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 4 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #285

Sep 232016


  • 118,000 miles


Steering assist quit working during starting of vehicle. Warning light came on to take car for service. Car very very very hard to steer. Taking car for service tomorrow. Still driving the car.

- Cocoa Beach, FL, USA

problem #284

Sep 162016


  • 45,000 miles
Power steering failure. Stationary, when starting vehicle power steering will not operate. Have to restart a few times to get the power steering to operate.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #283

Sep 192016


  • 49,000 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. Steering wheel lockes while driving. Ford service ran diagnostic on the vehicle and no error codes were present. They can not find a solution or why the problem is even happening

- Erie, CO, USA

problem #282

Sep 272016


  • 55,000 miles


Daughter was driving to school and power steering suddenly quit functioning and warning light came on while driving in a busy city street in davie, fl. Had a local mechanic do a quick check but could not diagnose problem. Will be contacting local Ford dealership for assistance feel it could be unsafe for myself and others if I drive much this way

- Melbourne Beach, FL, USA

problem #281

Sep 182016


  • 67,569 miles
On 9/18/2016 in a shopping center parking lot, started car put into drive and was turning onto exit lane of lot when steering wheel stopped turning and amber "I"light came on.stopped vehicle.put in park.could not turn wheel either direction.turned car off then restarted, amber light stayed on power steering assist failure.was able to maneuver car to a safe parking area from was a scary friend her 4 month old and 4 year old were in the car with me and also her 15 year old niece!we were about to go on the highway!! I now understand a recall has not been issued after hundreds of complaints for this safety problem on this vehicle even though this same system has been recalled on other models.I am appalled and perplexed as you are responsible for all our safety.please do your duty to recall this safety problem.

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #280

Sep 232016


  • 100,000 miles
Power steering assist fault power steering will not function until car key is turned off and on a few times. This sounds like the same problem they have inthe Ford Fusion and it is on recall. This is a serious safety problem and it should be recalled?? it does it about once day.

- Winchendon, MA, USA

problem #279

Sep 212016


  • 86,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 40 mph, the steering wheel seized and the power steering failure signal illuminated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. There was no recall related to the power steering failure. The failure mileage was 86,000.

- Portsmith, VA, USA

problem #278

Aug 132016


  • 70,000 miles
At approximately 70,000 miles, I had turned off my car to get gas. When I restarted the car, I received a power steering assist fault message. The power steering no longer operated. I could still steer the car, but it was extremely difficult. Multiple restarts did not resolve the problem. I took my car to the dealer, and they verified the issue. The dealer offered to replace the entire steering rack containing the electronic power steering module for $1700.

- New Albany, OH, USA

problem #277

Sep 202016


  • 65,000 miles
My daughter was driving from her job when the power steering went out on her 2012 Ford Focus. She is a college student needing a safe reliable car to get her back and forth from college. It is unbelievable that the Fusion were recalled for power steering failing. Why not the Focus"?" it is ridiculous that its going to cost an estimated $1850 to fix a problem.

- Seville, OH, USA

problem #276

Sep 172016


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced a loss of power steering. The vehicle had to be restarted in order for the steering to be operational. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic power steering module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 61,000.

- Moultrie, GA, USA

problem #275

Jan 292016


  • 110,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that after turning on the vehicle, the instrument panel would display a warning message of "steering assist fault". the vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering gear box would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #274

Sep 202016


  • 36,000 miles
Steer wheel assist shuts off at car engine start while parked in residence parking. Multiple restart at same location would not make the issue disappear. Car cannot be operated as lack of steering power is an obvious safety hazard on the road. Car has 36000 miles.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #273

Sep 152016


  • 71,500 miles
I was driving back from the gym on 9/15/16 when I got an error on the dashboard saying "steering assist malfunction." At that time my Focus was in motion on a city street at approximately 45 mph and approaching a turn that I needed to take. This was highly dangerous and impaired most of my ability to steer and almost caused an accident as I was trying to steer the turn. This is highly dangerous, and from hundreds of reviews online many 2012 Ford Focus owners are having the exact same issue. This is something that not only needs to be investigated, but need to be recalled for the safety of all Ford Focus drivers.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #272

Sep 162016


  • 58,263 miles
The electronic power assisted steering (dpas) system on my 2012 Ford Focus has failed. The vehicle is un-drivable absent extreme force. Emergency maneuvers are out of the question. The vehicle is utterly unsafe to operate. Restarting the vehicle and resetting the ECU have no effect. The failure occurred when starting the vehicle (stationary). Luckily it didn't fail while driving.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #271

Aug 022016


  • 93,087 miles
Lurching and uncontrolled shifting occurs with the transmission. It has left me stuck in the middle of a left turn because it doesn't shift correctly. Now I ran off the road while exiting a freeway because the power steering turned off in the middle of the turn. This has now happened 6 times randomly. It gives me a power steering fault. I have come close to being the cause of 3 accidents because of these two issues.

- Winter Garden, FL, USA

problem #270

Sep 062016


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced a loss of power steering and the power steering warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 16V643000 (latches/locks/linkages); however, the parts to do the repair were unavailable. The manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 72,000. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #269

Sep 112016


  • 114,000 miles
As I was coming to a stop, the steering got really difficult and the steering assist light came on. After stopping, the steering locked up completely. I restarted the car, and it worked after that. Now I'm worried this will happen in a worse area, particularly while on the freeway. I also recently had the passenger door open while I was driving and had to tie the seat belt through the door handle and hold to make it home without the door coming open. Locking the seat belt in still made the door barely open, and the alert go off. This looks like it was just recalled, so I'm hoping I get reimbursed. It wasn't cheap to fix. Car is 114,000 miles.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #268

Sep 082016


  • 56,633 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving, the steering became difficult to maneuver and the power steering assist malfunction warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 56,633.

- Marrero, LA, USA

problem #267

Sep 062016


  • 105,000 miles
Our 2012 Ford Focus all of a sudden lost its power steering capabilities making the car extremely difficult to steer, turn or control. My 20 year old daughter who drives the car daily is of slight build, so her safety was at jeopardy behind the wheel. This problem occurred while she was driving near our home on 9/6/16. I drove it immediately and found it very difficult to maneuver, so I brought it to a Ford dealer that same day. On 9/7/16 I was told the rack & pinion electronic system failed and the repair costs are over $1900. I feel this is a safety issue that Ford needs to address and pay for the complete charges. The vehicle is unsafe to drive at this point until the expensive problem is resolved.

- Downers Grove, IL, USA

problem #266

Aug 292016


  • 111,085 miles
Recently I've had an issue with the starter. The dash stated the car battery was low, I have the car taken to a local mechanic where the battery is testing that it is good. The car will start in the mornings after resting and I don't drive as much as just to be safe while I try to figure out what's going on with this car. I've had this car fixed three times in the past year, once for the customer survey satisfaction (not a recall Ford told me) to have the transmission fixed, another to have the steering module replaced and a third time to have the clutches replaced and that was done by a dealership to stop the lurching and jerking that the car does. I'm amazed at the callousness of a company that completely ignores the pleas of people who have almost crashed in their vehicles! no regard for their consumers what so ever!! I promise this will be the first & last Ford vehicle that I ever buy.

- Plano, TX, USA

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