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 7 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #82

Jul 082014


  • 77,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 50 mph, the power steering became difficult to turn and the engine stalled. The contact also stated that the vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering pump needed to be replaced and the PCM failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 77,000.

- Brazoria, TX, USA

problem #81

Mar 292012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Within a month of purchase, the vehicle has been "shuddering" I have reported this to the dealership every time I sent it in for service and all they tell me is "it is normal, you have to get used to it. Its the new transmission technology of Ford." I cant believe that after 2yrs and 17K miles on it that it is still exhibiting the same problem and there has been no resolution to it. May I know until when am I going to wait? another problem that just came up- I have witnessed a loud sound coming from the speaker. Seems like a thunder/cracking noise. My husband has heard it twice. It is a very loud sound. It scared me when I heard it the first time.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #80

Jun 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
On two occasions the vehicle stopped running while in motion. In incident 1, this occurred at highway speed (65 mph) and incident #2 in local traffic (15 mph). In both cases all power was lost including the acceleration, power steering, etc. After incident 1, the car restarted and driven to the dealer - extensive repairs were made "to the transmission" (per the dealer). In the second incident after dealer repairs after incident 1, the car completely stopped at highway speed and would not restart - towed to dealer. Again loss of all power including acceleration, power steering, etc. After incident 2 the dealer replaced the "master control unit". while both incidents were covered by Ford under the "drive train" original warranty I am concerned about the loss of power in two incidents separated by about one month.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #79

May 152013


  • 10,000 miles


My car (2012 Ford Focus) has problems shifting and makes a shutter noise while taking off I have taken it to the dealer multiple times and they told me nothing is wrong with the car.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #78

Jul 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 64,559 miles
Driving on the highway when car did not want to accelerate and suddenly accelerated. Motor light turned on. When taken to get checked, motor light was off and. Was told others have been experiencing the same. This is the second time it happens.

- Clint, TX, USA

problem #77

Aug 132013


  • miles
2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to acceleration problems. The consumer stated it felt as though the vehicle was loosing power and trying to stall out. She would try to accelerate and the vehicle would rev, but would not go, and when it finally did go, it was very jumpy and slow. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer five times for the same issue. The dealer stated the vehicle needed a computer upgrade. The dealer stated it would take a while for the upgrade to work, but it never did, and the problem worsened. The next time, the dealer stated the tcm needed to be replaced. The replacement of the tcm, made the problem even worse. The vehicle began jerking upon acceleration and it felt as though the transmission was slipping.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #76

Jan 022014


  • 30,000 miles


I had my Ford Focus for about 1 week. Bought used from the dealer. I started to take off from walmart parking lot and the car started jerking and stalled. So I took it to the dealership and they determined it was a faulty clutch. After repair my car has only gotten worse. Now it rolls backwards on hills in automatic. Grinds gears when it tries to shift out on hills. And still jerks terribly when taking off. The shop tells me its because its built like a manual for excellent gas mileage. Note no manual shift ive ever drove "grinds or jerks" if it is shift right. This car is terribly dangerous

- Tyner, KY, USA

problem #75

May 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
On-going problems with the transmission. The first incident occurred approximately one month after purchase. I took it to the dealer and they told me that the shuddering/shifting problems that I was experiencing were "normal" and that the vehicle needed an adjustment period. I was told that it would smooth out once it got used to my driving pattern. The problem continued and I took it back several times to the dealership. Each time I was told that the car needed to get used to my acceleration. During one of the visits the dealer did replace the clutch assembly and several seals. The vehicle shudders badly, on take off, and has bogged down to the point that I feel unsafe in the vehicle. I am completely disappointed in this vehicle.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #74

May 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
Driving on highway in fast lane at 60 mph, pressed foot on accelerator and engine revved but did not increase speed. In fact, slowed down. I was able to put hazard lights on and get to right shoulder (coasting, no acceleration power at all). Engine never died. Towed to dealer.(we had extended warranty). They had it 4 days could not find anything wrong with it. Since no problem found we had to pay for our rental and their diagnostic fees. After returning car to us, same thing 2 days later. Barely avoided being rear-ended in intersection this time. After this 2nd incident, engine light stayed on. 2nd trip to dealer, since engine light was on, they were able to adjust something in computer. Car did ok next 10 days. Then started doing the 'revving accelerator' but no increase in speed again--twice almost causing accidents. Today, 5th episode in 5th week, car hesitated, all dash lights came on, very loud 'boom' or 'thud' in engine. Was able to coast to shoulder. This car is dangerous and an accident waiting to happen. Ford does not want to do anything unless they have a light they can fix via what a computer tells them.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #73

Jun 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I purchased a 2012 Ford Focus less than a year ago and have had trouble ever since. I have had my car in repaired once for the transmission issues accelerating and coasting. My car is shaking and hesitating with any type of acceleration. The car is making a clunking noise when driving, turning corners and braking. I am beyond disappointed with the quality of the 2012 Focus. I dropped my car off at the dealer and wanted it looked asap. I also contacted Ford directly about my concerns, they informed me about the dual clutch transmission as a reason for the drive (an excuse I have heard numerous times from the dealer). After a couple days the service department called to let me know they had looked it over and everything seemed fine. They later test drove it and he informed me that everything looks great and that the way my car is driving is just the way these Focus' drive due to the double clutch transmission. He informed me that it tends to drive the way I was describing if people have a "light foot", if I would drive with a "heavier foot" or "accelerate faster" it most likely wouldn't have these issues. When I brought up the instance where the car shook and made a large clunk when I turned it off, he stated that it was probably a "fluke". it is very discouraging that I am told that this is just how the Focus vehicles are going to be. I emailed Ford about the results and have not heard back. I picked up my car and it still drives jerky and the clunking noise is even louder. I dropped it off with 40,618 miles and picked it up with 40,630 miles. I think it is frustrating that it is deemed as a standard drive with a 12 mile trip. I am disappointed that I am expected to hit the gas harder to hopefully have a somewhat less jerky drive... not sure how to do that in parking lots and neighborhoods. I do not feel that I have a safe quality vehicle and don't know what to do next.

- Andover, MN, USA

problem #72

Jun 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles


In the past year, I have experienced issues with my transmission where my car has difficulties shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. It shutters and jolts, feels like I have a manual transmission. I commute daily, especially in traffic, so this has never been acceptable. On June 1st, I was in a parking garage coming around a corner when my traction control light appeared and I lost power to the engine. The interior lights, radio, ac were still working, I just couldn't move the car. I was stalled and was nearly hit a few times since I was stuck in a turn. I tried turning the car on and off, no luck. I had my car towed home, and Ford towed it to the dealership the next morning where I was told the car was stuck in gear. It needed a new transmission module. The new module was replaced and I was told my car was ready for pick up. I went in the next day, the porter pulled up my car and I could not drive it off the lot, because now it was stuck in "park". I was very frustrated and I was told by the dealership that the computer may have had a glitch when reprogramming or it may have reset itself. I was told this can more than likely happen again, how disappointing. I don't feel safe driving my car and especially long distances. I'm afraid this can happen again, but even worse, while I'm on the road. Needless to say I will be looking into lemon law or trading in this vehicle.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #71

Jun 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
When exiting grocery store parking lot, as we pulled out into traffic, the car experience a sudden loss of acceleration/drive train power, while electrical systems started to flash, and electronic gear indicator transitioned from gear to gear. Rpms, were still registering and on acceleration, drive train was unresponsive. This happened all while in traffic, when oncoming vehicles were approaching. We turned on hazard lights and moved to the road shoulder. Powered off car for a minute, then restarted. Car started but still experienced severe hesitation on acceleration, and seemed as if it was struggling to stay on. Pulled onto a side street to get out of traffic, then after turning car off, it would not turn back on. After approx. 10 minutes, tried to turn on car again, and it started. Was able to carefully drive car home, however check engine light has now been illuminated. This will be the 5th instance (all instances documented by dealer, and serviced by dealer) that the car has had this issue, and we have brought it to the attention of the dealership, with no 100% remedy being given. Will be taking car in once again to dealership for service and hopefully resolution of this ongoing issue of hesitation on acceleration, and total failure of drive train during vehicle operation.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #70

Jun 022014


  • 30,000 miles
Shudder vibrations and acceleration lag due to the malfunction of the dtc (duel clutch transmission) in my 2012 Ford Focus.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #69

May 312014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
Car's transmission felt sluggish (hesitate to accelerate) after 15-20 minutes of low-speed driving (0-10mph) in a traffic jam. Ten minutes later, engine stalled on freeway at 70mph. Tachometer dropped to 0 and speedometer displayed was 0. car restarted, and continued to be driven for 15 minutes. Gear disengaged when turning into a parking space, car rolled backwards. Power did resume after 2 seconds while constantly giving gas. Restarted the car after around 30 minutes, car stalled again few minutes later. Engine would not restart instantly. Only clicking noise was heard in the engine bay when turning keys. Waited 10-15 minutes to restart. Car accelerated to 70mph before stalling again after 1-2 minutes. Gear indicator was flashing. When the car stalled, engine raved with lost of power for 1-2 seconds. Car felt like in neutral even shifter was in drive. Tachometer then dropped to 300rpm and never rav again. Car was pulled over. The cycle of stalling and restart repeated 5-6 times until I arrived home. The next day car was drivable again (I only have a 5-mile commute). Similar troubles occurred three weeks ago when car was totally disabled after 20-30 minutes parking lot driving. Car hardly restart and refuse to go into gear. Gear indicator constantly blinked. I previously thought the issues were related to the usage of S gate, where it happened for two instance. There are 3 occurrences of similar troubles. First time was about a month ago when car refused to start, but it was perfectly drivable again after being cool down for a night. Towed to dealer but problem could not be duplicated. The reason that prompts me to write this report is due the lost of power on freeway which I believe is a safety related issue. Also, there doesn't seem to be a trouble code in the computer, which makes it hard for dealers to diagnose the problem.

- La Jolla, CA, USA

problem #68

May 242014


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle made a loud noise coming from the engine compartment. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the motor mounts fractured. As a result, the engine dropped and damaged the axle and cvc joint. In addition, the contact stated that the passenger's side seat belt was constantly becoming stuck preventing the passenger from exiting the vehicle in a timely fashion. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 92,000.

- Bastrop, LA, USA

problem #67

May 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Was driving on the street for about 25 minutes and when I stopped behind another car on a stop sign, the car would not accelerate, it happened to my son also who told me to turn the car off and then re-start it, it did, but when my son took the car today, it happened to him and this time would not start. Went to help him 20 minutes later and this time it turned on, I drove behind him all the way home (about 30 minutes) and mo problem? can't trust to drive this car any more, I'm taking it to the dealer on Wednesday (earlier appointment they had), but after reading the complaints I'm afraid I came to be another victim, just bought the car last December 2013!

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #66

May 222014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Driving down highway, car lost power, the check engine light and the traction control light came on. Would not accelerate, brakes would not function properly to stop. When I finally got the car stopped in a parking lot next to my place of business, the car would not start up again, and when it did, it would not go into any gear. Sat in the parking lot for 30 minutes trying to get the car to start up and go into gear. When it finally did go into gear, I got it to my place of business 2 blocks down and parked it. I am afraid to drive the car as it is a major safety issue. There have been recalls on the electric version of this car, but not the gasoline versions. This needs to be a recall on all of these models as there are several hundred complaints online about the same issue. Ford will not do anything about these issues unless the car is taken to one of their dealerships, which in past experience, they don't do anything at the dealership except overcharge for diagnosing the car, and for them to tell you nothing is wrong with it and that they know there are issues with the cars, but they do not have a fix for them and they can change the parts, however that will not solve the problem and it will happen again. I have been told this by the manager at a dealership and he has stated there is nothing he can do to change the situation. This is a major safety issue and someone needs to look into Ford for the same issues GM is having with their small cars.

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #65

May 152014


  • 9,971 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the engine leaked a small amount of oil. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 9,971.

- Sunnyville, CA, USA

problem #64

Jul 042013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,500 miles
Transmission issues, jerking, jumping, jolting forward, sluggish, lack of power, feels like the car is going to cut off. This happens at slow speeds, fast speeds, at a stop, idling, etc. You name a condition of the car at various speeds and it has transmission issues. I took it to Ford to fix and they said it was a "known" issue, they updated the software and calibrated. It still has the same issues, the problem is not resolved.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #63

Jun 052013


  • 21,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate, the vehicle would hesitate and stall without warning. The contact mentioned that the vehicle would also shake violently while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 21,000 and the current mileage was 24,155. Kmj

- La Habra, CA, USA

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