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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #325

Nov 302016


  • 35,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 2 mph, the power steering seized without warning. The vehicle was taken to be repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Athens, GA, USA

problem #324

Dec 022016


  • 48,000 miles
On Friday, 12/2/16, when pulling out of on-street parking space, warning "steering assist fault service required" came on, and I completely lost steering control. Turned off car, then turned on again, with same warning. Called Ford dealer, was told they couldn't do anything till Monday. Had to call tow. After 20 minutes, I tried car again, and everything was fine. I am afraid to drive, especially if my steering goes out again.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #323

Nov 302016


  • 98,000 miles
I started getting this on screen error "steering assist malfunction" a couple of months ago, but it would disappear after a few minutes. Today when I went to start the car the message appeared only this time it stayed. I turned the car off and back on and still had the issue. I had to drive my children to school with no power steering. I'm filing the complaint because after searching the entire day it turns out this is a pretty common issue with the 2012 Ford Focus. Some dealers lie and say they have "never seen it before." They charge on average $1700 to repair it. They recalled several other Ford models from 2012, but not this one. They should have. Had I already been driving with my children when this went out I would have wrecked. Had I not driven an older car that doesn't have power steering I probably wouldn't have known what to do or how to react. This is a dangerous issue and Ford needs to take responsibility for the problem.

- Monroe, TN, USA

problem #322

Nov 032016


  • 49,500 miles


No power steering at all after starting my car. Power steering fault assist light on dash was on. Vehicle was parked in my driveway. The steering fault assist light had come on several times a couple of weeks before when starting the car and I had no power steering but when I turned off the ignition and then back on several times the power steering would work and the steering fault assist light would go off. Had to have vehicle towed to dealer for repair.

- Gilroy, CA, USA

problem #321

Nov 212016


  • 38,000 miles
Randomly, when starting the car, I receive a steering assist fault error causing the steering wheel to freeze. The only remedy is to turn the car off, wait a few minutes, and restart. The error should go away and the steering wheel can easily move.

- Wheaton, IL, USA

problem #320

Nov 222016


  • 101,000 miles
Power steering completely went out. Error notification on dash says "steering assist fault." This was an intermittent problem for the last couple months that was fixed my turning the car off and restarting it. But it has completely gone off and it will not reset with turning the car off and on. Replaced 80amp megafuse that others online said may be the issue, this did not correct the problem. My only other idea is that it is the power steering rack that everyone else online has needed replaced.

- Montgomery, IL, USA

problem #319

Nov 212016


  • 112,000 miles


Power steering assist fault when driving. No power steering at all. Difficult to drive the car.

- Folsom, CA, USA

problem #318

Oct 272016


  • 79,000 miles
On a wet pavement in the rain while attempting to make a right turn into a shopping center the power steering locked up and would not turn or respond. The vehicle continued into an island curb breaking off the front left tire causing over $4,300 in damage. The problem with the power steering locking up during wet weather was confirmed by the repair shop. Ford Motor Company (customer service) was contacted but would not send a representative to look at the vehicle. This issue is ongoing as everyone who drives the vehicle has experienced the steering locking up during wet conditions. The vehicle also has a shuddering issue where the vehilcle bucks when moving forward.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #317

Nov 072016


  • 70,100 miles
Power steering assist failed while pulling out of driveway. Ford is aware of this issue and has failed to issue a recall on this model, but has on other models with same issue. There are many other complaints of this problem you can find online, even news articles about this happening with this model. Even the service technicians at the Ford dealer knew of the problem.

- Mount Juliet, TN, USA

problem #316

Nov 032016


  • 107,000 miles
Car had been parked overnight. Went to start up and the "faulty steering assist" warning light came on. I called the dealer and they said to check the battery. Took it to a mechanic and he had to replace the electronic steering gear and rack and pinion. Total cost $2500.

- Victoria, TX, USA

problem #315

Nov 112016


  • 90,000 miles


When the car is turned on and stationary, it will display "steering assist fault, " and the power steering will not turn on, greatly reducing the capacity to steer. Upon turning the car off and back on, the power steering re-engages. It has been doing this for about one year now.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #314

Oct 272016


  • 153,000 miles
A few days before incident the car developed a rubbing noise in the steering column and my fiance stated that the car was difficult to steer. Thinking it was a power steering issue - a service appointment was scheduled and I drove the car to the dealer after hours. The distance is approximately 13 miles. After about 10 miles the dash display indicated a yellow display stating "service steering system soon". I continued to dealership and arrived just before 7:00 pm. When I turned the car into a parking space near service the steering column locked and became immovable and car display stated a red warning box " total steering failure - stop safely" this is the condition the service manager found the next morning. The cause is a total failure of the electronic steering control module. The cost to replace this part is $2000 after which time the dealer can diagnose "any of the other three common causes of steering loss."

- Perry, MI, USA

problem #313

Nov 062016


  • 105,000 miles
I would like to report my steering malfunction on my Focus has gone out...I have seen many complaints on the exact same model and year on this and it's a problem that needs to be recalled. My recent experience with this problem occurred while I was on the freeway with my children and it was very scary the steering wheel locked up and was so hard to steer it. This is an urgent matter that need to be recalled.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #312

Nov 052016


  • 37,000 miles
Making a right hand turn in silver lake, ca when the power steering assist failure light came on. The steering wheel seemed to freeze. I was able to pull over but was definitely shaken as I almost hit several cars. I know that if my younger sister was driving she would not have known what to do. I turned the car off and restarted and was able to get home. After research and realizing this is a common problem with the 2012 Focus not sure what to do and do not have the estimated $2,000 to repair.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #311

Nov 012016


  • 130,000 miles
Auburn, me - while reversing out of my driveway the "auto steering assist failure" message appeared and I lost power steering in the vehicle, steering wheel was almost impossible to turn. Left car for the evening and started the car again in the morning. Warning message did not appear and power steering seemed to have returned. I had the car towed to the local Ford dealership. Mechanics were unable to find an issue or reproduce it after having the vehicle for three days. Sited that they had not heard of or seen any issues with power steering failures with other Ford Focus vehicles. The vehicle has 130K (aprx) miles.

- Auburn, ME, USA

problem #310

Oct 012016


  • 26,775 miles
The vehicle was in motion when a sudden loss in power steering occurred. A "steering assist failure" message appeared on the display. The vehicle had previously been checked at a factory dealership for this issue which appeared intermittently and no apparent problem was found. The epas system is now disabled full time and the vehicle has only 26K miles. It is my understanding that Ford is aware of faulty components/engineering regarding this problem but refuses to recall. A sudden loss of power steering could result in catastrophic consequences and loss of life. Costly repairs would not solve the inherent problems with this system as it would be prone to fail again. Please take action

- Morganton, NC, USA

problem #309

Nov 012016


  • 99,050 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While idling at a stop sign, the power steering failed. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering assembly needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted. The failure mileage was 99,050.

- Camp Verde, AZ, USA

problem #308

Nov 012016


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 35 mph, the power steering failed to operate as intended. When the vehicle was turned off and restarted, the steering assist service fault warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact stated that the failure was intermittent. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 81,000.

- Chester, SC, USA

problem #307

Oct 222016


  • 85,000 miles
Steering warning light came on so I turned the car off and when I turned it back on it was gone. I then backed out of my spot and put it into drive. The car lost all power steering and was unable to move. I turned the car off and back on and this fixed the problem (no warning lights). This happened many times over the next few weeks but without the warning light going off. Now I have no power steering at all in forward or reverse and it does not get fixed when turning the car off and back on. Took it to the dealer and they said the steering module had failed and would need to be replace. I have done research on line and many other people have had this same problem. Why has this not been a safety recall is beyond me. Very disappointed with Ford and NHTSA for not already acting on this!

- Ellensburg, WA, USA

problem #306

Oct 172016

Focus 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Steering assist goes out leaving me with no power steering.

- Woodstock, IL, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?