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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,303 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #46

Feb 082016


  • 95,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 45 mph, the check engine warning indicator illuminated and the vehicle lost acceleration. The vehicle was driven to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the purge valve was malfunctioning and needed replacement. The contact also stated that the vehicle experienced this failure for about a year and half. The dealer had to replace the clutch under a recall. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000.

- Prairie Grove, AR, USA

problem #45

Jan 202016


  • 78,344 miles
My check engine light came on coming home from work Monday night and wensday I took the car to the dealership the dealership the next day and found out that the purge valve was malfunctioning and has collapsed my gas tank and I needed to replace the fuel pump, gas tank, fuel tube assembly. All cost $2000. The service tech stated there has been a lot of complaints about this and Ford refuses to help

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #44

Jan 072016


  • 101,611 miles
While driving my 2012 Ford Focus hatchback, the check engine light came on and the vehicle idled rough and the engine stopped working. Restarted and took vehicle to dealer. Dealer stated that the emissions control system had pulled a vacuum on the fuel tank causing raw fuel to enter the emissions control system and the engine causing the issues. The tank had to be replaced due to collapse and the evap tank, tubing, control valve and fuel pump. Per Ford tsb 11-09-03. Shouldn't this be a recall?

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #43

Nov 232015


  • 47,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while making a left or right turn, the vehicle stalled. The check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that purge valve not opening properly. As a result, the fuel pump, purge valve, purge tank needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V605000 (fuel system, gasoline). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #42

Nov 022015


  • 80,000 miles
I'm writing about a problem that I feel is a safety defect. My car started idling very erratically and the amber engine light is on. The dealer says that the vapor canister control solenoid failed, drawing a vacuum in the fuel tank which caused the fuel tank to collapse. It also filled the vapor canister with fuel. They say the raw fuel from the canister is being drawn into the engine causing the erratic idle. This is not only a problem with just my vehicle, but thousands of others who are having the same problem. It's beyond costly and through no fault of the owners, our cars are unsafe to drive!

- Ellenton, FL, USA

problem #41

Oct 232015


  • miles
My Focus, as so many others has had transmission problems and the transmission control module has been replaced twice. But, today I'm writing about a new problem that I feel is a safety defect. My car started idling very erratically and the amber engine light is on. The dealer says that the vapor canister control solenoid failed, drawing a vacume in the fuel tank which caused the fuel tank to collapse. It also filled the vapor canister with fuel. They say the raw fuel from the canister is being drawn into the engine causing the erratic idle. I will admit that my vehicle has 124,000 miles on it and Ford wouldn't offer any assistance with repairs so I am a little miffed. But, between the safety issue of the transmission failures and now the fuel system failure and collapsed fuel tank, I feel that this vehicle is a serious safety issue.........updated 12/17/15

- Goochland, VA, USA

problem #40

Oct 022015


  • 62,000 miles


I purchased a Ford Focus may of 2014, with 30,000 miles on it. I had a factory warranty up to 60,000 miles on it. I am now at 62,000 miles on my car and the latch on my driver side door broke and my door flew open while driving on the freeway at 70 mph. If I were not wearing my seatbelt, I would have flown out of my car to my death! since then, I have had to bungie my front doors shut, leaving me no access to get in and out of my car safely, having to crawl in my backseat. I need this fixed asap and I am not paying to get it fixed with so many Ford breaking down.

- Laveen, AZ, USA

problem #39

Jul 302012


  • 5,000 miles
Ever since I have owned this car since May 2012 it has shuddered when driving, stalled while driving, and shakes and does not increase speed when the accelerator is stepped on. The car now does not even start when it is turned on, despite the battery being good. Car was towed into dealership several times and they supposedly fixed it. Did several repairs to it but to this date it still shudders and stalls while driving. The latest repair they did was to fix the alternator...we will see....have come to the conclusion this model has several defects and would term it as a lemon. It barely has 60,000 miles on it and a car this new should not be having these issues as they are safety issues and I fear for me and my childrens lives and safety as this car does not function safely and stalls when we are driving! when I expressed my concerns to Ford over these issues they took no action except to tape record my complaints...they do not care about these safey issues....the car has been in the dealership service center four times in the last four months....the last repair bill cost me $650....but I have no faith that they (Ford) have fixed the problems.....I am fearful to drive this car but I am a single mother and cannot afford to trade the car in for another as the Ford sales person told me no bank would loan me money on another car as I owed too much on this lemon that Ford has sold me....Ford was of no help and does not care....I told them that it would take someone dying in a car crash from these defects in order for Ford to do something about these issues.....these issues happen while the car is in motion and when it is sitting still...the car will not start and has to be towed into the repair shop...

- Steilacoom, WA, USA

problem #38

Aug 082015


  • 73,000 miles
Purchased a 2012 Ford Focus in December of 2014. The transmission has had shifting issues almost the entire time that I have had the vehicle. In may, the transmission began stuttering at low speeds. When reaching speed on an interstate on-ramp, the vehicle showed the message "vehicle not in park" and shut off as I was pulling into traffic. A day later when driving it, it stuttered again and the check engine light came on. Took it, along with a defective part notice to the dealer for the automatic transmission clutch system, which the dealer said was the issue and supposedly replaced it under the warranty. The dealer also reset the "autolearn" feature in the transmission. For a few days it worked fine, then the stuttering and shifting issues began again. On August 8th, 2015 the vehicle was driven to the store, and worked as it usually did, with minor stuttering and grinding that appears to characterize the Ford transmission. It was parked for roughly 30 minutes while in the store, upon starting and putting the vehicle in reverse, the transmission would not turn or gain enough power to propel the car out of the parking space. As it rolled back, it was shifted into the drive position, the vehicle began to propel until it went to shift and the car "missed" the gear and stuttered losing all momentum. This continued from every start/stop. Stopped at another store, when came back out the car would not start on the first crank, and the check engine light came back on. The power issues to the transmission on take off and the missing gears continued all the way to my home.

- Mebane, NC, USA

problem #37

Jul 122015


  • 62,000 miles
Car stalled and lost power while driving, was able to coast into a parking lot. Car would not restart, and had it towed to the dealer. Diagnosed and say the purge valve failed and that they need to replace fuel pump, and tank, for $2K.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

problem #36

Jun 202015


  • 30,080 miles


Sudden loss of power. Engine was revving up but transmission not engaging. It was as if I had shifted to neutral. I had to coast to a stop.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #35

Oct 132014


  • 51,095 miles
I have a 2012 Ford Focus. Only a year after buying this car I began to notice issues with shifting while driving and even complained about transmission issues to my dealer. I was told this was "normal operating condition". before the implementation of the fors customer service program happened, there was a minor recall to reduce instances of rolling back on hills. I took my car in to have that fixed only to have more intense issues surface later. My car has been in the shop for diagnostics more times than I can count with no real results on the transmission. In October of 2014 -2.5 years after purchasing a brand new car. My transmission officially failed as I tried to merge onto the highway. Ford issued a not-quite-recall announcement, and I took my Ford in to get the repair service done with 51,095 miles on the vehicle. I had transmission components (seals and clutch) replaced exactly as was instructed by Ford Motor Company. 10,000 miles later, in April 2015, I began experiencing the beginnings of the same issue again. It would seem that whatever Ford corporate claims is the issue is not the case or that the fix Ford corporate isn't an actual fix. More than this, I've been instructed to do the same replacement process when Ford confirmed that the same issue was happening and the same outcomes were imminent. I ordered the parts on 4/16 because they were on back order and not available. 2 months later, the parts needed to do this are still not available. I'm lucky that my highway merge stall-out didn't end poorly the last time but not knowing whether accelerating is possible or when your transmission will fail is scary. The fact that this is happening at 60,000 miles is inexcusable and unsafe. This "program" allows Ford to avoid fixing the issue and leaves consumers in an unsafe, unreliable and financially draining situation.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #34

Mar 122015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
My husband was driving my car home from work and it began sputtering. Luckily there was a residential road nearby and he turned off the business hwy and the car died. It wouldn't start and was acting like it had no gas even though it had over half a tank. It had to be towed. It has now been in the shop for 3 weeks waiting on a back-ordered fuel pressure sensor. It's only a few years old. This is the most frustrating thing!!!

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #33

Feb 032015


  • 33,342 miles
On January 27th.. my car (2012 Ford Focus SE 4door 5 speed) my car had 33,342 miles on it once it came into the service bay at asheville Ford in asheville nc. I was advised that the car would have to stay for the day and look into the situation. Car would die at random, lights would come on like a christmas tree (oil pressure light, battery light, traction light, ESC light, information light, check engine light) and a message would appear (engine malfunction service now). Asheville Ford was also notified of a sun visor popping, seat belts not releasing and creaking noises in the B pillars on both sides, and the ac was blowing hot air again (this was repaired on the 23rd before and already blowing hot air).

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #32

May 122012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,837 miles
Car is shuddering, vibrating, rolling backwards on inclines, stuttering bad gas mileage at low speeds between 0 and 20 miles per hour. The car has been in 4 times to the dealer beginning on 5/3/12 through 11/14/13 it has been reprogrammed 3 times and a new transmission replaced it which has solved the problem temporarily but starts happening again. When driving in or pulling out into traffic because the car either hesitates so bad or just wont move for a few seconds. Needless to say there have been many close calls. The dealer has been proactive in working with me however this is not a dealer issue this is a manufacturers issues.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #31

Aug 042014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 10 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the fuel pump needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Des Oto, TX, USA

problem #30

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 #29

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 #28

Sep 082014


  • 61,000 miles
On Sept 8 2014 I was driving home from work and once I got off the highway I noticed that my car was slowing down and the battery and oil light was on the next thing I knew my car shut off I restarted it and took it to the dealership ( since it is still under warranty ) to get it checked out. The service dept told me that it was the fuel pump and they were ordering the part but that was a lie not only did they not fix the problem it has gotten worse the car runs out of gas even though there is gas in the car it shuts off at slow speeds and the dealership basically told me that a 2 1/2 year car is covered under warranty and told me its going to be $2000 to fix it!! but on the bright side if Ford recalls the part then I could get reimbursed really!!

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #27

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

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