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:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,815 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #29

Aug 272015


  • 53,500 miles


My car started stalling while I was driving it back from work yesterday. It happened quite a few times on my 1 hour and 15 minute drive home. I would have to push the accelerator quite hard to get it to move. I have an appointment scheduled for Tuesday at the dealer to get it checked out, but this is very concerning for me. There was also one isolated incident last week where I had it on drive and pressed the accelerator and it would not move. I kept pressing it and it started to drive after about 30 seconds.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #28

Aug 252015


  • 39,098 miles
I was driving to an early morning meeting (5:30am) when the driver side door suddenly opened without warning. Once the door opened, it would no longer latch. The car door had to be manually held firmly closed for the duration of the trip. With every turn, the door would attempt to fly open.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #27

Aug 252015


  • 68,416 miles
The driver side door latch would not engage. Door can swing open and shut while driving.

- Porterville, CA, USA

problem #26

Aug 232015


  • 81,000 miles


My 2012 Ford Focus takes a dangerously slow amount of time to accelerate on the highway and shudders excessively and very visibly (at any speed) when trying to accelerate. This car is a safety concern. Just this week it is not starting at all. I received a letter from Ford that there is a defect in the transmission in my car and they will replace it for free. I have read online that this doesn't fix the problem that others have continued to have these safety issues even after Ford replaces their transmission or transmission clutch.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #25

Aug 122015


  • 92,000 miles
The drivers door latch failed so that the door will not stay closed. I was lucky that it occurred in a parking lot rather than while driving.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #24

Jul 132015


  • 61,833 miles
The car seems to hesitate at acceleration from parked position. I noticed a slight "skipping" or jumping while driving off of the lot. Since then, I have noticed the same while driving on the highway. The dealer (used car dealer in Alabama) told me "its a good deal, good car"!!!

- Auburn, AL, USA

problem #23

Jul 312015


  • 46,000 miles


My wife was driving the vehicle on the freeway. She had opened and closed the sunroof about an hour before the incident. There was a loud popping/banging noise and the sunroof shattered. Glass shards covered the inside of the car, some of them were sharp. When she parked the vehicle the glass was bent out and not down. There was no known impact of any object with the sunroof, it appears to have exploded due to a defect.

- Monrovia, CA, USA

problem #22

May 182015


  • 433,322 miles
On May 18, 2015, when I was pulling out of my work parking lot and turning onto the main street, the passenger front door flew open for no reason. I pulled over and tried to close the door, but it would not latch closed at all. I tried several times and ended up "seat-belting" the door shut. I feel this is an extremely serious safety issue. When I took it to the dealership, I had a pay $100 deductible for this to be fixed, but again, I feel this is a safety issue and deserves due investigation. There was absolutely no reason for the car door to come open when I was driving. As I am writing this complaint on July 31, 2015, my back passenger door did the same thing, except my daughter was in the backseat!! (tracking issue #: 10745475) I sincerely hope Consumer Affairs looks into why Ford Focus 2012 car doors are not latching closed!

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #21

Jul 312015


  • 45,000 miles
We believe this is a serious safety issue as one of our kids almost fell out of the car because we didn't realize the door did not catch! the rear left door will not stayed closed. The mechanism is not catching at all and the door is a safety issue. A couple of months ago, the passenger front door did the same thing. We ended up taking it to the dealership and it cost $100 to repair, but we don't feel this is right.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #20

Jul 202015


  • 65,000 miles
Accelerating from a traffic light the car just died. I lost all power(power steering, power brakes). We pulled over and tried to jump the battery thinking it was this. I remembered a letter I received from Ford regarding a voluntary recall for the transmission control module(tcm). The car was towed to my local mechanic and via a diagnostic test it was determined that the tcm was defective. After a week at the Ford dealer the tcm was replaced free and the warranty was extended. The major concern that I have is if I was on the highway there would have been dire consequences - the car just died and we would have been sitting on the highway with traffic flying by us. There needs to be a mandatory recall for this situation before people die.

- South Jordan, UT, USA

problem #19

Aug 302012


  • 45 miles


My transmission doesn't work right and never has, from the minute I drove it off the lot. It jerks, very hard at times, it shudders, and worst of all, it hesitates, so when you pull out at times you pray it kicks in before you end up getting hit and killed. I told my son after less than six months of owning this car that if I get killed because of it, I want him to sue Ford. They refuse to fix it because they don't stand behind their products! they don't care if consumers get hurt or killed, obviously. It looks good and rides good, but is a lemon because of the trans. They maintain that it only makes it miserable to drive, but they doubt you'll get killed, so refuse to help. These are some sort of transmissions that were converted from manual to automatic and not very well, at that. I've been to three dealers and they won't help, saying their hands are tied because corporate doesn't feel it's going to kill anyone. I thought I would buy a Ford, being from SE mi. Talk about misguided loyalty! just because nobody's been killed yet doesn't mean it won't happen. It doesn't work, plain & simple. And if it's this poor now, what will happen in another year or two? I am beyond disgusted and completely frustrated with this uncaring company who sells you junk for top dollar and then refuses to help you with a problem that is totally and completely their fault!

- Brownstown , MI, USA

problem #18

Jul 272015


  • 60,000 miles
I bought a 2012 Ford Focus 2 years ago, since owning the car I have experienced major safety issues. Doing 55mph in my home town my transmission failed and my car came to a dead stop. This has happened on multiple occasions. My check engine light came on as well as my hill side assistant. I was able to pull into a lot. After this incident and leaving my car off for 2 minutes or so, I began to drive and my RPM's jolted into the 7,000's and my car accelerated uncontrollably pushing my speed to over 50 when I was only doing 30. Afterwards my vehicle once again de-accelorated in the middle of a busy road and came to a stop. I have brought my car back to Ford 3 times in the last 2 years with issues due to accelerating, jerking, hesitation and fail to shift. This accident had almost costed me and others our lives. Ford failed to assist me in the matter and told me there was nothing they could do about the way the Ford's electric automatic transmission system is made. This car is a dangerous vehicle and by no means should be approved to be driven or sold under these circumstances. After further investigation I realized I'm one out of thousands who have had the same issues with Ford Focus' purchased between 2010-2013.

- Chester, NY, USA

problem #17

Jul 262015


  • 67,025 miles
The vehicle would not turn over. There was no clicking of the vehicle trying to start. After 4 tries to start the car it was left to sit for 30 min before we tried again. The car then was tried to start again did not start until the 4th try. Then the car started. It seems to be skipping a gear while driving will go from 6K RPM to all of the sudden jumping down to 2K rmp. There is something wrong with the clutch/ transmission with shifting and now something going on with the starting system.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #16

Jul 182015


  • 60,000 miles
Rear door latch will no longer close correctly. Even after closing will come open without use of handle.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #15

Jul 122015


  • 55,000 miles
(automatic hatchback) the car rolls back when in gear, on a steep hill. Shifting gears, it will hesitate on the highway and will jump gears and studder. A few days ago I was trying to back out of my driveway to get to work and when I put it in reverse, the car didn't move whatsoever, so I put it in drive to test and see if it was working, and it got in 1st gear just I tried to reverse again with the same issue. Then the engine light illuminated, so I left the car and got a ride to work, however that night when I came home, I tested the car out again and same problem, however a message popped up "transmission is not in park (P)" and I had it in reverse, so I put it in drive and the same message popped up. Now I cannot get it to move at all. While in drive, it will rev up, but it will not move! it will start up no problem, and sometimes it will drive, but it will lose power and not move again.

- Sale Creek, TN, USA

problem #14

Aug 152014


  • 55,000 miles
This vehicle has a pretty significant engine shudder as well as a rattling noise between first and second and second and third gears. Vehicle at times feels like it is going to stall out. This is a safety issue in all intersections and this vehicle should be recalled.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #13

Oct 102013


  • miles
2013, 2014, transmission clutch replaced, 2015 waiting for another transmission clutch replacement. Rear ended in 2014 when car bogged down getting on highway. Car died twice while on highway. Told by Ford customer care & dealership car was safe to drive before both incidents. Car revs up to high rpms for no reason while driving.. very scary. !!!! car has not driven correct since the day it left the dealership !!

- Greenfield , MA, USA

problem #12

Jun 242015


  • 63,000 miles
Car just simply stopped moving while driving down the road. Diagnostic light read transmission failure. Car had to be coasted to the side of the road. Luckily it was a rural road and there was little to no traffic or my child could have been seriously injured in a crash from being struck from behind. I understand that Ford is aware of these problems. Is it going to take someone or their child being hurt or killed to remedy the problem

- Thomaston , GA, USA

problem #11

Jun 152015


  • 34,657 miles
Vehicle leaks coolant after being parked in garage for no reason. Noticed this problem when leaving and finding a huge puddle under car and drip spots from moving the car. When I opened the hood the cooling reservoir was empty.

- Paynesville, MN, USA

problem #10

Jun 162015


  • 72,000 miles
This is the second time in 2 months that I've had problems with this car's transmission. Not only does it stutter when shifting and take time to accelerate, but now the transmission is not working. In April, the car completely stopped accelerating, almost resulting in a crash on the highway. The dealership diagnosed it as a transmission censor and cost was paid out of pocket. This time, the car began jerking and the transmission light flashed. I drove the car home and because of the violent jerking almost wrecked on several occasions. I am taking it to the dealership for repairs today. Considering this car is only 3 years old, it should not be having any of these problems and I consider it unreliable and a hazard to my family and other drivers on the road.

- Covington, KY, USA

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