really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,639 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 Fiesta drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Ford Fiesta Owner Comments (Page 2 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #141

Jun 202016


  • 54,000 miles


Car jerks and shudders uncontrollably. Lurches into intersections after coming to a stop when clutch fails to disengage. Unpredictable speed. Does not accelerate onto freeway. Jerks violently when taking foot on or off gas pedal. Dangerous and terrifying. Replacement clutch has been ordered by dealership and is backordered 3 months. They must be recalled before someone dies.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #140

Jun 032016


  • 45,000 miles
This is an ongoing problem with this vehicle. When accelerating from a stop the car hesitates/stalls/shudders then lurches forward. There are also similar intermittent problems in all types of situations. Basically if the car is moving there are problems with the transmission. It becomes worse the longer you drive the car. Ford is aware of this problem and has extended the warranty on the transmission due to complaints. The dealership where I purchased the car would not even work on it so I had to go to another dealership. I have been in the second dealership multiple times over almost a year now but the car is still not fixed. They keep telling me the parts are on order but even if they do get them in there is no guarantee they will fix the problem. According to their "transmission guy" these automatics, now in millions of Ford models over many years, need to be removed and replaced with something else as they will never work properly. I agree and think Ford is just ignoring the problem hoping people will give up. The car is unsafe to drive period. Now I have a vehicle that I paid good money for and I am scared to drive it and Ford will not fix it under warranty. I would trade the car but even the dealership won't give me anything for it as they are aware of all the complaints. So basically my car has, in 4 years, depreciated to being worthless. I would like my money back so I can at least buy another car that I can actually drive.

- Clinton, MO, USA

problem #139

Sep 272012


  • 20,000 miles
My 2012 Ford Fiesta SE has the powershift 6 speed automatic transmission. In less that a year, the transmission shuddering problems started. You can feel and hear the shuddering in first, second and now sometimes third gear. The transmission has been in for software upgrades 3 times, has had one transmission rebuild, and I'm now three weeks waiting on my third new clutch to try to fix the problem. Ford Motor Company has obviously been fielding complaints about the powershift transmission for several years, yet other than extending the warranty, has done nothing to actually fix the problem. I bought the car new and was hoping to get 200K miles from it, I don't see that happening. It's time for a national recall on these cars / transmissions!

- Sunbury, PA, USA

problem #138

Dec 282012


  • 35,900 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle jerked violently and the transmission malfunction light illuminated. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 35,900.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #137

Jun 162014


  • 27,000 miles
My car has atransmission problem known by Ford. It shutters & stalls & is slow to change gears to the point where it could be dangerous. I am afraid that it will stall to the point where it could be rearended. It has been fixed once and needs to be again. I think it should be recalled along with thousands of others and the transmission be replaced. There is also a popping noise in the steering when I am turning. The next question asks when it happens and the answer is constantly.

- Jonesborough, TN, USA

problem #136

May 102016


  • 89,000 miles
Multiple problems were reported to me by the dealer as potentially being the cause when I took the car in for loss of power while driving, intermittent check engine light and wrench light along with shuddering in the transmission while driving. The dealer replaced (for the second time in 12-months) the clutch assembly, the seals, the clutch release lever and the clutch slave but stated that while the throttle body was bad and in need of replacement, the problem was not caused by the clutch nor did it contribute to the clutch problem and would not be covered by the extended Ford warrantee of the clutch. I had taken the car in with the same issue several months back but, because the check engine light was not on at the time, they dismissed the issue as normal functioning of the clutch. The same issue was the cause for the initial clutch assembly replacement a year ago. I plan to pursue the issue of the throttle body with Ford in light of the fact they are acknowledging and taking ownership of etb issues with 1.6M other Ford models in the same production period.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #135

May 242016


  • 99,000 miles


3 instances in the last 2 weeks of near accidents due to severe shuddering/hesitation. Almost T-boned at 3 different intersections. Car was unresponsive then shuddered and convulsed with near misses. Waited for nearly a month to get an appointment to check the clutch assembly. Multiple clutches replaced with long back-orders on parts. Car is a hazard to drive. Ford is now not offering a warranty of any kind for the replacement parts. I have lodged a complaint here in the past for the same near death or injury experiences. I have tried since the 1st clutch replacement to get relief from Ford Corp. They are uncooperative. Does anyone even read these things" Ford just posted huge profit margins. Are they too powerful for our gov't to do anything about this long occurring safety hazard? warranty runs out on car at 100,000. I have done my best to get rid of this car, but I have too much invested and Ford refuses to acknowledge there is a problem. How can your Agency not have done an intervention" if you want specific details about the numerous near misses and the cat like 9 lives I must possess, please, feel free to contact me.

- Sparta, WI, USA

problem #134

Apr 152016


  • 69,000 miles
I own a Ford Fiesta 2012, I have taken good care of it. Driven it well checked it often and never crashed it. I bought it in March 2014, got a letter later stating the transmission issue and warranty extension till 100K. Now that my car is having problems I took it in, it shutters and doesn't accelerate well and makes a really loud noise when driving. I have almost crashed several times due to malfunction when going from stop to go or trying to accelerate on the freeway. I do not feel safe in the car what so ever and am scared to drive it again until the issue is completely gone. This car is not safe at all. At times I have had a hard time going from a stop sign. I would stop and then when I am able to go my car jerks back and refuses to accelerate. I do not abuse my car, I drive speed limit and only on paved highways and streets. I have read many cases concerning this issue in this car and so I know the transmission is at fault and it is a manufacturer problem not the drivers. Ford has recalled the clutch and transmission but now states they cant fix my transmission under warranty only the clutch. I did not cause the transmission to malfunction I shouldnt have to pay for their problems and fault. I want Ford to either replace my transmission for free or just buy the car back. I do not feel safe driving it and putting my life and others at stake, having no control of my cars jerky movements and having it stall on me even tho it is a automatic car. I often feel like I am driving a manual car that I have no control off, it is scary! I do not feel safe at all and am constantly in fear driving it feeling like it may break on me any second and cause a crash harming me and possibly others. It is currently at the dealers and I am trying to contact Ford about my transmission but I will not pay 4000 dollars for a new transmission when I am not at fault here.

- Ferndale, WA, USA

problem #133

May 122012


  • 2,000 miles
This is to add to the many complaints about the Ford Fiesta transmission clutch shudder. I bought my car new, it began shuddering in a few months. I've brought it in to dealer for repairs 4 times in 4 years. The last time I was told there is a long, long wait for replacement of a faulty clutch with another faulty clutch. The Ford company has extended a useless warranty up to 150,000 miles, which strongly suggests the company is going to wait out the functional life of the car. The danger, in this case, is the financial loss incurred when trading in a car with a known fault for which the manufacturer is to blame, and receiving full value for a faultless trade-in.

- Northfield, MN, USA

problem #132

Apr 232016

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • miles
Purchased used in 2014 w/ 22754 miles for my daughter. Approx. Six months later, after moving out of town, started to complain about the car - sounds, shaking, sudden lack of power...when she drove. This is very well documented in your archived list of similar complaints with this vehicle and throughout the internet - all pointing to the transmission. Though she has taken the vehicle in numerous times on this issue, as well as a door latch recall, these so called software updates have still left serious issues. Though she says that the shuddering and loud noises have abated, she still has at times felt the transmission disengage. I am writing today because this has become a very serious safety issue - one of which my wife who was just visiting our daughter and as a passenger of this vehicle, witnessed first hand when the car lost all power to the transmission for several seconds. This occurred as they were crossing an intersection and with the loss of power, came close to being in an accident. There is never a warning when the car decides to behave in this fashion. I have now read too much about this problem and frankly shocked that this problem as gone on this long. I do not want my daughter hurt - I do not want anyone hurt. This seems to be an inherent design problem and Ford's recommended steps to remedy have not worked entirely. I do not fault the dealership that has tried everything to help her - even replacing a transmission control module (tcm). Let's do the right thing before someone gets seriously hurt. This goes well beyond just an annoyance problem or even the unforeseen reduction in the cars resale value. Thank you

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #131

Apr 212016


  • 80,000 miles


Transmission/clutch has major design flaws. We have had to have this reprgrammed twice and the clutch has been replaced twice as well. Is going back in to the dealership for the same issue, for what will now be the 4th time, to potentially have another clutch replaced. The vechicle "sputters" and jerks. This is a known issue with the transmission. This has been ongoing since purchase of the car, but most recently 4/21/2016.

- Odessa, MO, USA

problem #130

Apr 222016

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Previous complaint #10807331 follow up. Car still has transmissions shutter that we at told by Ford mechanic is unrepairable. On 4/22/16 I was driving on a residential road and the car failed to down shift when I tried to stop. It pushed me forward when I had the brake applied to stop at a streetlight. Thank goodness I wasn't driving probably more than 20mph because I almost rear ended the vehicle ahead of me before the transmissions allowed me to stop. Pls make Ford fix these issues, I have had this vehicle for over 4 yrs, they won't fix it, buy it back or even take it in trade for another vehicle. It is unsafe & it scares me wondering when it is going to act up again!! thank you if you're able to offer any assistance.

- Livermore, ME, USA

problem #129

Apr 082016


  • 92,000 miles
Purchased this vehicle in July 2013 with a little over 50K miles. Noticed within a couple weeks that it did make some strange noises (rattling, switching, etc.) particularly when shifting at speeds under 40mph. Had it checked out & nothing could be found wrong at the shop. Fast forward to March 2016 & the noises have got worse & louder, shifting is in no way smooth or normal, & sometimes feels like it is slipping. I have been in maintenance & management for several years & cannot have the wool pulled over my eyes on mechanical matters. Unfortunately though, I am not employed by any Ford entity so it is proving very difficult to actually get this problem resolved. 3 weeks ago I left the car with the local Ford dealership all day to check out the issues we've been seeing. When picked back up, they stated it only needed a programming update. I knew right away that it still wasn't like a normal vehicle but did not seem to be near as rough as before. Already now, it is far worse than ever. When normally accelerating around town/city, the car feels completely unsafe & un-reliable. I am afraid to allow my children to ride in this car which is a terrible feeling! I'm taking back to the dealership the first of this coming week hoping for a solution. We spent quite a bit on an extra warranty that is still in effect for quite a while but nobody seems to want to admit some components are sub-standard in quality. This is very frustrating to have to go through-first time for me. I truly hope that someone will take this issue seriously & address it before people are injured or killed due to the lack of quality that Ford has provided in these vehicles. To anyone considering purchasing any make or year of vehicle with like parts-I would seriously reconsider (truly & honestly). Mileage is now at 93K with 90% all highway miles since ownership (25 miles each way daily highway commute).

- Auburn, NE, USA

problem #128

Mar 022016


  • 43,000 miles
I bought this car in may of 2012, the car begins to shudder and rattle after only a few miles of driving it. When you go to take off in the vehicle it shudders and makes a loud rattling noise. It has been in and out of the shop multiple times, the computer has been reset, the clutch replaced although the it's an automatic transmission and was told it needed to adapt to my driving. After 4 years it still does it and no answers have been given. The car is unsafe. You have to push down hard on the accelerator to get the car to go without it shuddering to the point of feeling like you get whiplash. Ford Motor Company has extended the warranties on these vehicles to 100,000 miles, and provide no charge for service. The transmission is the problem and Ford does not want to fix it.

- Madison Hts, VA, USA

problem #127

Apr 032016


  • 26,000 miles
This is my daughters car she lives in los angeles. She had me fly over from Florida to evaluate her car because she was afraid to drive it. I was shocked what I found. The auto 'powershift' transmission developed serious stutter hesitation and grinding when pulling away from a stop. Vehicle sometimes failed to accelerate unless full throttle applied which was terrifying on the interstate. Serious shudder was experienced at low speed giving impression engine could stall. No confidence car was safe to drive. Transmission has already been repaired twice but is now worse than ever with only 26000 miles. I have had two vehicles with the Ford powershift both developed similar problems with low mileage. These transmissions are not safe!

- Tarpon Springs, FL, USA

problem #126

Apr 042012


  • miles
Shutters at 20 mph....jerking sometimes till it reaches 30mph.. have brought it to the service department 4 times....they said the car has to learn my driving habits. Once they told me that my rim was dented....I fixed that at a tune of 200.000...it made no difference. Going back to the dealership again in two weeks.

- Salem, NH, USA

problem #125

Jan 012014

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • miles
Inquiry from congressman courtney on behalf of constituents re a recall that should be issued for a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The consumer stated over the last two years, the transmission became a problem. There was a shudder coming from the transmission. The transmission control module, and transmission oil seal were replaced. Also, there were numerous reprogramming of the tcm. The vehicle has been to the dealer 13 times since January 2014 to address the transmission issue or the performance of the transmission. On one occasion, the vehicle left the consumer's daughter stranded. The transmission failure was unpredictable.

- North Stonington, CT, USA

problem #124

Feb 262016


  • 80,000 miles
Clutch/transmission shutter issues. Vehicle lunging and failing to accelerate from 1st to 2nd gear and from a complete stop. Clutch encased in a unvented B ell housing and subject ot over heating resulting in bucking. Have been in near accidents from not accelerating on highway and surface streets. Very dangerous and unsafe situation to be placed in. Have taken car in 5 times and had module replaced and problem still exists. Upshift bogs down and vehicle feels like it is going to stall. This has been an ongoing problem since purchase of car in April 2014

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #123

Feb 022016


  • 44,000 miles
When car is stopped or driving the transmission feels like it is going to slop. Feels like it is going to stall. Went T dealership and they said this is normal. This is not normal. Jerks and feels like chocking when driving or stopped. When accelerating jerks and feels like the transmission slips and isn't shifting. Went to dealership several times and they will not look into this. Looked online and noticed several forums and other people having the same troubles with the car. Needs to be corrected as it is a safety issue. Expressed. Concern with dealership that it was having troubles that it was either the transmission but looked at me. Like I did T know what I was talking about because I'm a chick.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #122

Nov 012015


  • 50,000 miles
Ford Fiesta 2012 transmition shakes everytime I go from stop to first and second gear, it vibrates and hesitates horrible, and the dealers keep saying it is "normal" even though I test drove a new Ford Fiesta and it does not have the same issue. I really do not know what to do now. I would not be able to sell it like this, and it can not be repaired because it is "normal"!

- El Paso, TX, USA

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