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 15 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

May 252012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 30 miles


Whenever I drive the car around 60 miles speed, the steering wheel becomes stiff and starts to wander. It becomes really hard to balance the wheels. I noticed this on my brand new Ford Focus SE for the first time on May 25th 2012, when I was driving on a tollway at 60 to 70 miles speed per hour. I bought this car on May 24th 2012. This car is not good for driving on highways especially for driving around the speed 60 miles per hour. Now I am really scared to drive my car on highways. So far, there were no accidents. Going forward if something happens, I would blame Ford and sue the company. Ford must fix this issue or recall this model.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #15

Mar 022012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,007 miles
Power steering failed while driving new Ford Focus SE, making it difficult to steer the car. Failure of steering was accompanied by "steering assist fault - service required" message in dash and warning chime. On restart of car, steering returns to normal operation and fault message no longer displays. This has occurred once after purchase of car. I see there are many complaints about this but no solutions. Will there be a recall issued before this happens to someone at speed and causes a wreck resulting in injury or death?

- Callahan, FL, USA

problem #14

Jan 202012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 330 miles
After making right turn out of driveway, traveled straight for approximately 300-400 yards and power steering failed. Warning light came on. Had to stop at stop sign...could not steer car - very difficult to steer without assist. I managed to turn it around, got back to my driveway. Power steering did not return. Called Ford roadside assistance - tow truck driver had difficulty steering the car to get it on truck...power assist returned. Dealer was not able to duplicate, researched with Ford technical assistance and found "no cause." They called it a fluke and returned car to me. Second incident occurred in same fashion on Feb. 14, 2012. After returning to my driveway the second time, the power assist returned to function. Dealer is not sure that bringing the car in will help them find or fix the problem. Ford customer service agent stated in email that "it could very well be a fluke" and is not offering any further solutions. I need help in getting this fixed.

- Coopersburg, PA, USA

problem #13

Feb 152012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 556 miles


The Ford Focus 2012 has problem starting at 556 miles - the engine would not even turn over. The warning light "steering assist fault service require" come on, and the front power windows do not work too. Hope the dealer would fix this soon.

- Fountain Valley, CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 072012


  • 4,106 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact was driving 20 mph when the power steering function failed and the steering wheel seized abnormally. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who reprogrammed the computer. The contact stated that she no longer felt safe driving the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 4,106 and the current mileage 4,160.

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #11

Dec 302011


  • 3,000 miles
While driving steering fault service immediately and an exclamation mark appeared on the dashborad. At the same time the car would barely steer and I had a very hard time getting it off the road. I called for roadside assistance and they took it to the dealership.

- Floyd, VA, USA

problem #10

Dec 042011


  • 1,596 miles


While backing out of a driveway the steering system failed, I rolled down a hill and into a wooded area. The system gave an indicator light of steering system failure and also the braking system did not engage. I lost complete control of the vehicle.

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #9

Nov 062011


  • 1,650 miles
Power steering failed, with dashboard warning messages.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 072011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 125 miles
Power steering failed while driving new Ford Focus SE, making it difficult to steer the car. Failure of steering was accompanied by "steering assist fault - service required" message in dash and warning chime. On restart of car, steering returns to normal operation and fault message no longer displays. This has occurred twice at random two weeks after purchase of car.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #7

Oct 172011


  • miles
Inadequate clearance between steering wheel mounted controls for cruise control and sync and stalk mounted controls for signals and wipers result in fingers getting caught between wheel and stalks. During a test drive, this caused accidental flashing of bright lights and wiper activation. In a worst case scenario, this could prevent turning the steering wheel at a critical moment and cause a crash with injuries or fatalities. I believe this is a serious safety issue. Please investigate this design problem and consider mandatory recall and redesign of all vehicles so equipped.

- Elida, OH, USA

problem #6

Jul 042011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 650 miles


I purchased a 2012 Ford Focus hatch. As soon as we drove the car we noticed the difference in the transmission. The sales man said he didn't feel it and that the car had to learn our driving habits. Don't think a car learns 2 different driving habits as there are 2 of us driving it. But at low speeds either accelerating or decelerating the car shutters and shimmies way too much for our comfort. It seems this is an electronic problem but we thought we'd bring it in to have a trained tech look at it. The first attempt was a new module and that should fix it.... it didn't... so in a second time for a remapping of the computer...didn't for a third time and the tech says Ford is not allowing any fixes on this car... we have to wait! really" wait? I bought a brand new $21,000 car...... an automatic car! I been told it has to learn how I drive... I've been told it needs broke has 5000 miles on it now how long does it take to break in? I'm told that it's as if I am driving a manual and this is normal.........hello!!!!! not a manual. I'm told this is just how this transmission reacts... and along with the shuttering is the hesitation upon accelerating that could cost me my life on a busy highway............... the remote key lock has confusion issues. It doesn't always recognize the signal and it has to be opened or locked manually. All I want is a fix and if there is no fix I want to be able to implement the lemon law on this car........ I expected more from Ford for my 30 plus years of loyalty. After all isn't that what has kept Ford going? all of us loyal customers that stayed with them thru the hard times" my family has bought over $100,000 in new Ford cars and trucks and plenty of used ones as well. I really am sad that Ford hasn't stepped up on this one and I am so sure I am not alone. Listen Ford execs..... we are paying attention!!! thank you!

- Chalk Hill , PA, USA

problem #5

Oct 082011


  • miles
I just bought my brand new 2012 Ford Focus less than 2 weeks ago. The first time I drove it on hwy in speeds excess of 60mph, I noticed it was very difficult to keep the car driving straight without constant adjustment to the steering wheel. Since it was storming that night, I assumed it was the wind knocking my little car around. I was very wrong. It happened every time after that...even on clear, sunny days. Several times I almost side-swiped cars in other lanes trying to maintain control of my car. This is extremely unsafe and I'm hoping a recall has been made on the steering issue. I'm taking the car in to the dealership today with printouts of numerous complaints for this exact issue.

- Palm Coast, FL, USA

problem #4

Oct 042011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 248 miles
The power steering failed as I made a turn at low speed. The warning lights came on indicating a power steering failure. I was able, with great difficulty, to steer the vehicle to the side of the road. The vehicle is brand new.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #3

Jul 092011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 700 miles
In my brand new 2012 Ford Focus while driving at speeds above 50mph it is incredibly hard to keep the car in it's lane without constant adjustment of the steering wheel. It feels like you're being buffeted by strong winds on both sides of the vehicle. I'm afraid to drive faster than 60mph due to the fact the vehicle acts like a snake going back and forth so much. I'm not alone in this, the online Ford Focus community "" has reported many cases of this occurring. The thread of complaints is here the solution appears to be having the entire power steering rack replaced. I'm worried a problem such as this could cause a severe accident if someone isn't expecting to fight with their steering wheel. I almost hit a car adjacent to me because of this. If he hadn't been paying attention things could have been bad. I realize you are very busy but I sincerely hope you take the time to review this issue and the thread I posted in order to prevent possible injury's or deaths in the future. It would be to the benefit of many if Ford were to recall and fix affected models.

- Hockessin, DE, USA

problem #2

Jul 232011


  • 2,985 miles
Wile driving at 60 mph the steering went to manual, warning display read "steering malfunction stop safely" contact authorized dealer. This has only happen once and still not sure what fixes it. Still at dealer.

- Plant City , FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 282011


  • 75 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle would pull to the right and she would have to use excessive force to continue steering straight. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the vehicle was operating as intended, and there was no remedy available. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 75.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

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