling wild and extreme Focus would stall constantly while stopped at intersections, also randomly stalling while at driving speeds. Multiple times my Focus stalled on the freeway, while driving at normal freeway speeds 55-70mph. After my Focus had a stalling incident it would not start at all as if it was due to a power drainage. If it did not immediately fire-up, the starter would continue to operate whether I tried to discontinue or not. When the vehicle did finally start, the transmission always operated unusually after that 'shifting incorrectly, not smoothly shifting into gear, sometimes not shifting into the proper gear or not shifting at all. At about 42000mls service performed on my Focus the battery checked and in good working order. By 43000mls after major transmission issues my battery was corroded/ruined.

- North Highlands, CA, USA

problem #119

Dec 302014


  • 23,000 miles


I am filing a complaint against a 2012 Ford Focus SE. The car has been making transmission noises that cannot be resolved for quite some time now and while driving on the 101 freeway, all of the instrument panel lights came on and the entire car completely shut off and no controls were working at all almost causing an intense pile up that could have killed my mother and I instantly. We were left in the middle of the freeway with not power of any use of controls until chp officers were finally blocking traffic from hitting us. This is the worst vehicle we have ever owned and Ford should be ashamed for being negligent.

- West Hills, CA, USA

problem #118

Dec 202014


  • 68,000 miles
I have a 2012 Ford Focus. I was in the middle of the road when it decided to stop accelerating. The engine light came on and it did not move. I turned it off and on again, which gave me another shot at getting off the road before it shut down again. It was pretty unnerving not knowing if I was going to cause a wreck or be rear ended.. this is just one of the hundreds, if not, thousands of the same complaint out there. Something has to be done before there is a death.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #117

Dec 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
At first I reported issues with dealership regarding car moving backwards at time when I release brakes to go forward and my car is automatic. Also informed them after a red light I press the gas but car would not move immediately they said it was normal due to dual transmission. Car was not put in service. I had same incident and a month later I received an alert regarding a clutch recall and took it in for service today and explained to them I had same issue. Car was not put in service and they said it was normal cause car is automatic with a manual transmission and they stated to only bring it in if I hear metal grinding.

- Mission, TX, USA

problem #116

Aug 152014


  • 62,382 miles


The car goes into neautral with no warning loose all power and three months later it does not go into reverse and lost gears we had to pay out of pocket someone going to get hurt this car needs a recall on transmission before someone gets hurt bad there is so many complaints on transmission.

- Winchester, KY, USA

problem #115

Oct 102014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
My 2012 Ford Focus sel dies when a 'engine malfunction service now' message appears. This has happened on two different occasions. Both times, the message appeared, and about 30 second later, the engine completely dies. The second time this occurred it happened as I was pulling out into traffic from an intersection. On both occurrences this has fortunately happened at low speeds however I am concerned it will happen at greater speeds with a loss of power steering, brakes, and possibly airbags. I have been instructed by the dealership to continue driving the vehicle and wait for the situation to worsen.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #114

Nov 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
To whom it may concern, I am a very unhappy customer with a car that I had purchased from your company. The car is not reliable what so ever and I can't trust it with anything! I have always wanted the newer model Focus and when I finally have the money to afford one I am extremely disappointed. I have never had this many issues with a car and this is one of the newest cars I have yet bought. I have missed 8 days of work this year just because the car has its own games to play.the car has almost cost me my life a few times due to the jerking on the engine that you guys feel is normal. When I go to make a turn the car jerks so much sometimes that it's just makes it before I get smashed. This car is horrible and I think that it is so wrong that there is so much wrong with this car yet you still keep it on the market. One day this car is not going to go when I push the gas and I will get seriously injured. I have complained to service many times about this issue and they simply say" ?well just push the gas a little harder" I'm sorry maybe the car should simply go considering its main function is to drive!!! this is one of the most disappointing, nonfunctional, and depreciative vehicle I have ever bought in my life. I will never buy a Ford again if something cannot be done. So thank you so much, instead of me saving for college I now get to save up to buy another car because I was wrong about this car being dependable. Thank you so much for all the hardship your poor manufacturing has caused me and my wallet. I really so hope someone can be of assistance and correct this issue because if not you will surely be losing a customer along with me posting this to social media in the months to come if something is not resolved. I figured if you guys don't care enough about my well being then the world must know.

- Northlake, IL, USA

problem #113

Nov 032014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Ford Focus dangerously stall while driving as well as merging into traffic or on an incline the consumer has since traded the vehicle.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #112

Jul 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,850 miles


Issue 1: the vehicle is on its third clutch in the 2 years since purchase and continues to have transmission issues. When applying gas it stutters, lurches, or responds as if not taking gas. This week: Three times turning from stop sign left, right from stop sign, and right from parking lot. Apply gas to accelerate and vehicles stutters, pauses, and stalls for a moment. Two of the three, particularly one came close to resulting in an accident. This also occurred on a busy highway turning right at a stop sign on Oct 27. It has occurred dozens of times prior to the transmission repair events and now is starting to recur, with more ng a stalling/lurching than a stuttering. Ford is fully aware of these issues. I am taking it in for repairs again but feel it is unsafe and want the car returned. Issue 2: the vehicle achieves far below the advertised mpg. They advertise 27 and it gains 22.5 at best. Currently less than 22. Ford is fully aware of this issue and states that they cannot do anything. I have been complaining for 18 months or more.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #111

Oct 272014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
Transmission shakes and grinds. Car rolls backwards on hills. Ford says this is normal behavior but having a car roll backwards on hills with an automatic transmission is a safety concern.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #110

Oct 012013


  • 30,000 miles
The transmission in our Focus stutters and grinds when shifting from 1st gear to 2nd.

- Beech Grove, IN, USA

problem #109

Oct 062014


  • miles
Was parking car when suddenly it lunged forward at a fast speed, I lost control and hit car in front of me plus 3 other cars then crashed into cement wall. I hit my head and left side of body on the door, I bruised my rib cage front & back plus my left leg very bruised. I was very lucky I didn't get killed.

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #108

Oct 032014


  • 33,606 miles
I purchased my Ford Focus 2012 five months ago and it has now had to go to the shop 4 times. First, the car felt like it was driving over a rumble strip and was slipping between first and second gears. Second, I was stopped at a light and the car would not move then bolted ahead and the check engine light came on. Third, the car went into limp home mode and lost all power when accelerating. Lastly, and the straw that broke the camels back. I was stopped at a red light with my foot on the brake and the engine revved and then would not move. Finally the car started to move and the check engine light came on and I pulled over to restart the car but the light did not go away. I decided with everything that has happened the car was not safe to drive (as I am a sales person and drive me car all day) so I decide to head home. Unfortunately, I had to get on a highway for about 2 miles( the busiest highway in allentown, pa) as I get on the highway in the right lane with my hazards on the car begin to lose all power and the gear light (drive) started to blink, the car then accelerated again then lost power again. But this time it would not start up again, luckily I was able to cruise off on to a narrow shoulder and then my car would not move or turn on. Therefore, needing a tow. Even with all the work this car has now had (working on the software, replacing the transmission clutch, replacing the tcm, etc I still do not feel safe in this car and am horrified that Ford would put this car on the road endangering peoples lives. I plan on taking this car back to the dealer, john kennedy Ford and demanding a refund or a new car from a different dealer. I will never purchase a Ford again.

- Warrington, PA, USA

problem #107

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 #106

Oct 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
For several months I noticed significant shuttering of the transmission when accelerating from a stop into low gears. Took the car to dealership for repair, per warranty extension provided by Ford (field service action number 14M01). Several days after that completed service, the engine light turned on -- and was on and off over a period of approximately one week. The car also periodically jerked forward unexpectedly while accelerating in low gears, and the same unexpected movement happened occasionally when in reverse. I made a follow up service appointment during this time. Then two days before the service appointment, after filling the car with gas, the engine would not start. When turning the key in the ignition, the car shuttered violently with a great deal of noise. After calling a tow truck and resting the car for approximately one hour, the tow truck driver was able to get the engine started -- commenting that first and reverse gears felt unstable and unsafe. Car has since been towed to the dealership for a second round of service. Problem and solution are yet to be determined.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #105

Aug 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 29,550 miles
This was the first time my service engine soon came on. The transmission was slamming into every gear. I was stuck in 3rd gear revving at approximately 3500 RPM going 30 mph. I was able to drive the car home. The day after I took into spikes Ford where the problem was then fixed on 08-11-14. I picked up the car and drove home. 2 hours later as I'm entering a highway to go to wal-mart, the car lurched forward, RPM's flew way above 6000 and car sped up for a second then slowly declined down to 30 on the highway!! the check engine light came on again. I drove the car to the dealership and they felt the problem so they took the car yet again. Next day they called and said they fixed it. Another 3 hours later, check engine light came on and they reflashed it for the 3rd time in a 4 day period. Check engine light came on again so I decided to take it to boggus Ford. I took it to boggus Ford and within 3 days the car was out from the shop. All was well until later on in the night, the check engine light came on. I took it once last time furious already with the car and once again said it was fixed. I drove to school and as I was finding a parking spot, the check engine light came on. Right after, a message said, "transmission hot" pull over safely. Another message came on and said, "wait 7 minutes". embarrassed that my brand new Focus was doing this I let it cool off. A salesman we worked with, was kind enough to pick up my car and I from school. We took it back to the dealer where we then talked to a service manager. The service manager, laughed about our situation and said as long as we drive slowly the car will continue to heat up and said that Ford knows about this. I told him, I almost ran over other students, and he just continued to say as long as you drive slowly, it will keep doing that. The check engine light comes on and off now, but transmission still shifts hard.

- Mission, TX, USA

problem #104

Sep 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
The automatic transmission shifting is horrible with excessive shuddering and lurching.

- El Paso, IL, USA

problem #103

Aug 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
Car stutters and does not shift. Severe shaking and loss of cruise speed is effected. The car does not accelerate properly and seems to lose speed while driving. I am scared to let my daughter drive this car and only have owning it for several months it has been in the shop once and going back again. There is no apparent fix for this problem and they will not do anything about it. The clutch was replaced and reprogrammed and this did nothing to fix the issue.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?