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 27 of 36)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #196

Apr 252014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


I have owned my 2012 Ford Focus since new, I was driving on a local highway Friday 4/25/14 cruising along at or around 60 mph, I was accompanied by my wife and my inlaws. As I was cruising along and all of a sudden lost power as if it was in neutral. I was in the left hand lane of sunrise highway but managed to avoid traffic coming up behind me and maneuvered the car off to the shoulder. The car was still in drive but did not move. I put the car into park and turned it off. I restarted the car and proceeded to head to the offramp, this issue occurred several times while driving on the shoulder until I finally reached the off- ramp. I shut the car off for 15 min then proceeded to take local roads home and contacted my local Ford dealer to make a appointment. I have now been advised that the incident occurred do to tcm failure which the 2012 electric Focus had been recalled already. I am faced with a $1200 expense do to a known issue coupled with the fact that the danger my family encountered.

- Holtsville, NY, USA

problem #195

Oct 152013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 26,500 miles
Car transmission is faulty, was repaired by Ford but still defective, have brought in for multiple repairs but still, not working properly, and transmission has slipped out of gear when pulling into traffic. Im personally scared to drive this car and do not trust it while pulling into any kind of traffic situation.

- Gallatin, TN, USA

problem #194

Mar 222014


  • 85,815 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving various speeds, the vehicle lost acceleration power. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician was unable to diagnose a failure. The manufacturer was made aware of this failure. The failure mileage was 85,815 and the current mileage 86,000 miles.

- Shasta, CA, USA

problem #193

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 #192

Sep 052013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 14,442 miles
Transmission shutters, jerks, rolls back in park, sometimes you don't know if it going to work or just leave you sitting. A piece of junk!!! dealer works on it and it seems to get worse!! they say its part of the design. I bet no Ford employees drive one!!

- Fogelsville, PA, USA

problem #191

Apr 172014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 40,400 miles
While driving my car, I have noticed a shuddering when I accelerate. When I first got the car, brand new, it had this problem. The dealership said that it had some kind of special transmission that had to get use to my driving style. I continued to drive the 2012 Ford Focus and now when I accelerate, there is a grinding sound like the transmission is having trouble grabbing the next gear and a shuddering/shaking sensation when ever I try to go up any kind of incline. Is there some kind of transmission problem with the 2012 Ford Focus?

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #190

Jan 202014


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle "power shift" transmission stalling issues. The consumer stated she would loose power while driving, and a metal noise was heard, as the vehicle shuttered and hesitated. A diagnosis revealed, the transmission was defective and needed to be replaced. However, the parts were on a 30-day back order. The consumer stated 2 months have passed, and she has not received any notice or communication addressing the issue.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #189

Mar 312014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,023 miles
Road as passenger in the car. Going from a stopped position the car had horrible hesitation upon acceleration. Dealer replaced clutch. Didn't know an automatic had a clutch. It was sold to me as an automatic. To me that means you step on the gas on the gears move the car forward so you can safely get out of the way of oncoming traffic. Service manager called. Basically stated (according to what I recall),the car isn't shuddering but hesitating some still. Traded the car yesterday. Can't send my daughter to college with a car that has such a potentially dangerous transmission issue. Here is the deal : would like to invoke the lemon law. Can't play around though with the safety of my daughter or anyone else. Not going to take responsibility for that. Taking the car back 3 more times, in my opinion, makes no since because it is such a safety issue. Took a financial hit on the trade in but at least my daughter is in a safe reliable vehicle now. My understanding is this is a transmission issue. Even if they gave me a new car or replaced the transmission I would not take it. It is still the same transmission that, in my opinion, is an engineering defect that, based on the numerous complaints I have read, Ford may not have a fix for. (not sure about the date of the incident when I rode in the car). It was within the last month. My daughter does not recall when it first started. This is her first car. It did, however, not perform like this for sure when we test drove the vehicle. Thanks for your time.

- Elizabethtown, KY, USA

problem #188

Aug 282012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
Intermittent and significant vehicle hesitation and stuttering during initial acceleration, and on hills that cause safety concern of being hit from behind for driver. From complete stop the transmission problem occurs during acceleration in RPM 1500 - 2800 with low pedal pressure creating stuttering and hesitation during acceleration. Audible metal grinding is fairly consistent. Engine loads going up hills creates similar shifting problems. Dealer indicates that this the way the transmission operates stating software manages the shifting decisions. Ford updates over the last two years have not resolved the issue. I currently have 15000. The issue was not evident in test drive. At this point I know this is not an isolated but prevalent among current Focus model.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #187

Apr 042014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 39,255 miles
Transmission was slipping engine revving very high upon pulling away car felt it was stalling or just losing power, under normal operations of the car I would have clearly had enough time to pull out of intersection but because it wasn't going forward as it should it felt unsafe to drive. Do not feel this transmission operates in a safe way.

- Littlestown, PA, USA

problem #186

Jan 162013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


We were pulling out onto state highway, my wife began to accelerate the car, it began shaking and shuddering as it was accelerating. The car had 12000 miles on it. We have taken it back multiple times they have reprogrammed the computer, however it did not work. Eventually. They replaced the clutch packs and it solved the problem. At 28000 miles the problem reappeared.

- Talking Rock, GA, USA

problem #185

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 #184

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 #183

Mar 012013


  • 30,000 miles
This vehicle shudders when attempting to accelerate. It feels as though the transmission is slipping. Ford has said that this is a computer programming issue. They have reprogrammed the car, but there still has not been any fix. The car continues to shudder upon acceleration. This is truly concerning and I am worried that this will continue to cause issues in the future.

- Germantown, WI, USA

problem #182

Aug 112011

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to ongoing transmission issues. The consumer stated each time visited the dealer, she was informed it was only a programming adjustment. The consumer has been to the dealer 10 times, for the same problem. The consumer stated the transmission was unpredictable. Not only did the clutch slip between first and second gears, the vehicle intermittently hesitated when taking off from a complete stop. Also, the engine would shake at 55 mph and continued to shake even at 70 mph.

- Summerfield, FL, USA

problem #181

Jun 282012


  • 28,000 miles
My husband and I purchased our 2012 Ford Focus back in June 2012. When we got the car there was 28,000 miles on it. The next day it was in their shop due to the transmission. It felt like it was not trying to switch gears causing our rpms to go real high. The mechanics said nothings wrong because no lights were on. So months pass it was right back in for the same thing. Well they said they put a fuel throttle box on it and it should fix the problem. So after they "fixed" the car, we still noticed something wasn't right, so we continued to drive the car. Our engine light kept popping up so we took it to the car lot once again and they said it could possibly be an emissions problem. Well just a few weeks ago, I noticed the car was acting real funny, it didn't want to go into drive, and kept stalling. So on my way home I got on the interstate, and the car lost all power (luckily I was on my exit ramp). It said transmission malfunction, so I pulled over, and turned the car off. When I got the car to start again when in drive it wanted to go in reverse. Had to turn it off then restart but the car wouldn't even turn over. This is a big issue that Ford needs to fix. If I wouldn't have been on my exit ramp I may not be here typing this right now. I refuse to drive this car. It is not safe !!! I have two small kids and they will not be back in that car !! we have had issues with this car every since we got it.

- Bluefield, WV, USA

problem #180

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 #179

Mar 032014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 41,290 miles
Car was purchased in November 2013 with 38000 miles on it. One previous owner prior to myself. The car began jerking backwards when parking on an incline. By the time I had 40000 miles on the car, I began noticing that the car would not change gears when driving, this was especially a concern when pulling onto a highway and the car would not go. Then by the time the car hit 42000 the transmission would make a grinding noise when going uphill from a stop. The car went into the garage and the transmission was reprogrammed and clutch replaced. I never had a car with these kind of problems so early. Ford should have a recall on the transmission with all the complaints/ concerns.

- Nanticoke, PA, USA

problem #178

May 092012


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 30 mph, a metal to metal rattling noise emitted outside of the vehicle. The transmission slipped gears and the vehicle began to vibrate with hesitation. The failure occurred sporadically when shifting into second gear. Additionally, when the brake pedal was depressed when driving on an incline the vehicle would roll. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer twice where each time the computer module was reprogrammed. The vehicle was not repaired for the most recent failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 14,000.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #177

Mar 192014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,269 miles
Exiting freeway transmission made loud clunk and warning screen popped up saying "transmission malfunction - service now". pulled into nearby shop center parking lot. Afraid to drive car. What would have happened if transmission failed at freeway speed" could I have controlled the car??"

- Morro Bay, CA, USA

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