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 8 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #175

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 #174

Jun 122013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
2011 Explorer was parked, engine running. Attempted to back up and unable to steer vehicle. Power assist failure and power steering fail lights came on. I turned vehicle off, waiting a few minutes, turned vehicle back on, no further warning lights came on. Was able to drive normally. I did not report this incident to Ford. About a month later I was slowing down at an intersection and the same warning lights came on. I was able to pull over to the side with much difficulty in steering. I called my local Ford dealer, they suggested I call road side assistance. I informed them this happened to me a few weeks ago and I was able to drive after turning off the car and restarting. I did just that and once again was able to drive my vehicle. I brought my vehicle to local Ford dealer. Two days later I received a phone call from dealer saying they were not able to reproduce the problem and I could pick up the vehicle. I informed them something was terribly wrong and they needed to do more investigating on this problem before I would pick up my vehicle. Service tech said she would let the service manager know. Please help. Thank you.

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

problem #173

Jul 072013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 76,981 miles
Upon backing down driveway, vehicle steering locked up and would not turn. I stopped and turned off the ignition. Then restarted the vehicle. Power steering returned. Left driveway and proceeded to next intersection where steering failed again and locked up. This repeated once again before my husband had to drive vehicle without power steering to the dealership.

- Auburn, AL, USA

problem #172

Feb 152013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles


As I was driving my Ford Explorer one morning on a secondary road probably around 40-50mph, all of the sudden the following warnings were displayed on the dash board: "power steering assist fault" and "service advance track". these warnings made the steering wheel get extremely heavy and difficult to maneuver. I managed to pull over on the side of the road, and turned off the car for a minute. When I started it again, the warnings had disappeared and everything worked fine. The same incident has happened 3 more times within 5 months after the first incident. All of them had happened at different speeds and various traffic conditions. I believe this is a serious failure that should be corrected in order to prevent accidents or fatalities.

- Petersburg, VA, USA

problem #171

Jul 212013


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while making a right turn at 15 mph, the power steering system malfunctioned and the traction control light illuminated. The contact also stated that the power steering system malfunctioned while in reverse. The contact mentioned that both failures occurred while the air conditioner was in use. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer who did not give details of the failure. The failure mileage was 41,000.

- Oak Harbor, WA, USA

problem #170

Jul 172013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Driving down the road and a warning flashed about power steering. I had about 3 seconds to get the car to the side of the road to avoid getting killed. Ford knows about this already and is doing nothing" are you kidding me??"

- Hamilton , NJ, USA

problem #169

Jul 202013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 42,354 miles


This is the second time this issue has occurred. The first time I was able to restart the vehicle and it corrected itself. Currently I cannot physically steer the vehicle and will have to have it towed. We were in the mountains last weekend so this is a very serious issue. I happen to be a male with the capability and capacity to handle extreme situations and I doubt that I could avoid an accident if this were to happen while driving. I was searching for fixes and saw that a few cases had been reported. Make this a priority as the electronics in this vehicle are severely flawed and someone will get killed soon.

- Liberty, MO, USA

problem #168

Jul 182013


  • 14,779 miles
I was making a left turn at approximately 20mph when my power steering went out. Luckily there was no car to my right and I was able to muscle the car to the right side of the road and onto a side street. The dash board was flashing power steering assist fault, then service advance trac. I turned off the car and restarted it and the message cleared. I went straight to the dealership and showed them the pictures, the dealer did a epas diagnosis, it said code C200D:49, and an interactive diagnosis pinpoint test, it said internal electrical failure, they replaced the epas rack and pinion. I received my car back today and it appears and feels like it's turning fine.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #167

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 #166

Jul 022013


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the power steering intermittently failed. The contact also mentioned that the service advance track and power steering assist fault lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that there was a gear in steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 44,000.

- Frankfurt, IL, USA

problem #165

Jul 122013


  • 52,000 miles


While driving the vehicle the power steering quite, was able to get vehicle off the road but was very hard to steer. Now Ford want $2119, to repair a manufactured part that is not covered under the vehicles warranty. The vehicle is owned by the disabled veterans of America and used to Transport veterans in operated by the randolph county veteran's office winchester, in. I have taken care that this vehicle is serviced on time and this is a blow to the transportation needs of the veterans of randolph county.

- Winchester, IN, USA

problem #164

Jul 092013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 22,347 miles
While entering a roadway our Explorer suddenly lost power steering at this time the vehicle showed a power steering assist fault also a service advance trac code followed by a loss of terrain management notice also at this time the turn signals would not operate. Had vehicle towed to our dealership. They returned the vehicle to me after reprogramming ABS module per tsb12-08-09. The same thing happened again Sunday july14 called dealership they will call me back with their findings.

- Sussex, WI, USA

problem #163

Jul 122013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
My power steering failed. The dashboard lite up and said something about power steering trac in red. Couldn't read it as I was to busy trying to control car in a busy intersection. I turned car off and when I restarted it, all was fine. I called my Ford dealer and was told they had never heard of such a thing. I have an appointment to bring car to, service on Wednesday to repair navigation system for the third time and now they will have to check this problem as well.

- Melville, NY, USA

problem #162

Jul 132013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 35,300 miles
While driving East on route 422 from royersford to king of prussia at 55 mph audible warning alarm went off with two lights on dash. Lost power steering control. Too unsafe to pull off on shoulder in dark, struggled with steering for about 2 miles to next off ramp. Restarted vehicle on off ramp and power steering returned. I will call dealer tomorrow as warranty is nearly up. Car manual explains this exact situation as if its a common occurrence. Just reboot your car (if you survived the crash!) I have never had a power steering failure in 25 years. If this happens to frail person in a turn, they will not pull out of turn and will hit the closest object in the path of their turn.

- Oreland, PA, USA

problem #161

Jul 122013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 34,733 miles
Loss of power steering while driving. Total loss of control would have happened if I would have been in a turn or corner.

- Hodgenville, KY, USA

problem #160

Jul 132013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
Power steering failure while going down sam rayburn tollway in mckinney tx. Steering assist cut out and warning lights appeared on dash. Wife had to try and pull to side of road. There was a slight bend and she was able to drive fairly straight onto the shoulder. Fortunately there weren't any other cars around her. Similar incident happened the day before going under 10 mph on a side street/driveway. Shutting car down and restarting it fixed the issue but it has happened twice now. Trying to contact dealer about the problem (left message).

- Mckinney , TX, USA

problem #159

Jul 052013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 21,100 miles
Steering wheel locked up while taking a curb at a slow rate of speed. Could not control vehicle, and had to come to a complete stop, put vehicle in park and turn it off.a warning came on the screen about steering failure, and after turning car back on, it worked fine. Dealership service tech was rude and uncooperative on the phone, told me to bring it in a couple of days. My car I still under warranty, and the service tech told me I would be charged for a rental. Ridiculous.

- Smyrna , TN, USA

problem #158

Jun 252013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 45,872 miles
The power steering on our 2011 Ford Explorer has failed while we were driving, causing unsafe conditions, forcing us to pull over. It did not self-correct when restarting. There were 2 message lights: Service advance trac and power steering assist. We took the vehicle into the dealership and were given a repair price tag exceeding $2,000 and told they would need to replace the steering gear. We then contacted the Ford customer service Agency and were told that there was no recall in place and that we were over the 36,000 mile general warranty. Also, that the powertrain warranty of 60,000 miles would not cover the power steering.

- Cedarburg, WI, USA

problem #157

Jun 092013


  • 34,000 miles
On June 9 2013. I was driving onto a highway on-ramp and suddenly the steering became very difficult. The alarm sounded and the warning display indicate a power steering system failure as well as traction control system failure and terrain management system failure. I was on my way to the airport to catch a flight, so I proceeded approximately 2 miles to the airport and parked. It was very difficult to steer, especially at slow speeds. I turned the car off and waited a while to restart, but the problem was still present. Upon returning from my trip (June 12), the power steering fault had cleared, but terrain mgmt and traction control were still present (apparently the functions were disabled at that point). The next day, I drove to work and power steering went out again. Took the car to my dealer that morning june13. They have been able to see the codes, but not re-create the problem, so they say that they cannot repair it. I am not willing to drive the car with my family in it because this is clearly a safety issue.I told them to keep it to try to re-create the issue. Its been nearly 2 weeks and still no answers. The dealer says they have not been informed of anything from Ford related to this issue. I called Ford customer service directly on 6/19, but still have not gotten any answers nor direction as of 6/25.

- Washington, IL, USA

problem #156

Jun 222013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 35,500 miles
While drive down highway at about 60 mph, audible warning alarm went off with two lights on dash. Lost power steering control. Service advance trac warning. Was barely able to pull over but after shutting vehicle down and restarting power steering was back. I will take it to dealer tomorrow as warranty is nearly up and scared to drive it anymore especially with children in the vehicle.

- Bay City, MI, USA

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