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 14 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #85

Nov 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the steering wheel seized and excessive force on the steering wheel was required in order to maneuver the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 72,000. Updated 12/22/14

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #84

Oct 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
When car starts power steering (electronic) does not work for an undetermined length on time from a few seconds to one hour. Stop and restart car and power steering works.

- Lake Placid, NY, USA

problem #83

Jul 312014


  • 38,000 miles
I see you are investigating power steering problems with the Fusion. I have a 2012 Ford Focus and the power steering is out. I would leave the car parked and running during the summer, if I was on my cell phone. The power steering assist light would come on, while in park and if I tried to move the car, the power steering would not respond. I could turn the car off for a few minutes, then back on and the problem would seems to fix itself. I don't recall how many times it happened, 5-7 times probably.the final time it happened, I was again parked and this time turning the car off did not correct it. That was approximately October 15, 2014 with about 38,000 miles. Unlike some of the other comments I have read on the internet, I never had the power steering go out on me while driving. I will be going to have the car checked tomorrow at mac haik Ford in georgetown, tx where I bought the car in January of 2013. I just had to learn to drive without power steering again.

- Holland, TX, USA

problem #82

Nov 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 37,000 miles


While driving the car going into a turn the power steering went out. I could not turn the wheel. Almost had an accident. When driving the car and you stop the car stalls. You can start the car go to where you want to go and when you get back in the car it doesn't start.

- Lake Worth, FL, USA

problem #81

Nov 052014


  • 54,800 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated the while driving at low speeds, the power steering became difficult to maneuver intermittently and excessive force was needed in order to control the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 54,800.

- Highland, IL, USA

problem #80

Nov 052014


  • 40,000 miles
While driving on a busy road, the power steering suddenly stopped working and the car became very difficult to steer. When I returned home and restarted the car, the power steering worked normally again. It is being checked by the dealership today. On the phone, the dealership said it would be difficult to diagnose the problem if it wasn't still happening. This seems like a significant safety hazard.

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #79

Aug 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 79,044 miles


My first encounter started in March with a warning condition indicating a default in my steering assistance only when I would turn on the ignition, I called Ford dealership and was told it would go away by turning of the ignition and turning it back on.,and it did go away. Now in August, I was driving on freeway and the warning light came on again while driving and the steering wheel became very hard to steer, I was able to make it to a safe stop on the shoulder of the highway. That was the most scariest for me while on the highway. God was with me..

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #78

Oct 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,605 miles
While pulling out into the hwy my car's dashboard gave a message that stated steering assist malfunction. My cars steering wheel became tight and hard to turn. I got my car to the side of the road and turned it off. When I turned the car back on the dash information stated that all systems were normal. I called the Ford company where I purchased the car for the second time and was told that if it happened again to bring the car in. I currently live 70 miles from where I purchased my vehicle and I'm scared to drive it that far. I've had service with them before and I am not very happy with any of their service I want my car fixed properly and right so I won't be afraid to drive it. Please help.

- La Grange, NC, USA

problem #77

Oct 132014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
On the way home going along the interstate at the speed limit of 70 mph, the steering suddenly cut out without warning. We safely made it to the side of the interstate in which a light popped up in my dash which said steering loss stop safely. I turned the car off and then started it back again in hopes that it was just a glitch, but the error was still there. By the grace of god, we made it home safely. The following morning, I called the corporate customer relations number at the Ford Motor Company and spoke to a customer representative who told me that yes there are recalls on focuses of the same year for steering loss, but my VIN number did not fall under that recall because my car was not made at the same manufacturing location. He basically advised me that I need to call my local Ford dealer and have my car sent there for repair. I then received the action plan from the supervisor at Ford in which it discussed the results from the diagnostic test. All the results correlated with the other Focus recalls which spoke of high steering resistance and the total estimated bill of $2,207.55. I then called the customer relations back at corporate Ford Motor Company, gave them my case number, and expressed the issue that I was having, the diagnosis of the car, the correlation between my cars diagnosis and the recalled Ford Focus diagnosis; the representative that I spoke to then said she would draft up some more paperwork in my case and send it to her supervisor, but it wasn't likely that my car would be covered under recall. The incident on the interstate was one that was horrifying, could have caused death and has sent me into a spiral of non-stop panic attacks and I am unsure of what all I can do. I need your help to stop this from happening to someone else and to help us get the recall for safety concerns that we should have been afforded in the first place. Updated 10/27/14.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #76

Sep 122014


  • 78,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 5 mph, the steering wheel seized and excessive force was required to maneuver the vehicle. The hydraulic steering warning indicator illuminated. The contact had to shut off the vehicle and restart it in order to stop the failure. The failure occurred multiple times. The dealer stated that the steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 78,500.

- Clay, WV, USA

problem #75

Oct 012014


  • 46,000 miles


I was driving and the steering wheel started to be hard to turn. A light came on and the car said steering assist fault service required. I was able to pull the car over and restart it and it worked until today 10/11/14. Today I was in my driveway and the light came on again and said the same message. I tried restarting it four times and nothing happened so it was unsafe to drive.

- Pacifica, CA, USA

problem #74

Sep 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I started my car ignition, began to back out of my driveway. After about 2 - 7 seconds, the power steering froze up and a caution light lit up on my dash. It reads: Power steering assist malfunction, check manual. Or words very close to that effect. This has happened about 10 - 15 times since approximately September !8, 2014. I took it to Ford dealer and they changed the battery. They showed low voltage to the steering...or something to that effect. It did not fix the problem. The exact thing keeps happening. It happens right after I start up the car. I turn off the ignition, restart the car, and it works okay after that.

- Mount Vernon, IL, USA

problem #73

Sep 262014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
The victim of the fatality was driving northwest on rte 84 at 1:58 pm on 9/26/14 when she hit the medium strip at the corner of Dodge rd in hampton falls, N.H.. the right front tire had a blow out and she then had a roll over accident. She went through the guard rail and into a deep ditch. The eye witness called 911 and assisted the driver who had no signs of life at the scene. When the volunteer hampton falls squad arrived at the scene, the acls unit was called off. This is currently under investigation by the New Hampshire state police. Updated 10/28/14.....updated 12/29/15

- Newburyport, MA, USA

problem #72

Oct 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Power steering failure light came on and power-steering in vehicle stopped working. Attempted to clear out by shutting off engine and turning car back on, but it did not work. Had to have car towed to dealership. They said there is a sensor failure and entire steering system needs replaced, cost approximately $2,000. May be two weeks to repair, no word on when parts will be in.

- Lakewood, OH, USA

problem #71

Aug 292014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 46,839 miles
Steering looses power (no power steering). After a restart or two power steering comes back only to go out again after a little while.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #70

Jul 282014


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle accelerated slowly on occasion. Other times, the rpms would race and the vehicle would jerk forward. The dealer stated that the body control module needed to be replaced. The contact stated that the dealer was not able to reprogram the computer to install the new part and had to re-install the old part. The manufacturer was notified and the vehicle was taken to the dealer a fourth time to have the new part installed. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The sensors intermittently illuminated for the brake assist and parking aide. In addition, while making a right or left turn, the steering wheel locked intermittently more than once. The contact also stated that the clock intermittently shorted out and the time display was incorrect. The dealer provided an interim remedy and suggested that the contact turn off the gps. The interim fix remedied the failure as long as the contact used the feature to disable the gps auto clock manually each time. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000.

- Edmonds, WA, USA

problem #69

Oct 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
Son was driving home when the electronic steering assist failed, making car very hard to control.

- Kansas City , MO, USA

problem #68

Sep 252014


  • 44,000 miles
Power steering sporadically comes in and out---usually when the car is just started and we attempt to back out---the steering has no power. If this happens while driving at a higher speed----this could be bad.

- Blythewood, SC, USA

problem #67

Sep 202014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
At a stop light car in drive brakes lock, shift gear locks. Message appears transmission not in park. Car takes at least 5 to 10 minutes to turn back over to start up. Car stalls to go into different speeds, accelerates when turning a corner.

- Irvington , NJ, USA

problem #66

Aug 302014


  • 42,500 miles
I was driving in a residential neighborhood when an error message displayed on the dash computer indicating that there was an issue with the power steering. I was in the middle of a turn onto another street when the power steering went out. This was not the first time that the power steering went out. I have experienced the same issue at least 5 times. On the most recent occasion noted here, the power steering control module (pscm) had just been replaced at my local Ford dealership 4 or 5 days previous. I was told by the dealership that both the original pscm and the replacement pscm were part of the same batch that were apparently defective from the manufacturer. My car is currently having yet another pscm installed by the dealership. If Ford is aware of a defective batch of pscms, a recall should be issued. I am also concerned that the first outage of the original pscm took roughly 2 years to manifest, while the second pscm went out in less than a week. I am not sure if that indicates a broader electrical problem with the car, or was simply a coincidence that the second pscm went out that soon after replacement.

- Liberty , MO, USA

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