definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,489 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.

2015 Ford Explorer steering problems

steering problem

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2015 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #18

Dec 162016


  • 42,700 miles


This car was bought new with less than a 100 miles on it, at about 7000 miles while entering I 495 from a ramp I stepped on the gas and the steering locked up I quickly took my foot off the gas and the steering unlocked, I visited the dealer and complained the car was checked no problem was found, at 32000miles I started hearing noises from the front of the car sometimes while backing up this was intermittent and I was never able to duplicate the noise at the dealer until I had a complete failure at 42700+ miles the noise was occurring constantly, the dealer' S diagnosis was failure of the steering box, I am not an expert but this is a dangerous problem the failure occurred while I was driving at 20 miles per hour on city streets, if I had been on the freeway at 70 miles an hour it could have created an accident with injuries and who knows what else talking to the manufacturer is useless my complaint was and is been ignored I think this car has a defect in the steering system that is worth your investigating for the cause before someone is seriously hurt in an accident.as I write this the defective part is being replaced at a Ford dealer.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #17

Oct 262016


  • 32,000 miles
Sport model front end has had a loud popping/ creak noise when going over bumps at a angle and also sharp low speed manuevers ( pulling into tight parking space) since it was basicly brand new. Loud ticking noise from front hubs at low speeds first visit to Ford was at 9,000 miles they could not duplicate it. Vehicle now has 32,000 miles roughly, the popping and creaking has gotten worse my wife was leaving work and was backing out of her parking spot and the rack and pinion locked up on her. Mulltiple wanring lights came on and she was unable to steer the vehicle. She called me and I told her to cycle the key multiple times and see if it will reset to be able to drive to my work so I could scan it and see what codes it has. She took surface streets to my work. It had codes P0022: Cam timing over retarted P052D: Cold start cam timing over retarted P193E: A/C clutch request signal U0121: Lost communication with ABS control module C1B00: Steering angle sensor this is the second time cam phaser codes came up. They replaced cam phaser this last visit and vehicle still stumbles/misfire feel at idle. They were "unable to duplicate" rack and pinion/ suspension noise. My wife does not feel safe driving vehicle. It has been getting random hard spots while driving. I took it to another local Ford dealer and they want to charge me for diagnostic if they cant "duplicate" I just got done paying for 3 weeks of rental and cant risk several hundred more dollars to have them, say they cant duplicate it. So I will be picking up the Explorer and I am now stuck with a unsafe vehicle as the steering could "lock up" again at any point. There are multiple cases just like mine that I found and I am not willing to risk having my wife and child have the rack and pinion fail while she is going down the freeway we got lucky with it locking up while at low speed the first time.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #16

Sep 302015


  • 42,000 miles
Very loud popping sound occurs when turning vehicle to the right and loose steering control felt momentarily while car is in motion. Most noticeable at slower speeds. Diagnosed as steering gear assembly has to be replaced. This was within 42,000 miles (just after expiration of warranty). Vehicle has electronic driver assist and has a 3.2 liter engine..

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #15

Sep 192016


  • 58,813 miles


My tie rod and rod and navigation system which are electric broke while I was driving my vehicle. There was no forwarning of the event. I was on the highway, driving at traffic speed, fast moving cars everywhere, left, right and centre, front and back all going above speed limits, no steering control, no safety ramp visible for a few kilometres. Suddenly I found myself unable to steer my wheels, the instrument panel listed "loss of navigation systems" and in red ┐loss steering control stop safely┐. the car has had a single owner, never involved in any high impact collision, was driven mainly in urban areas, only 58,813 miles, purchased directly from the dealership. I had only 6 miles on the speedometer when I took ownership of the car.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #14

Sep 182016


  • 41,000 miles
Steering inoperable during driving. 41000 miles, vehicle had difficulty starting at 6pm est. 30 minutes prior to failure, vehicle was washed and taken to a gas station to fill up. Upon leaving filling station car would not start until after 15 minutes. Steering was very laborious to turn steering wheel to make a left or right (unable to move steering wheel more than 1/4 of inch in either direction). Speed limit was 40 mph on local road and 15 minutes of drive time. Tow truck was necessary to move vehicle as operator couldn't turn and stop operation to avoid fatality. No previous indication in vehicle symptom notice until failure occurred.

- Wyandotte, MI, USA

problem #13

Sep 082016


  • 25,384 miles
Total failure of steering no warning. Driving I-26 turned off to get gas without warning total loss of steering.

- Moore, SC, USA

problem #12

Sep 022016


  • 5 miles


While driving 30 mph coming up on a left hand turn my power steering went out, the advance trac light came on and the stability light also came on making it really hard to make the turn. Luckily there was no cars turning on my right allowing me to use up both lanes. I was able to pull to the side of the road turning it off for a couple of minutes while I looked to see if I had turned something off. I started it and everything was fine as before.

- Horizon City, TX, USA

problem #11

Aug 082016


  • 20,092 miles
1st. Steering needs service warnings, took to dealer they could not replicate message and get a computer code, 3 days in the shop. 2nd power steering completely went out while driving on the highway, difficult to steer & make turns, got it to the dealer they saw the problem, however, after turning off car they could not replicate and get a computer code, could not get approval from Ford to repair. 10 days in shop this time, picked up & not repaired. Told to return when happens again, now driving an unsafe car. Dealer helpful, furnished rental car, no approval from Ford co. For warranty repairs with out computer codes, maybe something is wrong with the computer also!

- Montgomery, TX, USA

problem #10

Aug 052016


  • 24,296 miles
At least on four occasions (first time in September 2015 in Florida), while driving (on highway & city streets), suddenly lost power steering. Had warnings and icons displayed including "service advance trac" and "steering assist fault." Vehicle was difficult to maneuver. Upon turning vehicle off then on, messages were extinguished and power steering was restored. This presents a dangerous situation for the driver.

- Chesapeake, WV, USA

problem #9

Jun 262016


  • 34,000 miles
While driving at highway speeds, suddenly lost power steering. Had warnings and icons displayed including "service advance trac" and "steering assist fault." Vehicle was difficult to maneuver but was able to exit highway and pull into parking lot. Upon turning vehicle off then on, messages were extinguished and power steering was restored. Needless to say, this presented a dangerous situation especially being caught off guard.

- Roanoke, TX, USA

problem #8

Jun 022016


  • 10,300 miles


April 23 - backing out of a parking space a power steering fault message flashed on the screen, there was no change in the steering of the vehicle at the time. April 26 - same message appears while driving down the interstate, when backing into a parking spot the steering completely locked up, two other messages appeared on the screen at this time. Pictures are included. Vehicle was taken to the dealership the following morning. They concluded that the steering control module needed to be replaced, and that the issue was resolved. Picked the vehicle up on May 2. June 2 - the same power steering fault message showed up again while driving on a neighborhood street. The same messages as before plus one more (terrain management failure) appeared on the screen when turning left on a rural road and the steering locked completely again. Vehicle was returned to the dealership the following morning. The vehicle has been at the dealership for 9 business days at this time. No progress has been made. They say the problem can not be duplicated, even though the vehicle diagnostic and photos of the messages were provided. The diagnostic stated, "urgent service required." The Ford hotline is unwilling to make any repairs unless the problem can be duplicated while in the dealerships possession. Meanwhile I am currently making payments on this vehicle. The vehicle has been in my possession for 9 months and has 10,300 miles on it. I was told I have a rental for 1 week, regardless of whether the problem is resolved or not.

- Concord, NC, USA

problem #7

May 172016


  • 29,600 miles
There is a popping noise when turning the vehicle's steering wheel from left to right while parked or maneuvering to make adjustments. Also, while driving and turning left, the vehicle's steering locks and I have to snatch the steering wheel to the right in order to get the vehicle to go straight. This has happened on several occasions and I took it to the dealer on May 17th and they're in the process of replacing the steering gear or what the service advisor told me was known as the rack and pinion. My vehicle has less than 30,000 miles and I haven't run into anything or over anything to cause this problem. According to the service advisor the manufacturer's warranty covers the replacement, however, I'm stuck with having to drive a rental at my expense because of a defect from the manufacturer. I noticed there were other owners who had problems with the steering and they experienced failure that led to their wheel assembly coming off while driving. This is concerning because according to Ford, I have no recalls specific to my VIN number, but this problem seems to be more widespread and Ford Motor Co. Should be proactive in addressing this issue before someone gets killed.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #6

Apr 212016


  • 16,012 miles
While driving 35 mph on straight on major arterial street lost power steering control. Steering wheel immediately became extremely stiff and I struggled to pull to right hand lane and was barely able to pull over onto side road. Three warning messages showed up on dash board, "service advance trac", "steering assist fault service required" & car icon with trac swirls trailing car and "off". photos attached. Turned car off, restarted and same dash board images appeared. Took to dealership for repair. Dealership tested and said could not duplicate response. Documentation attached. Dealership gave rvc # and dealership contacted Ford hotline assist. No repair made. Advised to return if problem occurs again.

- Brush Prairie, WA, USA

problem #5

Mar 022016


  • miles
On two separate occasions, one on surface street 35mph - 3/2/16 and one on freeway 65mph - 4/6/16 my power steering has stopped working completely.

- Wilmington, CA, USA

problem #4

May 292015


  • 7,400 miles
Upon starting vehicle steering system was unresponsive and a warning notice "service advance track" appeared on dash. Dealer had vehicle for several days and could not duplicate malfunction. Returned without repair. Fault recurred after approximately one week and dealer again could not duplicate fault. Replaced one element of electronic steering system and returned vehicle as repaired. Fault recurred a third time and a different dealer service department replaced a second element of the electronic steering system and claimed issue was resolved. Fault continues to recur without notice and vehicle is unreliable. Problem has been reported to Ford customer relationship center on several occasions but response has been very limited.

- Hilton Head Island, SC, USA

problem #3

Jul 182015


  • 3,152 miles
I was driving the vehicle when I experienced a sudden loss of power steering. The power steering loss was permanent and did not recover. Drove vehicle to dealership for repair.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #2

Jun 232015


  • 90,019 miles
Lost all power steering and vehicle was almost impossible to steer. Ford dealer replaced electronic power steering rack.

- Lima, OH, USA

problem #1

Jan 262015

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 25 miles
Ford Motor Co. And worthington Ford of long beach, ca are selling vehicles with damaged/defective steering and refusing to fix the defect(s). 1/25/2015 purchased Ford Explorer (8 miles on vehicle); day after purchase, 1/26/2015, noticed problem with steering, parked vehicle, would not drive or let wife drive. Returned vehicle immediately to dealer via armstrong towing (flatbed) for repairs/evaluation. Worthington Ford of long beach: [xxx] all accused me of causing the damage; said it isn't under warranty service and wanted to charge me $600 to fix the damaged steering. They all refused, including [xxx], service mgr., to give me a written work order/invoice when vehicle was picked up 1/30/2015. Vehicle is remains in an unsafe condition. Do not know full extent of damage caused by Ford Motor Co. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Los Alamitos, CA, USA

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