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2012 Ford Focus steering problems: power steering failure

Power Steering Failure

2012 Ford Focus (Page 1 of 5)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer. Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague 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:
75,900 miles
Total Complaints:
88 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (38 reports)
  2. new rack (11 reports)
  3. replace steering assist (10 reports)
  4. new steering assist (8 reports)
  5. replace gear (7 reports)
  6. replace rack & pinion (7 reports)
2012 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

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.

- 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

problem #80

Apr 032018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

click to see larger images

power steering failure

I purchased my Ford Focus in good faith and considered myself a loyal customer, even proud that the union label was on the car, but then this happened. COMPLETE STEERING SYSTEM FAILURE. There is a NY Times article that states the company KNEW about this failure, yet the NHTSA never made them do a recall. FORD do the right thing and help your customers! NHTSA needs to step up! The article said that 124 deaths and injuries occurred due to this problem. Ford recalled other models due to this problem but not the Focus and Canada even investigated! This is BULLSHIT! People like us are hard-working folks who went into debt to buy this car. Now it's sitting there and it's $2,000 to fix!

- Catherine H., Cape Coral, FL, US

problem #79

Dec 142016

Focus SE 2.0L-Liter I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

Began getting Power Steering Failure over a year ago, turning car off and on would fix it. It was out of warranty and I was reading it would be around 1800 dollars to repair. Now I am unemployed and cant afford to fix it.

Car has sat in my garage for over a year because it cannot be driven. I have a paid for 2012 ford focus that is taking up a space in my garage.

I usually love Fords, but will not by another one.

- Robert M., Longmont, CO, US

problem #78

Mar 262018

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,000 miles


I started my car 2012 Focus and I heard a chime and saw a steering fault come up on the dash. Drove home not an easy drive having to stand on steering wheel. Shut it down and restarted fault went away.

- Michael S., Hurricane, US

problem #77

Feb 272018

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

Turned on my car about 20 minutes after getting home from work to go get groceries. Power steering service required comes up, and I am nearly unable to turn the wheel. I am a financially independent college student working full time. Every day there are two small children in my car and my first thought was being terrified at the idea of the power steering failing while traveling around metro-Atlanta with them. Then I find out the projected cost is at least $1,000. It is irresponsible for Ford to have not issued a recall about this prevalent problem.

- Heather N., Kennesaw, US

problem #76

Feb 012018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Power Steering Assist Malfunction light would come on randomly upon start up and power steering was non functioning. Would turn car off and restart and everything would be fine. This randomly happened for about a month. Then one day turning the car off and restarting did not resolve the problem and took the car in to Ford dealership for repair. I was unsure if warranty had expired so they said they would check. No one ever said yea or nay about it being expired and/or not covered so I ended up paying over two thousand dollars to replace power steering rack.

I fell in love with this car when I found it and drove it and after reading so many complaints on this particular model and year for various reasons I'm fearful I'm in for other major repairs soon. Over 30 years ago I had a very bad experience with another Ford and swore I would never own another one. I should have stuck with it after scanning over so many complaints on various Ford vehicles. But then again, just scanning this site it seems that there are serious problems with most cars these days, not just Ford. I'd just like to own one car where the engine light doesn't come on within a year of owning it.

- Laura L., north richland hills, US

problem #75

Dec 122017

Focus SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,500 miles

With the amount of issues regarding power steering, I'm surprised Ford has not issued a recall. My guess is that they don't make enough money on the focus to warrant a recall so we, the consumer, have to pay for the sub-par part they selected for this vehicle.

- Woo H., Houston, TX, US

problem #74

Oct 262017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,750 miles

My power steering shut down without warning while stationary. Thankfully I was not turning in front of traffic and did not have a customer in my car. My employment is driving. Oh and just two days prior the transmission computer was replaced. It shut down without warning . Stopped for gas came out and car would not start or move out of park.

- Julia R., Jacksonville, US

problem #73

Oct 022017

Focus ES

  • Manual transmission
  • 65,665 miles

I have had this car (bought brand new) since Oct 2011. Steering power assist started to fail intermittently. Twice to a mechanic and code reader could not identify any code. First time the fault appeared, my wife was stuck in a parking lot unable to turn the wheel and a warning was on the dash about "Power steering assist fault". Instead of towing it, I met her in the lot, restarted it and no fault. Steering appeared fine. We switched vehicles and I took it to our mechanic. No code identified.

Second time, I stalled the car while going up a garage ramp, started it again and the code appeared. While on the ramp, I attempted to restart the car twice and code remained. Came close to hitting a wall while rolling back on a circular garage ramp. I do believe if this happened to my wife we would have exterior damage to the car as it was extremely difficult to steer. At the base of the ramp, I tried to restart the car again a few times and each time the code remained. I managed to drive it around the parking garage and park. A few hours later, I returned to the car to leave work, started the car and no fault appeared. Drove it about 35 km home with no trouble.

Next day, fault appeared and has been consistent for over a week. Now I'm researching everything I can about this fault. The car according to Ford is no longer under warranty. Bill will be large to fix.

Steering - now totally manual is beyond "extremely hard to steer".

- osnap, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

problem #72

Nov 092017

Focus Titanium 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,923 miles

STEERING ASSIST FAULT SERVICE REQUIRED - That's what I woke up to yesterday morning as i started my car. I couldn't even turn my steering wheel. The problem hasn't happened since yesterday although I've only driven about 70km since. I don't know what is wrong with it. I called a ford dealership to bring my car in but they don't have room for me until next Friday. The service guy said he never heard of the problem before. I know for a fact if i bring my car in with no OBD codes they wont fix it. What if my steering locks up on me on the way to work? I drive 25mins on the highway. Its so scary.

Any suggestions?

- roxannec, Gatineau, QC, Canada

problem #71

Oct 102017

Focus Titanium 2.0L Duratec Di Ti-Vct

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Power steering is going out with just under 65k miles. The amount of people reporting this issue makes me believe it should be covered under a recall. This is a very expensive fix for what amounts to bad sensors.

- brakmt, La Vista, US

problem #70

Oct 062017

Focus SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

Steering Assist Failure notice appeared on and off for nearly a year. Notice would disappear after turning vehicle off and straightening steering wheel. At 77000 miles, warning came on again and would not clear. Could drive vehicle but difficult w/o power steering. Took vehicle to repair shop and found steering angle sensor and power assist faulty. Electric rack assembly replaced. Lower control arms bushings found to be torn, also replaced. Steering angle was calibrated and wheel alignment was performed. Really disgusted with FORD for not recognizing this as a manufacture fault and not including this problem as a recall. This is third major problem with this vehicle; this steering problem, Transmission Control Module went at 52000, covered under warranty and recall, also had to replace fuel system 5 months ago.

- 58kjf, Lake Havasu City, US

problem #69

Oct 072017

Focus SEL

  • CVT transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I got no warning light and my steering just stopped and I almost crashed. I got a light AFTER it didn't turn saying to pull over and stop car. I have taken this car to the dealership and told them for about 9 months my steering felt "tight", or during the winter, my steering wheel was frozen and wouldn't move until it warmed up for 20 mins. Each time they said they looked at it really quick and because there are no codes they can't do anything. Seriously?? I have heard it's around $1200 to fix it. I don't have any money to do this, and it isn't fair that besides all the clutch recalled replacements I have had to do that now this car has this, too? I hate this car. Ford needs to fix this, recall this now! If I was on the highway I would've crashed, and taken out other people with me. I don't know what to do. I now have a non mobile car, and no way to get to work. (all highway driving 25 mins away) I have only bought Fords, and I am very disappointed with them. Shame on them for allowing people to buy and drive this deathtrap.

Update from Oct 11, 2017: I have found out from Ford, that the Nation highway and safety board has to get enough complaints to do a recall. Ford doesn't make those decisions? WTF?? Well, I made a complaint, if you haven't yet, you should, before someone dies because of this defect. Just an FYI...

- Jennifer D., Willowick, US

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