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:
5 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,734 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 4 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #111

Jul 012015


  • 90,000 miles


The vehicle has 5mph auto door locks. When you initially take off the doors are supposed to lock when the vehicle reaches 5mph, the doors are locking at 5mph but the horn blows twice distracting other drivers and its not supposed to do that. It started this about July of 2015 and continues to do this intermittently.

- Salem, IN, USA

problem #110

Sep 262015


  • 88,000 miles
Shuttering, no power to wheels, very slow and suddenly engaging, excessive clutch slip, lost reverse. Engine light came on. I was trying to cross traffic, at the stop sign I proceeded to go across traffic to the median turn lane. Car would not engage gear, when it did it was very slow and no power even with gas mashed to the floor. All this time I had cars approaching me from the South bound lane, very dangerous and scary. I then decided to just make a right hand turn and get off the road, which was hard because the electronic power steering assist in this car went out months ago with still no recall on this defect. I turned right down a side street and tried to turn around only to find out I have no reverse gear now, I am so over this lemon of a car. Buyers beware, stay far far away from Ford products especially this model car. Ford touts that they are committed to safety, I find that hilarious. Why on earth would you let a vehicle with the track record this model has with steering going out and transmissions just quitting when they want to, to still be on the road" a life threatening danger to the driver as well as anyone that is sharing the road with the vehicle. The next day, engine light gone, car shifts normal?????? vehicle is at Ford now, they have a recall to re-program the transmission control module"

- Crystal River, FL, USA

problem #109

Oct 102014


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was taken to the dealer twice where the transmission control module was replaced. Weeks later, there was an abnormal noise coming from the radio and it randomly failed to work. While driving, the steering wheel seized and the contact had to apply force to the steering wheel each time the failure recurred. The contact also mentioned that the eps warning light illuminated. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 103,000. Updated 11/12/15

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #108

Sep 132015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 67,542 miles


The transmission clipped as to a 4th replaced faulty clutch while backing into the garage. The car jerked backwards out of know where and hit the side of the garage while backing in to park. The rear fender, bumper and parking aid sensors are now damaged thank you to a faulty transmission and clutch. I am tired of not feeling safe with my daughter in the car.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #107

Sep 192015


  • 56,500 miles
I have a 2012 Ford Focus sel sedan. I was removing some items from the back seat and upon closing the right-hand rear door the door would not latch. Tried locking the door remotely before closing. No effect. Tried jogging the door latch mechanism to see if it was stuck somehow. No effect. I have to tie a string to the door handle from the inside around the front passenger headrest in order to keep the door closed! to add insult to injury, the front-passenger door latch mechanism failed less than a week ago! a replacement part is on order for it from my local Ford dealer. Fortunately, the front door will stay closed if it is locked before closing it, but this is still a ridiculous component failure.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #106

Sep 122015


  • 56,000 miles
2012 Ford Focus sel front passenger-side door is failing to latch closed. Latch mechanism can only be actuated through directly holding the affected door closed and locking the door remotely. Door stays closed if locked.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #105

Sep 032015


  • 42,000 miles


While driving, my car suddenly stopped functioning. The engine light came on, followed by all other lights. I was able to pull the car over, but unable to restart. I called for a tow truck (aaa). After waiting for an hour, I tried the ignition again, and the car started right up. The same problem occurred the following night. The car was towed to the dealership, tom's Ford in keyport, New Jersey, where it still remains.

- Keyport, NJ, USA

problem #104

Sep 032015


  • 58,000 miles
My wife and child were at a red light and when the light turned green and the gas pedal was pressed, the vehicle did not move only revved causing the man behind her to inch very close behind due to the light then honking his horn and yelling. In addition, after my wife and child returned home, I went to run to the store only to find that the vehicle does not turn over, not even sound like its attempting to as there is no noise when turning the key. I believe the vehicle does not recognize what gear it is in, thus will not start and has always had erratic shifting and lurching tendencies. I do not know what to do now, I have a family of five I support and no money to fix this. How am I going to get to work!!! I still have 5 years to pay on this...ughhh. Trapped

- South Glens Falls, NY, USA

problem #103

Sep 012014


  • 48,000 miles
This is not the only issue, but this has been the most dangerous for me... for the past year, the car has lost transmission power while driving - I was on hwy 40 and the car just stopped working - twice I was in the middle of a busy intersection and the car cut off - I was at a near stop and the car stopped responding....this has been reported numerous times by others. The gas pedal just stops responding at all. The time it stopped working in the middle of the intersection, the gears would not allow me to move the car into a park position, it would not move at all. It allowed me to turn my car off, in drive. After sitting there for a bit and multiple restarts, the car engaged again. Ford's fix? they came out with a software update that may turn on my engine light before a failure. This is not a fix. I asked them if someone needed to die in their car or get crushed in an intersection for them to do something. I filed a formal complaint with Ford. So frustrated and angry.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #102

Jul 252015


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the windshield wipers turned on independently. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred even after the vehicle was turned off. As a result, the battery had to be disconnected in order for the windshield wipers to turn off. The failure occurred a second time and the windshield wipers became inoperable. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V149000 (visibility). The failure mileage was 70,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #101

Jun 292015


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The contact stated that several attempts had to be made before the vehicle would start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The contact was informed that the engine control unit (ECU) needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #100

Jul 312015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 48,317 miles
For the past few weeks I occasionally get the "steering assist fault" message while driving and power steering stops working. Usually, when I restart the car it resets and works again. Today I got the message while at a stop light, restarted the cars a few times and it did not reset. I have contacted my dealer and they said they've never heard of this, despite my reporting it to them last fall as well. Update 9/15/15 update: I took the car into the dealership for repair, and the steering gear was replaced. So far, at 49,800 miles, the problem has not happened since the repair. The repair qualified to be covered by my extended service plan, and I paid 4100 deductible for the work. The repair was done at the same dealership where I purchased the car. Updated 09/29/15.... updated 09/30/15 updated 11/10/15.

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #99

Feb 282015


  • 30,000 miles
There was a loss of power in February when I was driving so I took my car to Ford and apparently there was a problem with the transmission. However, two days ago (July 27th), my car stopped working completely while I was driving. I was really scared since all power was off. Then I have to try several times to turn on my car again. There was a loss of all changes, reverse position did not work. Took the car to the dealer again and I am waiting for an answer. I do not want to drive the car until I know it is completely safe to drive it. I have a kid so this situation is very dangerous for me...updated 05-10-16

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #98

Jul 012015


  • 34,000 miles
Letter from senator isakson on behalf of constituent re 2012 Ford Focus issues. (attn: Hanna yu). The consumer stated the vehicle had four major repairs and 6-8 minor repairs done to the transmission. The vehicle would jerk. Also, while in the middle of a making a turn, the vehicle suddenly stopped.

- Crandall, GA, USA

problem #97

Jul 202015


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While attempting to start the vehicle, there was an abnormal sound from the front of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that it could be the air conditioner compressor and stated that the vehicle was safe to drive. The vehicle was not repaired. While driving approximately 30 mph, there was a smell of smoke inside the vehicle and noticed that the rear of the vehicle was smoking. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was confirmed that the air conditioner compressor and the belt needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 51,000.

- Pittsburg, PA, USA

problem #96

Jul 172015


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving at approximately 45 mph, all the warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel and the steering seized. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 85,000.

- Canton, GA, USA

problem #95

Feb 092015


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start and the odometer failed to operate properly. In addition, the fuel gauge failed to indicate the accurate fuel level readings, which caused the vehicle to be low on fuel and shut off. The contact also stated that the windows failed to close. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure was unable to be duplicated. The contact mentioned that the battery was replaced on four occasions, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 91,000.

- Waldorboro, ME, USA

problem #94

Jul 162014


  • 40,000 miles
During times of frequent stop and go (accelerating and de-accelerating) the car shudders and acts like it is going to stall. It does not accelerate or de-accelerate properly sometimes. I did not notice until about 40,000 miles and have had this problem ever since. Some model of Ford focuses are under recall, however when I went to the dealer they said my car specifically was not being recalled yet it was exhibiting the same issues.

- Brown City, MI, USA

problem #93

Jun 222015


  • 79,000 miles
The speakers make a loud pop and the radio goes completely out. I turn the car off and restart and the radio works however, the this is happening once a week now. When I went to the dealer they told me they were not aware of any ongoing issues with the any electrical systems and/or the radio and told me I would have to replace the radio for approximately $800. I have had several issues with my 2012 Focus and am not happy about it, I will not purchase another one in the future.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #92

May 012015


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 40 mph, the vehicle lost power. In addition, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate as the rpms increased. Also, the contact mentioned that the horn failed to function. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who diagnosed that a module in the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000. Updated 09/10/15

- Soddy, TN, USA

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