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 1 of 9)

problem #171

Apr 142015


  • 100 miles


Purchased 2012 Ford Focus used, 04-14-15. I test drove the car it jerked a little. The rep stated it was normal. The next 4 months it continued to jerk, skip, hesitate and just not move when you accelerated. In 08-2015 I rec'd a letter from Ford, my car needed a tcm-software update. 09-09-15 I took the vehicle back to the dealership it took an hour to re-program the tcm. The dealership handed a printed copy of the tcm characteristics. I continued to drive the car with the same issues hoping it would go away. 10-19-15 went back to the dealer to have the tcm re-programmed again. I called Ford to complain 10-19-15 and a case file was issued #cas-8073663. I did not want to go back to the same dealership. 10-23-15 the car went to the 2nd dealership. Discovered the tcm had failed and had to be replaced., explaining to drive the car for a number of miles to correct itself. The drive had improved, but then started failing again. 03-16-16 I went back to the 2nd dealership, the tcm was replaced. Again the drive had slightly improved and had again failed. This time when the tcm failed, while driving on the highway the wipers came on without turning them on, even when the car was off. The next day the car wouldn't come on so I replaced the battery. Drove the car about 300 miles made a stop and it would not come back on. The car had to be towed and the local mechanic was able to get the car started again. Driving back home about 150 miles on highway all lights came on the dash, battery, fuel, trans, etc.. wipers came on, power steering was lost and engine shut off. Rolled to side of road. Sat 5 min, then started as if nothing happened!? we made it home. Car not starting. 12-06-16 towed to Ford. Tcm module crashed the computer operating system, replaced tcm and re-programmed system. 01-10-17 wipers still come on with engine off. W/return to Ford 01-17-17

- Leesburg, FL, USA

problem #170

Dec 112016


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While backing out of a parking space, the steering wheel stiffened and failed. Also, the instrument panel lighting remained illuminated. The issue recurred multiple times. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but the failure could not be replicated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Mayfield Heights, OH, USA

problem #169

Sep 282016


  • miles
After we got the recall done on the car for the tranmission module. The car has been having a popping and static noise coming from the radio and speakers when the car is on or shut off.

- Elizabethtown, KY, USA

problem #168

Nov 222016


  • 50,000 miles


┐my two sons were driving East on I-10, near schulenburg, tx, at the posted speed limit of 75 mph, when the vehicle engine and related components shutdown (no power steering, no engine, no nothing), without any prior notice. It is by the grace of god that they were not injured or killed by the 18 wheeler truck behind them when the vehicle engine failed. The vehicle was towed to a local Ford dealership, tommie vaughn Ford, who diagnose the culprit part to be a defective transmission control module. Ford has issued a field service action (number 14M02) regarding said part. However, Ford needs to recall all affected vehicles for this problem before someone is injured or killed.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #167

May 072014


  • 35,000 miles
Since purchasing my Focus in November of 2013, I have had several issues with what appears to be the transmission that have caused me to fear for my safety as they have resulted in multiple near-accidents. I had the car looked at within the first several months of ownership and nothing was found, I then took the car back in when symptoms persisted and got the clutch replaced within roughly a year of buying. The symptoms subsided for a while, but have returned and are still an issue to date. Issues are detailed below: The car often chugs when in motion, especially during acceleration from a stopped position. There have been numerous occasions where the vehicle will intermittently and unpredictably refuse to accelerate in a normal fashion. This happens both while moving around 20-40mph and also when coming from a stopped position - say waiting at a red light or when waiting to turn left at a busy city intersection. This is terrifying as I never know when the car will accelerate normally and when it will not - at least twice in recent history I have attempted to make a left turn from a stopped position, had plenty of time to get through the intersection, but the car struggled and finally made it through too close for comfort. Other times, the rpms seem to rev up for no reason, and the car accelerates very quickly though the pressure on the pedal has not changed. Though the has happened with less frequency, it is almost more frightening as I feel like I am not in control of the vehicles speed while in traffic. Typically this happens when coming from a stopped position as well. Additional issues I've had include it rolling backward on small inclines - sometimes when brake pedal is sufficiently depressed and even momentarily when in drive and gas pedal depressed.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #166

Nov 052016


  • 97,000 miles
Takata recall. The car will die in the middle of driving. Doesn't matter the speed you are going the lights on the dashboard will light up and you cant accelerate or decelerate the car will just die.

- St.Charles, MO, USA

problem #165

Oct 032016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact noticed a strong hesitation and delay upon applying the accelerator pedal. The contact had to apply force to the accelerator pedal to increase speed. A mechanic inspected the vehicle, but was unable to replicate or diagnose the failure. The mechanic recommended that the vehicle be taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #164

Feb 122016


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 10 mph, the instrument panel lights failed to illuminate and the radio failed to operate without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was determined that a software update was needed. The vehicle was not repaired. Eventually, the instrument panel lighting illuminated again. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The failure mileage was approximately 68,000.

- Garner, NC, USA

problem #163

Mar 122014


  • 38,000 miles
The passenger front window stopped working and I'm afraid there is an electrical short.

- Kinzers, PA, USA

problem #162

Aug 012016


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving various speeds, the front windshield wipers operated independently. When the front windshield wipers were activated, the wipers failed to operate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the wiper switch and steering angle sensor failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. It was later diagnosed that the main computer system failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 52,000.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #161

May 112016


  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving at any speed, there was a loud booming sound coming from the stereo module intermittently and without warning. The failure occurred even when the power was turned off. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic who diagnosed that the entire stereo module needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 55,000.

- Elizabeth Town, KY, USA

problem #160

Aug 172016


  • miles
At 58,000. Horn started to work intermittent, now it does not work at all. What next? already had work done on tranny. Every thing seems to be computer related. It also surges at start up at stop.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #159

Aug 292016


  • 111,085 miles
Recently I've had an issue with the starter. The dash stated the car battery was low, I have the car taken to a local mechanic where the battery is testing that it is good. The car will start in the mornings after resting and I don't drive as much as just to be safe while I try to figure out what's going on with this car. I've had this car fixed three times in the past year, once for the customer survey satisfaction (not a recall Ford told me) to have the transmission fixed, another to have the steering module replaced and a third time to have the clutches replaced and that was done by a dealership to stop the lurching and jerking that the car does. I'm amazed at the callousness of a company that completely ignores the pleas of people who have almost crashed in their vehicles! no regard for their consumers what so ever!! I promise this will be the first & last Ford vehicle that I ever buy.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #158

Sep 022016


  • 87,025 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 35 mph, the steering assist module warning indicator illuminated and the steering wheel seized. The contact had to turn the ignition switch off and on to be able to resume driving. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. In addition, while exiting the driveway, the vehicle jerked and lost power. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 87,025.

- Hennessey, OK, USA

problem #157

Aug 292016


  • 70,000 miles
Power steering failure- started with everyonce in a while id get the error notice of power steering failure so I would turn off the car start it back up and fine, it started to happen more frequently to the imbarrassing point of having to turn on and off the car 5-10 times just to have power steering, then I got a letter to update my car's software to help fix the power steering issue, I got the software update and 3 months later total failure, I now have zero power steering and now Ford wants me to pay $2200 to fix it, when it failed I almost crashed into another car with my kids in my car on the freeway, needless to say we are greatful to be alive, sad thing is all other models from 2011-2012 with the same exact power steering system get a recall why not the Focus? I wish I would have known before I would have never bought the car, Ford is a scam and doesnt back up its product, the power steering is broke because of their defective product

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #156

May 202016


  • 79,000 miles
Loud popping and crackling noise then inop radio. Stationary or in motion. Diagnosed by Ford as consistant with other radio falures where the acm is faulty. Advised fix was replace @ $800.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #155

Aug 172016


  • 31,110 miles
The horn has stopped working after 31000 miles, the relay and fuse have both been checked and are still good. I noticed it when I locked my car, and then when I pressed the panic button there was no sound as well as when I pressed the horn button. The horn should not be out on any car after only 30K miles, these cars seem to be wired badly which is a shame.

- Temecula, CA, USA

problem #154

Jul 082016


  • 89,689 miles
The driver side door opened while I was driving, and now will not latch at all.

- Beggs, OK, USA

problem #153

Jul 302016


  • 86,000 miles
I purchased the car from Ford dealer used.transmission acted up after a month took in in and they said it would cost me $200 to look at it.I purchased the 2 year extended warranty, but would still cost me that.I left, a few month later the car would not move and transmission light came insurance towed the car at that time the dealer kept my car for a week, charged me $500 for cables to the battery.1 week later I was driving back from Arizona to Nevada in the middle of the desert and the car light came on again car was shuttering losing power thank god I made it about 2 months later I was driving home from work and turned my driver side door flew open..thank god I wasn't close to oncoming traffic and had seat belt on.however now my driver side door will not close or lock.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #152

Sep 032013


  • 61,312 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle would accelerate or decelerate without warning. When the contact attempted to accelerate from a stop, the vehicle sputtered. The dealer diagnosed that the transmission and the computer chip for the transmission failed. The computer chip needed to be reprogrammed and the clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired a total of three times; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 61,312.

- West Sacramento, CA, USA

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