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 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

Jul 252014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles


Beginning in April, the car has randomly broken down several times, with no notice, putting my safety and life in danger. Cars had to come to a jolting stop to avoid from hitting me and on one occasion a police officer actually had to intervene to safeguard me from oncoming traffic. Please see the sequence of events below. Ofriday, April 12th-car broke down in a major intersection during rush hour traffic endangering my life and the other drivers around me. Cars were zooming pass at high speeds and braking abruptly to avoid crashing into me. Owednesday, July 2nd-car suddenly decelerated while I was driving across a bridge. Once again my life was endangered. I tried to get the car to accelerate with rapidly pushing down on the gas pedal, but nothing happened. The car eventually came to a stop and I was forced to turn the car off while still in the middle of the street and restart it. After getting the car started I drove it back to the dealership hoping they could resolve the issue. Unfortunately, the mechanic was unable to find anything through the diagnostic reading or multiple test drives. Omonday, July 7th-car began to decelerate while driving on a busy street. I immediately pulled over to turn the car off. When I was able to start the car again I drove it to carmax. On the way there I had to drive the car at a slow speed to prevent the car from cutting off on me again. Also, since the ac seemed to worsen the acceleration of the car I turned it off and drove the car for 15 minutes in the searing heat. In the end the car was with the Ford dealer from Friday, July 7th to Tuesday, July 22nd. Ofriday, July 25th- car broke down in middle lane of highway 64E right before entering the hampton roads bridge tunnel. Cars swerved to prevent from hitting me and once again my life and the lives of others was put in jeopardy.

- Washington, Dc, DC, USA

problem #25

Apr 182014


  • 43,000 miles
I got my car started and pulled out of the parking space I was in and parallel with the street I was planning on pulling out into when the engine cut out on me. Fortunately I had not pulled into the street as I had planned when the engine quit on me. I kept trying to start the car and it seemed like the car would be about to start with just another second or two more as the starter was turning. The fuel gauge kept lighting up along with other lights though I had 3/4 of a tank of gas. I had to have the car towed Friday evening to the dealership and after they had my car for 4 whole working days, at about 11 am on the following Friday they finally figured out what was wrong with my car. I have a platinum warranty and at roughly 43,000 miles the dealership is going to charge me nearly $1700 for fuel filter, fuel pump and emissions in addition to the rental car I've been paying out of my pocket while they figure out what is wrong with the car, order parts, (the parts to take 3 days) and fix the car. I think this is very unreasonable for a car of so low mileage and could have gotten me injured or killed if I had pulled out into the street and the light changed when the car quit on me.

- Abilene, TX, USA

problem #24

Nov 132013


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, the service engine light illuminated continuously on the instrument panel and the fuel gauge became erratic. The failure occurred previously and the dealer replaced the evaporator canister purge valve but the failure recurred. The vehicle was recently taken to the dealer, who indicated that the fuel tank and valve would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 48,000.

- Utica, MI, USA

problem #23

Nov 042013


  • 18,000 miles


Spiders or insects block the vents from the gas tank making it almost impossible to fill my gas tank. I bought the car in the summer of 2012 and it happened in the fall of 2012 and the fall of 2013.

- Collingswood, NJ, USA

problem #22

Jun 302012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,012 miles
This car has had transmission problems with the dual clutch automatic transmission it will shudder when changing gears, rollback, come close to stalling. I took the car in to be "reprogrammed" back in June of 2012 it drove okay with only minor hiccups with transmission until October 20, 2013. The car has less than 22,000 miles on it and the car is now not shifting properly. I put the car in drive and it was like I was still in neutral, once it did get going then it did not shift into 2nd gear properly. The car is not safe to drive. I will be taking back to dealership once again to reprogram hopefully at no charge. This car is a lemon and needs to be on a mandatory recall.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #21

Oct 042013


  • 5,800 miles
I have a Ford Focus bev ( battery electric vehicle), 2012. I came out from work and unplugged my car from the charging post and got into it as usual to go home. I pressed the start button and a mechanical warning window came up on the dash. I closed it and the "stop safely now" message came on. I closed it and the first message came back again. This went on for several cycles until I hit the start button again. I tried the start button again, and the same thing happened. I plugged it back in, unplugged it and tried again. Same thing. I called the dealer, the lady there called roadside assistance for me. They sent a truck to tow it to a closer dealer, where it currently sits. Initial diagnostics are not showing a cause. I will learn more on Monday. This is apparently a common problem according to the internet.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #20

Sep 212013


  • 10,960 miles


While driving approx 30 miles per hour on a B road, just after turning right the car displayed a "stop safely now" warning and the car lost all power to the drive train and the car literally stopped moving. Luckily, there was no one behind me when the fault occurred. I power cycled the car and I was able to drive away after a few minutes. I have never had an issue with the car until last night.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #19

Sep 022013


  • 1,500 miles
As I was driving all of a sudden a display stating "stop safely now" came on. I pulled over and the car would not go any further. I had to completely turn it off, open and close the door, and restart it to make it go again. It has happened 3 times now in the past few weeks.

- Sierra Madre, CA, USA

problem #18

Aug 202013


  • 15,900 miles
While driving through uptown charlotte, the car gave a "stop safely now" alert and the car lost power. It coasted enough to roll to the right lane and then died. I could not get the warning flashers to work. I tried for about 7 minutes to get the car to turn off, every combination I knew. After that, the car 'reset' and I was able to get it to start. I drove away as if nothing happened. It hasn't happened since. It's not cool to have the car quit in traffic like that. I think the battery control computer picked up a radio frequency interference.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #17

Jun 252013


  • 2,250 miles
I purchased a new 2012 Ford Focus ev on June 7, 2013. Twice (still in June), while driving at speeds approximately 50 mph, the "stop safely now" warning came on and the vehicle lost power. Both times I was able to restart the vehicle within a couple of minutes. I made sure to note all the indicators to provide the Ford service techs as much information as possible. When I brought the vehicle in to be serviced, the technicians professed no knowledge of the issue and contacted Ford for support. They could not repeat the issue and the car had no log of the events. Finally, I was told the problem was a faulted power control module (PCM). Unfortunately, this part was on a national backorder for 6 weeks (probably as a result of the known problems). After the part was finally replaced, I was told that the PCM would not program correctly, and that the transmission control module needed to be replaced. End result, I have my vehicle back, just in time to take it back for a recall. At least it hasn't stalled ??. yet.

- Pismo Beach, CA, USA

problem #16

May 182013


  • 4,500 miles


While coming to a stop, the stop safely now warning chimed and vehicle lost all power. It would not go into park, or neutral to allow it to be pushed off the road. After several minutes of powering it on and off it eventually restarted and worked without incident until recently on 8/15/13 the same message occurred at a stoplight and the car again lost all power. After about 2 minutes it started and ran ok.

- Oceanside , CA, USA

problem #15

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 #14

Jun 252013


  • 10,500 miles
Incidence occurred twice in 2 day period. "stop safely now" error occurred while driving the vehicle. 1st instance was while breaking as approaching a stoplight. 2nd instance was while accelerating on freeway onramp. Both instances I lost all engine power and could no longer accelerate. I had to coast to a safe spot to put the car into park and turn off the vehicle but was able to restart it and drive to dealership for repair. Serious safety concern with this vehicle as driver may not have ability to coast to safe stop while driving on freeway or busy traffic. After researching online, there is rampant occurrence of this exact failure being described on vehicle owner forums for Ford Focus electric both 2012 and 2013 models.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #13

Jun 262013


  • 5,700 miles
Upon making a left turn vehicle completely powered down with no warning, after a second an audible beep and "stop safely now" message appeared. Vehicle had to be towed to dealership.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #12

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 #11

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 #10

Jan 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
I received a letter from Ford in May 2012 regarding customer satisfaction program 12B37. The issue with the car was rough/jerky automatic transmission shifts & roll back when transitioning from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal. My husband took the car into the Ford shop to have this issue corrected on 6/8/2012. Everything seemed to be fine but both issues started up again and became more frequent. My husband again took the car back to the Ford shop on 1/2/2013. My husband was told that this is the way the car drives. But the Ford shop took the car and said they would take a look. We were given the car back the same day and were told that they reprogrammed the car and that everything was working fine. That evening I was about to merge onto the highway but the car would not accelerate. I pushed the gas pedal almost all the way to the floor and the car wouldn't go faster than 30 mph. I was almost rear ended by another car. Luckily the driver was able to swerve into the lane next to me. I got off at the next exit and took the local route home. The next morning I took the car back to the Ford shop. At this point, the car was driving completely normally. I explained what happened the night before. They wound up keeping the car for 2 weeks. I was told that they couldn't figure out how to fix the issue and had to call Ford to get instructions on how to correct the problem. During this time, I placed a call to Ford and filed a complaint with them. We received the vehicle back and everything seemed to be fine but slowly the same issues showed up more frequently. Today (5/13/13), I've taken the car back to the Ford shop. I was told that they would check it but that this may just be the way the vehicle drives. I am very disappointed Ford hasn't been able to correct the problem properly.

- Queens Village, NY, USA

problem #9

Apr 142013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,777 miles
While leaving the parking lot of a store to enter highway, my Focus started sputtering and then shut completely down leaving me and my two children stranded in the road. We got help to push it out of the way when attempted tries to start didn't work. A tow truck came when called and took it to our Ford dealership here who just called (24 hours later) to tell me they "think" there's a problem with the fuel pump. I have had continual problems with the transmission as well, this car rolls back on even the slightest hill, has caused some close calls when vehicles are close behind me. I am a working mom with a non-working vehicle for at least the week.

- Jasper, TX, USA

problem #8

Dec 102012


  • 27,800 miles
I ordered the car from Ford in 2011 as soon as they allowed orders. I have approximately 27,800miles on the car. I have yet to get the fuel economy that Ford stated. I do both city and highway everyday and my combined fuel has not gone over 27 miles per gallon since I have owned it. I have even had it run out of gas on 3 separate occasions when the car was registering 30 and 34 miles to empty.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #7

Oct 302012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
On my way to the dealer to deliver the car for shuddering from stop to first gear, the car failed to engage in gear when I depressed the accelerator. I pressed the accelerator harder and the vehicle lurched into gear, and commenced up the hill from my house - the car then appeared to go into neutral on its own, thus no propulsion, then on its own slipped back into gear. As I made my way onto the main road, I proceeded cautiously unsure if the car would stall out or if I would even make it to the dealership. I did make it, but along the way the car slipped in and out of gear indiscriminately several times, leaving me without power for several seconds at a time. What if this were to happen on the highway at 65 mph? I drove in the breakdown lane with my flashers on to avoid being hit from behind. My dealership arundel Ford has had the car in the shop since that day, and has agreed to replace the clutches, but tells me the parts are not going to be available until December 11 at the earliest. This is completely unsatisfactory. I have very little faith that the car will ever be safe to drive.

- Kennebunk, ME, USA

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