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 9 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #185

Nov 302015


  • 57,514 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving 45 mph, the steering seized. The contact was able to get the vehicle off of the roadway and turn off the vehicle. Once the vehicle was restarted, the steering operated normally. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed. The contact was informed that the steering gear and linkage needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 57,514.

- Blue Springs, MO, USA

problem #184

Jul 312015


  • 59,000 miles
I was driving on the freeway when the power steering system failed. The dash light came on with power steering assist fault. The car is very difficult to steer and created a safety issue failing on the freeway.

- Woodbury, MN, USA

problem #183

Oct 222015


  • 49,500 miles
The chrome trim on the steering wheel has begun to peel in multiple places. This was brought to my attention after some of the peeled areas lacerated my fingers while driving, causing me to abruptly pull my hand off of the steering wheel and swerve the vehicle. I attempted to grab the steering wheel again as my fingers were bleeding. Vehicle was in motion on the highway.

- West Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #182

Nov 132015


  • 83,000 miles


Today twice the car steering wheel was hard to drive then when I pulled over, the light came on dashboard and said power steering assist failed service required. What if I was not able to pull over safely.

- Glendale, CA, USA

problem #181

Nov 132015


  • 77,250 miles
Owned car for 2 years, in shop 5 times so far for dct issues. Car is completely unpredictable and going to cause me to get in an accident! sometimes I hit the acceleration and it lurches forward unexpectedly causing me almost to rear end someone. Other times I hit the gas expecting it to go and I get a really sluggish response to the point where I'm scared another vehicle will hit me, so I will floor it trying to get it to move, this will result in the back wheels locking up and fish tailing! I have had at least six moments in this week where the car responded unexpectedly and made me think I was going to get in an accident. Tonight in rush hour I was maintaining a speed of about 20 mph, the car decided to downshift and send more forward a few yards. I want so badly to get rid of this car as I have a baby, but I'm very upside down on it. I have various warranties but have been warned by Ford that they are a "one time get out of jail free card" and if the car comes in for the same repair it previously had it will no longer be under warranty! this is horrible, my car is constantly in the shop for the same transmission issue!

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #180

Oct 082015


  • 80,000 miles
After tcm recall replacement the steering would wander. By this I mean loose wheel at high speeds with tough spots. New tires and alignment have been done with no correction of this problem. Ford will not admit an issue and will only diagnose after I agree to pay them for doing so. Not going to happen.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #179

Nov 052015


  • 90,000 miles


While leaving home for work during the morning of November, 5th, 2015, the 2012 Ford Focus would not turn left or right when backing out of the driveway. Later in the day, the car stopped twice in the middle of traffic. The steering goes and it becomes very difficult to turn the wheel left or right. It was taken to the local delearship (supreme Ford) and they quoted $1905.51 to replace the electric steering rack. That's not including the $108 upfront payment for diagnosing the problem. Ford needs to recall this model as I'm now researching lots of consumers having the same issue. Are they waiting for someone to seriously injury themself? this is very scary to have experienced. Something must be done. It's not right for the consumer to pay for a manfacturing defect in Ford's electronic power assisted steering (epas) that they won't recognize as a problem. Don't our lives matter"??"

- Laplace, LA, USA

problem #178

Oct 022015


  • 82,000 miles
Power steering malfunction error code unable to move steering wheel. Happens when it is sitting still and you start the car. I have had this car in the shop 10 times between this and the transmission. They have replaced 2 nd gear, and the clutch and then told me nothing else was wrong with it until May 2015 when the car completely quit and it was the tcm. The error came up then on power steering failure, but they did not address it because they were blaming it on the tcm. So September 16th it started jutting again when turning right, on October the 2nd I went out at lunch to run some errands and of course power steering assist fault malfunction. Yes this car has been in the shop 10 times and I even already had to put an alternator on it 9 months after I purchased it. I turned the car on and off 4 or 5 times and finally I was able to clear it enough I drove it to the Ford house where it's second home is only to be told that it was not covered and I would owe them over $1500 in repairs because they did not catch it the first 10 times while under warranty. This car is a piece of junk and when you call Ford they act like they do not know anything about his issue, but it is everywhere. So they reset it and told me it will go out again permanently and hopefully I could get it to the side of the road. Really"?" give me some assistance in getting it repaired. I have had 10 new Ford products and never trouble like this. This is acting like my Chevy cobalt and it's 7 recalls. Recall it already before it's too late for innocent people.

- Waco, TX, USA

problem #177

Oct 202015


  • 8,700 miles
My 2012 Ford Focus sel has less than 9,000 miles. On October 20, 2015 I got in my car to drive it and it was completely dead - nothing worked. My husband took the battery out, had it checked, but it was fine. He put the battery back in and the car started. He then drove my car to his local mechanic to have the battery checked again to see if something was draining the power from it to cause the car not to start. Again the battery checked out fine. As my husband was leaving the mechanics, he put my car into reverse, started backing up, and out of no where the power steering went out. He said a power steering fault warning appeared on the dash. I was horrified that this happened and even more horrified that it could have been me that was driving my car when the power steering went out. I'm just relieved that my husband wasn't driving on a major road or highway when this happened. We took my car to the dealership I purchased it from and found out there were a couple transmission recalls for my car. The service guy suggested that one of the transmission recalls was responsible for my car being completely dead and not starting. However, he said there was a power steering fault and the power steering rack assembly had to be replaced and reprogrammed to the tune of $1,700. Wow. I don't understand how this could happen to my 2012 Ford Focus sel that has less than 9,000 miles on. How could this happen" I was told the power steering is an "electronic" component and anything electronic can go anytime. Is it just a coincidence that on the day that my car won't start due to the Ford recall 15B22 that the power steering gets "shorted" out and I end up having to pay $1,711.89 to replace the power steering rack assembly and for them to "reprogram" it" I don't think it's a coincidence these 2 events happened together - electronic components "talk" to each other.

- Dunedin, FL, USA

problem #176

Aug 162015


  • 75,000 miles
Car jumps from 2000 RPM to 7000 RPM immediately when wanting to go from 35 mph to 45 mph after being sluggish and almost hit another vehicle. At highway speed of 65, the car's power becomes so low it only goes 40 mph and had to put hazard lights on and get off highway. Automatic transmission but have to put foot on brake and other foot on gas in city traffic on hill or it slides back to almost hit vehicle behind me. Steering got so tight multiple times at 45 mph and all lights on panel came on and car stalled in middle of a major intersection and had to call police to ensure nobody hit my vehicle and direct other traffic. Car shudders and vibrates and nothing wrong with tires, rims, brakes and alignment.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #175

Oct 052012


  • 12,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While starting the vehicle, the electronic power steering system fault illuminated on the instrument panel and the steering wheel became very difficult to maneuver. The contact stated that the failure occurred on four separate occasions intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the failure could not be duplicated. While driving 45 mph, the contact heard a loud bang and the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to stop the vehicle, but it would not restart or shift into gear. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the parking engage control sensor module failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred within 24 hours. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that transmission control module failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. When the vehicle was retrieved from the dealer, it experienced trouble shifting and made an abnormal grinding noise every time it was shifted into another gear. The contact took the vehicle back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch plates failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was 12,000.

- Travelers Rest, SC, USA

problem #174

Oct 172015


  • 65,000 miles
While taking a right turn on a city street my steering wheel immediately became very hard to maneuver. I had to brake as to keep my self from going forward rather than turning since my steering wheel seemed as though it was locked. I then realized the power steering was completely out, then the display and sound came on, stating that there was a steering malfunction and to refer to my manual. I then carefully and forcefully steered the vehicle into a vacant parking lot. I read the manual and attempted to cycle power to the vehicle to clear the issue. This did not work. I now have no power steering and the vehicle sits in the driveway. It has 65K miles and is out of warranty. I would not have purchased had I known soo many had this issue.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #173

Aug 152015


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 40 mph, the steering seized without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the electric power assist system failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 68,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #172

Oct 132015


  • 52,000 miles
Complete electrical power assist failure. Steering almost too difficult to operate. Thankfully happened at low speed.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #171

Sep 262015


  • miles
While pulling out of a drive thur my car suddenly became very hard to turn and a message appeared on the dash stating "steering assist malfunction". I was able to turn off the car and restart and the problem seemed to be okay. Now I am worried that this will happen again but in a more dangerous situation. There are many other complaints I have read about and it's not if it happens again it's when. Also tonight I experienced my rear right side door is not able to close at all. Which I have read numerous complaints about both of these safety concerns. That is a huge safety hazard, I am very thankful that I realized this before driving away with my daughter in the back seat. I will never buy another Ford again!!!!

- Wills Point, TX, USA

problem #170

Sep 102015


  • 84,264 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated when starting the vehicle, the steering assist malfunction warning light illuminated intermittently. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 84,264.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #169

Oct 052015


  • 65,000 miles
While backing out of the driveway the steering suddenly and without warning became very difficult to manage. Thinking that this was a temporary issue I attempted to drive the vehicle for a short distance but felt very unsafe to continue my trip and returned home.

- Fairview Heights, IL, USA

problem #168

Sep 302015


  • 46,000 miles
I was driving in the interstate going about 65 miles per hour with my child in the car my power steering went out a semi was right next to me and I almost went off the trying to keep from hitting it.

- Chandler, IN, USA

problem #167

Oct 042015


  • 81,000 miles
I had been having issues with my car losing power when accelerating and shuddering really badly. A month before the recall letter cam out for the tcm (transmission control module) I took it to the dealership where I bought the car from and they told me it was normal for the car. After I got the recall letter I went back for a free diagnostic and informed them of the warning light that was often appearing that said "steering assist fault service required". they said it would be a separate $145 to diagnosis that problem. After taking nearly 4 months to get the part in my car wasn't able to shift out of 1st gear driving home one night from work so I had to find another dealership to take it to. They were able to replace the recalled parts with in 1 week and the same issue with the steering that I had described to the previous dealership I also informed them about. When I went to pick up my car they told me I shouldn't have that same problem with the message "steering assist fault service require" and the steering wheel locking up. 3 weeks after getting my car back one night my husband and I got in the car to drive to a restaurant and could even leave the parking lot because the same message appear and my cars power steering is now just completely out. Before it would correct itself after I turned the car off but now its just stuck and I can't drive my car. Ford corporate basically told me since there isn't a recall it isn't their problem. And the dealership told me they would tow it and run a diagnostic and if it isn't related to the recall repair I'm responsible to the cost of towing and repair. Online this repair appears to be $2,000ish dollars and I don't have that. So basically Ford told me I was sol....

- Washignton, DC, USA

problem #166

Nov 142014


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 5 mph, the steering assist warning indicator illuminated and the steering wheel seized. The failure recurred multiple times intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that there was a shortage in the steering gear box, and the steering gear box needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000. Updated 1/14/16

- Waco, TX, USA

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