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

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 6 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #113

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 #112

Jul 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,850 miles
Issue 1: the vehicle is on its third clutch in the 2 years since purchase and continues to have transmission issues. When applying gas it stutters, lurches, or responds as if not taking gas. This week: Three times turning from stop sign left, right from stop sign, and right from parking lot. Apply gas to accelerate and vehicles stutters, pauses, and stalls for a moment. Two of the three, particularly one came close to resulting in an accident. This also occurred on a busy highway turning right at a stop sign on Oct 27. It has occurred dozens of times prior to the transmission repair events and now is starting to recur, with more ng a stalling/lurching than a stuttering. Ford is fully aware of these issues. I am taking it in for repairs again but feel it is unsafe and want the car returned. Issue 2: the vehicle achieves far below the advertised mpg. They advertise 27 and it gains 22.5 at best. Currently less than 22. Ford is fully aware of this issue and states that they cannot do anything. I have been complaining for 18 months or more.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #111

Oct 272014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
Transmission shakes and grinds. Car rolls backwards on hills. Ford says this is normal behavior but having a car roll backwards on hills with an automatic transmission is a safety concern.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #110

Oct 012013


  • 30,000 miles


The transmission in our Focus stutters and grinds when shifting from 1st gear to 2nd.

- Beech Grove, IN, USA

problem #109

Oct 062014


  • miles
Was parking car when suddenly it lunged forward at a fast speed, I lost control and hit car in front of me plus 3 other cars then crashed into cement wall. I hit my head and left side of body on the door, I bruised my rib cage front & back plus my left leg very bruised. I was very lucky I didn't get killed.

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #108

Oct 032014


  • 33,606 miles
I purchased my Ford Focus 2012 five months ago and it has now had to go to the shop 4 times. First, the car felt like it was driving over a rumble strip and was slipping between first and second gears. Second, I was stopped at a light and the car would not move then bolted ahead and the check engine light came on. Third, the car went into limp home mode and lost all power when accelerating. Lastly, and the straw that broke the camels back. I was stopped at a red light with my foot on the brake and the engine revved and then would not move. Finally the car started to move and the check engine light came on and I pulled over to restart the car but the light did not go away. I decided with everything that has happened the car was not safe to drive (as I am a sales person and drive me car all day) so I decide to head home. Unfortunately, I had to get on a highway for about 2 miles( the busiest highway in allentown, pa) as I get on the highway in the right lane with my hazards on the car begin to lose all power and the gear light (drive) started to blink, the car then accelerated again then lost power again. But this time it would not start up again, luckily I was able to cruise off on to a narrow shoulder and then my car would not move or turn on. Therefore, needing a tow. Even with all the work this car has now had (working on the software, replacing the transmission clutch, replacing the tcm, etc I still do not feel safe in this car and am horrified that Ford would put this car on the road endangering peoples lives. I plan on taking this car back to the dealer, john kennedy Ford and demanding a refund or a new car from a different dealer. I will never purchase a Ford again.

- Warrington, PA, USA

problem #107

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 #106

Oct 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
For several months I noticed significant shuttering of the transmission when accelerating from a stop into low gears. Took the car to dealership for repair, per warranty extension provided by Ford (field service action number 14M01). Several days after that completed service, the engine light turned on -- and was on and off over a period of approximately one week. The car also periodically jerked forward unexpectedly while accelerating in low gears, and the same unexpected movement happened occasionally when in reverse. I made a follow up service appointment during this time. Then two days before the service appointment, after filling the car with gas, the engine would not start. When turning the key in the ignition, the car shuttered violently with a great deal of noise. After calling a tow truck and resting the car for approximately one hour, the tow truck driver was able to get the engine started -- commenting that first and reverse gears felt unstable and unsafe. Car has since been towed to the dealership for a second round of service. Problem and solution are yet to be determined.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #105

Aug 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 29,550 miles
This was the first time my service engine soon came on. The transmission was slamming into every gear. I was stuck in 3rd gear revving at approximately 3500 RPM going 30 mph. I was able to drive the car home. The day after I took into spikes Ford where the problem was then fixed on 08-11-14. I picked up the car and drove home. 2 hours later as I'm entering a highway to go to wal-mart, the car lurched forward, RPM's flew way above 6000 and car sped up for a second then slowly declined down to 30 on the highway!! the check engine light came on again. I drove the car to the dealership and they felt the problem so they took the car yet again. Next day they called and said they fixed it. Another 3 hours later, check engine light came on and they reflashed it for the 3rd time in a 4 day period. Check engine light came on again so I decided to take it to boggus Ford. I took it to boggus Ford and within 3 days the car was out from the shop. All was well until later on in the night, the check engine light came on. I took it once last time furious already with the car and once again said it was fixed. I drove to school and as I was finding a parking spot, the check engine light came on. Right after, a message said, "transmission hot" pull over safely. Another message came on and said, "wait 7 minutes". embarrassed that my brand new Focus was doing this I let it cool off. A salesman we worked with, was kind enough to pick up my car and I from school. We took it back to the dealer where we then talked to a service manager. The service manager, laughed about our situation and said as long as we drive slowly the car will continue to heat up and said that Ford knows about this. I told him, I almost ran over other students, and he just continued to say as long as you drive slowly, it will keep doing that. The check engine light comes on and off now, but transmission still shifts hard.

- Mission, TX, USA

problem #104

Sep 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
The automatic transmission shifting is horrible with excessive shuddering and lurching.

- El Paso, IL, USA

problem #103

Aug 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles


Car stutters and does not shift. Severe shaking and loss of cruise speed is effected. The car does not accelerate properly and seems to lose speed while driving. I am scared to let my daughter drive this car and only have owning it for several months it has been in the shop once and going back again. There is no apparent fix for this problem and they will not do anything about it. The clutch was replaced and reprogrammed and this did nothing to fix the issue.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #102

Sep 202014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
At a stop light car in drive brakes lock, shift gear locks. Message appears transmission not in park. Car takes at least 5 to 10 minutes to turn back over to start up. Car stalls to go into different speeds, accelerates when turning a corner.

- Irvington , NJ, USA

problem #101

Jun 132013


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving various speeds, the vehicle shook violently and stalled without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 5,000.

- Monson , MA, USA

problem #100

Jul 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
At random times the car will just shut off leaving a coasting vehicle down the highway, or leave you stalled out in the middle of an intersection. If you leave it sit for 30min-1hour it may restart. If you press the accelerator it was not respond. After a couple minutes the vehicle will recover from a rough idle and try to lunge forward even when vehicle is in park. Problem: Transmission control module.

- Jennings, OK, USA

problem #99

Sep 042014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 25,080 miles
Feels as if the car is going to stall while slowing down. After taking off after a complete stop it shifts hard or shakes and sometimes makes a grinding noise.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #98

Aug 262014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 99,059 miles
Had an issue with the vehicle suddenly shaking, shuddering violently, and being unable to accelerate beyond 40-35 mph. I would attempt to accelerate and it would operate as though in neutral. The vehicle would then kick in and rev up to 6-7000 RPM and still not accelerate. Then it would finally feel as though it had downshifted but would not go above 40 mph. I took it in to the dealership to be looked at. They applied the latest computer updates and checked fluids. They told me the vehicle had a shifting fork code (dct), and that it would need to be replaced- yet the vehicle worked fine after the computer was updated. If there was a shifting fork issue, then it wouldn't magically disappear for a period of time after a computer update and come right back. The vehicle operated fine for several hours with no issues. Then I felt the transmission 'hitch', and the check engine light again came on. I was literally 2 blocks from the same dealership I took it to earlier that day, so I took it back in. They said the same codes appeared, but that they would attempt the computer update again. The vehicle again seemed to work fine. Then I was driving on a backroad highway due to my fear of the vehicle acting up while on the main highway and having my small children with me. The car again acted up and went from 65 to 35 rapidly and refusing to accelerate and acting as though it was in neutral. The transmission would occasionally catch, but would not go faster than 35 mph in a 65 mph area. This could cause a potentially fatal accident, and I cant help but wonder if there aren't any fatal accidents that can be attributed to this. I see that many others report the same exact issue I have.

- Durant, OK, USA

problem #97

Aug 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,977 miles
Engine malfunction message appeared on the message center. The engine then shutoff, losing power steering and power brakes. I coasted to a stop, the vehicle would not restart and had to be towed. This was the second incident with this same problem. First incident was eight days prior. Dealer stated it was fixed, but evidently not.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #96

Aug 262014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 57,500 miles
The car stopped accelerating while I was driving on 1-95 in New Jersey at rush hour. I was able to pull over safely, resumed driving and the car repeated this over the next day. After a service by a Ford dealer, the car ran smoothly for 10 miles then the problem re occurred and engine light went back on. Would not accelerate in reverse or drive. Definitely was not fixed. This is in addition to the constant sputtering and chugging when I accelerate. But coming to a dead stop on I95 in New Jersey traffic was terrifying.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #95

Aug 222014


  • 44,400 miles
I was traveling from the route 128 highway exit ramp onto the interstate 95 going approximately 50-55 mph, as I rounded the top of the ramp I went to accelerate onto I-95 when I found I was slowing in speed/decelerating and found that I had no pick up with the vehicle. I was actually coasting, the engine appeared to be on but I was unable to accelerate. As I coasted to the break down lane the check engine light flashed on. I sat at the side of the road for approximately 5-7 minutes, the car did re-start. Due to what appeared to be a dangerous spot on the highway I attempted to continue driving towards an exit. Approximately 4 miles down the highway ( I traveled at 50 mph in the far right lane) the car again, stopped accelerating was decelerating, I was pumping the gas petal without success and I coasted to the side of the road. I had the car towed to rodman Ford in foxboro MA. The service advisor is telling me the diagnostic shows nothing is wrong with the car. He also reports even though the check engine light flashed on twice their is no indication of the computer registering any type of failure.

- Taunton, MA, USA

problem #94

May 232012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,050 miles
I bought the 2012 Focus around February of 2012. At first I was estatic and the car ran great. However, just a few months after I bought it the car started griding at low speeds had a lot of trouble going up a hill to the point it wants to stall. At one point I did get up the hill, but the car didn't seem to recover and about 2 minutes later the car did stall driving about 30 mph and we had to glide it through traffic and into a parking lot. The car would not drive for at least 15 minutes, and the check engine light came on. By the time I got it to the dealership the light had gone off, and they told me they couldn't "duplicate the issue", and that if the light had went off there wasn't anything they would be able to find. The grinding noises continued, and I complained everytime I brought it in for an oil change. It also started acting lethargic when making turns (specifically left turns). The car was brought into the dealership at least two more times over the same issue, had a reprogramming done, and it still continued to make noises, jerk, grind, shift widly, etc. Around may of this year (2014) I was stopped on a steep hill and the car started rolling backwards. At first it seemed normal because I applied the brake, but when I moved to the gas the car started rolling backwards in drive and would not stop until I applied the brake again. I almost hit the person in back of me. I insisted Ford fix the issue, and after having the car for almost a week they again said they couldn't duplicate the problem. The same issue happened two weeks later and I received the same answer. I have left messages for the manager over the whole dealer, and he won't return my calls. I am about to take the car back again since I only have around 300 miles of my warranty left, and the car has been having many issues lately. And then I'm going to call a lawyer and the news.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

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