Notes: You should probably steer clear of the 2012 Focus. Otherwise, you might not be able to steer at all.

The 2012 is the first Focus to offer Electronic Power Assist Steering (EPAS). It's also the first year with massive power steering failure. These things are not mutually exclusive.

And while you wait for your steering to disappear, you'll be greeted with a transmission that shudders, vibrates or won't shift at all.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,114 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 Focus brakes problems

brakes problem

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

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

2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Nov 252016


  • 106,000 miles


Driving at night on county road approx 25-30 mph dry pavement went to turn the wheel of the car to follow the road and there was no response from the steering wheel or the brakes. Car went off the road headed for a tree. Went into ditch before steering became available again. In investigating this issue on my own prior to taking to dealer. I have found this to be an issue and even a noted investigation listed or awareness of the highway safety administration. I can tell you there was absolutely zero control of this car at that time. These cars are very dangerous on many levels as they have multiple defective parts. Just call jim O'neal in sellersburg Indiana as they have all the records of showing they have almost rebuilt my entire car since I bought new in 2012. Upon being evaluated and driven, with this occurring to the the technician as well at jim O'neal Ford, it was found that the entire steering component had failed and needed to be replaced. Ford is aware of this concern as there have been 2 bulletins sent to their dealership service departments. Documented in research if you look and also told to me verbally by mike albright the service manager at jim O'neal Ford. At no time in the many visits to the repair shop at Ford has anyone mentioned the fact that this could possibly occur or has there been any preventive checks of the system. I really would like this investigated as I do see I am not the only one that has had this issue and was just lucky enough to have not had a serious accident with my children in the car during this latest failure in this car. Ford should be held accountable for producing and not upholding their end of this car as people are being seriously injured.

- Otisco, IN, USA

problem #26

Jul 152016


  • miles
Recalled vehicle for computer system. Defect causes breaks to wear early, shuddering in transmission, and eventual transmission failure while the car is running. Is a known problem as I see from many other internet complaints.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #25

Jul 022016


  • 1,500,053 miles
Tcm problems wife pulled out to a residential intersection and the car stalled, luckily no cars we're coming at the time she called me and was scared she didn't know what to do it took me I'm out 30 minutes to get to her meanwhile cars were backing up and going around her we pulled it into my mother-in-law's driveway which was near and ask my brother-in-law that is a mechanic to check it out and he indicated that it was the tcm that was out I have had problems with my transmission about six months after I bought it new it finally went out. I use this car to go to work I am a state circuit rider and put a lot of mileage on my car ilearn to deal with the sluggish transmission because of the dealers indicated they couldn't do anything about it just to reprogram the transmission that was done and that was the only thing that for done for my vehicle. After Ford indicated recall I had too many mileage on my vehicle to qualify it was just barely over 50,000 miles the first time. Second letter indicated for me to take the vehicle in to be checked but the dealer mechanic said that they had to physically hear or feel the shuddering of the transmission before they could program it again this went on until I had no warranty on my vehicle. The vehicle with sometimes do the shuttering or skipping of the transmission not all the time that's why the dealer said that he could not do it until it was doing it for him. So I learned to ignore the shuddering and skipping of the transmission and adapted to driving with it butt when my wife drove the car and it finally died on her that is too much to deal with.

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #24

Feb 012016


  • 86,000 miles


The transmission on my vehicle has failed multiple times while driving the vehicle. While driving at idle speeds, the car shakes. The transmission failed while I was turning in an intersection and stalled. It then lurched forward and continued to function in a lurching and jerky manner. Just yesterday, I could not slow the car while traveling at 50 mph, despite pressing the brakes, due to the erratic behavior of the transmission. This lurching, jerking, erratic behavior is extremely dangerous and could potentially be deadly. I have had the transmission worked on a total of three times. Each time, the dealership told me that the problem would be fixed. This is highly irresponsible for Ford to ignore this issue and continue to put customers in harms way. This is an inappropriate way to handle a life-threatening issue.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #23

Nov 112015


  • 16,700 miles
Transmission is erratic, you do not know what it might do. It has a shuttering sound coming from underneath the vehicle when going 20-40 miles per hour. Drivers side window does not open and have 'information' light is on for low pressure on tires and aren't currently low. Brakes are making a growling noise when coming to a stop.

- Poplar Grove, IL, USA

problem #22

Jan 042016


  • 29,500 miles
I purchased my car in June 2012. I have had to replace the clutch three times due to issues. I have had to have the roof liner reinstalled as it had come loose. Now, only a month after the $700 repair for the roof, I am now told to pay $950 to repair my brake booster which as broken and messed up the primary shaft. My car has less than 30,000 miles on it and is only 3.5 years old, yet seems to be falling apart now that it is out of warranty. I asked if I had done anything to cause the brake booster to fail, and was told "no, it is just a mechanical failure, " that I have to pay for because it is out of warranty. I was also told that there was no way that the mechanics could have seen the issue, even though it mysteriously started less than 2 weeks after I had it in the shop for over a week. After getting the roof liner and clutch reinstalled I was told that they had also updated all of the software in my car. A little over a week later the check engine light came on as I was stopped at a red light. I thought it was a software glitch as the light turned off when I started driving again. It happened once more about a week or so later, but it was at the same stoplight, so I thought it may be the particular angle of the car at that light or something, but resolved to take it in if it happened again. I was gone for 2 weeks for christmas break, then when I came back the low brake fluid light came on every time I was stopped for more than 30 seconds. I stopped driving my car until I could get it into the shop. So, with less than a month of driving my car since it was last in the shop, apparently $950 in damage was done that, while not my fault "could not have been avoided" and is something I have to pay for if I want my car to be safe to drive.

- Hanover, MD, USA

problem #21

Aug 272015


  • 26,137 miles


I was driving in stop and go traffic in a construction zone. We were stopped, then it looked like the traffic was moving so I started moving, I was only in first gear then the Jeep in front of me stopped suddenly, so I hit the brakes, but I didn't stop I just kept moving and ran into the tire of the Jeep. I couldn't understand why I didn't stop because I wasn't even going that fast.. the hood folded into the engine, so I was not able to start the car. I put the car into neutral and men from the fire department pushed it over onto the side of the road. I pushed the brakes again and nothing happened, so I pulled up the parking brake to make the car stop rolling.

- Annandale, VA, USA

problem #20

Jul 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The vehicle doesn't automatically shift properly. It doesn't shift up when it should and revs up badly. The same thing happens when I go down large hills. It shifts down and it shouldn't, so the engine revs and I have to put it in neutral when going down hills. Further, when I am parked on a hill, it rolls back a bit before stopping. Lastly, the bluetooth microphone is dying and sounds terrible on the other end.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #19

Oct 172012


  • 1,200 miles
I was driving a nearly brand new 2012 Ford Focus at approximately 45-50 mph when collided with another car traveling at least equivalent if not higher speed. I saw the other car attempting pulling in front of me after failing to stop at a stop sign and I tried to stop the car by braking, but the car was not able to slow down or stop in time. I T-boned the other car and my car was dragged by the other car and rested on the side of the road. As a result, my car was totaled. On the police report, the police indicated the crash was moderate. The water pump, bumper and other stuff came off the car, but the airbags were never deployed. I sustained head and cervical spinal injuries.

- Westlake Village, CA, USA

problem #18

Jun 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
The steering wheel would not move, there is an error message, steering assist fault. It happened before, but I turned the car off and back on again and it would turn. Before this incident there would be times when the A/C fan would adjust itself, by going higher or lower and the radio volume would increase or decreases without any help from me. This particular time it would not move and I was forced to leave it in a parking garage overnight. While attempting to get it to work by turning the off and on the brakes went all the way to the floor, suggesting the would not work properly if I were driving the car. Well, the car shut completely down and started to try to turn itself on without the key being in the ignition. After which it would not start at all. I had it towed in and of course it is no longer under warranty.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #17

Apr 072014


  • 74,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 30 mph, the brakes failed when the contact attempted to stop the vehicle. The vehicle continued to accelerate when the brake pedal was depressed. The failure occurred for more than two months. The vehicle was not taken to a mechanic for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 74,000.

- Milford, PA, USA

problem #16

Nov 112013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
The car tend to move backwards whenever I stop at a stoplight with a slight elevation.

- New Cumberland, PA, USA

problem #15

Feb 062014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 32,210 miles
This is the second accident caused by car suddenly surging forward. There was only 3384 miles between first and second accident. While turning into a parking space at low speed the car lurched forward slamming into a brick wall approximately 2 to 3 feet beyond curb. Major front end damage totaling $6,127 in repairs and over $16,000 in hospital costs to myself. Ford dealership reprogrammed instrument cluster lamps and gave the car back to me. I was afraid to drive the car again and purchased a new vehicle. At this time the dealership has the defective 2012 Ford Focus for sale on their lot, which worries me that someone else might get hurt driving that car.. I contacted Ford Motor Company on 3/26/2014 regarding the issues that I had and am awaiting a reply from their general counsel.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #14

Aug 162013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 28,826 miles
This is the first of 2 accidents, both caused by vehicle surging forward as I was pulling into a parking space. This form would not allow me to put but 1 accident date. Second more serious accident, date 02/08/2014, will be listed separately. As I was turning into a parking space with foot on brake the car suddenly lurched forward mounting the concrete parking stop and ended up against a tree in the median. Floored the brake pedal but engine continued to rev. Damage to under side of car totaled $3494. Ford dealership checked the computer and found engine overspeed code PO219. Could not duplicate incident and gave car back to me. 3384 miles later the 2012 Ford Focus repeated the lurching with more damage and personal injury.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #13

Jan 062014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
Brake light came on, checked and fluid low in brake fluid container. This is just after I month oil and service done on the car. Filled it and tow days later come on again.took to Ford dealer in my town and they said it was a leak around the break pumping area. They wonted me to drive the car till the park came in. I insisted the give me a safe vehicle to drive... at the time I have also experienced a small jerking after I brake and take off again. I thought this was a break thin where related. But they where not. Called them and told them about the jumping has been going on almost within a mouth of purchasing the car. On March 24 they worked on it and said they had to reprogram the gearing in the trans mission. Picked the car up and it is better with the jerking but it is still doing it 5 days later now I feel this is something that needs to be taken back to them again and fixed right or I should be given a different transmission, mjs. I also hand a weather striping repaired on rear passenger window at the same time they worked on the transmission. And I November 2013 the cruse stopped working and had to be fixed. I have had this car 6 months and have had all this trouble.

- Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

problem #12

Jan 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
I have a 2012 Ford Focus SE which is still covered under my 70,000 mile warranty. I had problems with my traction control system while trying to get out of a parking lot. My rear brakes automatically locked up causing me to become stranded during a snow storm. I was stranded for 5 hours before abandoning my car and finding a ride home from a complete stranger. The next day I had my car taken to the nearest dealership and asked them to look into the problem. A day later I received a call saying that there was no problem and that the issue was external, which is impossible because no one has ever done any work on the car other than a few oil changes. They released the brakes and I picked my car up only to find that the problem had not been fixed. That same day while driving home with my wife the rear brakes locked up again, causing my car to fish-tail and impact a wall. The damages were relatively minor, but the airbags deployed and now my car is inoperable. I know that this issue was caused by the malfunctioning traction control system.

- Spring City, PA, USA

problem #11

Dec 152013


  • 33,300 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while sitting at a red light, she attempted to accelerate but the parking aid malfunction, check engine and ABS warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection but they could not determine the cause of failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 33,300.

- La Puente, CA, USA

problem #10

Aug 162013


  • 8,010 miles
This is regarding Ford Focus electric 2012. I was pulling out of my office parking lot and driving at about 5 mph. I got the 'stop safely now' warning and within a few seconds the car stopped and I could not drive any more. Fortunately, it was the internal street and around 3 pm when the traffic is very low. I am glad this incident did not happen on the freeway in the left lane (carpool lane in California). I was able to restart the car and drove straight to the dealer(fremont Ford) but they did not have trained ev technicians to look at the car. Asked me to bring the car back on Monday(8/19/20013). Now the car is at the dealer. This is second time I have encountered this issue with this car. The first time I had was when I was pulling the car out of my garage at home. Ford even applied major software updates on my car in July but looks like the issue is still recurring.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #9

Jan 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
I received a letter from Ford in May 2012 regarding customer satisfaction program 12B37. The issue with the car was rough/jerky automatic transmission shifts & roll back when transitioning from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal. My husband took the car into the Ford shop to have this issue corrected on 6/8/2012. Everything seemed to be fine but both issues started up again and became more frequent. My husband again took the car back to the Ford shop on 1/2/2013. My husband was told that this is the way the car drives. But the Ford shop took the car and said they would take a look. We were given the car back the same day and were told that they reprogrammed the car and that everything was working fine. That evening I was about to merge onto the highway but the car would not accelerate. I pushed the gas pedal almost all the way to the floor and the car wouldn't go faster than 30 mph. I was almost rear ended by another car. Luckily the driver was able to swerve into the lane next to me. I got off at the next exit and took the local route home. The next morning I took the car back to the Ford shop. At this point, the car was driving completely normally. I explained what happened the night before. They wound up keeping the car for 2 weeks. I was told that they couldn't figure out how to fix the issue and had to call Ford to get instructions on how to correct the problem. During this time, I placed a call to Ford and filed a complaint with them. We received the vehicle back and everything seemed to be fine but slowly the same issues showed up more frequently. Today (5/13/13), I've taken the car back to the Ford shop. I was told that they would check it but that this may just be the way the vehicle drives. I am very disappointed Ford hasn't been able to correct the problem properly.

- Queens Village, NY, USA

problem #8

Mar 042013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,604 miles
The car is equipped with a 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. While under heavy braking the car began to stall. The result was the brake pedal losing power assist from the engine. Then because the engine was trying to recover from the near stall, I was unable accelerate to avoid an oncoming car. The engine did recover, but it took several seconds (and a lot of bucking and sputtering) before I was able to move the car after coming to a stop. The week prior, I had the car in for service at a local Ford dealership because the car would shudder during acceleration. The dealership reprogrammed the transmission and the problem is still there, but less noticeable than before being serviced. This new issue with stalling under heaving braking did not occur prior to the servicing. After the near accident, I wanted to know if the problem was a fluke or if it would happen again. I have found that I can recreate the issue almost every time the car nears a stop under heavy braking. The car is scheduled for service for this issue.

- Lexington Park, MD, USA

Read the next 7 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?