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 8 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #62

May 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 29,187 miles


This car has been the shop 4 times for the same problem. The car randomly does not start for a period of time, absolutely no rhyme or reason. It does start eventually. Everything electrical comes on, interior lights, A/C, heater, radio, exterior lights, just no engine. The problem only occurs after being driven. In other words, it never happens first thing in the morning after sitting all night, it never happens after a full work day (sitting 8 hours). The longest period of time it has set and still not started is about 3 hours. The problem also never occurred until they had to replace the transmission.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #61

Apr 252014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
RPM's were exceeding 4K-5K at 25 mph, engine light came on. I pulled over, turned the car off and let the car sit for 10minutes. Started car, continued driving 25 mph and rpms once again exceeded 4K-5K until the car came to a slow and sudden stop. Car is at the dealership where it was purchased for 5 days (and counting) now, service department is claiming the engine light is off and there is no history in the computer reflecting a diagnostic code - then they should fix that too! I had a passenger in the car that witnessed this event, I want to avoid any legal action, but I am documenting everything in the event I have to. I typically drive on the turnpike/highway and I am grateful this did not occur during rush hour on the turnpike/highway. I contacted Ford corporate and they were very selective with their words "this vehicle does not have any recalls pending", but would not answer any general questions ex. "is there any service bulletins that were sent to your technicians regarding the transmission/engine?" their response "this vehicle does not have any service bulletins...etc." They finally directed me to this website and I only hope the right people read my complaint to better resolve my issue.

- Horsham, PA, USA

problem #60

Apr 212014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
This Ford Focus exhibits strange and dangerous shaking and stuttering between gears 1 and 2. it has done this with increasing frequency since we got this car in 2011. It feels like it will stall at any moment. It also has nearly stalled several times when stopped at a light and sometimes rolls backwards while in drive even though it is an automatic. The dealership says these things are normal because it is a 'sporty-model car' and it takes the engine time to adjust to a person's driving style. The Ford Focus model years affected with this problem should be recalled by Ford asap.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #59

Aug 112011

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to ongoing transmission issues. The consumer stated each time visited the dealer, she was informed it was only a programming adjustment. The consumer has been to the dealer 10 times, for the same problem. The consumer stated the transmission was unpredictable. Not only did the clutch slip between first and second gears, the vehicle intermittently hesitated when taking off from a complete stop. Also, the engine would shake at 55 mph and continued to shake even at 70 mph.

- Summerfield, FL, USA

problem #58

Mar 132014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
On March 13th, I was driving at approximately 55 miles per hour. All of the sudden I lost complete power in my car. The rpms revved up extremely high and I gained no power when pushing on the accelerator. I lost all speed in a matter of seconds and was forced to pull over. I was almost hit by another car as I was attempting to get out of the way. Steering became hard and it took more effort to break and slow the car. I turned the car off as soon as I came to rest. I attempted to restart the car and the car would not even turn over. I called a tow truck and had my car towed to Ford. They had the car for 4 days and replaced the transmission control module (tcm). The part was covered under the emissions warranty according to Ford. I was told the car was fixed and sent on my way. On March 24th the car broke down again. The car did the same thing as the first time and again almost caused a car accident in which serious injury could have resulted. I sat with the car turned off for approximately 5 minutes and then tried to restart the car. The car restarted on the 4th time. I called my local Ford and asked if it was safe to attempt to drive over, they said it was. They have now had the car for one week and are unable to locate an issue. I was given a loaner vehicle which they have now demanded they get back. I been told the process of Ford deciding what to do can take up to 2 months. I am no left with no car and Ford is claiming no responsibility and providing no customer service. Ford needs to fix this issue and refund those affected.

- Buellton, CA, USA

problem #57

Mar 142013


  • 12,000 miles
During a tight turn on a bendy road going about 55 mph the vehicle lost all power. As if someone turned they key off. Lights, infotainment, steering, brakes, everything was effected. Luckily steering doesn't lockup on a Ford Focus. And can be steered but without power assist. Once at a complete stop, the car could be restarted with no instrument lights on, as if nothing happened.

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #56

May 092012


  • 14,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 30 mph, a metal to metal rattling noise emitted outside of the vehicle. The transmission slipped gears and the vehicle began to vibrate with hesitation. The failure occurred sporadically when shifting into second gear. Additionally, when the brake pedal was depressed when driving on an incline the vehicle would roll. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer twice where each time the computer module was reprogrammed. The vehicle was not repaired for the most recent failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 14,000.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #55

Apr 152013


  • 25,600 miles
Shuttering and stalling upon tends to roll backwards for no apparent reason on slight incline. Speed acceleration and speed deceleration at random times. Car hesitates badly when accelerating on to on ramp to merge with interstate traffic or to pass a vehicle on the highway. It's luck of the day if you accelerate and actually live or get hit when car shutters and hesitates. Good luck Focus owners.

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #54

Jan 272013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
The transmission "skips, flutters or just not kick in" when moving from a stopped position to an accelerated speed. Seems like the transmission stalls out and then grabs. It does it quite often and I was almost rear-ended on several occasions so far by this hick-up in the transmission. I am going to take it back to baxter Ford in omaha and see if the problem can be fixed or not. They may get the car back.

- Milford, NE, USA

problem #53

Apr 042012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 665 miles
I purchased this vehicle on March 21, 2012 and first took it into the dealership April 4, 2012 because the transmission boggs for the startup 0 to approximately 20 mph. This created a safety hazard when pulling into oncoming traffic because the vehicle had no power, especially when in a stopped position. Passing vehicles was unsafe if you were in the lower gears of the transmission due to lack of power. Another safety hazard is that the vehicle drifts backwards when I take my foot off of the gas pedal, as if it was a standard shift transmission. This was especially dangerous on a hill or a grade. This vehicle also drifts backwards when you put your vehicle in park and release the brake pedal, causing danger to pedestrian or vehicles behind you. I have taken this vehicle back numerous times since I have owned it for the same types of problems with the transmission (now at various speeds) and drifting backwards. The dealership has made numerous adjustments and changes to the transmission, but to date this vehicle basically remains, in my opinion, a safety hazard. To date, Ford company states that all of the above has a reason and states that it is "normal" for this new type of transmission. In my opinion, this transmission evolved to save gas, not lives.

- Mercer, PA, USA

problem #52

Jan 312014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus SE. The contact stated while driving, the car would violently shudder and shake, a grinding noise could be heard in the front of the vehicle and it stalled intermittently. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The dealer stated that the control module was defective and a new seal was installed. The dealer repaired the defect; however, a day after picking up her vehicle the failures persisted. While driving she also heard a "clucking" noise in the same place she previously heard the grinding noise. The vehicle was towed again back to the dealer who stated that they could not find any defects she "just have to get use to her vehicle". when the contact drove the vehicle home the transmission over warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000 miles. Updated 04/17/14 the consumer stated the transmission was replaced. However, the shudder continued. Updated 05/20/14

- Tarzana, CA, USA

problem #51

Aug 202012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 23,892 miles
My car has almost gotten me in 3 accidents and it rolls back on hills I was pulling into a drive way and it started to roll back then it slowed down and there was a load noise and we started rolling backwards it was just a drive way. The car has absolutely no power at all it stutters and when you are driving in busy places and your car wont pick up enough ton enter on the highway or freeway its scary and its unsafe it will shake the whole car when it pulls back and stutters. It is awful and I went on a 3 hour drive to go on vacation I actually rented a car instead of taking my brand new car that I got to last me years fro now was the plan if it makes it another 1 year I will be surprised very dangerous Ford.

- Moreono Valley, CA, USA

problem #50

Jan 102014


  • 12,000 miles
After about 30-45 mins of driving the car will begin to shudder going from 1st to 2nd gear. It occurs most noticeably driving from a stop. I have brought my car in numerous times and have been told numerous excuses. At this time it is getting annoying, however it becomes a concern when turning onto roads because it does not produce any power during this time. Its only a matter of time before a accident occurs because of this issue. There needs to be a recall on the transmission on the 2012 Ford Focus. Updated 03/25/14 also, an oil leak was found, the vehicle would shudder in reverse and it felt as though the traction control was engaging.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #49

Jun 292012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 400 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated while traveling at various speeds, the vehicle began to shake. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 400. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 2/11/14

- Brewster, NY, USA

problem #48

Dec 152013


  • 33,300 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while sitting at a red light, she attempted to accelerate but the parking aid malfunction, check engine and ABS warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection but they could not determine the cause of failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 33,300.

- La Puente, CA, USA

problem #47

Nov 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
This is an ongoing problem!!!! my vehicle vibrates when trying to accelerate from a complete stop. It hesitates and does not want to accelerate and it appears to not want to shift gears. Does the same thing at low speeds as well.when pulling of from a stop position sounds like a rattling or something making a cranking noise. Also car stalls at times. Taking off from stop sign car stalls when gas is pressed. My car rolls back when taking off from an incline and a flat surface.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #46

Nov 172013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,860 miles
While traveling down the interstate there was a sudden loss of power while pressing the gas and hesitation when power finally returned.

- Fountain, CO, USA

problem #45

Jul 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 250 miles
Vehicle vibrates when trying to accelarate from a complete stop. Hesitates and does not want to accelarate. Appears to not want to shift gears. Does the same thing at low speeds as well.

- Weslaco, TX, USA

problem #44

Oct 012013


  • 26,000 miles
Clutch quit at approx. 26,000mi. This was preceded by heavy shuddering and vibrations (for approximately three weeks). The manufacturer, fomoco, diagnosed the problem two weeks ago but was unable (or unwilling) to immediately replace the part, putting me in a long, "backorder" queue. My personal feeling is that the transmission is defective and should be subject to a recall.

- Wrentham, MA, USA

problem #43

Sep 182013


  • 3,800 miles
Car stops dead and the "stop safely now" light comes on.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

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