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

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 23 of 36)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #276

Aug 072014


  • 64,000 miles


Driving the car, pulled in to post office car died. No power steering or brakes. Car would not turn over. Display says parking aid malfunction no prnd indicator this is a major issue that needs to be resolved. If happened going down the highway someone could be seriously injured.

- Scurry, TX, USA

problem #275

Apr 292014


  • 60,700 miles
Went to make a left turn and the car went into a neutral state and just revved up. The gear indicator on the screen was no longer there. After 15 or so seconds it reappeared and resumed normal function but the check engine light came on. Went to an auto parts store to have the code read and it said a tcm low sh*t point or something to that effect.this was at 60700 miles. After driving a couple of hours the check engine light turned off. Since then it has been happening randomly anywhere from days apart to a month apart. I have contacted Ford assist and they said there is nothing they can or will do for me...

- Riverton, UT, USA

problem #274

Jul 062014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 36,100 miles
While driving on the road, going about 40-50 mph on a sunny, hot day in July, the traction control suddenly turned on and the car started to decelerate. I found it odd as the weather was not inclement and I had not hit a pothole so I pulled over since the car was automatically slowing down. I was lucky not to have been in an accident as there were plenty of cars around and this was less than half a mile from the highway that I was about to travel. After pulling over, I turned the car off to try to clear the traction control as it seemed to be stuck on. The car would not turn back on (the engine was not turning on though the battery was fine). After calling the Ford auto club and having help come out, the car got towed to the dealership. The issue turned out to be with the transmission control module that was covered under the original power train warranty.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #273

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 #272

Jul 022012

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
Intermittently when accelerating the transmission feels like it is stalling out, shakes vigorously, and shifts rough. In those times the unpredictability of this transmission makes the car very dangerous to drive.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #271

Jul 022014


  • 35,900 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle shook and became unstable. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the transmission oil seal was ruptured. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,900.

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #270

Jul 012014


  • miles


2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to water leakage on the inside passenger side. The consumer stated two after the vehicle was supposedly fixed, water leaked inside again. The consumer continued to drive the vehicle. Then at 13,000 miles, the vehicle started to shudder and shake when she accelerated. The consumer then traded the vehicle for another a 2014 Ford Focus and she experienced the same shudder problems. The consumer was informed, the automatic transmission, also had a clutch.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #269

Jun 182014


  • miles
The transmission is knocking when it shifts gears especially the lower gears. It stutters really bad as well.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #268

Jun 292012


  • miles
Purchased vehicle in June 2012 and transmission has been shaky, slipping, stuttering, jerking, stalling on acceleration, overheating, rolling back on hills, no acceleration on hills, and grinding ever since. Had clutch seal replaced within a couple of months from purchase which they claimed caused the problem. Problem persisted but they told me to give it time to adjust to the repair. I took it back in at 11,000 and they replaced one of the clutches. Problem persisted only then the car's system indicated the transmission was overheating (while I was on the highway) and indicated on the console that I needed to wait until the car cooled down. The temp on the car was in normal range. I was 3 hours from home with small children in the car and left on the side of a major highway because my car's system said the tranny was overheating. Took it to the dealer again and they said it was a glitch; no concern necessary. I complained again about the jerking in the transmission and they said I needed to give the car some time to adjust to the repair at 11,000. At 24, 000, I was fed up from waiting and took the car in again only to be told that I needed the entire clutch assembly replaced but they were on back-order. Contacted Ford for a buy back and they said "no, that's how the car drives - it's normal" car is now at 50,000 with same problems. Currently working with an attorney on a suit against Ford.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #267

Jan 022012


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle was not shifting into gears properly, would stall sporadically and would jerk intermittently. Additionally, the steering wheel would often seize. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer several times who had not been able to replicate nor diagnose the failure. The failure recurred and the dealer replaced the transmission and transmission sensor but the failure recurred. The contact also mentioned that the lights intermittently illuminated and the radio was making a loud noise when it was powered off. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who then diagnosed that the computer chip in the fuel pump failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #266

Jun 302014


  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who stated that the automatic transmission module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000.

- Jersey City , NJ, USA

problem #265

Jun 212012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 280 miles
After three months of the purchase of the vehicle I started experiencing some shuttering/noise/stalling of the transmission. I took it into my dealership and they "reflashed". it was fine for a few months, then it started again. Took it in again and it got "reflashed" again. The third time they did something with the module box. After the fourth time, they replaced the clutch on the transmission. Now I had to take it back in again because of the same issue. I have contacted Ford and assured me that it would be fixed. So it has been in the shop 5 times for the same issue. I have complained to Ford about the issue and the concerns of myself and my family. I have serious issues when the car stalls between gears especially when I am crossing a busy intersection and cross traffic doesn't stop. I even tried seeing about trading it in and got well less then kbb value because of "issues". so I am stuck with a vehicle that I can't trade in without losing alot of money and it can't seem to get fixed.

- Peru, IL, USA

problem #264

Jul 112014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
Tried to take off at stop light. When I hit the accelerator the car jerked real hard but barely rolled. Then the RPM went to 5000-5500 and it took off real fast.

- Christiansburg, VA, USA

problem #263

Mar 292012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Within a month of purchase, the vehicle has been "shuddering" I have reported this to the dealership every time I sent it in for service and all they tell me is "it is normal, you have to get used to it. Its the new transmission technology of Ford." I cant believe that after 2yrs and 17K miles on it that it is still exhibiting the same problem and there has been no resolution to it. May I know until when am I going to wait? another problem that just came up- I have witnessed a loud sound coming from the speaker. Seems like a thunder/cracking noise. My husband has heard it twice. It is a very loud sound. It scared me when I heard it the first time.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #262

Jun 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
On two occasions the vehicle stopped running while in motion. In incident 1, this occurred at highway speed (65 mph) and incident #2 in local traffic (15 mph). In both cases all power was lost including the acceleration, power steering, etc. After incident 1, the car restarted and driven to the dealer - extensive repairs were made "to the transmission" (per the dealer). In the second incident after dealer repairs after incident 1, the car completely stopped at highway speed and would not restart - towed to dealer. Again loss of all power including acceleration, power steering, etc. After incident 2 the dealer replaced the "master control unit". while both incidents were covered by Ford under the "drive train" original warranty I am concerned about the loss of power in two incidents separated by about one month.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #261

Sep 162011

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I have been having problems with my car not being able to get the key out of the ignition, not going into park, and shuddering and sputtering when starting from a complete stop pretty much since I have had my car. This week, I couldnt get it out of park at all and then went to drive home from work my shifter would move but the car would not go into gear.

- Front Royal, VA, USA

problem #260

May 092012


  • 1,800 miles
Noticed roll back on incline at vehicle service tech reprogrammed PCM tcm and ABS module July 2013 have been noticing hesitation and jerking on shifting at service once again tech reprogrammed tcm July 2014 car has still continued to hesitate on acceleration and now a vibration and noise can be heard from transmission tech can find no problem.

- Jonesville, MI, USA

problem #259

May 152013


  • 10,000 miles
My car (2012 Ford Focus) has problems shifting and makes a shutter noise while taking off I have taken it to the dealer multiple times and they told me nothing is wrong with the car.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #258

Jul 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 59,647 miles
I just had my vehicle in a Ford dealership you get the transmission looked at because it would not shift correctly and the check engine was on. It has been out of the shop for 3 days and while on my way home from work I was on the highway and car came to a halt and would not shift and I was almost rearended. This is the third time my vehicle has been at a Ford dealership to have the transmission looked at. When is someone going to do something about all of these transmission issues with this year and model?

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #257

Jul 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Automatic manual clutch/transmission shutters, jerks, vibrates and lurches at low speeds or on hills. Ford reprogrammed clutch/transmission in 2014 and it improved. However, the problem still exists as the clutch is slipping. Please recall and fix this issue.

- Corona, CA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?