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: 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
14 / 1
Average Mileage:
79,879 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.

2012 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 10 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #162

Jul 032014


  • 13,336 miles


Total unexpected loss of power steering. Unable to safely steer vehicle. Power steering assist fault light came on. After stopping and re-starting the vehicle the warning light went off and normal steering was possible. This has happened twice to date.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #161

Aug 282015


  • 56,500 miles
Excessive shuddering/shaking upon acceleration, vehicle does not seem to have any power. On 8/28 I was stopped at light in drive and vehicle would not move, after changing gears I finally was able to drive it, a short time later vehicle would not move again in drive but the engine light came on, on the way to the dealership vehicle lost power and would only go 15 mph crawled to the dealer with emergency flashers. Dealer had the vehicle for 5 days and completed the software update program 15B22, since receiving the vehicle back I am still experiencing low power and shuddering. Have been rear ended tapped once because it doesn't have any power, very concerned to drive vehicle to to loss of power and excessive shuddering. Contacted Ford customer care and they did not have a sense of any long term fix to this issue nor does the dealership. Dealer states they are slammed with these vehicles every day.

- Dearborn Heights, MI, USA

problem #160

Nov 262013


  • 26,316 miles
I purchased the car used with 25,000 miles, shortly after the car began shuddering very badly and did not accelerate correctly. The problem progressed to a loud metal grinding noise, the clutch was deemed to be bad and replaced. Six months after the clutch failed again and was replaced and now a year later the clutch needs to be replaced again, making it the fourth clutch for a car with under 70,000 miles. Ford has extended the warranty so it is covered however the part is on back order for 4-6 weeks. Ford does not offer a replacement vehicle during this time. I do not feel safe driving this car with the transmission not working properly. This car also had the steering and suspension repaired within the first year of ownership.

- Derry, NH, USA

problem #159

Sep 092015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 114,000 miles


While driving at a low rate of speed, the vehicle became difficult to steer and the power steering assist malfunction light came on. I was able to muscle the car safely and get to my destination (the grocery store). Thinking that perhaps it was the power steering fluid, I checked it and saw that it was a little over minimum, so I added more. I turned the car back on and the issue was still present. I drove home and turned off the car. The next morning, the code was not on and the power steering was working though there was a groan coming from the steering wheel every time I had to turn. I drove to work trying to ascertain what would go on and about 25 minutes into my drive, while doing 50 miles an hour, I lost power steering again. I got to work, turned off the car, and came back out 9 hours later and the power steering had again reset itself and worked all the way back to my house. I have not been driving the car since and have to say that this is the second major issue with the car I have had; the transmission went out after having the car for 2 years. I have done research and there are many other Ford focuses of this year with this issue. I am now extremely concerned about the safety of this car and regret buying it most sincerely.

- Green Springs, OH, USA

problem #158

Aug 062015


  • 95,000 miles
Steering assist failed. After multiple restarts it worked again. This has happened now 10 times.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #157

Jun 302015


  • 66,000 miles
The steering light had come on before then went off because the steering wheel ended up being able to move. This happened acouple other times and everything was fine. Then when it finally quit working was when I, the owner, had parked it to go inside somewhere, then came out to leave and the light came on and the steering wheel wouldn't turn. I had to have it towed to the dealership and pay $1,245 to have it fixed. They had it for 2 weeks.

- Nitro, WV, USA

problem #156

Sep 032015


  • 42,000 miles


While driving, my car suddenly stopped functioning. The engine light came on, followed by all other lights. I was able to pull the car over, but unable to restart. I called for a tow truck (aaa). After waiting for an hour, I tried the ignition again, and the car started right up. The same problem occurred the following night. The car was towed to the dealership, tom's Ford in keyport, New Jersey, where it still remains.

- Keyport, NJ, USA

problem #155

Aug 292015


  • 76,555 miles
Power steering assist failure notification light came on and loss of power steering. Went away with a restart of the car. Next time we turned it on the same message was there as well as the loss of power steering and now it seems to be permanent problem. Research shows that Ford has recalled several other models with the same issue and although it is aware of the problem it has yet to recall the Focus. This is absurd.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #154

Sep 022015


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While traveling approximately 30 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated and the steering wheel was extremely tight and difficult to turn. The vehicle was turned off and on to reset the computer due to the failure, but it progressed randomly. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 79,000.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #153

Aug 172015


  • 53,500 miles
After starting car a warning bell sounded and notification on dash said "steering assist failure". called Ford and spoke with service and explained the issue. I gave him my information. He told me that my car was out of warranty and this would be a out of pocket expense for them to even diagnose. He also acknowledged that he has seen a "few" Focus's with the same issue. After researching online there are numerous complaints of the exact same nature. I have called Ford and am awaiting a return call from them. There has been a class action lawsuit filed in California (phillips et al vs Ford Motor Company) on this same issue. Ford does have a recall on the Fusion #15S18 concerning this same malfunction.

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #152

Aug 172015


  • 30,250 miles


While backing out of the driveway there was a complete loss of power steering along with a warning in the information center: "steering assist fault -service req'd". the vehicle was steered to the curb. After the car was turned off and back on, the power steering worked normally. The car was taken to a local Ford dealer the next day to see if any computer codes were registered. No codes were found and the dealer had no advice on what caused the problem and whether or not it would recur.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #151

Aug 132015


  • 63,000 miles
63000 miles on car. Power steering rack needs replaced. 1800 dollars to fix.

- Mars, PA, USA

problem #150

Aug 042015


  • 90,600 miles
On August 4, 2015 I was driving my vehicle and when I went to turn at the red light, my steering wheel locked up and then I heard a beeping sound. I looked down at my dashboard and a messaged appeared. I was unable to read the message right then because I was having to jerk my steering wheel to get the car to make the left turn and not run up on the curve. Traffic was coming so I couldn't just stop in the middle of the intersection. Once I got to the parking area I read the message on the dashboard and it displayed, "power steering assist fault." As of today Aug 14, 2015 I have not been able to drive my vehicle and I am very afraid to drive it. I have called the local dealership and they want me to pay for diagnostic because they said that there's no recall on theses vehicles. I refuse to pay for any service because my concern is that this is a safety issue that the Ford company should be responsible for. When I called Ford to report the issue and to see if there's a recalled, I was told that this is the first that they have heard of this problem but when I researched the issue, I found plenty of complaints about the 2012 Ford Focus. Can someone address this issue before there's a fatal accident. I will be willing to allow someone to come drive my vehicle, see the message that appears on my dashboard still and investigate the vehicle in order to save my life and someone else's life. Ford dealership says that they have not been able to duplicate the issue, well, my vehicle is more than available for someone to duplicate it because it is totally a locked steering wheel sitting in my parking lot. I had to have my male friend to drive my vehicle 2 miles home because it scared me so bad that I couldn't drive it on top of a torn rotator cuff and not being able to turn the wheel. Please help all of us having this problem.

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #149

Aug 132015


  • 38,362 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the steering wheel became difficult to steer and the power steering assist warning light illuminated. The contact stated that the vehicle did not regain steering capabilities. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 38,362.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #148

Aug 102015


  • 92,557 miles
Electronic power assist failed and I have no power steering

- Parma Heights, OH, USA

problem #147

Aug 062015


  • 94,520 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact started the vehicle and the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was then able to operate normally. The failure recurred two times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 94,520.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #146

Aug 052015


  • 56,658 miles
While driving down the highway the steering started to act weird. It would give a lot and go tight then give again. A lot of play in the wheel, when it was perfectly fine before. Then after 30 seconds or so of this, the information light popped up and said "steering fault stop safely". I pulled over to side of road and stopped. Then it turned red, locked the steering wheel and said "steering loss stop safety". now the car is stuck and I am on the side of the road calling a tow truck. It went to the mechanic who did something to get the car to work again, and 15 minutes of driving the car again this cycle repeated itself. It has happened to me 3 times as of the writing of this message. I am scared to get back in the car at this point as I have a newborn and don't want to risk it. I don't know what to do. I have to drive in order to get to work.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #145

Jul 282015


  • 61,250 miles
In less than a week, the power steering on my 2012 Ford Focus has failed three times. The first time occurred on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at 7:45 a.M. I had been driving for about two minutes when the following error message appeared on my instrument cluster: "steering assist fault/service required." I was just about to take the ramp onto the highway, but my gut told me to pull over to the right of the road (I had a child with me and did not want to take any risks). Just as I was doing so, my steering wheel locked, and I could not rotate it. As I pulled up next to the curb, I placed my car in park and turned on my hazards. I waited a few moments, but the steering wheel still would not budge. I turned my car off and on again, but the steering wheel still wouldn't move. I turned the car off again and waited about 5-10 minutes. Upon starting the car this time, the steering wheel was back to normal. I left my hazards on and made right turns all the way home (in case it went out again). This incident happened again on Wednesday, July 29 at 4:50 P.M. and Monday, August 3 at 5:05 P.M. both times I turned off my car, waited about 5 minutes, and then started it again. The power steering would then be working. This problem is extremely frustrating and I worry about my safety because I drive on the highway to and from work. While this has happened on the side roads, there is now a constant fear of this happening while I'm on the highway. I've read other complaints on online forums about this exact problem, so I would like to also file mine. It is also frustrating because I have had other problems with this car, such as with the moonroof, ac, and compass. I feel like Ford sold me a lemon. I purchased this car from a Ford dealership as certified pre-owned only a year and a half ago, so I shouldn't have this many problems with it.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #144

Jul 122015


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 30 mph, the warning chime sounded and the power steering warning light illuminated. The steering wheel was difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was restarted and functioned normally. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was unable to be duplicated. The failure recurred numerous times. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000. MA 10/16/15

- Norwood, MA, USA

problem #143

Jul 312015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 48,317 miles
For the past few weeks I occasionally get the "steering assist fault" message while driving and power steering stops working. Usually, when I restart the car it resets and works again. Today I got the message while at a stop light, restarted the cars a few times and it did not reset. I have contacted my dealer and they said they've never heard of this, despite my reporting it to them last fall as well. Update 9/15/15 update: I took the car into the dealership for repair, and the steering gear was replaced. So far, at 49,800 miles, the problem has not happened since the repair. The repair qualified to be covered by my extended service plan, and I paid 4100 deductible for the work. The repair was done at the same dealership where I purchased the car. Updated 09/29/15.... updated 09/30/15 updated 11/10/15.

- Arlington, MA, USA

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