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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
79,350 miles
Total Complaints:
100 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (43 reports)
  2. new rack (12 reports)
  3. replace steering assist (11 reports)
  4. replace rack & pinion (9 reports)
  5. new steering assist (8 reports)
  6. replace gear (7 reports)
2012 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #100

Dec 152018

Focus Platinum 2.4L

  • CVT transmission
  • 100,000 miles


Power steering failure( steering wheel locking up when starting car). Then I need to restart car so it will work correctly. Has happened of a few occasions, hope it don't kill someone. (Ford hope you are listening?) It is a ticking time bomb.

- Robert C., Warrenton, US

problem #99

Jan 072019

Focus ES 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles

I went to start my car to go to work and take my 3 yr old autistic son to school for the morning class. The steering was completely locked up. Tried to steer and couldn't. My mother gave a ride to work and son to school for the next week. Dropped my car at Ford dealership and was told a complete replacement of steering column is needed for $2100. I am now without a car as I cannot pay to fix it. I a single mom supporting my 3 yr old autistic son with no help. No child support, or any other support. Mom is disabled.

- Sarah C., Sherman, US

problem #98

Dec 192018

Focus ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Power steering locks up intermittently - even when driving. Have to stop the car, turn the engine off, switch the engine back on. Sometimes it requires two or three attempts. On at least one occasion nothing worked until a few hours later. Took vehicle to Ford dealership where they charged me $116 to diagnose it and well over a $1,000 to fix it. Their diagnosis was the steering rack replacement. When I did an online search one individual said he found a Technical Bulletin on the issue and he gave specific instructions on having Ford reprogram the unit. This is one of three cars we have and we now only use this one when absolutely necessary and we always make sure at least two of us has our cell phone on in case we have to help with the disabled Focus. I hesitate to have Astorg Motors in Parkersburg WV replace the steering rack because of the Technical Bulletin.If Ford replaces this expensive part and that's not the right fix. I am out over $1,000 and still have the same problem.

- Philip J., Walker, WV, USA

problem #97

Jan 012018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles


This is a warning to ALL 2012 Ford Focus with Electronic Steering issues: IT WILL FAIL the SAFETY portion of inspections, and it WILL COST thousands of dollars to have it fixed! Design flaw FROM FORD DESTROYS the ELECTRONIC BOX located 3 (THREE) inches away from the exhaust manifold causing the casing to become super hot and DESTROYS the INTERNAL COMPONENTS that "power steers" the vehicle.

This is a MAJOR SAFETY ISSUE that Ford knows about but has done NOTHING to address this issue with the Ford Focus, BUT HAS addressed this issue with OTHER MAKES/MODELS with the SAME UNIT. WHY have they NOT RECALLED this make/model/year of vehicle when THEY KNOW about this problem, along with the NTSB?

- rick4h9ma, Framingham, MA, USA

problem #96

Nov 282018

Focus SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

For a few months now my power steering has been not working when I turn the car on sporadically. To fix this I have been just turning the car off then back on a few times and that seems to fix the problem. However, now it won't reset and I do not have power steering at all. I had it towed to the dealer and after they charged me $140. They told me that it needs a new rack and pinion and it would cost $2400!!! Ford issued a recall on several different cars for this same issue.

How many more people have to be hurt or die before they issue one for this? I just had the transmission control module replaced under warranty and received a letter in the mail informing me that a recall was issued due to the fuel system causing major problems.

- Kelli H., Fairdale, KY, US

problem #95

Dec 102018

Focus ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,600 miles

7 years ago I purchased a brand new 2012 Ford Focus from a local Ford dealership. Currently the car has 36,600 miles only, single owner, single driver. So far it had 3 recalls(!), 1 for transmission issues (got to dealership, they said they fixed it, to this day the car is still stalling when accelerating), 1 for door latched, and 1 for fuel pump. On top of that, 2 days ago when trying to back out of the parking lot the steering wheel went dead and a warning on the dashboard screen said "power steering out". Towed to the nearest dealership, after two days of diagnosis they say rack and pinion need replacement, total cost $2,100 parts and labor. I called For Motor Company they said car is out of warranty. I found a lot of recalls (complaints) online related to power steering issues on Ford Focus 2012, but still no help from Ford Company or Ford dealership. Is this a reliable car? to have this damage at only 36,600 miles and 3 recalls on different issues???! Why Ford Company is not taking responsibility for defective cars with serious safety issues placed on the market and sold as new???

- adina, Oak Lawn, US

problem #94

Oct 082018

Focus Titanium

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles


I believe this is a serious enough problem to warrant a recall and I can't believe it hasn't been done!

I can't imagine what it costs to have it repaired at a Ford Garage!

I don't know if this would have been covered under any warranty/extended warranty that I have, because it is over the mileage in the one book, but I already have taken it to my own garage. I don't have anyone to help me with stuff like that. I already had to take it in for two recalls. I am sorry that I ever bought a Ford.

I was just lucky??? that I wasn't far from home when the steering went and lucky that I have AAA so that it could be towed for no charge. I do not feel that this is something that should fail on a car that is only 6 years old and has under 60,000 miles on it. I did not purchase it new.

Update from Oct 22, 2018: Had problem fixed, replacement part, RT and LT lower control arm and alignment-$2, 178.00.

- Linda H., New Eagle, US

problem #93

Jul 022018

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

For a few months now my power steering has been not working when I turn the car on sporadically. To fix this I have been just turning the car off then back on a few times and that seems to fix the problem. However, now it won't reset and I do not have power steering at all. Thank goodness it has not happen while I am driving. Ford needs to have a safety recall on this car and fix their problem and take ownership of it.

- Justin H., Pearl City, HI, US

problem #92

Sep 012018

Focus SEL 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

Call the NHTSA 1-888-327-236 to report an official complaint. They will call you if there’s a recall or judgement against Ford. They said according to them there’s no issue with Ford steering assist because they didn’t have enough official complaints. It’s a government agency and they will help.

- Eddie R., Gilbert, AZ, US

problem #91

Aug 212018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles

Two years ago, I bought a 2012 Ford Focus from Mullinax Ford then two weeks ago the power steering went out. It costed $2143 dollars to repair. I come to find this is an extremely common issue with this make and model and they still sold it to me. I doubt I'll ever buy a Ford again and certainly not from there.

- Da'Vel J., Mobile, AL, US

problem #90

Aug 182018

Focus ES Hatchback 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,458 miles


We bought a used 2012 Ford Focus about two weeks ago and the powering steering started messing up and went out completely. Now the steering column is very hard. I called the dealership to see what the cost would be and he told me about $1600 to $1800. Who has that kind of money to spend like that? Anyone else has had the issues? I know there has been some recalls on another things.

- rodriguezcynthia, Saginaw, USA

problem #89

Jun 222018

Focus SE 2.0L Eng Vin 2

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,565 miles

Never caused a problem, but it's annoying that the wheel would lock up while accelerating quickly.

- Mitch P., Scarburough, ON, Canada

problem #88

Jul 282018

Focus SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

Power steering frozen. This had happened several times in the past 6 months, but turning the ignition off, then on fixed the problem, until on July 28, it did not. Had it towed to dealer. It was diagnosed and fixed. About $1650 in costs, plus they did a front wheel alignment, that was probably not needed. About $80.

It was after this that it check the internet and found that this was a common problem for Ford. A previous class action suit was dismissed by the courts in 2017, so no help there.

- Clayton D., Turlock, US

problem #87

Jul 212018

Focus SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

When driving through a parking lot and turning left, the car suddenly lost all steering and jerked back straight, endangering all of us since a car was coming at us. The power assist light came on to tell us that it was not working - duh! Luckily, we avoided the accident and pulled over. I turned off the car and restarted it, and the problem was gone. This is the second time this has happened in the last year, and I am very worried while driving it in traffic, on the highway, and to work. I am looking for instructions on what and how to replace whatever is broken, as I cannot afford to take it to the dealer to be repaired.

- William U., McKinney, US

problem #86

Jul 272018

Focus SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

On July 27th 2018 I started my 2012 Ford Focus and the steering wheel was locked and the warning lights came on warning electronic power steering failure. I turned the vehicle off and it restarted. This is the second time this has happened and I see that it is going to be a problem. I did a research and there is a recall began July 20, 2015. Owners may contact Ford customer Service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 15S18.

- Louise C., Sacramento, US

problem #85

Jul 172018

Focus Titanium 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

Ford needs to issue a recall on all of the Focus models and refund the owners who have had to pay out of pocket.

- Andre F., Saint Marys, GA, US

problem #84

Jun 012018

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,500 miles

Since Ford has known for YEARS about the "Steering Assist Malfunction" and the many complaints it has against it, WHY have they NOT recalled the Focus but HAVE RECALLED all other vehicles with this same "problem"? And WHY did the judge in CA "throw out a class action lawsuit" to begin with? Maybe it is time to instigate another class action lawsuit against Ford Motor Company. I am a senior adult who relies on this vehicle for getting to doctor appointments, running errands and basic life style of travel. This "problem" not only puts MY LIFE at risk, but many others also. Oh, and the "cost to "fix"" said problem? Thousands of dollars that MOST people do not have.

Update from Feb 15, 2019: I had to have the car inspected last month (January 2019) and it FAILED THE SAFETY portion due to the Electronic Power Assisted Steering failure. It is considered a SAFETY issue and I was not allowed to drive the vehicle until it was fixed, which it was in February 2019 at a cost of close to $2,000. NTSB IS aware of this issue, but as yet I have NOT been contacted by them for any kind of follow up information.

If EVERYONE sent their complaints to the NTSB MAYBE something will be done about it.

- Rick H., Framingham, US

problem #83

May 252018

Focus Titanium

  • CVT transmission
  • 88,000 miles

click to see larger images

power steering failure power steering failure power steering failure

I had issues with my steering starting around the end of 2017. I knew I would be out of pocket a substantial amount because I looked on this site and saw how many other people experienced the same thing. Indeed, it cost me 1,772.25 a little less than a few of the repair costs I had seen here. Sitting at 88k miles, I think it's time to let this one go before it costs me any more out of pocket expenses.

- Sarah B., Cottondale, US

problem #82

May 282018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Power steering fault kept coming up about once a week for three weeks, would shut off car then turn it back on and fault would be gone. Now when you shut it off it doesn't help, have lost all power steering completely for good and don't want to pay the $1,200+ to fix it.

- Clay G., Troy, IL, US

problem #81

Apr 232018

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Started my car up the other day and a notification on the dashboard read "Driver Assist Error" - I could not move my steering wheel at all! I turned the car off, and then back on - this time no error message and the steering wheel operated normally. This happened again the next day - and has only happened twice so far.

I took my car into the Ford dealership (same place that sold me the POS) to have the brakes replaced and asked them to see if there is a Power Steering Issue due to the error message I received. After the $98 diagnostic, they told me that the entire steering system needs to be replaced! The exact correction is written: Performed self test and found DTC U3000:48 stored in PSCM; Fault is for internal failure; Recommend replacing EPAS to correct concern. Additional cost to fix this would be around $1,800!

To no surprise, here is another thing going bad with this car. Ford has not issued a recall on this issue yet, even though I have read that there were lawsuits from accidents caused by this issue. I had to decline the replacement, as I was already out $650 for other work being done on the car. How can I afford to spend another $1800 on this junk car! Why has Ford not issued a recall? I'm basically praying every time I drive the car that the power steering does not go out.

If there are any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks!

- Clay K., Tampa, US

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?