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:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
13 / 1
Average Mileage:
81,293 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 11 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #96

Jan 202015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


Was driving with my mom when all of a sudden her power steering gave out and it was incredibility hard for her to steer. I took over and drove home now I drove vehicles with out power steering before but this was by far the toughest steering vehicle I drove. It was completely dangerous and irresponsible of Ford to not address the issue as of yet. Thankfully I was with my mom that day and nothing worse happened but it could have ended alot worse.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #95

Jan 012015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 44,252 miles
Started engine and electronic power steering failed to operate. This usually could be remedied by restarting the car, but not this time. Car is almost impossible to steer in this condition. I have seen several mentions of this condition on the internet.

- Forrest City, AR, USA

problem #94

Nov 042014


  • 37,000 miles
The power steering was lost and had to manually force the steering wheel to regain control. Error message came up on the dash, power steering failure. The power steering comes back after turning the car off and back on again. This has happened 4 times now, twice in the past week 12/26/14.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #93

Dec 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 70,745 miles


Upon starting my vehicle I had a steering assist malfunction displayed on the dashboard. While driving it was as if I had no power steering and was unable to turn the steering wheel all the way right or left. I commuted 45 miles like this and upon start up the next morning the issue was gone. Intermittent issue.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #92

Dec 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I was driving on I271 westbound. From where I got on to entering the express lane the notification of steering fault service now. I was able to get to where I was going which was under ten minutes away and able to properly steer it without it completely losing the steering. At my location it was when the steering went. The power steering rack is what needed to be replaced which was making it difficult to turn. This needs to be recalled. If I would of lost it on the highway, there could of been a serious accident and or death. Something that has only just over 38,000 miles and two years old shouldnt have to be replaced on a car that is only just over two years old.

- South Euclid, OH, USA

problem #91

Dec 122014


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the power steering warning light illuminated continuously. Additionally, the steering wheel failed to turn after starting the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the rack and pinion needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #90

Dec 062014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 77,300 miles


I started my car on 12/6/14 and the steering wheel was locked and would not turn. I shut the car off and turned it on again and the steering wheel was operating. On 12/8/14 I started my car and once again the steering wheel is locked and my dashboard displayed a message stating steering assist service or service steering assist. I called Ford to schedule an appointment and I have checked online and see there are numerous complaints regarding power steering.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #89

Aug 012013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that when starting the vehicle or when in the idle position, the power steering would disengage independently. The steering and power steering warning lights would illuminate after the failure. Additionally, when the contact was attempting to accelerate from a complete stop, there was a hesitation before the vehicle would respond followed by a brief rapid acceleration. The vehicle not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #88

Dec 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Steering system completely failed. Driver could not turn car to the right. Car has only 45,000 miles. Could have resulted in serious accident if operating at higher speed. When I brought the car into Ford they told me the "steering rack" was on back order, which leads one to believe this is a common issue! Ford needs to recall this issue immediately before it leads to death.

- Middletown, CT, USA

problem #87

Nov 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Steering has become unreliable and has "gone out" two times in the past three days. Once at a higher rate of speed and another at a lower rate of speed. My husband has had to use extreme excessive force (he is quite strong too) in order to control the car where he wants it to go. The light came on and he turned the car off and on and the light was no longer on the dashboard. To add, the car is up to date on all services needed and is well taken care of.

- Canyon Country, CA, USA

problem #86

May 122012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,837 miles


Car is shuddering, vibrating, rolling backwards on inclines, stuttering bad gas mileage at low speeds between 0 and 20 miles per hour. The car has been in 4 times to the dealer beginning on 5/3/12 through 11/14/13 it has been reprogrammed 3 times and a new transmission replaced it which has solved the problem temporarily but starts happening again. When driving in or pulling out into traffic because the car either hesitates so bad or just wont move for a few seconds. Needless to say there have been many close calls. The dealer has been proactive in working with me however this is not a dealer issue this is a manufacturers issues.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #85

Nov 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the steering wheel seized and excessive force on the steering wheel was required in order to maneuver the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 72,000. Updated 12/22/14

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #84

Oct 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
When car starts power steering (electronic) does not work for an undetermined length on time from a few seconds to one hour. Stop and restart car and power steering works.

- Lake Placid, NY, USA

problem #83

Jul 312014


  • 38,000 miles
I see you are investigating power steering problems with the Fusion. I have a 2012 Ford Focus and the power steering is out. I would leave the car parked and running during the summer, if I was on my cell phone. The power steering assist light would come on, while in park and if I tried to move the car, the power steering would not respond. I could turn the car off for a few minutes, then back on and the problem would seems to fix itself. I don't recall how many times it happened, 5-7 times probably.the final time it happened, I was again parked and this time turning the car off did not correct it. That was approximately October 15, 2014 with about 38,000 miles. Unlike some of the other comments I have read on the internet, I never had the power steering go out on me while driving. I will be going to have the car checked tomorrow at mac haik Ford in georgetown, tx where I bought the car in January of 2013. I just had to learn to drive without power steering again.

- Holland, TX, USA

problem #82

Nov 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
While driving the car going into a turn the power steering went out. I could not turn the wheel. Almost had an accident. When driving the car and you stop the car stalls. You can start the car go to where you want to go and when you get back in the car it doesn't start.

- Lake Worth, FL, USA

problem #81

Nov 052014


  • 54,800 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated the while driving at low speeds, the power steering became difficult to maneuver intermittently and excessive force was needed in order to control the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 54,800.

- Highland, IL, USA

problem #80

Nov 052014


  • 40,000 miles
While driving on a busy road, the power steering suddenly stopped working and the car became very difficult to steer. When I returned home and restarted the car, the power steering worked normally again. It is being checked by the dealership today. On the phone, the dealership said it would be difficult to diagnose the problem if it wasn't still happening. This seems like a significant safety hazard.

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #79

Aug 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 79,044 miles
My first encounter started in March with a warning condition indicating a default in my steering assistance only when I would turn on the ignition, I called Ford dealership and was told it would go away by turning of the ignition and turning it back on.,and it did go away. Now in August, I was driving on freeway and the warning light came on again while driving and the steering wheel became very hard to steer, I was able to make it to a safe stop on the shoulder of the highway. That was the most scariest for me while on the highway. God was with me..

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #78

Oct 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,605 miles
While pulling out into the hwy my car's dashboard gave a message that stated steering assist malfunction. My cars steering wheel became tight and hard to turn. I got my car to the side of the road and turned it off. When I turned the car back on the dash information stated that all systems were normal. I called the Ford company where I purchased the car for the second time and was told that if it happened again to bring the car in. I currently live 70 miles from where I purchased my vehicle and I'm scared to drive it that far. I've had service with them before and I am not very happy with any of their service I want my car fixed properly and right so I won't be afraid to drive it. Please help.

- La Grange, NC, USA

problem #77

Oct 132014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
On the way home going along the interstate at the speed limit of 70 mph, the steering suddenly cut out without warning. We safely made it to the side of the interstate in which a light popped up in my dash which said steering loss stop safely. I turned the car off and then started it back again in hopes that it was just a glitch, but the error was still there. By the grace of god, we made it home safely. The following morning, I called the corporate customer relations number at the Ford Motor Company and spoke to a customer representative who told me that yes there are recalls on focuses of the same year for steering loss, but my VIN number did not fall under that recall because my car was not made at the same manufacturing location. He basically advised me that I need to call my local Ford dealer and have my car sent there for repair. I then received the action plan from the supervisor at Ford in which it discussed the results from the diagnostic test. All the results correlated with the other Focus recalls which spoke of high steering resistance and the total estimated bill of $2,207.55. I then called the customer relations back at corporate Ford Motor Company, gave them my case number, and expressed the issue that I was having, the diagnosis of the car, the correlation between my cars diagnosis and the recalled Ford Focus diagnosis; the representative that I spoke to then said she would draft up some more paperwork in my case and send it to her supervisor, but it wasn't likely that my car would be covered under recall. The incident on the interstate was one that was horrifying, could have caused death and has sent me into a spiral of non-stop panic attacks and I am unsure of what all I can do. I need your help to stop this from happening to someone else and to help us get the recall for safety concerns that we should have been afforded in the first place. Updated 10/27/14.

- Newport News, VA, USA

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