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:
19 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
10 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,751 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 12 of 36)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #496

Oct 022014


  • 71,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 65 mph, the check engine warning light illuminated and all the gears failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission computer failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 71,000.

- Lake Ronkonkoma , NY, USA

problem #495

Apr 122013


  • 20,109 miles
Automatic transmission shudder, clutch problems, irregular shifting, hesitation while merging in traffic, ro# 87416, at delivery, ro 80261 1/13/15, RO103422 8/212/14 ro 131575 8/21/15 hill brake malfunction, continual re-programing of PCM and tcm

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #494

Sep 022015


  • 12,000 miles
I have received my third service bulletin on my 2012 Ford Focus transmission.Ford just keeps extending the warranty on certain parts of the transmission.with so many things that can go wrong with this transmission I believe Ford should give a lifetime warranty for this transmission or replace them.had I any knowledge of these problems I never would have bought this car. Thank you

- Hopkinton, MA, USA

problem #493

Sep 032015


  • 58,000 miles


My wife and child were at a red light and when the light turned green and the gas pedal was pressed, the vehicle did not move only revved causing the man behind her to inch very close behind due to the light then honking his horn and yelling. In addition, after my wife and child returned home, I went to run to the store only to find that the vehicle does not turn over, not even sound like its attempting to as there is no noise when turning the key. I believe the vehicle does not recognize what gear it is in, thus will not start and has always had erratic shifting and lurching tendencies. I do not know what to do now, I have a family of five I support and no money to fix this. How am I going to get to work!!! I still have 5 years to pay on this...ughhh. Trapped

- South Glens Falls, NY, USA

problem #492

Jul 292013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 22,311 miles
I purchased this vehicle new. I have had my transmission replaced four times plus the original makes 4. I have had nothing but problems with the transmission. Paul miller Ford in lexington, ky has had parts ordered since 08-08-15. I was told it could take up to 3 months for parts to arrive. I asked for a replacement vehicle while waiting on parts. I was informed Ford Motor Co. Says there are no safety issues & my Ford Focus is safe to drive and denied a loaner vehicle. On 08-31-15 while driving to work, my vehicle stalled in the center lane of traffic, I could not accelerate. I was in fear of my life! my transmission light came on & stayed on for 2 days. My vehicle continues to miss gears, jerks, sputters, lunges & gears down. I explained to paul miller Ford what had happened after being contacted about replacement parts. Sorry, can't do nothing about that! how can this be a safe vehicle to drive" why hasn't there been a recall? are you waiting for lives to be lost"

- Lawrenceburg , KY, USA

problem #491

Jun 052013


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while accelerating from a stop, the vehicle hesitated and started vibrating violently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer, who was unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 48,000.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #490

Aug 102015


  • 64,000 miles


While driving down the freeway the car started to coast and engine went to an idle. The indicator for transimission position went blank. I was nearly hit by the vehicle behind me. The next week I was pulling out into traffic and it did the same thing and was almost broadsided by a delivery van. The car moved out into traffic and then stopped for almost 2 minutes. Later down the road it cut out on the highway again, twice more on a side street, and then again as I was near the dealership. I took it direct to the dealership where they performed a computer upgrade. I received no notice of this issue from Ford. I could have been seriously hurt or killed by this and now know it is a known issue at Ford. They need to address this issue for all owners of the vehicle as it happens suddenly with no warning.

- Tigard, OR, USA

problem #489

Aug 312015


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle stalled and the transmission warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission module and seals needed to be repaired and replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000. The VIN was not available.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #488

Jul 202015


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving at 25 mph, the engine vibrated and the contact could heard a metal to metal grinding noise. In addition, the vehicle would roll back and lose power when stopped. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that there was a transmission failure. The technician cleaned the engine and replaced the clutch and rings, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Adel, GA, USA

problem #487

Aug 232015


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle stalled and the check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. As a result, the contact ran over a concrete curb. The vehicle restarted after the incident, but failed to move. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, where it was diagnosed that the tcm short circuited and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 75,000.

- Troy, IL, USA

problem #486

Aug 282013


  • 27,000 miles


Early 2013, experienced daily violent "shuddering" while accelerating from a stop, going around corners and going up hills and any kind of incline. Ford service dept. Diagnosed my car on 8/28/13 as needing a new clutch which was on back-order due to high-demand. On 9/17/13, my clutch was replaced. Slowly the shuddering returned and March of this year (2015), it was again shuddering violently. On 3/26/15, Ford service dept. Diagnosed my car as needing the transmission to come fully out and be repaired. On 5/5/15, the transmission was removed and both input shaft seals were found to be leaking. The seals were replaced and the clutch assembly was cleaned. Almost immediately thereafter, the car started shuddering again and on 8/14/15 as I drove with my toddler in the backseat, the car started shuddering and lost power as I was exiting the freeway and an alarm sounded inside the vehicle with a message on the dash that read " transmission malfunction - service now". on 8/17/15, Ford service dept. Diagnosed the transmission needed to again be removed and repaired which is now scheduled for 9/15/2015. Please do not wait until someone dies before making Ford deal with this very serious issue. Many Ford Focus owners are losing power while driving on the freeway. This would be very scary, not to mention potentially very dangerous if this happened to me while driving the very busy L.a. freeways with my toddler to/from school/work every morning and evening.

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

problem #485

May 102012


  • 8,000 miles
I bought my car brand new and have had problems with the transmission within a month of driving it. The first time I took it in they reprogrammed the powertrain to fix shuddering and rollback as well as fixed the nameplate that fell off my car. The transmission seemed to shudder way more than before after this. The second time I took it in they repaired a leaky seal and reprogramed the powertrain control module. Since then it still rolls back on slight inclines but not as much. Also, my car still makes loud grinding sounds as well as shudders and hesitates at low speeds. I'm going to bring it in for a third time, because of the excessive shuddering, hesitation and is leaking transmission oil. Besides the transmission problems the quality of my car seems to be an issue as well, as water seems to collect inside the doors after it rains. This is very frustrating as this is my first brand new car and my first time buying a Ford.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #484

Aug 202015


  • 59,175 miles
On August 20, 2015, I was driving my Ford Focus on route 38 in Illinois; dashboard light came on indicating "malfunction transmission service now." Immediately, I visited the nearest vehicle service repair shop and requested that the serviceman check my transmission fluid. I just thought that maybe something happened while I was getting an oil change. The serviceman was very nice to check my vehicle at no charge. Serviceman said, there is an internal malfunction with your transmission. He referred me to a Ford dealership. Of course my first step was to check on line to verify if there were any recalls on my Ford Focus sel. I visited the following website ( the sight showed "NHTSA vehicle safety recalls. Recall number 13V523000 recall date: 10/30/2013. Component: Power train automatic transmission control module (tcm.PCM) on August 20, 2015 at 11:12 am, I contacted Ford customer service at (800) 392-3673. I told forest (customer service phone rep) the problem that I was having with my vehicle. He asked if he could place me on hold to check for recalls; the call was disconnected.. I call (800) 392-3673 again, I spoke to a customer service representative named gabriel. Gabriel informed me that there were no recalls on my vehicle. Gabriel said, Ford program has extended the warranty on my transmission and it is covered up to $150,000 miles. Why is Ford extended the warranty, if there are no problems with the transmission. Why wasn't this vehicle recalled for the power train? after all, NHTSA vehicle safety recalls did indicate that there was a problem with the power train. It has been my experience that power train do not usually require repair on vehicles with only 59,000 miles. Ford needs to immediately repair my vehicle or replace it at no charge.

- Bellwood, IL, USA

problem #483

Aug 162015


  • 74,000 miles
On the date of the incident my family and I were getting on the highway headed to the beach, when I went to press the accelerator to merge on the highway the rpms went up but the car lost all acceleration for for about 5 seconds causing us to lose speed while merging. The car then changed gear really hard and jumped us forward almost causing an accident. The check engine light came on. This vehicle has been in 3 times now for transmission/clutch replacement. It will randomly shutter, hesitate, jerk and jump forward. On one other occasion it almost caused me to rear end a vehicle in front of me. The last time we brought it to the dealer upon picking the vehicle up for a dual clutch replacement I was told it would probably need to go back in soon and be replaced again. This is a known issue with this year and model and is unsafe

- Lowell, MA, USA

problem #482

Aug 072015


  • 58,100 miles
Car loses power when in drive at 20mph on street. Pulled over, turned engine off. Restarted normally. No prior notification on dashboard. The next day while in rush hour traffic on the freeway car loses power. It resumes acceleration after stalling for approx 10 secs. Check engine sign appears after resuming acceleration. I exit the freeway and make my way back home. Transmission fails twice while en route on freeway. Both occasions I manage to merge to the emergency lane while in neutral. Once it resumed after a few seconds, another time I restarted the car after turning it off for approx 10 seconds. I take it to bob wondries Ford in alhambra for tcm replacement. Transmission problems resume one week later, with slow acceleration on freeway, loss of power when driving uphill, transmission shuddering, and transmission grinding.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #481

Feb 192013


  • 12,000 miles
I purchased this vehicle new in May 2012. From the start the tranmissions shifted rough and jerky. I was told that it was normal for this type. Conditioned worsened and it was taken to dealership in November 2014. I was told that it was within "limits" and was reprogrammed. A few months later, I was at a red light and went to accelerate. Tranmission shuttered and car did not respond, I was rear ended causing 2,000 in damage. Transmission continues to shutter and hesitate. Causes car to lurch forward or backwards from a stop, I took back to dealership purchsed from. I was told to complain to Ford and most likely would only be reprogrammed again. This is what happened. Car is unsafe to drive. If it shutters or mis shifts at highway speed, could result in serioius incident. Help please.

- Sellersburg, IN, USA

problem #480

Oct 072014


  • miles
On October 7th, 2014 my car (Ford Focus 2012) began experiencing some transmission issues. It would jerk extremely hard when the gas pedal was pushed. It would only accelerate a little before finally jerking into second gear. The car acted as though it didn't want to shift gears. I took the car into the Ford dealership where I had purchased the car and they told me that it needed a new clutch piece and resealed the transmission seals. Afterwards, the car was still doing the same as before. I took it back in January of 2015 and was told that there was nothing wrong and the car was performing to the specs. After that, I continued experiencing the same problems and returned with the car again in late may of 2015. This time they said the computer needed to be reprogrammed and synced and it would fix the problem. After I received the car back it still made the same problems. On August 19, 2015 I was at a stop sign and pushed on the gas when the car shuttered as if the transmission was going to fall out it jerked so hard. It finally accelerated and started moving.

- Elizabeth, IN, USA

problem #479

Aug 082015


  • 64,000 miles
While at a dead stop my car failed to respond to the accelerator, two times. The engine would rev and nothing would happen except that the "P-R-N-D-L" indicator on the dash would flash. Eventually the engine stalled and couldn't be restarted for 10 minutes. This is a sign of of a faulty tcm (transmission control module). 2011 & 2102 Ford fiestas and 2012 Focus are prone to this type of failure. Ford replaced the tcm under the emmissions warranty. I believe this is a safety issue and a recall should be issued. I have seen posts on the web where this failure happens while driving.

- Rockville Centre, NY, USA

problem #478

Aug 192013


  • 15,377 miles
While dirving our 2012 Ford focuse which was bought brand new, the transmission would start to slip and chatter. It took longer to acceralate to speed. Took to dealership on 19aug2012 and they calibrated the transmission. We drove the car until it started again two months later. Took to dealership on the 22 Nov 2013 to a different certified Ford dealership and they had to replace a seal on the clutch which was allowing fluid to drip on clutch plate and allow to slip will driving. Drove the car and it was working better. But over time the car started again and then got worse. Took the car bake in because on the 9aug2015 I was driving 60 mph and the car started to slip again then it over heated and had a malfunction. I had lost all my gears on a highway at 60 mph. They replaced some parts and when 2 days of getting it back it is starting to slip again. I am calling dealership in the morning. This is not a safe car to drive unless they fix their transmission.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #477

Oct 022014


  • 23,000 miles
When starting from a complete stop, the car jerks, shutters and the gears grind & despite having this vehicle in for service over 12 documented times, nothing has ever been done. Just as recently as 8/4/15 the transmission was serviced again, replacing the clutch, and it drove great for just under 5 days and then I simply stopped at a stop sign and when I went to pull out the vehicle jerked and bucked, nearly striking another vehicle and then for the 50 mile drive home, the vehicle would grind through the lower gears, making driving very difficult. The vehicle is now back at the dealership with no resolution in sight, Ford should just recall this vehicle before someone is seriously injured and why are we all to suffer because Ford is no longer the company they used to be, I will never own another Ford vehicle and I am trying to get out from under this vehicle, but will do so at a loss.

- Greenfield, MA, USA

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