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 1 of 18)

problem #345

Jan 032017


  • 80,255 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 45 mph, the power steering malfunction light illuminated and the steering wheel became very hard to maneuver. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was determined that the power steering rack needed to be replaced but was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,255.

- Tamaqua, PA, USA

problem #344

Oct 152015


  • 36,000 miles
Power steering fails while going down the road multiple times. Also sometimes when you start the vehicle the steering wheel is locked up for abou 30 seconds then excises to work.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #343

Dec 292016


  • 95,595 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 55 mph, the steering wheel locked and the vehicle drifted to the left without warning. The issue recurred multiple times. The vehicle was driven to the dealer. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 95,595.

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #342

Jan 012017


  • 72,000 miles


On several occasions, I have received notice that the electronic power-assisted steering (epas) system has a fault and that service would be required. The remedy, as provided in the manual, is to turn off the vehicle then restart the vehicle to reset the module. While I was fortunate that this had not occurred while driving, this is an extremely dangerous issue, particularly because the steering locks up when the fault occurs. Recently, the epas system notified me of a fault and it was not remedied upon restarting the vehicle. I have seen many complaints online about the same issue with the same model year and make, however, Ford has not provided a recall, as they did with the 2012 Fusion and flex. This issue needs to be addressed because it is clearly a manufacturing or design defect, wherein the consumer should not bear the cost of repair or replacement (up to $2000), especially given the recall on similar models from the same year.

- Forty Fort, PA, USA

problem #341

Oct 102016


  • 54,100 miles
I had pulled out of the driveway into the street, and the power steering failed. It was very difficult to maneuver the vehicle back into the driveway. If this had happened on a busy street or highway, or while turning a corner, a loss of control would have been entirely possible.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #340

Dec 182016


  • 79,400 miles
Lost power steering to vehicle, unable to drive due to safety concerns. Transmission hesitates when driven or when gasing from a stop.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #339

Nov 122016

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


2012 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to steering control module recall repair issues, transmission problems and windshield motor malfunction. The consumer stated on the night of November 12, 2016, a safety warning light appeared on the dash. When he tried driving about 12 miles home, he had no power steering. The problem did not occur again. On Monday November 14, 2016 the consumer stopped by a non-Ford garage. No work was performed. However, the mechanic stated the problem was the steering control module. The mechanic suggested taking the vehicle to the dealer. Upon inspection, the dealer claimed there was no problem, but to bring the vehicle back, if the light came on again. The dealer informed the consumer three were no transmission problem. However, in March 2016, the consumer experienced a transmission problem. The dealer stated the problem was due to a weak battery. The problem occurred again and the dealer stated it was the fault of the alternator not sending enough current to the module. The problem continued. On July 4, 2016, the transmission light illuminated. The consumer used the off key procedure, to put the vehicle into gear, but the light remained on.

- Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA

problem #338

Dec 282016


  • 84,000 miles
I have twice received an error when starting the car: "steering assist fault - service required" and I had no power steering whatsoever. The error was resolved both times by restarting the car, but I am very nervous that the fault will occur while the vehicle is in motion and will cause a crash. I've been seeing that this is a relatively common error in a range of Ford vehicles around this model year and hope that a recall will be issued soon.

- Marietta, PA, USA

problem #337

Dec 212016


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While the vehicle was in reverse, the steering assist fault warning indicator illuminated. As a result, greater effort was needed to operate the steering wheel. The vehicle was not restarted. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 92,000.

- Pasadena, TX, USA

problem #336

Dec 112016


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While backing out of a parking space, the steering wheel stiffened and failed. Also, the instrument panel lighting remained illuminated. The issue recurred multiple times. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but the failure could not be replicated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Mayfield Heights, OH, USA

problem #335

Dec 122016


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving various speeds, the power steering seized without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing, where it was determined that the vehicle was not included in a recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Weslaco, TX, USA

problem #334

Oct 232016


  • 84,209 miles
Steering assist fault: At mileage 84209 the power steering suddenly stopped working. After completing research this is a known issue that Ford has not recalled. It stopped working at the gas pump, with some luck I was able to get to a parking spot and leave the car stranded until arranging for a tow truck. Ford would not reimburse the $2,000 expense to fix one of their known issues. Very fortunate no one was hurt. Very dissatisfied with the quality of work and customer service to remedy this known issue associated with a class action lawsuit

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #333

Dec 112016


  • 60,000 miles
Power steering failed when backing out on the first incident along with an error message display. On second occasion, when starting the car, the same error message regarding the steering was displayed. Turning the engine off and then back on seemed to get the car operational.

- Mayfield Heights, OH, USA

problem #332

Dec 152016


  • 67,000 miles
Started my car this morning and immediately my "steering requires assist" alert came on and I found I had no power steering. My car showed no signs of any issue when I parked it last night 12/14/16 around 7pm but when I went to leave for work at 12/15/16 at 5:30am the alert came on. I had my car towed to the dealer and dealer has informed me that 1) a car with less than 70K needs the entire steering column replaced to the tune of $2000 and 2) that this failure is so commonplace they stock the steering assembly for this repair. I'm just thankful I wasn't commuting on the interstate when this occurred whereas many others were not.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #331

Dec 132016


  • 89,000 miles
I could handle the studder and handle the being held hostage by my seat belt, but now I have to pay $1,800 to get my steering fix after almost hitting a tree with my family in the car. I was just about to upgrade to a escape, I will never buy Ford again after this because I have 89000 on my car they will help with nothing. Nor do they care about the safety of me and my family or the other people around me ! I have never been so disappointed. I truly loved this little car until it tried to kill me.

- Penfield, NY, USA

problem #330

Dec 062016


  • 67,000 miles
Started car and steering wheel froze - power steering completely incapacitated. Error notification displayed "steering assist fault." I turned the car off and when I restarted it was gone. This also happened a year ago and now again intermittently. This is a safety hazard that has been reported by many others. Ford needs to recall these models before a serious event happens.

- El Cerrito, CA, USA

problem #329

Nov 172016


  • 49,222 miles
I was turning into my apt complex powe sterling went out light said malfunctions powe steering. I was trying to control hit a pole. Seat belt tighten around my neck. I had just had a procedure did two weeks pryor injection in my neck went to doctor he told me I was so informed he could not tell gave me five different mess I go C him on 8th Dec should been back sooner I have no car in shop no money get it out.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #328

Nov 262016


  • 49,000 miles
At 49000 miles got " service power steering now " light and steering was locked up at start of car. Has happened 4 times in 8 days at start up of car. Restarting fixes steering but afraid problem will escalate and cause accident or worse...please investigate before someone is hurt or killed from loss of control of steering.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #327

Nov 252016


  • 106,000 miles
Driving at night on county road approx 25-30 mph dry pavement went to turn the wheel of the car to follow the road and there was no response from the steering wheel or the brakes. Car went off the road headed for a tree. Went into ditch before steering became available again. In investigating this issue on my own prior to taking to dealer. I have found this to be an issue and even a noted investigation listed or awareness of the highway safety administration. I can tell you there was absolutely zero control of this car at that time. These cars are very dangerous on many levels as they have multiple defective parts. Just call jim O'neal in sellersburg Indiana as they have all the records of showing they have almost rebuilt my entire car since I bought new in 2012. Upon being evaluated and driven, with this occurring to the the technician as well at jim O'neal Ford, it was found that the entire steering component had failed and needed to be replaced. Ford is aware of this concern as there have been 2 bulletins sent to their dealership service departments. Documented in research if you look and also told to me verbally by mike albright the service manager at jim O'neal Ford. At no time in the many visits to the repair shop at Ford has anyone mentioned the fact that this could possibly occur or has there been any preventive checks of the system. I really would like this investigated as I do see I am not the only one that has had this issue and was just lucky enough to have not had a serious accident with my children in the car during this latest failure in this car. Ford should be held accountable for producing and not upholding their end of this car as people are being seriously injured.

- Otisco, IN, USA

problem #326

Nov 012016


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Focus. While driving various speeds, the power steering failed without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Awendaw, SC, USA

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