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 5 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #216

Mar 262016


  • 78,000 miles


The display on the dash reads "steering assist fault". it started as an intermittent failure that happened once the car was first started, the problem would go away after shutting down and restarting, that had been happening for a couple weeks. Now it is a consistent problem. There is absolutely no assist in the power steering, makjng the car very difficult to maneuver at normal driving speed and near impossible to maneuver at very low speed, e.g. during parallel parking, U-turns, sharp turns, etc.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #215

Apr 042016


  • 82,000 miles
Steering freezes, makes a very dangerous moment, door window doesn't suddenly work. Feel a recall should be in effect, chosen states have a recall on the steering, but not in Texas, I'm a senior citzen, living off gove. Benitfits, can't afford the price to fix, the vehicle was stationary, and one time in motion.

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #214

Apr 062016


  • 77,600 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 45 mph, the steering seized without warning. The contact drifted the vehicle over to the shoulder. When the vehicle came to a complete stop, the steering ability returned. The dealer diagnosed the failure, but it was unable to be duplicated. The approximate failure mileage was 77,600.

- Ocean Shore, WA, USA

problem #213

Apr 042016


  • 95,000 miles


Started car and put it in gear to begin driving out of driveway. Got a message in the info system that said "steering assist fault" ( think that is what it said) the car had no power steering. Extremely hard to turn the wheel at all. Shut the car off and restarted. Same thing. Shut the car off and started it later in the day to take it to the dealer and the error was gone and the power steering was fine. Dealer said there were no codes to read. They could not reproduce the problem so nothing was done. Scared to drive an unsafe car.

- Wixom, MI, USA

problem #212

Apr 042016


  • 96,000 miles
Received "steering assist fault " and complete loss of power steering. I had just begun to drive out the driveway. Fortunately I did not make it onto the road.

- Wixom, MI, USA

problem #211

Mar 082016


  • 64,000 miles
Steering went out at starting the car. This was just hours after dealer repaired some recalls., has never come back. "steering assist fault service req'" read out on dash. One Ford dealer wants $125 to look at it after I mentioned steering. Another has refused to answer calls. I discovered that dealers were warned about problems with steering but did not notify owners.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #210

Jun 012015


  • 100,000 miles


In 2015 after I started my car the power steering went out when coming out of the driveway at home. It use to come back on but comes off when car is parked then driven again. Now there is no power steering. On March 28, 2016, my car started honking twice when I push the lock button while the car is running on park and driving on the city street.

- Ardmore, OK, USA

problem #209

Mar 232016

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,924 miles
My 17 year old daughter was driving to basketball and all of the sudden she lost all power steering N it all locked up. Thank gosh she was on a straight a way. I looked up to see if there any recalls N there's not. I have called Ford 1800-392-3673 they said thy hv no complaints. I told them all the ones I saw on this sight but thy said they need anyone that has had this problem to call Ford directly 1-800-392-3673 then hopefully thy will put a recall. So please everyone call Ford N complain about the lost of power steering so we can save lives. Thank you

- Boonsboro, MD, USA

problem #208

Mar 232016


  • 15,922 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 35 mph, the steering locked. The contact turned off and restarted the vehicle and it resumed normal operation. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 15,922.

- Boonsboro, MD, USA

problem #207

Mar 132016


  • 3 miles
While driving M power steering goes out. Also when first start car will indicate problem with power steering. Will have to turn off car then start again to resolve issue. I started few months ago and has become progressively worse. I hope they recall this before someone gets hurt.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #206

Mar 032016


  • 78,000 miles


Went to start my 2012 Ford Focus SE on 3/3/16 and immediately received a message stating "power steering malfunction". the steering wheel felt like it locked up and was very difficult to turn. Thank goodness I was in my driveway and not on the road with my kids in the car! we were able to get the car to apple Ford in columbia md where they ran diagnostics and said we need to replace the the steering rack, which will cost $1,950!! after reading the forums, complaints and pending lawsuits online, it is clear that this is a common issue where several models are being recalled. My VIN has not been associated with that recall, but I'm desperately hoping that it will soon. This is an electric issue causing the power steering to fail, and it's happening to so many Ford owners. Please take action!

- Odenton, MD, USA

problem #205

Mar 052016


  • 79,154 miles
I was driving on a city street going 30mph when my steering started to get hard to steer but not impossible. When I pulled over I got a notification on my dash the "steering loss, stop safely". at that point there was no way what so ever to turn my steering wheel at all. All most seemed like it was locked. Tried restarting the car and still no steering

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #204

Feb 272016


  • 84,800 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 5 mph, the steering malfunctioned. The vehice was diagnosed and repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 84,800.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #203

Feb 262016


  • miles
On 2/25/16, after a severe rainstorm, I went to turn on my car and tried to turn on the wiper blades, but they would not come on. The next morning they did turn on. That afternoon, when starting my car, the wiper blades turned on without the control being activated. The blades continued to run even when the car was turned off and no keys were in the ignition. The only way to stop the blades was to disconnect the fuse from the box. This has happened twice when I was not aware of this and my car battery was dead when I went to start the car. I cannot use the wiper blades at this time as they will not turn off. According to Ford Motor Co., this is not covered under the recall on the wiper blades since my car is out of warranty. I have had my car in the dealership to repair the defective clutch and it is still not repaired due to Ford Motor Co not sending out the necessary parts in a timely manner. My car is shuddering and jerking when accelerating and changing gears on all types of roads. I have had this issue since I bought the car brand new. The cruise control on my car works intermittently. When the battery is disconnected and then reconnected, the cruise will work for a few days. Ford technicians could not diagnose the problem. This has been a problem for as long as I have had the car.

- Clanton, AL, USA

problem #202

Feb 122016


  • 61,000 miles
Transmission shutters and slips and the power steering just shuts down at times, this is very dangerous. My wife was merging onto the interstate and the steering shuts down the engine still running. She has to shut the car off and start it again to get the power steering to work. This has happened around 10 times.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #201

Dec 012015


  • 75,000 miles
The electric power steering system regularly fails to start when I turn on the car. This seems to happen especially when the car is cold. When it does not start, it often times comes on when I turn on interior lights, put the car in reverse, or restart the engine. Sometimes it does not come on at all and I am forced to drive without power steering. I have read many complaints online about this problem happening to other Focus owners and have seen that this electric power steering system has caused problems in the Fusion as well.

- Aberdeen, NC, USA

problem #200

Feb 052016


  • 120,000 miles
I was driving home with my children and the alert light came on to say there was a steering problem then all of a sudden the car decided it wanted to steer itself into oncoming traffic. I could move the steering wheel so I slammed on the brakes and put car in reverse to get into the median before getting hit. My girls were screaming and crying. After cars passed I had to slam the steering wheel in order to pop it and drive like I was in mario cart to get home. This is ridiculous that this is not a recall when it is clearly a mechanical issue with this piece of crap car.

- Fernandina Beach, FL, USA

problem #199

Feb 112016


  • 80,000 miles
Electronic power steering failure occurred again with warning lights. I shut down the car and it came back on. The steering fairly frequently briefly stops working. I experience this typically while parked before getting out on the road.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #198

Jan 262016


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 10 mph, the steering wheel became inoperable without warning. The failure occurred randomly. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the rack and pinion failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 92,000.

- Soddy Daisy, TN, USA

problem #197

Jan 292016


  • 62,000 miles
Electric power assist system - lost power steering. Lost power steering several times when starting then reset it self when shut off. Last time happened while daughter driving car. Now at shop. Being charged $2200 to fix while still paying on vehicle. Irritating. I have had nothing but problems with this vehicle.

- Strasburg, VA, USA

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