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:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,250 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2011 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 3 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #275

Nov 272014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 71,147 miles


After bringing my car in on 9/15/14 to address the Ford Explorer 2011 recall, sheehy Ford in springfield, va declared my parts ok and reprogrammed my pscm (I had never had a single issue with my power steering)...I subsequently drove to Kentucky (from burke, va) and several other places...eventually driving to my parent's house in vienna, va (about 30+ minutes away) for thanksgiving day (12/27/14), just 3 months later. Several streets from arrival I received a message that my power steering was failing. The car became very difficult to drive, but I was able to park the car in front of their house. After research on the internet, I hoped to be able to start the car and find the problem fixed, but unfortunately was not able to steer the car at all. I had to have the car towed the next day to a dealer (I did not choose the same dealer who had done the recall). They replaced the power steering parts several days later, but the parts were not covered under the recall because the code they received was different. This happened 3 months after they declared my parts ok! I only had to pay $100 for the fix because of my extended warranty, but am ill about what might have happened if I had been on my way to or from Kentucky when the power steering failure happened so I feel obligated to report my issue to you. I understand from press releases I've seen that you consider this issue closed. I do not believe that to be the case...

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #274

Dec 212014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 47,607 miles
We were driving the vehicle at approximately 35 mph when warning light came on stating there was issue with power steering, I believe it said power steering service was required. When we stopped at next intersection, it was evident power steering assistance was reduced. After pulling over and shutting off vehicle, then restarting, there was no power steering assistance, only manual. When traveling at low speed, turning was virtually impossible. Immediately after stopping, because wheels could not be steered, vehicle went straight, blocking a cross path in a commercial lot, with cross traffic nearly causing collision, although no collision occurred, there was clear danger.

- Maumee, OH, USA

problem #273

Dec 072014


  • 42,608 miles
2011 Ford Explorer limited: I was driving my family back from a vacation and had been traveling at an approximate speed of 65 mph on the hwy. I turned into a parking lot for a restroom break for the kids when the rack & pinion bar broke completely near the driver side front wheel. I noticed the chimes, some loud pops and harder than normal steering prior to the part breaking. Vehicle was unable to be steered. It is not a every day driven vehicle. Vehicle has 42,608 miles on it. Luckily we weren't traveling at 65 mph when the part failed.

- Monroe , NC, USA

problem #272

Nov 082014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles


On cruise control at 75mph heading East on I-44 towards tulsa, ok. Power steering service warning, advance trak warning, terrain management warning become active. Power steering advance trak and terrain management no longer active.

- Cashion, OK, USA

problem #271

Oct 182014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 112,265 miles
Driving at highway speed, all steering was lost with family in vehicle. No problems had occurred with the vehicle steering until a flash update had been completed by dealer for the recal notice. As others this occurred over a weekend and we were not home felt we could not drive even after shutting down, re starting and error cleared. Rented a vehicle ourselves until Monday when the dealer provided a rental. After being in the shop for a week was notified that Ford would do nothing about the issue as they assume no liability after the flash was completed! our dealer stepped up and paid for everything. They should not have to do this and as an insurance professional view this as a major liability and if this is not correct asap someone or many will be killed! why is this so, hard to enforce based on the number of claims for this failure" even now with what might be the correct repairs and based on others who have done the same what assurance do any of us have"

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #270

Sep 262014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 99,580 miles
The power steering failed while I was driving South on I-75. The recall for the module (reprogramming) had already been performed less than 2 months before. Now, after having the car in the shop for a week and 2 days, Ford has agreed to pay all but $700 of the repair. The reprogramming obviously was not an effective solution since the power steering failed a short time after that was done. The car is not safe to drive. The steering went out without notice as I was traveling 70 mph on an interstate highway. I was eventually able to muscle it over to the right lane and get to an exit without getting into a crash, but that was pure luck. The traffic was very heavy and I didn't want to make any hasty moves because I wasn't sure what was going on. It was a very scary situation. Ford has admitted that this is a problem, now they need to fix it.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #269

Sep 222014


  • 111,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn and the warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to dealer for repairs under recall NHTSA campaign 14V286000(steering). The vehicle was repaired but the problem has recurred. The vehicle was taken back to dealer who explained that the vehicle was no longer eligible for the recall repairs since it had been repaired once before. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 111,000.

- Pine Bluff, AR, USA

problem #268

Sep 122014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Explorer. While driving approximately 35 mph, the power steering seized and excessive force was required to turn the steering wheel. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the steering gears needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the failure occurred after the vehicle was previously repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 14E001000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 114,000...updated 10/07/14 the consumer has since traded the vehicle. Updated 10/10/14

- Plaistow, NH, USA

problem #267

Aug 282014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
I was driving down the street at around 20 mph when there were cars that suddenly stopped. When I was braking I felt as if the steering was allowing me to turn and it happened so fast I felt as if I lost braking power. Then I hit the car in front of me hard.

- Gurabo, PR, USA

problem #266

Jun 032013


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Explorer. While driving at any speed, the power steering and computer failed. In addition, the engine, ABS, traction control, air bag, and security sensors illuminated. The dealer advised the contact to reset the master controls. The vehicle also exhibited computer failure. The firmware was updated multiple times, however the failure recurred months later and included various electrical shorts. While driving at an unknown speed, the power steering failed. The vehicle was towed to the authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The contact waited for months to determine if the dealer was able to provide a remedy to the firmware failure. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V286000 (steering) and 14E001000 (steering). The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Holly Springs, NC, USA

problem #265

Jul 032014


  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Ford Explorer. While driving approximately 10 mph, the steering wheel seized and the power steering warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 14V286000 (steering) because the parts were unavailable. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Livonia , MI, USA

problem #264

Aug 282014


  • 80,000 miles
Steering stop moving in the middle of driving on the express way. Had to turn the vehicle off and then restart for it to continue moving. This happen a view times but never on the express way.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #263

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 #262

Aug 202014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
Power steering still failing even after recall "fix". my Ford Explorer 2011 already had the power steering recall (safety recall notice 14S06/NHTSA recall 14-V-286) fix completed at dealership on 8/7/14, but the power steering is still failing! this is very serious if the recall "fix" is not working. Please require Ford to immediately implement the proper fix and immediately notify all owners who have already taken their Explorer in per the recall and have this issue fixed immediately. Ford knows about this issue and could be putting people's lives at risk.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #261

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 #260

Jun 162014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 53,550 miles
On June 16th, 2014, I was traveling 40 mph with my 3 year old and 18 month old in the car and I lost all power steering and ended up in a ditch. There was no way to control it or even turn the wheel. It happened again on June 19th, 2014 however, my husband was driving and was able to get the car off the road.

- Holly Springs, NC, USA

problem #259

May 052012


  • 35,000 miles
Power assisted steering goes off with no warning. First happened back in 2012, pulled off road, restarted car everything worked fine. Problem occurring more frequently over past 6-8 months. (3 or 4 times) dealer says unaware of any general problems with the steering am scheduled to take to dealer for further analysis. Not covered by any recall but problem widely reported on the web.

- Camden, SC, USA

problem #258

Jun 032014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
At approx 1430 on June 2nd on highway on ramp accelerating had the service advancetrac warning light and chime come on and the traction control off light and chime come on and lost all power steering control of vehicle. I immediately put on my emergency flasher and let off the accelerator and forced my Explorer to the shoulder. Once on the shoulder of the highway I cleared the faults, I wish I would have taken cell photo of fault, and turned vehicle off and then restarted vehicle with no issues. I did not have any other issues for the rest of the drive approx 25 to 30 min.

- O'fallon , MO, USA

problem #257

Mar 302014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
While driving on the interstate at about 70 mph, an electrical light came up on the dash and I immediately lost power steering. My family was in the car and it was extremely frightening. I was able to muscle the car over to the right lane at which point, power steering was restored. The issue happened again around 20 minutes later and then rectified itself after a minute or so. I drove the car to the dealer and spoke with them about what happened. They kept the car for a week and could not "replicate the issue". this was the first week of April. I am now learning that Ford was aware of this problem back in January and has issued a recall.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #256

May 232014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 62,350 miles
I was driving on a four lane highway when a signal came on dash " steering assist failure" and I could not steer the vehicle. Was just coming off highway and was able to continue to ramp and had to pull off on median in middle of busy exit ramp. Stopped and then restarted car which temporarily fixed problem now dealership is telling me the steering column module needs replaced - will cost me $600 !!!!!:( very disappointed in Ford as there are many reports of this happening to others !

- Montoursville, PA, USA

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