ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,309 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 1 of 6)

problem #101

May 042018


  • 160,000 miles


The rpms on my vehicle kept falling and causing my car to stall and even żdież in traffic. I took it to a mechanic who told me that there was a problem with my evap sensor, fuel pump and gas tank. The sensor and gas pump are malfunctioning and causing the problem and sucking the plastic gas tank up and into the pump causing my car to die while in traffic. I was driving on a major highway doing 65mph the other day and this happened causing extreme anxiety about the possibility of being rear ended by someone not paying attention. I have looked this up and I am not the only Focus owner with this problem. This problem has been happening off and on for about a year and is starting to happen morevoften and getting more severe.

- Wasilla, AK, USA

problem #100

Jan 192018


  • 140,000 miles
"Ford purge valve" my 2012 Ford Focus was incorrectly diagnosed at longmont Ford for a P0420 fault code. My complaint was a rough idle at times, vehicle dies at times when coming to a stop. (did not state low power at all times nor any engine heating issues) longmont Ford stated a a back-pressure test was performed on the exhaust and the catalytic converter was plugged per dtc P0420. Fortunately I did not have the $1700+ dollar repair performed and looked for additional diagnosis. (no specifications given by longmont Ford to condemn catalytic converter) additional diagnosis found the evap canister purge valve stuck open - note: Found Ford has known issues with this valve and at the time of attempting to obtain one for replacement was told they are on national backorder. I believe this known faulty component is a safety issue due to two reasons. 1) can cause vehicle to die in traffic 2) also known to suck the fuel tank closed and damage the fuel pump.

- Frederick, CO, USA

problem #99

Jun 052017


  • miles
Inaccurate fuel gauge indication and inaccurate distance to empty. Ended up having to replace evap emmision purge valve, fuel pump, and fuel tank, and canister. Had to replace all parts again 4 months later when my car stop running while I was driving down the highway and this happened to me 3 times.

- Wauchula, FL, USA

problem #98

Apr 102016


  • 85,000 miles


My car stalls constantly and while driving I have to put it in neutral and restart it. Ford says it's a purge valve problem, with the gas tank being unable to relieve pressure (or allow air in) as gas is used. From what we've read online many many people are having the same problem. Supposedly it's a $2,000 fix. I have stalled in an intersection before. It was scary.

- Pt St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #97

Feb 122018


  • 49,250 miles
While driving on busy interstate gas gauge indicated sufficient gas, however engine light came on and Focus stalled on part of interstate in city with very little shoulder. Texas state police had Focus towed because of safety hazard. Ford dealer advised simply ran out of gas. Not true. Then intermittent engine light on and hesitation-stalling, but dealer not able to duplicate. Then few months later gas gauge acting erratically, engine light on and Focus again stalling in traffic numerous times. This time dealer diagnosed as evaporative purge valve failure causing fuel tank to collapse and other damage. Cost $2113.42 for all repairs.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #96

Feb 112018


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. When the contact attempted to drive the vehicle, the check engine warning indicator remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to hawkeye Ford (2027 us-34, red oak, ia 51566) where it was diagnosed with failure codes P144A and P0456. The codes indicated that the evap, purge vent, vent valve, fuel tank, and fuel pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- Red Oak, IA, USA

problem #95

Jan 012017


  • miles


My car constantly smells like gas when I start it up after filling the gas tank up, the car dies when driving down road I have to pull over to start it because it dies while I am on the road so I have to pull over since last year the fuel reader stopped working causing me to die on side of road because of running out of gas. The car still has transmission issues it jerks from time to time and the half shaft bearing and wheel bearings are currently going out in this car. I bought the car brand new at the Ford dealership. This is car is a lemon I have owned over 15 used cars and never had a problem as much I have had with this new car.

- Ledbetter, KY, USA

problem #94

Feb 072018


  • 66,000 miles
Car stalling while driving. Dealership runs codes and determines it's the fuel tank. It will have to be replaced. $2K for parts and labor.

- Saraland, AL, USA

problem #93

Feb 022018


  • 59,000 miles
I was driving and the car kept turning of. It happened when I was stopped at a light and multiple times when I was driving. It doesn't shutter and stall, it just shuts off. Engine light came on with P1450 and P0456. It is evidently a known issue. There was a recall for 2010-2011 Ford Fusion for the exact same thing. "some of these vehicles might have a canister purge valve that does not work properly, causing internal pressure changes inside the fuel tank. Repeated pressure changes inside the tank could result in a crack on the top of the tank, possibly allowing fuel to leak. A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source can lead to a fire." There is no recall for the Ford Focus models affected, even though it is a known issue and not related to normal wear. It is a manufacturer defect. It was a very scary experience and a very costly one to repair. I am under 60,000 miles. I do not understand why there is a recall on one model, but not the other for the exact same manufacturer issue. The estimated repair cost is $1800 from the Ford dealership service department. I was almost hit, because it happened while I was making a turn. It caused me extreme anxiety. This is not the first manufacturer issue I have had with this car. Not long after getting it, I had transmission issues.

- Oviedo, FL, USA

problem #92

Jan 112018


  • 67,253 miles
Fuel tank or vapor recovery system faults in the purge valve and vapor canister cause excessive vacuum in the fuel tank which then begins to collapse. Effects include false fuel readings and 'distance to empty' indications in the trip computer, as well as a reduced overall fuel capacity. Driving at 70 mph speed limit during rush hour in the middle of a 3 lane interstate, the 'distance to empty' reading was 25 miles and my destination less than 3 miles away. I ran out of fuel and had to maneuver to the shoulder in a vehicle without power.

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #91

Jan 212018


  • 151,598 miles


Y 2012 Ford Focus needs a new fuel tank, fuel pump, purge valve and canister per tsb 16-0062. It's because the purge valve was malfunctioning and has collapsed my gas tank (plastic) and I needed to replace the fuel pump, gas tank, fuel tube assembly. All cost $1350. Many others have this problem but it appears that there is no recall on this. This is something that should be addressed as a recall, not an "eff" you to the customer that has to deal w/ a known issue to Ford. When stopped, the vehicle would idle rough. The engine actually died on my daughter who was driving in traffic this past Sunday one of the highways in la. The check engine light came on w/ code P1450. Then the fuel gauge became highly inaccurate, showing a full tank of fuel when I may be at half or lower. Called aaa, my daughter got herself out of the dangerous situation, now my car is being repaired, I have no choice. This is frustrating to see how Ford can get away with this issue - one that seems to be quite serious with many other Ford Focus 2012 owners: Https:// and here the garage that is doing the repairs in la (la auto center) on Washington blvd have explained to me that they have had to do many many such repairs to other Ford Focus cars - and dealing with the dealerships there - all ignoring or refusing to help its own customers. Please help us! I hope this federal Agency will help us, unlike what seems to be going on currently politically - protecting major corporations from consumer accountability.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #90

Jan 112018


  • 95,000 miles
Check engine light came on and took it to Ford dealership to get it fixed. They informed us that the purge valve was faulty which caused the fuel tank to be deformed. Total cost of fix is $1,000 plus and they also wanted to charge $321 to check the check engine light. After researching the issue, this is a known problem to Ford and the dealership. This is a systemic issue and the part was already recalled on the Fusion but not the Focus, therefore, Ford refuses to take responsibility for the part on the Focus. The dealership said we could fix the purge valve only but the gas gauge would not read correctly. What kind of advice is that? a bandaid on a systemic issue due to a faulty manufactured part that causes the vehicle to be unsafe when driven. I have filed a case number with Ford and they refuse to correct their faulty part. Ford recommended I file a complaint with NHTSA.

- Lakewood Ranch, FL, USA

problem #89

Dec 262017


  • 65,000 miles
Faulty fuel vent valve caused entire fuel tank to collapse.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #88

Sep 062017


  • 154,000 miles
The purge valve cause the car to stall in traffic while driving and back fire cause the gas tank to suck

- Palmetto, FL, USA

problem #87

Dec 222017


  • 138,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While walking outside of the vehicle, the contact noticed a strong fuel odor. He inspected underneath the vehicle by the fuel tank and noticed fuel on the ground. The vehicle was not taken to an independent mechanic or dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 138,000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #86

Nov 302017


  • 52,000 miles
Check engine light came on. Codes indicated something wrong with purge valve and small evap leak. While driving at 55+mph on a 6 lane highway, my car stalled and my battery light and oil light illuminated. Before that happened, car would just rev and then jerk me forward. I was almost hit by multiple vehicles. This is a huge safety issue!! I made it to my mechanic where they informed me that my purge valve got stuck open causing the vacuum system to suck my fuel tank it, also causing it to collapse. My fuel tank, fuel pump, charcoal canister, and purge solenoid all needed replacing. Repairs cost me $1700 out of pocket, not to also mention rental car. This was recalled on Ford Fusion...why not Focus?! this could have caused serious injuries or fatalities!! I expect reimbursement for all expenses!!!

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #85

Oct 222017


  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 50 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle after several minutes. After the vehicle was restarted, the check engine indicator remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to brandon Ford (9090 E adamo dr, tampa, fl 33619, (813) 246-3673) where it was diagnosed that the fuel pump fractured, which caused the fuel tank to collapse. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 57,000.

- Riverview, FL, USA

problem #84

Nov 172017


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 50 mph, the vehicle shut off without warning. The contact was able to coast the vehicle over to the side of the road. In addition, the contact observed that the fuel gauge was on one fourth of a tank. Later, the fuel gauge indicated a full tank when the contact had not filled up the vehicle. The contact called aaa who stated that due to the indicators illuminating, the contact should add fuel. The contact added fuel and the vehicle started on the first attempt. The local dealer was not contacted. The manufacturer was notified and did not assist. The contact was referred to NHTSA. When the contact shut off the vehicle, it responded as if it would not restart. The contact currently adds fuel while the vehicle is idling. The failure mileage was approximately 102,000.

- Missouri City, TX, USA

problem #83

Oct 132017


  • 70,000 miles
The purge valve of the fuel system was stuck open causing the pressure differential to crush the fuel tank because of the vacuum effect. All other parts of the fuel system have been overheated because of the inconsistent fuel flow so they all have to be replaced.the entire fuel system including gas tank. The car would stall or want to stall while driving on streets, stopped idling, and driving on highway causing very dangerous situations. This would occur everytime you would drive vehicle.the problem started in September with no warnings and finally was so bad on October 13th I had to take it to the Ford dealer to get evaluated the car couldnt be driven anymore.

- Dunmore, PA, USA

problem #82

Jul 272017


  • 80,750 miles
While driving on the freeway 70mph and on city roads at 35 miles an hour the car will just lose power and shut down, the check engine light and fuel pressure light and battery light all come on when the car dies. Only the check engine light remained after getting the car restarted. And will take several tries to get it started again. We took it to the Ford dealer in american fork Utah today and we received the code tsb 1600 6 to which they say means that we need to replace the fuel tank as well as the gaskets in tubes and sensors. It will cost about $2,000 to replace. We are not having them fix it at this time since we can't afford it. This comes just a week after they had our car for two weeks to repair the problem with the transmission recall. Not sure what to do at this point. This has happened several times in the last few months and three times in the last 24 hours.

- Lehi, UT, USA

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