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 8 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #73

Jun 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


I purchased a 2012 Ford Focus less than a year ago and have had trouble ever since. I have had my car in repaired once for the transmission issues accelerating and coasting. My car is shaking and hesitating with any type of acceleration. The car is making a clunking noise when driving, turning corners and braking. I am beyond disappointed with the quality of the 2012 Focus. I dropped my car off at the dealer and wanted it looked asap. I also contacted Ford directly about my concerns, they informed me about the dual clutch transmission as a reason for the drive (an excuse I have heard numerous times from the dealer). After a couple days the service department called to let me know they had looked it over and everything seemed fine. They later test drove it and he informed me that everything looks great and that the way my car is driving is just the way these Focus' drive due to the double clutch transmission. He informed me that it tends to drive the way I was describing if people have a "light foot", if I would drive with a "heavier foot" or "accelerate faster" it most likely wouldn't have these issues. When I brought up the instance where the car shook and made a large clunk when I turned it off, he stated that it was probably a "fluke". it is very discouraging that I am told that this is just how the Focus vehicles are going to be. I emailed Ford about the results and have not heard back. I picked up my car and it still drives jerky and the clunking noise is even louder. I dropped it off with 40,618 miles and picked it up with 40,630 miles. I think it is frustrating that it is deemed as a standard drive with a 12 mile trip. I am disappointed that I am expected to hit the gas harder to hopefully have a somewhat less jerky drive... not sure how to do that in parking lots and neighborhoods. I do not feel that I have a safe quality vehicle and don't know what to do next.

- Andover, MN, USA

problem #72

Jun 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
In the past year, I have experienced issues with my transmission where my car has difficulties shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. It shutters and jolts, feels like I have a manual transmission. I commute daily, especially in traffic, so this has never been acceptable. On June 1st, I was in a parking garage coming around a corner when my traction control light appeared and I lost power to the engine. The interior lights, radio, ac were still working, I just couldn't move the car. I was stalled and was nearly hit a few times since I was stuck in a turn. I tried turning the car on and off, no luck. I had my car towed home, and Ford towed it to the dealership the next morning where I was told the car was stuck in gear. It needed a new transmission module. The new module was replaced and I was told my car was ready for pick up. I went in the next day, the porter pulled up my car and I could not drive it off the lot, because now it was stuck in "park". I was very frustrated and I was told by the dealership that the computer may have had a glitch when reprogramming or it may have reset itself. I was told this can more than likely happen again, how disappointing. I don't feel safe driving my car and especially long distances. I'm afraid this can happen again, but even worse, while I'm on the road. Needless to say I will be looking into lemon law or trading in this vehicle.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #71

Jun 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
When exiting grocery store parking lot, as we pulled out into traffic, the car experience a sudden loss of acceleration/drive train power, while electrical systems started to flash, and electronic gear indicator transitioned from gear to gear. Rpms, were still registering and on acceleration, drive train was unresponsive. This happened all while in traffic, when oncoming vehicles were approaching. We turned on hazard lights and moved to the road shoulder. Powered off car for a minute, then restarted. Car started but still experienced severe hesitation on acceleration, and seemed as if it was struggling to stay on. Pulled onto a side street to get out of traffic, then after turning car off, it would not turn back on. After approx. 10 minutes, tried to turn on car again, and it started. Was able to carefully drive car home, however check engine light has now been illuminated. This will be the 5th instance (all instances documented by dealer, and serviced by dealer) that the car has had this issue, and we have brought it to the attention of the dealership, with no 100% remedy being given. Will be taking car in once again to dealership for service and hopefully resolution of this ongoing issue of hesitation on acceleration, and total failure of drive train during vehicle operation.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #70

Jun 022014


  • 30,000 miles


Shudder vibrations and acceleration lag due to the malfunction of the dtc (duel clutch transmission) in my 2012 Ford Focus.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #69

May 312014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
Car's transmission felt sluggish (hesitate to accelerate) after 15-20 minutes of low-speed driving (0-10mph) in a traffic jam. Ten minutes later, engine stalled on freeway at 70mph. Tachometer dropped to 0 and speedometer displayed was 0. car restarted, and continued to be driven for 15 minutes. Gear disengaged when turning into a parking space, car rolled backwards. Power did resume after 2 seconds while constantly giving gas. Restarted the car after around 30 minutes, car stalled again few minutes later. Engine would not restart instantly. Only clicking noise was heard in the engine bay when turning keys. Waited 10-15 minutes to restart. Car accelerated to 70mph before stalling again after 1-2 minutes. Gear indicator was flashing. When the car stalled, engine raved with lost of power for 1-2 seconds. Car felt like in neutral even shifter was in drive. Tachometer then dropped to 300rpm and never rav again. Car was pulled over. The cycle of stalling and restart repeated 5-6 times until I arrived home. The next day car was drivable again (I only have a 5-mile commute). Similar troubles occurred three weeks ago when car was totally disabled after 20-30 minutes parking lot driving. Car hardly restart and refuse to go into gear. Gear indicator constantly blinked. I previously thought the issues were related to the usage of S gate, where it happened for two instance. There are 3 occurrences of similar troubles. First time was about a month ago when car refused to start, but it was perfectly drivable again after being cool down for a night. Towed to dealer but problem could not be duplicated. The reason that prompts me to write this report is due the lost of power on freeway which I believe is a safety related issue. Also, there doesn't seem to be a trouble code in the computer, which makes it hard for dealers to diagnose the problem.

- La Jolla, CA, USA

problem #68

May 242014


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle made a loud noise coming from the engine compartment. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the motor mounts fractured. As a result, the engine dropped and damaged the axle and cvc joint. In addition, the contact stated that the passenger's side seat belt was constantly becoming stuck preventing the passenger from exiting the vehicle in a timely fashion. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 92,000.

- Bastrop, LA, USA

problem #67

May 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles


Was driving on the street for about 25 minutes and when I stopped behind another car on a stop sign, the car would not accelerate, it happened to my son also who told me to turn the car off and then re-start it, it did, but when my son took the car today, it happened to him and this time would not start. Went to help him 20 minutes later and this time it turned on, I drove behind him all the way home (about 30 minutes) and mo problem? can't trust to drive this car any more, I'm taking it to the dealer on Wednesday (earlier appointment they had), but after reading the complaints I'm afraid I came to be another victim, just bought the car last December 2013!

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #66

May 222014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Driving down highway, car lost power, the check engine light and the traction control light came on. Would not accelerate, brakes would not function properly to stop. When I finally got the car stopped in a parking lot next to my place of business, the car would not start up again, and when it did, it would not go into any gear. Sat in the parking lot for 30 minutes trying to get the car to start up and go into gear. When it finally did go into gear, I got it to my place of business 2 blocks down and parked it. I am afraid to drive the car as it is a major safety issue. There have been recalls on the electric version of this car, but not the gasoline versions. This needs to be a recall on all of these models as there are several hundred complaints online about the same issue. Ford will not do anything about these issues unless the car is taken to one of their dealerships, which in past experience, they don't do anything at the dealership except overcharge for diagnosing the car, and for them to tell you nothing is wrong with it and that they know there are issues with the cars, but they do not have a fix for them and they can change the parts, however that will not solve the problem and it will happen again. I have been told this by the manager at a dealership and he has stated there is nothing he can do to change the situation. This is a major safety issue and someone needs to look into Ford for the same issues GM is having with their small cars.

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #65

May 152014


  • 9,971 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the engine leaked a small amount of oil. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 9,971.

- Sunnyville, CA, USA

problem #64

Jul 042013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,500 miles
Transmission issues, jerking, jumping, jolting forward, sluggish, lack of power, feels like the car is going to cut off. This happens at slow speeds, fast speeds, at a stop, idling, etc. You name a condition of the car at various speeds and it has transmission issues. I took it to Ford to fix and they said it was a "known" issue, they updated the software and calibrated. It still has the same issues, the problem is not resolved.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #63

Jun 052013


  • 21,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate, the vehicle would hesitate and stall without warning. The contact mentioned that the vehicle would also shake violently while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 21,000 and the current mileage was 24,155. Kmj

- La Habra, CA, USA

problem #62

May 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 29,187 miles
This car has been the shop 4 times for the same problem. The car randomly does not start for a period of time, absolutely no rhyme or reason. It does start eventually. Everything electrical comes on, interior lights, A/C, heater, radio, exterior lights, just no engine. The problem only occurs after being driven. In other words, it never happens first thing in the morning after sitting all night, it never happens after a full work day (sitting 8 hours). The longest period of time it has set and still not started is about 3 hours. The problem also never occurred until they had to replace the transmission.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #61

Apr 252014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
RPM's were exceeding 4K-5K at 25 mph, engine light came on. I pulled over, turned the car off and let the car sit for 10minutes. Started car, continued driving 25 mph and rpms once again exceeded 4K-5K until the car came to a slow and sudden stop. Car is at the dealership where it was purchased for 5 days (and counting) now, service department is claiming the engine light is off and there is no history in the computer reflecting a diagnostic code - then they should fix that too! I had a passenger in the car that witnessed this event, I want to avoid any legal action, but I am documenting everything in the event I have to. I typically drive on the turnpike/highway and I am grateful this did not occur during rush hour on the turnpike/highway. I contacted Ford corporate and they were very selective with their words "this vehicle does not have any recalls pending", but would not answer any general questions ex. "is there any service bulletins that were sent to your technicians regarding the transmission/engine?" their response "this vehicle does not have any service bulletins...etc." They finally directed me to this website and I only hope the right people read my complaint to better resolve my issue.

- Horsham, PA, USA

problem #60

Apr 212014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
This Ford Focus exhibits strange and dangerous shaking and stuttering between gears 1 and 2. it has done this with increasing frequency since we got this car in 2011. It feels like it will stall at any moment. It also has nearly stalled several times when stopped at a light and sometimes rolls backwards while in drive even though it is an automatic. The dealership says these things are normal because it is a 'sporty-model car' and it takes the engine time to adjust to a person's driving style. The Ford Focus model years affected with this problem should be recalled by Ford asap.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #59

Aug 112011

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to ongoing transmission issues. The consumer stated each time visited the dealer, she was informed it was only a programming adjustment. The consumer has been to the dealer 10 times, for the same problem. The consumer stated the transmission was unpredictable. Not only did the clutch slip between first and second gears, the vehicle intermittently hesitated when taking off from a complete stop. Also, the engine would shake at 55 mph and continued to shake even at 70 mph.

- Summerfield, FL, USA

problem #58

Mar 132014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
On March 13th, I was driving at approximately 55 miles per hour. All of the sudden I lost complete power in my car. The rpms revved up extremely high and I gained no power when pushing on the accelerator. I lost all speed in a matter of seconds and was forced to pull over. I was almost hit by another car as I was attempting to get out of the way. Steering became hard and it took more effort to break and slow the car. I turned the car off as soon as I came to rest. I attempted to restart the car and the car would not even turn over. I called a tow truck and had my car towed to Ford. They had the car for 4 days and replaced the transmission control module (tcm). The part was covered under the emissions warranty according to Ford. I was told the car was fixed and sent on my way. On March 24th the car broke down again. The car did the same thing as the first time and again almost caused a car accident in which serious injury could have resulted. I sat with the car turned off for approximately 5 minutes and then tried to restart the car. The car restarted on the 4th time. I called my local Ford and asked if it was safe to attempt to drive over, they said it was. They have now had the car for one week and are unable to locate an issue. I was given a loaner vehicle which they have now demanded they get back. I been told the process of Ford deciding what to do can take up to 2 months. I am no left with no car and Ford is claiming no responsibility and providing no customer service. Ford needs to fix this issue and refund those affected.

- Buellton, CA, USA

problem #57

Mar 142013


  • 12,000 miles
During a tight turn on a bendy road going about 55 mph the vehicle lost all power. As if someone turned they key off. Lights, infotainment, steering, brakes, everything was effected. Luckily steering doesn't lockup on a Ford Focus. And can be steered but without power assist. Once at a complete stop, the car could be restarted with no instrument lights on, as if nothing happened.

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #56

May 092012


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 30 mph, a metal to metal rattling noise emitted outside of the vehicle. The transmission slipped gears and the vehicle began to vibrate with hesitation. The failure occurred sporadically when shifting into second gear. Additionally, when the brake pedal was depressed when driving on an incline the vehicle would roll. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer twice where each time the computer module was reprogrammed. The vehicle was not repaired for the most recent failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 14,000.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #55

Apr 152013


  • 25,600 miles
Shuttering and stalling upon tends to roll backwards for no apparent reason on slight incline. Speed acceleration and speed deceleration at random times. Car hesitates badly when accelerating on to on ramp to merge with interstate traffic or to pass a vehicle on the highway. It's luck of the day if you accelerate and actually live or get hit when car shutters and hesitates. Good luck Focus owners.

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #54

Jan 272013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
The transmission "skips, flutters or just not kick in" when moving from a stopped position to an accelerated speed. Seems like the transmission stalls out and then grabs. It does it quite often and I was almost rear-ended on several occasions so far by this hick-up in the transmission. I am going to take it back to baxter Ford in omaha and see if the problem can be fixed or not. They may get the car back.

- Milford, NE, USA

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