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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,786 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Aug 052022

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


Was driving home came to 4 way stop when I tried to accelerate the car wouldn-??t shift out 1 gear. Car was towed to Steve Rogers ford 8/5/22. Where their vehicle still sits waiting from a TCM ( transmission control module). No one will provide a loaner or rental which the part is on infamous backorder

- Swanton , OH, USA

problem #20

Aug 182022


  • 209,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 55 MPH, the transmission failed. The transmission overheating warning light was illuminated and indicated to wait 5 minutes before proceeding. The contact then waited approximately 10 minutes then continued driving to his destination with the transmission was slipping. The contact then experienced the same failure while leaving his destination, and the vehicle lost reverse(R) gear. The contact proceeded to drive 50 MPH and pulled over again safely before the low battery warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not able to restart. The contact then received assistance while attempting to jump start the vehicle. The vehicle finally restarted and was driven to the residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired; however, the contact related the failure to the transmission dual clutch failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 209,000.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #19

Jul 042022


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated while attempting to start the vehicle, the transmission was clicking. There was a parking aid malfunction warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken the next day to an independent mechanic but was not diagnosed with a failure. The contact continued to drive the vehicle and the failure recurred. The contact stated that while exiting the highway at approximately 30 MPH, the vehicle lost motive power and stalled without warning. The contact was unable to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was safely pushed to a local mechanic. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was informed of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- White River Junction, VT, USA

problem #18

Jun 282022


  • 155,547 miles


The contact called on behalf of the son who owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated while the driver was driving approximately 55 MPH the vehicle began to downshift and the reverse gear was inoperable. There was a check engine warning light illuminated. The contact pulled over safely and then drove the vehicle to AutoZone. The vehicle was diagnosed with transmission module failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 155, 547.

- Yelm, WA, USA

problem #17

May 312022


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while parked in the driveway when the check engine light illuminated. The contact attempted to turn the vehicle on however the engine only revved. The contact took the vehicle to a certified mechanic who diagnosed that the crankshaft failed and banded the transmission. The vehicle was involved in a previous recall for the same failure and was remedied previously. The mechanic stated the failure was caused by the same repair as before however the vehicle had not been repaired again. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #16

Feb 152022


  • miles
Automatic transmission on 2012 Ford Focus SEL hatchback has been stalling. I drive on heavily traveled highways, leading me to be at risk of a major traffic accident if my car loses power. Transmission also whine and grinds really hard. Dealership is aware of the issue, but refuses to recall these faulty transmissions, leaving several thousands of people at risk of losing power and getting hit. Has been inspected by the dealer and multiple mechanics, all point to transmission issues from a faulty factory clutch system.

- Carl Junction, MO, USA

problem #15

Sep 082021

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


The transmission is not shifting properly and looked online. Ford has had this issue with lots of the 2012 Ford Focus SEL-??s and there is lots of opinions on how to fix it. But the issue is the same. There need to be a recall. I just bought this on 8/23/3021 and it has 53000 miles. Please get Ford to fix this issue. It is dangerous what if I was on the highway! I hope it-??s not to late for Ford to fix this. I notice it when I first bought it. I would start accelerating from a light and 1st 2nd or 3rd great as I was accelerating it was having difficulty shifting and was stuttering. I first thought I wasn-??t driving it right like I was accelerating to slow maybe not enough throttle. Then I left this morning and once I turned of my block the car started shuttering and had huge problems shifting in to 2nd and 3rd. I couldn-??t even accelerate turned it around. Drove back to my house and called the dealership. There towing it to the dealership and are going to look into the problem. This is unfair I just bought it. And if Ford had done the right thing and made a recall for it I wouldn-??t be having this problem in 2021 with a Ford Focus SEL with 53000 miles on it. Thank you for listening. [XXX], Colorado INFORMATION Redacted PURSUANT TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).-??

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #14

Nov 012015


  • miles
2015 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to power shift dual clutch automatic transmission and engine failure.

- Swanton, MD, USA

problem #13

Jul 022014


  • 35,900 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle shook and became unstable. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the transmission oil seal was ruptured. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,900.

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #12

Jan 202014


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle "power shift" transmission stalling issues. The consumer stated she would loose power while driving, and a metal noise was heard, as the vehicle shuttered and hesitated. A diagnosis revealed, the transmission was defective and needed to be replaced. However, the parts were on a 30-day back order. The consumer stated 2 months have passed, and she has not received any notice or communication addressing the issue.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #11

Jul 192012

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 300 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph, the vehicle was unable to shift. The contact stated that the automatic transmission was performing as if it were a manual transmission. In addition, when the contact would shift from reverse the drive, the transmission would omit first gear and engage into second gear erroneously. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the mechanic stated that the failure was contributed to the manner in which the contact was operating the vehicle. The dealer was unable to diagnose the failure and the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 300 and the current mileage was 17,000. Updated 12/20/13

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #10

Jul 262012

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle transmission problems. The consumer stated a problem with the transmission occurred, a day after the vehicle was purchased. The vehicle started making a grinding noise at 3rd and 5th gears. The dealer calibrated the transmission one month later. Two weeks later, there was a chatter coming from the transmission. Ford stated the transmission was performing as designed. A year later, the transmission jerked and slipped. The dealer verified the problem, and made the necessary repairs. The consumer stated the problem is still ongoing.

- Fall Branch, TN, USA

problem #9

Jul 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Submission from constituent re problems with 2012 Ford Focus. The consumer noticed the automatic transmission seemed a bit jerky and it shifted more often. When the consumer visited the dealer to have the oil changed and the tries rotated, she mentioned her findings to the mechanic, and he indicated there was an update available they would perform. When she picked the vehicle up later that day, the problem was much worse. The transmission hesitated and shuddered even more than before the update and the noise was she was hearing, when the vehicle shifted was louder and sounded as if cans were in the transmission. The dealer advised the consumer, to give it a week, because the computer needed to reprogram itself. A week later, the dealer called the consumer, but the problem was still present. The vehicle was taken back to dealer. When the consumer returned to pick up the vehicle, there was still no change. Over time, the problem did not resolve itself. The consumer returned to the dealer, where they test drove the vehicle, and claimed the it was performing within Ford specifications and there was nothing else they could do. The mechanic did acknowledge there was a jerk in the transmission, it shuddered and hesitated, but stated, there was no fix for the noise as of yet.

- Berea, OH, USA

problem #8

Sep 272012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 940 miles
After feeling the automatic transmission was excessively lurchy, I came to stop at a traffic light on a busy road. When the light turned green I sat revving my engine and was unable to get the car to move. I put car in park and then back in drive with the same results. I tried the S mode with manual shifting and car still did not move. I eventually turned the car completely off and back on and this seemed to correct the problem. I found the situation very dangerous. Apparently from what the dealership said the clutch was not engaging. It is an automatic transmission car.

- Canton, GA, USA

problem #7

Mar 202012

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,493 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while merging into traffic, the vehicle lunged forward without any warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer multiple times where the technician was unable to determine the cause of failure. The technician reprogrammed the power train control module as a safety precaution however, the remedy failed to repair the problem. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 2,493 and the current mileage was 10,000. Updated 9/25/12 updated 10/03/2012

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #6

Apr 302012

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,364 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 75 mph, the vehicle emitted a grinding noise and the transmission shifted erratically. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on many occasions, but the contact was informed that the transmission was performing as designed and the grinding noise was normal. The dealer could not find a failure and stated that there were no recalls or warranties covering the failure. The manufacturer was notified and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 2,364. Updated 08/16/12

- Franklin, MA, USA

problem #5

Apr 252012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
This is a ongoing problem with my Focus. When accelerating from a stop the Focus's automatic dsg transmission (in D) will quickly shift to a higher gear in an effort to minimize fuel consumption. During a stopped turn at a intersection this leads to a unsafe condition where commanded acceleration takes several seconds to happen. The problem happens like this: The car accelerates at a stop sign or parking lot. The car accelerates to 10-15 miles per hour. The driver lets off the gas during the "turn" part. The transmission shifts to second or a higher gear. The driver then commands a large acceleration - say due to oncoming traffic - and nothing will happen for several seconds. This is because the dsg transmission needs to shift sequentially into first and this takes several seconds. Also it appears that the powertrain is disconnected while this shifting takes place. When the transmission finally selects first the acceleration can be sudden and unexpected. This has happened to me several times and I believe it is a dangerous condition. It can be avoided by manually selecting first - then shifting to D when the turn is complete.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #4

May 212012

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,549 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that she received notification of a manufacturer's recall to reprogram the computer in the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who reprogrammed the PCM, tcm and ABS on May 21, 2012. The contact stated that the transmission had caused the vehicle to run roughly with a jerking motion following the repairs. In addition, the vehicle would roll backward when stopped on an incline. The vehicle had not been taken back to the dealer. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The failure mileage was 3,549. Updated 07/05/12 the consumer stated the vehicle was returned to the dealer on June 5, 2012 for the same problem. Updated 07/09/12 the consumer stated the manufacturer extended the warranty.

- Roan Mountain, TN, USA

problem #3

May 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to engine, transmission, drive shaft and electrical system problems. The consumer stated the vehicle would jerk forward, hesitate and would not go into gear fast enough when changing lanes. The right passenger power window was slower that the driver's side, the door locks would not open properly. Updated 05/25/12

- Newark, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 202011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20 miles
We purchased this car on 08/19/2011 and the next day while taking off from a stop sign the car would shudder, I do not have this issue when the transmission is cold but in stop and go driving and normal city driving after it has warmed up. Also when you depress the accelerator from a stop the vehicle will go for a second then have a nice sized flat spot so even the people in the car will go forward as if the brakes were coming on. I took the vehicle to the dealer and the tech drove it and verified that it did have this issue. They contacted Ford and Ford stated that it was normal and told them to do nothing. I complained to Ford customer service and all the lady had to say was that it is normal. Also Ford had stated that these are isolated incidents, if they are indeed isolated then they cannot be considered normal but rather a defect that Ford does not want to address. I was told that the clutches require a break-in but Ford does not state any break-in procedure that pertains just to the clutches other then the normal 1000 mile break-in for the vehicle in general. I and others I have communicated with all have these issues after the 1000 mile break-in and feel it is both a safety issue and a mechanical defect from Ford that would cost to much to repair so they claim it is normal.

- Chino, CA, USA

Read the next 1 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?