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 1 of 15)

problem #296

Sep 042016


  • 79,749 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced a loss of power steering. The contact stated that the power steering warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the power rack assembly and power steering motor were defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 79,749.

- Manistique, MI, USA

problem #295

Oct 102016


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving various speeds, the steering seized and the steering malfunction warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact pulled over, restarted the vehicle, and the failure went away. The contact stated that it was the first instance of the failure. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing, but the details of the diagnosis could not be provided. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 76,000.

- Taunton, MA, USA

problem #294

Oct 102016


  • 115 miles
Had the steering assist fault error come on again for the third time in a month-second time in less than a week. I was coming to a stop, driving less than 5mph when it happened.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #293

Sep 152016


  • 70,000 miles


A message of "steering assist malfunction" appears. Lose power steering..hard to drive. When you turn off the car and turn it back on it "fixes" itself and you can drive. Otherwise, very difficult to drive. Very hard to turn when driving.

- Cibolo, TX, USA

problem #292

Oct 032016


  • 72,000 miles
While driving the electrical power steering assist failed (dashboard indicator and loss of power steering). This has happened about eight (8) times. When this occurs the vehicle becomes almost impossible to navigate, on two occasions almost leading to accidents. In this condition the vehicle poses a serious personal and public safety risk. I took the vehicle to my local Ford dealer (metro Ford of madison, wi) who kept it for four (4) days. They stated from the very beginning that they know nothing about the steering problem, tested the car for four days and charged me $150 for test that produced no results. Within two (2) hours to picking up the vehicle the electric power steering system failed multiple times. Ford needs to issue a recall and replace the electric power steering system immediately at no cost to the owner. Or just buy the vehicle back from the owner. I believe this vehicle poses a great public danger.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #291

Nov 302012


  • 120,000 miles
My transmission shutters very badly I have had it at the dealer in los lunas New Mexico. It is still not fixed. My streering assist light came on and ihaveno power steering. After the last oil change to change oil light will not go off even after the reset procedures have been followed. The lighter does not work. O and to top it off I just got a recall letter something to do with electrical failure. But had nothing to do with the above problems. This is way many for a car of its age I am sure I have a lemon. What can be done?

- Belen, NM, USA

problem #290

Aug 092016


  • 21,018 miles


When the car is put into drive or reverse the steering locks and you cannot control the steering. I almost hit car next to me at a grocery store parking lot and my garage wall while backing out. It happens in my driveway, store parking lots, where ever I go and the mechanic experienced it at the dealer. The dealer found it to be the electronic power steering system has failed and it needs a new one costing $2,141.34.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #289

Jul 302016


  • 70,000 miles
The power steering on my 2012 Ford Focus goes out intermittently, once when I was driving, but then it came back on before I had a chance to stop. Usually it goes out as I begin to move my car away from its parking place. I have to shut the car off, restart it and hope the problem goes away. One time the problem didn't go away in spite of my stopping and restarting the car, and I had to drive it the rest of the way home without power steering. No fun.

- Takoma Park, MD, USA

problem #288

Sep 302016


  • 75,000 miles
My 19 year old daughter drives this car and is in college away from home. She got in her car in the parking garage at her apartment, cranked it, and the "steering assist default" message lit and she was unable to steer the car. Thankfully, she wasn't driving anywhere when this occurred or it could have been very bad. We had to have the car towed to a Ford dealership, and they tell us that it's going to cost $2,000 to repair!!!!! not acceptable!!!!!

- Helena, AL, USA

problem #287

Sep 182016


  • 92,000 miles
Twice in mid September 2016 the message "steering assist service" came up after starting the vehicle and the power steering on the vehicle would not work. The solution seemed to be turning the power off, then restarting the vehicle. After restart the power steering was working again. A visit to the dealer's service department found no problems with the system. My concern is that this is my daughter's car, she's 18 years old and if the steering fails while she's driving, there may be an accident. If Ford recalled other models for the same problem, why won't they recall the Focus and take care of these customers as well?

- Lafayette, CA, USA

problem #286

Sep 262016


  • 44,800 miles


My wife was driving her little Ford going through a corner and the power steering failed without warning and she nearly crashed!! she managed to limp it to the Ford garage as I was out of town, where it was diagnosed that the epas had failed. The epas failure is rampant through a range of Ford model vehicles and they don't give two hoots about our problem because there haven't been enough (what!!) failures to warrant a recall on the 2012 Focus although its a known problem with this model and it is currently the reason for a class action law suit in California. Their customer service doesn't even say "sorry" just that Ford is offering no assistance. Power steering should not go out on a 2012 vehicle with only 44000 miles on it. Steering gear replaced at a cost of $2009.

- Hutchinson, KS, USA

problem #285

Sep 232016


  • 118,000 miles
Steering assist quit working during starting of vehicle. Warning light came on to take car for service. Car very very very hard to steer. Taking car for service tomorrow. Still driving the car.

- Cocoa Beach, FL, USA

problem #284

Sep 162016


  • 45,000 miles
Power steering failure. Stationary, when starting vehicle power steering will not operate. Have to restart a few times to get the power steering to operate.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #283

Sep 192016


  • 49,000 miles
Power steering sporadically comes in and out usually when the car is just started and we attempt to back out the steering has no power. Steering wheel lockes while driving. Ford service ran diagnostic on the vehicle and no error codes were present. They can not find a solution or why the problem is even happening

- Erie, CO, USA

problem #282

Sep 272016


  • 55,000 miles
Daughter was driving to school and power steering suddenly quit functioning and warning light came on while driving in a busy city street in davie, fl. Had a local mechanic do a quick check but could not diagnose problem. Will be contacting local Ford dealership for assistance feel it could be unsafe for myself and others if I drive much this way

- Melbourne Beach, FL, USA

problem #281

Sep 182016


  • 67,569 miles
On 9/18/2016 in a shopping center parking lot, started car put into drive and was turning onto exit lane of lot when steering wheel stopped turning and amber "I"light came on.stopped vehicle.put in park.could not turn wheel either direction.turned car off then restarted, amber light stayed on power steering assist failure.was able to maneuver car to a safe parking area from was a scary friend her 4 month old and 4 year old were in the car with me and also her 15 year old niece!we were about to go on the highway!! I now understand a recall has not been issued after hundreds of complaints for this safety problem on this vehicle even though this same system has been recalled on other models.I am appalled and perplexed as you are responsible for all our safety.please do your duty to recall this safety problem.

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #280

Sep 232016


  • 100,000 miles
Power steering assist fault power steering will not function until car key is turned off and on a few times. This sounds like the same problem they have inthe Ford Fusion and it is on recall. This is a serious safety problem and it should be recalled?? it does it about once day.

- Winchendon, MA, USA

problem #279

Sep 212016


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 40 mph, the steering wheel seized and the power steering failure signal illuminated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. There was no recall related to the power steering failure. The failure mileage was 86,000.

- Portsmith, VA, USA

problem #278

Aug 132016


  • 70,000 miles
At approximately 70,000 miles, I had turned off my car to get gas. When I restarted the car, I received a power steering assist fault message. The power steering no longer operated. I could still steer the car, but it was extremely difficult. Multiple restarts did not resolve the problem. I took my car to the dealer, and they verified the issue. The dealer offered to replace the entire steering rack containing the electronic power steering module for $1700.

- New Albany, OH, USA

problem #277

Sep 202016


  • 65,000 miles
My daughter was driving from her job when the power steering went out on her 2012 Ford Focus. She is a college student needing a safe reliable car to get her back and forth from college. It is unbelievable that the Fusion were recalled for power steering failing. Why not the Focus"?" it is ridiculous that its going to cost an estimated $1850 to fix a problem.

- Seville, OH, USA

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