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:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
13 / 1
Average Mileage:
80,897 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 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #119

Apr 222015


  • 100,262 miles


I was driving to work one more when my car dashboard lite up saying steering assistance service required. An at that point my power steering went out on me. I pulled over and turned the car off as steering became very hard. After turning my car off and back on the light went off and my steering was back to normal. Called the dealership who said at this point don't worry about if it happens again to bring it in. Well 5/14/15 rolls around and I'm leaving work get in my car an turn the car on the my dashboard lights up again with the same message and my steering is out again. Called the dealership they said to bring it in. I bring it in on 5/15/15 and they said that my power steering rack assembly needs to be replaced an since my warranty ran out that it isn't covered and they quoted me over a thousand dollars to fix it. I don't have that kind of money and to me since that is a saftey issue that is something Ford should be fixing for free as that can cause me to get into an accident.

- Camden, NC, USA

problem #118

May 052015


  • miles
While driving the power steering went out and I briefly lost control of the vehicle. Regained control and made it to my destination. This has happened before and when I turned the car off and back on it fixed itself. This time I've turned the car off and back on 5 times within the past 5 hrs and it still isn't working. I have an appointment with Ford in the morning but not sure how I'm going to make it the 30 miles to get there.

- Clarksville, IN, USA

problem #117

Apr 102015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Steering assist malfunction when starting vehicle, making it impossible to drive. However when restarted and "warmed up" vehicle function. Ford seems to be ignoring the issue as it did with transmission malfunction. Today May 5 I return to metro Ford.

- Miami Beach , FL, USA

problem #116

Oct 142014


  • 15,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving at approximately 30 mph, the steering wheel was difficult to maneuver. The contact was able to regain control. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the steering column assembly and the column steering cover were both replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000.

- Rogers, AR, USA

problem #115

Mar 132015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,500 miles
First time: Was merging from one highway to another and power steering went out. Warning came on. I got off immediately. I turned the car off and the warning message went off and the car was fine. I took it directly to the dealer. They said they could not get the car to do it again and that they checked the connections and all was fine. Second time: Was parked and went to turn the car on. The warning message came on and I could not turn the steering wheel. Turned the car off again and it cleared itself. I am going to take the car back in to Ford so that I can get the dates that this occurred on record. This is twice within months that this is happening. It is scary to think of what could happen if this were to occur again.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #114

Apr 272015


  • 48,290 miles
Started vehicle and pulling out of street parking when the wheel locked suddenly and there was a steering wheel assist warning light that came on dash. Turned car off and back on and it cleared. Another vehicle had to maneuver around me by the time I had turned the car off and on. Luckily it was not too dark or else it may have caused an accident.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #113

Apr 202015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles


As I was backing out of a driveway my power steering failed. Had to have my car towed.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #112

Apr 132015


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the power steering failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The dealer stated that the steering rack would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 56,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #111

Mar 172015


  • 58,500 miles
I started noticing this 3 days after I had my transmission shudder fixed. I got to the point that any time I started my car and tried to turn my wheel while going in both forward and reverse that I had no power steering assisting me in my turn. It would take all I had to turn the wheel, and sometimes it would give the alert for needing to take it in for service. I took it in, and the first time the dealer did a service update. I drove it around for a few more days before I noticed when I slowed down to take turns my wheel would physically stop turning while in mid turn. I took it back in to the dealership, where they did another update to my power steering. 2 days later it's doing the same thing. I've been fortunate for this to not happen while trying to pull a quick avoidance maneuver. It's proving to be too dangerous to drive.

- Coulterville, IL, USA

problem #110

Apr 102015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
Power steering electrical system failed without notice. Noticed that there is currently a class action suit against Ford for this issue and other issues. Not on recall list at moment, and may have to pay for repair due to faulty design.

- Westbrook, CT, USA

problem #109

Apr 072015


  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving various speeds, the vehicle would abnormally hesitate when shifting. Also, the steering assist error warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The dealer stated that the hesitation was a normal occurrence and the steering gear assembly would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Moorpark, CA, USA

problem #108

Apr 082015


  • 40,000 miles
First time 04/06/2015 started car like normal dashboard read power assist faliure contact service. Turned car off then back on dash cleared. Ran system check no issues. Called local Ford dealer was told glitch in system shouldn't happen again no need to bring in car. 2 days later... was driving on freeway when suddenly steering went out. Car was going almost 65 could bearly move steering wheel felt like it was stuck in wet sand. Almost crashed when approching curve had to slow down to about 10mph. What if 1yr. Old was in car what if I crashed.

- Berea , OH, USA

problem #107

Mar 132015


  • 29,000 miles
I was driving at approximately 30mph on a busy road when the alert sound went off in the car. The message on the dash said that there was a power steering malfunction. It immediately became very difficult to steer. I was able to arrive at my destination just up the road without incident. The steering had returned to normal when I turned the car on again about 30 minutes later. I have not experienced any steering issues since.

- Bright, MA, USA

problem #106

Sep 232014


  • 47,000 miles
1.power steering goes out at any given time, whether its initial crank or driving at any speeds. It appears to occur more so in the warmer months of the year. 2. transmission slips, chatters, rollbacks while in gear, hesitation, delayed response. I have taken vehicle to dealership multiple times, they said they cant get the power steering to re-occur so there was nothing wrong with car! they said the transmission acts within their specs, as this is does come and go but appears 90-95% of the time. However I did receive an extended warranty out of no where for the transmission in which I heard they do nothing but clean oil off the clutch plate which will resolve nothing. My wife is 100lbs soaking wet and cannot control the vehicle in turns when the steering goes out. She has already blown out a tire on a curb due to not being able to correct the path of the vehicle in a turn.

- Auburn, AL, USA

problem #105

Feb 252015


  • 3,950 miles
On several instances while entering a turn the power steering shut off and a failure notification was displayed on the dashboard. This resulted in several near accidents, especially while having to quickly adjust to the increased strength required to complete the turn without hitting another car or curb. Turning vehicle off and back on resolves the issue temporarily, but power steering fails seemingly randomly every time.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #104

Feb 122015


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 50 mph, the steering wheel seized without warning. The vehicle was coasted to a safe location. After restarting, the vehicle resumed with extreme difficulty in turning the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the power steering assist would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Crystal River, FL, USA

problem #103

Feb 132015

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 45 mph, the steering wheel seized and the steering assist fault warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering rack needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,000. Updated 4/29/15

- Crystal River, FL, USA

problem #102

Sep 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
On multiple occasions, I have had the power steering fail on my car. I've had it happen while driving at speeds ranging from 25mph-70mph. While driving I will hear the alert chime and I will receive the message power steering fault appear on screen, about 2 seconds later the steering becomes stiff and very difficult to control. I've been blessed to be able to get the car to the side of the ride and or freeway. Generally what happens is I turn the car off, and restart and the fault message disappears. When I took it into the Ford dealer, they charged me $150 to look at it, but "could not replicate" the issue so they sent me on my way. I spoke with a Ford support rep who told me that there was not much they could do if the fault message was unable to duplicate, but their suggestion in the future was to snap a picture of the display when it happens. How dangerous would that be in a car that you can not steer to grab my cellphone and snap a picture" I've looked up this issue online in many Ford Focus forums, and this is not an isolated incident. For a car's steering to not function after 60K miles is ridiculous. And because I bought the car used, I have no warranty. But there have been several reports of customer's experiencing the same issue over and over, and Ford is reluctant to fix it because the power steering module is difficult to replace. I've heard they have to replace the entire steering column. But how is the consumer at fault for this" I feel I am taking my life in my own hands whenever I drive this vehicle, and Ford will be reluctant to do anything until someone is in a serious accident.

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #101

Feb 022015


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while making a right turn, the power steering failed and the message board displayed loss of steering, stop vehicle. As a result, the contact hit a curve and fractured the left strut and rack and pinion. The vehicle was only able to move when in reverse. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 78,000.

- Bowling Green, OH, USA

problem #100

Feb 092015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 76,833 miles
On 2/9/2015 approx. 4:00pm, my wife called me on my cell phone in a panic, clearly stressed. She said she almost was in an accident because the steering on her 2012 Ford Focus SE hatchback locked up while she was driving about 50 mph and merging on a busy highway. She told me she got over and off the road with 0 steering. She said a sound came over the car as it happened and a message with steering assist fault service required. Upon arriving on scene, I restarted the car and got the same message and 0 power steering. I called Ford service and was told to bring it in the next day. As I type this the car is still at the dealer. Part to fix with labor $1,652 before tax on a part Ford knows is defective. I did a search on the fault code that was displayed and I was taken aback from what I seen and read about this model year and car and the steering just going out without warning. Ford acts like it is not a problematic or defective part, but how do you explain the same back-ordered parts to fix it. She was lucky she or no body else died yesterday. Do the right thing and issue a recall on this obviously defective part. I have also seen that there is a class action lawsuit that was filed in 2014 in California. Ford do the right thing!

- Crystal River, FL, USA

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