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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,321 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 1 of 6)

problem #117

Dec 022014


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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 rev'ed 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


  • 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 approxiately 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


  • 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". embarassed 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


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

- El Paso, IL, USA

problem #103

Aug 052014


  • 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

problem #102

Sep 202014


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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

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