really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,634 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 Explorer steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Nov 262014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 87,158 miles


While driving on a highway, my steering began to feel tighter and tighter, with the wheel harder to turn. Soon it began to require a "push" to make the movement of the wheel begin. I pulled off the highway and the dash alerts came on. One said, "service power steering now" and one indicated that the traction control function was off. The manual said I should shut off the engine and it would reset these. Instead, the steering locked entirely. No dealers were still open the night before thanksgiving, so I took the vehicle to a shop I've used. They didn't have the computer hookups necessary so I towed it again to another shop. They "cleared" the codes, and found the vehicle did not malfunction again. They alerted me to the recall, Ford #14S06 this recall included explores made between may of 2010 and February 28, 2013. My Explorer was made very soon thereafter, within days, in fact. Given that timing and the facts that indicate that my vehicle suffered the same defects the recall addresses, I feel my vehicle repair should be covered by Ford Motor Company. Ford Motor Company and the local dealer advise me that since my vehicle is not within the parameters of the recall, there is nothing they can do for me. I hereby submit my petition for an NHTSA investigation into whether Ford has met it's obligations in this matter. I hereby request the recall management division of the NHTSA to ensure that the scope of the recall [Ford #14S06] is adequate. I feel the scope fell short, in my case, by a few days, leaving my vehicle dangerously unprotected. I cannot repair this defect myself. There is no diagnosis available for me. The defect may be in the sensor, or in the power steering control module, or in the steering "rack". the local Ford dealer advises me that there are no "racks" available at this time anywhere. The NHTSA is my only hope.

- Fredericksburg,, VT, USA

problem #20

Jul 122014


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owned a 2013 Ford Explorer. While driving 35 mph and making a sharp left turn, the steering wheel seized. The contact lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact sustained a concussion and required medical attention. The vehicle was destroyed and the manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 24,000.

- Winslow, AR, USA

problem #19

Jan 162014


  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the power steering failed intermittently without warning. The vehicle became increasingly difficult to control. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the power steering needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 9,000 and current mileage was 9,500.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #18

Aug 012013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


Steering power support stopped without warning during a turn at lower speed. Car became almost impossible to control (turn or steer). Fault lights included stability, traction, and environmental control errors came on as the steering power support terminated. Fuse and mechanism were undamaged. Turning the car on and off did not remove the fault. Vehicle did this another 3 times, including one at high speed of 70 mph on highway in fat left lane. Had to allow for vehicle to merge across 4 lanes of interstate traffic to shoulder and eventually slow down. All components of vehicle then turn off and multiple attempts to turn off and on vehicle are required with prolonged terms of vehicle being left off.

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #17

Jan 302014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 900 miles
Steering power support stopped without warning during a turn at lower speed. Car became almost impossible to control. Fault lights included stability, traction, and environmental control errors came on as the steering power support ended. Fuse and mechanism appear undamaged. Turning the car on and off did not remove the fault.

- Iqaluit, AK, USA

problem #16

Jan 202014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 14,000 miles
Police vehicle - attempting to catch up to a vehicle, power steering went out.. was unable to steer and warning light stated power steering assist failure. Dealer said they show no fault codes and gave it back to us. See hundreds of complains of this same nature on Ford forums.

- Oscoda, MI, USA

problem #15

Apr 152013


  • 400 miles


TL- the contact owns 2013 Ford Explorer. While driving 20 mph, the contact stated that the steering wheel began to malfunction while driving 20 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, but had not been diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 400.

- Menomonee Falls, WI, USA

problem #14

Dec 212013


  • 4,412 miles
I went to subway to get something to eat and got back in car to leave and the steering assist fault service required light came on and steering wheel is very tight. I turned the car off and back on and it's not resetting. I have a tow truck on there way right not. I live in North Dakota and had this happened on a highway going a high rate of speed would have been very scary. This car is not even 3 months old and has under 5,000 miles on it. This is very disturbing and needs to be addressed.

- Williston, ND, USA

problem #13

Dec 032013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 5,470 miles
I was changing lanes from the left to the right. When I went to straighten out in the lane the electronic power steering failed, while the wheel was cut to the right. Luckily, I was able to use both my hands to force the wheel back. I found it difficult to steer the wheel and I am a 34 year old construction worker. If my wife was driving the car, she would of crashed into the person who was walking on the sidewalk.

- Middle Village, NY, USA

problem #12

Aug 152013

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 1,859 miles
I have a 2013 Explorer Sport which I purchased new from the dealer 2 months ago. On the morning of 8/15/2013 I was turning left into a parking lot after coming to a complete stop on a road, going less than 10mph. As I accelerated and turned my wheel left the power steering failed completely making it almost impossible to turn the wheel and the warning lights on the dash came on for the advancetrac and the stability control. I was able to steer the vehicle into a parking spot and put it in park. I turned the vehicle off, waited a minute or two and turned it back on without resolution of the symptoms. I looked up the warning lights in the owners manual and it said to have it serviced immediately. I had my Explorer towed to the closest Ford dealer. The dealership states that they have driven the vehicle over 100 miles in the past week and a half without those problems occurring again. I've read several articles about faulty epas systems, none from 2013 Explorer yet. The Ford engineers have told the dealership to return the vehicle to me and 'see if it happens again'. I asked the dealership to put another 200 miles or so on the vehicle to see if the problem occurs again while I seek information from Ford.

- Kailua, HI, USA

problem #11

Jun 262013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 13,000 miles


Driving vehicle and cross traffic system failure turns on, advancetrac system failure, stability control failure and traction control failure occur. Vehicle begins to decelerate and transmission goes from an illuminated "D" to blank. Very hard to maneuver vehicle. Vehicle struggles to gain speed afterwards. The only resolution I have found is to pull over if possible and turn on vehicle and restart. This has happened 4 times in the past two weeks.

- Weslaco, TX, USA

problem #10

Jan 202013


  • miles
Vehicle begins to vibrate and can not be driven over 35 mph during or after snow storms with wet heavy snow on road (sometimes caused by salting roadway). Wheel well opening around all four tires are so small and enclosed, snow accumulates into solid ice around all four tires and both axles begin to vibrate violently. Driver either stops every 8-10 miles along side busy highway to chop ice out (takes me 40 minutes for all four tire openings), slows highway traffic down to 30 mph, or goes to Ford dealer. Local dealer sees 6-10 of these vehicles a day and chops ice out at no charge and makes no work order history. Traveling at only 35 mph when traffic is going 55 or 70 mph is dangerous. Stopping every 8-15 minutes along busy highway to chop ice with back to passing traffic is dangerous. Dealers do not inform potential buyers of the ice problem. Ford has this design defect problem with more than one make of vehicle, knows about the complaints, but will not sponsor a solution. Personally, along with clearing the ice on M-115 as I go to a doctor's appointment in traverse city, chopping ice hurts my bone on bone shoulders and the lower three vertebrae of my back that no longer have a disc between them. The slippery side of road is dangerous for my two artificial hips and is simply not safe to my person and slows down some passing vehicles that may slip and slide into me or oncoming traffic of the only 2 lane highway. Northern Michigan is getting unnecessarily more dangerous in the winter time. There have been multiple incidents and the incident date above is only approximate.

- Cadillac, MI, USA

problem #9

Apr 172013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 1,700 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the vehicle would sporadically over-steer. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the technician stated that the vehicle was performing to standards. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 1,700.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #8

May 132013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 6,050 miles
I was making a U-turn not even going more than 15 mph and my 2013 Ford Explorer Sport's, which only has 6050 miles on it, power steering suddenly stop working and all across the dash, warning lights lit up, stability control fault, power steering assist fault, terrain management fault, traction control fault. I lost power steering and slowly steered into the nearest gas station. I turned off my engine and then restarted it, the power steering worked again and some of the warning lights went off, except the terrain management and stability control lights, I turned off the vehicle a second time and all the warnings lights went off, I went straight the dealership and it is there now. The service advisor had said he has seen this happen once and they replaced the power steering gears and system. I am very concerned that this will happen again and I will lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident and hurt myself and my family and other persons. Luckily I was in slow traffic and a gas station was nearby, and I did not have my family in the vehicle. Ford needs to address this issue with the Explorer and fix these safety issues asap!

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #7

May 062013


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while traveling 65 mph, the steering wheel seized. The contact was able to maneuver the vehicle to the side of the highway. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the problem could have been with the steering, axle or the transmission. The dealer did not have specifics pertaining to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileages were 2,000.

- Holly Springs , NC, USA

problem #6

Apr 252013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 4,100 miles
I experienced a loss of power steering while driving, as well as stability control, traction control, and terrain management systems errors. I was stopped at an intersection waiting to make a left turn. Once I started moving to make the turn (@ 5 mph), a number of beeps went off, warnings were displayed on the vehicle information screen, and I lost power steering. After pulling over to the side of the road with no power steering, I turned off the car and then restarted. At this point the power steering was working, but the traction control and terrain management errors were still happening. After a minute, the traction control light went off. There was still an error with the terrain management. After getting home safely 90 minutes later, I restarted it again, and all systems seemed to be working, with no errors reported.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #5

Mar 202013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the power steering failed while the engine was started and also, while driving at low speed. The power steering warning light illuminated while the failure occurred. The failure was experienced several times. The contact was able to coast to the shoulder to restart the engine. The vehicle then functioned normally. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 4,000 and the approximate mileage was 8,000. Updated 5/24/13

- Amarillo , TX, USA

problem #4

Apr 012013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 600 miles
While accelerating under full throttle the vehicle steering becomes erratic and the vehicle wants to weave side to side with no input from the steering wheel. I am extremely concerned that this will eventually cause me to have motor vehicle collision when trying to pass another vehicle, get up to speed on from a highway on ramp, or while trying to avoid another situation. I would like the NHTSA and Ford to evaluate their 2013 Ford Explorer limited 4WD for unintentional steering sway under full acceleration.

- Nottingham, MD, USA

problem #3

Mar 042013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 600 miles
I drove my recently acquired and new Ford Explorer Sport for first time on the highway on March 4, 2013. When accelerating to pass a truck, I lost control of front end to point of swirling and near collision with the truck. I don't consider this a fluke as same happened a while later during same highway trip. I'm very familiar with high horsepower passenger vehicles and sports cars for that matter. I am also very familiar with higher and allowable speeds having driven and handled sport cars and passenger vehicles on german autobahns while living in europe. It is my experience and belief that the combination of characteristics (weight balancing in combination with significant horsepower, possibly large tire size, traction and four wheel/front wheel drive aspects, thrust etc.) make this vehicle, the Ford Explorer Sport, extremely dangerous on highway while accelerating at allowable speeds. A local dealerships' expert (read: Dealer is an independent contractor) in Indiana confirmed my observations and beliefs and used term "squirlyness" to describe vehicles' handling when accelerating at highway speeds. Ford indicates that vehicle operates as designed, I content the design is bad, causing this Ford Explorer Sport version to be very dangerous. In my mind it is entirely foreseeable that accidents will happen to unsuspecting drivers of this vehicle based on the vehicle characteristics. Obviously this is something that will not be admitted to by Ford due to pre-emptive liability assumption in case of accidents. I offered Ford to take this new vehicle back. Once again I understand that they would not as this would imply admittance of safety concerns regarding the Ford Explorer Sport version.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #2

Dec 082012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 1,200 miles
As I was turning left at a light, my power steering went out completely in the car. I looked down at the instrument panel and it was bright yellow and said advance trac failure. It was very difficult for me to control the SUV and it took every ounce of upper body strength in me to pull into a parking lot. I barely avoided a head on collision with another SUV as I turned into the lot. I pulled into the back of the lot and put the SUV in park and turned it off. Upon turning it back on the power steering was working again. I was very shook up since I had my 6 year old daughter with me as well. I hope someone looks into what is causing this to happen. My brand new car is at the local Ford dealership and when I dropped it off this morning I was told that they have never heard of such a thing happening to anyone.

- Reno, NV, USA

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