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:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,774 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

problem #20

Mar 012016

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle engine light illuminated on several occasions. Each time the consumer went to the dealer, the light would eventually illuminate again.

- Beeville, TX, USA

problem #19

Nov 032014


  • 86,000 miles
Leak from radiator found after car cooled down. Dealer stated they never saw this or heard of it. The pressure test was negative, held pressure at 22psi, I was told. Filled reservoir with fluid and dye and told to drive and return next day. Said the dye showed leak on left side on radiator along the tube. Told that everything was out of warranty. Said failure is not common. Vehicle had all recommended service completed at the dealer.

- Port Clinton, OH, USA

problem #18

Sep 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
The engine light came on while driving, saying check transmission. The transmission is not shifting the car shakes or vibrate when the peed change.

- Branson , MO, USA

problem #17

Aug 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles


The ac compressor in my 2012 Ford Focus blew up today. The service department told me it had been coming apart for a while and it has now destroyed the entire ac system. I was also informed that this problem is not isolated to my ac. Even if I wanted to drive sans ac, then this issue would soon render my car inoperable. I was told it would cause the engine to seize. I can't imagine how bad this would have been on the freeway. Unfortunately there were no signs or symptoms indicating this pending disaster (A/C functioning & no weird noises). My Ford has had all recommended services and any additional preventative services related to the ac compressor were never brought to my attention. This is most likely because a problem of this nature shouldn't be an issue with a well maintained car that is only two years old; however, possibly the service department should have picked up on it. This was not due to normal wear and tear. This was a faulty part. I believe this is a quality and safety issue and really hope that Ford can remedy the situation. Especially as this has possibly effected many people.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #16

Jun 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Purchased this vehicle on Saturday, June 14, 2014 for my daughter. The following Monday while pulling out of parking lot, the "engine" indicator came on and car begin to hesitate, when she got on the highway she was not able to drive more than 40 mph and the tachometer was flipping from one side of the dial to the other. She managed to the drive the car home. I started the car, the light was off and it drove "normal". I could feel that there was a slight hesitation and a slight vibration when idling. I called the dealer the next day, he spoke with someone in the service department and they stated whatever the problem was, it self-corrected itself; but to bring it in if it happens again. I am particularly upset because I purchased this as an upgrade from the Chevy cobalt. My daughter and son will be driving this car to college in the fall which is a 3 1/2 hour drive across the state of Iowa over very busy interstates. I shudder to think what might happen if this car acts up on the interstate. What are you all going to do about this obvious problem... wait for fatalities"????"

- Rock Island, IL, USA

problem #15

Mar 012013


  • miles
1. my 2012 Ford Focus is stalling out and revving up at high rpms then stalling out for the last 4 months. 2. this is the fourth occurrence for the same issue in the last 4 months. 3 times in the last three weeks. 3. the first two times, Ford could not find the problem and related to driving at high rpms or spinning on gravel which never occurred. I advised that the vehicle would rev at high rpms but not go anywhere then stall, not on a gravel road but a major highway going 55-60 mph. Twice the vehicle had to be towed. The other times I could drive it to the dealership at 30mph but it would continuously stall out. The third time they replaced the computer which did not solve the problem. The fourth time occurred and my vehicle has been at the Ford dealership for a over a week and they still cannot figure what is wrong with it. My vehicle has 41,000 miles and still covered under the powertrain. Ford is refusing to buy the vehicle back under state lemon laws and not giving me an offer for diminished value for the hit I am going to take on the trade in once I hopefully get the vehicle back operational.

- Scottdale, PA, USA

problem #14

Oct 082012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles


Vehicle rattling noise when running, called Ford and took to dealer and advised nothing wrong and noise is normal. Rattling noise continued and today burning smell from vents. Afraid to drive and took wife's car to work.

- Riverview, FL, USA

problem #13

Jun 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 517 miles
Was told this car had "automatic transmission". after a few hundred miles on it, I noticed the transmission shifted sporadically and with no prediction. Engine shuddered, car lost power and was not safe to drive. The key here is no prediction as to how the car will react when under acceleration. Took to dealer and was told "this isn't an automatic transmission - it's a computer- controlled manual that has to learn how you drive". dealer uploaded a computer update from Ford. The next hundred miles of driving almost caused numerous accidents due to lack of acceleration and uneven performance. 6/4/2012 I tried to merge into traffic and car refused to speed up. I almost caused a major accident, but numerous drivers slammed on their brakes and/or swerved and averted multiple collisions. Took the car to dealer 6/5/2012 and told them what happened. Was told by head tech "it just has to get used to how you drive". I told him there were three different people driving this Focus. He said we can't, because that would just end up totally "confusing" the computer. As the car is too dangerous to drive, it is still at the dealer. Miles on vehicle are under 800.

- Coeur D'alene, ID, USA

problem #12

May 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to engine, transmission, drive shaft and electrical system problems. The consumer stated the vehicle would jerk forward, hesitate and would not go into gear fast enough when changing lanes. The right passenger power window was slower that the driver's side, the door locks would not open properly. Updated 05/25/12

- Newark, CA, USA

problem #11

Mar 142012


  • 315 miles
I bought a 2012 Ford Focus sedan a couple weeks ago the next day I noticed slow jerky shuttering accerleration when at a complete stop then trying to acclerate. I did not think of anything was wrong until I researched it online finding similar complaints this is a problem and now the car is at the dealership and they currently have it. Next there is a grinding noise while driving and turning sounds an example would be metal to metal on the brakes is the sound and last loose mirror when lifting the tab down to look at my daughter in the back seat the whole mirror goes down istead of slightly moving.

- Port Arthur , TX, USA

problem #10

Feb 172012


  • 150 miles


Just a few days after we bought this car, I was coming home at night and the car felt like it ran out of gas!! there was a full tank and no power. I pushed on the gas and nothing! then zoom it sped up... what the heck? how scary! I am pissed! I called Ford and they said unless I could give them the code (what code) there is not much they could do to help. Thank god I wasn't on the freeway or in traffic. I really liked the guy who sold us this car, I will be contacting him as well. Then just a few days ago when I backed up I barely touched the gas and I zipped hard! this is a issue! what the heck! this needs to be investigated before someone gets hurt or killed!

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 192011

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,300 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While traveling 30 mph, the contact noticed that the vehicle would hesitate to accelerate and then would suddenly surge forward within seconds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was informed that the vehicle was performing normally. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was 6,900 and the failure mileage was 4,300. Updated 04/25/12 the consumer stated the RPM's to 4,000 as if the vehicle was in neutral. A few days later, while making a left turn, the same occurrence happened. The consumer stated the vehicle idled at 600 RPM when braking, then increased to 1400, which made it difficult to stop the vehicle. Updated 05/02/12

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #8

Mar 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
My Ford Focus sel 2012 has been experiencing shuddering feelings when accelerating from stop. It feels as if the transmission is about to stall and then it kicks back up and jolts my cars back and forth for several seconds before resuming normal speed after 10 mph. These several seconds are vital when you are dealing with fast traffic in California or anywhere else for that matter. This created a delay in the acceleration time, almost causing an accident with oncoming traffic. I have contact several Ford officials about this and they keep saying that it is normal and that there is a break in period. Why was I not made aware of this when I purchased the car? this is a serious safety hazard and Ford is just excusing it until my warranty period is up. Two of my friends bought the same car and is experiencing the same issue. This is not an isolated incident and I would like to see proper action from Ford to address this issue professionally.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #7

Feb 132012


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owned a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, smoke emitted from the engine and the engine caught on fire. The vehicle was then stopped and the fire was extinguished. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to an authorized dealer. The dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and the contact was awaiting a response. The failure mileage was 41,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Laguna Beach, CA, USA

problem #6

Feb 062012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
Shuddering on take off from complete stop.

- Richmond, MI, USA

problem #5

Dec 302011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 14,500 miles
I was driving around 10mph and getting into a turning lane when the front passenger side of my car hit the median which was no higher then a curb. After hitting the median the engine mounts broke off and part of the engine fell off the car. The impact caused no seeable damage to the outside of the car neither did the air bags deploy. There is no reason why hitting a curb at 10mph would cause the engine to pop out.

- Locust Grove, VA, USA

problem #4

Nov 242011


  • 1,300 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While attempting to accelerate from a stop, the motor mount fractured causing the motor to detach from the vehicle. The dealer advised the contact that she would be responsible for the repairs since it was not a defect and the failure occurred from an impact. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure however, offered no assistance. No repairs were performed. The current and the failure mileages were 1,300.

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 142011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 400 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph the check engine light illuminated and there was an increase in engine rpms as the vehicle stalled. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 400. Updated 12/07/11

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #2

Sep 012011


  • 2,500 miles
After a week of purchasing our brand new Focus started noticing the automatic tranny surges and slips. Like its bucking feeling. Sometimes it surges almost hard enough to put you on the dash. Kinda scary in traffic. Car has only 4500 miles on it and now has electrical problems in dash and upon going down the road you will vibrations like a bent axel or worn bearing. Its a new car!!!!!!!

- Mccarley, MS, USA

problem #1

Aug 092011


  • 600 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated the vehicle would stall without warning. In addition, the contact experienced sudden acceleration. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told there was a problem with the computer. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 600.

- Bogota, NJ, USA

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