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:
81,950 miles
Total Complaints:
116 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (46 reports)
  2. replace steering assist (15 reports)
  3. new rack (12 reports)
  4. replace rack & pinion (12 reports)
  5. new steering assist (9 reports)
  6. replace gear (8 reports)
2012 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

problem #116

Feb 132020

Focus SEL 4 Speed

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,355 miles


I've had this issues since I got the car. At first it would be 1 to 2 minutes, and then it would be all good. There's no issues with turning the sterling wheel. I mostly had issues when it was cold but there were at lease 6 times when they weather was just fine. I called in and talked to them but when they got the car the issue was "fine" and they said if its not doing it then they can't tell me what's wrong.

Now, it's gone out completely, it will cost $2540 dollars and the value of my car is 3000 to 4000 (2012 Ford Focus) - but with the issue not fixed, it's actually worth 1 to 2 thousand. I'm now getting a new car and that wasn't the plan.

- Gloria C., Waukee, IA, US

problem #115

Sep 182020

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

Got the car - it had 58000 miles on it when I bought it. Now at 83000 miles, the steering assist lights up and it is hard to steer. I am disabled - it should be covered but it is not. I don't have much money to fix it and I am getting real upset - they all want an ATM and a leg to fix problem.

- Tracy B., Brant, US

problem #114

Oct 152020

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

I doubt this will got any further then the front door as hundreds have come forward over power assist issue or fault. The dealerships and head executives could give a flip less. I have a dealer that lies, says work has been done and it hasn't. Ford won't admit it and the codes in the 13 Fusion recalls in my opinion could be different in the 12 Focus ones they won't admit.

After several days - yes, I'm very mechanical, I have some software experience. First the code u3000-53 deactivated pscm... Well and the ground issues they have and the 300 other issues, this is a really good scenario. The ecm, bcm and several modules talk and the worthless bsm on the neg and the corn head that decided to make a neg on paint, congrats!

...I checked voltage live feeds acc feeds - you name it, I did it...

Also this update to the tcm may have a hand in it... My software shows the pscm with no codes however a full scan will show u3000-53. Well, guess what the bcm issue is. It's not allowing also a code fault in cluster or dash indicator.

My opinion - Ford will never get a dime from me ever and we tax payers give them a bail out and one other. I as well got the shaft by 5 days over transmission repair car at that point 63,000 and the dealer had for 3 days. I'm so on fire - I have no more to say but someone get off that ass and force junk Ford into a recall.

update from oct 28, 2020: OK, we have several websites that are taking these complaints on the steering fault I have failed in finding any investigation... what the???

I'm medically disabled and several infusions every week so I have to drive this '57 Ford pick up without steering power... I have spent days, test after test, hours on forums... I purchased the forscan software and the cable - I sure can't blow 100 plus for Ford to tell me or lie to me. Yes, I was an ase cert mechanic I have come to a conclusion that these software upgrades to the tcm, ecm, bcm to mask or fix a coverup issue, well, I think the bcm isn't talking to the pscm, but it shows pscm good on software and the failure is the bcm. I will be calling Ford direct - no, not dealer.

- fordsuperduty350, Ft.Smith, US

problem #113

Jul 202016

Focus SE I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


Power steering was intermittent since 2014, especially on hot days. Then finally in July 2016 the power steering completely failed. Prior to this Ford was unable to diagnose the issue if it was not actively occurring. eyeroll. In 2019 I brought the vehicle in for a couple recall fixes and asked them to check the steering. They stated it would have to replace the entire electrical power steering unit for ~$2,500. Repair was not conducted.

I had read in forums that this brand new (at the time) all electric power steering unit was placed too close to the engine exhaust manifold and too poorly heat shielded, frying the electrics. Rumor is that not enough reports of the issue, or deaths associated to loss of power steering while driving have occurred for Ford to issue a recall. Hopefully, this complaint helps.

- spookyxunicycle, Aurora, US

problem #112

Jan 162021

Focus SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 230,000 miles

Power steering stopped working while turning at 30+ MPH, and steering failed to return to center. I had to muscle the steering wheel back (I was headed into oncoming traffic) with the grip I had and tore a tendon in my elbow. Needless to say the one armed drive home was awesome. I have Ford IDS software and sure enough the PSCM, SASM were not communicating, which also shuts down ABS and EPAS, I now have the most dangerous vehicle on the road, LOOK OUT.

- Jon C., Mccleary, US

problem #111

Jan 082021

Focus SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

There has been many issues with this and a lawsuit was filed.

- Dave A., Bay City, MI, US

problem #110

Nov 222020

Focus SEL 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,285 miles


click to see larger images

power steering failure

Sitting in my driveway getting ready to leave for work steering assist fault service pops up on info center. Steering wheel wouldn't turn. Shut the car off and restart disappears. I drive the 8 miles to work no problems. Park, shut the car off, start it back up and it popped up again. Same issue as the first time.

The dealership I purchased the car from didn't mention this issue, only the transmission one. I've only had this car since Feb 2020. I am not happy with the amount of issues I've had with this car.

- Catherine M., Independence, MO, US

problem #109

May 222021

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,111 miles

Ford needs to do a RECALL for the Power Steering Component Malfunction, especially since it's a common issue. How many people need to report a problem before the Ford company realizes they need to fix it?

- frglver79, Virginia Beach, US

problem #108

Apr 162020

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

My complaint at 91000 is my power steering assist light comes on and I cannot drive the car. So I had it towed down to Ford in Sumner. I was told the for just the part to repair the steering gear it will cost $1441.00 and the labor will be $784.00.

I have bought 3 Focuses over the years and I will say that Ford is taking everyone money and not caring. How many people is it going to take for the Ford Motor Company to take responsibility for the piece of garbage car they they created or should hundreds die or seriously get injured before something is done.

- Staci D., Auburn, WA, US

problem #107

Mar 152020

(reported on)

Focus SE Sport 2L I4

  • Manual transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Took my son’s Focus in for a recall on the fuel tank valve. Dealer completed the recall repair and attempted to restart the vehicle. The power steering out warning turned on and they could not clear it. Service manager contacted Ford and was informed that it would not be covered in any way. Repair is $2600 to replace the electronic power steering module or $1600 for a salvage non-warranty used part. Hard to stomach on a car with a $2000 trade-in value or $4500 private seller value. Why no recall on the Focus when Multiple other Ford models with the same problem were recalled? Ridiculous. We are done with Ford forever.


problem #106

Jul 222019

Focus SE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles


OVERVIEW: - Lose control of the car randomly - Two Ford dealers have no idea why - Mechanic told me he has seen this before - Unsure if fix will resolve problem for good or is this Temp, no one can answer?

DETAIL: My daughter and my wife experienced this, it is my daughters car and a couple of times now she has lost all control with the steering of the car. All the lights on the dash come and she does her best to get it to side of road. First time she was not sure what to do and left it there to have people come by and push it, only to restart and everything was just fine. She thought it was her fault so she didn't mention the first time, the second time she asked why it did that?

A few weeks later my wife took the car out and it happened to her only she was doing about 45mph, she panicked, luckily for her no one was around.

I took it to the local Ford dealer to have that looked at as well as the Air Conditioning fixed, they found nothing relating to the steering and the air broke within 24 hours after leaving the shop. Decided to take the car to a local mechanic who quickly found the issue, told me he has seen this before and to call Ford, said he could fix it but I should talk to Ford first. After doing that, Ford suggested I take it to a dealer to have them look at, said if they see the lights they will replace if not they cannot replace it.

Now here we are 4 weeks later after I had to call the dealer (different Ford dealer than the first time), they said they found nothing. I asked if they could repair the new recall and they were completely unaware that it had another recall issued. Seriously worst service from both dealers.

6 weeks to get nothing from Ford and the biggest issue I have right now, If I get this fixed will the random losing control stop or is that a design flaw that so many are talking about on this forum?

I am disappointed in both Ford dealerships in their lack of follow up, I am concerned Ford just does not care about this issue and I now I have a car I don't trust even if I do fix?

- oneorangeday, Cedar Falls, US

problem #105

Aug 092019

Focus LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

Very dangerous to be driving down a main highway going 75 miles per hour and lose power steering. I understand it is a default of the company making this car. I have had many recalls on different things with this car. I am leery of driving far with my car anywhere.

- Joyce S., decker, MI, US

problem #104

Aug 182019

Focus SE Sport 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Son returning to college had steering wheel become so hard to turn, he ran into the shoulder attempting to exit the freeway. A little searching found hundreds of Ford steering module failures and many recalls on other Ford models with failure of the same part. Is Ford waiting for more people to get killed before issuing a recall?

Update from Sep 3, 2019: UPDATE - Dealer updated software for $250. It did not work so a complete steering module replacement is required, which cost almost $3000. Absolutely, terrible customer service by Ford.

- 1kickerfish, Fredericksburg, VA, US

problem #103

Mar 282018

Focus LS 2.0L I4

  • Manual transmission
  • 31,000 miles

Intermittently at random times the power in the power steering would fail creating a dangerous situation. Control of the vehicle would become difficult because of the large increase in effort to control the vehicle steering. Turning the vehicle off for a few minutes usually remedied the problem after you'd been scared to death from the loss of power steering. Steering control module was reset by local auto shop. They said there wasn't much they could do short of starting to replace parts in the system. They suggested taking the vehicle to a Ford Dealer because it was an ongoing issue with 2012 Ford Focus'.

After 4 months the power steering completely failed. We took it to Fremont Ford in Fremont/Newark, CA. Big mistake on our part, it took them 1 day shy of 3 weeks with many un-returned calls. Ended up filing a complaint, Case #CAS14608637 with Ford to regarding the dealer and power steering failure situation.

According to Fremont Ford, the cause of the power steering failure was the DMC connector, associated wiring from the steering computer to the steering module and the steering module/steering gear. Total cost for diagnosis, parts and labor was $2802.38. This is my daughter's car and I thank God that she was able to maintain control of the vehicle when the power steering failed. I truly believe this is a serious safety defect in the vehicle.

- Dan S., Fremont, CA, US

problem #102

Feb 172019

Focus SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

I purchased a used 2012 Ford Focus SEL about 14 months ago. Tonight, started the car and got an alert on the dash about the power steering system along with the orange safety alert icon. The car had no power steering at all. I turned the car off and then restarted. I found this site ( after doing an online search about the problem I experienced. I see many others who own the 2012 Focus and have posted about this problem. It seems the repair costs are very expensive (in the range of $1600 to $2400).

I agree that we all should make a report to the NHTSA. Ford should be required to issue a safety recall for this problem for the 2012 Ford Focus. It's my understanding that this is some kind of design flaw or defect and that Ford is aware of the problem. I saw one post that stated they did some research online and discovered that Ford issued a recall (Ford recall number 15S18.) However, that recall does not include the Ford Focus. Rather, the recall pertains to certain 2011-2013 Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT vehicles, certain 2011-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles, certain 2011 Mercury Milan vehicles; and certain 2011-2013 Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS vehicles, built at specific Ford plants.

I am interested in hearing about any useful measures that we owners can take to help bring about a safety recall so that Ford can appropriately address this safety issue pertaining to the 2012 Ford Focus. This is a safety issue for anyone driving this vehicle and for other motorists that could be impacted by an accident caused by this problem.

- Brent B., Clearfield, US

problem #101

Sep 202018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Ford sends out cars that can literally kill you. I had the same problem as everyone else on this thread re the power steering failure. I AM HORRIFIED FORD HAS NOT YET DONE A RECALL. But we all know why, don't we? It'd cost the company $2,200 per car to replace the steering column. I think we should file a class-action lawsuit against Ford. Who's with me?

- David Samuel L., San Antonio, TX, US

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, US

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, US

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