Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The NHTSA's complaint data shows potentially scary power steering problems with the 2011 Ford Explorer.

The NHTSA complaints are pretty serious - owners report the power steering cuts out while driving. The NHTSA opened an investigation in June 2012 but hasn't reached a decision about a recall yet. In the meantime, buyers beware.

It's too bad because the 2009 & 2010 Ford Explorer are solid, trouble-free model years.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
230,465 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.

2011 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2011 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Apr 012016


  • 65,000 miles


After having epas replaced (@hall Ford ellizabeth city, nc) under recall 15N01 after complete power steering failure. We began a 700 mi. Road trip home and began to experience spontaneous traction control interaction with our driving input which affected either power distribution to the axels, braking ability, and steering ability. After making it nearly 300 miles the electronic stability control completely went out along with what felt like ABS control seemed like it intervened sporadically. We also recieved a dash prompt that the fuel filler inlet needed checked as well. Upon arrival to a Ford dealer along our route (sheehy Ford, warrenton, va) they pulled the codes listed and appeared to be a litany of codes nearly a page and a half long. They cleared the codes and drove the vehicle. After driving the vehicle around the block the traction control began to act intermittently without loss of traction. They came back and checked for error codes and the "steering position sensor was at fault" they went through re-calibrated the equipment installed and cleared out the codes and drove without any issues. We then continued on our remainder of our trip without any further issues. Upon arrival to our home destination the following day we began to again have traction control intervening with driver input when not needed where it appears to be shifting power from axle to axle or applying braking to aid in traction control. I have also noticed that that rear view camera displays the postion of the driver wheel in relation to the wheel path in reverse but appears intermittant as if there is a not a continuous connection with the sensor. Taking to our local Ford dealer here Monday 4-4-16 to have them thoroughly go through the vehicle but appears to continue to be an issue with the electronic power steering assist. All issues are present when traveling at speed and turning

- Oregon, OH, USA

problem #22

Aug 212014


  • 46,000 miles
2011 Ford Explorer was just returned two weeks ago for national recall on electronic power steering control module failure. On August 21st at 9:30 am my wife was approaching a red light. She applied the brakes and felt an immediate power loss issue with the breaks. She impacted the vehicle in front of her around 15 mph. Air bags were not deployed at time of accident. She did noticed the terrain management failure light was illuminated at time of impact. My wife did not feel the anti lock brakes engage, nor were there any skid marks visible on the road. Minor front end damage is evident and radiator was leaking fluid. Insurance company has been notified about recent recall.

- Pottstown, PA, USA

problem #21

Jun 242014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I was making a right hand turn going down a hill onto a street when the sensors went off and the power steering stopped working. The car registered two warnings. I stopped the car in the middle of the street. I was manually able to get it to a parking lot but it was extremely difficult. I drove very slowly. When I got to the parking lot, I turned the car off and restarted it. The warnings disappeared and the car functioned normally. I proceeded to call the dealership where I got the car from to explain the situation. I subsequently called the dealership the following day to voice my concerns and make an appointment. The best they could do was a week from today. This is a certified, pre-owned vehicle that I purchased less than a year ago.

- Ossining, NY, USA

problem #20

May 132014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 66,800 miles


This is the 4th time my vehicle has lost its power steering. I was driving in traffic at about 45 mph and the power steering. I have to find a place on the side of the highway to pull over and turn my car off and wait a while then restart it and sometimes it fixes the problem and sometimes it doesn't. there is only a matter of time that this will happen going at a higher rate of speed and cause injury or worse! Ford needs to recall this asap!

- Haslet, TX, USA

problem #19

May 112014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 49,116 miles
My wife, and three children were driving at freeway speed with the cruise control set. The power steering failed and the warning lights came on. The controls on the steering wheel locked out and she could not cancel the cruise control. The loss of power steering made it difficult for her to get pulled over. She tried to call me for help but no functions of the sync system worked. She pulled over and waited for me. I restarted the car and the steering was reset. I drove it to the dealership. Today is Sunday so I will arrive there tomorrow and have it evaluated. Very hazardous and scary for my wife and the children. Unexpected loss of power steering is a safety issue that can cause accidents.

- Arcadia, OK, USA

problem #18

Jan 232014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
I was driving down the street at 55 mph when the 'power steering assist fault' displayed on the dashboard interior display. The steering wheel immediately locked up & I lost complete control of the vehicle & drifted to the right. I stepped on the brakes to avoid crashing & turned the car off. Once I turned the car back on the fault was no longer there & I drove home. I called the Ford dealership & made an appointment to get the vehicle checked the next day. Later on that same day, my wife & I had an appointment. However, when we started the vehicle up, the same fault was immediately displayed & the steering wheel locked up. I kept turning the car off & trying to restart, but the fault would not go away. I had to get my vehicle towed to the Ford dealership. I did some research online only to discover that I was not the only Ford owner that had this problem. Several others had the same issue. This finding prompted me to look on the Ford website to see if there was any recall but there is none. The Ford dealership quoted me for an 'air bag safety fault', electrical & valve malfunction, after running a diagnostic test on my vehicle. I was deeply concerned because the 'air bag fault' never displayed due to the other fault. The estimated cost was over $3,000. Also, I had to rent a vehicle in the interim. I asked about recalled parts & legal action when I was at the dealership but no one had any information. When I went to pick up my vehicle, the Ford dealership said they would pay for the rental & they made contact with Ford company. The Ford company allegedly emailed the Ford dealership & took $1,000 off the total cost. I have a wife & a baby. This is our only mode of transportation. I fear for the safety of my family in this make of vehicle & I would like for Ford to investigate this electrical issue further & recall its parts. Please help us & all others with this issue.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #17

Nov 062013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 58,161 miles


I was rounding a curve in an intersection when the steering became impossible to steer. I managed to get it off the road and I noticed the traction controls were lit up along with the steering failure warring came on. After restarting the car everything returned to normal.

- Matewan, WV, USA

problem #16

Nov 232011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
While driving, power steering assist abruptly fails, as does advance trac stability control. The vehicle becomes much harder to control. If the car is in a turn when the steering fails, the steering wheel lurches and tries to re-aim the vehicle straight ahead, disrupting the turn. Dashboard warnings confirm the steering and advance trac failures. Also, the turn signal sustain fails, so using the turn signal requires constant pressure on the signal arm. On average, this problem has recurred every 2000 miles, at any speed. Turning the car off and restarting "fixes" the problem temporarily until the next failure. Two trips to the dealer for examinations have resulted in no answers - both times the results of leaving the car for several days have been shrugged shoulders and "we couldn't duplicate the problem, and there is no trouble code. It worked fine for us." As is nothing ever was wrong with the car, and even if there were something wrong, there is no way to repair it! how the NHTSA and Ford Motor Company can allow these vehicles to roam our highways with no recall, or even a technical service bulletin, knowing there is a chance the drivers may lose control and crash, as some already have, is a crime against vehicle safety and against the very mission statement of the NHTSA. I will be copying this complaint to my elected representative in the United States congress, who in the past has proven to be far more interested in my safety than Ford or the NHTSA.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #15

Aug 262013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 4,545,413 miles
While driving to work the following warnings came up. 1. power steering fault 2. service advancetrac system car became very difficult to steer, almost resulting in a major car accident as I was approaching a very tight turn on I75. Upon doing some research it appears this issue is way to common, and extremely dangerous.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #14

Aug 122013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 59,871 miles
While driving down the highway, there was a notification on the info center that there was an issue with the power steering. At that point I lost power steering in the vehicle and then traction control. This issue has occurred 4 times in the last month and we have already taken it to the dealership and they were unable to find out what the issue was since it is not keeping records in the computer of these issues.

- Wooldridge, MO, USA

problem #13

May 312013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 41,000 miles


The power steering goes out and then a warning appears stating a malfunction with the all terrain stability control. Not only does the power steering stops working, but it feels like the vehicle is going to turn over for a couple of seconds. This has occurred three times; our Ford dealership has made two attempts to repair the problem with a third attempt scheduled next week. The last event was day before yesterday while I was driving on I-26 at 70mph (speed limit) and nearly caused me to have an accident. The dealership states that they just don't know what the problem is and told me they are speaking with Ford about the problem. I feel that this is a very dangerous problem and I don't think Ford knows how to fix it. Thank you.

- Sugar Grove, VA, USA

problem #12

Jul 182013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
Coming to a stop at a stop sign, warning messages appeared - power steering assist failure and advance trac control fault. The vehicle lost all power steering assist. With much effort (extremely hard to steer!), I pulled the vehicle to a parking space to diagnose the problem. The advance trac warning message stayed on. The traction control light and the traction control 'off" light also stayed illuminated. I turned the Explorer off. When I restarted, the power steering returned and after a few seconds the advance trac warning message went off. Took vehicle to Ford dealer (alan vigil Ford) the next morning. They told me I needed a new steering rack. Parts will not be in for several days. They told me I could drive the vehicle until the parts arrive. I'll bring it back to them then.

- Fayetteville, GA, USA

problem #11

Jun 042012

Explorer 6-cyl Diesel

  • 12,000 miles
I own a 2011 Ford Explorer, I have had numerous failures to the electronic power steering assist. First time this happened I was along at about 65 mph and the steering wheel locked up and the warning lights started flashing "traction control" "power steering assist failures". steering wheel becomes very difficult to move and steer car. This has happened 1/2 dozen times, each time I slowly steer the car to a safe stop turn off the car and restart the car and error clears out. This last time it occurred as I was turning left from a left turn lane when suddenly in the M idle of the turn my power steering locked up. Fortunately I was traveling at very low speed, but I was not able to steer car and went onto oncoming lane again I was fortunate not to hit anyone. However, this time the problem did not clear itself and the car is at the local Ford dealer for 8 days now. The service manager says its a gear and Ford does not have it in stock!!!

- Pembroke Pines,, FL, USA

problem #10

Sep 022012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
While pulling into a busy intersection (attempting to turn left at a T intersection) the power steering failed. I received errors on the cluster stating that power steering and stabilitrak had failed. I was unable to steer the car into traffic; luckily there was a driveway a few degrees off center from the T and I was able to pull in there.

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #9

Jul 172012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 6,500 miles
While the car was moving the dash annunciator came on and, in succession, indicated "terrain management system fault", "service advancetrac" and then "power steering assist off". this last one is a serious problem as this car is virtually impossible to steer/turn without power assist. The power steering assist stopped completely without warning. If I were at high speed, at a curve, or had to avoid another car or person, I would have been in big trouble. Some time later the car corrected itself. Then it happened a second time 9/10/2012.

- Nantucket, MA, USA

problem #8

Aug 252012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 27,762 miles
I was traveling approx 60mph when an alert from the dash sounded, the steering wheel vibrated and 2 messages appeared on the onboard messaging system: 1) "power steering assist fault" and 2) "service advance trac". at that time I lost all power steering ability. I am very fortunate that I was driving on a straight stretch of road at the time as I am unsure if I could have kept the vehicle from going off of the road. I pulled over at a gas station and turned the car off. I restarted the car approx 5 min later and it had no warnings and the power steering had been restored. The next day, the exact same thing happened, except I was going approx 10mph turning left into the Ford dealership to let them look at this problem. They informed me today that they needed to order a new "rack" and that the part was "backordered" and had a delivery date of November (today's date is 8/27/12).

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #7

Jul 232012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
I was making a right turn onto a service drive to go on the expressway. As I was completing the turn I lost the power steering & the car started to decelerate. I got 2 messages on the dashboard, the only one I paid attention to was "service advance track", I think the 2nd message was about a loss of power steering. If it was, it was because of the advance track breaking. I was able to pull over to the side of the road & stop the car. Shutting the car off & restarting did nothing to clear the problem. When I looked up advance track in the owner's manual it explicitly said if the advance track broke the car would decelerate & power steering would be lost & the car would need to be towed, it should not be driven if this happened. I then called the dealer & was told I would need to have the car towed in. When I called the next day I was told the part had been ordered & should be in on wed & then it would be installed. When I called on wed I was told the part was on a 2 week national backorder; which meant the part would not be in until Aug 9. it is now Aug 20 & the part has still not been received, I have no idea when the dealer expects delivery. The dealer has been very good about it & I am driving a rental car, paid for by Ford, until the repair is complete. Earlier in the year I had another problem with the throttle boot needing to be replaced & I wonder now if the 2 problems are related.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #6

Jul 042012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 15,500 miles
On July 4, 2012, was driving on the highway getting ready to exit in about 100 yards, as I was decreasing speed I heard and felt a light bang, the car seemed to surge like it was the transmission and brakes were pulsating, and had no power steering. Car pulled severely to the right almost hitting the guard rail, could not steer. Jammed on breaks, fortunately in the slow lane, and pulled over. Power steering light and hill descent control fault came on, shut the car off and turned it back on power steering then worked but the traction control light on center console did not work until the next day when I took it to the dealer. Dealer kept car for 2 days, returned it to me with no found no fault. On Sunday, July 22, 2012, the same thing happened at 30 mph, felt the car jump forward then the power steering assist light and hill descent light came on as well as another light (I took pics of the error messages). This time when I pulled over and restarted it, it did not work, let the car sit for 15 minutes still did not work, called the towline and no answer, so drove the car 3 miles to home with no power steering or traction control. Next day called dealer called dealer, and they said they could not take me in for another week, also stated they never heard of these issues, so I googled and found this website where other people are having the same problems. The traction control has happened numerous times (at least 10) and the power steering twice within 18 days.

- Riverdale, NJ, USA

problem #5

Jul 062012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
Driving on highway at highway speeds when the alerts for failure of the electronic stability control came on. We then realized that the power steering had failed and had difficulty steering the vehicle. Managed to get the vehicle off at an exit. Towed to dealer. Dealer not clear as to what happened and part to repair is on back order from Ford. Internet research demonstrated this is a common problem with 2011 Ford Explorer.

- Akton, OH, USA

problem #4

Jun 082012


  • 43,878 miles
While driving my vehicle it lost power steering assist system showed "power steering assist failure" as well as "service traction control". this was the scariest feeling I have ever had. This has happen to my husband several times.. I immediately called my local Ford dealership spoke with service advisor. I was told to turn my vehicle off and restart it. I advised my service advisor that I had taken my vehicle in for service on April 30, 2012 (40197 miles) and I mention this same problem for repair. What is it going to take for Ford to realize that this is a serious, serious problem. I am afraid for my family to be in this car, we travel alot and I am refusing to drive it. I was afraid of purchasing an american car but loved the new Ford Explorer look and body. However, I don't think I'll ever purchase another Ford vehicle and I will trade this car asap........

- Snellville, GA, USA

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