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 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Sep 212013


  • 10,960 miles


While driving approx 30 miles per hour on a B road, just after turning right the car displayed a "stop safely now" warning and the car lost all power to the drive train and the car literally stopped moving. Luckily, there was no one behind me when the fault occurred. I power cycled the car and I was able to drive away after a few minutes. I have never had an issue with the car until last night.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #30

Sep 022013


  • 1,500 miles
As I was driving all of a sudden a display stating "stop safely now" came on. I pulled over and the car would not go any further. I had to completely turn it off, open and close the door, and restart it to make it go again. It has happened 3 times now in the past few weeks.

- Sierra Madre, CA, USA

problem #29

Aug 202013


  • 15,900 miles
While driving through uptown charlotte, the car gave a "stop safely now" alert and the car lost power. It coasted enough to roll to the right lane and then died. I could not get the warning flashers to work. I tried for about 7 minutes to get the car to turn off, every combination I knew. After that, the car 'reset' and I was able to get it to start. I drove away as if nothing happened. It hasn't happened since. It's not cool to have the car quit in traffic like that. I think the battery control computer picked up a radio frequency interference.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #28

Apr 172013


  • 5,000 miles


The vehicle came to a complete stop in front of the caldecott tunnel that separates the East bay to contra costa county. The vehicle stopped in the middle of traffic during commute time. Also resulted in a terrible backup on the highway. Spent over 3 hours dealing with this break down that included finding care for our children and finding someone to pick her up at dealership as it was after hours.

- Orinda, CA, USA

problem #27

Jun 252013


  • 2,250 miles
I purchased a new 2012 Ford Focus ev on June 7, 2013. Twice (still in June), while driving at speeds approximately 50 mph, the "stop safely now" warning came on and the vehicle lost power. Both times I was able to restart the vehicle within a couple of minutes. I made sure to note all the indicators to provide the Ford service techs as much information as possible. When I brought the vehicle in to be serviced, the technicians professed no knowledge of the issue and contacted Ford for support. They could not repeat the issue and the car had no log of the events. Finally, I was told the problem was a faulted power control module (PCM). Unfortunately, this part was on a national backorder for 6 weeks (probably as a result of the known problems). After the part was finally replaced, I was told that the PCM would not program correctly, and that the transmission control module needed to be replaced. End result, I have my vehicle back, just in time to take it back for a recall. At least it hasn't stalled ??. yet.

- Pismo Beach, CA, USA

problem #26

Jul 252013


  • 7,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, the stop safely now warning light illuminated as the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to dealer where it was found that the high voltage cable had failed. The vehicle was repaired. The contact also mentioned that the failure recurred several times. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 7,500.

- Dublin, CA, USA

problem #25

Oct 082012


  • 9,000 miles


Car started on the right side of the car windows stopped working and the lights started blinking. Dealer replaced right side module. Then next was the blue tooth stopped working and the whole touch screen blacked out. Dealer replaced sync module and new touch screen. Next was the wipers coming on by there replaced wiper sensor. Next was the door locks surging without a key in and dash cluster floating. Dealer replaced drive module. Right now the transmission is not working properly. I am just scared the death that the car is going to catch fire while driving the car.

- Temple, GA, USA

problem #24

Aug 162013


  • 8,010 miles
This is regarding Ford Focus electric 2012. I was pulling out of my office parking lot and driving at about 5 mph. I got the 'stop safely now' warning and within a few seconds the car stopped and I could not drive any more. Fortunately, it was the internal street and around 3 pm when the traffic is very low. I am glad this incident did not happen on the freeway in the left lane (carpool lane in California). I was able to restart the car and drove straight to the dealer(fremont Ford) but they did not have trained ev technicians to look at the car. Asked me to bring the car back on Monday(8/19/20013). Now the car is at the dealer. This is second time I have encountered this issue with this car. The first time I had was when I was pulling the car out of my garage at home. Ford even applied major software updates on my car in July but looks like the issue is still recurring.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #23

Jul 122013


  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while parked with the keys in the ignition, the central locking system automatically locked while a child was inside the vehicle. The police were contacted for assistance however, a police report was not filed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for a diagnostic testing where unknown repairs were made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The approximate failure mileage was 34,000 and the current mileage was 35,600.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #22

Jun 042012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
Myfordtouch: Unable to be heard when I call from the car using my bluetooth connected phone (3 different phones used with same outcome). When driving in the car, directions, traffic, and trying to get the operator is not possible. (note: Directions sometimes work if the car is not moving.) I tried working with my dealership (bob maxey Ford in howell, mi, visiting them many times. The last time I was there, they brought in a Ford engineer (because I had escalated my need within the Ford company). After that it worked "most of the time" for a week, when all four quadrants on my screen showed power off for about 10 minutes then slowly each quadrant powered up. From then on I was back to where I was before ie no traffic, directions, operator, and phone use. Bob maxey Ford's service manager told me on my last visit that there was nothing more they could do.............I've had it!! I've paid for something that doesn't work.......... :(

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #21

Jul 252013


  • 7,400 miles


Our 2012 Ford Focus electric totally shutdown after receiving the stop safely now warning alert. Car shut down in traffic within 30 seconds of receiving the warning. We had no time to react or pull the car safely to the side of the road. This is clearly a safety issue.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #20

Jun 252013


  • 10,500 miles
Incidence occurred twice in 2 day period. "stop safely now" error occurred while driving the vehicle. 1st instance was while breaking as approaching a stoplight. 2nd instance was while accelerating on freeway onramp. Both instances I lost all engine power and could no longer accelerate. I had to coast to a safe spot to put the car into park and turn off the vehicle but was able to restart it and drive to dealership for repair. Serious safety concern with this vehicle as driver may not have ability to coast to safe stop while driving on freeway or busy traffic. After researching online, there is rampant occurrence of this exact failure being described on vehicle owner forums for Ford Focus electric both 2012 and 2013 models.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #19

Jun 262013


  • 5,700 miles
Upon making a left turn vehicle completely powered down with no warning, after a second an audible beep and "stop safely now" message appeared. Vehicle had to be towed to dealership.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #18

Nov 132012


  • 500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus electric. The contact stated that while attempting to decelerate on a rough driving surface, the vehicle stalled without warning. A warning message illuminated, advising the contact to move off the highway and into a safe location. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was determined that the electrical connection was loose. The vehicle was repaired however, to no avail. The failure persisted. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 500 and the current mileage was 6,000.

- Carmichael, CA, USA

problem #17

Jan 142013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The electrical system has a short somewhere that causes the horn to stop working intermittently and also the brake lights to fail intermittently. I have checked fuses and contacted Ford and there are no recalls. This caused an accident on 02/23/2013. A man backed into my vehicle in a parking lot (with my two babies in the back seat) and I couldn't blow the horn to let him know I was behind him. I was helpless to stop it from happening. I believe it is illegal in most (or all) states to not have a working horn on the vehicle. Ford refuses to recall, diagnose, or repair this vehicle at no cost to me. I believe that this is a very serious safety issue and I feel that nobody will take me seriously.

- Fort Knox, KY, USA

problem #16

Sep 052012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 53 miles
The new vehicle was purchased on 9/3/12. Calls to the service department began on 9/5/12 for complaints of 'bucking and jerking' of the car in low speed shifting. The car was accepted on 9/8/12 for repair of multiple paint chips on the front of the car and for evaluation of the shifting irregularities. Upon delivery of the car (53 odometer miles) the customer was informed that the paint chips had been repaired and the transmission computer was reset. The computer reset was not recorded on the service agreement for that date. On 12/5/12, the car abruptly stopped accelerating and metal grinding prevented use. The car was held from 12/5/12 until 1/8/13 (35 days, odometer reading 7,068 miles) for repair of a broken rear window channel, repair of transmission with replaced clutch. On 1/23/13 the vehicle was towed again due to not starting during multiple attempts by the owners and the tow truck driver. The vehicle was returned to the owner on 1/25/13 with a service report noting a weak battery. The battery was charged by the service provider and no other service codes were reported. On 1/28/13, the steering wheel required both hands to turn and the car narrowly missed going off of the road. Upon attempt to restart, the ignition was weak and multiple warning lights displayed on the dashboard. The odometer reading reset to '0' and the mpg reading went blank. The car had significant change in ignition sound and with uncharacteristic humming noise and was turned off again. When the car was on the tow truck with the ignition off, key out, and door open, the radio began playing and could not be manually turned off. The car was transported to the dealership. As of 2/3, the car has been out of service for 46 days due to multiple infractions. The vehicle has had symptoms of stalling, failure to start, and loss of power steering. Alternator being replaced 2/4.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #15

Jan 232013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,263 miles
On 1/23/2013 at appox at 10:15 am I was driving to work! I was driving West bound 10 fwy! I was going about 75 mph in the fast lane. When all of a sudden the car speed drops to 30 mph in a matter of seconds, I right away turn on my hazards! but do to the fact that I was` in the fast lane it was very hard to get over safety as the car felt like it was going to turn off. I was very scared and afraid for my life I honestly thought that I was going to get hit and end up in the hospital.the thought of not making it did cross my mind. I tried pushing the gas petal to regain speed as the car did not allow me to do so. The RPM cage was going from 0 to 7 with in seconds. I begin to attempt to get the car over to my right shoulder towards safety. All I can see throw my rear view mirror and hear was all the cars that started honking at me, flipping me off, barely messing me as all the cars had to swerving around me. I begin to shake as it was a very scary feeling being inside the car while all you can do is see which car will me the one that's actually going to hit my car and the chain reaction that it could have caused. As I get over the four lane trying to not get hit by the speeding cars, the car turns off and I am now stuck in between the 10 fwy going West bound and the interchange to the 57 fwy going North and South bound. Now being stuck in the middle of these two busy fwy's I felt my life was in extreme danger as my mind didn't let me concentrate because all I my mind could pay attention to, was the rear view mirror as I seen the cars again swerving from hitting me and all I can hear again is the cars honking at me. I get on the my cell phone and call [xxx] for help !!!!(husband) we called Ford roadside service!!!! and the tow company was there with in 20 mins !!! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Montclair , CA, USA

problem #14

Aug 052011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
I bought my 2012 Ford Focus hatchback in July of 2011. Almost immediately I noticed problems. The problems included the car rolling backwards on hills, sputtering when stopped (like at a red light), jumping upon acceleration, & briefly losing acceleration while the RPM??S revved. I took it back to the dealership & they told me that the backwards rolling, revving & jumping of the engine was a trait of the car. I told them it was dangerous depending on where I was when these things happened (for example, at an intersection or in stop & go traffic with a car in front of me). They assured me that there was nothing wrong with the car. On October 17, 2011, the car broke down. I pulled out of a parking lot & pushed down on the accelerator, at first the car started to accelerate, but once it got to about 15/20 mph, the RPM"?S began to rev & the car would not accelerate so I took my foot off of the accelerator & the car stopped revving. If I had been on a highway, this would have been very dangerous. My car had to be towed to the dealership. They reprogrammed the powertrain control module & transmission control module. The car would then drive, but the rolling backwards on hills, sputtering when stopped, jumping upon acceleration, & briefly losing acceleration while the RPM?"S revved still continued & after several trips to their service department, the dealership could still not fix these issues. I then received a letter from Ford referencing a customer satisfaction program 12B37 dated May 2012. It acknowledged these issues so I took it back to the dealership. Although they reprogrammed the powertrain control module, transmission control module again as well as the anti-lock brake system, the car continues to have the same problems. These problems could potential cause a wreck, injuring myself or others around me.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #13

Jul 252012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 350 miles
Car lunges when accelerating or attempting to shift thru automatic or sport mode of the transmission. Transmission also temporarily pauses during shifting routine at all speeds, mostly at low speeds. It is like the cpu is overriding what the driver is prompting thru touching of the gas pedal or brake pedal. We've had it in to our local dealerships service department complaining about these conditions, they insist the car is working as designed. If so, Ford is in denial and most certainly appears to be a design flaw. I describe these concerns as if I was having to learn how to drive, all over again. This vehicle is dangerous to drive, safety should always be everyone's number concern. Ditto, the vehicle is not safe either. What is it going to take from Ford to admit and resolve this problem, an injury accident? I hope not. Then, top that off, we bought this specific vehicle for towing purposes. The factory requires the cpu and entire electrical system must be disconnected to tow. Unfortunately, each time the cpu is turned back on (reconnect the negative wire at battery), the cpu thinks it is new, thus, the lunging, sporadic shifting starts all over again. Help... Ford won't listen. Thank you

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #12

Sep 122012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,600 miles
Experienced sudden electrical failure (loss of instruments, brake lights, turn signals, horn, etc.) - same problem as documented by other drivers (for examples, see This behavior makes the vehicle undriveable and unsafe (had these issues occurred at night, the consequences could have been very serious). My dealer, franklin Ford (franklin, MA) seems to be unaware of the prevalence of this issue. I look forward to a speedy resolution. Ford Motor Company also claims to have no knowledge of the occurrence of this issue in other cases. A quick web search reveals that the problem is increasingly common.

- Wrentham, MA, USA

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