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 6 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #102

Sep 202014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


At a stop light car in drive brakes lock, shift gear locks. Message appears transmission not in park. Car takes at least 5 to 10 minutes to turn back over to start up. Car stalls to go into different speeds, accelerates when turning a corner.

- Irvington , NJ, USA

problem #101

Jun 132013


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving various speeds, the vehicle shook violently and stalled without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 5,000.

- Monson , MA, USA

problem #100

Jul 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
At random times the car will just shut off leaving a coasting vehicle down the highway, or leave you stalled out in the middle of an intersection. If you leave it sit for 30min-1hour it may restart. If you press the accelerator it was not respond. After a couple minutes the vehicle will recover from a rough idle and try to lunge forward even when vehicle is in park. Problem: Transmission control module.

- Jennings, OK, USA

problem #99

Sep 042014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 25,080 miles


Feels as if the car is going to stall while slowing down. After taking off after a complete stop it shifts hard or shakes and sometimes makes a grinding noise.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #98

Aug 262014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 99,059 miles
Had an issue with the vehicle suddenly shaking, shuddering violently, and being unable to accelerate beyond 40-35 mph. I would attempt to accelerate and it would operate as though in neutral. The vehicle would then kick in and rev up to 6-7000 RPM and still not accelerate. Then it would finally feel as though it had downshifted but would not go above 40 mph. I took it in to the dealership to be looked at. They applied the latest computer updates and checked fluids. They told me the vehicle had a shifting fork code (dct), and that it would need to be replaced- yet the vehicle worked fine after the computer was updated. If there was a shifting fork issue, then it wouldn't magically disappear for a period of time after a computer update and come right back. The vehicle operated fine for several hours with no issues. Then I felt the transmission 'hitch', and the check engine light again came on. I was literally 2 blocks from the same dealership I took it to earlier that day, so I took it back in. They said the same codes appeared, but that they would attempt the computer update again. The vehicle again seemed to work fine. Then I was driving on a backroad highway due to my fear of the vehicle acting up while on the main highway and having my small children with me. The car again acted up and went from 65 to 35 rapidly and refusing to accelerate and acting as though it was in neutral. The transmission would occasionally catch, but would not go faster than 35 mph in a 65 mph area. This could cause a potentially fatal accident, and I cant help but wonder if there aren't any fatal accidents that can be attributed to this. I see that many others report the same exact issue I have.

- Durant, OK, USA

problem #97

Aug 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,977 miles
Engine malfunction message appeared on the message center. The engine then shutoff, losing power steering and power brakes. I coasted to a stop, the vehicle would not restart and had to be towed. This was the second incident with this same problem. First incident was eight days prior. Dealer stated it was fixed, but evidently not.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #96

Aug 262014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 57,500 miles


The car stopped accelerating while I was driving on 1-95 in New Jersey at rush hour. I was able to pull over safely, resumed driving and the car repeated this over the next day. After a service by a Ford dealer, the car ran smoothly for 10 miles then the problem re occurred and engine light went back on. Would not accelerate in reverse or drive. Definitely was not fixed. This is in addition to the constant sputtering and chugging when I accelerate. But coming to a dead stop on I95 in New Jersey traffic was terrifying.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #95

Aug 222014


  • 44,400 miles
I was traveling from the route 128 highway exit ramp onto the interstate 95 going approximately 50-55 mph, as I rounded the top of the ramp I went to accelerate onto I-95 when I found I was slowing in speed/decelerating and found that I had no pick up with the vehicle. I was actually coasting, the engine appeared to be on but I was unable to accelerate. As I coasted to the break down lane the check engine light flashed on. I sat at the side of the road for approximately 5-7 minutes, the car did re-start. Due to what appeared to be a dangerous spot on the highway I attempted to continue driving towards an exit. Approximately 4 miles down the highway ( I traveled at 50 mph in the far right lane) the car again, stopped accelerating was decelerating, I was pumping the gas petal without success and I coasted to the side of the road. I had the car towed to rodman Ford in foxboro MA. The service advisor is telling me the diagnostic shows nothing is wrong with the car. He also reports even though the check engine light flashed on twice their is no indication of the computer registering any type of failure.

- Taunton, MA, USA

problem #94

May 232012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,050 miles
I bought the 2012 Focus around February of 2012. At first I was estatic and the car ran great. However, just a few months after I bought it the car started griding at low speeds had a lot of trouble going up a hill to the point it wants to stall. At one point I did get up the hill, but the car didn't seem to recover and about 2 minutes later the car did stall driving about 30 mph and we had to glide it through traffic and into a parking lot. The car would not drive for at least 15 minutes, and the check engine light came on. By the time I got it to the dealership the light had gone off, and they told me they couldn't "duplicate the issue", and that if the light had went off there wasn't anything they would be able to find. The grinding noises continued, and I complained everytime I brought it in for an oil change. It also started acting lethargic when making turns (specifically left turns). The car was brought into the dealership at least two more times over the same issue, had a reprogramming done, and it still continued to make noises, jerk, grind, shift widly, etc. Around may of this year (2014) I was stopped on a steep hill and the car started rolling backwards. At first it seemed normal because I applied the brake, but when I moved to the gas the car started rolling backwards in drive and would not stop until I applied the brake again. I almost hit the person in back of me. I insisted Ford fix the issue, and after having the car for almost a week they again said they couldn't duplicate the problem. The same issue happened two weeks later and I received the same answer. I have left messages for the manager over the whole dealer, and he won't return my calls. I am about to take the car back again since I only have around 300 miles of my warranty left, and the car has been having many issues lately. And then I'm going to call a lawyer and the news.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #93

May 012014


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle stalled and the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The contact stated that the transmission was replaced, but the vehicle shifted roughly after the repair. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 54,000.

- Spring , TX, USA

problem #92

Jan 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles


While driving my Ford Focus 2012, the engine would shutter inbetween shifts. This resulted in delays in the shift and then sometimes in surges in power, back and forth. There was also often a grinding or clicking noise coming from the undercarriage during the shift. I finally got Ford to fix this problem after taking it into the shop for service three different times and making numerous phone calls. In the interim, I believe my life was in danger do to the unpredictable malfunctioning of this vehicle. There were several times when I was trying to get through an intersection or get on the highway when the delay/shutter/surge of the vehicle could have caused me to have an accident, as I could not predict when the incidents were going to occur, or exactly to what degree. I believe Ford's repeated refusal to remedy this issue put my life in danger. The fix ended up being a replacement of the clutch. However, I was advised by the technician that this would only be a short term fix and that eventually the problem would return (no doubt next time only after my warranty has expired and I will not be able to afford the repair). Please help resolve this problem before some is seriously injured by Ford's refusal to take responsibility for their dangerous and defective product.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #91

Aug 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 48,500 miles
While driving my 2012 - manual 5 speed Ford Focus down the highway the car lost power. There was no indication that anything was wrong, but all of a sudden while in 5th gear at 70mph the car had no power to propel itself forward, at the same time the radio/entertainment system malfunctioned and turned off. Luckily, I was able to make it over to the shoulder and roll to a stop without an incident. Turned the car back on and there was very little power getting to the car, maxing out a speed of 50mph on the freeway so as not to stall again, made for a scary ride home. This is the 3rd time this has happened since owning the car, which I purchased brand new and now has 49,000 miles on the odometer. The previous 2 times, I took it to a dealer to diagnose the problem, but they said that there is nothing that they can find wrong with it. Now I am active on a Ford Focus forum because it seems that I am not the only person out there with this issue. Ford needs to get it together before they have an injury lawsuit on their hands.

- Hoschton, GA, USA

problem #90

Aug 162014


  • 23,700 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 30 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle failed to restart and was towed to an authorized dealer. The vehicle was currently being diagnosed. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 23,700.

- Pacoima, CA, USA

problem #89

Apr 092014


  • 26,000 miles
Accelerating from stop, engine hesitates, causing turns and acceleration onto streets to take longer than expected.

- Laughlin, NV, USA

problem #88

Jun 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 30,400 miles
The first incident occurred while in traffic on the interstate highway during rush hour evening traffic. I had to come to a stop on traffic in a construction zone due to traffic at a point where there was moving traffic in lanes on either side of my vehicle. The car was running as normal, no lights came on (nothing to alert to an issue), however, when I went to accelerate my car would not engage the transmission. It was as if my car was in park and I was revving the engine. I put my hazard lights on, called 911 to report I could not get out of my vehicle to move my car as I feared I would be hit since it was rush hour traffic and could not even open my door. I shut my engine off, waited a few minutes, and tried again. The car still would not move. After being stopped and unable to move for approximately 20 minutes, the transmission seemed to re-engage and I was able to get my car off the highway. I had the car taken to the dealer as it was still under warranty. I was told that they could not duplicate the problem after having my car for a week. As soon as I got my car back, I drove approximately 10-15 miles, and this same issue occurred again, but thankfully I was close to home and not in any heavy traffic as I was with the first incident. Again, it was arranged to take my car to the dealer (the dealer had my car from approximately 7/11/14 to 8/1/14). Again, I was told they could not duplicate the problem. Within 2 days of having the car returned to me, I drove approximately 20-30 total miles, and my car stopped on another highly traveled road, but thankfully while in a turn lane. A stranger helped me push my car to a nearby gas station where it had to be left until it could be towed back to the dealer.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #87

Jul 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 29,800 miles
Vehicle does not start when key is turned. Electrical systems come on but engine does not crank. Engine finally starts normally after multiple attempts to turn the key (20+) and then runs fine. This problem usually occurs after the car has not been used for several hours, I.e. being parked in the garage overnight or after a shift at work. Once the car starts, it can usually be turned off and then start again without incident, as long as the car has been driven recently. This began as a sporadic issue but now happens nearly every time I try and start the car in the morning or after work. The car has been taken back to the dealer twice but they are unable to identify the problem. Battery tests fine and no error codes are reported in the computer.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #86

Jul 032014


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate, the engine would rev but the vehicle would not accelerate. The vehicle was able to restart and operated as normal. The contact stated that the failure occurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who recalibrated the tcm but the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer, who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 41,000.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #85

Jul 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The vehicle doesn't automatically shift properly. It doesn't shift up when it should and revs up badly. The same thing happens when I go down large hills. It shifts down and it shouldn't, so the engine revs and I have to put it in neutral when going down hills. Further, when I am parked on a hill, it rolls back a bit before stopping. Lastly, the bluetooth microphone is dying and sounds terrible on the other end.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #84

Jul 092014


  • 26,400 miles
My car was in the shop about 4X's in 1 month. Issue began driving about 45 mph. Went to accelerate felt a sudden jerk & nothing. Look down to see my drive light flashing & am steadily decreasing in speed with no way to accelerate, like in neutral. I luckily was able to get out of oncoming traffic, put the car in park which began to flash. Accelerated a couple times to be sure it responded before driving but the service engine light was on. Driving again, about to make a left turn, not a mile down the road, same thing happened. This time put it in park, accelerated & nothing. Shut off my car to reset it & my car would not turn on. After waiting for the tow truck, the car would just not turn on, everything related to the battery would turn on but the car didn't. in the shop this 1st time a total of 3 days, still unsure about it being fixed (because they just fixed the "electrical" part, not the issue) lo & behold when I turned into my neighborhood same thing happened (drive light flashed & accelerator didn't respond). I get home to park & turn on my car, after attempting to turn it back on, nothing. Another tow truck came the next morning to get it, this time my car was there 7 days. After 2 days of driving the same thing happened I was on a hill almost began rolling backwards into another car until I put it into P & pulled the E break. Car went in they stated that they figured it out & I hoped 3rd X's the charm. Nope, I was on a highway had to pull over away from oncoming traffic decrease the risk of me being hit. 9 days in the shop after ordering a transmission control module for my car & replacing it, it works. Although I was just informed that the same thing is now happening to a friend with a 2013 Ford Focus. It's something that needs to be looked into because loosing the ability to accelerate in the middle of traffic is very dangerous life threatening & scary.

- Cameron, NC, USA

problem #83

Jun 292012


  • miles
Purchased vehicle in June 2012 and transmission has been shaky, slipping, stuttering, jerking, stalling on acceleration, overheating, rolling back on hills, no acceleration on hills, and grinding ever since. Had clutch seal replaced within a couple of months from purchase which they claimed caused the problem. Problem persisted but they told me to give it time to adjust to the repair. I took it back in at 11,000 and they replaced one of the clutches. Problem persisted only then the car's system indicated the transmission was overheating (while I was on the highway) and indicated on the console that I needed to wait until the car cooled down. The temp on the car was in normal range. I was 3 hours from home with small children in the car and left on the side of a major highway because my car's system said the tranny was overheating. Took it to the dealer again and they said it was a glitch; no concern necessary. I complained again about the jerking in the transmission and they said I needed to give the car some time to adjust to the repair at 11,000. At 24, 000, I was fed up from waiting and took the car in again only to be told that I needed the entire clutch assembly replaced but they were on back-order. Contacted Ford for a buy back and they said "no, that's how the car drives - it's normal" car is now at 50,000 with same problems. Currently working with an attorney on a suit against Ford.

- Austin, TX, USA

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