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 32 of 36)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #96

Jun 222013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


I purchased my 2012 Ford Focus new from am authorized Ford dealer. A few days after purchase I noticed that the transmission seemed to slip in an out of gear when accelerating. The problem is worse on hills. Further the vehicle will roll backward when at a low idle on a hill with the engine running. I took the vehicle into the dealer where I purchased it and he said it was fine. But today I was alarmed at how much worse it seems to be getting. I did a quick search on google and discovered a lot of 2012 Focus owners are having the same problem and dealers are giving the same explanation or doing little to fix the problem.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #95

Jun 172013


  • 19,200 miles
The car shift hard when taking off at stop light it fill sometimes that the car can not go shift hard then go.

- Bonner Springs, KS, USA

problem #94

Jan 022012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
I bought the 2012 Ford Focus sel on November 18th 2011 and first recall was Jan 02 2012 they reprogrammed the transmission and there was a 2nd recall and the reprogrammed the transmission again but im still having hesitation on startups and loses power as well but hasn't stalled yet but I thought few times it will stall out but it didn't. I hope Ford can fix the hesitation of this vehicle but if not then I will never buy a Ford again. Also the suspension is very hard on bumps. Feels like there is no shocks on the car. Very disappointed on my front windshield. Cracked when I only had 15,000 miles on the car.

- Clawson , MI, USA

problem #93

Nov 072012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles


At highway speeds while trying to pass, meaning speeding, my engine would cut out or loose power which would last about 10 seconds. I am bringing this to your attention because I read about other Ford owners having the same issue. Now Ford said that it was easily fixed by reprogramming the transmission, this fix has alleviated some of the engine power loss but not all. In fact this fix makes my transmission act like it is slipping and the shifts points are way out of range. It is because of these issues I can't stand driving it, please advise as to what my options are since my factory warranty ran out.

- La Crosse, WI, USA

problem #92

May 202013


  • 16,000 miles
Update 05/20/2013 this vehicle keeps getting worse: "reverse does not work very well as it takes a long time to function. On a slight decline the car rolls forward and reverse has difficulty engaging. ?from a stop at a stop sign or red light, the car will attempt to lunge forward sometimes. ?from a stop at a stop sign or red light, the car will often not accelerate when the accelerator pedal is pressed. "at any given time (full stop or in motion) the accelerator must be pressed half way or more to the floor in order to get the car to accelerate. ?the car lunges a lot and misses-then lunges while driving.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #91

May 122013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
I had just exited the freeway and was driving up the street when my car shuddered and jolted furiously and sort of stopped but I was able to continue driving for a short while and while making a left hand turn it suddenly once again jolted more furiously and completely stopped and no gears were able to engage and the vehicle shut off completely. Thank god I was able to backup into a parking lot off the very busy street as I could not move forward at all. I had to be towed to the dealership where it has remained to date from Sunday night until today while they are trying to reprogram and fix the problem.

- Hawthorne, CA, USA

problem #90

Mar 272013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles


Since purchasing this vehicle I have had consistent problems where I will pull out into traffic and the vehicle loses power. At some points, where the vehicle is stopped, the car shakes a lot! there seems to be an acceleration problem and it is getting much worse! I was almost rear-ended yesterday!

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #89

Jan 182013


  • 200 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that she was stopped on an incline and attempted to put her foot on the accelerator pedal, when the vehicle rolled backwards. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection but they could not determine the cause of failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 200.

- Agalam, MA, USA

problem #88

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 #87

Nov 052012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Repeated problems with transmission "slipping", lack of power, surging when finally does shift, extremely unpredictable acceleration from stop (e.g., pulling into traffic at intersections, or up hill at highway speeds). Did not display problems during test drive, but at approximately 1,000 miles up to current mileage (about 2,200) it occurs every time I drive. Have had three near miss accidents due to unpredictable acceleration from stops, also on highway under hill load. Had dealer service check three times, first time updated software in PCM/tcm, second time with same dealer returned "no errors", tried different dealer, also "no errors" but was told other customers complained and "that's how it's designed". sent Ford Motor Company demand for refund under California lemon law, Ford customer relations center called and stated they will not pay refund at this time but requested opportunity to send special technician to local dealer. Have not heard back to schedule with special technician after one week.

- Fort Irwin, CA, USA

problem #86

Sep 292012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning. The instrument panel indicated that the transmission was engaged in park. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where an engineer was sent to inspect the vehicle. The engineer stated that there was nothing was wrong with the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 5 and the current mileage was 27,000.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #85

Apr 042013


  • 38,000 miles
The transmission in the car has been reprogrammed for once for jerking and slipping gears than told parts are on back order for up to three weeks for clutch replacement. The car shifts rough, shutters, told by driver its the way I drive. The transmission is getting worst.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #84

Oct 182012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 11,865 miles
While pulling into traffic from a complete stop car would not accelerate. Had to push gas pedal almost to floor to get car to go, that lead to a bucking acceleration, car jumping forward and almost being rear ended. Took car to shop first told that's how the car drives, then told by transmission "specialist" I was not driving my car aggressive enough. After a 2 week stay the shaft seal and clutch was replaced. Did not correct issue called Ford Corp and again was told this is how the car drives basically telling me I was at fault. Car has since been back 2 times for the same reason, even took for a second opinion per Ford request and car stalled on the service manager on a hill and yet I was told that's how the car is suppose to perform!!! not happy. Tomorrow April 15th 2013 car is going back thus again for same reason. Not feeling safe in my car!!!!

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #83

Jan 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,800 miles
Occasional and unexpected roll-back on inclines. Occasional and unexpected lack of acceleration when acceleration is required. Severe judder as the automatic transmission shifts between first, second, and third gears (occurs only after the car has been driven 5-10 miles). The car is fitted with a 6 speed automatic/manual transmission. The problems appear to be getting worse.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #82

Apr 142013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,777 miles
While leaving the parking lot of a store to enter highway, my Focus started sputtering and then shut completely down leaving me and my two children stranded in the road. We got help to push it out of the way when attempted tries to start didn't work. A tow truck came when called and took it to our Ford dealership here who just called (24 hours later) to tell me they "think" there's a problem with the fuel pump. I have had continual problems with the transmission as well, this car rolls back on even the slightest hill, has caused some close calls when vehicles are close behind me. I am a working mom with a non-working vehicle for at least the week.

- Jasper, TX, USA

problem #81

Apr 062013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,800 miles
2012 Ford Focus, automatic trans. The clutches disengaged during acceleration, this time while making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic. Check engine light came on. Then the car has erratic shifting, clutches engaging and disengaging while driving, high rpms. This time taken to dealer for same reprogrammed the control module again. There are many complaints about the trans on

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #80

Mar 082013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,500 miles
I noticed the transmission wasn't shifting correctly and it was hesitating. This happened often and finally I was stuck in the middle of an intersection twice on the same day and the car would not shift into second gear and began shaking and making a knocking noise. This could have caused a huge accident. I don't understand why Ford has not done a recall on this car. I was told my transmission has extensive damage and the part that needs to be replaced was on backorder and could take a few months. I was also informed that I am number 1900 on the waiting list for this part in my region. I asked if I could trade my car in for another model of car at the same cost and they said they would only pay me $14,000 for my Focus. So basically my car depreciated $10,000 in 4 months and Ford will not do what is right and replace the car for me and take the loss. I'm extremely disgusted that Ford was even selling these cars when they knew there was a problem with the transmission and even more so that they will not fix the problem.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #79

Oct 052011

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that after having a manufacturer's recall performed on the vehicle for the gear shifter, the vehicle failed to shift into gear. The contact mentioned that the vehicle started to shake violently and started to make a loud noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician stated that the shifter needed to be reprogrammed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure and current mileage was 35,000....updated 04/25/13 the consumer stated the vehicle had been reprogrammed twice and the failure was still not corrected. The consumer traded in the vehicle.

- Port Norris, NJ, USA

problem #78

Mar 152012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
My Focus shutters while trying to move through first gear. Before second gear engages, first gears feels as if it was slipping. I brought this to the attention of my dealer within the first month and they told me it needed to brake in. After bringing it in several times, they performed a 12B37 update, a full PCM re program and ended having to replace the entire gear box because a seal ruptured. All of this in three separate occasions this last attempt fixed it, but the problem returned. I issued Ford a last attempt request and just picked up my car. The field supervisor states that he noticed the shuttering, but that it was normal for my vehicle. Well, if the same issue persists and it was fixed last time by replacing seals and the gear box, how could this be normal for my car? I will be seeking legal assistance from this point forward and will be initiating a BBB autoline mediation request.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #77

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 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?