2012 Ford Focus steering problems: power steering failure

Power Steering Failure

2012 Ford Focus (Page 1 of 6)

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

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

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:
79,850 miles
Total Complaints:
107 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (44 reports)
  2. new rack (12 reports)
  3. replace steering assist (12 reports)
  4. replace rack & pinion (10 reports)
  5. new steering assist (8 reports)
  6. replace gear (7 reports)
2012 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

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 (carcomplaints.com) 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

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, US

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

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