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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,089 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Oct 042013


  • 5,800 miles


I have a Ford Focus bev ( battery electric vehicle), 2012. I came out from work and unplugged my car from the charging post and got into it as usual to go home. I pressed the start button and a mechanical warning window came up on the dash. I closed it and the "stop safely now" message came on. I closed it and the first message came back again. This went on for several cycles until I hit the start button again. I tried the start button again, and the same thing happened. I plugged it back in, unplugged it and tried again. Same thing. I called the dealer, the lady there called roadside assistance for me. They sent a truck to tow it to a closer dealer, where it currently sits. Initial diagnostics are not showing a cause. I will learn more on Monday. This is apparently a common problem according to the internet.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #20

Sep 212013


  • 10,960 miles
While driving approx 30 miles per hour on a B road, just after turning right the car displayed a "stop safely now" warning and the car lost all power to the drive train and the car literally stopped moving. Luckily, there was no one behind me when the fault occurred. I power cycled the car and I was able to drive away after a few minutes. I have never had an issue with the car until last night.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #19

Sep 022013


  • 1,500 miles
As I was driving all of a sudden a display stating "stop safely now" came on. I pulled over and the car would not go any further. I had to completely turn it off, open and close the door, and restart it to make it go again. It has happened 3 times now in the past few weeks.

- Sierra Madre, CA, USA

problem #18

Aug 202013


  • 15,900 miles


While driving through uptown charlotte, the car gave a "stop safely now" alert and the car lost power. It coasted enough to roll to the right lane and then died. I could not get the warning flashers to work. I tried for about 7 minutes to get the car to turn off, every combination I knew. After that, the car 'reset' and I was able to get it to start. I drove away as if nothing happened. It hasn't happened since. It's not cool to have the car quit in traffic like that. I think the battery control computer picked up a radio frequency interference.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #17

Jun 252013


  • 2,250 miles
I purchased a new 2012 Ford Focus ev on June 7, 2013. Twice (still in June), while driving at speeds approximately 50 mph, the "stop safely now" warning came on and the vehicle lost power. Both times I was able to restart the vehicle within a couple of minutes. I made sure to note all the indicators to provide the Ford service techs as much information as possible. When I brought the vehicle in to be serviced, the technicians professed no knowledge of the issue and contacted Ford for support. They could not repeat the issue and the car had no log of the events. Finally, I was told the problem was a faulted power control module (PCM). Unfortunately, this part was on a national backorder for 6 weeks (probably as a result of the known problems). After the part was finally replaced, I was told that the PCM would not program correctly, and that the transmission control module needed to be replaced. End result, I have my vehicle back, just in time to take it back for a recall. At least it hasn't stalled ??. yet.

- Pismo Beach, CA, USA

problem #16

May 182013


  • 4,500 miles
While coming to a stop, the stop safely now warning chimed and vehicle lost all power. It would not go into park, or neutral to allow it to be pushed off the road. After several minutes of powering it on and off it eventually restarted and worked without incident until recently on 8/15/13 the same message occurred at a stoplight and the car again lost all power. After about 2 minutes it started and ran ok.

- Oceanside , CA, USA

problem #15

Aug 202013


  • 6,100 miles


Was sitting at a stop light after leaving work and the "stop safely now" message appeared. Car would not move. After several cycles of turning the car on and off, opening and closing the driver door, locking and unlocking the car, it managed to reset itself and work again, only to have the problem recur about 5 minutes later, requiring the same steps to resolve the issue. The car worked normally the rest of the day after I arrived at my destination.

- Redwood City, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 252013


  • 10,500 miles
Incidence occurred twice in 2 day period. "stop safely now" error occurred while driving the vehicle. 1st instance was while breaking as approaching a stoplight. 2nd instance was while accelerating on freeway onramp. Both instances I lost all engine power and could no longer accelerate. I had to coast to a safe spot to put the car into park and turn off the vehicle but was able to restart it and drive to dealership for repair. Serious safety concern with this vehicle as driver may not have ability to coast to safe stop while driving on freeway or busy traffic. After researching online, there is rampant occurrence of this exact failure being described on vehicle owner forums for Ford Focus electric both 2012 and 2013 models.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #13

Jun 262013


  • 5,700 miles
Upon making a left turn vehicle completely powered down with no warning, after a second an audible beep and "stop safely now" message appeared. Vehicle had to be towed to dealership.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #12

May 202013


  • 16,000 miles
Update 05/20/2013 this vehicle keeps getting worse: "reverse does not work very well as it takes a long time to function. On a slight decline the car rolls forward and reverse has difficulty engaging. ?from a stop at a stop sign or red light, the car will attempt to lunge forward sometimes. ?from a stop at a stop sign or red light, the car will often not accelerate when the accelerator pedal is pressed. "at any given time (full stop or in motion) the accelerator must be pressed half way or more to the floor in order to get the car to accelerate. ?the car lunges a lot and misses-then lunges while driving.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #11

Mar 272013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles


Since purchasing this vehicle I have had consistent problems where I will pull out into traffic and the vehicle loses power. At some points, where the vehicle is stopped, the car shakes a lot! there seems to be an acceleration problem and it is getting much worse! I was almost rear-ended yesterday!

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #10

Jan 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
I received a letter from Ford in May 2012 regarding customer satisfaction program 12B37. The issue with the car was rough/jerky automatic transmission shifts & roll back when transitioning from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal. My husband took the car into the Ford shop to have this issue corrected on 6/8/2012. Everything seemed to be fine but both issues started up again and became more frequent. My husband again took the car back to the Ford shop on 1/2/2013. My husband was told that this is the way the car drives. But the Ford shop took the car and said they would take a look. We were given the car back the same day and were told that they reprogrammed the car and that everything was working fine. That evening I was about to merge onto the highway but the car would not accelerate. I pushed the gas pedal almost all the way to the floor and the car wouldn't go faster than 30 mph. I was almost rear ended by another car. Luckily the driver was able to swerve into the lane next to me. I got off at the next exit and took the local route home. The next morning I took the car back to the Ford shop. At this point, the car was driving completely normally. I explained what happened the night before. They wound up keeping the car for 2 weeks. I was told that they couldn't figure out how to fix the issue and had to call Ford to get instructions on how to correct the problem. During this time, I placed a call to Ford and filed a complaint with them. We received the vehicle back and everything seemed to be fine but slowly the same issues showed up more frequently. Today (5/13/13), I've taken the car back to the Ford shop. I was told that they would check it but that this may just be the way the vehicle drives. I am very disappointed Ford hasn't been able to correct the problem properly.

- Queens Village, NY, USA

problem #9

Apr 142013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,777 miles
While leaving the parking lot of a store to enter highway, my Focus started sputtering and then shut completely down leaving me and my two children stranded in the road. We got help to push it out of the way when attempted tries to start didn't work. A tow truck came when called and took it to our Ford dealership here who just called (24 hours later) to tell me they "think" there's a problem with the fuel pump. I have had continual problems with the transmission as well, this car rolls back on even the slightest hill, has caused some close calls when vehicles are close behind me. I am a working mom with a non-working vehicle for at least the week.

- Jasper, TX, USA

problem #8

Dec 102012


  • 27,800 miles
I ordered the car from Ford in 2011 as soon as they allowed orders. I have approximately 27,800miles on the car. I have yet to get the fuel economy that Ford stated. I do both city and highway everyday and my combined fuel has not gone over 27 miles per gallon since I have owned it. I have even had it run out of gas on 3 separate occasions when the car was registering 30 and 34 miles to empty.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #7

Oct 302012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
On my way to the dealer to deliver the car for shuddering from stop to first gear, the car failed to engage in gear when I depressed the accelerator. I pressed the accelerator harder and the vehicle lurched into gear, and commenced up the hill from my house - the car then appeared to go into neutral on its own, thus no propulsion, then on its own slipped back into gear. As I made my way onto the main road, I proceeded cautiously unsure if the car would stall out or if I would even make it to the dealership. I did make it, but along the way the car slipped in and out of gear indiscriminately several times, leaving me without power for several seconds at a time. What if this were to happen on the highway at 65 mph? I drove in the breakdown lane with my flashers on to avoid being hit from behind. My dealership arundel Ford has had the car in the shop since that day, and has agreed to replace the clutches, but tells me the parts are not going to be available until December 11 at the earliest. This is completely unsatisfactory. I have very little faith that the car will ever be safe to drive.

- Kennebunk, ME, USA

problem #6

Oct 112012


  • 28,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that she noticed gasoline leaking from under the vehicle. The vehicle had not been diagnosed. The contact stated that in the previous year, the fuel line became detached three times and was repaired. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileages was 28,500.

- Greenwood, AR, USA

problem #5

Sep 192012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,600 miles
The problem started about 2 months after the purchase of my car. With the low fuel light on I filled my gas tank until the handle/nozzle of the gas pump clicked off indicating the tank was full. When I removed the nozzle from the fill tube you can hear a rush of gas come up and then a splash as the gas hits the ground. It ejects the gas underneath the car alongside the right rear tire leaving an 8" wet spot. My concern is you have hot brakes and a hot muffler right there next to where the fuel is dumping on the ground. In my honest opinion this is a major fire hazard. I now will not fill up my tank with anyone in the car. I have brought it to the dealers attention on several occasions and they say they have found nothing wrong. It has happened to me three times. Two times before the dealer investigated it and found nothing wrong and one time after. I spoke with the dealers finance manager who owns/leases a Ford Fusion and he stated it had happened to him on his car as well. Ford has a new fuel filler system that does not use a cap anymore. It would appear that this system may be faulty by design.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 282012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
On 8/27/2012 I drove off the car lot with 7 miles on my new car. I noticed a little bit of rough shifting as the day passed. On 8/28 the car started bucking and jerking during acceleration. There was little power on inclines. The problem progressively got worse through the day. I set up an appointment to drop off for service the next day. Took in for service on 8/29 and was told that the throttle body needed to be replaced. The car had 187 miles on it. On 8/30 I was told the car was fixed and I picked up my car. Within a few miles the problem was back, but worse this time. I had some slight noise coming from the engine when the car was bucking and jerking. It almost stalled on a busy highway in rush hour traffic several times while on my way back to the dealer. It was struggling. The car is back in service with 220 miles on it. Now they want to keep it for at least 3-4 days. 8/31 I was asked to drive the car with the mechanic to see if problem would reoccur. With the exception of a kick while pulling out of the dealership, the car drove ok, although we only drove around a block together. Sales manager says that if the mechanic can't find any further problem, then I have to take the car back into my possession since it's my car. He says that sometimes things happen and I have to deal with it and let the mechanics do their job. I've had the car in my possession under 30 hours since I purchased it on 8/27. The car also has an issue with rolling back on an incline.

- Glenside, PA, USA

problem #3

Jun 242012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Two incidents. While driving at a speed of about 25 miles per hour, the vehicle lost power and stalled on an arterial street. Traffic was light, and there was no danger to me or other motorists. The vehicle would not restart. Had the car towed to the dealer, and was told it was out of gas. The gauge had been reading 1/4 full at the time of the incident. The gauge continued to give false readings (moved from lower to higher amounts during the course of exhausting the fuel supply) over the next few weeks. Eventually the dealer diagnosed the fuel tank was warped, and replaced the tank. One week later, while driving the vehicle at night on an interstate highway approaching a major freeway system interchange, at a speed of approximately 60 miles per hour, the vehicle lost power and shut off, causing me to have immediately attempt to move across four lanes of moderately heavy traffic. This happened on a slight uphill incline, so the car lost forward speed very quickly. During the emergency maneuver, I was forced in front of another motorist, nearly causing an accident. The car was exhausted of fuel, but within ten minutes prior had shown a reading of 1/4 tank remaining. Immediately prior to the incident, the gauge needle was actually indicating 1/2 tank.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #2

Apr 142012


  • 68 miles
Automatic transmission does not shift smoothly. Intermittent vibrates, bucks, hesitates, slips & jerks. Can't rely on take-off acceleration whether it will engage properly, pulling into traffic is very dangerous. Stop and go traffic is very dangerous. It's like someone driving a stick shift and not having the clutch & gas in sync, only it's an automatic so you can't do anything about it. I have had the car in to the service department on 3 occasions. The first time the tech laughed at me and told me it was just the "new" 6-speed transmission. 2nd time, they replaced some parts in the transmission. 3rd time, they had the car 4 days & said there was nothing out of the ordinary happening. There is definitely something wrong with this transmission, and Ford needs to do something to fix them before an accident happens.

- Hacienda Heights, CA, USA

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