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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Ford Fiesta:

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

2012 Ford Fiesta Owner Comments (Page 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Apr 022012


  • 500 miles


As I accelerated, the gears began making a grinding noise. This cause the entire vehicle to vibrate and shake uncontrollably. This occurs 80% of the time when I press on the accelerator and start accelerating. Also, when I try to drive the vehicle at slower speeds between 30-45 mph, the gears grind constantly and the vehicle will sometimes vibrate uncontrollably. When I first got the vehicle, it was very minimal vibration and/or gear grinding. I have had the vehicle almost 2 years now and it now has 40K miles on it. The grinding noise is now very very loud and the vehicle shakes even worse than before when accelerating. If I had the rate the vibrations/shaking of the vehicle out of 10, I would rate it a 9. when I first took it to the dealer I bought it from back in April 2012, I was told that this was the way the vehicle drives because of the type of engine/transmission. I was told the vehicle has a manual transmission and the gears are shifted by a computer. So, I took their statement at face value. Now, after owning the vehicle for almost 2 years, I have been doing a lot of research and finding that several other owners are experiencing this problem. This, I believe, is definitely a safety issue because the vehicle is not performing properly and it vibrates so strongly that the entire vehicle shakes and in my opinion, this could cause loss of control of the vehicle.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #20

Jan 052014


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that she was driving approximately 10 mph when the vehicle became resistant to acceleration. The contact depressed the accelerator pedal but the vehicle did not respond. The vehicle erroneously accelerated once the contact released the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Vailley Village, CA, USA

problem #19

Dec 012013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • miles
My car had some suspected issues from the beginning (grinding noise when shifting through gears) but I assumed it was because of the dual transmission the car drove like a manual. I had some issues with shuddering but I was assured it was because of the way that the transmission is. In December when my car was about 2 years old and I had about 32,000 miles on it the noise intensified and become worse, it was also accompanied by the car shuddering almost constantly namely at low speeds. I took it for an oil change, and the technician told me that something seemed off with the transmission so I might want to have a Ford dealership look at it since it was still under warranty. A couple days later I was accelerating from a green light and my car did what seemed like a semi-stall, the car died for about 10-15 seconds before kicking back on. I took it to the dealership, and apparently some Ford Fiesta's have a defect of some sort in the transmission which causes the clutches to slip. They gave me a free loaner car, but I have no idea when I will get my car back since the parts that are needed are massively backordered. I feel like Ford owners that may be affected by the issues with the transmission should be notified of this potential issue. It may not be a huge safety issue now, but if those transmissions start giving out it could be. Hopefully there will be no other issues with my car especially after it is no longer under warranty.

- Salem, VA, USA

problem #18

May 152012


  • 200 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph uphill, the vehicle began to independently roll away in reverse. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 200.

- Valley Village, CA, USA

problem #17

Nov 042013


  • 33,000 miles
Ford has a problem with cvt transmission. The seals leak. They give lip service to repairs. I went many times to lafayette Ford. They replaced the transmission seal. The transmission still slips. Now they say it is the clutches. Ford has the part, on back order. I have asked, for a new transmission. The Ford area manager said no. The think there needs to be a recall of the cvt, on 2012-2014 focuses and Fiesta.

- Lillington, NC, USA

problem #16

Dec 072013


  • 39,500 miles
The vehicle has serious transmission issues. In low gears it often lurches, shakes, and stall out as if it's going to drop the gear. There is a loud grinding/rattling sound when the car shifts. It feels very unsafe driving in stop and go traffic or in city conditions. The issues with the lurching gears and dropped gears also make it very difficult to accelerate quickly. This makes merging onto a highway unsafe.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #15

Dec 032012


  • 1,000 miles


Its rolls backwards, again as previously stated it has definite transmission issues. Sometimes it won't shift very well at all. Hesitating and feels like it will stall at any minute. Hills are the worst, very hard to get up them. Not only does it spit and sputter shifting up but you can also hear the clunking of the transmission when it shifts down.

- Bridgeport, OH, USA

problem #14

Nov 212013


  • 26,500 miles
My cars transmission is noisy, it grinds, it slips, it sounds like it's going to stall and I've had it at the Ford dealership twice and they refuse to touch it. They tell me it's normal and they can't do anything about it. It's not safe. It sounds horrible and it does slip out of gear.

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #13

Oct 012013


  • 42,000 miles
The clutch/transmission is defective in these cars. We have had our clutch worked on twice since we have owned the car. It will fix the problem for about 10K miles and then it will start shuttering as we start from a stop. It will also nearly stall out and shudder going up a hill. Ford says it is not a common problem yet I have read a bunch of complaints online about the issue. I will never buy a Ford again.

- Jonesborough, TN, USA

problem #12

Jul 102012


  • 15,000 miles
After purchasing in December of '12, the first problem arose after only 15 000 miles. The car was making a S noise from the transmission. I had to take it to the dealer twice, first time they didn't want to even acknowledge the problem. Then at 30000 I noticed fluid leaking from the vehicle. Turns out it is the oil leaking into the bell-housing, causing the car jerking, stalling on hills and freeways-very unsafe to drive it. Sometimes it takes up to 4 seconds after pressing the gas pedal for cat to react(very dangerous when merge on freeway or changing lanes) and the dealer won't be able to get me in until next December because there is no necessary parts. And stated "well it should be fine until then." I've heard that one person already won the lemon law case against Ford regarding this vehicle. Online forums and reviews are full of complaints on Ford Fiesta 2012 transmission.

- Kirkland, WA, USA

problem #11

Sep 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 525 miles


Feels like it strains as it shifts, feels like something in the transmission is not right. I am made to feel like its nothing and I know it is. I barely drive it over 25 miles per hour unless I go off the island and ofcourse there have been tire issues, kumho solus tires, tire size 185/60/15. I nearly had a deadly crash with a semi. I have filed a complaint about that also. The sync system seems to mess up alot also and gets worse with time.

- Chincoteague, VA, USA

problem #10

Apr 272012


  • 112 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated while the vehicle was in drive gear, she removed her foot from the brake pedal and it moved in reverse independently. The contact stated while driving the vehicle also sputtered as if it was changing gears in a manual transmission. The vehicle was equipped with an automatic transmission. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who reprogrammed the computer and the failure ceased. The failure recurred twice. The failure was reported to the manufacturer. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 112. The current mileage was 15,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #9

Sep 282012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
I purchased my "new" vehicle in August 2012 and very soon there after I heard a rattling noise in the front of the car. The dealership made a date for me to bring the car in. They stated that they were not able to hear the noise but that Ford was aware of the problem because other people have had the problem. Close to my second oil change date I brought my vehicle in and asked if they would again try to hear the noise because it drives me crazy. They again stated that they did not hear the noise and that Ford is aware there is a problem. On my 10,000 check up I again asked that the service person check out the noise well apparently by this time Ford had figured out that there was a shield in the transmission that needs to be sealed. On May 16th I was told the part would be at the service station in a couple of days. Today is the 30th no call and no part and now I am told the end of June. I am moving out of state and need to drive my rattling broken down transmission 2,000 miles in my what was supposed to be a brand new car. August will be a year. It is not fair I still pay my loan for my broken down piece of junk.

- Granby, CT, USA

problem #8

May 012013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
My 2012 Ford Fiesta, like all automatic transmission 2012 Fiestas and focuses, has developed chronic transmission problems -- slippage, rattling, grinding, shaking -- while shifting from a stop into first, second into third, etc. These problems were slightly noticeable at the beginning of the month and, three weeks later, are markedly worse.

- Fountain Valley, CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 102013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 13,100 miles
Transmission makes a grinding sound and shudders when shifting. When you go to turn a corner the car shudders so bad it almost stalls. When driving up hills when tha transmission shifts it starts to shudder and you almost stall.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #6

Feb 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Car makes a grinding noise at low speed acceleration.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #5

Dec 072012


  • 19,000 miles
The "affected part" is the transmission. The "incident" that occurred is a recurring problem with the power shift transmission. When the car's automatic transmission is in "drive" or "reverse", and the driver takes his foot off the brake or accelerator, the car acts as though it is in neutral for about 1 second. If the car is on a hill, the car will roll downhill during that brief period when the brake/accelerator is not applied. Although this has not caused an accident driving the car yet, I am very concerned about the potential safety hazards this could cause. If the car is stopped on a hill and the driver lets off the brake/accelerator, despite any action of the driver, the car may roll downhill and hit a car behind it. Additionally, parallel parking is very difficult because the transmission remains in neutral for that 1 second, and even on a slight hill the car will roll. I took the car in to my Ford dealership to alert them of this problem, and they told me that is normal functioning of the transmission. I have never driven a car that, when in drive, rolled backwards while I was on a hill. If this is supposed to be normal functioning of the transmission, then the transmission has a faulty design. I am concerned about the hazards this transmission may cause, since if a car is close behind me while I am parked on a hill, my car may roll back and hit it outside of my control. In a typical manual transmission car, the driver is able to control this rolling with the clutch and brake. Because this is an automatic transmission, the driver is not able to control the rolling.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #4

Oct 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 4,001 miles
High pitch noise/squeelwhen clutch is used from a cold start for the first few miles. This will be the second replacment in two months.

- Hillsboro, OR, USA

problem #3

Oct 242012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 5,980 miles
October 24, 2012 I was driving to work. I accelerated very gingerly (the powershift is effectively two three speed manuals so you can't just jab it) to pass. The car geared into a lower gear as expected and the engine RPM's spiked as expected. The light at the intersection was turning red so I braked easily to bring the car to a stop. At this point the car was holding the lower gear and revving out of control. I was able to stop the car (as it was trying to overpower the brakes) and place it into neutral which stopped the problem. The car then died and would not restart for approximately 5 minutes. I restarted the car. As I was getting off the interstate, I was merging into traffic the transmission geared down again. The problem repeated. I tried placing the car in neutral again, however, this did nothing. I cut the car off completely at 50 mph. My steering got really heavy. I used the brakes and the emergency brake to slow the car and strong arm the wheel to the side of the road. The transmission is junk and the dealership is replacing many parts including a couple clutches (it only has two I believe) and some other internals. This car is not safe. It accelerated out of control and would not respond to commands from the gear selector. I powered off the car to avoid further damage or accident.

- Marshville, NC, USA

problem #2

Jul 292012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 250 miles
This is a brand new car, purchased at fuller Ford in cincinnati Ohio, two days in my possession, the transmission locked up and starting burning, the car would not move at all, in the middle of the road, this could have caused a serious accident or even deaths, Ford knows about these transmissions being bad and should not be selling these cars. Now they think I should keep driving it and breaking down until the lemon law can be enacted, I am not driving this car at all, ever again. It is dangerous, other people have bought these and had the same type of problems. I called Ford credit and told them to cancel the loan, I will not pay a penny for this car!

- Covington, KY, USA

Read the next 1 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?