Print this page 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:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,353 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #41

Feb 012023


  • miles


the buckle for the front passenger and back driver do not work properly. The buckles will not latch. It has not been confirm by a dealer because when i called to ask about repairing it and cost for parts I was told the part is discontinued and there is not another option for a replacement. 2 of the 5 have stopped working in the last 3 months. It puts my life and other passengers life's in danger every time it is driven due to not being able to put on a seatbelt. There was no warning just one day they would not buckle, we have tried different remedies and suggestions to fix the issue but nothing works and they need replaced.

- Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #40

Nov 042020

Focus 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
My two sons were turning left when they were T-boned by another vehicle. My sons vehicle was struck in the right rear. The side air bags went off but not the two fronts. Also their seat belts did not tighten. Bc of this both sons suffered tbi's, one very severe and is still recovering. The other required brain surgery. I am so upset that their seat belt did not tighten. I bought a newer Ford thinking it was going to be safe. Please someone fix this defect. I had no idea that this could ever happen. They were hit from the other person going 45 mph so it should have tightened. Sad momma. Lives changed forever. :( [xxx] parts of this document have been redacted to protect personally identifiable information pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #39

Apr 042021


  • 132,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while the vehicle was stationary, the front driver's side seat belt latch failed to unlatch. The release button was depressed several times for the seat belt to unlatch. The contact stated that after the seat belt was finally unlatched it has failed to relatch.there was no warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to the local dealer or independent mechanic to be diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer had not been informed of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 132,000.

- Laurens, SC, USA

problem #38

Sep 012018


  • 160,000 miles


Rear passenger side seat belt does not retract properly. The seat belt has barely been used over the life of the vehicle, so this is not a wear issue. Took vehicle to Ford dealer in Washington, mo, and they stated the seat belt mechanism would need to be replaced--cost was about $500. Too much for a seat belt that barely gets used.

- Union, MO, USA

problem #37

Sep 172017


  • 44,200 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the front passenger's side seat belt failed to retract or secure inside the buckle. The vehicle was taken to sound Ford (101 sw grady way, renton, wa 98057) to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the seatbelt needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 44,200.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #36

Jun 052018


  • 15,530 miles
The vehicle was parked, with no damage to the vehicle. Our front driver side seat belt latch quit working properly. My husband which is an average size guy almost got stuck. The rear driver side seat belt latch is not working either. It stopped working about a year after owning the car. We have to shove a card in it to put the red button back out.

- Waynesburg, KY, USA

problem #35

Feb 022018


  • 51,000 miles


The driver side seat belt will no longer latch. At first it became hard to click in or out then stopped working entirely. It has not been involved in any accident any time near this malfunction.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #34

Oct 282017


  • 122,000 miles
Driver seat belt release button started to stick. On 10/28/17 buckle would not release. I had have my seat belt cut in order to get out of the car. Event happened in a parking lot while parked.

- Hollister, CA, USA

problem #33

Feb 022017


  • miles
When I start the car initially I can't turn the wheel of the car. I have to tug on it to get it to turn eventually. I'm afraid that I'll be driving in the power steering will go out. Also have been having troubles with the transmission slipping. They say my car has too many miles to qualify for the clutch recall that Ford has put out. I don't see what this has to do with a malfunction saying I've had troubles with it since I bought this car. Both of these issues are safety issues. I have no money to replace this stuff. So I don't understand why Ford won't work with people on this there needs to be a recall on the steering as I seen many others complaining about it. And they need to suck it up and take the expenditure of replacing all of these crutches that they have a recall on regardless of mileage. Sometimes my seatbelt comes loose after I clicked it. I have to latch it while trying to drive. I'm tired of this car. I'll never buy from Ford again. I've been having problems with this car since I bought it. And have informed the dealership that we bought it from and they clean there is nothing wrong with it period after taking it too but it's going to cost me $3,000.

- Salina, KS, USA

problem #32

Oct 012017


  • 120,000 miles
My son was stopped behind another stopped car on a 2 lane highway, as a car 2 in front of him was preparing to make a left turn. The person traveling behind my son, was looking into his rearview mirror at his children in the back seat and failed to stop. Instead, at full speed (45-55mph) he rearended my son in the Ford Focus thereby pushing him into the car in front of him. No air bag deployed, and the seat belt failed to lock causing my son to plant his face in the steering wheel.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #31

Sep 262017


  • 106,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. Upon attempting to latch the driver side seat belt, it failed to latch. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to an independent mechanic or dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 106,000.

- Holly Springs, NC, USA

problem #30

Mar 172017


  • 50,000 miles
The driver's side seat belt on many occassions would not latch, was difficult to latch, and/or became stuck and would take a great amount of force to unlatch. This happened while the vehicle was stationary on city streets. The vehicle was taken to a Ford dealership in March of 2017 for a recall on the door latches and the seat belt problem was reported then. The driver's side seat belt was replaced, but was not covered under any type of warranty.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #29

Jul 312017


  • 120,000 miles
Takata recall while driving my seat belts lock so tight I have to unbuckle them because they won't come lose.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #28

Aug 302017


  • 49,000 miles
Drivers seat belt malfunction, belt does not latch. Car was parked when this occured.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #27

May 212017


  • 109,765 miles
Several mornings in a row my wife said she experienced having trouble placing the seat belt into the connector. It had got to the point where she would try to force it in there sometimes it would connect sometimes it wouldn't. now it doesn't connect at all.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #26

Mar 252017

Focus 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While attempting to exit the vehicle from the front passenger seat, the seat belt locked and did not unlatch. The contact called for assistance to force the seat belt to unlatch. The contact reported the failure to an unknown dealer in fort myers, Florida, but the dealer did not return the call. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact to take the vehicle to a local dealer. The failure recurred several times, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 17,000....updated 10/23/17

- Lehigh, FL, USA

problem #25

May 012016


  • 85,000 miles
Seat belt gets and remains wet after rain and does not retract properly or provide tension for proper restraint.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #24

Apr 082017


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the driver's side seat belt retracted properly, but failed to lock to secure the driver. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and the seat belt buckle was replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure, but provided no solution. The failure mileage was not available.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #23

Jan 022017


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the seat belt latches were unable to latch or unlatch in cold weather. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but they were unable to diagnose or repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 52,000.

- Pittsburg, MD, USA

problem #22

Dec 132016


  • 89,000 miles
I could handle the studder and handle the being held hostage by my seat belt, but now I have to pay $1,800 to get my steering fix after almost hitting a tree with my family in the car. I was just about to upgrade to a escape, I will never buy Ford again after this because I have 89000 on my car they will help with nothing. Nor do they care about the safety of me and my family or the other people around me ! I have never been so disappointed. I truly loved this little car until it tried to kill me.

- Penfield, NY, USA

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