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:
58,213 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 #114

Sep 072018


  • 109,000 miles


While sitting still my gas hand went from 1/2 a tank of gas to the full mark. Filled it up even though the gas hand was on full mark. It took $20 to fill it up and for it to kick off. Then when I started to start my car I hand to turn the key twice to get the motor started and then after I took my hand off the key it kept on cranking as if trying to start although it was already running. I drove it to lexington and could feel it revving the motor up without me doing anything. I turned around and drove back to frankfort and took it to big O's. they put a handheld tester on it and said it was either the oxygen sensor or converter for the engine light that was on. I informed them that I had replaced the O2 sensor just 3 weeks ago. He test drove it and said it revved up on him also which he said something was going wrong in the transmission. When I left from there the lights came on by themselves, the check engine light was on, and the gas hand was still past the full mark. On 9/7/2018 although it said the tank was full my fuel light came on. It also quit on me on 9/7/2018 going down a hill and I had to pull over for a while before it would start back up so I could get home. There was a recall on the tcm valve which has been replaced twice and the clutches in the transmission which has been replaced twice.

- Frankfort, KY, USA

problem #113

Aug 192018


  • 95,200 miles
Ran out of fuel in this vehicle, once when my daughter was driving on a highway, even though the fuel gauge would say there was between 75-100 miles before empty. The last time this happened the interior of the vehicle had a strong smell of gas. I then proceeded to take it to the dealership and after diagnosis the service manager said some valve remained open causing the gas tank to crack and in turn gas flowed back into the intake manifold. The cost to fix would be approximately $3100. The problem has been a known issue with this vehicle for quite some time, but Ford refuses to recall or even pay for the work. I even had an extended warranty and they wouldn't cover it either.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #112

Jan 012018


  • 100,000 miles
I have 2012 Ford Focus titanium with handling package. Earlier this year is when this issue started. I pulled up to gas station to pump fuel into my car. After I was done I got back into my car and pushed the push start button. The car struggled to turn on and stay on and eventually stayed on without any issues so this lasted maybe 5-10 seconds. Each time I started up the car I had zero issues with getting car turned on. This issue only occurs when I have just put gas into the gas tank and IżM starting up the car. Filler neck has been replaced, fuel sensor and have even had a evap test done for leaks and the issue is still around. Iżve had a diagnostic done and the code came back as the car is releasing too much fuel. I donżT remember the code or the exact wording but that was what the code was saying.

- Madera, CA, USA

problem #111

Aug 212018


  • 104,542 miles


Fuel perg valve stuck in closed / open possition. Resulting in tank deform and sending unit failer.

- Englewood, FL, USA

problem #110

May 252018


  • 165,000 miles
2012 Ford Focus sel hatchback started to develop stutter and stall on low load. Could be under coasting at 60mph or slowing to stop. The revs drop and engine stalls. While coasting, put the car in N and restarted engine. Was ok after that. Ck eng light came on. Pulled codes, replaced evap purge valve and attempting to replace O2 sensor. Unable to remove old one at this point. Cleared code. Ck eng light came back on but car seems to behave like normal. Will have to pull code again. Will be extremely unhappy if fuel tank has collapsed. The gauge started reading faulty but based on refuel dates and miles driven the tank seems to take the appropriate amount of fuel. Ran out of gas with info center stating 10 miles left. Each time the car stalls it has no issue restarting. It only has trouble right after filling up. It cranks for a while. Then it turns over and does fine. Car would also idle at wrong levels. Always used to idle at about 750rpm, which it does again now that evap purge valve has been replaced. Before the evap purge valve replacement the car would feel like it's engine braking when coasting instead of just rolling like a normal automatic. The car hasn't been diagnosed by a dealership yet. It's impossible to make an appointment with local dealerships here.

- Liberty Twp, OH, USA

problem #109

Jul 252018


  • 116,337 miles
Vehicle would stall out when coming to a stop at red lights, stop signs or hesitate when starting to go. The vehicle would also lose power during normal operation and if it stalled out it would take a few minutes or longer to start, causing traffic issues. Fuel gauge would read 3/4 of a tank and be empty. Took to dealership several times and had computer reset to fix issue but did not fix it. Then another dealership advised they had another Focus with the same issue and had to replace fuel tank, purge valve and fuel pump because the fuel tank had collapsed inward. They checked the fuel tank on my Focus and it had also collapsed inward. Had fuel tank, purge valve and fuel pump replaced and now it runs like it should and gauges work. Was advised that this issue causes the vehicle to into limp mode which causes car to stall. This repair cost me $1586.02! this is a very serious issue and a hazard to the occupants. This issue has been going on for about the last 4 years and it took this long to discover what was causing it. Iżve had the vehicle for 5 years now.

- Crystal Springs, MS, USA

problem #108

Jul 152018


  • 67,600 miles


2012 Ford Focus, sel. The car would flutter and die out, no power, at the traffic light and or during driving on the road or interstate. After a few minutes I would try to re-start, at times it would re-start after waiting about five minutes or so. Took it to the dealer which told me that there was a info out on that and that the Ford company will not pay for the repair in the tune of $2200 at this time. It seems that there's not enough cars out there with the same problem. To this date I know of 106 vehicles with the problem. It's sad that someone has to die from this problem before something gets done.

- Parrish, FL, USA

problem #107

Jul 202018


  • 143,000 miles
Car was being driven at about 30 mph when it suddenly shut off. Car would not restart. Fuel gauge indicated 71 miles to empty, 2 days after dealer supposedly recalibrated fuel gauge by reprogramming computer. This has happened several times in the past 3 months. Dealer says clutch (in this automatic vehicle) failed "shudder test", and needs $1500 replacement. He says this could explain car shutting off. I cannot risk my pregnant daughter being stranded by this car. Very disappointed inford and this dealer.

- Cheswold, DE, USA

problem #106

Jun 112018


  • 88,000 miles
Following the illumination of the check engine light the vehicle would exhibit rough idle and stalling. The vehicle has logged approximately 88,000 miles. An ase certified automotive shop has diagnosed the problem with the fuel delivery system which is consistent with a technical bulletin on the issue wherein the fuel system does not properly equalize pressure. This results in a vacuum that starves the engine of fuel and causes the plastic fuel tank to collapse. The vehicle stalls while approaching or stopped at busy intersections. This poses a serious safety hazard. Additionally, the stress on the fuel tank may compromise its structural integrity. This safety concern should be the responsibility of Ford and a recall should be issued.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #105

Jun 072018


  • 124,000 miles
The car will cut off once you try to start it up after filling up the gas. It also stalls while youżre sitting idle at a light. The gas gauge is also broken. It stays at full and moves around freely.

- College Park, MD, USA

problem #104

Jun 122018


  • 1 miles


The steering wheel locked up and the steering assist came on while I was doing 5 mph. And the fuel tank is being has been deformed because of a vacuum problem with the cap less gas tank. I know that the rest of the 2012 Fusion and escape have been recalled, because of the danger of driving down the road and steering will loose controll

- Kewanee, IL, USA

problem #103

Dec 272016


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vacuum line malfunctioned when the vehicle reached half a tank of fuel. The failure resulted in the vehicle being unable to start. In addition, the check engine indicator illuminated as the vehicle failed. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer to be diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Indianaplois, IN, USA

problem #102

May 042018


  • 79,479 miles
"purge valve"-my vehicle was taken into red mccombs Ford due to a P0420 code which is a problem with the catalytic converter. Before the engine light came on, I had not had any performance issues or noticed any problems while driving or idling on any type of road. The car has 79,479 miles and the converter would be covered under the factory warranty. I was told that the converter went out because the purge valve got stuck open which caused severe damage to the fuel tank and fuel pump and that they would not replace the converter until I paid $1,900 to get the other problems fixed. I did not have the money to get the other problems fixed before the factory warranty expired, therefore I will need to pay an additional $1,700 to have the converter replaced once the warranty expires. I was told that the problems with my car could cause it to lose power and leave me stranded on the road. I am concerned that, other than the engine light turning on because of the converter, I would not have known anything was wrong with the car until it could have died on me in the middle of the freeway. I have had so many problems with this vehicle and by the looks of the complaints on NHTSA, there will be many more serious problems to look forward to. I do not feel safe in this vehicle and Ford has done nothing to fix these problems. I am hoping to sell it back to them this weekend. I will never by Ford again.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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

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