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 13 of 36)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #476

Aug 032015


  • miles


2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to transmission control module problems. Consumer has previous complaint on another vehicle in artemis. The consumer experienced an intermittent loss of power. While driving, it seemed the engine was no longer connected to the transmission. The consumer stated the transmission control module was replaced. However, it was replaced with the same part number as the original.

- Oakland, MI, USA

problem #475

Aug 082015


  • 73,000 miles
Purchased a 2012 Ford Focus in December of 2014. The transmission has had shifting issues almost the entire time that I have had the vehicle. In may, the transmission began stuttering at low speeds. When reaching speed on an interstate on-ramp, the vehicle showed the message "vehicle not in park" and shut off as I was pulling into traffic. A day later when driving it, it stuttered again and the check engine light came on. Took it, along with a defective part notice to the dealer for the automatic transmission clutch system, which the dealer said was the issue and supposedly replaced it under the warranty. The dealer also reset the "autolearn" feature in the transmission. For a few days it worked fine, then the stuttering and shifting issues began again. On August 8th, 2015 the vehicle was driven to the store, and worked as it usually did, with minor stuttering and grinding that appears to characterize the Ford transmission. It was parked for roughly 30 minutes while in the store, upon starting and putting the vehicle in reverse, the transmission would not turn or gain enough power to propel the car out of the parking space. As it rolled back, it was shifted into the drive position, the vehicle began to propel until it went to shift and the car "missed" the gear and stuttered losing all momentum. This continued from every start/stop. Stopped at another store, when came back out the car would not start on the first crank, and the check engine light came back on. The power issues to the transmission on take off and the missing gears continued all the way to my home.

- Mebane, NC, USA

problem #474

Apr 222014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
I was making a left turn on a blinking yellow arrow. Seeing a coming break in traffic, where it would be safe to execute the turn, I began inching forward. When the car passed, allowing me to safely turn, I pressed the accelerator and the car did not respond. For several seconds, my car sat in the intersection with traffic oncoming, without moving forward. The type of hesitation has happened to me a total of 3 times between April of 2014 and August of 2015. In addition, the car handles roughly in low gear, making grinding noises, stuttering in changing gears between 1st and 2nd, and sometimes shaking the car. The transmission on the car has a service notice. I did take the car in in December 2014 for the recall, where it was tested and a new seal was installed. I drove the car for 8 months before experiencing the 3rd hesitation to respond. However, the grinding noises, stuttering, etc. Never did improve. I believe these cars is unsafe not only for the owner-operators, but also other motorists on the road who have no way of anticipating that a car pulling into traffic may intermittently fail to respond to the driver pressing the accelerator. Updated 9/28/15

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #473

Jul 102015


  • 36,670 miles


After driving for about a half hour in rush hour traffic in the southern California area, my car slipped from active gears (I believe 2nd gear) and right into neutral. I couldn't accelate and drive with trafffic, while travelling up hill my car decellerated quickly. In trying to get to the shoulder, I narrowly avoided an accident. After finally reaching the shoulder I was able to put the car in park (it started to roll downhill) and then apply the parking brake. 10 seconds later my car was running fine again. That following Monday I brought my car into the dealership to be serviced. This was the second time that this exact issue happened. The first time was the week prior to.

- San Dimas, CA, USA

problem #472

Aug 302012


  • 45 miles
My transmission doesn't work right and never has, from the minute I drove it off the lot. It jerks, very hard at times, it shudders, and worst of all, it hesitates, so when you pull out at times you pray it kicks in before you end up getting hit and killed. I told my son after less than six months of owning this car that if I get killed because of it, I want him to sue Ford. They refuse to fix it because they don't stand behind their products! they don't care if consumers get hurt or killed, obviously. It looks good and rides good, but is a lemon because of the trans. They maintain that it only makes it miserable to drive, but they doubt you'll get killed, so refuse to help. These are some sort of transmissions that were converted from manual to automatic and not very well, at that. I've been to three dealers and they won't help, saying their hands are tied because corporate doesn't feel it's going to kill anyone. I thought I would buy a Ford, being from SE mi. Talk about misguided loyalty! just because nobody's been killed yet doesn't mean it won't happen. It doesn't work, plain & simple. And if it's this poor now, what will happen in another year or two? I am beyond disgusted and completely frustrated with this uncaring company who sells you junk for top dollar and then refuses to help you with a problem that is totally and completely their fault!

- Brownstown , MI, USA

problem #471

May 232012


  • 4,699 miles
7/28/15 while on highway and driving in fast lane, car loses ability to accelerate creating very dangerous situation. Can not accelerate in order to move into safer lane. Manages to get off roda and drive slowly to repair shop. Car shudders and nearly stalls. Check engine light on but not blinking. Repair shop gets transmission code P090C. Car is towed following morning and repair shop checks again and finds same code and check engine light still on. 7/30/15 customer speaks to service dept manager named john explaining all of the above. Agrees car is unsafe and when asked if he would let his daughter drive it, he replies no. Still won't repair car based on code provided but agrees that is the likely cause. Customer offers to pay for repair even though vehicle is under powertrain warranty based on letter sent out by Ford and he refuses saying he doesn't want to guess and offers to keep car but still can't recreate problem. Implies that code was cleared and history erased by "someone". customer says maybe that someone just might be the dealer's own mechanic trying to avoid repair since they have so many cars with transmission issues. Customer explains that dealer theory on erasure of codes is suspect since repair shop retained code info, and towed car. Asked why would they do that if the check engine light wasn't on and why would the repair shop erase it. More likely lazy tech at dealer did it. Dealer still wants to play wait and see. It could take thousands of miles before issue reappears and dealer has no reply as to what customer is to do. Customer escalates issue to Ford corporate and as of now still no repair, car at dealer and unsafe to drive.

- Middletown, NJ, USA

problem #470

Jul 282015


  • 68,300 miles


After having the car repaired from a recall, the 6th time for repair; the car broke down and had to be towed to the dealership. The transmission control module is out now and it is in the shop for the 7th time related to the same issue. I consider this car dangerous and will ultimately cause an accident or death. Why are you not doing anything about this issue. It is for all 2012 Ford Focus vehicles.

- Peachtree City, GA, USA

problem #469

Jul 162015


  • 50,000 miles
While driving in open country, vehicle suddenly shut off. After approximately 15 minutes the vehicle could be restarted. Drove the vehicle approximately 10 additional miles after restart and then the vehicle suddenly coasted as if in 'neutral" even though gear shift was in "drive" position. This time the gear indicator light flashed and the engine continued to run with the vehicle in "drive." Shut off vehicle. Shut off the engine. After approximately 10 minutes, restarted the vehicle and drove remainder of trip without incident. Next day while driving in local country traffic, vehicle again coasted and appeared to shift to "neutral" without warning. Gear indicator light flashed and engine continued to run even though shift lever was in "drive." Had vehicle towed to dealer for service.

- Palmyra, VA, USA

problem #468

Jul 262015


  • 67,025 miles
The vehicle would not turn over. There was no clicking of the vehicle trying to start. After 4 tries to start the car it was left to sit for 30 min before we tried again. The car then was tried to start again did not start until the 4th try. Then the car started. It seems to be skipping a gear while driving will go from 6K RPM to all of the sudden jumping down to 2K rmp. There is something wrong with the clutch/ transmission with shifting and now something going on with the starting system.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #467

Oct 012013


  • 27,000 miles
The vehicle's transmission has failed three times; twice it required a new clutch and seals, and once (most recently) it required a new transmission control module. In each case, the car either stalled while driving or became stuck in a gear (most recently, in reverse).

- Wrentham, MA, USA

problem #466

Jun 012012


  • 2,000 miles


The transmission shudders when shifting at low speeds. Also shudders when starting from a dead stop. Reported to the dealer several times but the problem persists. Dealer said that the transmission learns your driving habits. They disconnected the battery for a period of time and that seemed to correct the problem temporarily then it returns to the shuddering.

- Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #465

Jul 252015


  • 36,000 miles
I was driving, and the transmission stopped delivering power to the wheels. The engine was running, and revving when I pushed the gas pedal, but no acceleration. The transmission was in drive. I changed to L, and no power. I pulled over and put the gear into park, back to D, and no power. I had to restart the engine twice, before the transmission engaged.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #464

Jul 012015


  • 34,000 miles
Letter from senator isakson on behalf of constituent re 2012 Ford Focus issues. (attn: Hanna yu). The consumer stated the vehicle had four major repairs and 6-8 minor repairs done to the transmission. The vehicle would jerk. Also, while in the middle of a making a turn, the vehicle suddenly stopped.

- Crandall, GA, USA

problem #463

Jul 232015


  • 42,740 miles
Bought the car used in May. It drove fine for the first month and now the check engine light comes on with a code for the transmission. The car hesitates and shutters when you start from a stop and when you get going it feels like it shifts into neutral, RPM goes real high and then shifts hard. The code that pops up is P2862, P2831, P2832, P2837, and P285F. For 2 of them the code is shift fork a and B position circuit shift, and the others say no definition found.I don't know what to do from here.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #462

Jul 192015


  • 67,000 miles
Accelerating up a shallow hill the transmission began to stutter and jerk and grind as it changed gears. In the middle of the jerking the car shifted into neutral and revved up. Complete loss of power at speed. Pulled over to the side of the road (on a hill) put the car in park and shut the car off. When I released the brake the car rolled backwards down the hill - clearly the car was not engaged in park. I applied the brake to stop the car and engaged the E brake. I tried to restart the car it would not start. Error kept flashing 'parking aid malfunction - service required'. the failure left us stranded on the side of the road on a 95 degree day without the ability to start the car. I am currently waiting for Ford dealer to determine the cause of the failure. The jerking and stuttering of the transmission is a very regular occurrence for my car. It happens at almost every startup, especially when hot. The jerking and stuttering has in the past resulted in loss of power to the point that I have almost been hit by oncoming cars when I tried to pull out into the street. I had also brought my car to the dealer previously complaining of severe jerking and stuttering and was told this was normal for the transmission.

- Ipswich , MA, USA

problem #461

Sep 252014


  • 29,000 miles
Purchased car March 29th 2014 with 12K miles. Shortly after car would shutter consistently upon acceleration and not excel in a timely manner.on Sept 25th was driving and the car and it did not want to move from a stop. RPM would would just go to 4 or 5 and eventually engage. I was able to drive it a mile home and park it. Took it to the Ford dealer a few days later when they could get it in. They replaced the body control module $744.68. Drove it home and the next day it was worse. Called the dealership back and they told me since it was a transmission issue they could not get it in for three weeks. I drove it like this for months. March 2015 I took it to a different Ford dealership and the diagnosis code P0902 came up. They replaced the clutch actuator and updated my sync. $452.65. They stated the code was an software issue. After that it was an intermittent problem. Drove it home and the next day nothing had changed. My sync no longer works.took it back to that same Ford dealership and they now wanted to replace the transmission control module $873.41. And at this point I asked what if this don't work is there any guarantee" they said no. With it being an intermittent problem they could be anything. Before I brought it back the 2nd time they made sure that the check engine light was on so that they could put it on the computer and drive it.I love my car and just want it fixed. My car now has 57K miles and I continue to drive it not knowing if I am ever going to be able to make it to my destination. I can drive it for 1K miles with no issues or for three weeks straight barely wanting to move. I have read a lot on the forum website and there are hundreds of people with the same problems. Why" so today I am reaching out for some sort of assistance in finding a fix for my car, since the dealership showed no concern. Any help would greatly be appreciated. Thank you.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #460

Jun 212015


  • 112,000 miles
First incident traveling approximately 45 mph, as automatic transmission shifts gears, the transmission slips out of gear. Shifting to neutral and back into gear does not work. Pulled vehicle onto the shoulder, put into park, turn off the engine. Engine will not start, no crank. Let vehicle sit for a minute, retry starting, vehicle runs normally. Next incident around 2 weeks later. Similar experience, but travelling approx 75 mph on highway. Required to pull over, restart vehicle. Check engine light on at restart and engine running at lower RPM than normal in all gears. Vehicle rests overnight, runs normally with no check engine light. Subsequent incidents increase in frequency, without check engine light. Simply need to pull over, restart vehicle. Most frequently occurs while traveling on the highway at higher speeds. 6th or 7th incident, about a month after the initial incident. Check engine light remains on. Vehicle service scheduled but not yet performed due to backlog of transmission service repairs at Ford service center.

- Wayzata, MN, USA

problem #459

Sep 032014


  • 47,781 miles
We have been experiencing on multiple occasions a transmission shudder and loss of acceleration during shifting.

- Cookeville, TN, USA

problem #458

Aug 152014


  • 55,000 miles
This vehicle has a pretty significant engine shudder as well as a rattling noise between first and second and second and third gears. Vehicle at times feels like it is going to stall out. This is a safety issue in all intersections and this vehicle should be recalled.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #457

Jul 082015


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle was engaged into the drive gear and it suddenly accelerated independently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was informed that the vehicle was operating as designed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000. The VIN was not available.

- Eats Haven, CT, USA

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