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 7 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #176

Aug 162015


  • 75,000 miles


Car jumps from 2000 RPM to 7000 RPM immediately when wanting to go from 35 mph to 45 mph after being sluggish and almost hit another vehicle. At highway speed of 65, the car's power becomes so low it only goes 40 mph and had to put hazard lights on and get off highway. Automatic transmission but have to put foot on brake and other foot on gas in city traffic on hill or it slides back to almost hit vehicle behind me. Steering got so tight multiple times at 45 mph and all lights on panel came on and car stalled in middle of a major intersection and had to call police to ensure nobody hit my vehicle and direct other traffic. Car shudders and vibrates and nothing wrong with tires, rims, brakes and alignment.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #175

Oct 052012


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While starting the vehicle, the electronic power steering system fault illuminated on the instrument panel and the steering wheel became very difficult to maneuver. The contact stated that the failure occurred on four separate occasions intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the failure could not be duplicated. While driving 45 mph, the contact heard a loud bang and the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to stop the vehicle, but it would not restart or shift into gear. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the parking engage control sensor module failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred within 24 hours. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that transmission control module failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. When the vehicle was retrieved from the dealer, it experienced trouble shifting and made an abnormal grinding noise every time it was shifted into another gear. The contact took the vehicle back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch plates failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was 12,000.

- Travelers Rest, SC, USA

problem #174

Oct 172015


  • 65,000 miles
While taking a right turn on a city street my steering wheel immediately became very hard to maneuver. I had to brake as to keep my self from going forward rather than turning since my steering wheel seemed as though it was locked. I then realized the power steering was completely out, then the display and sound came on, stating that there was a steering malfunction and to refer to my manual. I then carefully and forcefully steered the vehicle into a vacant parking lot. I read the manual and attempted to cycle power to the vehicle to clear the issue. This did not work. I now have no power steering and the vehicle sits in the driveway. It has 65K miles and is out of warranty. I would not have purchased had I known soo many had this issue.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #173

Aug 152015


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 40 mph, the steering seized without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the electric power assist system failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 68,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #172

Oct 132015


  • 52,000 miles
Complete electrical power assist failure. Steering almost too difficult to operate. Thankfully happened at low speed.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #171

Sep 262015


  • miles
While pulling out of a drive thur my car suddenly became very hard to turn and a message appeared on the dash stating "steering assist malfunction". I was able to turn off the car and restart and the problem seemed to be okay. Now I am worried that this will happen again but in a more dangerous situation. There are many other complaints I have read about and it's not if it happens again it's when. Also tonight I experienced my rear right side door is not able to close at all. Which I have read numerous complaints about both of these safety concerns. That is a huge safety hazard, I am very thankful that I realized this before driving away with my daughter in the back seat. I will never buy another Ford again!!!!

- Wills Point, TX, USA

problem #170

Sep 102015


  • 84,264 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated when starting the vehicle, the steering assist malfunction warning light illuminated intermittently. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 84,264.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #169

Oct 052015


  • 65,000 miles
While backing out of the driveway the steering suddenly and without warning became very difficult to manage. Thinking that this was a temporary issue I attempted to drive the vehicle for a short distance but felt very unsafe to continue my trip and returned home.

- Fairview Heights, IL, USA

problem #168

Sep 302015


  • 46,000 miles
I was driving in the interstate going about 65 miles per hour with my child in the car my power steering went out a semi was right next to me and I almost went off the trying to keep from hitting it.

- Chandler, IN, USA

problem #167

Oct 042015


  • 81,000 miles
I had been having issues with my car losing power when accelerating and shuddering really badly. A month before the recall letter cam out for the tcm (transmission control module) I took it to the dealership where I bought the car from and they told me it was normal for the car. After I got the recall letter I went back for a free diagnostic and informed them of the warning light that was often appearing that said "steering assist fault service required". they said it would be a separate $145 to diagnosis that problem. After taking nearly 4 months to get the part in my car wasn't able to shift out of 1st gear driving home one night from work so I had to find another dealership to take it to. They were able to replace the recalled parts with in 1 week and the same issue with the steering that I had described to the previous dealership I also informed them about. When I went to pick up my car they told me I shouldn't have that same problem with the message "steering assist fault service require" and the steering wheel locking up. 3 weeks after getting my car back one night my husband and I got in the car to drive to a restaurant and could even leave the parking lot because the same message appear and my cars power steering is now just completely out. Before it would correct itself after I turned the car off but now its just stuck and I can't drive my car. Ford corporate basically told me since there isn't a recall it isn't their problem. And the dealership told me they would tow it and run a diagnostic and if it isn't related to the recall repair I'm responsible to the cost of towing and repair. Online this repair appears to be $2,000ish dollars and I don't have that. So basically Ford told me I was sol....

- Washignton, DC, USA

problem #166

Nov 142014


  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 5 mph, the steering assist warning indicator illuminated and the steering wheel seized. The failure recurred multiple times intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that there was a shortage in the steering gear box, and the steering gear box needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000. Updated 1/14/16

- Waco, TX, USA

problem #165

Aug 172015


  • 87,400 miles
What has happened with my 2012 Ford Focus on August 18, 2015 has now happened 2 additional times since then. On 8/21/2015 my vehicle was dropped off at skinner & damulis to reprogram the transmission control module (field service action: 15B22 transmission control module reprogramming for overt tcm failure warning). On August 27, 2015 while driving down the road at 55 mph again I had the same loss of power, this time had an 18 wheeler behind me that was not slowing down, I pulled over to the shoulder and needed to use reverse and the vehicle would not go into reverse, it just revved like it was in neutral. I turned the vehicle off, called Ford, again, and told them my issue. After restarting the vehicle after the phone call I was able to put in reverse. I returned vehicle to skinner & damulis on 9/3/2015, vehicle was "repaired" on 9/4/2015 and invoice stated my concern: Car having issues with revving and won't go into reverse at times and their correction was they found tcm & PCM software update and performed software update. On 9/25/2015 I again had the same issue with revving while driving (35-40 mph) and was again unable to get the vehicle into reverse. Car had 90,111 miles at the time. Contacted Ford and was given case# cas-7944030 and will be in contact with john from Ford by Monday evening. This no longer works for me. This car needs to go, it is going to kill someone, me, people in another vehicle, something and I am not going to have my family sued because this problem occurs again. I need a vehicle as an outside sales person and no longer feel safe in my 2012 Ford Focus. This car needs to be taken back by Ford and destroyed. It has no trade value and I do not want another family to have this car and get killed because of it. Please do something about this, I know I am not the only one with these issues. Kevin fike

- Ilion, NY, USA

problem #164

Oct 102014


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was taken to the dealer twice where the transmission control module was replaced. Weeks later, there was an abnormal noise coming from the radio and it randomly failed to work. While driving, the steering wheel seized and the contact had to apply force to the steering wheel each time the failure recurred. The contact also mentioned that the eps warning light illuminated. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 103,000. Updated 11/12/15

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #163

Sep 142015


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. When the contact started the vehicle, the steering assist fault service required warning indicator illuminated and the steering ability became very difficult. The contact stopped and turned off the vehicle. After approximately two minutes, the vehicle was restarted and operated normally. The dealer could not duplicate the failure. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 67,000.

- Fairborn, OH, USA

problem #162

Jul 032014


  • 13,336 miles
Total unexpected loss of power steering. Unable to safely steer vehicle. Power steering assist fault light came on. After stopping and re-starting the vehicle the warning light went off and normal steering was possible. This has happened twice to date.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #161

Aug 282015


  • 56,500 miles
Excessive shuddering/shaking upon acceleration, vehicle does not seem to have any power. On 8/28 I was stopped at light in drive and vehicle would not move, after changing gears I finally was able to drive it, a short time later vehicle would not move again in drive but the engine light came on, on the way to the dealership vehicle lost power and would only go 15 mph crawled to the dealer with emergency flashers. Dealer had the vehicle for 5 days and completed the software update program 15B22, since receiving the vehicle back I am still experiencing low power and shuddering. Have been rear ended tapped once because it doesn't have any power, very concerned to drive vehicle to to loss of power and excessive shuddering. Contacted Ford customer care and they did not have a sense of any long term fix to this issue nor does the dealership. Dealer states they are slammed with these vehicles every day.

- Dearborn Heights, MI, USA

problem #160

Nov 262013


  • 26,316 miles
I purchased the car used with 25,000 miles, shortly after the car began shuddering very badly and did not accelerate correctly. The problem progressed to a loud metal grinding noise, the clutch was deemed to be bad and replaced. Six months after the clutch failed again and was replaced and now a year later the clutch needs to be replaced again, making it the fourth clutch for a car with under 70,000 miles. Ford has extended the warranty so it is covered however the part is on back order for 4-6 weeks. Ford does not offer a replacement vehicle during this time. I do not feel safe driving this car with the transmission not working properly. This car also had the steering and suspension repaired within the first year of ownership.

- Derry, NH, USA

problem #159

Sep 092015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
While driving at a low rate of speed, the vehicle became difficult to steer and the power steering assist malfunction light came on. I was able to muscle the car safely and get to my destination (the grocery store). Thinking that perhaps it was the power steering fluid, I checked it and saw that it was a little over minimum, so I added more. I turned the car back on and the issue was still present. I drove home and turned off the car. The next morning, the code was not on and the power steering was working though there was a groan coming from the steering wheel every time I had to turn. I drove to work trying to ascertain what would go on and about 25 minutes into my drive, while doing 50 miles an hour, I lost power steering again. I got to work, turned off the car, and came back out 9 hours later and the power steering had again reset itself and worked all the way back to my house. I have not been driving the car since and have to say that this is the second major issue with the car I have had; the transmission went out after having the car for 2 years. I have done research and there are many other Ford focuses of this year with this issue. I am now extremely concerned about the safety of this car and regret buying it most sincerely.

- Green Springs, OH, USA

problem #158

Aug 062015


  • 95,000 miles
Steering assist failed. After multiple restarts it worked again. This has happened now 10 times.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #157

Jun 302015


  • 66,000 miles
The steering light had come on before then went off because the steering wheel ended up being able to move. This happened acouple other times and everything was fine. Then when it finally quit working was when I, the owner, had parked it to go inside somewhere, then came out to leave and the light came on and the steering wheel wouldn't turn. I had to have it towed to the dealership and pay $1,245 to have it fixed. They had it for 2 weeks.

- Nitro, WV, USA

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