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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
1,980 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2011 Ford Fiesta Owner Comments

problem #18

Dec 032012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2011 Ford Fiesta. Consumer writes in request to initiate safety recall for "bucking and jerking" problem while driving. The consumer stated the bucking and jerking when slowing down and coming to a stop. At the last moment the transmission would drop into the lowest gear while the engine was still reducing its RPM. The engine is the pulling against the braking action when the RPM's bump up to 16-18 RPM. The consumer was informed by the dealer, that they were aware of the situation, but they couldn't do anything about it. They also stated it may require reprogramming a control module, which they couldn't do, unless Ford initiated it.

- Los Gatos, CA, USA

problem #17

Dec 022010

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. While driving approximately 65 mph, the engine began to roar and the vehicle exhibited an abnormal clicking before stalling. The engine warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel during the failure. The vehicle restarted after repeated attempts. In addition, the contact stated that when driving at various speeds, the transmission would exhibit hesitation. On a separate occasion the gear was shifted into drive when the transmission failed to operate. The failures recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer four times for the failure. The tcm and PCM modules were replaced and later, the computer system was updated. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 85. Updated 10/17/12 the consumer stated the vehicle would not move forward. The dealer replaced a cable. Eight months later, the check engine light illuminated. On another occasion, the vehicle would not start and when it did start it would stall, or just rev. The transmission module was replaced. Updated 10/18/12

- Miamisburg, OH, USA

problem #16

Aug 102011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
This is in regards to a new 2011 Ford Fiesta with the powershift 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. 3 times now I have experienced the transmission hesitate for an extended period of time before engaging. Each time it has happened I have been coasting in traffic at speeds between 15-25 mph or so, waiting for oncoming traffic to pass and then attempting to accelerate across lanes of traffic without getting hit. When doing this, instead of accelerating quickly to avoid getting hit by traffic the car would act like it was revving but not engaging the clutch so I would end up just coasting across lanes of incoming traffic. To avoid having this happen I have learned that I have to quickly and fully stomp on the gas pedal in order for the transmission to realize I'm in need of quick acceleration. Using only moderate pressure on the gas pedal yields the scary hesitation that has lead to near imminent collisions. Light pressure to the gas pedal tends to make the car barely accelerate at all and sometimes feel like it's about to stall. It seems to me the computer gets confused in this scenario since you are first decelerating, then coasting, then trying to accelerate again all within a short time-frame.

- Marion, IA, USA

problem #15

Jul 272011


  • 500 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. While driving driving approximately 10 mph, the transmission emitted a loud grinding noise with excessive hesitation. On a separate occasion the transmission failed to respond during acceleration. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer four different times for the identical failure. Most recent the vehicle was taken to the dealer and an engineer inspected the vehicle and stated the transmission response was a common characteristic. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 500.

- Wetumpka, AL, USA

problem #14

Apr 112011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
Test drive was great. At approximately 100 miles the automatic transmission started to miss gear shifts at speeds below 15 mph. The transmission would shift up into 2nd and unexpectedly shift back down into 1st, the same with 2nd and 3rd gear shifts. I am also hearing a metal chatter/scrapping sound below the car at all speeds. Recently I had to suddenly brake hard and when I went back on the gas the car did not accelerate, it seemed to still be in 4th gear and did not shift down or select the proper gear. At 1000 miles I went to the dealer and they could not duplicate the problem. I am going back to the dealer for a second time and will be contacting Ford if the problem is not corrected. I have had the vehicle for only 4 months and currently have 1800 miles on the odometer. This has been a problem since 100 miles new. The consumer stated the vehicle would stall during up shifts, unless he put the vehicle in low gear and slammed on the accelerator. Frequently, the transmission, seemed to pulse in and out of gear, and going up a hill, the transmission would not stay in gear, it would try and shift down only to shift back up once he lightly let off the gas. Updated 11/15/11

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #13

Jun 102011


  • 2,000 miles
Car model: New Ford Fiesta year: 2011 delivery date: March 25, 2011 kilometers: 3000 following the replacement of the transmission assembly due to grinding noise and random acceleration in June 2011, I.e. 2 months after the delivery date of my new Fiesta, much more problems with the new transmission, the dealer refused to repair denying the exiting problems, a complaint was to Ford headquarters on 12 July 2011. A service manager left me a voice mail that everything is ok with the car! I wonder, on what basis did she build up her decision?! the following problems are not ok! 1- random acceleration 2- rolls back while on a drive position (randomly and unexpectedly) 3- hesitation (obvious can?T be denied) the car loses its power randomly and after a long drive. 4- buzzing grinding noise when pressing the gas pedal increasing day after day the above mentioned are safety issues and have to do with transmission. I'm still waiting for for headquarters to address the issue properly, and take the responsibility, escaping the problem won't solve it. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Mississauga, 00, USA

problem #12

Mar 012011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 800 miles


My 2011 Ford Fiesta has issues with the transmission. It shifts hard and irratically shifts at lower speeds. I have taken it back into the dealership 2 times in the first 5 months of owning it and all they did was a software update on the second visit. The first visit, they said they could not find anything wrong with it. I now have another appointment for tomorrow and I have only had this car since February. I have driven it hoping that it would just work itself out since it was new but it has gotten worse over time.

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jun 152011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 3,800 miles
2011 Ford Fiesta has a "blubbering" transmission, most notably when accelerating slowly. Beyond this, my vehicle has now stopped accelerating and slowed to a complete stop at least 8 times in less than on month. After the very first incident, I was able to turn my car back on, but had the same problem happen again within 5 minutes. The second time, the car did not turn back on. I was towed to the nearest Ford dealership where they found no problem, reset the computer, and sent me on my way. The next morning, the vehicle stopped again on the freeway on the way to work. I went to a different Ford dealer that did a more thorough inspection. They replaced a fuse, explaining that it might be a power issue. My vehicle was fine for another week, but then stopped 4 times in a 24 hour period. I took my vehicle in to the dealership for the third time this month. They contacted Ford engineers who helped the mechanics determine that it was a transmission problem. I am currently waiting on parts to be delivered to the dealership so that my vehicle may be repaired.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #10

Dec 132010


  • 10 miles
Transmission up shifts/down shifts very hard at speeds between 10-30mph. Worse when in traffic.

- Heartland, TX, USA

problem #9

Apr 232011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 7,200 miles
Horrible horrible horrible!!! I have taken my 2011 Ford Fiesta in at least 6 times to fix the transmission which is completely shot and every time I get it back they state that "they all do that", or "its perfectly fine." That is complete rubbish! on the freeway my car will shift up and down randomly to the point that it sounds like the engine will explode. The car shifts really hard and I smell burning clutch every time I drive the car. The most the dealership has done is reflashed the transmission computer. (which would not accept the flash) and to make matters worse the service manager even told me to get lost and take it somewhere else because he was done wasting his time on the car.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #8

May 042011


  • 100 miles


Transmission shift erraticly when slowing down or while driving in heavily congested traffic. Sometimes it will make vehicle lunge forward with very light fuel pedal application. Transmission is also making an audible "clunk" when this happens. Maybe a PCM re flash could correct the problem? this has been an ongoing issue since day one starting in December 2010.

- Heartland, TX, USA

problem #7

Apr 022011


  • miles
The incidents I report are caused by the transmission. This new dual clutch system is not selecting appropriately the right gear and often cause to have the car moving ultra slowly at start. Not to mention the huge metallic noises when downshifting at slow speed.

- Ca, CA, USA

problem #6

Apr 092011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 1,937 miles
Transmission unexpectedly changing gears or selecting incorrect gear. Sudden loss of power due to transmission remaining in too high a gear for engine rpms. Lapse in gear selection causes erratic and dangerous acceleration. Dangerous gear changes cause car to both surge and stall - depending upon engine rpms not corresponding to correct transmission gear.

- Waukesha, WI, USA

problem #5

Mar 072011


  • 4,000 miles
Transmission unexpectedly changing gears or selecting incorrect gear. Sudden loss of power due to transmission remaining in too high a gear for engine RPM's. lapse in gear selection causes erratic and dangerous acceleration. Dangerous gear changes cause car to both surge and stall - depending upon engine RPM's not corresponding to correct transmission gear.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #4

Feb 102011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,700 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. While driving approximately 5 mph, the accelerator pedal was engaged followed by a three second delay response. The failure would occur at any given time. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they informed the contacts that the vehicle was operating properly. The failure mileage was approximately 3,700. Updated 05/25/11 the consumer stated O several occasions the vehicle could not decide which gear to go into. There was delay in acceleration. Updated 07/08/11

- O'fallon, MO, USA

problem #3

Jan 132011


  • 6,000 miles
Unusual clunking noises when starting in the cold. Sounds like a dead-battery start, but louder. Can start car, but not without this odd noise. Yesterday, after starting car, it refused to engage in any gear--either reverse or drive. Turned car off, re-started and was then able to find a gear. Also, first and second gears are not engaging properly; there is a clunk when slowing down and it is herky-jerky. It is in for service now as I type, but the courtesy van driver told me they have had 2 Fiesta's in already with this problem and he wouldn't be surprised if there were a recall. Gulp.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #2

Dec 082010


  • 1,200 miles
2011 Ford Fiesta, have had for 28 days (purchased on 11/10/10) has been in to shop twice. First time the engine was very slow to turn on--like a dead battery with clicking noises. This time, the car was slow to turn on and would not go into gear, would try to reverse or drive and it would rev like it was in neutral. Finally got it to function, but was very worried about driving it. Took to dealership today, they recharged the battery and scrapped some paint off of some part and put some kind of oil on it. I was told that battery problems could affect some thing in the transmission's memory and that the car could "forget" how to go into gear or forget what gear it is in. This worries me as I drive quite a bit for work. I was told at dealership that all vehicles have problems with them (Chevy, Dodge, etc....) I am not completely satisfied with that. I am keeping all paperwork related to this because I don't think charging the battery and scraping some paint has anything to do with fixing this problem. The car has 1200 miles on it (mainly highway) and I really expected a much better product. I even had to miss a night of work due to sitting in the service department the batter part of the day.

- Gray, TN, USA

problem #1

Sep 252010


  • 200 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. While reversing or attempting to stop, the contact noticed a loud noise. The vehicle was taken to a transmission specialist who stated that the transmissin needed to be replaced. The transmission was replaced by the local dealer but the failure continued. The manufacturer had not been notified. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 200 and the current mileage was 1,046.

- Falmouth , VA, USA

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