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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
47,150 miles
Total Complaints:
70 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (36 reports)
  2. replace dual-clutch (17 reports)
  3. only solution for me is to get rid of it! (10 reports)
  4. replace clutch/repair main seal (5 reports)
  5. recall15b22. reprogrammed pcm tcm (1 reports)
  6. replace transmission (1 reports)
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 4)

problem #70

Oct 012016

Focus S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


Horrible that Ford allows customers to live with this issue. They told me it was because 'I'm driving it wrong'. Now, I come to find out that the problem is epidemic and Ford has extended the warrantee. Why no recall???

- Butch M., Columbus, OH, US

problem #69

Jul 172019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

A year after we bought this the transmission went bad, the dealer new the problem and fixed it no problem. But then it happen again about 3 years later, so I called the dealer and he said it was too late to fix it, June was the dead line. The problem started in July, they said they could fix 2500.

- James F., Disputanta, VA, US

problem #68

Jan 022019

Focus LW 2.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 40,389 miles

Bought the car, and about 2 months later, it was shuddering shockingly bad. I took it back as it only had 3 months warranty. They tested the car and said the vibration level was 765 and acceptable level was 125 so replaced whole twin plate clutch under warranty took a week and gave me loan car so was all good.

- Shawn P., Adelaide, Australia

problem #67

Dec 042018

Focus Titainium 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,710 miles


This car has had 3 transmissions you keep putting the same problem back in to the vehicle. Now it is out of warranty. The dealer says its up to me to fix. If this problem was yours to start with and you could not fix it while it was under warranty why is it my responsibility to fix your problem. My husband worked for ford dealers for twenty years and this is the way you treat people that buy the products they are suppose to promote? Lynn Palmer.

- Diana P., London, ON, Canada

problem #66

Jan 012019

Focus Titanium

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Car is slipping again after I had the clutch replaced 1 year ago. Never buying a Ford ever again, biggest piece of trash that's ever hit the road.

I took it to Ford to have them replace it again and they said it wasn't bad enough to replace because it did "pass" their shutter test. So it has to get so bad to fix??? BS

- Blake F., Clarksville, US

problem #65

Feb 272019

Focus Titanium 2.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 92,700 miles

When taking off the car is doggie, shuttering and jerking. Also the car down shifts randomly and tachs between 4-5 thousand RPM. Many occasions the while taking off it seems as if the car falling on its face with lots of hesitation. When pulling onto a road make sure to give yourself 5times the amount of time to pull out because on two occasions I have had close calls do to the hesitation, almost feels as if the car shut off, on top of the when gradually pushing the gas peddle up a hill no matter the speed the tach tends to bounce up and down. I recently purchased this car as my commuter and wish I did not, feels unsafe, and I will not allow my wife to drive it, I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself or Ford if something happened to her. I also wish I did my research before buying.

- Anthony C., Richmond, US

problem #64

Nov 012018

Focus ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles


Well here we go again. First Power Steering failure on 2012 Ford Focus and now Trans Shudder failure. Extended warranty only last 7 yrs or 100,00miles even though Ford knows these two parts are a complete failure and will not issue a recall. We are taken advantage of and no one is doing a damn thing about it. Ignore the problem and it will go away....Fords way of thinking. What do we have to do.....please some one tells?

- Larry R., Ft Worth, US

problem #63

Sep 172018

Focus SE Hatchback

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

This is the 3rd or 4th time I've had my Focus to the dealership regarding the clutch recall. The recall will cover the clutch, again, but this time I have to pay my deductible for a rear main seal that is leaking. I do take it to my trusted mechanic for all routine maintenance and with 75,000 I want to keep it up, as this is something I need to last at least another year. Another issue is the smell of gasoline, dealership says no leaks but at times it will be strong and give my kids and I a headache.

Would be nice if Ford resolved the several other issues that we owners are complaining about.

- Tara M., Mishawaka, IN, US

problem #62

May 102018

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 185,000 miles

I paid J&L Auto in West Chicago, Illinois $1300.00 to replace transmission. Ford did nothing concerning this transmission. They couldn't have cared less!!

- colleenbetsinger, Dekalb, Illinois, US

problem #61

Sep 092017

Focus Titanium 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

Bought the car in 2014 used from local dealer and they insisted I buy the extended warranty, unbeknownst to me of the "transmission shudder" problem Ford knows about. Two weeks of within purchase I noticed the problem and took it back to the dealership. Service manager said "yep, transmission shudder, we know all about it." REALLY! So they replaced the clutch discs and I had to take it back the next day because the service tech did not tighten all the bolts up. Couple months goes by and it starts doing it again. Take it back and they say we'll do a transmission computer sink adjustment. Car worked again for a while and of course it started doing it again. What Ford did and one of their worst ideas, remember those commercials? was to use a manual case transmission and use electronic components to make the transmission shift like an automatic transmission and a "dual clutching" system. Apparently one of the problems are the seals in the case fail and allows fluid to get on the clutch discs which then cause the problem. So after eh 3rd time of failure I decided to try a different dealership. First thing is their service tech said "we don't even bother trying to reprogram the computers, we just replace all associated parts". I must say that I got the longest time period. Here's where it gets interesting. At that time the service tech said that because of the problem Ford was offering a 10 year or 150K customer satisfaction warranty on these transmissions and it was for all 2012 -2016 Focus's and Fiesta's with this piece of junk, can't be fixed transmission. This was before the transmission would not go into gear. So back to the dealer it goes and what was wrong was with association of the disc and seal problems, the transmission control module (TCM) have failure problems too! Again the service tech don't worry Ford has offered this extended warranty. Service manager says "yes if Ford could figure how to deal with the clutch disc and TCM problems...REALLY! Well folks, guess what? It started to shudder again so I called the dealer to take advantage of this so called extended warranty. By this time a class action lawsuit had been filed against Ford for this very problem. So I call the dealer to schedule the appointment for the 6th time and guess what happened, the terms of the customer satisfaction warranty changed to " Sorry sir that 150K customer satisfaction warranty was for the TCM's only and only 100K on the discs. Now you have to understand I drive and commute over 27K miles per year, which is why my mileage accumulates so fast, but that shouldn't matter. So you mean to tell me that Ford in all it's glory can't build a dependable vehicle that can't make it past 100K miles let alone a transmission design that they don't have a solution to fix??? So I am no longer a Focus owner. I have lost my faith in American cars and will never, ever buy another Fix Or Repair Daily again. Driving a Toyota Rav 4 now. Buyer be ware, don't buy a Focus or Fiesta with a 6-speed, dual clutching transmission! You'll wish you didn't !

- randyyates, Shelby, US

problem #60

Mar 012014

Focus Titanium

  • CVT transmission
  • 11,429 miles


I am on my FOURTH clutch assembly for the 2012 Focus Titanium that I purchased brand new.

FOUR. Now I have the steering assist error that causes the wheel to lock. I have fought with Ford from day 1 and no help from the dealer or the company. Piece of crap car. Will NEVER buy again.

- Dori G., Stoney Creek, ON, Canada

problem #59

Feb 172012

Focus SE 2.014ditivct

  • Automatic transmission
  • 600 miles

I went to the dealership and asked the service writer if it was a known problem and he stated no, it was a new type transmission and I would have to get used to how it responds. This was only the beginning, I had the car for 20 months and I think it was in the shop at least two months. If you count days, maybe more. I invoked the Lemon Law and did not ever receive any satisfaction. Eventually after no resolution I traded the car in. This upset me because I knew I was not going to get all of my money back.

- Sharon C., Millsboro, DE, US

problem #58

Oct 152016

Focus SEL 2.0L I4 Gdi Engine

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles


- Kelli C., Ft .Myers, US

problem #57

Jul 012017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

Always has recall but never has the parts. Car is very slow and sticks.

- Theresa N., Rancho Mirage, CA, US

problem #56

May 182017

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,411 miles

The car has shuddered for almost the entire time I have owned it. I had the clutch replaced on 5/25/17 and a day later it started shuddering again. I was told there is nothing else the dealership can do for me and that I should try another dealership. I am extremely unhappy with this car and the whole situation. I am a single mother of 2 and have to drive my children around in this death trap!

- Krisha C., Norwich, US

problem #55

May 012014

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,282 miles

At first I was annoyed then the issue became more pronounced. Ford under warranty replaced the clutch. Problem came back later... next post.

- Rob B., Blumenort, MB, Canada

problem #54

May 012015

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,710 miles

Second clutch replacement under Ford extended warranty. Getting really concerned about the car reliability. More to come...

- Rob B., Blumenort, MB, Canada

problem #53

Apr 032017

Focus SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

I've had the typical issues associated with the TCM and clutch. As I test drove the car, February, 2015, I noted the shuttering and questioned the sales man about it AS I WAS PHYSICALLY DRIVING THE CAR. I was informed, for the next year, that I was due to my driving. I then receive a letter from Ford addressing the issue with a recall. I made an appointment to take my car in for the servicing.

The Sunday prior to my appointment, my car was towed to the dealership because the check engine light came on and advised me to "Service Transmission Immediately". Turns out, my clutch had completely failed. Keep in mind, my mileage was approx. 99,000. My car proceeded to sit at the dealership for eight weeks due to the parts being back ordered.

Finally my car was fixed. Great! 6 months/16,000 miles later, I note that my car starts to shutter again. I make an appointment and am informed the clutch has failed, yet again. I was initially informed it would be covered under warranty but about an hour later, received a call telling me it was not covered under warranty by 4,000 miles. You're kidding, right?

I understand companies and dealerships have their own warranties. What I don't understand is HOW the first clutch lasted 99,000 miles before completely failing and needing replacement but the second clutch lasted 16,000 miles before failing and needing replacement. Ford really needs to start taking ownership for this POS they created. Shelling out $2,000, for repairs I shouldn't have had to cover, for a car that isn't even worth it.

- Gabby R., Breinigsville, PA, US

problem #52

Apr 232017

Focus SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,800 miles

Left California today, for a cross country trip. ( The car is only 5 years old, with 44,800 miles on it. I have basic maintenance done every 6 months. No major problems, until today. ) While in Kingman, Arizona, caught in heavy traffic, uphill, a red "transmission malfunction!" light went on, and the car immediately started shuddering and lurching forward. I was only going 5 - 10 mph in traffic, but the car was also shaking ( as if it was going to stall ).

I pulled over and off the highway, to a nearby mini-mart / sells gas ( but didn't have a service station ) parking lot. I pulled out the owner's manual, just to read that this was a severe problem and "transmission malfunction - see your authorized dealer". When I re-started the car, the light went off. I was so freaked out, that I went to the nearest hotel because I'm scared to drive the car now ( for my own safety and anyone near me, on the road ).

I went online, just to find out that there are other complaints ( same as mine or worse - steering & shifts giving out or car just suddenly stopping on the freeway ), and that even taking the car to a Ford dealership ( to have the car re-programmed), doesn't fix the problem, but is crazy expensive. Now I'm stranded in Arizona, with a major expense expense, if I have it towed to a nearby dealership, not knowing if it will be fixed, and not knowing how many days and nights I'll be stuck in Arizona. MAJOR HASSLE! I want to get rid of this car now, and after reading the other complaints, I will never buy another Ford again, because I no longer feel safe driving one.

Any class action lawsuits over this issue? Has anyone been injured or died because of this issue? Why aren't these cars being recalled by Ford ASAP?

Update from Apr 26, 2017: Took my car to the Ford dealership in Kingman, AZ, the very next morning at 7:30 am. I was told the "transmission malfunction" was a common problem and that there is a recall ( for 2012 - 2016 Ford cars) to replace the clutch ( along with another recall for door latches ). The parts, services, and labor could easily be $3,000.

Luckily, I have an extended warranty for my 2012 Ford Focus. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of cars being repaired and also red tape ( the accounting dept. in California has to approve recall parts & services, depending on the computerized test results from the pre-programmed engine ), it took 2 full days to complete the work. That meant 2 more nights of unexpected hotel & dinner expenses, because I'm traveling, not a local. Also, when they looked under the transmission, the mechanic noticed an oil leak, caused by a broken main seal ( which contaminated the clutch & affected the transmission ). Because it involved the clutch, it was covered under the warranty. Feeling very relieved and hoping to continue my road trip tomorrow, without anymore car issues.

- monarrez, Woodland Hills, CA, US

problem #51

May 252016

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,325 miles

This time apparently it came back with codes:

u0100 u0101 p0850 in system C

Replaced TCM

Preformed PMI

Completed the transmission adaptive learn program

- Tanya C., Whitby, ON, Canada

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?