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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:
77,900 miles
Total Complaints:
94 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (41 reports)
  2. new rack (12 reports)
  3. replace steering assist (11 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 #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.

- 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

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