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: Ford changed a lot of things for its 3rd generation, just none of them were a good idea.

The transmission tends to hesitate and jerk when accelerating. The new electronically-driven power steering can fail suddenly and without warning. Even Ford's SYNC can be a headache. Actually, scratch that last one --- it's always been a headache.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,443 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.

2013 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #62

Oct 022015


  • 75,235 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle shuttered while attempting to accelerate from a complete stop. The vehicle was previously serviced per a manufacturer's customer satisfaction campaign; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the shuttering on the clutch of the vehicle occurred intermittently. The contact also stated that the steering seized independently without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic power steering gear failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 75,235.

- Mazomanie, WI, USA

problem #61

Oct 052016


  • 115,000 miles
This is the second time this has happened in a month that the power steering module light has come on while driving and I lost power steering. I had to restart the car to reset it. Thankful I (and everyone else) was safe and in a secluded area when it happened. This happening on the freeway or neighborhood could be a different story.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #60

Oct 092016


  • 61,217 miles
While attempting to turn right on two occasions today my wife's 2013 Ford Focus had no power steering. I have read many complaints about this issue and am very curious as to why Ford has not done anything about it" will somebody have to crash and die for the motor company to accept responsibility" there have been several problems with this vehicle since we bought it and the fact that we purchased it practically brand new it is concerning to have so much go wrong.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #59

Sep 232016


  • 39,000 miles


Received a "steering assist fault" notification while mid-turn traveling at approximately 30 mph. It felt as if I'd hit a slippery spot in the road or had hit a small bump on the front drivers side. While straightening out of the turn, I noticed a significant change in steering feel, and steering in general became very difficult. There was no gradual decline in steering performance, just a sudden failure. I can only be thankful that I was not traveling at a higher rate of speed. I checked the error codes later and noted the following: U3000-49 (control module: Internal electronic failure), U3000-53 (control module: Deactivated), U3000-4B (control module: Over temperature).

- Nacogdoches, TX, USA

problem #58

Sep 092016


  • 37,000 miles
One Dec 24 2015 driving down the freeway my car had full loss of steering, the engine light came on, the pedals stopped working and I nearly crashed the car. After pulling off the freeway I turned the car off and it would not start back up. Moments later I could start the car, I ran a vehicle health report to prove to Ford that something had happened. I then drove my car which was stuck in 1st gear to my destination. The steering was very heavy, the pedals were not working well at all. After leaving it parked for 30 minutes I turned the car on and the check engine illuminated, but the problems had cleared. This feature is very deceiving, as some may assume the car is now safe. I took the car in for repair, and they simply reprogrammed the car. I continue to this day to have transmission issues, and have had the clutch only replaced one time dispite bringing it to them constantly for repair. In January of this year my cars clutch and transmission failed, the car seemed to make a loud acceleration noise and then become forced into 1st gear. This made steering heavy or hard, & the pedals not work with the usual weight on them. I drove my car to Ford like this, stuck in 1st to show them finally that the whole time I knew something was wrong. My various other complaints of this vehicle include regular acceleration between 1st and 2nd gear, there is the standard shudder. In addition, my visiting family became stuck in the back seat with indoor latches not working - the child locks were off. I feel as though I was sold a "dud" car & that the salesperson lied to me about the transmission. If I had known it was an "electronically controlled manual car" I would not have purchased it. Now I can't get my car appraised, no dealer is willing to buy this car form me. Kbb states my current value is at around $9000 and 12 months ago I paid $16000, close to $17000 including financing

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #57

Sep 082016


  • 68,000 miles
On the evening of Sept. 8, 2016 while driving straight on lee jackson memorial highway in fairfax, va at about 45 miles per hour, power steering failed with no warning. Power assist cut out and a warning indicator came on. This resulted in an immediate challenge to maintain control of the vehicle. I was fortunate an accident did not occur given the immediate, dramatic increase in physical effort required to steer. I was able to safely return home that evening with difficulty, and I brought the car to ted britt Ford the following morning. I was told that a control module had failed, but since it was integral to the steering "gear" the entire steering system needs to be replaced at a cost of $1,600. I understand that there is a recall on recent Ford with steering problems, but my model, year, and issue are not covered. This is clearly a widespread safety issue. Had a smaller adult or a child been driving, this event could have had a very bad end.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #56

Sep 062016


  • 16,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. After starting the vehicle, the power steering seized and the power steering warning indicator illuminated. The steering wheel was not functional and the vehicle could not reverse properly. After restarting the vehicle several times, the power steering regained function and the vehicle was taken to the dealer. The mechanic stated that the vehicle's model type was known to experience power steering failure. The failure mileage was 16,000.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #55

Aug 162016


  • 29,000 miles
Takata recall: While I was driving straight on the highway, my steering wheel stopped responding. It just stiffed up and I had little control of it and it was very hard to make turns. Also I noticed some type of malfunction message on the lcd display saying something about the steering wheel stopped working, switching to assist mode, and to take it in for service. I took it to the Ford dealer the next day and they said I needed a whole new steering rack, but from reading the same problem that other users of the Ford Focus 2013 experienced and from my repair invoice, I suspect it has something to do with the (electric power-assisted steering) epas

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #54

Aug 122016


  • 63,000 miles
I own a 2013 Ford Focus. The dealer replaced tcm module and updates as needed due to recall. My car has 60K miles and every since dealer completed work, my steering wheel will not turn once you first crank the car. After it idles for awhile, I can drive off. As of this morning, my "steering assist default service required" sensor is on, and my steering will not turn at all. There is also a clicking noise, like a blinker, that will not stop even if keys are out of ignition.

- Jesup, GA, USA

problem #53

Jun 292016


  • 48,288 miles
I have the car parked in my driveway when I went to drive it gives me the message "steering assist fault service required". the steering wheel is extremely difficult to turn. The car has 48,288 miles which I've only put 12,088 of it. I have only had the car 14 months when this occurred I've contacted the dealer which they stated the extended warranty I requested was never purchased when I told them the warranty paperwork that was given to me was expired before I purchased the car. I am furious with the dealer, and Ford. I don't have $1,500 for the repair and without a car I can't get to work. Now I have to worry of having it repossessed because I can't make the car payment.

- Clarksville, NY, USA

problem #52

Dec 312014


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving 45 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The contact had to apply force to the steering wheel in order to steer the vehicle. "steering assist fault" was displayed across the message board. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic steering system needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #51

Jul 032016


  • 49,995 miles
Backing out of a parking space and the power steering failed. Wheel could not be turned at all. Vehicle had to be towed to a dealer since an independent repair shop could not repair. Total cost of the repair was $1793.43. The vehicle only had 49K miles at the time of the failure.

- Lutherville, MD, USA

problem #50

May 272016


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving 35 mph, the power steering seized and the contact lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the power steering failed. The vehicle was repair, but the failure recurred. The dealer confirmed the power steering failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was approximately 95,000.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #49

Jun 302016


  • 65,000 miles
While driving on highway making sweeping rh turn steering wheel suddenly turned to the left enough that I crossed into another lane. Got off highway, no warning indicators. Went through town and on bumpy pavement or low speed turns steering wheel would fight my efforts to turn. Called dealer and drove the car there the next morning. Finally a warning appeared that said steering assist failure. It was then I realized car was twitching in / out of manual steering and would jerk steering wheel from my hands if I didn't keep a death grip on the wheel. This 2013 Focus has had clutch pack replacement, tcm failure and horn intermit working. If you don't hold wheel tight I could see a crash would be likely. This car scares me but can't afford a new car, heck this is a new car with 65,000 miles on it. Can't wait to see dealer bill for this. Ugh

- Endicott, NY, USA

problem #48

Jun 252016


  • 67,000 miles
Drove out of state for a wedding, parked car at a rest stop to use the bathroom came back out started the car to find a warning light "steering assist fault" amber colored [I] appeared on the dash and unable to turn the steering wheel. My husband took the drivers seat to drive to the next exit where our hotel is to manually fight to turn the wheel. Had to be towed home almost 100 miles, Ford should own up to this sever safety issue and recall this vehicle problem. Nothing cleared this code or fixed the difficult steering.

- Acushnet, MA, USA

problem #47

Jun 052016


  • 0 miles
Vehicle was parked. I went to turn on the car, and the steering wheel was locked and would not turn at all. Had the car towed to the dealership. The service manager says the electric steering rack and pinion has failed and has to be replaced at a cost of $1,497. In addition, the car has also had numerous repairs to the transmission system. The car has had problems with the transmission since the very first day of purchase. The car will vigorously shudder at random times. The shuddering occurs every time I drive the car and it causes the car to violently jerk forward. We have taken the car in for all of the service updates/recalls, and the transmission problems still persist. The computer screen also will turn off randomly while driving. One time while driving on a highway, the car died. It was very dangerous. I should not have purchased this car.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #46

May 302016


  • 48,000 miles
While driving on a main road my steering wheel suddenly became very tight and felt as if it locked up. I was unable to turn the wheel and then the light went on saying power steering failure. The car because extreamly difficult to control and no longer safe to drive. When I would try to turn the wheel I would hear almost like a grinding sound and the wheel would feel like it was almost pushing back against me turning it. The vehicle is no longer safe to drive and was purchased brand new and has never had any issues until this.

- Snohomish, WA, USA

problem #45

May 282016


  • 50,000 miles
I was driving on the interstate, and had noticed my steering wheel was kind of tight, and making little adjustments didn't feel normal. I was traveling at 70 mph, and the car couldn't make a small curve, I had to swerve into the next lane, almost hit the concrete wall. My warning light came on steering assist fault service immediately. I pulled off the interstate as I did there was a horrible gridding sound at any little turn of the wheel. The steering became completely useless, the car was drifting into oncoming traffic and wouldn't turn at all. I parked the car and turned it off, when I turned it backed on the error has changed to complete system failure, and the steering wheel will not move at all.

- Lakeland, TN, USA

problem #44

May 232016


  • 90,000 miles
Steering rack needed to be replaced. Caused sticking steering and a dry grounding sound. Problem occured while driving. Mechanic said it could seize up the steering.

- Cripple Creek, CO, USA

problem #43

Apr 202016


  • 60,000 miles
My 2013 Ford Focus has 60K miles or less and the rack and pinion went out while I was driving and other than that I got the car at 36K miles and has had it in the shop twice because of shuttering in between gears which is scary sometimes. Needless to say the software was updated twice and clutch was replaced and it still shutters.

- Sikeston, MO, USA

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