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:
4 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,524 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 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 10 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

Aug 242013


  • 16,000 miles


I was driving down a 35 mph road, trying to push the gas to get to 35 mph, but it failed and revved the engine and RPM without increasing my speed. I was going 20 mph and worried that my speed would affect other cars behind me to possibly hit me. There is some noise coming from the engine. It happened three times within less than a mile so I pulled over off the road to check and still unsure. The car is still brand new and only at almost 16,000 miles.

- Griffith, IN, USA

problem #32

Aug 202013


  • 6,100 miles
Was sitting at a stop light after leaving work and the "stop safely now" message appeared. Car would not move. After several cycles of turning the car on and off, opening and closing the driver door, locking and unlocking the car, it managed to reset itself and work again, only to have the problem recur about 5 minutes later, requiring the same steps to resolve the issue. The car worked normally the rest of the day after I arrived at my destination.

- Redwood City, CA, USA

problem #31

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 #30

Aug 102013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles


The vehicle was parked with the engine off. A fire spontaneously began in the engine compartment. The vehicle was in service for 14 months, bought new and under a maintenance contract. No previous issues.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #29

Jul 092013


  • 24,000 miles
I see here that several individuals complaining have the same complaints that I do, the incline problems, the vehicle sounding like it is going to die on you. The problems when you accelerate. This is a new vehicle and have had that problem from the time we purchased it. I am thinking it is the transmission. Can someone please guide me. I still have years on the note and it is not fair to pay on something that is as mentioned by someone here, is "embarrassing to drive with a passenger". the speed does not matter it keeps making this rattling noise when you accelerate. Please recall these cars.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #28

Jul 072013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 39,636 miles
Vehicle lost power and was not able to safely accelerate while traveling on the highway. The problem happened when I down shifted a gear to pass someone (manual transmission). The vehicle felt like it had about 30% power. I was forced to pull off of highway. Once vehicle was shutoff and turned back on it returned to normal. I had no warning lights on dash or anything. It just happened all of the sudden and was very scary.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #27

Nov 072012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles


At highway speeds while trying to pass, meaning speeding, my engine would cut out or loose power which would last about 10 seconds. I am bringing this to your attention because I read about other Ford owners having the same issue. Now Ford said that it was easily fixed by reprogramming the transmission, this fix has alleviated some of the engine power loss but not all. In fact this fix makes my transmission act like it is slipping and the shifts points are way out of range. It is because of these issues I can't stand driving it, please advise as to what my options are since my factory warranty ran out.

- La Crosse, WI, USA

problem #26

May 202013


  • 16,000 miles
Update 05/20/2013 this vehicle keeps getting worse: "reverse does not work very well as it takes a long time to function. On a slight decline the car rolls forward and reverse has difficulty engaging. ?from a stop at a stop sign or red light, the car will attempt to lunge forward sometimes. ?from a stop at a stop sign or red light, the car will often not accelerate when the accelerator pedal is pressed. "at any given time (full stop or in motion) the accelerator must be pressed half way or more to the floor in order to get the car to accelerate. ?the car lunges a lot and misses-then lunges while driving.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #25

Mar 272013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
Since purchasing this vehicle I have had consistent problems where I will pull out into traffic and the vehicle loses power. At some points, where the vehicle is stopped, the car shakes a lot! there seems to be an acceleration problem and it is getting much worse! I was almost rear-ended yesterday!

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #24

Sep 292012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning. The instrument panel indicated that the transmission was engaged in park. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where an engineer was sent to inspect the vehicle. The engineer stated that there was nothing was wrong with the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 5 and the current mileage was 27,000.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #23

Oct 182012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 11,865 miles


While pulling into traffic from a complete stop car would not accelerate. Had to push gas pedal almost to floor to get car to go, that lead to a bucking acceleration, car jumping forward and almost being rear ended. Took car to shop first told that's how the car drives, then told by transmission "specialist" I was not driving my car aggressive enough. After a 2 week stay the shaft seal and clutch was replaced. Did not correct issue called Ford Corp and again was told this is how the car drives basically telling me I was at fault. Car has since been back 2 times for the same reason, even took for a second opinion per Ford request and car stalled on the service manager on a hill and yet I was told that's how the car is suppose to perform!!! not happy. Tomorrow April 15th 2013 car is going back thus again for same reason. Not feeling safe in my car!!!!

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #22

Mar 152012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
My Focus shutters while trying to move through first gear. Before second gear engages, first gears feels as if it was slipping. I brought this to the attention of my dealer within the first month and they told me it needed to brake in. After bringing it in several times, they performed a 12B37 update, a full PCM re program and ended having to replace the entire gear box because a seal ruptured. All of this in three separate occasions this last attempt fixed it, but the problem returned. I issued Ford a last attempt request and just picked up my car. The field supervisor states that he noticed the shuttering, but that it was normal for my vehicle. Well, if the same issue persists and it was fixed last time by replacing seals and the gear box, how could this be normal for my car? I will be seeking legal assistance from this point forward and will be initiating a BBB autoline mediation request.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #21

Jun 052012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
My car stalls out and hesitates when pulling out from intersections. It is a safety hazard because I have almost been hit by oncoming traffic. It happens regularly and there is nothing I can do to correct it. My 2012 Ford Focus is under warranty but Ford refuses to repair or replace the car.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #20

Mar 042013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,604 miles
The car is equipped with a 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. While under heavy braking the car began to stall. The result was the brake pedal losing power assist from the engine. Then because the engine was trying to recover from the near stall, I was unable accelerate to avoid an oncoming car. The engine did recover, but it took several seconds (and a lot of bucking and sputtering) before I was able to move the car after coming to a stop. The week prior, I had the car in for service at a local Ford dealership because the car would shudder during acceleration. The dealership reprogrammed the transmission and the problem is still there, but less noticeable than before being serviced. This new issue with stalling under heaving braking did not occur prior to the servicing. After the near accident, I wanted to know if the problem was a fluke or if it would happen again. I have found that I can recreate the issue almost every time the car nears a stop under heavy braking. The car is scheduled for service for this issue.

- Lexington Park, MD, USA

problem #19

Oct 212012


  • 11,400 miles
4 incidents within 45 days....driving on a state hwy, at 55 mph and the engine quit entirely, had to coast to a stop on the side of the road. Driving across a state hwy from a stop sign at 5 mph and engine quit again. Unsafe! towed twice to dealer, had 4 rental cars in this time period, one for 18 days! other 2 times car would not start after driving 10 miles and parking. Dealer had no clue and finally brought in a Ford company engineer. Still do not trust the car! Ford declined a requested buy back.

- Eagle , WI, USA

problem #18

Feb 222013


  • 30,000 miles
I experienced a complete and total loss of power in rented late model Ford Focus.

- Long Valley, NJ, USA

problem #17

Feb 152013


  • 8,000 miles
Just like everyone else, the car stutters and hesitates to accelerate at slow speeds. The transmission feels as though it is going to fall out of the car. I have taken it to the dealership, and the "reprogrammed" the transmission. They said it could take up to 2 weeks for the car to relearn my driving habits. It has been 2 months, and the car continues to stutter and shake.

- Williamsport, IN, USA

problem #16

Feb 082013


  • 9,827 miles
I was pulling out of the cafe by my home. When I had a chance to pull out I stepped on the gas pedal. At this point the vehicle stalled then took off like a bat out of[xxx]. even leaving tire marks. I almost hit two on coming cars due to the hesitation then the lift off. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Tulsa, OK, 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

Jul 162009

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
Have a 2012 Focus SE. Purchased in may of 2010. Since July of 2010, I have been taking it to the local dealership where I purchased the vehicle complaining that the car was surging, shuddering, and when I hit the gas pedal, it feels like the car stalls, gets no gas, or has trouble getting into gear. Of course, there are no known issues until a recall. Finally, the problem can be addressed. I take it in, they "fix it" it still shudders, and feels like it's going to stall out in the intersection. Next thing, my car overheats and dies at 11pm on the side of the interstate. I take to a different dealership and they say, well the clutch is bad and the cooling system is bad. Great 2012 car and two items have already went out. They change the clutch and cooling system, now when I back up, it grinds and bogs down. I have had my car for 2 years in may, 39,000 miles on it, and it's been in the shop a total of 4 times. They have changed the clutch and the cooling system. Was told the clutch needed "several hundred miles to break in" gave it about 500, still grinds when I back up, more so on an incline. Although now, it's decided it wants to stutter when it starts. So it's back in the shop for the 4th time, and I'm yet again in a rental car. I have a customer service guy through Ford, he's useless... I can't even get him to return a phone call. What is the point of him being there if he's not going to do his job. I don't feel that I'm getting any resolutions from the local dealerships I have dealt with, or from your customer care manager. I want a replacement vehicle. I have worked with Ford over 2 years and the vehicle is still having problems. Of course the dealership tells me this is an isolated issue. Please go to edmunds, com and you will see that this is not an isolated issue... there are multiple reports of the same problems that I am having.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

Read the next 13 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?