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 9 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #136

Jun 292015


  • 41,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 65 mph, the steering wheel seized and excessive force was required. The steering assist fault service required warning light illuminated. The contact managed to merge the vehicle to the emergency lane and shut off the vehicle. The vehicle was restarted, but the failure recurred multiple times on multiple occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering rack needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer had not been notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 41,000.

- St Paul, MN, USA

problem #135

Jun 292015


  • 41,100 miles
Driving 2012 Ford Focus on highway July 29,2015. Mileage 41,100. Warranty just expired. While driving 55mph, steering wheel locked, almost impossible to steer car over to roadside. Dash message read "steering assist fault, service required". once stopped turned car off, then started car again; steering returned to normal. After first occurrence of faulty steering, others began 3 days later: •July 2, 2015; steering locked after pulling into parking lot, slow speed; turned car off, started up, steering worked again •July 6, 2015, steering locked on start-up; this occurred twice after turning off/on. •July 6, 2015, took car into dealer(northstar Ford in duluth mn), where I bought car new. Northstar took care of another recall—transmission, reportedly reprogrammed. Upon northstar inspection, dealer said power steering was working fine, but further inspection revealed car needs a whole new steering rack, to cost me $2,300 to repair (stated that warranty expired, no recall on this model). I declined repair, after paying $100+ for diagnosis. I felt strongly that this is a clear defection in 2012 Ford Focus. After researching I found numerous complaints of 2012 Focus steering malfunctions, as well as reports of NHTSA closely following the 2012 Focus steering issues and California class action lawsuit filing for Ford Focus 20102-2014. Driving little as possible hoping NHTSA will issue recall on the steering problem soon. •July 7, 2015; after parking, steering locked up when pulling out. Turned off and on twice before steering worked. Haven't driven since July 7. worried about my safety, as well as drivers and passengers of other Ford on the road, taking lives into their hands in event of on-road emergency, requiring quick action, operational steering. Hopeful NHTSA takes urgent messages seriously, & issues steering recall on the Ford Focus 2012.

- St Paul, MN, USA

problem #134

Jul 092015


  • 41,000 miles
While driving the car experienced sudden failure of the power steering. I had to pull over and turn the vehicle off for several minutes and restart the car to get moving again with normal steering.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #133

Jul 012015


  • 65,983 miles


I drove to the library with my baby, and parked. When I came out I started the car, and the steering wheel seemed to be stuck and difficult to turn. I was able with great effort to drive home, and I am going to be taking it in to the Ford dealership tomorrow. I have already had problems with the transmission stalling at lower gears, and also problems with the radio not recognizing usb drives. The siding along the doors just comes right off, and started tearing within a few weeks of buying it. I've had some of it replaced, but the dealership wouldn't do it. The seat belt on the driver's side gets stuck inside the clip, and I have to struggle quite a bit sometimes to take off my seat-belt. The air deflector came right off one day, and the dealership tried to charge me $150 to replace that piece of plastic. This car seems to be really cheaply made, and the dealerships are all pretty crooked if you ask me.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #132

Aug 142013

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 15 mph, the steering wheel seized and the steering assist service flashed across the instrument panel. The failure recurred several times intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that the electronic power steering gear failed and the power steering needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000. Updated 09/03/2015 updated 09/10/15

- Humble , TX, USA

problem #131

Jun 182015


  • 24,152 miles
Electronic power-assisted steering (epas) failure due to rack-and-pinion steering defect. Required to replace the entire rack-and-pinion module, which cost $1,700, due to the fact that this widely known and dangerous defect has not been acknowledged or recalled by Ford and my vehicle is no longer under warranty.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #130

Jun 172015


  • 96,000 miles


My son was driving his 2012 Ford Focus SE, when the steering assist service light came on and he lost steering. He pulled off the road with no incident. The dealership said that it is a bad steering rack, $1500

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #129

Jun 162015


  • 72,000 miles
This is the second time in 2 months that I've had problems with this car's transmission. Not only does it stutter when shifting and take time to accelerate, but now the transmission is not working. In April, the car completely stopped accelerating, almost resulting in a crash on the highway. The dealership diagnosed it as a transmission censor and cost was paid out of pocket. This time, the car began jerking and the transmission light flashed. I drove the car home and because of the violent jerking almost wrecked on several occasions. I am taking it to the dealership for repairs today. Considering this car is only 3 years old, it should not be having any of these problems and I consider it unreliable and a hazard to my family and other drivers on the road.

- Covington, KY, USA

problem #128

May 302012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
To whom it may concern: There is currently a recall for the electric power assist unit which is responsible for certain Ford products power steering. The recall includes several Ford/mariner SUV. I'm not sure if that includes Ford's Focus( I've read some internet articles that said it had and others it had not) but the affected vehicles include model years 2012 thru 2014. I had reported it to both Ford & my dealership roughly a month ago as it started roughly a month ago but to date nothing has been resolved but I was however made aware the cost to repair/replace was some $1,500 as of yesterday I now no longer have power steering now not only putting myself @ risk but others as well. I would hope Ford would repair this vehicle @ no cost to me...updated 08/24/15

- Medford, NY, USA

problem #127

Mar 022015


  • 80,000 miles
A power steering error message came up after starting the car. Indeed the wheel could not be turned. Sometimes, the error message would go away upon another start, and the steering would operate normally again. My Ford dealer eventually fixed the problem, but it cost me around $1800. Since previously I had the car in for a transmission recall, I thought I'd add this data point to what seems to be a growing number of people experiencing this same problem.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #126

May 112015


  • 40,100 miles


After 2 weeks of intermittent electric power steering engagement at start-up, the eps system failed completely, with just over 40K miles on this vehicle, a 2012 Ford Focus, I was surprised at this failure. With 50 years of driving experience, I am unimpressed with this new system. Unless a fan belt failed, I have never had a hydraulic power steering system failure. Although I had no accident or injury, someone with less upper body strength would have had a difficult time controlling the vehicle, especially in a turn or on wet or icy surfaces. This is an accident waiting to happen and should not need to wait for a 'blood priority' decision to be made to recall this system at Ford's expense. Since I need this vehicle on a daily basis, I was forced to pay over $1638 for this repair which involved replacing the entire electric motor drive assembly. Other Ford models have already been recalled for this problem and the 2012 Focus should be also.

- Valrico, FL, USA

problem #125

May 262015


  • 62,000 miles
I have a 2012 Ford Focus sel, which I purchased used, from a Ford dealership in October 2013. Approximately 1 month ago (early May 2015), upon turning on my vehicle, my steering wheel would not move and would say something like "power assist steering fault." I would have to turn of my car and turn it back on in order for the steering to begin working. This became more and more frequent as the month went on (sometimes having to turn my car off an on 2-4 times for it to begin working). On May 26, 2015 I went to turn my car on and my electric power steering completely quit working. I would like to mention that twice my electric power steering shut off when I was driving, but both times I was driving at low speed, so I able to stop the car quickly to fix the problem (turn it off and back on). My car has already been given an extended warranty as the result of a problem with the transmission control module, so I cannot rule out that this problem is not a defect as well (especially with all the other Ford recalls for the eps shutting off).

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

problem #124

Mar 102015


  • 36,000 miles
Power steering quit and driving was almost impossible for a few blocks. Power steering then came back intermittently. Manual said to shut vehicle off for 10 seconds and re-start. That worked for a few weeks and now steering is going out all the time for a few seconds at a time.

- Sewickley, PA, USA

problem #123

Apr 302015


  • 45,000 miles
A few weeks ago my son started experiencing intermittent failure of the electric power steering (eps) on his 2012 Ford Focus sel, which he'd owned for less than a year. If he had no power steering when he turned on the car, he could just turn off the car, take the key out of the ignition, replace the key in the ignition, turn the car back on, and occasionally the power steering would work again. That only lasted a few days. Then the loss of power steering became permanent. He could still turn the wheel with a great deal of effort (more effort than is required to turn the wheel of a car that never had power steering), but as soon as our independent Ford certified mechanic (used to work at our local Ford dealership) pointed out that there were reports of the same steering system seizing up and making the car impossible to steer, we couldn't let our son drive the car again until the garage replaces the rack. Our mechanic believes there might be a class action suit implicating the eps, but our local Ford dealer and Ford corporate say there's "no program" to fix/replace eps on cars where they've prematurely failed as did my son's. the local dealership and Ford customer service in mi were polite, but they're neither sympathetic nor helpful in light of the seriously dangerous prospects arising from the defective eps they refuse to acknowledge.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #122

Apr 022015


  • 46,000 miles
While driving the car around a slight bend in the road at around 45 miles per hour, I began receiving notifications on my console saying hill assist start was not functioning and that I had a steering issue and to pull over safely. The vehicle had no power steering and was difficult to control on the road because the car wanted to swerve. It was also pulling to the right. After taking the car to the local garage they told me that it needed to go to a dealership to be repaired and that the parts are on back order. After speaking with a Ford dealer in kane Pennsylvania they notified me that it has happened in numerous other focuses and that it would $1600 to repair it.

- Smethport , PA, USA

problem #121

Mar 092015


  • 57,000 miles
Could not move steering wheel at all when I started car. After multiple restarts, steering finally worked normally. This same steering lock has happened when I start my car approximately 20 to 30 times since the first incident. Ford dealer could not find anything wrong. They told me I needed a code for them to investigate the issue. This has not happened while driving, but am somewhat worried my steering may lock up in this same manner while on the road.

- San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA

problem #120

Apr 012015


  • 34,200 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While reversing, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The failure was experienced several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering rack and pinion needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 34,200.

- Winter Haven , FL, USA

problem #119

Apr 222015


  • 100,262 miles
I was driving to work one more when my car dashboard lite up saying steering assistance service required. An at that point my power steering went out on me. I pulled over and turned the car off as steering became very hard. After turning my car off and back on the light went off and my steering was back to normal. Called the dealership who said at this point don't worry about if it happens again to bring it in. Well 5/14/15 rolls around and I'm leaving work get in my car an turn the car on the my dashboard lights up again with the same message and my steering is out again. Called the dealership they said to bring it in. I bring it in on 5/15/15 and they said that my power steering rack assembly needs to be replaced an since my warranty ran out that it isn't covered and they quoted me over a thousand dollars to fix it. I don't have that kind of money and to me since that is a saftey issue that is something Ford should be fixing for free as that can cause me to get into an accident.

- Camden, NC, USA

problem #118

May 052015


  • miles
While driving the power steering went out and I briefly lost control of the vehicle. Regained control and made it to my destination. This has happened before and when I turned the car off and back on it fixed itself. This time I've turned the car off and back on 5 times within the past 5 hrs and it still isn't working. I have an appointment with Ford in the morning but not sure how I'm going to make it the 30 miles to get there.

- Clarksville, IN, USA

problem #117

Apr 102015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Steering assist malfunction when starting vehicle, making it impossible to drive. However when restarted and "warmed up" vehicle function. Ford seems to be ignoring the issue as it did with transmission malfunction. Today May 5 I return to metro Ford.

- Miami Beach , FL, USA

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