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 13 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #105

Feb 252015


  • 3,950 miles


On several instances while entering a turn the power steering shut off and a failure notification was displayed on the dashboard. This resulted in several near accidents, especially while having to quickly adjust to the increased strength required to complete the turn without hitting another car or curb. Turning vehicle off and back on resolves the issue temporarily, but power steering fails seemingly randomly every time.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #104

Feb 122015


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 50 mph, the steering wheel seized without warning. The vehicle was coasted to a safe location. After restarting, the vehicle resumed with extreme difficulty in turning the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the power steering assist would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Crystal River, FL, USA

problem #103

Feb 132015

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 45 mph, the steering wheel seized and the steering assist fault warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering rack needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,000. Updated 4/29/15

- Crystal River, FL, USA

problem #102

Sep 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


On multiple occasions, I have had the power steering fail on my car. I've had it happen while driving at speeds ranging from 25mph-70mph. While driving I will hear the alert chime and I will receive the message power steering fault appear on screen, about 2 seconds later the steering becomes stiff and very difficult to control. I've been blessed to be able to get the car to the side of the ride and or freeway. Generally what happens is I turn the car off, and restart and the fault message disappears. When I took it into the Ford dealer, they charged me $150 to look at it, but "could not replicate" the issue so they sent me on my way. I spoke with a Ford support rep who told me that there was not much they could do if the fault message was unable to duplicate, but their suggestion in the future was to snap a picture of the display when it happens. How dangerous would that be in a car that you can not steer to grab my cellphone and snap a picture" I've looked up this issue online in many Ford Focus forums, and this is not an isolated incident. For a car's steering to not function after 60K miles is ridiculous. And because I bought the car used, I have no warranty. But there have been several reports of customer's experiencing the same issue over and over, and Ford is reluctant to fix it because the power steering module is difficult to replace. I've heard they have to replace the entire steering column. But how is the consumer at fault for this" I feel I am taking my life in my own hands whenever I drive this vehicle, and Ford will be reluctant to do anything until someone is in a serious accident.

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #101

Feb 022015


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while making a right turn, the power steering failed and the message board displayed loss of steering, stop vehicle. As a result, the contact hit a curve and fractured the left strut and rack and pinion. The vehicle was only able to move when in reverse. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 78,000.

- Bowling Green, OH, USA

problem #100

Feb 092015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 76,833 miles
On 2/9/2015 approx. 4:00pm, my wife called me on my cell phone in a panic, clearly stressed. She said she almost was in an accident because the steering on her 2012 Ford Focus SE hatchback locked up while she was driving about 50 mph and merging on a busy highway. She told me she got over and off the road with 0 steering. She said a sound came over the car as it happened and a message with steering assist fault service required. Upon arriving on scene, I restarted the car and got the same message and 0 power steering. I called Ford service and was told to bring it in the next day. As I type this the car is still at the dealer. Part to fix with labor $1,652 before tax on a part Ford knows is defective. I did a search on the fault code that was displayed and I was taken aback from what I seen and read about this model year and car and the steering just going out without warning. Ford acts like it is not a problematic or defective part, but how do you explain the same back-ordered parts to fix it. She was lucky she or no body else died yesterday. Do the right thing and issue a recall on this obviously defective part. I have also seen that there is a class action lawsuit that was filed in 2014 in California. Ford do the right thing!

- Crystal River, FL, USA

problem #99

Feb 062015


  • 118,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while attempting to reverse out a residential driveway, the power steering seized. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where it was diagnosed that the transmission shift needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 118,000.

- Patterson, CA, USA

problem #98

Jan 212015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 76,200 miles
1. driving on congested interstate highway at 70mph 2. warning message in dash displayed "driver assistance steering failure" 3. manually confirmed loss of power steering 4. drove about 15 miles to a Ford dealer but they were closing for the day 5. started vehicle and had normal power steering.

- La Vernia, TX, USA

problem #97

Jul 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
At first the power steering would go out in reverse when I was trying to back out of a driveway. It then started to act up when I would start the car. I would have to turn off the engine and restart it. Now it doesn't work at all. I have found this to be unsafe to drive when going around curves and corners. Also very hard to maneuver in parking lots around people and other cars.

- Anthony, TX, USA

problem #96

Jan 202015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Was driving with my mom when all of a sudden her power steering gave out and it was incredibility hard for her to steer. I took over and drove home now I drove vehicles with out power steering before but this was by far the toughest steering vehicle I drove. It was completely dangerous and irresponsible of Ford to not address the issue as of yet. Thankfully I was with my mom that day and nothing worse happened but it could have ended alot worse.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #95

Jan 012015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 44,252 miles


Started engine and electronic power steering failed to operate. This usually could be remedied by restarting the car, but not this time. Car is almost impossible to steer in this condition. I have seen several mentions of this condition on the internet.

- Forrest City, AR, USA

problem #94

Nov 042014


  • 37,000 miles
The power steering was lost and had to manually force the steering wheel to regain control. Error message came up on the dash, power steering failure. The power steering comes back after turning the car off and back on again. This has happened 4 times now, twice in the past week 12/26/14.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #93

Dec 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 70,745 miles
Upon starting my vehicle I had a steering assist malfunction displayed on the dashboard. While driving it was as if I had no power steering and was unable to turn the steering wheel all the way right or left. I commuted 45 miles like this and upon start up the next morning the issue was gone. Intermittent issue.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #92

Dec 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I was driving on I271 westbound. From where I got on to entering the express lane the notification of steering fault service now. I was able to get to where I was going which was under ten minutes away and able to properly steer it without it completely losing the steering. At my location it was when the steering went. The power steering rack is what needed to be replaced which was making it difficult to turn. This needs to be recalled. If I would of lost it on the highway, there could of been a serious accident and or death. Something that has only just over 38,000 miles and two years old shouldnt have to be replaced on a car that is only just over two years old.

- South Euclid, OH, USA

problem #91

Dec 122014


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the power steering warning light illuminated continuously. Additionally, the steering wheel failed to turn after starting the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the rack and pinion needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #90

Dec 062014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 77,300 miles
I started my car on 12/6/14 and the steering wheel was locked and would not turn. I shut the car off and turned it on again and the steering wheel was operating. On 12/8/14 I started my car and once again the steering wheel is locked and my dashboard displayed a message stating steering assist service or service steering assist. I called Ford to schedule an appointment and I have checked online and see there are numerous complaints regarding power steering.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #89

Aug 012013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that when starting the vehicle or when in the idle position, the power steering would disengage independently. The steering and power steering warning lights would illuminate after the failure. Additionally, when the contact was attempting to accelerate from a complete stop, there was a hesitation before the vehicle would respond followed by a brief rapid acceleration. The vehicle not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #88

Dec 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Steering system completely failed. Driver could not turn car to the right. Car has only 45,000 miles. Could have resulted in serious accident if operating at higher speed. When I brought the car into Ford they told me the "steering rack" was on back order, which leads one to believe this is a common issue! Ford needs to recall this issue immediately before it leads to death.

- Middletown, CT, USA

problem #87

Nov 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Steering has become unreliable and has "gone out" two times in the past three days. Once at a higher rate of speed and another at a lower rate of speed. My husband has had to use extreme excessive force (he is quite strong too) in order to control the car where he wants it to go. The light came on and he turned the car off and on and the light was no longer on the dashboard. To add, the car is up to date on all services needed and is well taken care of.

- Canyon Country, CA, USA

problem #86

May 122012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,837 miles
Car is shuddering, vibrating, rolling backwards on inclines, stuttering bad gas mileage at low speeds between 0 and 20 miles per hour. The car has been in 4 times to the dealer beginning on 5/3/12 through 11/14/13 it has been reprogrammed 3 times and a new transmission replaced it which has solved the problem temporarily but starts happening again. When driving in or pulling out into traffic because the car either hesitates so bad or just wont move for a few seconds. Needless to say there have been many close calls. The dealer has been proactive in working with me however this is not a dealer issue this is a manufacturers issues.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

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