Notes: You should probably steer clear of the 2012 Focus. Otherwise, you might not be able to steer at all.

The 2012 is the first Focus to offer Electronic Power Assist Steering (EPAS). It's also the first year with massive power steering failure. These things are not mutually exclusive.

And while you wait for your steering to disappear, you'll be greeted with a transmission that shudders, vibrates or won't shift at all.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
69,429 miles
Total Complaints:
52 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (21 reports)
  2. new rack (9 reports)
  3. new steering assist (8 reports)
  4. replace steering assist (5 reports)
  5. replace gear (4 reports)
  6. replace rack & pinion (3 reports)
2012 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #52

Feb 172017

Focus SE 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 88,231 miles


On my way home from work, my power steering went out and I got a warning message on the screen about power assist steering failure - service vehicle soon. I drove home - but it wasn't easy... going around corners was difficult. Bring it to the dealer today but I'm sure it won't be covered in any way.

- , North Port, US

problem #51

Jan 292017

Focus Titanium

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Steering Assist fault light has come on twice -2 separate occasions when car first started- no power steering. Took to Ford dealership. Unable to replicate the problem. Car nearly impossible to drive. Dealership acts unaware of the problem, but I have found several articles and personal accounts on line of others with this model and the exact same problem. No resolution yet.

- , Laurel, USA

problem #50

Dec 202016

Focus SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

For about the past 2 months, when I start the car in the morning, the steering just doesn't " kick in." If I wait about 30 seconds, it's fine. I called the dealership and talked to the service manager. He told me it just needs to warm up. OK, that's fine. Today, I actually got the dreaded "STEERING ASSIST FAILURE" alert on the car. Of course,no dealership support as there's no recall for this. This is a huge safety issue. I'm actually writing this so when I die in an accident from this, my family can sue Ford for a known issue that has yet to be resolved.

- , Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #49

Sep 262016

Focus Titanium 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,810 miles


My wife was driving her little FORD going through a corner and the power steering failed without warning and she nearly crashed!! She managed to limp it to the FORD garage, as I was out of town, where it was diagnosed that the EPAS had failed. The EPAS failure is rampant through a range of FORD model vehicles and they don't give two hoots about our problem because there haven't been enough (WHAT!!) failures to warrant a recall on the 2012 FOCUS although its a known problem with this model and it is currently the reason for a class action lawsuit in California. Their customer service doesn't even say "sorry" just that "FORD is offering no assistance." Power steering should not go out on a 2012 vehicle with only 44000 miles on it. As a long time loyal FORD customer, I am very upset that they disregarded our complaint. Jerks!! Steering gear replaced at a cost of $2009.00.

- , Hutchinson, KS, USA

problem #48

Dec 152016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

My question is why hasn't Ford issued a safety recall on the Focus? I believe they issued one for the Fusion for the same problem. I was hint something was wrong last night coming home from work, I parked the car and when I went to leave this morning immediately the "Steering Requires Assist" notification came on and I found I had no power steering. I tried to drive it, just within my neighborhood but with highway driving all the way to work it wasn't going to happen. So my Focus was towed to the dealership this morning and then I got the call this afternoon that this repair was going to cost me $2000. Ironically my service writer told me this problem is so commonplace in the 2012 Focus they actually keep stock there of the full steering assembly where usually they would have to order.

- , Louisville, KY, US

problem #47

Nov 202016

Focus SEL 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I have a 2012 Ford Focus that I bought used 3 years ago. It now has 80,000 miles. I was leaving home and received the power steering malfunction warning and could steer the car but was VERY difficult. I decided to go online and it was only then that I discovered that it was a major problem.I called the Ford dealer where I purchased the car and they denied knowing anything about this issue. They said to bring it in and it could be anything from replacing the computer module to replacing the steering rack.At this point I was fed-up with Ford and decided to take my car to a trusted repair shop that is close to home. They told me that the computer module has failed and the steering rack needed to be replaced in order to repair it because the module is part of the steering rack.What kind of design failure is this and why didn't the Ford dealer tell me this. I am disappointed that Ford hasn't issued a recall on this yet.

- , Toledo, OH, US

problem #46

Nov 102016

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles


Adding to the list of power steering issues on the 2012 Focus. Took the Focus in for a TCM recall and oil change, next day we went to drive the car in the morning and the Power Steering Assist warning came on. It would not turn off by turning the car on and off. Dealership stated that the rack and pinion needed to be replaced. Very frustrating to have to spend over $2000 on a car worth about $10,000 and hasn't even hit the 50k mileage mark yet.

- , Concord, CA, US

problem #45

Oct 182016

Focus SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Wife was driving the car. She made a left turn and the power steering failed and almost ran in to another car.

This is a big problem and Ford needs to step up and fix every car with this power steering system NOW.

- , Owasso, OK, USA

problem #44

Nov 082016

Focus SE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

When backing out of the driveway my power steering seized up. I pulled back into the driveway and restarted the car and the power steering returned. This is disturbing because it can occur again at any time, which is an unsafe situation. I have a new driver who drives this car on occasion and would not know what to do if it happened while he was driving the car. This car seems to have a lot of problems!

- , Abilene, TX, USA

problem #43

Oct 142016

Focus SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

Assist failure warning light came on and my daughter was unable to steer the car. Had it parked then towed to dealership. Diagnosed that steering rack needs to be replaced at a cost of $2100. Sadly this is the same system that was covered in a recall for other models and other years. Like others I'm disappointed that although this is a known issue Ford has yet to address it.

- , Frankfort, IL, USA

problem #42

Oct 282016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles



- , Mastic, NY, USA

problem #41

Sep 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

Multiple times I would start the car and the steering wheel was locked, I was unable to turn it. I had to turn it off and on again before it would turn properly. Never occurred while driving only on start. The dealer charged me $116 saying the Power steering Module had to be reprogrammed. It appears others had this issue too and Ford should have covered it.

- , Simsbury, CT, US

problem #40

Sep 152016

Focus SE 4c V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Why hasn't Ford done a recall on the Ford Focus and this problem with the power steering. It pops up as "Steering Malfunction." I am glad that my daughter wasn't driving it when the power steering went out. After sitting awhile and turning it back on it seemed to "fix" itself. Hard to drive when it power steering did go out but my husband was pulling it in the garage. FORD WAKE UP AND DO A RECALL FOR THIS PROBLEM!!! Spent $1700 having it fixed at the Ford dealership...told them I know exactly what was wrong with it after researching and finding out that others were having the same problem.

- , Cibolo, TX, USA

problem #39

Sep 012016

Focus SE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Power steering failed to work while driving the car making it extremely difficult to control the car, especially for my daughter. This rack & pinion steering problem was part of a recall for the 2012 Ford Fusions. However, my 2012 Ford Focus was not part of this recall. Another coincidence? Very unusual for a 4 year old car to have a problem such as this.

- , Downers Grove, IL, USA

problem #38

Sep 142016

Focus Sedan S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,167 miles

power steering failed x 4

This car is only four years only, low mileage, very fuel efficient! My son has been driving it for almost two years, but then a couple of months ago the power steering failed, luckily he was driving in town, so he could safely pull over after cranking the steering wheel. I was concerned, and mentioned it to the Ford dealership here in town. They mentioned that if it happened again, then I should bring the car in and have it looked at. Happened three more times after. Now I am extremely concerned, as I had a 2008 Ford Escape that this happened to as well. I booked the car in to be checked. The needs a new steering rack. Not covered under warranty, and not a recall issue! The cost with parts and labour...$2700.. Now my biggest decision will be, once it gets fixed (like I have any option) do I keep the car or sell it!!!

Update from Oct 6, 2016: I emailed Ford- customer service...hoping that they would provide some sort of assistance for this issue. I was told that because my warranty expired in August 2015 there was nothing they could do!!!

- , Thunder Bay, ON, Canada

problem #37

Sep 142016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,982 miles

2012 Ford Focus, 49,000 miles. Power Steering Assist Failure. Lose of power steering. Took to dealer "Bob Thomas Ford" in Fort Wayne and was told a new 'Steering Gear' was needed. Error Code U3000.49. Cost would be $1825.00. I questioned if a recall had been done and was told No, they have never seen this problem with a Focus model. Not happy that a car 4 years old needs $1900.00 in repairs after 49,000 miles.

- , Fort Wayne, IN, US

problem #36

Sep 282016

Focus NA V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles

Took car in in 2015 because steering assist light on. Dealership reported no problem. Steering went out totally 9/28/2016. Only 26000 miles on car. 👹

- , Denton, TX, USA

problem #35

Sep 012016

Focus Titanium

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Yet another 2012 Ford Focus with an Electronic Power steering Assist failure. I was driving my car on the highway and had never had a problem. Pulled off to get gas. When I restarted my car, it gave me a power steering assist failure alert, and it hasn't worked ever since. Finally got it to the dealer today, and they will gladly fix it by replacing the entire rack assembly for $1700.

- , New Albany, OH, USA

problem #34

Sep 132016

Focus SE 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,445 miles

Although I've put a lot of miles on my car, I didn't expect the power steering to go completely out. The power steering had a few hiccups for a couple weeks before it went out completely. I discovered that by turning the ignition off and then on again, sometimes more than once, I could get the power steering to come back on. It was too dangerous to drive or take any chances that it would go out again, so I had to get it fixed. It was no longer under warranty, so I had to borrow the money. It really put me in a bind. I never saw any warning lights come on about the problem before or during. I have seen that this problem is happening to a lot of Ford cars. Some have been recalled and some have not. I was just lucky to have one of the models that had no recall, of course. I think they should recall this part and fix it in all the cars, because it seems so common.

- , Duncanville, TX, USA

problem #33

Aug 172016

Focus 5E

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

Initially the problem was intermittent and only happened when the car was started. The steering appeared to operate when motor started and then a Steering Assist fault was reported and power steering was shut down. My wife had to drive back from a restaurant to our hotel in a strange town the first time this occurred in 2015. However since the steering appeared to have been turned off by the computer I checked the next morning and everything was fine.

This happened intermittently with slowly shortening intervals over the next 6 months. It would always be fine if the ignition was turned off and then back on. Later it started happening while driving but it could still be reset by turning the ignition off at a stoplight. This all sounds like some sort of connection problem between the processor and the steering sensors. However since it was intermittent I could see that a mechanic might not be able to find the problem.

Finally the steering assist no longer works at all. I took it to the dealership and they said they had no idea what was wrong with it since they had never seen this problem before. 4 days later they tell me they can fix it for around $1700. This does not seem to normal wear and tear. I would say it was a design problem or an assembly error at Ford. The car is extremely difficult to drive in this condition and somewhat hazardous since it would be impossible to suddenly change directions to avoid an accident or road debris.

- , Ne, VA, USA

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