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 3 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #121

Feb 142016


  • 65,000 miles


Many Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus drivers are experiencing issues with transmissions. Ford claims this is a problem with the 'transmission control module (tcm)' and is telling its various dealers and service representatives to tell customers it's 'normal' for loss of transmission engagement while driving. I received a "software update program 15B22" notice from Ford in August 2015 and I first took my Fiesta to the Ford dealership on Sept. 22, 2015. I was told my vehicle did not register as 'severe' and they did not replace the tcm. On Jan. 19, 2016, my car would not start. Finally after several tries, the car started, and a "transmission malfunction service now" notice appeared. As I began to drive it, I noticed it sounded like it wouldn't change gears (nearing explosion sound) and I had a hard time stopping at a light. It was taken to the same dealership where I was told the tcm had failed and they replaced it. On Feb. 14, 2016, my car wouldn't start again and I thought it was the battery this time. Took it to a car parts store and it was. But when the battery was replaced, it wouldn't start again. After another try it started only to flash the "transmission malfunction service now" message reappeared. Once again when I tried to drive it, I nearly ran out into the path of an oncoming tractor trailer. In less than a month, the tcm on my 2012 Ford Fiesta (less than 5 years old) has supposedly failed, causing my vehicle to lose transmission engagement. Twice now my vehicle had a hard time catching the brake when this has happened and my Fiesta nearly ran out into the path of an oncoming tractor trailer in the latter instance. This is a safety issue that needs to be corrected by replacing all transmissions in the vehicles, not just this supposed tcm.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #120

Jan 272016


  • miles
My 2012 Ford Fiesta has a serious, ongoing life-threatening issue. The vehicle shudders when accelerating and causes me to lose complete control of the vehicle which has nearly caused my one-year old son and I to be in multiple accidents. I have had the transmission replaced on three different occasions yet the problem continues to occur which tells me there is something seriously wrong with the product and no matter how many new transmissions they install, the issue will always exist. One time this problem occurred while attempting to merge onto a freeway. I began merging and all the sudden the car shuddered and would not move forward no matter how hard I pressed on the gas. I had complete loss of control of the vehicle as oncoming cars grew closer and closer to hitting my son and I. if the car behind me did not slam on their brakes we would have caused a major accident. On a separate occasion I was attempting to make a left turn on a green light and the car moved forward and turned just enough to put my son and I in harms way and then stopped and did the shudder thing causing me to lose control of the vehicle not able to move forward. I am scared to drive it and feel like I am putting myself, my son and other vehicles at risk every time I have to drive.

- Ravensdale, WA, USA

problem #119

Jan 252016


  • 51,225 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. While traveling 40 mph traveling up a hill, the vehicle jerked heavily. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 51,225.

- Carmichaels, PA, USA

problem #118

Jan 292016


  • 1 miles


The transmission has a hard time shifting, it jerks, grinds and shakes a lot. The dealer has replaced the clutch, transmission module, and the whole transmission twice. It happens mostly in traffic at lower speeds, and not it is having problems in higher speeds. I have almost hit a few people because it will suddenly jerk forward when it shifts violently. Nothing Ford or other mechanics have done to fix it have helped, and carmax just laughs and sends me away when I go back to them. This car has had this problem everyday since I got it.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #117

Mar 202015


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle would shake and shudder. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, however the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch and catalytic converter needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, however the failure recurred a second time. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle needed a software update. The vehicle was repaired. However, the contact stated that the vehicle began to exhibit the same failure shortly after that repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 53,000.

- Sacremento, CA, USA

problem #116

Nov 212013


  • 51,000 miles
I'm filing this complaint against Ford Motor Company concerning my 2012 Ford Fiesta the vechicle has severals recall 0N it about the transmission I have put the vechicle in the shop six times since I purchase the vechicle in 2013 the vechicle jerks/shudder/climb up hill slow/roll back on hills/I almost been in several accident because of this vechicle I was driving on the freeway/stop on a hill vechicle roll back almost bump vechicle behind

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #115

Jan 142016


  • miles


I got my 2012 Ford Fiesta in September and every time I am at a complete stop(sometimes when im in the middle of driving it will do this also), when I push on the gas, you can geel the tranny slipping. Ford tried telling us it was because 2012 Ford Fiestas have a transmission like a stick shift. Even if it was supposed to run like a stick shift, it shouldnt be slipping as hard as it does. My car feels like its going to die everytime it does this. Its getting worse and worse.

- Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #114

Dec 232015


  • miles
The transmission slips, shudders and makes very unusual noises, I've had the clutch in it replaced just a few months ago and 2 weeks ago it starts the same thing all over again only now it's making a grinding noise when I start off until I get out of second gear, on occasions I could be stopped at a red light and the car would't even go, it's very difficult dealing with Ford on this matter because they need to keep my car and leave me with nothing to drive, they refuse a rental car. I have to drive my car many miles with my 7 year old son in it and it's not safe at all.

- Williamson, GA, USA

problem #113

Jun 022015


  • miles
Car has had transmission problems delay in shifts and jerky loud grinding noises. Have had 3 clutch repaires to solve and now to my forth. I've had three close calls as the car failed to accelerate acting almost if the brake was applied when entering trafic. These have been spaced over my ownership since 10/2011. The dealer and the tech tells me this is a design defect and that Ford will no longer offer this transmission design. This is a truly unsafe car when the clutch fails. The car was purchased new and had been reprogrammed 6 times and now will have its 4th new clutch installed and it only has 58,800 miles.

- Auburn, NY, USA

problem #112

Dec 092015


  • 80,000 miles
I purchased a 2012 Ford Fiesta new from a local dealership in March 2012. I always had problems with shuddering and was told that the car was just going to run that way. In March of 2015 my car started stalling and shuddering in low gear while in motion or when stopped. I took it to my local dealership, was told that it was a mass airflow sensor problem and it should be corrected. Before making it home it did the same day and then started showing a transmission malfunction service now message. I returned to the dealership, still driveable just with an error message. 30 days later I called to check on my car and was told it was not drive-able, the speedometer was not working, all the check engine lights were on and they could not drive it off the lot. After fighting to get my car fixed back to its original state, I paid more money for a ABS module that they stated was wrong as well as the transmission control module. Went to pick up the vehicle in September, car would not crank and had to be jumped to leave the dealership. Was told my battery was dead. After driving the car since September with continued shuddering, I awoke this morning December 9, 2015 to another transmission malfunction service now light and poor driving ability. Not sure if taking it to the dealership is going to do any good. If this is a repeated problem, and the transmission is giving multiple issues for everyone, this needs to be corrected. The value of the car is not even close to the pay off left on the vehicle, so I may have to just deal with the car sitting and not even being drive-able.

- Lugoff, SC, USA

problem #111

Sep 172015


  • 32,889 miles


I bought the car less than 5 months ago and have driven it 2,580 miles. The transmission and clutch are defective. It has been to the shop 3 times, they have already reprogrammed it, replaced the clutch and now they are replacing the transmission control module. The car has not shifted right from the day I bought it. It feels like it is going to "stall" when I'm in reverse (in motion), or when going from stop to go. I have been braking on numerous occasions, when it decided to upshift, lurching the vehicle forward, once into a crosswalk, once very close to another vehicle. This is very dangerous. It never drives the same way twice. When entering traffic, it doesn't always want to shift properly, and has lack of acceleration or a delay. It shakes, hard sometimes (in motion and stationary), it feels like you are in a massage chair. It makes a weird clicking noise, at times (in motion.) other times a weird grinding noise. Today it wouldn't get out of 1st gear (in motion) and had to be towed back to the dealer. I had to call out of work and I am concerned for my safety. Car bought 7/72015 - problems have been going on until today - 12/7/2015

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #110

Nov 112015


  • 25,000 miles
The 2012 Ford Fiesta has a known problem with its transmission. The dealer replaced the transmission module but the car jerks, stalls and sometimes dies out. Talking to the dealer today, we found out it is a problem with the clutch. The dealer stated Ford is aware of the problem but has yet to provide a "fix" for it. However, if the engine maintenance light goes on, then the problem will be addressed. In the meantime, we are supposed to drive this car hoping the engine maintenance light will go on, possibly enduring the possibility of having the car stop completely in an unfortunate situation. To us, this poses a real safety problem. You could be on the interstate travelling at a high speed and suddenly have the car glonk out, or even the car could suddenly lose all power in city driving leading to an unfortunate accident. This problem is supposed to be covered under Ford's ten year extended warranty on the transmission, but Ford does not want to fix the problem until, as in their words, "your problem worsens." I cannot believe that this safety issued can continue to be ignored by Ford Motor Company.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #109

Oct 272014


  • 28,142 miles
The transmission on the Fiesta shutters which causes lack of acceleration, delay of acceleration or a skipping of the transmission. This is a huge safety issue because you may pull out in traffic and lose the ability to accelerate, transmission issue can also cause lunging from a stopped position when it engages unexpectedly. Vehicle has been "repaired" several times with numerous clutches, seals and reprogramming of controls. Repairs usually only last a max of 500 miles and at this time Ford does not have a permanent fix to this issue which I feel is a huge safety concern for drivers. Dealer service department began repair attempts for this issue on 10/27/14.

- Livermore, ME, USA

problem #108

Dec 012014


  • 15,000 miles
In December 2014 I took my 2012 Ford Fiesta to the pacifico Ford dealership for a shutter clutch problem. They "fixed" the problem but my car continues to jerk, stutter, shake when in first gear. The car also makes a noise. I took the car back for a software update in October 2015 but the problems continued. My husband and I were told that there is nothing the dealership can do because it is just how the transmission is made. I was told that it would not cause a problem. I explained that when sitting in traffic it feels like my car is going to stall; it also jerks. The dealership acknowledged this, along with the noise and again told me there was nothing that can be done and that they were changing the transmission in newer models. I have concerns with the transmission, especially since I travel on the highway everyday to and from work and am concerned that the delay in shifting will cause an accident. I am also concerned that the pacifico Ford dealership acknowledged the problem and is doing nothing to help. My warranty it going to expire and my thoughts are that is when Ford will be able to address the problem since they will not be paying for it; I will.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #107

Nov 232015


  • 26,000 miles
Have had many instances of jerking and grinding while the vehicle shifted gears. However now vehicle struggles to accelerate when under load, engine revs but vehicle does not accelerate. This occurs notably when going from 10-20mph and trying to accelerate, as when trying to merge onto a highway from a ramp. Owned manual cars that required clutch replacement, sensation is similar. Vehicle has 26K miles, has had two clutches and three computer updates. Told by dealership that vehicle is safe to drive while they wait for parts, I disagree.

- Beverly, MA, USA

problem #106

Dec 032014


  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while driving at 50 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 77,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #105

Nov 022015


  • 48,000 miles
I've already reported on this site before regarding my 2012 Ford Fiesta with clutch failure (in December 2013 at just over 32,000 miles). Recently my car was acting sluggish and I made an appointment a few weeks from when I called (when an appointment was available). Then one morning while trying to start my car it died and refused to start. I had it towed to Ford, and it had a transmissional control module (tcm) failure which I guess caused my transmission to fail/engine not to start. This was at 48,000 miles. They fixed it and returned the car to me on 11/7 but the clutch still doesn't feel right. My car shudders, shakes, and has trouble kicking into gear which makes it feel dangerous to drive especially in city traffic or in the hilly areas of Colorado. I just had the clutch replaced at just over 32,000 miles and now at 48,000 miles it's giving out again!? it's crazy and it was just at Ford. I'm about to take negative equity on my car and get a safer car for my commute and for winter. I feel bad for who buys it next but I need a car that is safe to drive. I've been holding out hoping for nhsta and Ford to do the right thing and recall the cars/buy them back since Ford still does not have a permanent fix for these issues (3-4 years later and they still manufacture the cars the same way so later models have issues too!). I'm shocked that nothing has been done. After my last scare and fearing that I won't be able to get a good trade in value on my car for a new one if I wait I think I'm done. My next car definitely won't be a Ford

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #104

Oct 192015


  • miles
Our 2012 Fiesta with 30K miles has had constant problems with the automatic transmission. It has uneven and erratic shifts, pronounced shuddering, grinding and rattling. Slow progressive starts from a stop usually result in shuddering, it's actually smoother to mash the accelerator to the floor. Pulling up our steep driveway and into the garage is tricky, also results in shuddering and lurching. The behavior of the transmission is unpredictable to the point that I consider it to be an unsafe distraction. The dealer, and Ford, have issued service bulletins and a recall of sorts. It has been back to the dealer three times but apparently the only fix is reprogramming which isn't working. From conversations with the Ford technician and from what I've seen online I get the impression that it's common knowledge that these transmissions don't work and are potentially unsafe.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #103

Nov 112015


  • miles
The Ford Fiesta we have has had transmission issues for a while. We have taken it in 4 times, twice they claimed they reprogrammed the computer and replaced the clutch. We have continued to notice the vehicle jerking or pulsating when accelerating and braking. Ford has yet to respond to us with a resolution despite multiple attempts to have them address the issue. Our safety concern is that the transmission will eventually fail and put our safety in jeopardy.

- Chaska, MN, USA

problem #102

Nov 112015


  • 90,192 miles
Yes did a a letter early to day number 10789799 so what happen next go get in car to go to my other full time job car come out park tranmission not working 2 Fiesta in less than a year with same thing come on now really.so I go to dealer of couse out warrety by 15000 thousand mile really nothing can by about this service dept. Look at in week or longer than if is tranmission parts on back order really so I"M left out in the cold this is not right you think I"M mad you damn right.again please help make this right.

- Rockymount, VA, USA

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