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 8 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #205

Mar 052016


  • 79,154 miles


I was driving on a city street going 30mph when my steering started to get hard to steer but not impossible. When I pulled over I got a notification on my dash the "steering loss, stop safely". at that point there was no way what so ever to turn my steering wheel at all. All most seemed like it was locked. Tried restarting the car and still no steering

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #204

Feb 272016


  • 84,800 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 5 mph, the steering malfunctioned. The vehice was diagnosed and repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 84,800.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #203

Feb 262016


  • miles
On 2/25/16, after a severe rainstorm, I went to turn on my car and tried to turn on the wiper blades, but they would not come on. The next morning they did turn on. That afternoon, when starting my car, the wiper blades turned on without the control being activated. The blades continued to run even when the car was turned off and no keys were in the ignition. The only way to stop the blades was to disconnect the fuse from the box. This has happened twice when I was not aware of this and my car battery was dead when I went to start the car. I cannot use the wiper blades at this time as they will not turn off. According to Ford Motor Co., this is not covered under the recall on the wiper blades since my car is out of warranty. I have had my car in the dealership to repair the defective clutch and it is still not repaired due to Ford Motor Co not sending out the necessary parts in a timely manner. My car is shuddering and jerking when accelerating and changing gears on all types of roads. I have had this issue since I bought the car brand new. The cruise control on my car works intermittently. When the battery is disconnected and then reconnected, the cruise will work for a few days. Ford technicians could not diagnose the problem. This has been a problem for as long as I have had the car.

- Clanton, AL, USA

problem #202

Feb 122016


  • 61,000 miles


Transmission shutters and slips and the power steering just shuts down at times, this is very dangerous. My wife was merging onto the interstate and the steering shuts down the engine still running. She has to shut the car off and start it again to get the power steering to work. This has happened around 10 times.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #201

Dec 012015


  • 75,000 miles
The electric power steering system regularly fails to start when I turn on the car. This seems to happen especially when the car is cold. When it does not start, it often times comes on when I turn on interior lights, put the car in reverse, or restart the engine. Sometimes it does not come on at all and I am forced to drive without power steering. I have read many complaints online about this problem happening to other Focus owners and have seen that this electric power steering system has caused problems in the Fusion as well.

- Aberdeen, NC, USA

problem #200

Feb 052016


  • 120,000 miles
I was driving home with my children and the alert light came on to say there was a steering problem then all of a sudden the car decided it wanted to steer itself into oncoming traffic. I could move the steering wheel so I slammed on the brakes and put car in reverse to get into the median before getting hit. My girls were screaming and crying. After cars passed I had to slam the steering wheel in order to pop it and drive like I was in mario cart to get home. This is ridiculous that this is not a recall when it is clearly a mechanical issue with this piece of crap car.

- Fernandina Beach, FL, USA

problem #199

Feb 112016


  • 80,000 miles


Electronic power steering failure occurred again with warning lights. I shut down the car and it came back on. The steering fairly frequently briefly stops working. I experience this typically while parked before getting out on the road.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #198

Jan 262016


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 10 mph, the steering wheel became inoperable without warning. The failure occurred randomly. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the rack and pinion failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 92,000.

- Soddy Daisy, TN, USA

problem #197

Jan 292016


  • 62,000 miles
Electric power assist system - lost power steering. Lost power steering several times when starting then reset it self when shut off. Last time happened while daughter driving car. Now at shop. Being charged $2200 to fix while still paying on vehicle. Irritating. I have had nothing but problems with this vehicle.

- Strasburg, VA, USA

problem #196

Sep 102015


  • 82,500 miles
During normal operation the "steering assist failure" light came on and the steering locked up. Mileage at time of failure was 82,500. Ford would not cover under warranty. Very dangerous situation.

- Clayton, IN, USA

problem #195

Dec 012015


  • 92,000 miles


Lost power steering. Received "steering assist fault" message. Vehicle can be driven, but complete power steering loss. Happened intermittently over last year, but usually righted itself upon vehicle restart. Last couple of months, the problem is constant... no power steering at all. Reading forums, it's obvious that this is a manufacturer problem, but still no recall issued. Would cost over $1800 to repair. Vehicle has a little over 92,000 miles. Other that this issue, great car.

- Leander, TX, USA

problem #194

Dec 032015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 20 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to steer. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering gear module failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000. Updated 04/04/16

- Longmont, CO, USA

problem #193

Jan 122016


  • 43,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 55 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. There was an unknown warning message that illuminated. The vehicle was restarted and the steering wheel function as designed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 43,000....updated 03-10-16

- California, KY, USA

problem #192

Jan 122016


  • 97,000 miles
Focus has been under many recalls and at Ford for repair multiple times for transmission. Every 6 months issues occur causing me to take back into Ford. Last couple weeks I noticed intermittently, when I take foot off accelorator, rpms continue to increase, and car does not slow down, causing me to pump breaks multiple times to be able to stop. Yesterday during a snow storm, I again took foor off accelerator, this time the car again would still continue to drive without my control, causing me to spin out, not once but three times. I did not get hit by other cars as everyone was going slow, but I did have to call into work as my car was not safe to drive. This is now a safety concern for my Focus, and myself, and my paycheck. Something has to give as Ford, has offered nothing but to keep bringing it back when issues occur. This is not appropriate customer service, and I feel there is a huge safety concern for my vehicle.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #191

Jan 042016


  • 67,000 miles
I had started my car and was backing out of a parking space at heb and I noticed that I did not have power steering, this happened before while I was trying to back out of my driveway, I restarted the car and the steering was back, now I'm afraid to drive my car. Ford needs to address this issue before someone gets hurt or worse dead.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #190

Dec 222015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
My problem first started with the steering wheel locking up upon start of vehicle at random times. I could put the vehicle in forward or reverse and drive but the wheel wouldn't turn. I would turn the car off and on to get the wheel to finally start turning. After a few days of that, I started noticing problems with the steering at high speeds. While driving down the freeway I was having trouble maintaining a straight path. I would have to constantly make micro adjustments to correct my path. Then I started noticing that at certain points while driving 65+ mph that my wheel would have spots that were difficult to turn. For example to merge from left lane to right lane would require excessive force and then would get easy again. This is not safe, it was snowing out and the jolt of the vehicle that results in my corrections caused me to slide and almost loose control at times. If a weaker person was driving the vehicle they might not be able to overcome the steering issues. I cant take the car on 55+ mph roads anymore because the steering is so bad I am constantly correcting and fighting the power steering. My car is currently in the Ford shop and they said its a $1700 fix with no recall/warranty from Ford. Seems like there is an awful lot of issues with this steering system that all sound the similar.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #189

Dec 282015


  • 40,000 miles
I just started to have and issue with a power steering malfunction on my 2012 car the wheel locked making difficult to move it or make it turn very dangerous issue that can cause a serious issue for the publics safety Ford need to be accountable for this manufacture defect

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #188

Dec 212015


  • 51,368 miles
Steering wheel locked (even though I had plenty of fluid). Luckily I was pulling out of my driveway. If I had been on the road, this could have been a very serious matter. I was told I needed a gear asy - ste and it was a $1142.15 fix. The car is not that old and I only have $50K miles on it. Plus I needed brakes.

- Plymouth, MA, USA

problem #187

Dec 142015


  • 61,000 miles
Electronic power steering assist fails intermittently typically upon starting of the vehicle. Sometimes the problem goes away after several minutes of hard steering, other times turning off the ignition and then back on resets the issue. Once it apparently happened to my son while operating the vehicle at highway speeds. Very dangerous situation and Ford needs to address it as a covered safety recall issue.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #186

Jun 102015


  • 51,000 miles
The first time, the power steering failed on my daughter's 2012 Focus while traveling 70 mph down the interstate. I had to have the steering rack replaced at my expense since it was out of warranty and Ford claimed there was no known issue with this. Less than 10,000 miles later it has failed again, luckily this time the car was moving slowly on city streets, still Ford claims there is not a problem with this. Even after all the complaints and information flooding the internet about it and a class action law suit being filed, they still claim there is not a problem. Sadly, it appears that since dead men tell no tales, the death quota has not been documented enough to require a recall. I have no doubt that if this failure happened on a rural road with sharp curves, an accident would be almost unavoidable. I have spoken with Ford on multiple occasions regarding this and they continue to deny any problems with the Focus, all the while recalling multiple other cars with the same steering assembly.

- Leitchfield, KY, USA

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