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 9 of 36)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #556

Jan 042016


  • 55,488 miles


Powter train tcm module; replaced on 8/4/15 with 49427 miles. Vehicle would not shift out of gear. Along with hesitation while driving in residential area. Vehicle was brought to Ford dealership and the tcm was found defective. Module was replaced and programmed to latest "standards".on 1/4/2015 power train tcm module replaced with 55488 miles. Car worked fine the day prior then would not start the following morning in garage. Removed battery and had it tested at auto store and it tested good. Vehicle had to be jumped to start. Then warning came on dash showed transmission failure have service. Brought vehicle to Ford dealership and found that tcm module was bad. Service dept also stated that the battery would have to be replaced due to bad cell. The battery was tested earlier in the week and found to be properly charged. Ok'd the battery replacement then was notified the starter was now bad. Service attendant did not directly admit to the tcm module causing these other issues but advised to keep all receipts due to class action against Ford. Attendant also stated that some vehicles have had the tcm replaced 3-5 times. Warranty has only been extended to 100,00 miles

- Largo, FL, USA

problem #555

Jan 052016


  • 21,000 miles
The car just starts making a grinding noise and the gears slip out of place

- Thomasville, NC, USA

problem #554

Dec 212015


  • 52,000 miles
Tcm failure, uphill assist failure, no start.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #553

Aug 272012


  • 52 miles


My issues with this car started the day I drove it off the lot and have not stopped. There was an issue with the fan that made my engine sound like it was chewing rocks whenever the air/heat was on - this has been fixed. I bought the car brand new and from day one it has been grinding, shuddering and not shifting smoothly. I've had issues with the RPM's skyrocketing when I'm slowing down and the RPM's skyrocketing when I'm trying to accelerate but the car isn't moving. I've had the car feel like it's completely lost power while in stop and go traffic then "wake up" and lurch transmission has been replaced once, my clutch replaced twice. Once I've been told it's a figment of my imagination and once I was told that I need to learn how to drive the car. The clutch I have now is the same one being used in the 2015 Focus's, and though it's "better", it's still's just off so sporadically that I can't bring it in because I don't want to be told it's all in my head again. This car is not safe. It is not a car that I'm comfortable passing on to my child when she starts driving next year and it's not a car that I would drive day to day if I had to drive rush hour traffic. It's too bad, too, because the design of the car is wonderful - it's comfortable, it's got the right set up, but the most important part of the vehicle is dangerous and doesn't operate properly.

- Carver, MN, USA

problem #552

Aug 112014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer for a manufacturer's recall for the clutch and transmission, which did not provide a permanent remedy to repair the condition of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer more than five times before notification of the manufacturers recalls and they had not been able to replicate the failure and provide a repair solution after several repairs. The contact continued to experience the clutch failing to change over into third gear and the vehicle had a strong hesitation. The vehicle also randomly stalled and the contact had to make several attempts to get the vehicle to restart. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Hastings, FL, USA

problem #551

Dec 162015


  • 45,500 miles
Car has continuously shuddered when trying to shift between gears. At times the car will almost come to a complete stop as if it can not find what gear it needs to be in to move forward. Happens in all scenarios, cold weather, warm weather, and at all speeds. More recently car has failed to start and shudders have become more violent when driving.

- Somerset, NJ, USA

problem #550

Dec 132015


  • 1 miles


Parking aid malfunction error: While driving 65 mph on a 3 lane hwy, the parking aid malfunction error appeared which caused the car to completely shutdown. Fortunately I was able to coast to the side of the road with no power steering, no power brakes without engine power. Pam message kept appearing and car would not start. Vehicle had to be towed to dealer. Ford is aware of this problem and fixed the vehicle under warranty via tsb# 15-0101 3068 W40. Ford even extended the warranty for the transmission control module to 10 years 150,000 miles. To have a car completely shutdown while driving 65mph on a 3 lane highway is very dangerous and life threatening. Especially on a highway with cars whizzing by at 60-70 mph. Why isn't this tcm problem under recall" does someone have to be killed before any action is taken"

- Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #549

Dec 112015


  • 22,000 miles
I purchased my 2012 Ford Focus on Sept. 25, 2012. I have had problems with the transmission and clutch ever since purchasing. On 7/16/13 Ford performed a computer adjustment on the transmission. On 7/9/14 Ford installed a new clutch in the car. On 9/17/15 they reprogrammed the transmission. Ford claims that the problems with shuttering on acceleration are normal operations for the car. They have also extended the warranty on the transmission because "on your vehicle, it may be possible for the powershift 6-speed automatic transmission to exhibit excessive transmission clutch shudder during light acceleration. This condition may be caused by fluid contamination of the clutch due to leaking transmission seals." They extended the warranty on the car to a 7 year 100,000 mile warranty for the transmission only. On 12-11-15 I was driving my car on very busy four lane road. I came to a stop at a red light, while attempting to turn left. When I tried to accelerate from the red light my car would not shift from first to second gear. The car would only accelerate to around 15 mph, the speed on the road was 45 mph. Once I hit 15 mph the engine would just rev but the car would not accelerate or shift gears. I had to stop in the middle of the left lane and turn off the vehicle. After restarting the vehicle, it would shift from first to second gear with heavy shuddering. Upon taking my car to Ford for the 4th time they said that the clutch failed and that they needed a new clutch. This will be the second new clutch that that they have put on the car. The car currently has about 22,000 miles. This vehicle is unsafe to drive and Ford is unable to find an appropriate fix for the problem. They are aware of the problems and have extended the warranty on the car but are not able to correct this issue. This car should be recalled due to the transmission issues.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #548

Dec 102015


  • 33,000 miles
The automatic clutch shutter, slips, and causes a very jerky ride. Transmission does not seem to be in the right gear a lot of the time.

- Derby, NY, USA

problem #547

Nov 292015


  • 58,000 miles
I continue to have transmission problems and I'm concerned that the problem involves other systems. I feel their needs to a complete recall on the powertrain and also an extended warranty offered.

- Folsom, CA, USA

problem #546

Nov 192014


  • 45,000 miles


Second problem was at 45,000 miles when the transmission control module (tcm) malfunctioned. The car lost all power while riding down the road and left me stranded in the middle of the highway. The car would not shift into park and was stuck in drive. I could not get the key out or attempt to crank it because the transmission was stuck in drive. I immediately called the Ford dealership and they told me that I had to get it towed and they would not tow the vehicle to the dealership and it would be at least two weeks before they could diagnose the problem. They ended up replacing the tcm module and I received the car back after 4 weeks.

- Greenville, MS, USA

problem #545

Nov 202013


  • 5,000 miles
Transmission problems that Ford would never address! first problem occurred at 5,000 miles when the car would shut down by itself when trying to accelerate. The car would lose power then the engine would shut off and the instrument panel lights would light up. When you crank the car back up it was as if nothing happened. Took it to the Ford dealership and left it for a period of 25 days and they were unable to detect any problems. Nothing was done to correct this problem and the dealership said that it was a normal thing. Basically they blew smoke up my a** about it just so I would stop harassing them about it. They were not even concerned by the fact that this is a major safety issue and that it could have put my life in jeopardy. This problem still occurred but less frequently.

- Greenville, MS, USA

problem #544

Nov 012015


  • 123,000 miles
Transmission/ clutch has always given us problems. We have been in for repairs more times then I can count for seals on the clutch, reprogramming after reprogramming and replacing the clutch itself. It still shudders lurches and does not drive safely. I have tried to get help and given up a thousand times over the three years I have owned the car. Thank god it hasn't gotten me killed yet. Clutch gave out again the other day and it buck and jerked harder than it ever has. I pulled out in front of someone and could not accelerate for a whole 1 min. Was getting ready with my flashers to pull over then it bucked and rolled enough to get to my house... I'm now past the Ford extended warranty... $1700 quote from the dealer to replace a defective part that will most likely fail again within the year. How can they continue to try and cover up this issue??

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #543

Nov 232015


  • 84,000 miles
For the fifth time in only eight months, the transmission has malfunctioned in this vehicle, causing it to stop accelerating or stall. It is a safety hazard, as it has happened on the highway twice and has been on the street in motion the remaining three times. Each time we have taken it to the shop at the owner's expense and it has required towing each time because it no longer accelerates. The transmission sensors (there are two) continue to misfire and fail, despite being replaced several times. This car was bought new in 2012 and has had issues since the purchase. We have two children and another is due at the end of January and I do not feel safe driving this car, as it has almost been the result of several accidents when it stalls and shudders.

- Gallipolis, OH, USA

problem #542

Jul 142014


  • 50,000 miles
Transmission shifts improperly causing shudder effect. At idle the vehicle shudders as if its going to die out. The shudder happens mostly on highway driving.

- Wilmington, IL, USA

problem #541

Nov 062015


  • 48,000 miles
Purchased vehicle 6 months ago from auto nation Ford union city, ga. First there was a problem with tire, then there is a problem with " brake lamp" then there is a major problem with " transmission malfunction". car would not accelerate and stopped in mid traffic. Auto nation "said" they repaired as a result of recall, but I drove the car 8 hours after I picked it up from auto nation and car still having the same " transmission malfunction" problem, I could not accelerate, and car stopped on highway. In addition, the " brake lamp" message also flashed on the dash. I took car back to the dealer where it remains with auto nation Ford, union city, ga. The car is unsafe to drive. Furthermore, please investigate the dishonest service and sales practices at this dealership

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #540

Aug 202015


  • 73,000 miles
Vehicle moving transmission disengages gear vehicle needs to be restarted to reset transmission, veh stopped at traffic control device light, stop sign, railroad crossing transmission disengages gear. Veh needs to be shut off and restarted to be able to move. Veh in said situation refuses to actknowledge park signal so. That it can be restarted.veh has been in motion and had this happen veh has been stopped and this has happened this is on going.

- Mastic, NY, USA

problem #539

Nov 092015


  • 73,000 miles
Transmission bucks, shutters, lags, lurches and slips. Often creates a serious safety concern. I almost hit people in a crosswalk one day when I tried to roll forward a few feet to the stop line on the street and the vehicle lurched forward. I have been pulling out in to traffic several times where it lags or slips and I've almost been hit. Ford tells me this is all normal.

- Lockport, IL, USA

problem #538

Nov 132015


  • 77,250 miles
Owned car for 2 years, in shop 5 times so far for dct issues. Car is completely unpredictable and going to cause me to get in an accident! sometimes I hit the acceleration and it lurches forward unexpectedly causing me almost to rear end someone. Other times I hit the gas expecting it to go and I get a really sluggish response to the point where I'm scared another vehicle will hit me, so I will floor it trying to get it to move, this will result in the back wheels locking up and fish tailing! I have had at least six moments in this week where the car responded unexpectedly and made me think I was going to get in an accident. Tonight in rush hour I was maintaining a speed of about 20 mph, the car decided to downshift and send more forward a few yards. I want so badly to get rid of this car as I have a baby, but I'm very upside down on it. I have various warranties but have been warned by Ford that they are a "one time get out of jail free card" and if the car comes in for the same repair it previously had it will no longer be under warranty! this is horrible, my car is constantly in the shop for the same transmission issue!

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #537

Nov 112015


  • 26,500 miles
After driving for 40 mins, the check engine light came on. I was in stop and go traffic and from stop (0 mph) to 30 mph the transmission would downshift violently and stall. I would give it gas, but the car would not move and the engine would rev up and lunge forward violently causing cars to almost hit me in the rear. I put in a similar complaint a few years ago about a shuttering when accelerating from a stop after 40 + mins of driving. This is unacceptable for a car company to allow this car out on the streets.

- Arlington, VA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?