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 4 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #255

May 272014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,417 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that when backing out of the driveway the power steering failed. As a result, the power steering assist fault and service steering advance tract lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle has not been taken to a dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 87,417 and the current mileage was 87,437. Pm updated 9/4/14

- Wesley Chapel, FL, USA

problem #254

May 212014


  • 59,100 miles
While driving approximately 45 mph on local road, power steering gave out and vehicle became extremely difficult to effectively steer and pull off across 2 lanes of traffic onto shoulder. After pulling off to side of road, turned of engine and re-started. Steering came back and was able to return home. Next day, SUV did same thing 2X and added a new error message regarding traction control system fault along with power steering system fault. Ford has a section in their owners manual warning that failure of this system will require additional effort to steer the vehicle, but the dramatic change from power steering to this scenario is startling. My husband reviewed on line and discovered a re-call for the power steering problem had been issued in January. When contacting Ford dealer they stated this recall did not include our car since the recall was only for vehicles that had repairs for this same issue (done in a certain time period). If this issue had happened with a less experienced driver (ie our 17 year old daughter who drives this car frequently) the issue would most likely have caused her to panic and due to diminished maneuverability may lead to an accident. I am surprised the re-call is only for a part that has been installed to make a repair when the underlying problem this repair was being made for has not been addressed. It appears there are several complaints about this same issue.

- Kennett Square, PA, USA

problem #253

May 172012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
While turning on a curve in the road warning message on the instrument panel " steering power assist failure " appeared 3 to 5 seconds later car was extremely hard to turn vehicle crossed center line resulting in a near miss of a head on crash pulled to the side restarted vehicle and loss of power steering was corrected. Has happened numerous times.

- Lebanon, IN, USA

problem #252

Oct 012013


  • 45,000 miles


Power steer assist default shown on dash. Vehicle lost power steering while in motion. It was reset by restarting the vehicle. This occurred several times before becoming fully disabled on May 18, 2014. Vehicle became very difficult to control while in motion and nearly impossible 5 mph and under.

- Robinson, TX, USA

problem #251

Jun 192013


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Explorer. The contact stated while driving approximately 60 mph, there was a loss of power steering with the illumination of the warning indicator. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road where the engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and resumed normally. The failure recurred. The vehicle failure was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 41,000.

- La Plata, MD, USA

problem #250

May 152014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I made a left hand turn and the power steering went out. I pulled into a parking lot and turned the engine off and restarted the engine. The power steering was fine. I went home and came back out to the car to go on an errand the power steering did not work. We called a wrecker on May 17 to have it towed to the Ford dealer.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #249

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 #248

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 #247

Nov 042013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
The power steering assist on my 2011 Ford Explorer has just stopped working suddenly on two different occasions. Both times happened in parking lots and the steering started working again after turning the vehicle off and back on again. I'm reporting this because the Ford dealer will not attempt to fix it since it reset itself and is now working again. However, research shows this is happening to many people with this make/model and this is a potentially very dangerous situation that needs to be fixed to prevent a future tragedy. I will likely get rid of this car now because it is not safe to drive on busy highways.

- The Woodlands, TX, USA

problem #246

May 062014


  • 66,800 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while traveling 40 mph, the power steering and service track warning lights illuminated. The manufacturer was contacted. There were no repairs completed on the vehicle. The failure mileage was 66,800 and the current mileage was 66,801. The VIN was not available.

- Vine Grove, KY, USA

problem #245

Apr 152014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 36,500 miles


The service advance track warning appeared followed the power steering failure. The power steering totally went out. The result could have been disastrous had I been turning sharply at the time of failure. Luckily I was able to pull to the side of the road. This appears to be an ongoing problem with this vehicle and many have reported it. It is only a matter of time before this known issue results in a fatality.

- Boiling Springs, SC, USA

problem #244

Apr 272014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
As I was getting ready to make a right hand turn, the steering wheel would not turn and, at the same time, there was a car coming up to the stop sign where I was turning. I used all the force I could to turn the wheel because if I couldn't turn, I was going to hit the other car. As it was, I barely missed them and finally got the car to turn right and then the light came on the dash - I still had to find a place to get off the road so I went into the church parking lot fighting the steering all the way. I finally came to a stop and put the car in park and turned off the ignition. There was no prior indication of impending failure of, as it turned out, at the Ford garage, the failure of the power steering gear. If this had happened on a highway at highway speeds, I doubt if I would be here today.

- Mauckport, IN, USA

problem #243

Feb 162014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 27,000 miles
While driving on a highway received a warning for steering failure, shortly after power steering completely failed.resulting in very hard steering at highway speeds.vehicle towed to a Ford dealer who reset computer fixing problem but could not duplicate or explain why it happened.

- Franklin Square Ny, NY, USA

problem #242

Apr 022014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
We have had multiple incidents where the power steering would lock up and we would get a "power steering assist fault". so far, shutting down the car then restarting has cleared the issue. We have been lucky; this has occurred only at low speeds (backing out of the garage or in a store parking lot). Took the car to get checked today and it is going to cost $2,000 to repair the electronic power assist steering (epas) gear. Have to repair it because it is a safety issue.

- Lumberton, TX, USA

problem #241

Mar 012014


  • 44,000 miles
The car basically shuts off and you lose power steering. No warn lights just cuts off immediately. We brought the car to the dealership and they ran a diagnostic and told us the issue was with the power steering sensor and that it would cost $2,000 to fix. I took to the internet and searched the issue to find out that there have been a number of owners that have had the same problem. I called Ford customer service and they opened a case for us. They came back with $1,000 in financial assistance but it will still cost us $1,000 for soemthing I feel is not a part that "wears out". it is a very dangerous issue and I think that Ford should take care of replacing the part before someone really gets hurt.

- Mantua, NJ, USA

problem #240

Apr 182014


  • 54,000 miles
This is the 5th time my powering steering has failed!!! Ford has replaced the part, after I had to spend $1800!!! the power steering rack was replaced and power steering failed again. What is it going to take for Ford to figure this issue out.

- Waldorf , MD, USA

problem #239

Apr 092013


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the power steering intermittently failed and the vehicle became increasingly difficult to control. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 38,00 and current mileage was 69,000.

- Haslet, TX, USA

problem #238

Apr 262014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
2 times within a week, Saturday April 26, 2014 being the most recent, as I was driving my power steering failed on my 2011 Ford Explorer XLT fwd. Warning lights saying "power steering failure" lit up and my power steering was no longer operating. I had to pull over using manual steering to turn the Explorer off and start up the power again to bring the steering back. This could have been very dangerous situation if I was driving on an interstate. It appears that many other 2011 to at least 2013 Ford Explorer owners are having the same problem posing a very serious safety situation. It also appears that Ford does not think it is serious enough to be researched further.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #237

Apr 222014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 71,500 miles
Steering power assist warning light came on; loss of power steering. Turned off car, then restarted again, problem went away. Has recurred numerous times.

- Guysville, OH, USA

problem #236

Apr 242014


  • 40,000 miles
About months ago my husband was driving along and all of a sudden, the vehicle started making a warning sound and the "assist power steering fault" message came up as well as service "advance trac." Then, without warning, there was no power steering. Shut the car off and restarted it and we had power steering again. We took it into the Ford dealership and they said they have never heard of this problem. It happened again, they looked at it and nothing found! last night my entire family was in the car and the power steering went out. Very scary. Look online, found a power steering recall in the 2011 Explorer, called the Ford Motor Company and conveniently our VIN is not part of the recall. Ford Motor Company was rude and would not explain the other recall to me because my VIN didn't get recalled as if it was confidential information. I feel this is a billion dollar cover up by the Ford company. They do not want to claim responsibility until someone dies.

- Papillion, NE, USA

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