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 6 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #71

Aug 012014


  • 29,000 miles


I have recently had an ongoing problem where my dash lights turn off, head lights turn off, radio turn off, and a message comes on the dashboard saying "hill start assist unavailable". the radio turns back on after about 20 seconds. The dangerous part is when the speedometer shuts off and I cannot tell how fast I am going. I have contact the dealer about this problem, and taken the car in for service on this and they claim there is nothing wrong with the car. I already had a problem with my transmission where I had a full replacement and they are refusing to take any action regarding this problem. This vehicle is unsafe for anyone to drive until they figure this out. I dont know who else to contact regarding this issue since I have gone to Ford, the dealers, as well as independent shops and they all claim they cant find a problem.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #70

Nov 032014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Ford Focus dangerously stall while driving as well as merging into traffic or on an incline the consumer has since traded the vehicle.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #69

May 092012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
In may of 2012 my car had the transmission completely replaced after being in the shop for 6 weeks. The cruise control would stick on and not shut off. The power windows and air conditioner both decided not work at the same time. I have had the struts replaces before 10,000 miles. The gas mileage goes from 14 mpg to 33mpg randomly. The car likes to roll back and not go into gear when driving. I replace tires every 6 months because the car eats my tires up. My favorite problem is loosing power when driving. I have kept all papers regarding the car in the shop. My first year of owning the Focus Ford paid for my rental car to be driven 17,000 miles due to my car being in the shop. I have asked for help with this car for 2 years with Ford to be told I need to learn to drive. I am driving a car know that completely looses power all the time and the transmission sticks. I have had to wait 3 weeks for an appointment on Nov 3 to get these issues looked at. My car is far from safe and I have expressed to Ford I feel this car is going to kill me. I spent 30,000 miles driving this car when in fact I shouldn't had. The dealership can never find a problem on my car. The gas also can only put 10 cents of gas at a time in or gas likes to pour out from the bottom. Sometimes the gas knozzle can't fit in the gas tank because it closes up. Once again Ford couldn't find a problem. I call the dealership and Ford customer care each time there is a problem.

- Iola, TX, USA

problem #68

Mar 142014


  • 40,000 miles


While merging onto the freeway my car would not accelerate. I pushed the gas pedal to the floor and the rpms shot up but car would not accelerate. Finally after almost being hit by other cars it shot off like a rocket. After multiple incidents of jerking and not able to accelerate randomly I took it to Ford and the clutch was replaced in April 2014. Not long after, it started doing the same thing except worse. I took it back to Ford and was told the tranny test results came back normal and that a motor mount was missing or loose. They kept it for 3 days to fix the motor mount. The car is now worse and today the check engine light came on and car had very little power. Going to take it back to Ford and hopefully they will fix it this time. My gas mileage is only 20.1 mpg. Another problem was that my entire sync system went out and had to be replaced in August 2014, costing me $1093. It started messing up by having a very loud popping/crackling noise that would start randomly even when car was off. It was very scary when it would suddenly start making the loud noise while I was driving and almost caused me to wreck at one point.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #67

Aug 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 79,044 miles
My first encounter started in March with a warning condition indicating a default in my steering assistance only when I would turn on the ignition, I called Ford dealership and was told it would go away by turning of the ignition and turning it back on.,and it did go away. Now in August, I was driving on freeway and the warning light came on again while driving and the steering wheel became very hard to steer, I was able to make it to a safe stop on the shoulder of the highway. That was the most scariest for me while on the highway. God was with me..

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #66

Aug 162014


  • 45,000 miles
Driver's side front power window motor failed and needed to be replaced.

- Shrewsbury, PA, USA

problem #65

Sep 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles


I started my car ignition, began to back out of my driveway. After about 2 - 7 seconds, the power steering froze up and a caution light lit up on my dash. It reads: Power steering assist malfunction, check manual. Or words very close to that effect. This has happened about 10 - 15 times since approximately September !8, 2014. I took it to Ford dealer and they changed the battery. They showed low voltage to the steering...or something to that effect. It did not fix the problem. The exact thing keeps happening. It happens right after I start up the car. I turn off the ignition, restart the car, and it works okay after that.

- Mount Vernon, IL, USA

problem #64

Jul 282014


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle accelerated slowly on occasion. Other times, the rpms would race and the vehicle would jerk forward. The dealer stated that the body control module needed to be replaced. The contact stated that the dealer was not able to reprogram the computer to install the new part and had to re-install the old part. The manufacturer was notified and the vehicle was taken to the dealer a fourth time to have the new part installed. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The sensors intermittently illuminated for the brake assist and parking aide. In addition, while making a right or left turn, the steering wheel locked intermittently more than once. The contact also stated that the clock intermittently shorted out and the time display was incorrect. The dealer provided an interim remedy and suggested that the contact turn off the gps. The interim fix remedied the failure as long as the contact used the feature to disable the gps auto clock manually each time. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000.

- Edmonds, WA, USA

problem #63

Sep 262014


  • 30,150 miles
The reflective cap that says "Ford" inside the front passenger side headlight assembly fell down, disallowing the headlamp beam to be directly in front of the car causing visibility problems.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #62

Aug 222013


  • 40,000 miles
I turn the key and the Focus doesn't start. At first the dealer said the problem was with the key - they were receiving an error message. The second time, the problem was with the part that read the key and they replaced it. The third time they said they didn't know what the problem was. Sometimes I can hold the key 2-4 seconds and the Focus will start. Other times after holding the key a few seconds, I release the key and the Focus starts.

- Toronto, NY, USA

problem #61

Dec 012013


  • 27,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the plastic glaze on the windshield separated from the glass, which caused poor visibility. Also, while accelerating from a stop, the vehicle hesitated and made a bucking motion. The dealer stated that the computer needed to be recalibrated. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 27,000.

- Alvaton, KY, USA

problem #60

Aug 302014


  • 42,500 miles
I was driving in a residential neighborhood when an error message displayed on the dash computer indicating that there was an issue with the power steering. I was in the middle of a turn onto another street when the power steering went out. This was not the first time that the power steering went out. I have experienced the same issue at least 5 times. On the most recent occasion noted here, the power steering control module (pscm) had just been replaced at my local Ford dealership 4 or 5 days previous. I was told by the dealership that both the original pscm and the replacement pscm were part of the same batch that were apparently defective from the manufacturer. My car is currently having yet another pscm installed by the dealership. If Ford is aware of a defective batch of pscms, a recall should be issued. I am also concerned that the first outage of the original pscm took roughly 2 years to manifest, while the second pscm went out in less than a week. I am not sure if that indicates a broader electrical problem with the car, or was simply a coincidence that the second pscm went out that soon after replacement.

- Liberty , MO, USA

problem #59

Aug 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 51,800 miles
Our 2012 Ford Focus shut off at 70 mph, while simultaneously losing pwr str, pwr brk, & illuminating all inst panel icons as in (key on-eng off). Then while coasting to complete stop, car returned to normal ops & was able to drive away, never touching the ign key switch. Ford dealer cleared multiple codes, which they would not reveal. They did tell me there was a PCM communication failure in history, but could not find any reason for it. They also performed multipoint inspection, with no issues found. 1 month prior to incident the automatic clutch-oil seal recall was performed under warranty. (clutch & inner input shaft seal was replaced). Car has been ok since. This incident occurred while driving in rain.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #58

Jun 202014


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle lost power and stalled on several occasions. The contact also stated that the parking assist error service required and the skid indicators illuminated. The contact was not able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who diagnosed that the electronic sensors needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 62,000.

- Front Royal, VA, USA

problem #57

Aug 062014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 63,500 miles
Without warning, (no lights on dash-board - no unusual noises - no problems starting etc), there were no gears and I was left in neutral. It required coming to a stop, putting it into park and starting again to limp along to get to a safe point to park the car and call for help. Luckily I was not yet onto the freeway! the Ford dealership mechanic was able to replicate these circumstances and he too found himself without gears; he was on the freeway on-ramp and was lucky to not be hit. I can only imagine how dangerous this is if you are in 4 lanes of traffic going 60 mph!!! notwithstanding the severity of this "module" defect, the problem according to Ford does not come under the 'transmission recall' and my car is 3,500 miles over the magical 60,000 power-train recall. I am stuck with a $1,500 bill and the fear that it might happen again; if not to me, someone else with this model/year Focus.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #56

Aug 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 48,500 miles
While driving my 2012 - manual 5 speed Ford Focus down the highway the car lost power. There was no indication that anything was wrong, but all of a sudden while in 5th gear at 70mph the car had no power to propel itself forward, at the same time the radio/entertainment system malfunctioned and turned off. Luckily, I was able to make it over to the shoulder and roll to a stop without an incident. Turned the car back on and there was very little power getting to the car, maxing out a speed of 50mph on the freeway so as not to stall again, made for a scary ride home. This is the 3rd time this has happened since owning the car, which I purchased brand new and now has 49,000 miles on the odometer. The previous 2 times, I took it to a dealer to diagnose the problem, but they said that there is nothing that they can find wrong with it. Now I am active on a Ford Focus forum because it seems that I am not the only person out there with this issue. Ford needs to get it together before they have an injury lawsuit on their hands.

- Hoschton, GA, USA

problem #55

Aug 122014


  • 38,642 miles
Windshield wipers stopped working during heavy downpour. It was not fuses.

- Laughlin, NV, USA

problem #54

Jul 292014


  • 32,000 miles
While driving windshield wipers started. At first it was fast, then slowed down. Wipers continued for almost an hour after turning off engine. Later when clicking alarm remote to enter door, wipers started going again, varying speeds as time went on. I needed to pull the relay from the engine compartment for the wipers to stop.

- Laughlin, NV, USA

problem #53

Jul 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 120,200 miles
Driving up light incline on paved highway when traction control light flashes indicating a loss of traction. Seconds later car loses response to gas pedal, flashes "transmission system failure. Service immediately." After pulling over away from traffic and powering off then 30 second wait and on warning is gone and functions are restored. A week later problem comes up again, this time on interstate going 70mph. Cruise control is shut off automatically, no power to gas pedal, traction warning comes on, and same transmission warning flashes. Goes away in a second or two. Pull over as safely as I can while cutting off a semi-truck, power car off and on, all systems normal. Four days later pull out of parking spot with a hesitation of vehicle to start, then a vibrating in reverse. Drive around lot to exit, pull onto main road and same warnings/problems as usual happen. Now blocking traffic perpendicular to flow. Check engine light comes on, put car into park, turn off, and back on. Try to shift into drive. Won't budge. Turn off and on again. Try to shift again. No luck. One more time, wait a few seconds, then again. Car powers on drives to another location with check engine light on and then to dealer with no further issues. Dealer inspects, finds faulty tcm. Directly attributes this to manufacture defect and not to user error.

- Shasta Lake, CA, USA

problem #52

Aug 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 58,091 miles
I got in car to go to the store put on seat belt started car put car into drive 1/4 mile down the road from leaving my driveway doors unlocked and opened I had to stop immediately and they would not close. Left front drivers door and right rear passenger door. My car was towed to dealer and diagnostic test done and inspections by certified mechanics. They said door latches wont catch or engage to keep doors closed no check engine light came on only blinking display that doors are open only after I was completely stopped and in park.

- New River, AZ, USA

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