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 12 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #76

Sep 122014


  • 78,500 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 5 mph, the steering wheel seized and excessive force was required to maneuver the vehicle. The hydraulic steering warning indicator illuminated. The contact had to shut off the vehicle and restart it in order to stop the failure. The failure occurred multiple times. The dealer stated that the steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 78,500.

- Clay, WV, USA

problem #75

Oct 012014


  • 46,000 miles
I was driving and the steering wheel started to be hard to turn. A light came on and the car said steering assist fault service required. I was able to pull the car over and restart it and it worked until today 10/11/14. Today I was in my driveway and the light came on again and said the same message. I tried restarting it four times and nothing happened so it was unsafe to drive.

- Pacifica, CA, USA

problem #74

Sep 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I started my car ignition, began to back out of my driveway. After about 2 - 7 seconds, the power steering froze up and a caution light lit up on my dash. It reads: Power steering assist malfunction, check manual. Or words very close to that effect. This has happened about 10 - 15 times since approximately September !8, 2014. I took it to Ford dealer and they changed the battery. They showed low voltage to the steering...or something to that effect. It did not fix the problem. The exact thing keeps happening. It happens right after I start up the car. I turn off the ignition, restart the car, and it works okay after that.

- Mount Vernon, IL, USA

problem #73

Sep 262014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles


The victim of the fatality was driving northwest on rte 84 at 1:58 pm on 9/26/14 when she hit the medium strip at the corner of Dodge rd in hampton falls, N.H.. the right front tire had a blow out and she then had a roll over accident. She went through the guard rail and into a deep ditch. The eye witness called 911 and assisted the driver who had no signs of life at the scene. When the volunteer hampton falls squad arrived at the scene, the acls unit was called off. This is currently under investigation by the New Hampshire state police. Updated 10/28/14.....updated 12/29/15

- Newburyport, MA, USA

problem #72

Oct 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Power steering failure light came on and power-steering in vehicle stopped working. Attempted to clear out by shutting off engine and turning car back on, but it did not work. Had to have car towed to dealership. They said there is a sensor failure and entire steering system needs replaced, cost approximately $2,000. May be two weeks to repair, no word on when parts will be in.

- Lakewood, OH, USA

problem #71

Aug 292014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 46,839 miles
Steering looses power (no power steering). After a restart or two power steering comes back only to go out again after a little while.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #70

Jul 282014


  • 3,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle accelerated slowly on occasion. Other times, the rpms would race and the vehicle would jerk forward. The dealer stated that the body control module needed to be replaced. The contact stated that the dealer was not able to reprogram the computer to install the new part and had to re-install the old part. The manufacturer was notified and the vehicle was taken to the dealer a fourth time to have the new part installed. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The sensors intermittently illuminated for the brake assist and parking aide. In addition, while making a right or left turn, the steering wheel locked intermittently more than once. The contact also stated that the clock intermittently shorted out and the time display was incorrect. The dealer provided an interim remedy and suggested that the contact turn off the gps. The interim fix remedied the failure as long as the contact used the feature to disable the gps auto clock manually each time. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000.

- Edmonds, WA, USA

problem #69

Oct 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
Son was driving home when the electronic steering assist failed, making car very hard to control.

- Kansas City , MO, USA

problem #68

Sep 252014


  • 44,000 miles
Power steering sporadically comes in and out---usually when the car is just started and we attempt to back out---the steering has no power. If this happens while driving at a higher speed----this could be bad.

- Blythewood, SC, USA

problem #67

Sep 202014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
At a stop light car in drive brakes lock, shift gear locks. Message appears transmission not in park. Car takes at least 5 to 10 minutes to turn back over to start up. Car stalls to go into different speeds, accelerates when turning a corner.

- Irvington , NJ, USA

problem #66

Aug 302014


  • 42,500 miles


I was driving in a residential neighborhood when an error message displayed on the dash computer indicating that there was an issue with the power steering. I was in the middle of a turn onto another street when the power steering went out. This was not the first time that the power steering went out. I have experienced the same issue at least 5 times. On the most recent occasion noted here, the power steering control module (pscm) had just been replaced at my local Ford dealership 4 or 5 days previous. I was told by the dealership that both the original pscm and the replacement pscm were part of the same batch that were apparently defective from the manufacturer. My car is currently having yet another pscm installed by the dealership. If Ford is aware of a defective batch of pscms, a recall should be issued. I am also concerned that the first outage of the original pscm took roughly 2 years to manifest, while the second pscm went out in less than a week. I am not sure if that indicates a broader electrical problem with the car, or was simply a coincidence that the second pscm went out that soon after replacement.

- Liberty , MO, USA

problem #65

Mar 102013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
I was driving on one of our first trips (400 miles) in the winter of 2012 in South Dakota interstate 90. There was snow and ice patches on the highway and the steering was easy to slightly turn one direction, but harder to slightly turn the other direction. Trucks and or wind always makes a car move and a person's steering makes a correction for this. This car's steering was easy one way and not as easy the other way. Very difficult to drive this way. I have been driving vehicles for 60 years and never had this experience before. I took the car to the Ford dealer and he said that Ford did have some recalls on this steering behavior, but my car was not included. He did drive it and said it wasn't perfect, but okay as it was electronically made this way. I wrote a letter to Ford Motor Company and they sent me back a letter telling me to work it out with the dealer. I guess they didn't understand my letter as I had already talked to the dealer and he couldn't do anything with it. I can only hope that we can trade it off before it causes an accident some day. Probably not another Ford! I also question why this steering behavior wasn't brought to the attention of the NHTSA? there were recalls before on this same problem. Thanking you in advance for patience, I was driving.

- Yankton, SD, USA

problem #64

Aug 272014


  • 79,000 miles
Driving on freeway and my steering wheel locked on me. Almost caused an accident. Luckily a tow driver was by me and he was able to steer traffic away from me and he helped me move my car to safety.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #63

Jun 022014


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 75 mph, the power steering malfunctioned and the steering wheel became very difficult to turn. The steering assist warning sensor illuminated. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Winters, TX, USA

problem #62

Jun 182014


  • miles
The transmission is knocking when it shifts gears especially the lower gears. It stutters really bad as well.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #61

Jan 022012


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle was not shifting into gears properly, would stall sporadically and would jerk intermittently. Additionally, the steering wheel would often seize. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer several times who had not been able to replicate nor diagnose the failure. The failure recurred and the dealer replaced the transmission and transmission sensor but the failure recurred. The contact also mentioned that the lights intermittently illuminated and the radio was making a loud noise when it was powered off. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who then diagnosed that the computer chip in the fuel pump failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #60

Jul 082014


  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 50 mph, the power steering became difficult to turn and the engine stalled. The contact also stated that the vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering pump needed to be replaced and the PCM failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 77,000.

- Brazoria, TX, USA

problem #59

Jun 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
On two occasions the vehicle stopped running while in motion. In incident 1, this occurred at highway speed (65 mph) and incident #2 in local traffic (15 mph). In both cases all power was lost including the acceleration, power steering, etc. After incident 1, the car restarted and driven to the dealer - extensive repairs were made "to the transmission" (per the dealer). In the second incident after dealer repairs after incident 1, the car completely stopped at highway speed and would not restart - towed to dealer. Again loss of all power including acceleration, power steering, etc. After incident 2 the dealer replaced the "master control unit". while both incidents were covered by Ford under the "drive train" original warranty I am concerned about the loss of power in two incidents separated by about one month.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #58

Jul 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 55,950 miles
After sitting in neutral waiting for construction to allow us to proceed, started out and then power steering went out. Turned off at next red light and started again and began working. A few miles later stopped for gas and when started vehicle, no power steering and is still out.

- Warren, PA, USA

problem #57

Jul 102014


  • 55,000 miles
I bought a 2012 Focus as a certified used car, trusting Ford and having peace of mind with a warranty. Within a few months of ownership I started the car and a message saying "steering assist malfunction" displayed. After turning the car off and back on it went away. I have complained about it about 3-4 times while at dealers for transmission "fixes". every time they said they could not duplicate the problem so even though there is a technical service bulletin, it never got fixed. Now even if I restart the car, the steering is out. It is completely gone and they refuse to fix it without charge because it is not their fault they couldn't pull any codes before. So I'm left to decide, should I fight them for this and the transmission, or just give them another $100 for a warranty repair when I already gave them $2000 for a warranty.

- Jamestown, OH, USA

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