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:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,305 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 4 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #52

Aug 082014


  • 63,000 miles


I was leaving from the bp gas station from wayne sullivan dr in paducah, ky I had drove from ledbetter which is 10 mins outside of paducah and when I started my car to leave gas station pulling out into busy intersection I went to accelerate and my car would not go any faster than 10mph with oncoming traffic behind me and my 5 year old child in the car with me. I had reported transmission problems before they put computer to adjust it but told me slippage and jerking would be normal due to the type of transmission. My car has always rolled back on steep hills also.

- Ledbetter, KY, USA

problem #51

Aug 052014


  • 53,622 miles
I was driving down a road and all of a sudden my car wouldn't go I kept stepping on the gas and there was no throttle power. I turned of the main street and let the car glide to a complete stop. Praying that the garbage truck would stop cause my car was barely moving. I turned it off and then it made a weird noise.... I tried turning it on but it didn't so I called roadside assistance but while I was talking to them the car cranked up again. I drove it to the nearest dealer the told me I needed a new battery but I took my battery out H as D it checked and it's still good. Today my car did the same thing and now it's in the driveway it doesn't have throttle power the RPM's are not working not even when it's in park.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #50

Jul 062014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 36,100 miles
While driving on the road, going about 40-50 mph on a sunny, hot day in July, the traction control suddenly turned on and the car started to decelerate. I found it odd as the weather was not inclement and I had not hit a pothole so I pulled over since the car was automatically slowing down. I was lucky not to have been in an accident as there were plenty of cars around and this was less than half a mile from the highway that I was about to travel. After pulling over, I turned the car off to try to clear the traction control as it seemed to be stuck on. The car would not turn back on (the engine was not turning on though the battery was fine). After calling the Ford auto club and having help come out, the car got towed to the dealership. The issue turned out to be with the transmission control module that was covered under the original power train warranty.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #49

Jul 092014


  • 26,400 miles


My car was in the shop about 4X's in 1 month. Issue began driving about 45 mph. Went to accelerate felt a sudden jerk & nothing. Look down to see my drive light flashing & am steadily decreasing in speed with no way to accelerate, like in neutral. I luckily was able to get out of oncoming traffic, put the car in park which began to flash. Accelerated a couple times to be sure it responded before driving but the service engine light was on. Driving again, about to make a left turn, not a mile down the road, same thing happened. This time put it in park, accelerated & nothing. Shut off my car to reset it & my car would not turn on. After waiting for the tow truck, the car would just not turn on, everything related to the battery would turn on but the car didn't. in the shop this 1st time a total of 3 days, still unsure about it being fixed (because they just fixed the "electrical" part, not the issue) lo & behold when I turned into my neighborhood same thing happened (drive light flashed & accelerator didn't respond). I get home to park & turn on my car, after attempting to turn it back on, nothing. Another tow truck came the next morning to get it, this time my car was there 7 days. After 2 days of driving the same thing happened I was on a hill almost began rolling backwards into another car until I put it into P & pulled the E break. Car went in they stated that they figured it out & I hoped 3rd X's the charm. Nope, I was on a highway had to pull over away from oncoming traffic decrease the risk of me being hit. 9 days in the shop after ordering a transmission control module for my car & replacing it, it works. Although I was just informed that the same thing is now happening to a friend with a 2013 Ford Focus. It's something that needs to be looked into because loosing the ability to accelerate in the middle of traffic is very dangerous life threatening & scary.

- Cameron, NC, USA

problem #48

Dec 182013


  • 55,000 miles
The engine seems to race at times and while the RPM are rising to car does not accelerate. Also when I am at a red light it will either shutter or lurch forward occasional. When I took it for service they told me this was a normal function of the dual core transmission. However it seems to me that if this were true the frequency would not be increasing and I would not notice it when I M driving. Thank you I hope you can do something to help.

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #47

May 302014


  • 40,000 miles
I have had the worst problems with this car. I have had it in the Ford dealer ship 5 times since Jan. 2012. They keep saying nothing is wrong. It rolls worse then a 5 speed. It tries to stall out on me taking off., acts like it is going to die going up a hill. I have to push gas pedal down all the way to get up a hill. It happens most the time but not always. It is to the point I am about to never own a Ford again.

- Nancy, KY, USA

problem #46

Jul 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 64,559 miles


Driving on the highway when car did not want to accelerate and suddenly accelerated. Motor light turned on. When taken to get checked, motor light was off and. Was told others have been experiencing the same. This is the second time it happens.

- Clint, TX, USA

problem #45

Aug 132013


  • miles
2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to acceleration problems. The consumer stated it felt as though the vehicle was loosing power and trying to stall out. She would try to accelerate and the vehicle would rev, but would not go, and when it finally did go, it was very jumpy and slow. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer five times for the same issue. The dealer stated the vehicle needed a computer upgrade. The dealer stated it would take a while for the upgrade to work, but it never did, and the problem worsened. The next time, the dealer stated the tcm needed to be replaced. The replacement of the tcm, made the problem even worse. The vehicle began jerking upon acceleration and it felt as though the transmission was slipping.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #44

Aug 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 17,951 miles
Approached stop light on a road with steep incline. Came to complete stop behind several cars without incident, but when pressed gas to move at green light, gear (despite being automatic transmission) slipped and stayed in neutral, revving but not engaging. Car began quickly rolling backwards. I was able to yank emergency brake just before hitting the car approaching mine from behind. Similar incidences have occurred with regard to incorrect/ dangerous automatic gear changes -- sudden loss of needed gear change to enter highway from ramp (flat land) and all kinds of gear changing problems (stuck in gear several gears too low or too high) in hilly terrain. This can result in lurching as well. Dealership claims normal operation and says the car isn't generating helpful codes as a result.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #43

Jun 102014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
While I am driving (this has occurred three times) the check engine light comes on and the gears keep slipping. I take it in and they reset the computer or whatever they do and it works fine right after but continues to drive like the gears are slipping.

- Alice, TX, USA

problem #42

Jun 052013


  • 9,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate, the vehicle would lunge forward. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 9,000 and the current mileage was 20,000.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #41

May 212014


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate, the vehicle lost power. The contact mentioned that the check engine and the gear switch warning lights illuminated. The door chime sounded and the vehicle was able to restart approximately 15 minutes later. The failure recurred on two other occasions. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the computer failed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 53,000.

- St Albans, WV, USA

problem #40

May 192014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 68,850 miles
I have a Ford Focus 2012 SE with winter and comfort packages. My vehicle suddenly swapped up from 79 mph to 81 mph when I pressed the down button to slow the car.

- Locust Grove, GA, USA

problem #39

May 222013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,677 miles
I purchased my vehicle in December of 2012 and by may of 2013, the vehicle had been in and out of the shop for months. The most substantial issue was an issue with speed control in the car while on the freeway. At about 20 miles an hour the car would have difficulty going up to 40mph, but would then jerk up to higher speeds afterward. The clutch system was replaced in the car on May 24, 2013 and seemed to be fine, but I still filed a claim with the Ford Motor Company. Last week on May 14, 2014 the began to have the same transmission issues. I contacted Ford again and was told to take it in, as it was covered under the 12 months/12000 miles extended parts warranty. My car is currently back in the shop and I am concerned that this issue will not be resolved. I'm also concerned that there was already a recall on this vehicle in 2012 for transmission issues and little is being done now to rectify this dangerous issue.

- Carson, CA, USA

problem #38

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 #37

Mar 152014


  • 23,000 miles
I have a problem with my Ford Focus 2012 SE which is best described as gas pedal or throttle delay in my opinion. I was making a right hand turn into traffic and when I pushed down on the gas pedal. It was a second later I realize I needed to push down harder on the gas petal as the car wasn't moving fast enough. I got it moving, but I would have preferred it didn't happen again. No accident occurred, but I'm wondering if this problem could be averted by a slight correction of whatever needs adjusting. Where would I go to fix this if I can?

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #36

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 #35

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 #34

Jan 112013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,225 miles
Started noticing hesitation and front end shuttering on acceleration with a grinding noise from front end. Between 10 -25 mph the car shutters, decelerates 5-10 mph then accelerates back up to speed. Even worse while turning and on slopes. Almost caused me two accidents while merging into traffic.

- Flourtown, PA, USA

problem #33

Jul 252013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 400 miles
Vehicle shutters shakes and lacks acceleration when starting from a stop. This has been an on going issue that has almost caused several accidents. In February 2014, I was driving down my street to drive my daughter to school and we heard a loud grinding noise and the car lost power. I was able to coast to the side of the road. I called road side assistance and the vehicle was towed to the skagit Ford dealership. I was told the front axle snapped where it goes into the transmission. I was also told that this was a Ford defect by the service a adviser and he had never seen this happen in his 30 years. I notified Ford several times regarding the shifting issues and brought it in for service updates and new clutch. They are also aware of the metal axle snapping and are not willing to do anything regarding this unsafe vehicle that I am now afraid to drive. I have filed complaints with Ford and the attorney generals office and have not received any written confirmation that Ford is taking this incident seriously. If I had been on a freeway when the last incident occurred I would probably not be writing this letter. Thank you for your time. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Mount Vernon, WA, USA

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