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Automatic Transmission Control Module Problems of Ford Focus - part 1

Ford Focus owners have reported 56 problems related to automatic transmission control module (under the power train category).

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 1
Failure Date: 08/20/2015

On August 20, 2015, I was driving my Ford Focus on route 38 in illinois; dashboard light came on indicating "malfunction transmission service now. " immediately, I visited the nearest vehicle service repair shop and requested that the serviceman check my transmission fluid. I just thought that maybe something happened while I was getting an oil change. The serviceman was very nice to check my vehicle at no charge. Serviceman said, there is an internal malfunction with your transmission. He referred me to a Ford dealership. Of course my first step was to check on line to verify if there were any recalls on my Ford Focus sel. . Read more...

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car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2013 Ford Focus 2
Failure Date: 08/13/2015

Bought this vehicle used with 34,869 miles on July 8, 2015. After having for about a week, noticed shaking, grinding noises, seems to be "missing" in the transmission. Took to dealer on 7/21/2015 and the reprogrammed the tcm. Vehicle still made same issues so I took to a different Ford dealer 7/27/2015 and they did the same thing. On 8/13/15 the vehicle would not start. Roadside assistance came out and jumped the vehicle to start and "faulty transmission failure" appeared on the dash screen. I attempted to take the car to the dealer but the vehicle would not go into reverse or drive. Called tow truck to take to Ford dealer that same day. The next day they claimed it needed a new transmission control module. As of today, 8/19/2015 - the car is still not fixed and is still in their shop.

See all problems of the 2013 Ford Focus.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 3
Failure Date: 08/08/2015

While at a dead stop my car failed to respond to the accelerator, two times. The engine would rev and nothing would happen except that the "p-r-n-d-l" indicator on the dash would flash. Eventually the engine stalled and couldn't be restarted for 10 minutes. This is a sign of of a faulty tcm (transmission control module). 2011 & 2102 Ford fiestas and 2012 Focus are prone to this type of failure. Ford replaced the tcm under the emmissions warranty. I believe this is a safety issue and a recall should be issued. I have seen posts on the web where this failure happens while driving.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 4
Failure Date: 08/07/2015

Car loses power when in drive at 20mph on street. Pulled over, turned engine off. Restarted normally. No prior notification on dashboard. The next day while in rush hour traffic on the freeway car loses power. It resumes acceleration after stalling for approx 10 secs. Check engine sign appears after resuming acceleration. I exit the freeway and make my way back home. Transmission fails twice while en route on freeway. Both occasions I manage to merge to the emergency lane while in neutral. Once it resumed after a few seconds, another time I restarted the car after turning it off for approx 10 seconds. I take it to bob wondries Ford in alhambra for tcm replacement. Transmission problems resume one week later, with slow acceleration on freeway, loss of power when driving uphill, transmission shuddering, and transmission grinding.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 5
Failure Date: 07/28/2015

After having the car repaired from a recall, the 6th time for repair; the car broke down and had to be towed to the dealership. The transmission control module is out now and it is in the shop for the 7th time related to the same issue. I consider this car dangerous and will ultimately cause an accident or death. Why are you not doing anything about this issue. It is for all 2012 Ford Focus vehicles.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2013 Ford Focus 6
Failure Date: 05/16/2015

While travelling on an interstate in the passing lane, the check engine lite came on and there was an instantaneous and complete loss of transmission. Was able to pull over, restart car, and had a couple of gears, but same thing happened 3 miles later. Ford warranty simply reset the transmission computer. On 26 may, on the way home from work, the transmission again cut out; this time I had 2 gears and was able to get to a dealership. This time they replaced the dual clutch transition control module (tcm). 2 total and sudden failures of the transmission, and Ford only resetting and not replacing the tcm the 1st time is dangerous to me and my family, and irresponsible by Ford. This is much more unsafe than the airbags issue. This is the 4th clutch issue: 3 new clutches already put in due to the shuddering/jerking issue. But total loss of power is simply dangerous.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2013 Ford Focus 7
Failure Date: 05/10/2015

Tl- the contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle started to shutter when accelerating. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and reprogrammed the pcm. A few weeks after the repair, the check engine and the pcm warning lights illuminated. The failure mileage was 31,000. Djr.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 8
Failure Date: 05/10/2015

When excellerating the car shuddered shifting into 2nd gear, had loss of speed and check engine light came on. This continued until the car was shut off for several hours and then drove fine. This pattern of shuddering and not shifting correctly happened for 1 week until I was able to get an appointment with the dealership where I purchased the car. The transmission seal was replaced and after picking up the car, it shuddered and the check engine light came back on yet again. It was so bad that I was not able to climb a hill on the interstate and the more I pushed on the gas the slower I went and the rpm's climed to 5 1/2 which it has never done. With fear of blowing up the engine, I had to pull off the interstate and shut the car off for 5 minutes. I was then able to drive home and back to the dealership the next morning. The transmission control module (tcm) was replaced and the car now shifts fine. I had complained on several occasions of the shuddering and lack of shifting and loss of power on other occasions when getting my oil changed and was told that the tcm was calibrated to the current specs but it would continue intermittently since I purchased the car new in 6/2012. It was worse in very cold weather. I had received a letter from Ford extending the transmission seal warranty to 100,000 miles and the tcm to 150,000 miles. This has definitely been a hassle and problem. Ford did a crappy job of addressing it and should not continue to build cars with the duel ability of standard/automatic shifting.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2013 Ford Focus 9
Failure Date: 04/01/2015

Upon entering the highway and merging into the passing lane to pass a semi truck, car lost all transmission gears and entered "transmission fault mode" resembling a neutral transmission selection. The car immediately decelerated towards a closely following semi truck in the fast lane. This has occurred to me, a few months prior, at an intersection (from a stop) in which I had to place the transmission in park-then back to drive, which seemed to calibrate the computer in selecting a gear (quite harshly I might add) and allowed me to travel in transmission fault mode until I reached home. In this instance on the highway, I attempted placing the transmission in neutral then back to drive, which once again appeared to allow my transmission to roughly select a gear at a decelerating highway speed and slowly remove my car out of the passing lane out of the way of fast-moving traffic. Upon leaving the highway, I was stopped at a stop sign and learned that I had lost all gears once again. After rolling some many feet, it engaged into gear and slammed through multiple gears until I arrived at the car dealership, at which I had purchased the car. I later found that the car had lost reverse capabilities as well. The dealership subsequently (4/3/15) replaced the transmission control module (tcm) on the car for the second time and updated the software. After receiving the car, the same situation occurred on the highway on 4/6/15. Now I am awaiting the dealership's course of action. Am told warranty will only cover the clutch and tcm. Transmission has been defective since I purchased the vehicle. Have spoke to Ford customer service representatives and have been told that the two extended warranties are all they are willing to provide for transmission related issues. I fear driving this car, as I have now been placed in three separate incidents which put myself in immediate danger.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 10
Failure Date: 01/23/2015

This is an update to report filed 1-4-15 (NHTSA id #10669989). On 1-6-15 we had our 2012 Focus serviced at a dealership for a serious transmission failure described on previous report. That dealership performed "adaptive learning strategy and cleared all the codes". Verbal summary of the problem from the service advisor was that the computer had been confused by a change in transmission demands. We had taken a day trip into hilly, congested san francisco. Our typical drive is small town, country highway on relatively flat terrain. The computer did not know how to behave with different traffic conditions and terrain. After that servicing, all seemed fine until a couple of weeks later on 1-23-15, when the car lost power at a 4-way stop. I hit the gas pedal on green, but the transmission wouldn't engage properly, although the engine was revving--similar symptoms to last time.  after multiple attempts, the car was not able to reliably engage, only sporadically, limping through a few intersections. Eventually, I pulled over to the side of the road, and shut the engine off. When I tried to restart the car, the engine would not even turn over.  I decided to use Ford roadside assistance again, to have the car towed to the dealership we had purchased the car from. The advisor at that dealership saw the wisdom of replacing the transmission control module (tcm) and programming it. As of today, 3-9-15, odometer at 45,556, we have had no additional symptoms and the car is running smoother than ever, even since new. We still need to test the car on san francisco hills and mountain driving, however. My advice to others is to insist on a replacement of the transmission control module, seals and program at the first sign of this kind of problem. Don't let them merely perform the " adaptive learning strategy and clearing of all codes" on the old tcm. That did not hold long in our case.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 11
Failure Date: 01/15/2015

Vehicle lost throttle and eventually died and would not crank. This happened going down the highway. Hillside assist warning light came on. Vehicle would shutter in acceleration at times. Tcm had been reprogramed before this happened but did not really fix the problem of transmission shutter. Fmc completely changed out the tcm and this helped for three months and then we had complete transmission failure going down the road. We were 1000 miles over our powertrain warranty. Fmc said the reverse gear along with second gear had failed. Fmc is replacing the transmission and our cost is $500. 00. Both incidents were in heavy traffice when transmission failures occured. Thankfully no one else was involved. We currently are in the fourth week of waiting on car to be fixed.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 12
Failure Date: 01/05/2015

*ongoing *please see original complaints # 10473215 and #10670375* long history of transmission repairs since purchase. Latest repair on 1/5/2014 was to replace malfunctioning tcm. When getting car back from service, odd noise and hesitation upon starting. Service manager attempted to start. Symptoms of tcm malfuntion again, and then complete loss of power. Service states that chafed wiring was found under driver seat, causing new tcm to malfunction and then shorting out all power in vehicle. After hearing odd noise upon starting, I was very close to driving car out onto very busy highway. . . Decided to turn car off instead and seek help from service manager. I am the only driver of this vehicle and I very rarely move the seat. I was told by service that moving the seat on 1/5/2015 caused the chafed wiring to short out the power in the car. I never moved the seat when I got into my car during pickup. This is very frightening and dangerous! I was just reading that chafed wiring can result in fire, also! these vehicles are putting many people at risk of injury or death. Please help the affected Ford Focus customers to get them recalled, as Ford will not help. I have filed 3 claims with Ford and I cannot even get a call back from them. Told that I don't meet the guidelines for buyback or replacement. Very afraid to drive my car, especially now since the weather is bitter cold and have already been stranded in freezing weather with sleet on 1/3/2015 because of tcm failure. Please help!!.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 13
Failure Date: 01/03/2015

*ongoing *please see original complaint # 10473215 *clutch replaced twice and trans reprogrammed 4/5 times (within 35, 000) car not starting- 4 times in 2 months. Symptoms on 1/3/2015- 4th time: dash lights up, radio and heater work, headlights- no, but other lights- yes, no crank when trying to start usually starts next day, restarted afternoon 1/4/2015 and taken for emergency service 1/5/2015. Call received from service with update, so called for shuttle to return to dealer. Techs were already gone. * listed repairs: found tcm inop codes u0101-u0100 tech performed pcm test auto trans diag and pinpoint test, replaced tcm and performed clutch learing (2nd replacement clutch installed 8/2014) *they brought car out and gave me the key. I tried to start car and heard odd noise, then shut car off. I again started the car. This time there was hesitation and noise again, shut car down. Went back into service area and found service manager. He tried to start the car several times, but would not start, no sound or crank, but all lights came on- same as when car broke down 2 days earlier. He moved gear shifter around and then tried to start again. This time lights in the car flickered and then everything went black, the car totally died. He stepped out of the car looking shocked and told me to go and sent me for rental. Was told that the car was fixed and almost drove off of the lot. Dark out and temp outside was 27 with wind chill of 12 . Dealership located on 6 lane, very busy highway and could have broken down on highway in freezing cold, very frightening! there would have been no one at the dealer to help me as everyone had left or was leaving. Would have been on my own in frigid nighttime weather. *over 2 yrs of trans repairs, still breaking down. Convinced car is a lemon. Please help as Ford will not. Chronic problem with this car. Unsafe to drive.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 14
Failure Date: 09/26/2014

The car was driving fine and all of a sudden the power train quit working despite the fact that the engine was operating correctly. Because of the loss of power, I was endanger of getting hit by other cars. The sudden loss of power is a hazard. The manufacturer said the resulting loss of power train was due to a transmission control module. This particular model has been plagued by transmission problems throughout its life. Mine began while it was still under warranty and continues today. I am going to abandon the car because I feel it is unsafe at this point for me or anyone else.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 15
Failure Date: 09/03/2014

While coming to a stop at an intersection. A warning message appeared stating the "hill assist" is not functioning. When the light turned green and I gave it gas the car would not move and the engine rpm ran up. The car would not move in drive, reverse or standard. I turned the car engine off thinking it might reset itself. Instead, when I turned the key nothing happened. It would also not shift out of park. I was blocking traffic in the only lane open to allow cars to proceed straight. The right lane was closed due to road construction and I was blocking that road crew. Several times I neared receiving a rear end collision. The dealership repair shop tells me the transmission control module malfunctions and needs replaced at a cost of $1300. 00. I find that curious as the car is only 2 years old and there was recall issues on that module for other 2012 Focus. That recall simply involved Ford re-programing the module.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 16
Failure Date: 08/18/2014

The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving the vehicle stalled and the rear assist malfunction light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the transmission control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2013 Ford Focus 17
Failure Date: 08/05/2014

This is a follow on to an original complaint submitted. This first time the entire transmission was replace and fixt the issue for 10,000 miles. The new transmission again started to hesitate when the outside temperature is over 80 degrees. Severe shudder when shifting from 1st into 2nd. Then the vehicle would reach 5 mph accelerating from a stop and the engine rpms would jump to 5000 and the vehicle would only creep along at 5 mph. This happened in heavy traffic without warning. Limped the car into the dealer who had to replace the transmission tcm. The controllers seem to last between 10,000 and 16,000 miles. When the vehicle experiences a failed transmission controller in heavy traffic, this poses a very unsafe condition as other cars are trying to drive around at 45 mph.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 18
Failure Date: 08/01/2014

While driving (at multiple speeds, on multiple occasions), transmission disengages for absolutely no reason and car must be parked and restarted to move again. The engine does not stall, and you can rev the engine, but transmission will not engage (like being in neutral) to move vehicle. Took Ford dealership multiple times to fix the issue because they needed an error code to work from, even though anecdotal evidence suggests that this is a well know defect of the transmission control module (I. E. Computer chip that regulates the transmission), in this vehicle, which was eventually replaced (and now the car runs fine). Submitting this complaint because it caused multiple dangerous road situations where I could not power the vehicle on a freeway with traffic at high speeds. This could cause injury or death that is completely avoidable by the replacement of one computer chip, and Ford is most likely aware of it.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 19
Failure Date: 07/28/2014

Driving up light incline on paved highway when traction control light flashes indicating a loss of traction. Seconds later car loses response to gas pedal, flashes "transmission system failure. Service immediately. " after pulling over away from traffic and powering off then 30 second wait and on warning is gone and functions are restored. A week later problem comes up again, this time on interstate going 70mph. Cruise control is shut off automatically, no power to gas pedal, traction warning comes on, and same transmission warning flashes. Goes away in a second or two. Pull over as safely as I can while cutting off a semi-truck, power car off and on, all systems normal. Four days later pull out of parking spot with a hesitation of vehicle to start, then a vibrating in reverse. Drive around lot to exit, pull onto main road and same warnings/problems as usual happen. Now blocking traffic perpendicular to flow. Check engine light comes on, put car into park, turn off, and back on. Try to shift into drive. Won't budge. Turn off and on again. Try to shift again. No luck. One more time, wait a few seconds, then again. Car powers on drives to another location with check engine light on and then to dealer with no further issues. Dealer inspects, finds faulty tcm. Directly attributes this to manufacture defect and not to user error.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 20
Failure Date: 07/14/2014

At random times the car will just shut off leaving a coasting vehicle down the highway, or leave you stalled out in the middle of an intersection. If you leave it sit for 30min-1hour it may restart. If you press the accelerator it was not respond. After a couple minutes the vehicle will recover from a rough idle and try to lunge forward even when vehicle is in park. Problem: transmission control module.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 21
Failure Date: 07/06/2014

While driving on the road, going about 40-50 mph on a sunny, hot day in July, the traction control suddenly turned on and the car started to decelerate. I found it odd as the weather was not inclement and I had not hit a pothole so I pulled over since the car was automatically slowing down. I was lucky not to have been in an accident as there were plenty of cars around and this was less than half a mile from the highway that I was about to travel. After pulling over, I turned the car off to try to clear the traction control as it seemed to be stuck on. The car would not turn back on (the engine was not turning on though the battery was fine). After calling the Ford auto club and having help come out, the car got towed to the dealership. The issue turned out to be with the transmission control module that was covered under the original power train warranty.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 22
Failure Date: 06/27/2014

I started experiencing transmission problems with my Focus after what would normally be considered the end of the break in period, which was around 8,000 miles. The car would stall, shudder, and shake during acceleration from a stop, at low speed driving, and got notably worse the longer I drove especially on hot/humid days. I followed the maintenance schedule as outlined in the owner's manual and each time I brought my car in for maintenance I discussed my concerns about the transmission with service personnel and received the "corporate" answer each time "your transmission is operating within specifications", there's nothing we can do at this time. On 27 June 2014 as I was approaching the main gate of the base I work on, my car came to an abrupt halt and displayed the alert "parking assist malfunction maintenance required". The hazard lights became inoperable, gear shift indicator would not shift to park, and the transmission ceased to function. I was extremely fortunate that this did not happen while I was driving down the interstate at 65 mph 5 min earlier, because I firmly believe that I would have lost control of the car and either killed myself or someone else. The following parts were replaced in order to return my car to full operation: - pcm transmission control module - clutch assembly and leaking seals - reprogrammed transmission iaw latest tech bulletin this is a common theme among all Focus owners at the moment who've purchased vehicles since 2012. It's obvious to the public that the Focus transmissions have design flaws and Ford needs to come up with a solution and replace the transmissions of these vehicles. For the safety of the public I urge you to mandate a recall on the transmissions in all affected Ford models before Ford makes the same mistakes gm has and people are serioiusly injured or killed, it's just a matter of time.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 23
Failure Date: 06/11/2014

Car was running fine and the vehicle lost power and slowed to a crawl. After sitting awhile it started up again only to loose power again. Was told it was the computer, then the battery, then the transmission. Now being told that it was the tcm voltage being the problem. The car is in the shop. The service manager has said the part is not available because there are so many of these cars requiring this part. The car is not safe to drive and there has been some recalls on many of these models. In fact there is a recall for a software update on many of them but not mine. Why isn't there a recall if the dealer says that it is a common problem on this car.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2013 Ford Focus 24
Failure Date: 06/02/2014

June 2014 - pulled off the main highway onto a side road. Accelerating from a stop sign, the car started to shutter severely between the 1-2 shift but continued to run normal once up to speed. When I got home, I took the car to the Ford service department. They had to replace the clutch pack in the automatic transmission and reprogram the tcm at 22,700 miles. October 2014 - car started shuttering again during 1-2 shift and had a rattle sound coming from under the car. Took the car to dealer and they had to reprogram the tcm again. April 2015 - returned to the dealer because the shutter was getting worse. They reprogrammed tcm again. June 2015 - car shuttered severely and hesitated as I pulled out of a parking lot onto the road, almost causing me to get rear-ended. It finally shifted and we were able to get the car to the dealer. They said the pcm had to be reprogrammed as well as the tcm again, but they could not detect any shutter. July 1, 2015 - car shuttered from take-off at a stop sign, then hesitated before shifting. Took the car to the dealer and they said no shutter was detected but they reprogrammed the tcm again to relearn how we drive. July 11, 2015 - 39,000 miles. Turning left on to a road from a stop sign, the car shuttered, hesitated and jerked but would not shift into the next gear. It did show the engine service light then. I pulled to the side of the road to keep from getting rear-ended. Called the dealer and was told to try and get the car to them. I managed to get the car turned around, headed to the dealer. The car shuttered then hesitated again before shifting. It was only shifting from 1st to 3rd then to 5th. At the dealer, I had the service writer drive the car with me in it and it shifted normal, but the code was still there. He said shutting off the engine may have reset the fault. This needs recalled before injuries happen. Recall now!.

car image   Automatic Transmission Control Module problem of the 2012 Ford Focus 25
Failure Date: 06/01/2014

I bought my car at 38,000 miles as a certified preowned from a Ford dealership. Within 5k miles, I was experiencing chattering on take off, and at low speeds (mostly rush hour) & very hard shifts. I took it in, they reprogrammed the clutch, and sent me on my way with much less chattering and almost no hard shifts, still horrible in rush hour. In September, it started doing the same thing. I took it back, they fixed it again. Sent me on my way with (again) some improvement, but no symptoms gone. I took it back in October, the service manager drove it with me, he said the items I was experiencing were all "normal operating conditions. " he actually told "drive it harder, it will perform better. " I was always taught that you don't rag on your car and it lasts longer. Dumb advice that irritated me. Sunday, I was driving down a busy road (lucky it was on a Sunday with no school traffic), and my car suddenly acted like it was in neutral. Driving down the road my car stops moving forward. After the car stopped accelerating, I was able to get it into a parking lot. I put it into park, then drive, park, reverse, nothing. At this time, I turned it off and it would not restart. I had it towed to the dealership, the dealership said it was my transmission control module. There is less that 52k miles on my car. I've had the car 8 months.

Other Common Power Train related problems of Ford Focus