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 7 of 36)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #596

Feb 222016


  • 62,000 miles


Shuddering of engine between gear. Lose of power when accelerating. Red lines when trying to accelerate between first and second gear.

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #595

Feb 262016


  • miles
On 2/25/16, after a severe rainstorm, I went to turn on my car and tried to turn on the wiper blades, but they would not come on. The next morning they did turn on. That afternoon, when starting my car, the wiper blades turned on without the control being activated. The blades continued to run even when the car was turned off and no keys were in the ignition. The only way to stop the blades was to disconnect the fuse from the box. This has happened twice when I was not aware of this and my car battery was dead when I went to start the car. I cannot use the wiper blades at this time as they will not turn off. According to Ford Motor Co., this is not covered under the recall on the wiper blades since my car is out of warranty. I have had my car in the dealership to repair the defective clutch and it is still not repaired due to Ford Motor Co not sending out the necessary parts in a timely manner. My car is shuddering and jerking when accelerating and changing gears on all types of roads. I have had this issue since I bought the car brand new. The cruise control on my car works intermittently. When the battery is disconnected and then reconnected, the cruise will work for a few days. Ford technicians could not diagnose the problem. This has been a problem for as long as I have had the car.

- Clanton, AL, USA

problem #594

Feb 292016


  • 155,000 miles
The first time was going down 93 in boston area with my family the car went into transmission failure why I was in far left lane the car wouldnt go over 20 and I had to cross over to the far left lane to treach the breakdown lane. Luckily my family was not in accident because it could've have been far worse. It did the same thing a second time when I was going down 293 area going to a doctor appointment. This may end up killing my family if it doesn't get recalled and fix. We don't have extra money to be repairing it ourself every time it decides to do this.

- Barnstead, NH, USA

problem #593

Feb 172016


  • 125,000 miles


Car dies on highway while driving. Fuel system and sensors seems to be failing or fell apart inside the vehicle it will not show appropriate fuel levels. It stuttering after filling up to full tank. Vehicle is very dangerous to drive on a highway to work when fuel system is failing. Many complainst have been filed on other automitive websites and forums about this exact fuel system issue. Collapsed fuel system / fuel guage I just purchased this car 3 weeks ago and my previous Pontiac Grand Prix 2006 gave me less issues than this Ford Focus. Something really wrong is here with Ford, I think they have gotten to a massive point they believe they cannot be held responsible for there mistakes or recalls since they are too tied into the dependecy of all the people.

- Donna, TX, USA

problem #592

Feb 242016


  • 31,000 miles
I've already had problems with the transmission (recall issue) that causes the grinding and jerking of the vehicle...and still have to address these. But just this week my blinkers started coming on (when I turned off my motor), and some alarm started sounding until I started up the car. Really, really concerned at this point! not a safe vehicle. My second Ford Focus (my 2003 was a dream!)...wondering what went wrong in the factory!

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #591

Aug 212013


  • 28,000 miles
Shuddering, and bucking on take-off. Hesitation and delay in acceleration. City streets, from intersections, and worsens while turning a corner and gently accelerating. Known transmission issues with this model. Problem is constant, and continuous.

- Bremen, AL, USA

problem #590

Aug 012015


  • 30,000 miles


I have brought my vehicle into Ford service center multiple times regarding the recall and replacement of my clutch because of stalling and faulty acceleration which has almost caused accidents on 2 occasions merging into oncoming traffic and also increasing an injury to my back problems by the jumpy acceleration. Ford dealer claims that the replacements are on such a high back order that they informed me to try back in "November 2016" and just reset the clutch programming for new memory and insists I drive it hard as possible. This is a safety risk for myself and other drivers. The specific recall is fsa title: Transmission clutch shudder / transmission input shaft seal warranty extension field service action number: 14M01

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #589

Oct 142014


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact had not experienced any failures prior to taking the vehicle to the dealer to receive a manufacturer's recall remedy. After the repair, the failure progressed randomly for longer than a year. Upon depressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle was slow to respond and the rear tires locked when accelerating. The contact later experienced the vehicle stalling without warning. The contact had to coast the vehicle over to a fuel station and, after several attempts, the vehicle restarted, shook violently, and stalled. The vehicle was not able to be driven and was towed to the dealer for inspection. The contact waited longer than a week for the diagnostic results. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The NHTSA campaign number was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #588

Feb 202016


  • 76,450 miles
My vehicle lost all power in regards to acceleration and deceleration on the freeway at the speed of around 40-45 mph. I had to coast over two lanes and almost got rear-ended. The RPM would rev up but no power. Restarted car and problem went away. Next day had tcm flashed as part of recall. Two days later had the same issue only going 60-65 on freeway. Transmission went haywire and had to coast over and almost got rear-ended again. This time car wouldn't restart for about 2 min. No power. Engine revving and complete loss of power twice and I feel this car is a major accident waiting to happen. I do not feel safe while driving not knowing why my car is losing power even after the so called software fix.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #587

Feb 122016


  • 61,000 miles
Transmission shutters and slips and the power steering just shuts down at times, this is very dangerous. My wife was merging onto the interstate and the steering shuts down the engine still running. She has to shut the car off and start it again to get the power steering to work. This has happened around 10 times.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #586

Feb 142016


  • 60,000 miles


When you drive the vehicle, the transmission shutters, shakes, skips gears, and sometimes comes to an abrupt halt making it feel as if I have been rear-ended. It happens when the engine is cold or warmed up, at all outside temperatures and conditions and is a general safety issue waiting to happen. I have had mechanics that specialize in transmissions warn against driving it as it could potentially be a very severe or life threatening issue. None of these mechanics have a solution for me. Replacing it would just put an already bad transmission design back in. Ford has done nothing for me. And I am frankly afraid for my life every time I start it up. The vehicle feels as if the transmission wants to explode. Several times I have briefly lost control of the vehicle as the transmission jerks from one gear to another. This is my only vehicle for transportation and it is totally unsafe. Is it going to take people dying to get them to fix this" are we having another General Motors moment? why is the government not doing anything about this" your question below about the dates is irrelevant as it happens every time I drive it,

- Mason, MI, USA

problem #585

Feb 062016


  • 106,000 miles
For the last two years, our vehicle has had several episodes of violently mis-shifting, into a final loss of accelerator use. This happens many times when we are on rural or highway, and at differing speeds of up to 70 mph. We have brought it in for all regular and irregular maintenance to luther North country Ford in coon rapids, mn. They first said it was how the "new transmission worked", they then said it was the tcm codes, then the clutch was replaced. Then the only time they got codes from the car, we had to pay 1200 dollars because it wasn't part of the recall, but less than a month later, we had the same symptoms. Every time they "fix" the problem it happens again, sometimes months apart, most recently it was less than 24 hours after they replaced the clutch. They themselves have admitted they have no idea of how to truly, permanently, make the car safe to drive, but continually allow us to pick it up and drive away. We have trusted them with everything and the assumption that they are giving us a true and honest try when working on our car. Now we have applied for lemon law, only to find out that we do not qualify for that because we have trusted the dealer and Ford, extending over the warranty/lemon law refund period. My wife just made the last payment on this vehicle, and now (as we have been for some time) we are afraid to drive it, I am used to having to put on the 4 way flashers once a day to pull over when it stops accelerating. If it was something like the washer fluid sprayers didn't work I wouldn't care anymore. But we can't drive it, we can't resell it. We are reasonable people, but feel we've been robbed of 23,000 dollars with no where to turn. What can we do going forward I have every service invoice ever for the history of the car, but I don't have a scanner, I can mail them if needed please.

- Blaine, MN, USA

problem #584

Jan 252016


  • 25,300 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. When placing the clutch in reverse, the vehicle failed to move. The failure recurred twice. The engine warning light illuminated. In addition, while driving 60 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate and stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 25,300.

- North Bergen, NJ, USA

problem #583

Feb 012016


  • 108,000 miles
I have had transmission problems shortly after I purchased the car. It has had seals, clutch tmc replaced and also a instrument control panel at my expense since they said I was out of my 3 year 36,000 mile warranty. I had the car at the dealership several times without receiving any paperwork only to be told transmission was fine and that's just the way the new cvt transmission shifts. Car has always has a heistation on take off role backwards on inclines and shudders like crazy! my wife who owns a 2014 Ford escape refuses to drive the car complaining she doesn't feel safe in it. Just took it back to Ford week of feburary 1st and they are now telling me the seals and clutch need to be replaced at a cost of $1500 to me as it is out of warranty. The clutch was replaced in November of last year at 93,000 miles. I drive 480 miles round trip a week to work not including grand kids sporting events. I feel Ford has sold me a car and now want to punish me for the miles I drive. I have some paperwork from the dealership on what work they have done. Someone please make the dealship and Ford Motor Company responsible for this poor quality transmission they are passing repair cost on the consumer which should be ashamed of and allowed to do.

- Ripley, OH, USA

problem #582

Jan 262016


  • 28,743 miles
Ongoing issue on acceleration car shudders, bogs down, jumps forward, also hear a grinding/crunching sound. I have had my car in to the dealer numerous times and I am always told this is normal. I have written to Ford and they refuse to correct the problem. In regard to the question below when did this happen? it has been happening since I bought the car in 2012 but since I was not able to enter that into the box I entered the last date I brought it in to the dealer for this issue.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #581

Feb 092016


  • 76,682 miles
Clutch was recall and it was replaced by local dealership installed Nov 2015, gillette wy, and now transmission gave out, dealership stated that it needs an overhaul.

- Gillette, WY, USA

problem #580

Jan 282016


  • 35,000 miles
This is for the selectshift transmission. My vehicle has had multiple transmission shuddering issues in the past, once in 2013, and then again in Oct of 2014. The issues were "resolved", but on Jan 27th, my transmission jumped and my check engine light came on. Jan 28th, my transmission stopped working all together while driving on the highway, almost causing an accident. The transmission disengaged and would not engage with the car decelerating to a stop. The transmission control module failed this time, and the clutches were supposed to be replaced as well. The clutches were not replaced like they were promised and I am awaiting for them to get scheduled and sent in. I do not feel safe driving this vehicle.

- Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #579

Jul 132012


  • 2,172 miles
Purchased vehicle in June 9th 2012, after a week of driving I noticed a vibration when the car was shifting from a dead stop to second or even sometimes into third gear and reported this to bill knight Ford. Service manager went with myself and wife for a test drive and said this was normal and if it persisted bring it back and they would try and resolved the problem. We took this back time and time again and was told Ford was working on this problem, finally I insisted that this problem be repaired. I took my car in and bill knight replaced the clutch and this resolved the problem for about a month, when the problem came back it was much worse and it effected my gas mileage and the vibration turned into a heavy shutter at times. My wife started getting headaches and with her having surgery on her neck I started wondering if the Ford Focus was giving her the problem. I suggested this to the service advisor and he just did not even write this down. My wife has had 2 epidural since the first repair and I have talked with the service manager and sales manager about this problem. The sales manager wants me to trade the car in but I think this car should be repaired with a new warranty on the drive train or I be given a new car to replace the defected one. Ford should also pay for any and all of my wife's medical bills including pain and suffering, and my lost time from work while she was incapacitated. I really think bill knight Ford should be put on notice for selling cars that they had prior knowledge that were defective.

- Sand Springs, OK, USA

problem #578

Jan 202016


  • 61,000 miles
I have been having transmission issues with my 2012 Ford Focus. We purchased the car brand new off the lot it had 4 miles on it when purchased. Not even a year after purchase we started having issues with the gears not wanting to shift properly. We sent car to dealership for repair. It was fixed for a while up until recently and we have been trying to get it fixed since. I got into a wreck because my car bogged out at a redlight causing me to get stuck under a redlight and being hit while occupying the road. My car has been at dealership ever since. They called us about one week after the wreck to let me know that the recall for the transmission module had been fixed and they drove it and everything checked out fine. So my husband goes and gets the car and it breaks down on him not far from leaving the dealership. The car just completely quit shifting and bogged out and RPM shot up way high. He had to leave on the side of the road. So here goes trip 3 back to dealership for repairs for the same thing that has supposed to had been fixed. Why has the government issued a recall on the transmission for these cars. They are not safe to drive. Something needs to be done.

- Tallassee, AL, USA

problem #577

Feb 042016


  • 28,000 miles
The vehicle has had issues with the transmission for the past couple years. They started around 28,000 miles. It has been to the dealership 4 times for repairs, including fixing internal components and replacing seals. Today I took it again and was told that the clutch assembly has to be replaced and there is a 3 month wait for the necessary parts. The vehicle jerks and sputters when accelerating and has difficulty shifting in low gears in particular. This creates an unpleasant and potentially dangerous driving experience for all involved. After researching today I understand this has been a known issue with this model for years and there has still not been a recall, although there is a class action lawsuit. I find it absurd that my repeated trips to the dealer for repair have only provided for temporary, cosmetic improvements while leaving the known defect in place and that now that they are actively acknowledging the larger problem there is a 3 month wait to have the proper repair performed.

- Spokane, WA, USA

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