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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
14 / 1
Average Mileage:
79,798 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2012 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 12 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #125

May 262015


  • 62,000 miles


I have a 2012 Ford Focus sel, which I purchased used, from a Ford dealership in October 2013. Approximately 1 month ago (early May 2015), upon turning on my vehicle, my steering wheel would not move and would say something like "power assist steering fault." I would have to turn of my car and turn it back on in order for the steering to begin working. This became more and more frequent as the month went on (sometimes having to turn my car off an on 2-4 times for it to begin working). On May 26, 2015 I went to turn my car on and my electric power steering completely quit working. I would like to mention that twice my electric power steering shut off when I was driving, but both times I was driving at low speed, so I able to stop the car quickly to fix the problem (turn it off and back on). My car has already been given an extended warranty as the result of a problem with the transmission control module, so I cannot rule out that this problem is not a defect as well (especially with all the other Ford recalls for the eps shutting off).

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

problem #124

Mar 102015


  • 36,000 miles
Power steering quit and driving was almost impossible for a few blocks. Power steering then came back intermittently. Manual said to shut vehicle off for 10 seconds and re-start. That worked for a few weeks and now steering is going out all the time for a few seconds at a time.

- Sewickley, PA, USA

problem #123

Apr 302015


  • 45,000 miles
A few weeks ago my son started experiencing intermittent failure of the electric power steering (eps) on his 2012 Ford Focus sel, which he'd owned for less than a year. If he had no power steering when he turned on the car, he could just turn off the car, take the key out of the ignition, replace the key in the ignition, turn the car back on, and occasionally the power steering would work again. That only lasted a few days. Then the loss of power steering became permanent. He could still turn the wheel with a great deal of effort (more effort than is required to turn the wheel of a car that never had power steering), but as soon as our independent Ford certified mechanic (used to work at our local Ford dealership) pointed out that there were reports of the same steering system seizing up and making the car impossible to steer, we couldn't let our son drive the car again until the garage replaces the rack. Our mechanic believes there might be a class action suit implicating the eps, but our local Ford dealer and Ford corporate say there's "no program" to fix/replace eps on cars where they've prematurely failed as did my son's. the local dealership and Ford customer service in mi were polite, but they're neither sympathetic nor helpful in light of the seriously dangerous prospects arising from the defective eps they refuse to acknowledge.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #122

Apr 022015


  • 46,000 miles


While driving the car around a slight bend in the road at around 45 miles per hour, I began receiving notifications on my console saying hill assist start was not functioning and that I had a steering issue and to pull over safely. The vehicle had no power steering and was difficult to control on the road because the car wanted to swerve. It was also pulling to the right. After taking the car to the local garage they told me that it needed to go to a dealership to be repaired and that the parts are on back order. After speaking with a Ford dealer in kane Pennsylvania they notified me that it has happened in numerous other focuses and that it would $1600 to repair it.

- Smethport , PA, USA

problem #121

Mar 092015


  • 57,000 miles
Could not move steering wheel at all when I started car. After multiple restarts, steering finally worked normally. This same steering lock has happened when I start my car approximately 20 to 30 times since the first incident. Ford dealer could not find anything wrong. They told me I needed a code for them to investigate the issue. This has not happened while driving, but am somewhat worried my steering may lock up in this same manner while on the road.

- San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA

problem #120

Apr 012015


  • 34,200 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While reversing, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The failure was experienced several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering rack and pinion needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 34,200.

- Winter Haven , FL, USA

problem #119

Apr 222015


  • 100,262 miles


I was driving to work one more when my car dashboard lite up saying steering assistance service required. An at that point my power steering went out on me. I pulled over and turned the car off as steering became very hard. After turning my car off and back on the light went off and my steering was back to normal. Called the dealership who said at this point don't worry about if it happens again to bring it in. Well 5/14/15 rolls around and I'm leaving work get in my car an turn the car on the my dashboard lights up again with the same message and my steering is out again. Called the dealership they said to bring it in. I bring it in on 5/15/15 and they said that my power steering rack assembly needs to be replaced an since my warranty ran out that it isn't covered and they quoted me over a thousand dollars to fix it. I don't have that kind of money and to me since that is a saftey issue that is something Ford should be fixing for free as that can cause me to get into an accident.

- Camden, NC, USA

problem #118

May 052015


  • miles
While driving the power steering went out and I briefly lost control of the vehicle. Regained control and made it to my destination. This has happened before and when I turned the car off and back on it fixed itself. This time I've turned the car off and back on 5 times within the past 5 hrs and it still isn't working. I have an appointment with Ford in the morning but not sure how I'm going to make it the 30 miles to get there.

- Clarksville, IN, USA

problem #117

Apr 102015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Steering assist malfunction when starting vehicle, making it impossible to drive. However when restarted and "warmed up" vehicle function. Ford seems to be ignoring the issue as it did with transmission malfunction. Today May 5 I return to metro Ford.

- Miami Beach , FL, USA

problem #116

Oct 142014


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving at approximately 30 mph, the steering wheel was difficult to maneuver. The contact was able to regain control. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the steering column assembly and the column steering cover were both replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000.

- Rogers, AR, USA

problem #115

Mar 132015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,500 miles


First time: Was merging from one highway to another and power steering went out. Warning came on. I got off immediately. I turned the car off and the warning message went off and the car was fine. I took it directly to the dealer. They said they could not get the car to do it again and that they checked the connections and all was fine. Second time: Was parked and went to turn the car on. The warning message came on and I could not turn the steering wheel. Turned the car off again and it cleared itself. I am going to take the car back in to Ford so that I can get the dates that this occurred on record. This is twice within months that this is happening. It is scary to think of what could happen if this were to occur again.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #114

Apr 272015


  • 48,290 miles
Started vehicle and pulling out of street parking when the wheel locked suddenly and there was a steering wheel assist warning light that came on dash. Turned car off and back on and it cleared. Another vehicle had to maneuver around me by the time I had turned the car off and on. Luckily it was not too dark or else it may have caused an accident.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #113

Apr 202015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
As I was backing out of a driveway my power steering failed. Had to have my car towed.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #112

Apr 132015


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the power steering failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The dealer stated that the steering rack would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 56,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #111

Mar 172015


  • 58,500 miles
I started noticing this 3 days after I had my transmission shudder fixed. I got to the point that any time I started my car and tried to turn my wheel while going in both forward and reverse that I had no power steering assisting me in my turn. It would take all I had to turn the wheel, and sometimes it would give the alert for needing to take it in for service. I took it in, and the first time the dealer did a service update. I drove it around for a few more days before I noticed when I slowed down to take turns my wheel would physically stop turning while in mid turn. I took it back in to the dealership, where they did another update to my power steering. 2 days later it's doing the same thing. I've been fortunate for this to not happen while trying to pull a quick avoidance maneuver. It's proving to be too dangerous to drive.

- Coulterville, IL, USA

problem #110

Apr 102015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
Power steering electrical system failed without notice. Noticed that there is currently a class action suit against Ford for this issue and other issues. Not on recall list at moment, and may have to pay for repair due to faulty design.

- Westbrook, CT, USA

problem #109

Apr 072015


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving various speeds, the vehicle would abnormally hesitate when shifting. Also, the steering assist error warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The dealer stated that the hesitation was a normal occurrence and the steering gear assembly would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Moorpark, CA, USA

problem #108

Apr 082015


  • 40,000 miles
First time 04/06/2015 started car like normal dashboard read power assist faliure contact service. Turned car off then back on dash cleared. Ran system check no issues. Called local Ford dealer was told glitch in system shouldn't happen again no need to bring in car. 2 days later... was driving on freeway when suddenly steering went out. Car was going almost 65 could bearly move steering wheel felt like it was stuck in wet sand. Almost crashed when approching curve had to slow down to about 10mph. What if 1yr. Old was in car what if I crashed.

- Berea , OH, USA

problem #107

Mar 132015


  • 29,000 miles
I was driving at approximately 30mph on a busy road when the alert sound went off in the car. The message on the dash said that there was a power steering malfunction. It immediately became very difficult to steer. I was able to arrive at my destination just up the road without incident. The steering had returned to normal when I turned the car on again about 30 minutes later. I have not experienced any steering issues since.

- Bright, MA, USA

problem #106

Sep 232014


  • 47,000 miles
1.power steering goes out at any given time, whether its initial crank or driving at any speeds. It appears to occur more so in the warmer months of the year. 2. transmission slips, chatters, rollbacks while in gear, hesitation, delayed response. I have taken vehicle to dealership multiple times, they said they cant get the power steering to re-occur so there was nothing wrong with car! they said the transmission acts within their specs, as this is does come and go but appears 90-95% of the time. However I did receive an extended warranty out of no where for the transmission in which I heard they do nothing but clean oil off the clutch plate which will resolve nothing. My wife is 100lbs soaking wet and cannot control the vehicle in turns when the steering goes out. She has already blown out a tire on a curb due to not being able to correct the path of the vehicle in a turn.

- Auburn, AL, USA

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