2012 Ford Focus steering problems: power steering failure

Power Steering Failure

2012 Ford Focus (Page 1 of 4)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com 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:
70,988 miles
Total Complaints:
75 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (30 reports)
  2. new rack (11 reports)
  3. new steering assist (8 reports)
  4. replace gear (7 reports)
  5. replace steering assist (7 reports)
  6. replace rack & pinion (6 reports)
2012 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

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.

- , 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.

- , 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".

- , 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?

- , 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.

- , 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.

- , 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...

- , Willowick, US

problem #68

Sep 152017

Focus SE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

The power steering assist malfunction light has come on in my 2012 Ford Focus several times and the steering wheel became extremely difficult to move. I would have to restart the car to fix the problem. Brought the vehicle in to the dealer to have looked at and find out that the car needs all new steering gear that will cost $1850 to replace. I did some research online and found that this is a very common problem in Ford Focus cars. Ford has recalled several cars of similar make and model for this same issue yet have not recalled the Ford Focus. This is a serious safety hazard especially if it happens while driving on the road. I was lucky it was just in my driveway. On a car with only 77,000 miles a repair like this should not need to happen. Ford needs to own up to their mistake and send a recall and fix the problem on all vehicles. I should not have to pay for a manufacturing defect. The car is now out of commission because I can't afford the repair and I am to scared to drive it as is.

- , Sterling, US

problem #67

Sep 162017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

When I bought the car in September, 2015, within the first week after I bought it I first saw the "Steering assist fault - service required" message when I started my car. Turning the car off, then back on again, removed the message, and power steering worked fine. I would get this message occasionally, once or twice a month, only when starting the car, and never while driving. Turning the car off then on again always resolved the issue. I mentioned it to the dealer when I brought it in for its first oil change. They said they didn't have the staff available on the weekend to fix it, that I'd need to make an appointment during the week to have it looked at. But the fact that it was only happening occasionally, it was driving ok and the issue was resolved when restarting the car, I was told it wasn't urgent and the next time I brought it in for service they would look at it. So in January, 2016, when I brought it in for service and I mentioned the issue, they looked for the error code but couldn't see it, so there was nothing to fix. I kept getting the steering assist fault message about once or twice a month, only when starting the car, and it would resolve when restarting the car. In August 2017 I brought my car to Firestone for inspection, and I mentioned it to them. They looked for the message but also could not see the error code, so there was nothing to fix. Two weeks later, September 2017, I started the car, got the message, turned the car off and on, and got the message again. I tried restarting my car 6-7 times, still no power steering. I drove a little, stopped, turned it off and on again, still no power steering. The dealer says it needs the steering gear replaced, and will cost $1700.00. It is so frustrating that there are dozens of these complaint websites that address this issue, with hundreds of complaints, a failed class-action lawsuit in California, and we are all forced to deal with this hassle.

- , Pennsburg, PA, US

problem #66

Aug 012017

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles


- , Visalia, CA, US

problem #65

Jul 282017

Focus ES 2.0L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles


speechless wish there were words fuming enough already speechless wish there were words fuming enough alreadyspeechless wish there were words fuming enough already

- , Palm Springs, US

problem #64

Aug 012017

Focus ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

This is a serious problem that needs to be fixed immediately. Thank God I am an experienced driver, otherwise this could be a very dangerous and deadly problem. I do not have $1,500 to get this fixed and Ford should take care of this no matter what the mileage is and whether it is under any warranties because it is just common courtesy to its loyal customer, such as myself.

Update from Aug 3, 2017: Power steering has gone out completely. Been manually driving the car for the past few days.

- , Prattville, US

problem #63

Jun 232017

Focus 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I lost power steering without warning while dropping my son off at school. You can still steer the car but barely and I am a 200lb maintenance man. Brought is to the Ford dealer and it is going to costs $1700 to fix. I have read many other 2012 Focus owners have had the same problem. Very surprised it is not covered under a safety recall as it happens without warning and makes maneuvering the car almost impossible.

- , Sherburne, NY, US

problem #62

Jun 062017


  • Manual transmission
  • 72,000 miles

I bought this car a few months ago and I've been loving until last night. As soon as I turned my car on, the message center displayed "Steering Assist fault - service required" and the steering became difficult.

After struggling to re-parallel park, blocking traffic all the while, I turned the car off and back on again and the issue seemed to go away. FOR NOW.

I understand from the message boards that this is just the start of what I'm going to have to deal with. I plugged my VIN into Ford's recall site and the only thing that came up was for a door latch mechanism.

I drive Uber for a living. I'm terrified to work at the risk of putting myself and my riders in danger, not to mention having Uber kick me off for putting people in harm's way. Living in an urban city, I can't leave the car sit, but holding up traffic to fight the steering wheel to parallel park was dangerous and unnerving.

I'm a friggin Uber driver. I DON'T have $1100 laying around to fix this YET I need to drive to make money to fix my main source of income.


- , Lancaster, PA, US

problem #61

May 152017

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,541 miles

The 2012 Ford Focus is junk. I hate this car. Power steering was intermittently failing but went out altogether today when the car was started.

Update from Jun 1, 2017: $1,700 to fix. We ended up selling the car instead of fixing it as it had several other problems inc electrical problems.

- , Greenville, SC, US

problem #60

Feb 042015

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,710 miles

First time failure but was having issues for a year before the complete failure. Ford never documented my complaints either every time I took it in to the Ford dealer. They could never find a fault. The power steering would fail but reset itself after restarting the car until the complete failure. Total crap as they wanted $2600 Canadian to replace the PS. I complained until the only charged me $1300 Cdn. First and last Ford... see the many complaints on this car to understand.

- , Blumenort, MB, Canada

problem #59

May 092017

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

Power steering failure while my daughter was backing out of the driveway. Lost control of steering wheel. Steering rack needed to be replaced. This could have been a catastrophe!!!

- , Bridgeville, US

problem #58

Apr 142017

Focus Titanium L4 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,950 miles

Outrageous that Ford has not been required to recall the failed EPAS on this model, as it has on other models. Ford is putting myself and family at risk of a dangerous accident.

- , Mission Viejo, US

problem #57

Apr 192017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,729 miles

My daughter just bought her first car with her own money. She only had the damn car for a little over 30 days and the steering wheel rack stop working in her 2012 Ford Focus and they don't even have a recall on it. Now I know that this have been reported to the Ford Company by others. And nothing have been done about it. Ford you guys need to recall this car because you know that this is a problem and it just isn't fair.

- , Norfolk, US

problem #56

Jun 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Our dealership told us that Ford is aware of the issue as many Focus and Fusions have had the same issue with the EPS failing. Ford is not inclined to recall. I complained to Ford and all they could say is that there was no recall issued as of yet. They referred me back to the dealership saying the Service Manager would use all available resources. Excuse me? Don't you mean my $1500 resources?!?

- , Culpeper, VA, USA

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