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 3 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #181

Feb 012012


  • 5,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that the transmission failed causing the vehicle to jerk violently and lose acceleration power, while driving. The brake pedal had to be engaged with force to be able to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times where the transmission control module and the power train control module were updated and the power train clutch assembly was replaced. However, the failure was not corrected. The vehicle continued to jerk and lose acceleration power while driving. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer for further inspection. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 5,000.

- Vermillion, OH, USA

problem #180

Dec 302015

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 2 miles
Since new the car's transmission has had lurching and jerking issues when shifting that have progressively gotten worse. Multiple times the car has lurched and stalled missing the next gear and almost caused us to get side swiped while making a turn. We were left stranded and had to replace the control module which Ford eventually paid for. Now after getting a trans malfunction warning the Ford dealer is saying we need a new clutch (the car is an automatic...that is what we paid for). The clutch has only worn out because of the excessive lurching and missing gears cause by the poor design despite several failed attempts to have the issue fixed by the dealer. Not being able to accelerate when making a left turn or pulling onto a roadway or merging onto a highway is a safety issue. Please hold Ford accountable. I don't think the car is safe because that happens all the time and the dealer can't seem to fix it. In fact I wont let my wife drive the car anymore because I think an accident is inevitable. We have had constant transmission issues since new. Ford denied an problem when the car was new and having these issues. Ford is willfully putting its paying customers at great risk physically and financially. We have records of repeatedly bringing this car in for repair. Ford (I believe intentionally) did not document my wife's complaints or that they even looked at the car when it was newer and they kept saying my wife was crazy and there was no problem. Turns out they were wrong and there have been major problems from the start and we all know that now.

- Batavia, IL, USA

problem #179

Dec 232015


  • 97,500 miles
Clutch shudder. After having a replacement clutch assembly installed 12,000 miles ago, the clutch shudder, shaking, delayed acceleration, and jerkiness have returned. Assembly was reinspected at dealership, confirming that the replacement clutch assembly also has the failure symptoms. A new assembly is being ordered

- Middletown, OH, USA

problem #178

Dec 162015


  • 57,500 miles


Transmission control module recall: After having the "tcm" software updated in September, the transmission malfunction light still comes on when my car will not switch gears. One day driving down the interstate, my car was going 65 mph and was not switching gears. After having it towed to the nearest Ford dealership, my car was worked on and the transmission control module was finally replaced. Less than a week later, my car would not accelerate or switch gears while driving up a hill. My car began to move backwards since it would not accelerate. My car was rolling backwards down a hill into oncoming traffic. The Ford dealership does not seem to be concerned and assured me the software needed to be updated again after it was updated less than a week ago. This is something that I find to be dangerous if the car will not switch gears. The first time the car was taken to a Ford dealership, I was told that the transmission control module part itself was on backorder and could not be replaced for at least a year. Three months later when it was towed to a different Ford dealership, they had one readily available and it was replaced within two days and the software updated accompanied the service event. Less than a week later my car is in limp mode and will barely accelerate to get me safely off the road. This issue is much bigger than it seems and Ford does not seem to have the urgency to fix a dangerous issue for their customers. Upon calling Ford to have my vehicle looked at, it was about a 5 day wait and they could not provide me with a rental or loaner car.

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #177

Nov 292015


  • 60,150 miles
Vehicle wont go into gear. Engine starts fine, but transmission will not engage. Backed out of garage, put car into drive, and nothing. Car will not engage in R or D. had it towed to dealer. Transmission control module replaced but car still not running correctly, per dealer. Dealer says car needs a new transmission. Ford says I'm 1450 miles and 60 days over the 60K/5 yr warranty so no assistance with paying for repairs. I've seem no indication from all these posts that a transmission replacement has fixed the vehicle.

- Plattsburgh, NY, USA

problem #176

Jan 182015


  • 49,583 miles
The automatic Ford Fiesta experiences a very loud grinding/scraping noise as soon as it starts coasting (as soon as the foot is off the accelerator), regardless of whether the break pedal is applied or not. This happens regardless of the speed at which it is travelling. Initially took the car to a reputable mechanic who indicated the noise was coming from the transmission and recommended I go to the dealer since the issue might be covered under the car's warranty. The first trip to the dealer for the noise resulted in a replacement of the dual clutch. The second trip to the dealer for the noise resulted in a reprogramming of the PCM/tcm module. The third trip to the dealer for the noise resulted in being told this is "normal". the noise abated after the dual clutch replacement and reprogramming of modules, but quickly returned (within days) and grew louder than before. The noise is so loud that it can wake up neighbors when driven through neighborhoods and makes it difficult to have a conversation in the car.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #175

Nov 302013


  • 18,000 miles


2011 Ford Fiesta aka black turd of death. 5 times in the dealer for transmission problems. Bad shuttering on take off. Started at 18,253 miles and now at 45,015 still does it. Worse when turning cause it will try and stall out. Gas pedal is not responsive when this happens. Contacted Ford and was told by the dealer there was nothing else could be done. That I need to get used to it. The clutch has been replaced didn't make a difference. Transmission has been flashed 5 times. But never test driven afterward. Just told it was normal. University Ford will not even give me copies of my paperwork. Said it was in the mail.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #174

Jun 262015


  • 93,000 miles
Clutch shuttering, acceleration / stopping,

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #173

Nov 242014


  • miles
The transmission experiences excessive shuddering and jerking with acceleration, severe rattling and grinding noises, to complete loss of response with the accelerator. This is every time it is driven. It has supposedly been repaired on Ford 5 times now, however this time they will not cover it. This is a danger to myself, my family and anyone else on the road when you can not control acceleration/deceleration. This has been ongoing since 11/2014.

- Mount Morris, MI, USA

problem #172

Nov 142015


  • 70,000 miles
This is an update to a previous complaint with my car. Previously the car gave out in the hills of a sf. The car said it had a problem with the transmission and would not give any propulsion risking going backward on a hill. The dealer updated the software. They said this was the fix. They said after 1000 miles it should fix itself. Since then the car has been running much more sluggish. It forces itself on accelerating. It jerks much more excessively when I take off the gas. It jerks much more when I brake and I hear the metal grinding and clanking together. It was a really bad software update. 1000 passed and we ran into another problem. I had the car parked in the house. Tried to turn car back on and would not turn on. I heard clicking noise as if the battery was dead. I had dome lights on for a few minutes but nothing excessive. Shouldn't die out like that. Tried several times to turn it on and nothing. Started to call roadside assistance for backup. I then removed the car charger I had plugged in and tried again. The car sputtered on and starting giving me notifications. A service and check engine light. Also the display said that there was a "transmission malfunction" and to service it now. The engine was really forcing itself as I heard it. RPM was high even going slow. Car still sputters on after a few tries. Checked the codes through obd2. Car was throwing P0606. Said that it was ECM/PCM processor problem. I have no idea what is wrong with this car. I feel like its completely falling apart all around. Horrible car with too many issues!!!! this car needs a massive recall on it!!! it is unequivocally unsafe and unfit for the road!

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #171

Dec 312014


  • 35,050 miles


Got my car new 2012 it is a 2011 had service work mostly oil change tire rotation ect in 12-31-14 had to take it in sounded like it was flying apart when you drive jerked when you tried to take off felt like you were driving on rocky road speed bumps they installed seals for leak clean clutch and perf test drive upload shudder to hotline for clutch appv installed new clutch and seals/repro PCM/tcm and perf trans adaptive relearn perf test drive vec hotline appv paaxr this done ok for a bit took back in Oct 2015 same problem jerking and sounds like it falling apart also had recall on door lock went back to get it I am very unhappy with car still have the problem they have to order parts as of today Nov 6 2015 had to be towed wont even crank and wont come out of gear dont buy one not sure what can be done but I feel like they should have to buy car back thats a lot of money and its hardley over the 36 000 miles. Not a happy buyer the dealership has been very nice but says that they dont know how to fix the problem but the makers wont tell you that so sorry car Ford buy them back.

- Hudson, NC, USA

problem #170

Nov 042015


  • 48,500 miles
After purchasing this vehicle in 2012, I experienced shaking while shifting, shuttering noises and idling in low gears. Several months after purchase, I contacted the dealership and I was told that oil was leaking onto my clutch. Covered under warranty, they replaced the flexplate and seals and reinstalled the transmission. I continued to experience shuttering, shaking and troublesome shifting but was reassured by the dealership that this experience was normal for this vehicle and its transmission and I need not be concerned. This week, while using cruise control at about 60 mph on a busy highway during rush hour, I heard what sounded like metal parts breaking under my left foot following by grinding noises. I pulled the car to the side of the highway safely but had to apply the E-brake because the car rolled forward in park and refused to accelerate in drive. I also saw messages on the computer monitor that read "hillside start assist" and "transmission ok." I called roadside assistance and after leaking what appeared to be oil all over the bed of the tow truck, the car has been taken to a Ford dealership. I have not yet received a diagnosis for the problem. The service adviser told me that he believes the issue is the traction control module. It should also be noted that two months ago, this same service adviser completed a tcm update following a letter I received from Ford this year to have this update applied. Ford Motor Company and all of their affiliated dealerships have endangered the lives and well-being of their customers and are providing misleading information about their vehicles.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #169

Nov 102014


  • miles
In November of 2014 I received my recall notice on my 2011 Ford Fiesta about a 'shutteringż issue within the motor/transmission. Since this time, my car has gone back every 3 months to have the same issue repaired. This will be transmission number 4 within 1 year. I was already told by the dealership that my car cannot be repaired. Ford cannot fix the issue. The dealership has been great, they have been honest with me from the start. They have advised that they will continue to try and fix the car under warranty until it runs out. The 2012 Fiestas do not have the same motor or transmission thus, the issue is fixed. I called my finance company and asked them if I can return the car since the car cannot be repaired. I was advised I had to go through Ford and have them start the paperwork. I was further advised that the paperwork has to be coded to reflex the car cannot be repaired, therefore it is coded differently to reflect on my credit report as a voluntary repossession due to unrepairable vs just non-pay. I called Ford customer relation team 1-800-392-3673 options 1,4 &5. I spoke with renee who advised I had to go to Ford credit to get the paperwork. Renee advised me my car is too old for them to buy back (my car is 4 years old). She further advised the number as 800-727-7000. She advised they would be able to help me. I called Ford credit and spoke with chad who advised me he could not help me since all I want to do is return my car and have the paperwork coded that it is being returned because the car cannot be repaired. I did not do anything wrong, I pay for my car each month and even for the months when my car is at the garage. I want to return the car and have my credit score not affected by the return.

- Northboro, MA, USA

problem #168

Oct 142015


  • 77,000 miles
My car has been into the dealer multiple times regarding the transmission shudder. Most recently when I received it back from the dealer the car came out of gear at 40mph almost causing a wreck. I took it back to the dealer. They said it's something internal with the transmission but they refuse to fix it. Now it doesn't want to come to a stop. It feels like it is searching for a gear the entire time you are driving it. I am scared to drive this car.

- Fort Smith, AR, USA

problem #167

Oct 272015


  • 57,000 miles
Loud noise and car seemed to be dragging and grinding.. like wheels wouldn't turn when I had driven 3 miles on a regular streett doing 45 mph.towed to said it was the transmission, they replaced it on thur Oct 22, on tues October 27, it went out again as I was driving home, same noises and complaint.. it only had 45 miles on it since the new transmission was put in 5 days previously.they aren't sure whats wrong..scared to drive the 65 years old,

- Sunrise, FL, USA

problem #166

Oct 242015


  • 60,500 miles
The transmission in my Fiesta has had the same issue for many months. Sluggish on acceleration, jerking motions while cornering, rough shifting, disengagement and grinding noises from the assembly. I have taken it to the dealer numerous times to be looked at. On some occasions they have performed parts replacements, other times they have reprogrammed the cpu. In every case the problem persists. There are instances when the dealer can replicate the problem and others where they cannot. I am very concerned about driving this vehicle as the powertrain is unstable. The vehicle currently has 60,000 miles on the odometer and is 5 years old. The problems have been occurring for several years. The date referenced below is the last date the problem occurred.

- Park City, UT, USA

problem #165

Oct 212015


  • 32,000 miles
The transmission is very sluggish between shifts of first and second gear. The car also doesn't always downshift when the brakes are applied. Had a recall notice from Ford for a software update to the tcm. Took in for service. No change. Dealer says it's just the way that transmissions works. Current situation is dangerous.

- Cutchogue, NY, USA

problem #164

Oct 212015


  • 734,000 miles
Currently driving my car with a bad clutch assembly because the part is on back order because of a customer satisfaction bulletin from Ford Motor Company. Driving today and the vehicle in front of me came to an abrupt stop. I came within an inch of rear ending the vehicle because when I put my brakes on my cars the clutch would not do downshift to stop my car. Had to steer to the right onto curb to avoid hitting the car in front of me, came within an inch of hitting the car. The dealer service department told me putting in a new clutch will not fix the problem because they are putting in the same defective part. This is my second clutch assembly within 7,000 miles.

- Trenton, MI, USA

problem #163

Oct 142015


  • miles
I bought a used 2011 Ford Fiesta in December of 2014. Within a couple of weeks I began to experience excessive shuddering, knocking, banging noises. Excessive shaking, stuttering. I have taken it to my Ford service department and all they said is Ford wont do anything until the car breaks down or fails to move at all. And when that does happen, all corporate Ford will do is replace the clutch and they even said that wont be a long-term fix because it will always happen again and again.. I am really fearful of getting into a serious accident with this lemon... I am hoping but not holding my breath on Ford taking responsibility for this.. until the NHTSA makes them do something about it.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #162

Sep 012015


  • miles
Car will not start. Push start button makes the car do a fast clicking noise. The car will not start even from a jump. Upon taking the vehicle to the auto shop discovered a bad transmission module resulting from overheating/loss of fluid. Module replaced by Ford. Three weeks later same problem.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

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