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 5 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #91

Oct 132014


  • 51,095 miles


I have a 2012 Ford Focus. Only a year after buying this car I began to notice issues with shifting while driving and even complained about transmission issues to my dealer. I was told this was "normal operating condition". before the implementation of the fors customer service program happened, there was a minor recall to reduce instances of rolling back on hills. I took my car in to have that fixed only to have more intense issues surface later. My car has been in the shop for diagnostics more times than I can count with no real results on the transmission. In October of 2014 -2.5 years after purchasing a brand new car. My transmission officially failed as I tried to merge onto the highway. Ford issued a not-quite-recall announcement, and I took my Ford in to get the repair service done with 51,095 miles on the vehicle. I had transmission components (seals and clutch) replaced exactly as was instructed by Ford Motor Company. 10,000 miles later, in April 2015, I began experiencing the beginnings of the same issue again. It would seem that whatever Ford corporate claims is the issue is not the case or that the fix Ford corporate isn't an actual fix. More than this, I've been instructed to do the same replacement process when Ford confirmed that the same issue was happening and the same outcomes were imminent. I ordered the parts on 4/16 because they were on back order and not available. 2 months later, the parts needed to do this are still not available. I'm lucky that my highway merge stall-out didn't end poorly the last time but not knowing whether accelerating is possible or when your transmission will fail is scary. The fact that this is happening at 60,000 miles is inexcusable and unsafe. This "program" allows Ford to avoid fixing the issue and leaves consumers in an unsafe, unreliable and financially draining situation.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #90

Jun 072015


  • 96,000 miles
Since the purchase of this for Focus 2012 two years ago, the engine will suddenly stall out and stop working entirely. I am 6 months pregnant and after bringing this car in for numerous repairs of this issue, with no real resolve, I am now furious. I was driving down a 4 lane highway at 65 mph and my engine said "parking assist failure" and the car died. I was almost hit by multiple cars as I tried to coast my way to the shoulder of the road. I turned the car off and back on and it started again. I called the dealership and was told I could bring it in "but they already fixed it." Then just a few days later I am at a busy intersection, and it stalls again..this time wont turn back on. I have been given the run around from Ford, and the Ford dealership, and I need out of this car. I have always driven volkswagon's, and this was my first Ford. Never again. Meanwhile, I am underwater on my car loan now, because I have a car that is worth nothing.

- Auburn, NH, USA

problem #89

May 262015


  • 64,000 miles
Driver window worked only intermittently and then ceased altogether. Had the switch replaced. Now the passenger side front window is exhibiting the same early symptoms. It took only one week for the first window to fail, so it probably won't be long before we have to replace the second.

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #88

Mar 102015


  • 36,000 miles


Power steering quit and driving was almost impossible for a few blocks. Power steering then came back intermittently. Manual said to shut vehicle off for 10 seconds and re-start. That worked for a few weeks and now steering is going out all the time for a few seconds at a time.

- Sewickley, PA, USA

problem #87

May 162015


  • 70,000 miles
On Saturday, May 16, 2015, I was traveling East on interstate 40, memphis, Tennessee. Suddenly the gas pedal bumped twice and my vehicle went completely dead in the middle of this busy interstate. The electrical system just died, my emergency flashers wouldn, T even work. Iall I could do was continue to lay on the horn and wave my hand out the window trying to get the oncoming traffic to realize my car had stopped. My husband told me to get out of the car. I went to the side of the road. A good samaritan, stopped and was able to push my car across the two lanes of traffic and safely on the right median. This happened between 7:30 and 8:15 in the evening. My husband arrived on scene and we planned to return in the morning with a battery hoping that was the problem. I am currently unemployed since 03/15/2015, I couldn't afford to have the vehicle towed. I do not think this was caused by the battery, I think it was a defective transmission. I purchased the vehicle in March, 2013 as a certified pre-owned vehicle. Every problem I've had with this vehicle has been with the transmission. There was in fact an issue with the clutch, I received a letter from Ford Motor Company that the replacement part was defective and may need to be replaced again. The warranty on the clutch was extended to 100,000 miles. I have a message screen on this car. There were no warnings given to me. I definitely feel this is a safety issue! what makes a car completely die as you are traveling 55mph" I have spoken to Ford and they say that particular model does have some issues, but they said they had no idea what could have gone wrong. I was told to just feel lucky I wasn't killed. All I want to know is why would a car going 55mph suddenly just die, with no warning" I guess someone will have to be killed to get any answers. Thank you.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #86

Feb 152015


  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving at various speeds and attempting to accelerate, the vehicle hesitated to accelerate. All of the warning indicators on the instrument panel illuminated. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine had a leak and needed to be repaired and the brake line and circuit board failed. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 29,000.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #85

May 122015


  • 73,583 miles


Vehicle not starting. Vehicle has power but nothing when I try to start car. Everything works but fuel gauge does not. After several attempts the car starts. I'm still having issues with transmission not shifting right. Dealer keeps telling me they fixed it but same jerking still happens. So fed up with this car.. it is a lemon.

- Cleburne, TX, USA

problem #84

Apr 102015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
Power steering electrical system failed without notice. Noticed that there is currently a class action suit against Ford for this issue and other issues. Not on recall list at moment, and may have to pay for repair due to faulty design.

- Westbrook, CT, USA

problem #83

Apr 052015


  • 68,000 miles
The car was running fine until last week when I drove to the supermarket. After I came out and attempted to leave, the engine would not turn over. Everything works electrically (radio, lights, etc...) but turning the ignition key fully did nothing. This now happens daily after the car warms up. If you turn the car off it will not start or turn over. If you let the car cool down for a couple hours it generally will start. Driving is done mainly at highway speeds and the oil level and engine temperature are fine according to dipstick and gauges. Bought a new battery in case something was wrong with it. It did not resolve the problem. Ensured the negative terminal of the battery was solidly attached to metal (not painted metal) to ensure proper grounding. Nothing helped. Dealer appointment this week. Also received "hill assist not available" warning on dash. A friend of mine who owns the same exact model and year vehicle (2012 Ford Focus) had the exact same thing happen to him. The dealer switched out their tcm (transmission control module) and this fixed their problem. Time for a recall.

- Waterloo, IL, USA

problem #82

Mar 132015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
I purchased the car used in early 2014. I had this car not even two years and the transmission is a serious problem. The car shakes, rattles, and stalls as I'm driving. The letter I received from Ford states that this is a normal function of the car. The transmission fluid on my car is leaking and contaminated. The transmission fluid would be almost empty in 24 hours. In order to use my car for a day, I would need to refill my car with transmission fluid so it will at least move. The car at times would come to a complete stop in the middle of traffic. The power-shift struggles to change gears and at times won't accelerate. This problem maybe now beginning to affect my engine. The Focus won't even start at times. Another issue is the radio will go on/off and with time, shut off completely. Their are also reports of car will roll back on hills when in drive and it does. The Ford Focus 2012 has too many design and manufacturer problems not to have a recall or lemon lawsuits. This car needs to simply be replaced with another model (not 2013 or 2014 models, same reports) or full reimbursement.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #81

Mar 102015


  • 60,680 miles


This has happened multiple times, but on Tuesday 3/12/15. My car has flashed transmission malfunction, parking aid malfunction, hill assist not working. My car would start, but would not go into gear. Two cops had to push my car to the side of the road since I was in the middle of rush hour traffic. I have had this happen on the interstate doing 75 and the car jumps out of gear and I can no longer go, so I have had to pull over and luckily restart the car and go. I also have been having issues with the car not starting this past week and it keeps flashing parking aid malfunction, service required. I have two young children and this is ridiculous. If this car causes us to be involved in a accident. This is common issues and Ford is fully aware yet I do not have any recalls on my vehicle.

- Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

problem #80

Nov 122014


  • 40,000 miles
Horn stopped working checked fuses and relays which all work but after reading there are several people that complain that the wiring in the car causes a problem with the horn becoming inoperative. This is a wider problem and wish to have Ford issue a recall. I have had issues not being able to warn people drifting or not paying attention with no way to warn them. This is a serious safety issue.

- Moore, OK, USA

problem #79

Jan 202015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Was driving with my mom when all of a sudden her power steering gave out and it was incredibility hard for her to steer. I took over and drove home now I drove vehicles with out power steering before but this was by far the toughest steering vehicle I drove. It was completely dangerous and irresponsible of Ford to not address the issue as of yet. Thankfully I was with my mom that day and nothing worse happened but it could have ended alot worse.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #78

Jan 062015


  • 46,000 miles
My car sync has not been working properly and my radio would just shut off while driving. I would have to stop turn off my car and take the kit was definitely something electrical because I could manipulate the frequency sound by turning the heat on and off or the wipers.ey out then open and shut the door start it back up and the radio would turn on. Recently something happened where a loud crackle came through the speaker and the radio went out but then a static came on that I could not shut off. I could not turn off the sound even after I shut off the car the static kept going long after I shut the door and walked away. I woke up to a dead battery. Ford made me pay for a new battery because they said it was a wear item even though whatever was happening to the car was what wore the battery down.

- Mahtomedi, MN, USA

problem #77

Jan 072015


  • 35,590 miles
Both front electric windows work intermittently. Motor misfired at 50mph.

- Newton, AL, USA

problem #76

Jan 052015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 65,600 miles
The horn has stopped working. It worked the first few weeks we had the car, and it no longer works currently. Fuses and relays were checked associated with horn function via owners manual and were not the source of the issue.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #75

Sep 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I own a 2012 Ford Focus SE. I bought my Ford Focus in December 2012 from folsom lake Ford located in folsom California. At 20000 miles I took my car in for its factory service and advised the transmission was not operating correctly. According to folsom lake Ford their service department reprogrammed the transmission computer and ordered parts for the transmission┐┐parts that would take a month to arrive, but never heard back from folsom lake Ford after that. About 35000mls started major transmission issues with my Focus-it would not shift correctly. The check engine light never came on, nor were there any other diagnostic/malfunction advisements from the vehicles information system. Other systems began to malfunction 'specifically electronic systems, idle control malfunctioned-. idle rough, sometimes idling wild and extreme Focus would stall constantly while stopped at intersections, also randomly stalling while at driving speeds. Multiple times my Focus stalled on the freeway, while driving at normal freeway speeds 55-70mph. After my Focus had a stalling incident it would not start at all as if it was due to a power drainage. If it did not immediately fire-up, the starter would continue to operate whether I tried to discontinue or not. When the vehicle did finally start, the transmission always operated unusually after that 'shifting incorrectly, not smoothly shifting into gear, sometimes not shifting into the proper gear or not shifting at all. At about 42000mls service performed on my Focus the battery checked and in good working order. By 43000mls after major transmission issues my battery was corroded/ruined.

- North Highlands, CA, USA

problem #74

Jan 052015


  • 40,000 miles
*ongoing *please see original complaints # 10473215 and #10670375* long history of transmission repairs since purchase. Latest repair on 1/5/2014 was to replace malfunctioning tcm. When getting car back from service, odd noise and hesitation upon starting. Service manager attempted to start. Symptoms of tcm malfunction again, and then complete loss of power. Service states that chafed wiring was found under driver seat, causing new tcm to malfunction and then shorting out all power in vehicle. After hearing odd noise upon starting, I was very close to driving car out onto very busy highway... decided to turn car off instead and seek help from service manager. I am the only driver of this vehicle and I very rarely move the seat. I was told by service that moving the seat on 1/5/2015 caused the chafed wiring to short out the power in the car. I never moved the seat when I got into my car during pickup. This is very frightening and dangerous! I was just reading that chafed wiring can result in fire, also! these vehicles are putting many people at risk of injury or death. Please help the affected Ford Focus customers to get them recalled, as Ford will not help. I have filed 3 claims with Ford and I cannot even get a call back from them. Told that I don't meet the guidelines for buyback or replacement. Very afraid to drive my car, especially now since the weather is bitter cold and have already been stranded in freezing weather with sleet on 1/3/2015 because of tcm failure. Please help!!

- Glenside, PA, USA

problem #73

Dec 312014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 38,987 miles
The car was operating fine up to the point after it was parked at a nearby strip mall. After returning to the car, the car would not start. The dash lights come on, radio works, etc but the starter acted like it was not even getting power. I thought the vehicle had a bad battery, after multiple attempts to jump start the car, it finally started. Once the vehicle was running, I put it in reverse and it would not move as if it was in neutral. I checked the dash indicator to see if it was in reverse and the shift indicator had nothing highlighted. I put it back in park then it highlighted the "P", put it back in reverse and again it acted as if it was in neutral. I rolled back a bit and put it in drive and it still acted as if it was in neutral. It would not engage the transmission. I thought it could be due to a low power battery which also had acid leaking so I replaced the battery with a new battery. The car wouldn't start again but everything else worked (I.e. radio, dash, A/C blower, etc). I let it sit a day and tried again the following day and it started right off the bat. I put it in gear and it went into gear this time. A couple minutes later, an incline assist warning came up on the radio screen and the traction control and ABS alerts were lighted on the dash. Suddenly, the car would not go into gear again. I turned the car off and started it back up which it then went back into gear with no problem. I did research online and found others were experiencing the same issue. Some even while driving, which makes me very uncomfortable to think of that happening on an interstate. I contacted my Ford dealer about the issue and they denied ever hearing anything about that type of issue. Extremely frustrating as this could be a potential safety hazard where someone could get killed and Ford is playing coy to cover themselves. Does Ford care about human life?

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #72

Oct 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Ignition switch failed to start vehicle promply problem progressed until today 12/10/2014 car would not start at all.

- Houston, TX, USA

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