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 3 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #305

Oct 262016

Focus 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Electronic power steering suddenly failed while turning into a parking area. The wheel became so stiff that it was nearly impossible to turn it. This event occurred in a parking lot at low speeds but some reports show that this has happened to other 2012 Focus cars while driving at highway speeds.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #304

Oct 072016


  • 103,480 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While starting the vehicle, the "faulty steering assist" warning indicator illuminated and the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic steering gear failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 103,480.

- Kinston, NC, USA

problem #303

Oct 122016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving, the power steering locked up and the contact was unable to control the vehicle. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was not able to be driven and was towed to a Ford dealer, but was not repaired. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown.

- Jackson, AL, USA

problem #302

Oct 182016

Focus 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles


My wife was driving on a city street and when she made a left turn the power steering failed, and almost hit another car. She was able to get the car to a parking lot. I did some research and I am not the only one with this issue. Ford needs to warranty all affected cars and fix it.

- Owasso, OK, USA

problem #301

Oct 112016

Focus 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while attempting to reverse the vehicle, the steering wheel seized without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering assist had failed and would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000. Updated 12/21/16 the consumer stated the vehicle was repaired on October 14, 2016. Updated 12/27/16.

- Sistersville, WV, USA

problem #300

Oct 122016

Focus 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
Power steer assist system went out completely. I was driving and took a turn and the electric motor failed and cant steer the car at all. Sitting in driveway undrivable.

- Summerfield, FL, USA

problem #299

Sep 302016


  • 0 miles


Steering assist malfuntion, my stering is hard, and my dealer no cant fix that problem, my car have 73513 and have guaranty, and the dealer said, I need paid for fix that problem

- Palatka, FL, USA

problem #298

Oct 152016


  • 94,000 miles
Driving down the highway and my power steering in my 2012 Ford Focus went out completely almost cause me to crash was going 70 mph and bearly was able to get to the side of the road safely.

- Mcconnell Afb, KS, USA

problem #297

Oct 102016


  • miles
The steering assist fault happened a few times after I purchased the vehicle at 60,000 miles April of 2015. Turning on and off the car fixed it those at least 10 times it happened. Now October 2016 at 102,000 miles my car failed me in traffic at a stop light. I pushed the gas and it wouldn't drive, the steering wheel locked. After being off for 10 min it was movable. Made an appointment with Ford for the B12 update thinking that would fix it. The day of the appointment I couldn't get my car out of my driveway. I started the car multiple times and the steering assist fault symbol came up and I could turn the wheel. I had the car towed to Ford. They did the B12 update and the wheel is still locked. They said they don't know what it could be and I told them I see online so many cars like mine with the same issue. They said they can do a diagnostics for $109. Now I see how much it's gonna cost and Ford won't help me with a solution because there is no recall and the car has high mileage with no warranty. They ask said I could complete the other recall I saw online because I'm out of warranty?? I don't know what to do I can't pay $2000 to fix it when it's a problem with the make of the car. The only option he gave me was to trade it in and buy a new one with a goodwill credit. I don't have money for that either I owe $12,000 on the car. Case # with Ford cas-10809286

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #296

Sep 042016


  • 79,749 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced a loss of power steering. The contact stated that the power steering warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the power rack assembly and power steering motor were defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 79,749.

- Manistique, MI, USA

problem #295

Oct 102016


  • 76,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving various speeds, the steering seized and the steering malfunction warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact pulled over, restarted the vehicle, and the failure went away. The contact stated that it was the first instance of the failure. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing, but the details of the diagnosis could not be provided. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 76,000.

- Taunton, MA, USA

problem #294

Oct 102016


  • 115 miles
Had the steering assist fault error come on again for the third time in a month-second time in less than a week. I was coming to a stop, driving less than 5mph when it happened.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #293

Sep 152016


  • 70,000 miles
A message of "steering assist malfunction" appears. Lose power steering..hard to drive. When you turn off the car and turn it back on it "fixes" itself and you can drive. Otherwise, very difficult to drive. Very hard to turn when driving.

- Cibolo, TX, USA

problem #292

Oct 032016


  • 72,000 miles
While driving the electrical power steering assist failed (dashboard indicator and loss of power steering). This has happened about eight (8) times. When this occurs the vehicle becomes almost impossible to navigate, on two occasions almost leading to accidents. In this condition the vehicle poses a serious personal and public safety risk. I took the vehicle to my local Ford dealer (metro Ford of madison, wi) who kept it for four (4) days. They stated from the very beginning that they know nothing about the steering problem, tested the car for four days and charged me $150 for test that produced no results. Within two (2) hours to picking up the vehicle the electric power steering system failed multiple times. Ford needs to issue a recall and replace the electric power steering system immediately at no cost to the owner. Or just buy the vehicle back from the owner. I believe this vehicle poses a great public danger.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #291

Nov 302012


  • 120,000 miles
My transmission shutters very badly I have had it at the dealer in los lunas New Mexico. It is still not fixed. My streering assist light came on and ihaveno power steering. After the last oil change to change oil light will not go off even after the reset procedures have been followed. The lighter does not work. O and to top it off I just got a recall letter something to do with electrical failure. But had nothing to do with the above problems. This is way many for a car of its age I am sure I have a lemon. What can be done?

- Belen, NM, USA

problem #290

Aug 092016


  • 21,018 miles
When the car is put into drive or reverse the steering locks and you cannot control the steering. I almost hit car next to me at a grocery store parking lot and my garage wall while backing out. It happens in my driveway, store parking lots, where ever I go and the mechanic experienced it at the dealer. The dealer found it to be the electronic power steering system has failed and it needs a new one costing $2,141.34.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #289

Jul 302016


  • 70,000 miles
The power steering on my 2012 Ford Focus goes out intermittently, once when I was driving, but then it came back on before I had a chance to stop. Usually it goes out as I begin to move my car away from its parking place. I have to shut the car off, restart it and hope the problem goes away. One time the problem didn't go away in spite of my stopping and restarting the car, and I had to drive it the rest of the way home without power steering. No fun.

- Takoma Park, MD, USA

problem #288

Sep 302016


  • 75,000 miles
My 19 year old daughter drives this car and is in college away from home. She got in her car in the parking garage at her apartment, cranked it, and the "steering assist default" message lit and she was unable to steer the car. Thankfully, she wasn't driving anywhere when this occurred or it could have been very bad. We had to have the car towed to a Ford dealership, and they tell us that it's going to cost $2,000 to repair!!!!! not acceptable!!!!!

- Helena, AL, USA

problem #287

Sep 182016


  • 92,000 miles
Twice in mid September 2016 the message "steering assist service" came up after starting the vehicle and the power steering on the vehicle would not work. The solution seemed to be turning the power off, then restarting the vehicle. After restart the power steering was working again. A visit to the dealer's service department found no problems with the system. My concern is that this is my daughter's car, she's 18 years old and if the steering fails while she's driving, there may be an accident. If Ford recalled other models for the same problem, why won't they recall the Focus and take care of these customers as well?

- Lafayette, CA, USA

problem #286

Sep 262016


  • 44,800 miles
My wife was driving her little Ford going through a corner and the power steering failed without warning and she nearly crashed!! she managed to limp it to the Ford garage as I was out of town, where it was diagnosed that the epas had failed. The epas failure is rampant through a range of Ford model vehicles and they don't give two hoots about our problem because there haven't been enough (what!!) failures to warrant a recall on the 2012 Focus although its a known problem with this model and it is currently the reason for a class action law suit in California. Their customer service doesn't even say "sorry" just that Ford is offering no assistance. Power steering should not go out on a 2012 vehicle with only 44000 miles on it. Steering gear replaced at a cost of $2009.

- Hutchinson, KS, USA

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