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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Ford Fiesta:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Ford Fiesta Owner Comments (Page 9 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #61

Jan 092014


  • 88,000 miles


Driving on the freeway going normal speeds the "transmission failure" message popped up on my dash and the car started viscously jerking. The car had trouble stopping as if the brakes couldn't function properly cause the transmission was out. My car would fiercely jerk forward when I was coming to a stop that I then noticed I had to stop further back than normal in fear of the car jerking forward to hard and hitting the car in front of me. When I finally parked and was ready to go to a well lit area the car started up perfectly normal and the transmission failure message was gone. Took it to Ford and they couldn't understand the severity of the issue due to the fact that the car basically "fixed itself." I then asked them if it is going to take someone getting into an accident for them to recall the transmission on this car and they only told me "there's nothing they can do about it". they saw an issue and told me it would be approx. 3 thousand dollars to fix the car is only 2 years old. Ford also told me the car isn't safe for me to drive on the road. Yet they don't see that as a reason to not recall the cars to get it fixed since I'm positive my car isn't the only one that has done this. I guess myself almost getting into and accident and causing injury to myself and others is not a good enough reason for them.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #60

May 232012


  • 8,000 miles
When driving the car, the transmission makes bad noises when it is shifting. It jerks, grinds, and shifts erratically. I have taken the car to the dealership multiple times and have been told that although it is a real issue, it is normal. I have been to Ford dealerships at least three times and have been told that it is normal.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #59

Jan 112011


  • 72,500 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that the clutch would not engaged properly and caused the vehicle to stall while driving 15 mph. The contact took the vehicle to a dealer to have the clutch replaced but the repair did not remedy the issue. The failure mileage was 72,500.

- Mineral Bluff , GA, USA

problem #58

Dec 302013


  • 62,000 miles


My car's transmission is likely going out. Was driving up my driveway and was stuck for 15 minutes with the car half in the driveway and half on street. Tried reverse, forward...but nothing. Car has been sitting since 12/20. I did a vehicle health report thru my sync and it claims everything is "good" but yet the engine light is on! no sure where to turn or what to do next. Extremely discouraged and disappointed. Thought Ford finally had their act together!

- Blaine, MN, USA

problem #57

Oct 172013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Vehicle has the all too common "leaky seals" at the clutches on the tranny. Had contacted Ford prior-was told that the shuddering and rough shift was normal. Little did I know it was failing. The seals have failed, caused oil/fluid to get onto the clutches. Ford pulled tranny apart, twice, put back together and car shutters so bad they refuse to return it to me. Claim "too unsafe to return to you". Ford then instructed dealer to "order new replacement parts (3rd time) and replace-the replacement parts used must have been defective." Before parts arrived, Ford cancelled order. Informed me "there is no repair available for this issue. There is Fiesta and Focus's held up at dealerships all over the country. We can put you in a rental for 6 to 8 weeks and hopefully in that time Ford will figure out a way to fix this issue." I asked Ford why they don't replace the transmission with a new one, was told "no, the new ones have the same defect and they too will fail as well. Ford has had my car since mid October 2013.....currently no fix avail......lemon law vehicle!

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #56

Jul 012013


  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while traveling at various speeds, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that first and third gear had failed. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 29,000.

- Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #55

Oct 152013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


Referring to previous complaint #10546964, vehicle was towed to a Ford dealership for examination and repair after opening case # with Ford Motor Company and referencing research that points to a systemic problem with Fiestas. Shop had vehicle for three days and reported a repair had been completed, a computer "update." Car was retrieved and after 30 miles of driving +/- same problem returned when transmission stopped working and no gear could be found. Turning the car on and off was not easily done and on more than one occasion there was no response when trying to start the car. On at least two occasions, the problem occurred on a two lane road with no emergency lane so vehicle was stopped on us 321 with no immediate way to move it to a safe area. Since it was after 8:00 P.M. traffic was minimal. When the car was started finally, we were able to get it home by not going over 30 mph. This is a dangerous situation that does not seem isolated to this one car. This is the same problem that was not diagnosed when the car was in my possession for less than one month. The recommended fix, at over $100, did not result in any resolution of the problem. There appears to be a problem with the Fiesta transmission and the communication it receives from the computer rendering the vehicle completely immobilized and unable to function.

- Mountain City, TN, USA

problem #54

Nov 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
I have had numerous instances of my car just dying on the road. The first time this happened, I was making a turn into my subdivision in front of oncoming traffic. When I hit the gas my car slowly rolled into the middle of the street. Luckily the oncoming drivers were paying attention and slowed down enough to not hit me. I pulled off the road, put the car in park and restarted it. This happened on and off but the dealer could never find an issue. To start it was no more than once a day but this weekend it happened at almost every stop. It continues to have this issue. When I stop at a light or stop sign it rumbles and cuts off. It has gotten so bad that I'm afraid to drive down busy streets. I keep my radio off just so I can be sure to hear when this happens otherwise I'll be caught in the middle of oncoming traffic again. In addition to this most recent issue, the car had multiple issues in the past. The first month that I purchased this car it would just not turn on most mornings, or even after being off for a short amount of time.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #53

Sep 152013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 55,600 miles
I bought this car used with 35000 miles on it. The first thing I noticed was when starting or stopping the car would shudder, like it was gripping and couldn't catch a gear. I normally drive hwy, and I notice no problems when going above 45mph. However I was in stop and go traffic and I thought the car was going to stall on me numerous time, it would shake and make grinding sounds. This car is an automatic and I thought I was driving a manual, that's what it felt like, like I didn't have the clutch in and was coming to a stop. Well about 3 weeks ago when I was pulling up to a stop light, the car stalled completely. Just turned off, and it really scared me. Since then the car has stalled 3 times, each time as I am coming to a stop. I took it in after each time it stalled and I am told that since no check lights came on there is no way they can diagnose anything. I mentioned the shuddering as well, and they gave me a print out with the "usual" feelings associated with the particular transmission that is on my car. I am pissed and very dissatisfied, I love this car, the look, the interior, the electronic upgrades are awesome but these issues with the transmission are miserable. I am scared driving my car. I just want Ford to recognize this problem and help us out. We are buying their product, you would think they would fix these issues.

- Anza, CA, USA

problem #52

Jul 012013


  • 50,000 miles
The first incident occurred on start of the vehicle. The car would not go into gear. No lights came on and problem could not be replicated. Stopped, restarted and worked fine next incident at highway speed.. the car revved up and then was unresponsive to accelerator. Had to coast off highway, stop car and restart.. immediately after took to dealer who did a software update about a month ago. Yesterday, had multiple incidents in stop and go traffic where car became unresponsive to accelerator in the middle of heavy traffic and while exiting highway and light did come on. This car makes me fear for my life. Car is back at dealership and I will never drive it again as there is no warning as to when this malfunction will occur. There is a serious defect that people need to be warned about. I will be trading mine asap.

- Cataula, GA, USA

problem #51

Aug 092013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles


While driving the expressway at ~4:00am through downtown detroit my vehicle lost all power to accelerate. There were no instrument indicators, but the transmission would not respond to accelerator pedal compression. Fortunately, there was lighter than usual traffic at the time, but normally it would have been very difficult to safely move a disabled vehicle from the extreme left to the right side shoulder without engine/transmission control. The vehicle is currently at a fmc dealership awaiting inspection/repair. I submit this report because I feel, based on numerous other reports I've read, that the Fiesta may be a safety concern.

- Dearborn Heights, MI, USA

problem #50

Jul 082013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 47,024 miles
This is my first new car and I thought I did a good job on my homework with the Ford Fiesta 2011 but I'm starting to have problems at 47,800 miles. First it was a recall on the "air bag" which I returned and the problem was fix as they stated. Secondly, I started notice from time to time the car would hestiate or get stuck in gear especiallly coming around corners. At one point the car was driving very sluggish and I express my concern to Ford and it was brought in immediately. The mechanic and myself took the car out for a test drive and as he drive he stated "I had to much air in the tires"......( ?). on 7/8/13 the check engine came on and I'm thinking what could be the problem at 40,000+ miles once again I called Ford and immediately the car was taken in for service. I was told it a sensor issues and they would have to order the part but the car was safe to drive. Once I received my vehicle back I notice the check engine light was not on and the car was driving extremely sluggish and it seem to have no power. The car was taken back for service on 7/16/13 to have the sensor removed and it was placed w/ " rear oxygen sensor" as they stated. Looking back, once the sensor was replaced the car was not the same. It was little over a week the car was back at Ford due to wheezing, high pitched and faint sounds. The car performance was poor!!!! Ford stated the transmission. It still baffle me at 47,880 I'm having a transmission problem....... I drove a rental provided by Ford until they fix my vehicle and I was given a call everyday rearding my vehicle. I pick up my vehicle on 8/2/13 and it stated " the tech removed and replace tranny" it doesn't say it new or extended warranty therefore I question the work that has been done on my vehicle?

- Patchouge, NY, USA

problem #49

Jul 162013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
I traveled from williamsburg va. To new cumberland, pa on business. I stopped for lunch, finished then proceeded to my hotel. On the way at about 40 mph I heard a loud grinding noise during acceleration. I'm retired military so I was close to an mwr auto care on base. Their technicians took a look and told me they were 95% sure it was transmission without opening the unit. From there I took it directly to the closes Ford dealership, and they told me they couldn't even look at it for two days. They referred me to a transmission company they use around the corner. They told me they would do a dynastic and would let me know. I received the call and they told me the engage barring system unit was going. Both the owner and manager did some research and found a lot of material on this 2011 Ford Fiesta transmission. Ford had already done 5 updates. I also did some research and found a lot people were having problems with this transmission. The transmission company told me that Ford had this unit on a major back log due to the problems around the country. They found a rebuilt that they could have in two days, where waiting on Ford would have been a month. Because I was on business, I needed to get back to virigina so $2530 later I'm writing you. Is there any guidance or information you could provide? I would like to see if there is a way to have Ford pay for their transmission problems.

- Lanexa, VA, USA

problem #48

Jul 192013


  • miles
Numerous time the engine stalls after stopping. Transmission has always jerk and hesitated. Now stalling problem. Stalled four time today. No engine lights or warning! will never buy again! google all the problems with the car!

- Sagamore Beach, MA, USA

problem #47

May 292013


  • 56,400 miles
On 29 may, 2013 my family and I were driving on the highway when the car stalled. The rpms went up and the car just kept losing speed until it would no longer go with no trouble lights, which it gave the impression the car had slipped into neutral. A tow truck came and brought the car to the nearest Ford dealership. The dealership service representative started the car as soon as it arrived and it started up right away and stated since there were no trouble lights that they could not properly diagnose the car so they returned the car to us. On 5 June, 2013 my family and I were driving on the highway when it stalled again, but we turned off the car and let it sit, then restarted it and it was able to make it to another Ford dealership where they did an inspection. They drove the vehicle for 27 miles and could not recreate the issue and no trouble codes were present so they could not diagnose it. They gave us back our car and on our way home it stalled four more times nearly causing accidents with a semi-truck. It was brought back to the first Ford dealership where it was kept from the 7th-11th. The problem could not be created and the car was released back. On the way home it stalled again. On the 14th it stalled again while waiting at the right turn lane at an intersection and I brought it to the dealership where it was kept from the 14th-19th for further diagnosis. They were finally able to get a code that required the powertrain control module (PCM) to be updated and recalibrated. On the 20th it would not start and a tow truck was called and they gave it a jump start. I then took it to auto zone and the battery tested fine and the dealership later had the same results. A pen light tester showed power was being drained from the battery. The car stalled again on the 22nd requiring it to be pushed off the road twice. Now the dealership says the battery is bad. Recall?

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #46

Jun 252011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 1,400 miles
A quick snapshot of the story is that we purchased a brand new Ford Fiesta through military car sales in June of 2011. After having the car for less than one month and putting 1,400 miles on it, the automatic transmission went out on it in the middle of our vacation. We lost a day of our vacation and some cash in non-refundable hotels stays but ended up with a rental car which was finally covered under the military car sales warranty. One month later, we got the car back and after another month and another 1,500 miles, the second transmission went out... a month and a half later and two more transmissions, we finally got the car back. Since then the car has been back to the Ford dealer four times to correct issues with the automatic transmission (computer programming); one time they were unable to duplicate the issue my wife experienced with the car and we were forced to accept it back as is. Fast forward to today and our lovely car has been at the dealer for the past month getting another transmission, with no end date in sight. Military car sales warranty department continues to claim that we do not meet there guidelines/threshold to warrant them buying back or replacing the car. My wife and I have had to take countless hours off of work to take the car in to the dealer, pick it up, get the rental cars, renew the rental agreements, go to pmo or custom and then get a new gas card; none of which we get compensated/reimbursed for. Part of the issue is that since the vehicles purchased on base are U.S. specs, german Ford dealer will repair warranted items, but are not accountable to replace the vehicle if it is deemed to be a "lemon"; this is the responsibility of the military car sales warranty department. Had I purchased this vehicle in the U.S. I would simply drive the car back to the dealer and he would replace it, not quite the case here in germany.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #45

May 232013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 61,290 miles
My 2011 Ford Fiesta after not even 5 days of driving the vehicle it started jerking/lunging forward making crazy clicking noise. Transmission service soon light came on called them they came to my house and got it. It took them two weeks to find the problem and fix it. Then I was told the car has to get use to my driving never heard that a day in my life. Now it's grinding, slipping, hesitating, lose power, and roll backwards at take off. I was doing 65 last week when the car started jerking and I almost got hit. Taking it in Saturday to see what they say this time.

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #44

May 062013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
All three occurrences requiring my car to be taken to a shop for repairs involved the vehicle moving at hi-way speeds. While travelling at 65mph, the cruise control cut out and engine died, so I had to coast to the side of the road. Eventually it restarted and I got home. The issue was electronic in nature according to the dealership where I bought the car, and took it for service. The part was not immediately available and when asked, the dealership said it was safe to drive until the part came in. The repair was made under warranty. The second problem was very similar to the first occurrence, and the dealership told me it was a different problem, but was nonetheless electronic in nature. The repair was made under warranty. The third and most recent issue involves the transmission. On my daily commute, cruise set at 65mph, the transmission disengaged. There was no power to the drivetrain. When I coasted to the shoulder, no gear could be achieved. When shut off, the car would not restart. After about ten minutes, after many clunking and clicking noises had occurred under the hood, the car started and I continued. It happened again...and again. This occurred five times in 30 miles, and finally the car would not restart. This was about five miles from home and my car had to be towed to the dealer for repair. The car is two years old with 85,000 miles. All miles are hi-way miles. All routine maintenance has been performed with receipts. This vehicle is a safety hazard, for intermittent, total loss of power and control on the hi-way, as well as leaving the occupants stranded at risk, on the shoulder of said hi-way. Ford does not seem to want to acknowledge publically that this is a safety problem (I.e. recall).

- Smithton, MO, USA

problem #43

May 012013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The transmission makes grinding noises in gears 3 to 6 Ford mechanic says it is normal, there is nothing normal about it. I don't dare go on the highway. There are many complaints on the internet why isn't Ford doing anything?

- Weare , NH, USA

problem #42

Apr 202013


  • 33,000 miles
Car accelerated forward while in reverse gear. The car was put into reverse gear to back into a parking space in a drive way on a slight,15 degree ( approximate ) incline. As the accelerator was pressed the car lunged forward instead reverse.

- Redlands, CA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?