2019 Ford Fiesta Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Seats, brake and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

The 2019 Ford Fiesta was the final model for the lineup. The automaker claims that this particular car “gets personal, inside and out,” but many owners wish they hadn’t invested any money into this outgoing vehicle. It suffers from defective air bags, malfunctioning service brakes and a dangerously built structure

 

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Ford Fiesta

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
8
Engine
3
Service Brakes
3
Air Bags
3
Visibility/wiper
2
Electrical System: Integrated Trailer Brake Control
1
Fuel/propulsion System
1
Vehicle Speed Control
1
Electronic Stability Control
1

Problems with the Air Bags

Air bags are an essential addition to all modern vehicles to ensure that occupants remain safe during an accident. When the air bags fail to deploy, they can’t possibly serve in the way they were intended.

That’s what is shown with this NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2019 Ford Fiesta. The contact’s daughter was driving at 30 mph when she lost control of the vehicle and crashed into an electrical pole. The contact stated that the front passenger side of the vehicle was damaged as well as the vehicle flipped over landing in front of a tree. The air bags did not deploy. A police report was filed. The contact’s daughter sustained head injuries due to making contact with the steering wheel. Medical attention was received. The vehicle was towed to the city’s local impound lot. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 20,000.”

There are no recalls right now and no communications from Ford addressing the problem. Sadly, there are other concerns showing that this car isn’t safe to drive in, with working or non-working airbags. More on that in a minute!

Problems with the Brakes

Another essential piece of safety equipment is the braking system. When the brakes fail, drivers have little hope of walking away from an incident unharmed.

Here is another complaint that was filed with the NHTSA. “The contact owns a 2019 Ford Fiesta. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle failed to decelerate when the accelerator pedal was released. The contact stated that the engine RPMs were at 1,100. When the brake pedal was depressed, there was a delay, the vehicle continued to move forward, and the RPMs dropped to 750. The vehicle was taken to [dealership] where it was diagnosed that there was computer failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 5,100.”

Other issues seem to plague the Fiesta. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V629000 illustrates that the front brakes can drag, due to swollen seals. The reason this occurs is because of the wrong assembly fluid used with the brake calipers during manufacturing. When this happens, the swollen seals cause the brakes to start dragging, allowing them to also overheat and prevent the car from stopping in time. To repair the problem, dealers have to flush out the brake fluid and replace the calipers, as well as the brake hoses. Still, most customers don’t want to drive this death trap any longer and would do better to upgrade to a new vehicle before a major accident occurs.

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

What’s most alarming is the state of the structure on the Fiesta. While it is designed to be a cheaper vehicle, it shouldn’t be as unsafe as it actually is.

One Edmunds user states, “I was hit near the back right hand side yesterday and it is nothing but body damage, the side airbags did deploy (not that it was necessary, this was a mere fender bender at best) but parts of the vehicle that probably would have been fine had they not deployed for no reason are now destroyed due to the airbags ripping the interior apart. Most of this car is made of cheap plastic. The seat belt on the driver’s side is now locked up completely and unusable. The radio stopped working and I don’t know why. The car called 911 automatically so that’s good I guess.”

Aside from the defective air bags and malfunctioning service brakes, the NHTSA has also issued a warning about the safety of this structure. The NHTSA states that the side barrier rear passenger side is defective due to the possibility of an intrusion of the door entering the cabin, which can strike the rear passenger occupant and cause a lower spine injury. With this data in mind, it’s clear to see why Ford didn’t want to continue producing this lemon any longer. No owner should attempt to “get personal” with this Fiesta, but instead drop it off for a party at the junkyard.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Ford pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Complaint Data

CategoryPower Train, Visibility/wiper
DateDec 05, 2022
StatePA
Description
The contact called on behalf of her son who owns a 2019 ford fiesta. The contact stated her son informed her that while driving at various speeds, the transmission was shifting hard. There were no warning lights illuminated. Additionally, the contact stated that while her son attempted to drive from a complete stop, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to respond. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the half shaft was fractured and needed to be replaced. The half shaft was replaced. Additionally, the contact stated that the rear windshield wipers activated erroneously while attempting to use the front windshield wipers. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 33,000.
CategoryPower Train
DateSep 08, 2022
StateAL
Description
Transmission won't change gears like normal, ford told me it was the way I drive and nothing was wrong it just needed to be reset. Later it started to completely go out and not change at all so I took it to another shop and it is the control module (computer?) on the transmission. And did the exact same thing ford did (reset it) and it's changing out the people said it will mess up again but the part isn't available so I can't get it fixed.
CategoryEngine
DateJul 17, 2022
StateNJ
Description
In sep-2021, the engine overheating warning light came on. We stopped the car and realized that the coolant level in the overflow reservoir was very low. There was no obvious leak on the ground or on the engine. We purchased coolant and topped off the coolant reservoir to the appropriate level. A couple of weeks later, we noticed again that the coolant level had gone down significantly while there was no sign of coolant whatsoever on the floor of the garage. We dropped off the car at our local ford dealer on 20-oct-2022 for a diagnosis. On oct-22, the service department confirmed that the engine had overheated and that the head gasket had blown and informed us they would contact ford to discuss the repair. Further feedback from the dealership was that they would need to tear down the engine at ford's request for further investigation. We received a loaner vehicle from the dealership on 29-oct-2022. Fast forward to feb-2022 and the dealer confirmed that they had found no external leaks and the diagnosis had revealed codes p1299 and p0303. Further testing revealed coolant found in cylinder # 3 so the coolant was found to be leaking inside the engine. Engine block was found to be cracked. They also confirmed that ford motor co. Had agreed to replace the engine under warranty. The repaired vehicle was finally returned to us on ... 20-jun-2022, 8 months after it was dropped off at the dealership.
CategoryElectrical System: Integrated Trailer Brake Control
DateJun 17, 2022
StateDC
Description
The contact owns a 2019 ford fiesta. The contact stated while the vehicle was parked at a gas station, the vehicle rolled forward on its own crashing into another vehicle. No one was injured. No police report was filed. The contact drove the vehicle to a repair facility where they repaired the vehicle of cosmetic damages and the radiator was repaired. The dealer nor the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 52,000.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateMar 04, 2022
StateTX
Description
Purge valve canister failed on my 2019 ford fiesta. I only mention this, because 2012-2018 ford focus models had a recall that was similar, and my purge valve canister went out after 1 year and approximately 60,000 miles.
CategoryPower Train
DateOct 30, 2021
StateNC
Description
The ford fiesta was being flat towed behind our motorhome. I were using a brake buddy that has a battery disconnect. While driving down the road about 30 miles I saw smoke coming out of the car. A wrecker was called and brought to the dealership. Tge dealer said the transmission needed to be replaced.
CategoryPower Train
DateAug 03, 2021
StateFL
Description
On 9/7/2021 I wrote you complaint number 11424034 and today I ask you how long does the investigation take?
CategoryPower Train
DateJul 30, 2021
StateMN
Description
The contact owns a 2019 ford fiesta. The contact stated while driving at various speeds, the transmission started slipping and the vehicle would not properly accelerate while depressing the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer who diagnosed that the transmission clutch and seal kit was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.
CategoryPower Train
DateJul 09, 2021
StateFL
Description
The car has the defect that it skips the transmission changes, from the first to the second it stays accelerated, it resists the change, it is a danger it stays accelerated until it finally goes to second and lowers the revolutions. I visited an auto parts store for a scanner and that was the code: transmission friction po7a3x2. Here I send you some news, ford, ford defects on your focus and fiesta vehicles. Http://www. Fordtransmissionproblems. Com/fords-transmission-problem ford's powershift dual-clutch transmission was used in 2010. Affected vehicles are the ford fiesta (model years 2011-2016) and ford focus (model years 2012-2016) equipped with a powershift transmission. The powershift transmission is basically a manual transmission electronically controlled by a computer while using a 'dry clutch' rather than a 'wet clutch', which means that no oil is supplied to the shift mechanism and can result in increased wear to as problems persist. When the computer module used to operate the transmission cannot handle rapid acceleration or gear changes, the vehicle sputters and creates an audible noise. The vehicle may also experience downshifting issues, which means the vehicle will stay in a higher gear despite deceleration and jerk will result. However, this is not just a matter of convenience or comfort. When accelerating quickly through an intersection, the delay can be dangerous as it prevents the vehicle from reaching the same speed as it would with an automatic transmission. When it comes to decelerating, the inability of the car to downshift properly can cause the vehicle to roll forward, even when the brakes are applied, posing a safety hazard in many circumstances. This is all a safety hazard
CategoryPower Train
DateMar 07, 2021
StateVA
Description
My 2019 ford fiesta automatic does not shift gears properly, my car would not reverse and therefore caused a small fender bender. It has no speed and runs rough
CategoryVehicle Speed Control
DateOct 01, 2020
StateAL
Description
My 2019 does not have cruise control installed in it, as a newer model vehicle I feel that it should have came with a cruise control. It's hard to control the speed and keep it steady due to not having a cruise control. It also causes my car to use a lot more gas than it should.
CategoryService Brakes
DateSep 16, 2020
StateTN
Description
While driving car it started to not want to go over 20mph then all together stopped. Couldn't even roll it to side of the road. Had it towed to dealer and they said the brakes locked up on it because there is something other than brake fluid in the brake lines.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateFeb 28, 2020
StateGA
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 ford fiesta. The contact stated that while driving 73 mph, the sunroof shattered without impact. The vehicle was taken to rivertown ford located at (168 whittlesey rd, columbus, ga 31904) where the contact was referred to the insurance provider for the repair. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The contact was informed to have the vehicle taken to the dealer where the vehicle was purchased to be inspected or diagnosed. The failure mileage was approximately 25,252.
CategoryService Brakes
DateDec 03, 2019
StateNV
Description
On monday december 2, 2019 on my way to work I was going straight on the street with heavy traffic and seen that there was needed to be a stop up front so I slowly stepped on the brakes and nothing was happening and then I pressed on the brakes firmly and the pedal went nearly to the floor and I got into a accident due to the fact that the brakes failed
CategoryAir Bags
DateSep 29, 2019
StateFL
Description
I had slammed on my breaks to avoid rear ending someone and I slid down the bridge and ended up rearending them. My front end was smashed up but no airbags deployed. My wife was driving our 2018 ford fiesta hatchback and totaled the front in by hitting a pole and the air bags did not deploy as well. We are highly dissatisfied that the airbags have yet to deploy when they should.
CategoryAir Bags
DateSep 23, 2019
StateTX
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 ford fiesta. The contact's daughter was driving at 30 mph when she lost control of the vehicle and crashed into an electrical pole. The contact stated that the front passenger side of the vehicle was damaged as well as the vehicle flipped over landing in front of a tree. The air bags did not deploy. A police report was filed. The contact's daughter sustained head injuries due to making contact with the steering wheel. Medical attention was received. The vehicle was towed to the city's local impound lot. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 20,00.
CategoryAir Bags, Electronic Stability Control
DateAug 22, 2019
StateTX
Description
Lost control of car. First impact was a tree stump as car was turning, hit tree stump. She went forward and hit head on stirring wheel. Air bag at steering wheel did not inflate or deploy. Only side door on left side filled with air. Second impact car tilts over then airbag on side door inflate. The car was in motion, on a residential street.
CategoryEngine, Service Brakes
DateJul 01, 2019
StateNY
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 ford fiesta. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle failed to decelerate when the accelerator pedal was released. The contact stated that the engine rpms were at 1,100. When the brake pedal was depressed, there was a delay, the vehicle continued to move forward, and the rpms dropped to 750. The vehicle was taken to dave smith ford (located at 4045 transit rd, williamsville, ny 14221, (716) 634-2000) where it was diagnosed that there was computer failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 5,100. *bf *as
CategoryPower Train
DateMay 27, 2019
StatePA
Description
The vehicle has a problem with the powershift automatic transmission it's very sluggish when shifting when you tap the accelerator with your foot after being at a stop sign the car jolts like previous year and models of this car

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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1 COMMENT
  • Ronald R

    Can y’all help us make Todd Judy Ford fix our 2019 Ford Fiesta? My wife took our car to get it inspected , when she went to leave their facility the hood ajar light was on and would not go off . The check engine light was on for a leak in the evap system ,and gradually over time the oxygen sensors malfunctioned and now the cam shaft positioning sensor completely malfunctioned causing the engine to make this loud rapping noise from the top end . I think they messed with the car to get us to buy a new one . We got letters from Todd Judy Ford asking us to sell our car to them but we did not respond to them because we have no intention of selling our car because we still owe over $13000 on it . Can you guys help us make them fix it?

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