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:
50,839 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 5 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #235

Apr 172014


  • 77,559 miles
While driving my steering column locked up and lights on my dash indicated that the power steering and traction control were no longer working. I was forced to attempt to pull over which was nearly impossible due to my power steering no longer working. I turned my vehicle on and off 2 times (giving it time between to resent itself) before it would work properly however the lights indicating the power steering and traction control was not working remained on. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that Ford refuses to fix this problem. This is the 3rd time this has happened to me. This is a major safety concern Ford! fix the problem before people start to lose their lives!

- Gleason, TN, USA

problem #234

Apr 102014


  • 77,013 miles


While driving my steering column locked up and lights on my dash indicated that the power steering and traction control were no longer working. I was forced to attempt to pull over which was nearly impossible due to my power steering no longer working. I turned my vehicle on and off 5 times (giving it time between to resent itself) before it would work properly however I continued to have the same issues with it throughout the day. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that Ford refuses to fix this problem. This is the 2nd time this has happened to me. This is a major safety concern Ford! fix the problem before people start to lose their lives!

- Gleason, TN, USA

problem #233

Apr 092014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 88,500 miles
The steering power assist fault was lite up and then I lost all steering and all I could do was turn my flashers on to avoid being hit and drive off to the side of the road.

- Rapid City, SD, USA

problem #232

Oct 042013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
This is the fourth time that it has happened to me. I have been driving down the street, when the car completely loses all power, cannot turn the wheel, cannot accelerate at all and you are completely unable to move the car. I have taken the car in every time to be serviced, they say that the computer shows that nothing is wrong, no codes show up. This past time I was 1 foot over train tracks when the car died. An oncoming train passed before I had time to restart my car. This could have been fatal and if my children where in the car I would never have been able to get them out of the car. It has happened at an intersection and driving 40 mph down a busy street, happened taking a left turn on a busy street. There are no warnings that it is about to happen. It literally just stops working. This is a serious and very dangerous defect on this car that needs to be addressed before a family is killed.

- Medford, MA, USA

problem #231

Mar 282014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 42,790 miles
Driving around a curve and the steering locked up. We swerved into the other lane and luckily didn't get hit. The power steering assist fault notification came on.

- Greenwell Springs, LA, USA

problem #230

Mar 212014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 36,420 miles


I was driving on a major street during heavy afternoon traffic. The steering became extremely difficult and I could barely turn the wheel. The warning lights for advanced traction failure and power steering assist fault came on. I also noticed the terrain management control was no longer illuminated. I tried to turn off the road into the driveway but it was extremely difficult. I am a reasonably strong adult woman and had to use all my strength to turn the wheel even slightly while slowly moving. When I managed to get the car into a safe place I put the car in park and turned it off. When the car was started again, it returned to normal and I was able to drive it. Three days later, the same thing happened with another driver while I was a passenger. The older male driver had similar difficulty steering and turning the vehicle. I took the vehicle to the Ford dealership for service. They repaired the rack and pinion steering for an estimated cost of over $2000. The mileage on the vehicle was approximately 36,400 miles so about 400 miles past the warranty. We were able to get Ford to reduce the cost to approximately $750, some of which was for the alignment that was necessary following the repair. This incident could have been far worse with devastating results. I am a mom and girl scout leader and Transport children frequently throughout the day. At the time of the incident I had 4 children in my vehicle.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #229

Mar 222014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 32,848 miles
I was driving in the highway approximately 65 mph, all of the sudden the "powersteering assist failure" message popped up. I exited the highway but had a very difficult time turning the steering wheel. I turned the vehicle off and then restarted it again; the steering wheel went back to normal. This is a very dangerous issue; I have children and depend on my vehicle daily.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #228

Mar 052014


  • 93,000 miles
While driving the power steering shut down along with the traction control.

- Spartanburg, SC, USA

problem #227

Sep 052013


  • 46,224 miles
Lost steering assist during turn into driveway. It was extremely difficult to manually steer the vehicle, which I was able to stop due to the low speed. The next morning it was again very difficult to steer the vehicle when I backed out of the garage, however, after stopping and starting the vehicle 2-3 times the power steering begin working again allowing me to drive the vehicle to the Ford dealership. While driving the vehicle forward in their maintenance bay the steering assist failed again, at which time two computer failure codes where present, which I read and then showed to their maintenance representative. The code listed on the receipt was C200D. The second issue involves erratic shifts and loss of power when accelerating from a stop up to 35 mph. A Ford dealership has completed two-three computer software upgrades. The most serious shifting problem occurs when pulling out or turning onto a roadway and there is minimal acceleration when the accelerator pedal is pressed down, and the vehicle is unable to adjust as expected to the traffic flow. This problem was first reported 02/2013 and most recently during 09/2013.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #226

Nov 142013


  • miles
I was parked at a store parking lot. I got in the car to back up and this message "powersteering assist failure" popped up on the screen and I was not able to turn the steering wheel at all. I shut the car off and then restarted it...then the power steering went back to normal.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #225

Feb 272014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Power steering fail light came on and I lost my power steering. After killing the car, letting it sit then restarting it I started back working.

- Port Allen, LA, USA

problem #224

Nov 012013


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Explorer. The contact stated the steering wheel locked while driving and it became hard to turn. The power steering light illuminated as the failure occurred. The failure was experienced several times. The dealer reset the power train computer; however, the failure was not corrected. The steering wheel continued to lock while driving. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 52,000.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #223

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 #222

Sep 092013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
Our first indication of steering problems happened around September 2013. A dashboard error "service advancetrac" message kept illuminating. First the dealer replaced a "sensor" that didn't fix it. Then a software update, that didn't work. They then replaced the "rack and pinion", in this car I am told it is an electronic steering motor. That did fix the problem with the error message, however at times the entire dashboard and "infotainment" screen would go blank and reboot. All seemed fine for a few month's until an unexpected event occurred in January 2014. I was driving my 2011 Ford Explorer on Thursday, January 9, 2014 on andersen air force base in guam. It was a bright, sunny day, and weather conditions were ideal. I stopped at the post office and when I turned left to enter a parking space, I noticed the steering was a little jerky. I didn't think much of it until we were leaving, and the steering continued to be choppy. When I left the parking lot, the car did not respond cleanly when I turned the wheel. I mentioned the my daughter that something was wrong, but I wasn't sure what was happening. As I entered a roundabout turn before exiting the air force base, the steering went out completely momentarily. It felt like I was driving on ice! the brakes worked properly, and I was able to slow down and navigate safely out of the turn. I had no problems driving straight, but turning was jerky. I called my husband to let him know what was happening, and I drove slowly home approximately four miles from the base. The car was turned into the dealer who "could not replicate the error". the "service advancetrac" error happened again on 22 Jan, went into the dealership and I was told again that they could not replicate the error.

- Yigo, GU, USA

problem #221

Jan 122014


  • 300,000 miles
I was driving my Explorer when the power steering went out suddenly, making it almost impossible to steer to safety. A message appeared on the dash about the problem, but I was too busy trying to steer to safety to memorize what it said.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

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