Notes: Welcome to North America, Ford Fiesta. Thanks for bringing your herky-jerky transmission, numerous interior quality complaints, and an engine that dies while driving.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
12 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,344 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.

2011 Ford Fiesta drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Ford Fiesta Owner Comments (Page 10 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #41

Aug 012011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 500 miles


Ever since vehicle was new I've had problems with the duel clutch 6 speed transmission. When upshifting through the first 4 gears transmission sounds like a tin can full of marbles. Upshifts a harsh with a jerking motion. Transmission is reluctant to down shift into first gear when approaching a stop sign or light and when I've tried to accelerate from a stop the vehicle responds like it not in first gear by jerking and lugging during acceleration until the speed builds up. I've had one case were the transmission acted like it was in neutral when I left a red light. I was forced to release the gas and step on the brake before it acted normally. I've also had issues the RPM not dropping during braking requiring additional brake pressure to bring vehicle to stop. I've contacted Ford numerous times on these issues and have been told its either normal, or they can not duplicate the problem.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #40

Mar 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 6,400 miles
The automatic transmission is problematic in shifting, decelerating then accelerating with no response. There is the sound of loose nuts and bolts inside the transmission while backing up. There are times (numerous) when you let off a little on the gas, and then go to accelerate and nothing happens for a second or two....little scary and dangerous to say the least. Odd shifting times during normal city street speeds. Feels like the transmission is trying to "find a gear". service writer at encinitas Ford says these signs are "normal" for that style of transmission. Now I see tons of complaints online about the 2011-2013 Fiesta transmissions problems, especially the transmission "going out" and "repairs" done at the various dealerships where nothing has changed with the way the transmission is working. Please help out on this...I do not want to have an accident due to these odd problems! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Encinitas, CA, USA

problem #39

Mar 172013


  • 28,870 miles
In February 2012, my Ford Fiesta (automatic dual-clutch transmission) had barely 15,000 miles on it. The dealership found a transmission leak when I took the car in for regular maintenance, and the dealership kept the car to work on it for two weeks. On March 17, 2013, I was about to return home from an out of town trip when the car gave a 'transmission malfunction' message, at which point the transmission began making grinding noises when trying to shift, jerking, and then it wouldn't go in reverse. I had to call roadside assistance to have my car transported to a local dealership to have the car fixed. The Ford dealership still has not been able to tell me the specific problem with the vehicle or what is being done to fix it. This car has 28,870 miles on it at this time.

- The Colony, TX, USA

problem #38

Aug 082012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


While accelerating to get on the highway, the car lost power and I had to coast to the shoulder. Turning the car off and restarting it got it to re-engage the transmission again. The dealership told me that it is a bad transmission, that I was loosing one of the clutches (this is an automatic, dual-clutch transmission). While Ford offered me $600 off a new transmission, I didn't have the money to put a new transmission in, and I continued to drive the car. On March 4th, while driving about 40 mph in town, the car again lost power. I coasted to the shoulder, parked the car and attempted to restart it. This time it would not start and could not be shifted out of park. After about an hour, the car made some mysterious clicking sounds and I was able to drive the car to the dealership. The dealership could not determine the problem, but decided to reprogram the transmission control module with an update. Exactly a week later (March 11th), the car lost power while at a stop light, leaving me stranded in the middle lane of a 3-lane major city road at rush hour. I put it in neutral and pushed the car out of the street. Once again, it refused to restart and once I placed it in park, the transmission was stuck there. It never did recover and had to be dragged onto the tow truck bed. This time the dealership tells me that not only are the transmission clutch plates bad, but now the transmission control module is also done. The car has 92,000 miles on it now, the majority of which (85% or so) are highway miles (I live over 70 miles from where I work). I am waiting for a new transmission to come from the factory. I was told yesterday (3/20/2013) that the transmission is on backorder. I can only conclude that either the new transmissions are being retooled before being released, or there are so many faulty transmissions, they can't keep up with the demand.

- Rio Rico, AZ, USA

problem #37

Mar 012013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 30,260 miles
Over the past 1 1/2 months my vehicle has stalled on the freeway 6 times. Each time the "wrench" light came on, the display read "engine malfunction" and "service now". when this would happen, the engine tachometer would first drop to 1000 RPM and the accelerator would become non-responsive. Soon after that the engine would just rev as if it were in neutral; then "bam" the transmission would engage abruptly and make a loud bang noise and lag when shifting. This has become a major concern as I have had people almost run into the rear of me because of my decline in speed. The only way to get the vehicle back to normal operation is to completely pull to the side of the road and turn the car off for a few seconds and restart it, unfortunately by doing this it resets the fault codes and does not retain the information for the dealership to be able to diagnose. I had brought the car to the dealership and left it for a week. They installed a "flight recorder" and drove for over 114 miles to try to reproduce the problem; but could not. I had pick ed up my car dissapointed that they could not reproduce the problem and as a result could not fix it. When I drove my vehicle that same day to work, it happened again at only 26 miles after their testing. I have seen on other web sites that this seems to be a common problem with other 2011 Ford Fiesta's, I only hope Ford comes up with a fix for this issue soon as it seems to me to be a program issue with the vehicles computer.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #36

Nov 092012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 13,500 miles
While pulling out into traffic, transmission shuddered and failed to operate causing traffic to come to a halt. This was the first incident. Several times afterwards, transmission would shudder and vibrate while shifting gears. Took to dealership in November of 2012 when this first occurred and they updated the transmission program. This update did not fix the problem. Returned to the dealership on February 22, 2013 for the same problem and they're reply was, "this is normal". this is not normal, this car is a death trap. I only drive this vehicle about 9 miles to work a day and I feel very unsafe driving it.

- Macclenny, FL, USA

problem #35

Oct 102012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles


Numerous times when driving my 2011 Ford Fiesta the RPM's shoot way up and the car won't accelerate when I hit the gas. Even while driving at a speed of 45mph and try to go faster the car stalls and wont accelerate at all and get quite scary when this happens, especially on a highway when you could cause an accident. I have been driving and this happens and I have had to put it in park turn it off and turn it back on to get it to accelerate normally again.

- Vandergrift, PA, USA

problem #34

Jan 242013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Fiesta, manual trans., fwd. Road conditions: Snow covered 1-2", no ice underneath, no slush buildup. Incident: At stop sign waiting to turn left onto road. Oncoming traffic in either direction is thru, no stop. No oncoming traffic. Accelerating across two lanes to turn left- divided 4 lane municipal road 40mph speed limit. Midway across road, front wheels began to slip, traction control activated and removed power. Car stopped in middle of road. Was unable to move vehicle in 1st/2nd/3rd gear without traction control removing power. In first instance, oncoming traffic had to stop while I exited vehicle and pushed vehicle into median where traction was found. This happened twice. After second occurrence, determination was made to only turn right to not place self at risk of accident. Follow-up research: Early production Ford Fiesta are incapable of deactivating traction control. Later models do and in the 3rd printing of the owners manual it is recommended to turn off traction control in snow or mud. This action would allow wheels to spin to pavement and generate sufficient traction to maintain or begin vehicle motion. Additional information: Above research was obtained by discussion with Ford technical support/engineering. They also advised that it was not possible to retrofit my vehicle with the capability to deactivate traction control. I have had vehicles in the past of similar weight/powertrain/profile which were equipped with one-touch buttons to disable traction control when in the appropriate situations. These cars were very capable in 1-2" of snow with the traction control disabled. I have advised Ford that I intended to provide this report to NHTSA and they likewise said they intend to self-report it as well. Recommendation: I believe this to be a safety issue that needs to be addressed by whatever means NHTSA has available.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #33

Jun 212012


  • 2,900 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while accelerating from a complete stop, the vehicle hesitated. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the vehicle was unable to be repaired due to the vehicle having a dual transmission and that at 3,000 miles engine power would decrease. The manufacturer had not been notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 2,900.

- Desert Hot Springs, CA, USA

problem #32

Mar 012002

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
After having no problems with this car for the first 16000 miles it now jerks and the trans feels as if your driving over rumble strips when accelerating from a stop; bumping and jerking. Seems like it cant shift gears and has no acceleration. The car performs worse the hotter the engine gets. This car rides anything but smooth. Always feels like its going to stall.

- Atco, NJ, USA

problem #31

Jul 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


Numerous occasions while accelerating and decelerating the 2011 Ford Fiesta started to stall, jerk and buck like a Bronco. It seemed as though it was not getting power to the transmission or drive train momentarily. This has been an ongoing off and on for about a year. We recently took it to the sunrise Ford dealership, fort pierce, fl, and the service rep claims they could not find anything mechanically wrong. This vehicle is used to Transport young children and adults. I expect the Ford manufacturer to either remedy the issue or buy the vehicle back for what we paid for it!!! it could cause an accident because when it bucks it also slows down in 45-50mph traffic, and the traffic is bumper to bumper at times and we could get rear ended!!! something needs to be done immediately. Should I also find an attorney that will represent us should Ford motor be liable"?"

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #30

Sep 242012


  • 15,000 miles
I bought the car new and have taken it to two separate dealerships to correct this issue and it continues. Initially, the transmission light came on and the car began having trouble shifting. After the first repair, the car began shaking uncontrollably. The second repair corrected the shaking, but now (at 15,755 miles) the car will (1) make grinding metallic noises when shifting, (2) fail to shift on any incline (instead it revs to approximately 2500 rpms and "sticks" there), (3) jolt forward when the brake is applied as if the accelerator was pressed down, and (4) roll backwards on hills as if it is a manual transmission. I understand that (4) can be common among newer automatics that attempt higher fuel economy. However, numerous times the speed at which the car rolls back has incurred a safety risk. This seems to be another indication of an issue with the transmission.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #29

Jun 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while traveling 3 mph the vehicle erroneously accelerated causing another vehicle to crash into the vehicle. The driver and passenger of the contact's vehicle suffered whiplash. The vehicle was able to be driven away from the scene. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was found that the transmission had failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the issue. The failure mileage was unavailable and the current mileage was 42,000. Mailed 02/18/15 the consumer stated even after the engine was overhauled because the mechanic claimed oil leaked onto the internal clutched caused slippage, he continued to experience problems. The consumer believed the problem was with the fuel injection system. Updated 03/29/16.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #28

Oct 022012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 34,900 miles
The car is at the dealer for the third time since the beginning of the month. While driving, all of a sudden the vehicle is not in "drive" anymore, and I have to coast to the side of the road, turn off car, and restart. It is as if the transmission just goes out. This can happen multiple times in one driving session and has happened on highway, on side streets, backing out of my driveway, etc. The engine light comes on repeatedly each time. Car also lurches and sounds as if it might stall at random times when accelerating. Each time, the dealer test drives after the "fix" have been from 0 miles to 6 miles, it does not seem like this test drive is long enough to see the issue. This problem is an extreme safety hazard to me and my family and I have lost faith in Ford in fixing/dealing with this problem.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #27

Jul 022012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Transmission, which has never been smooth when accelerating form stop now stutters and shudders rapidly when accelerating slowly from a stop. Does not do it every time but does it frequently. I have had it in to the dealer to check it out and they say they have adjusted it but it continues to exhibit this odd behavior. The car did not do this in the first year of ownership. The dealer says the transmission is "quirky". the stuttering and shuddering is not, as far as I am concerned, normal for this transmission and needs to be repaired or the transmission needs to be replaced. The transmission does not function as promised!

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #26

Oct 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 39,539 miles
Powertrain: Have had chattering in lower gears of my 2011 Ford Fiesta SE.....acts like is straining at times to go into gear.....have had it to dealership and they tell me it is normal....also contacted Ford via email and they concur with the dealer..the dealer did some computer updates and when I got it back it still chatters...........what happens if it fails and Ford refuses to do anything about the the extended warranty is only for 60,000 miles and I travel 60-90 miles a day back and forth to work what kind of dependable vehicle do I have.......

- Browns Mills, NJ, USA

problem #25

Feb 152012


  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that after attempting to accelerate, the vehicle would hesitate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection and they stated that it was a known problem and they would reprogram the computer. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 9,000.

- Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

problem #24

Jun 202012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 17,600 miles
The throttle body malfunctioned after only 17,600 miles. Also 29 parts needed to be replaced all at once under the hood. I have found several stories online of people getting multiple transmission replacements or other drive train components on their 2011 Fiesta S.

- Superior, WI, USA

problem #23

Jun 132012


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact took her vehicle to the dealer for routine maintenance and was advised she had a transmission leak; however, they will not repair it until it gets worse. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 51,000.

- Johnstown, CO, USA

problem #22

Jun 132012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
Took car in to dealership for oil change, tire rotation, etc. And was told it had an oil leak and that they wouldn't fix it (it's still under warranty) until the leak became worse!

- Johnstown, CO, USA

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