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 2 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #276

Sep 172016


  • 61,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced a loss of power steering. The vehicle had to be restarted in order for the steering to be operational. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic power steering module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 61,000.

- Moultrie, GA, USA

problem #275

Jan 292016


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that after turning on the vehicle, the instrument panel would display a warning message of "steering assist fault". the vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering gear box would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #274

Sep 202016


  • 36,000 miles
Steer wheel assist shuts off at car engine start while parked in residence parking. Multiple restart at same location would not make the issue disappear. Car cannot be operated as lack of steering power is an obvious safety hazard on the road. Car has 36000 miles.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #273

Sep 152016


  • 71,500 miles


I was driving back from the gym on 9/15/16 when I got an error on the dashboard saying "steering assist malfunction." At that time my Focus was in motion on a city street at approximately 45 mph and approaching a turn that I needed to take. This was highly dangerous and impaired most of my ability to steer and almost caused an accident as I was trying to steer the turn. This is highly dangerous, and from hundreds of reviews online many 2012 Ford Focus owners are having the exact same issue. This is something that not only needs to be investigated, but need to be recalled for the safety of all Ford Focus drivers.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #272

Sep 162016


  • 58,263 miles
The electronic power assisted steering (dpas) system on my 2012 Ford Focus has failed. The vehicle is un-drivable absent extreme force. Emergency maneuvers are out of the question. The vehicle is utterly unsafe to operate. Restarting the vehicle and resetting the ECU have no effect. The failure occurred when starting the vehicle (stationary). Luckily it didn't fail while driving.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #271

Aug 022016


  • 93,087 miles
Lurching and uncontrolled shifting occurs with the transmission. It has left me stuck in the middle of a left turn because it doesn't shift correctly. Now I ran off the road while exiting a freeway because the power steering turned off in the middle of the turn. This has now happened 6 times randomly. It gives me a power steering fault. I have come close to being the cause of 3 accidents because of these two issues.

- Winter Garden, FL, USA

problem #270

Sep 062016


  • 72,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced a loss of power steering and the power steering warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 16V643000 (latches/locks/linkages); however, the parts to do the repair were unavailable. The manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 72,000. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #269

Sep 112016


  • 114,000 miles
As I was coming to a stop, the steering got really difficult and the steering assist light came on. After stopping, the steering locked up completely. I restarted the car, and it worked after that. Now I'm worried this will happen in a worse area, particularly while on the freeway. I also recently had the passenger door open while I was driving and had to tie the seat belt through the door handle and hold to make it home without the door coming open. Locking the seat belt in still made the door barely open, and the alert go off. This looks like it was just recalled, so I'm hoping I get reimbursed. It wasn't cheap to fix. Car is 114,000 miles.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #268

Sep 082016


  • 56,633 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving, the steering became difficult to maneuver and the power steering assist malfunction warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 56,633.

- Marrero, LA, USA

problem #267

Sep 062016


  • 105,000 miles
Our 2012 Ford Focus all of a sudden lost its power steering capabilities making the car extremely difficult to steer, turn or control. My 20 year old daughter who drives the car daily is of slight build, so her safety was at jeopardy behind the wheel. This problem occurred while she was driving near our home on 9/6/16. I drove it immediately and found it very difficult to maneuver, so I brought it to a Ford dealer that same day. On 9/7/16 I was told the rack & pinion electronic system failed and the repair costs are over $1900. I feel this is a safety issue that Ford needs to address and pay for the complete charges. The vehicle is unsafe to drive at this point until the expensive problem is resolved.

- Downers Grove, IL, USA

problem #266

Aug 292016


  • 111,085 miles


Recently I've had an issue with the starter. The dash stated the car battery was low, I have the car taken to a local mechanic where the battery is testing that it is good. The car will start in the mornings after resting and I don't drive as much as just to be safe while I try to figure out what's going on with this car. I've had this car fixed three times in the past year, once for the customer survey satisfaction (not a recall Ford told me) to have the transmission fixed, another to have the steering module replaced and a third time to have the clutches replaced and that was done by a dealership to stop the lurching and jerking that the car does. I'm amazed at the callousness of a company that completely ignores the pleas of people who have almost crashed in their vehicles! no regard for their consumers what so ever!! I promise this will be the first & last Ford vehicle that I ever buy.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #265

Sep 052016


  • miles
Backing up, vehicle assist warning and loss of power steering occured.

- Hernando, MS, USA

problem #264

Sep 042016


  • 362,000 miles
Steering error code comes on more and more frequently. Today it froze up on my girl while she was driving and she could have been seriously injured. Ford and / or NHTSA needs to do something to get these death traps recalled. What's it going to take??

- Inman, SC, USA

problem #263

Sep 022016


  • 87,025 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 35 mph, the steering assist module warning indicator illuminated and the steering wheel seized. The contact had to turn the ignition switch off and on to be able to resume driving. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. In addition, while exiting the driveway, the vehicle jerked and lost power. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 87,025.

- Hennessey, OK, USA

problem #262

Sep 022016


  • 82,000 miles
The power steering assist fault illuminated when I started my vehicle, along with no power steering when I would turn the wheel. Restarted the vehicle multiple times with the same result.

- Bagor, ME, USA

problem #261

Aug 252016


  • 87,000 miles
As of September 2, 2016, 3 times within past 2 weeks after starting vehicle get error message "steering assist fault" and there is no power steering. After turning off vehicle and restarting the error has been cleared. Concerned of total failure which looks to be ~$2000 to repair or failure while driving, on NHTSA webiste there are 254 steering complaints for 2012 Focus, around 50 for 2013 Focus and 50 for 2014 Focus. There were 5 complaints for 2011 Focus which is last model that did not have epas steering. Clearly there is a design problem with this epas steering system, am hoping Ford does the right thing and recall this to alleviate unhappy customers and potential safety problem.

- Lake Orion, MI, USA

problem #260

Aug 292016


  • 70,000 miles
Power steering failure- started with everyonce in a while id get the error notice of power steering failure so I would turn off the car start it back up and fine, it started to happen more frequently to the imbarrassing point of having to turn on and off the car 5-10 times just to have power steering, then I got a letter to update my car's software to help fix the power steering issue, I got the software update and 3 months later total failure, I now have zero power steering and now Ford wants me to pay $2200 to fix it, when it failed I almost crashed into another car with my kids in my car on the freeway, needless to say we are greatful to be alive, sad thing is all other models from 2011-2012 with the same exact power steering system get a recall why not the Focus? I wish I would have known before I would have never bought the car, Ford is a scam and doesnt back up its product, the power steering is broke because of their defective product

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #259

Aug 172016


  • 75,000 miles
On August 17, 2016, I was driving my Focus and while turning a corner, my steering seemed to lock up. I couldn't turn the wheel. I braked hard because I was headed into parked cars. I was able to reverse and park good enough until tow truck arrived. I had it towed to Ford dealer in santa monica, ca. The service agent told me that my battery was low and caused my steering issue. I informed him the battery was only one year old. He replied that it had a bad cell. He told me if I put a new battery, it will fix issue. I authorized replacement and picked up my car the next day. On August 26, 2016, I was in my car and a warning popped on my dash, "battery low, check manual." I drove it straight to Ford. The service agent checked my battery and alternator and said they both were good. He first told me that warning always comes on when you turn key on but don't start engine. I told him it had never popped on before in the four years I've had the car. He insisted I just hadn't noticed it before. I told him I'm sure that it never happened. So when he test drove it, he switched up his opinion that the warning was referring to the key remote. I asked how because it showed a symbol of the car battery. I told him I hope you're correct and it is just the remote because I was worried that the steering would lock again after he previously said that it went out because of low battery. So I proceeded to drive back to where I was staying and when I turned into a driveway to turn around, my power steering went out. I was not strong enough to steer it well, but was able to reverse as close to curb as possible and again waited to be towed back to Ford. End result: They had it for four days, drove it for 72 miles and hooked it up to a diagnostic machine. They could find nothing wrong. I'm afraid to drive my Focus. I feel like the steering could go out or lock up at any given moment.

- Lemoore, CA, USA

problem #258

Aug 202016


  • 89,000 miles
Power steering failure. Happened 4-5 times when I start the car. Power steering will not work and I get a message that "steering assist service" needed. Turning the car off, restarting usually fixes the problem but I worry what might happen if it fails at 70 mph in traffic. I see many complaints of the same issue on the web. I am surprised Ford has not addressed this very common problem.

- Mcfarland, WI, USA

problem #257

Aug 182016


  • 0 miles
When I am in park starting the car, . the steering wont work. A message comes up saying the power steering asst system is out. Does not steer at all. I turned the car off and on about 3 times then it went away there is an electric motor no pump..I called to complain and Ford says there is not recall. They do however recall other models with the same problem. If..this is not a safety issue I don't know what is" the steering motor goes out" what if it happens when I am on the road. They already told me they wont fix it. It is clearly a recall issue and they wont fix the lesser models

- Summerfield, FL, USA

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