2012 Ford Focus transmission problems: transmission failure

Transmission Failure

2012 Ford Focus (Page 1 of 3)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

CarComplaints.com 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.

8.9

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,670
Average Mileage:
63,750 miles
Total Complaints:
44 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (19 reports)
  2. changed the transmission component module (10 reports)
  3. replace transmission electronic module (7 reports)
  4. replace transmission (4 reports)
  5. transmission replaced (3 reports)
  6. ford just extended the warranty on trans to 100k (1 reports)
2012 Ford Focus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Feb 122019

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2012 Ford Focus SE my transmission went out at 49000 miles When I took the car to Ford for them to look at it I was told that there was NO transmission fluid and they found metal chips in the gear box. There were no leaks and if anyone has this car they know that the transmission cannot be service unless you take apart the transmission. This cost me $2500 to repair only after fighting with Ford Motor Company for almost a month. I provided every copy of every time I had my oil changed showing that the transmission was never touched.

They tried to put the blame on me but, as it was pointed out to them there there was not leaks, no way of checking the transmission fluid levels.

Again Ford you built a car that you knew had issues with the transmission and yet you continued to build them.

- Staci D., Auburn, WA, US

problem #43

Jul 152020

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

Bought off the lot. Drove less than a mile stopped at a light and car wouldn't move while engine still moving. Kept pressing gas and no response. Then finally got it to move a few minutes later and started driving up hill then just stopped! Had to put foot on brake because started rolling backward. Horrible experience.

- Dominique M., Kissimmee, FL, US

problem #42

Feb 012019

Focus Dlvvo 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,495 miles

TRANSMISSION RECALL IN 2015. PUT ANOTHER TRANSMISSION IN AT 6400 MILES. THEN IT WONT GO IN REVERSE AND WANTS TO SHIFT GEARS. HAD IT CHECKED, GEAR IN TRANSMISSION WENT WITHIN 40000 MILES. JUST HAD A RECALL ON FUEL SYSTEM AND CANT RESET IT BECAUSE OF TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS OR IT WONT MOVE AT ALL. IT SHOULD NOT HAVE GONE BAD AFTER 400,000 MILES. FORD SHOULD FIX THIS PROBLEM FREE OF CHARGE, ITS ON THE NEWS THAT FORD IS TO FIX ALL TRANSMISSIONS. CAN'T DRIVE THE DAMN THING. THERE HAS BEEN 1000S OF COMPLAINTS FORD SUCKS SO SHOULD BE SUED FOR THIS PROBLEM FOR FREE.

Update from Aug 31, 2019: I haven't driven it since we found out the problem I cant afford to fix it im 70 years old and on fixed income and ford should fix this problem

- Carol W., Smyrna, US

problem #41

Jun 122019

Focus S 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

the transmission would always hesitate now and again but we just had a total failure. I was quoted 4000.00 for just the transmission not including labor. We have no car now. We never received recall and when we called the dealership prior they said there was no recall.

- Diane B., Cleveland, OH, US

problem #40

Sep 022018

Focus LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

Ford Focus 2012 transmission has always been dodgy-slipping shaking etc -never engaging properly-dealership was non responsive when we bought up before. We were aware of extended warranty-had total transmission failure 2 weeks ago. Dealership had car for about a week. My daughter picked up car and has driven less than 20 miles. Now the check engine light has come on and transmission is starting to shake. So very disappointed in this car. Taking back to dealership on Tuesday to see what the problem is and once this is fixed, hopefully under the extended warranty, we are getting rid of it the day we get it back. So done with this car, it is just plain dangerous and Ford should buy all these cars back immediately.

- Sheridan L., Trophy Club, US

problem #39

Mar 252018

Focus SE 4 Cly

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

When I bought it it had about 46000 had no problems. This spring the transmission shifted and the engine started racing. I did get it home and had it towed to Newport and they said they are noted for that. I asked them what it cost to repair, they said min. of $1200 and not sure of max, So I traded for a 2016 Fusion, so far I liked it.

- Ray R., Harmony, US

problem #38

Aug 192018

Focus S 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,026 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

So this car is barely breaking 33k miles and the transmission just decided to crap out when it feels like it. Twice now within a 24hr period, this car has gotten stuck in a low gear when at cruising speed, leaving me only able to barely push 20mph. First time I had to pull into an alley with no way out, that's when I figured out it doesn't reverse when this happens! It feels like I'm driving in first gear only when this happens as any faster than 20 gets my RPMs to almost redline. No other gear engages until I restart the vehicle's engine.

Only trans. service I had done was at 15k for a recall with the computer, the vehicle had a "rolling backward on hills even though it's in drive" problem which was fixed. 15K miles later and now I'm officially in the same boat as most Focus owners. Stuck with this giant paperweight that you can't trust to even make it to the grocery store and back.

TL:DR Stuck in gear while driving, cant reverse when happens. Did it 2x in a day.

Both incidents had the same telltale signs: 1. The vehicle failed to shift into the proper gear while in motion. (Not stop and go, these happened at cruising speed both times) 2. Loss of engine power, speed capped at 25 first time, barely 10mph the second time. 3. Shifting into R and attempting to back up only results in a motionless car with a revving engine. 4. Check engine light but no other messages. Still haven't gotten it scanned for whatever codes it's throwing.

- Nicholas M., Whittier, US

problem #37

Jul 152017

Focus Titanium

  • CVT transmission
  • 75,000 miles

This time the TCM had to be replaced, my transmission wouldn't even change gears.

- Sarah B., Cottondale, US

problem #36

Apr 192017

Focus Titanium

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Last April I was traveling in the fast lane on the freeway at 70 mph when the transmission failure light came on and the vehicle turned itself off. I was barely able to get to the side of the road. It was the fourth time that I had to take the vehicle in for transmission problems. The dealer replaced the computer in the vehicle and said it should be fine. And then last month it began to hesitate and shudder again. Against my wishes I decided to trade the vehicle in because I am a single woman with no assistance and am not able to have a car that cannot be relied upon.

- kthsanbornks, Sylmar, US

problem #35

Jun 142016

Focus SE 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,238 miles

Driving home from work. Car won't shift. Speedometer goes haywire. Don't feel safe to drive. Have had car for only 7 months.

- Christine O., Hanover Township, PA, US

problem #34

Nov 282014

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,468 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Ford replaced:

Clutch Assembly

Cylinder assembly

All Seals

- Tanya C., Whitby, ON, Canada

problem #33

Jul 122014

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,142 miles

Transmission had a 189 Slip. - Broken but not broken enough of a slip for Ford to fix ????????

- Tanya C., Whitby, ON, Canada

problem #32

Feb 252017

Focus Titanium 2.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,419 miles

We have had issues with this transmission since day one. Ford has changed 3 clutches in the car, all under warranty. Now the car is out of warranty and I have no reverse and only gears 1, 3 and 5. I'm bringing it in to the dealer (stealer) tomorrow. I will update when I hear more.

- imac80 , Manotick, ON, Canada

problem #31

Mar 172012

Focus Titanium 2.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,641 miles

Transmission "shutters" when shifting

Entire transmission replaced once

Clutch and drive replaced one additional time

Skipped 3rd gear entirely - had to drive to dealer immediately

Transmission shut down entirely - had to drive to dealer immediately

- pam5320, Kitchener, ON, Canada

problem #30

May 152016

Focus EXL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

Started with not starting had to have jumped every time, thought starter. Then searched and found the same problem online starting with electrical problems then eventually not going into gear. The transmission problem is a known problem. The vehicle has a computer recall. Now the transmission...not going to pour more money into this quite new car. Ford needs to take it back. Hopefully pay me for the pains in my ass

- heidicny, Rochester, NY, US

problem #29

Aug 012016

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

On a positive note the car is fun to drive...right up until the point that it leaves you sitting on the side of the interstate or the middle of an intersection with no way to move it...the mileage has been good, and the rest of the car has actually been reliable. Other negatives include an interior that won't even resist water stains so after a short time the seats look like the carpet in a daycare. If you are unfortunate enough to own one of these abominations, have Ford replace the TCM then sell it immediately to anyone willing to buy it. If I had known about this transmission I would have purchased a VW or Honda.

After replacing the TCM in 2015 my Focus is back at the dealer. They said the TCM is bad and that the clutches and slave cylinder need to be replaced. I have questioned the wisdom of replacing parts that we know to be bad in a transmission we know to be bad with identical parts. It makes no sense to me. At this point the only thing that would make me happy would be for Ford to abandon the apocalyptically horrible Dual Clutch Transmission and replace it with one that actually functions reliably.

The horn has stopped working and the transmission problems have made the car impossible to drive. The Used Car Manager at the local Ford dealership called me in response to a message I left about trading in "A car". After I told him that it was a 2012 Focus he never called me back. I went to the local GM dealership and a Sales Associate there told me that she refuses to sell the cars because they are unsafe and should not be allowed on the road. My Focus is sitting on a car hauler waiting to be towed to CarMax for an appraisal because I refuse to drive it. I have been to the dealer numerous times and have been given the same standard responses that others have documented: It's the way you're driving it, it's normal, etc. Because of this car and Ford's obstinance about correcting this issue I will never purchase another Ford product.

- tneal, Huntsville, AL, US

problem #28

Sep 012016

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,100 miles

My Ford Focus always shuttered, vibrated and jerked, but I was told by my dealership multiple times that this was normal because of the dual clutch transmission. At 88,000 miles my engine light went on, the codes were a shift fork issue. By the time I could find a Ford dealership to fit me in I had over 90K miles on the car. The dealership ignored the codes and just updated the software, they said that Ford has a protocol that they have to follow and a software update was the first step. After 1 month the car not only was vibrating, jerking and shuttering but now it was extremely loud when it shifted. I called the dealership and was told that the new software had to learn my driving habits. At 100k the car died in the middle of a rotary, as other cars went flying past me, I had to shut off my car, wait 5 minutes, before I could get it out of the rotary. When I called the dealership I was told I would be responsible for the cost because its not under warranty, even though I had the car there when it was under warranty. I couldn't afford to have it fixed and the light went out so I continued to drive the car. The next issue I had was while I was driving 55mph on the highway and the car just out of nowhere went into neutral and the Service Transmission Now light came on. The car still runs but I take my life in my hands every I drive my car. Last Friday I drove to dealership, explained my problem asked the service manager if I could get the software updated hoping that would solve the problem he said "It's not the software, and I'm not going to do the update unless it needs to be updated, all of those transmissions have multiple problems, it could be the clutch, seals, transmission, and numerous other things", what a joke! I spoke to Ford Customer Service, they aren't willing to help, they just don't care. I have only owned Fords for the last 25 years, never will I buy another one. They sold us cars with faulty parts and numerous safety issues and they are aware of the issues but just don't care.

- jmt816, Onset, MA, US

problem #27

Sep 062012

Focus Titanium 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,672 miles

I had a 2012 ford focus Titanium that I had bad problems with. What started with a transmission shudder soon grew into a transmission overhaul at 27K miles, at least 10-12 returns to the dealer with transmission complaints. It would tell me to "stop the car safely" "transmission too hot" because the transmission was too hot. At highway speed the car would surge and violently throw you into the dash and then seat and repeat about 4 times and then stop. I take it into service and they could not find a failure or a code. The gas mileage got worse as the tranny slipped more and more. by 75k miles it got to the point that it would hesitate during passing and then the car would accelerate only after you took your foot off of the gas pedal! You would then have to hit the brakes to get the car to stop. I finally gave up last week lost the battle on this one and traded the car back into the dealer. No way I would have been comfortable selling the car outright so had to settle with what ford would give me for a trade in. Although the dealership tried to be supportive I really feel like Ford let me down this time. This was the worst car purchase I ever made.

- Mike P., Oregoncity, OR, US

problem #26

Aug 202016

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

I bought this car without knowing the problems that it ultimately ended up having. I am not alone in this-as I look into it, transmission problems are a very common thing in the 2012 Focus. I feel like a fool for buying this car, I feel like I bought a lemon. I only had the car a little over 2 months and the transmission failed. I have ranted, cried and felt generally like a complete sucker for buying what I had hoped would be a reliable, dependable car that I could take on trips with my family. I don't trust the thing now to drive me around town. Ford should do the right thing, which is to put a recall on the horrible transmissions in these cars. I will NEVER buy a Ford again. Worst purchase of my life. Please, please, please do not EVER think about buying one of these cars!

Signed,

A very sad and disappointed Ford owner

- leahfl, Fwb, FL, US

problem #25

Aug 172016

Focus 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,708 miles

I bought this car used in November 2014 with 35,894 miles on it. Up until last week the only complaint was that the voice command system didn't recognize my southern accent. Now the whole car seems to have lost its mind. While my husband was driving down the highway, it slipped out of gear and the engine light came on. He coasted to the side of the road and turned the car off and then back on. Then this morning as I was backing out from a store it slipped out of reverse and would not go back in. I was stuck halfway in the parking place with cars on either side. It would only go forward, and would not go back in reverse. I had to put the car in neutral and manually push it back enough to get out of the parking space. Thankfully, it is a small car so I was able to push it myself. We live 40 miles from the dealership and local mechanic said that according to his research, Ford has no fox for the problem. I will be taking it to the dealership in Monday. I did purchase the extended warranty when I bought it.

- mtouchtonga, Homerville, GA, US

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