ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. Notes: Ford changed a lot of things for its 3rd generation, just none of them were a good idea.

The transmission tends to hesitate and jerk when accelerating. The new electronically-driven power steering can fail suddenly and without warning. Even Ford's SYNC can be a headache. Actually, scratch that last one — it's always been a headache.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
58,700 miles
Total Complaints:
18 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. dealership: buy a new one for $1,500.00 (6 reports)
  2. replace power steering (5 reports)
  3. not sure (3 reports)
  4. repair for $1450 (2 reports)
  5. replace power assist module (2 reports)
2013 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #18

Mar 142018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


The steering completely failed. Luckily the car was in the drive way at the time. Had it towed to local Ford dealership. Took them three days to look at it and then told me it would cost $2200 to replace power assist module. This is after the same car was in for multiple recalls on transmission. This is a 2013 with 60k miles. Worst vehicle I have ever owned.

- fordmn, Farmington, US

problem #17

Apr 142016


  • CVT transmission
  • 75,127 miles

F#ck Ford.....they charged a diagnostic fee and thought the car had a power steering pump that needed fluid. Then they refused to subtract the diagnostic fee of $100 off the amount of the repair.

- Christian D., Logan, US

problem #16

Jan 022018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

I wish I had done some research before buying this 2013 Focus in 2015. I had the transmission fail 2 months ago but was covered under lawsuit Ford settled but then the power steering failed while my daughter was driving and barely managed to get to the shoulder. I had it towed to the dealership and I am picking up in the morning after replacing the Electronic Power Assist module ($1700). I contacted Ford and basically told "Not our Problem" although there are numerous complaints with NHTSA. Will never do business with Ford again.

- Luther B., Orange Park, US

problem #15

Nov 202017

Focus SE 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,417 miles


there should be a recall on this if they are aware of the issue

- Keisha M., Grand Island, US

problem #14

Nov 042017

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

Have had problems with steering wheel locking up when starting the car since I bought it used in February 2014. Have taken it to dealer and they say there is nothing wrong. Yesterday when I started the car I got a message on the console saying there was a power steering assist failure and service was required. Steering wheel would not turn. I shut off the car and turned it back on and the steering was working but now I am terrified to drive it. Some research online shows this is a known problem and Ford is denying it. I have submitted a complaint to NHTSA, now here and will submit again wherever I can. This car already has a class action lawsuit for a faulty transmission and now this. It should be covered under lemon laws!

Update from Nov 11, 2017: Took the car to my local dealer. As expected, they tell me I need to replace the EPAS steering component. It is out of warranty so I am on the hook for the $1700 repair. I mentioned that I had the car in for problems with the steering in August of 2016 (while it was still under warranty) and was told at that time it was not the steering but some issue with the shock absorbers which they "repaired" and charged me a $100 deductible. The service advisor again said that was a different problem. I contacted Ford and filed an official complaint and asked them to cover the repair. I was given a case number and two days later received the expected response - no assistance. So I will repair it and hope for a recall in the future.

Update from Nov 23, 2017: Had the steering gear assembly replaced. Total $1450. The dealership did their best to reduce the cost. Still a large bill I wasn't expecting, especially just before Christmas. :-(

- nknyhrz, Boardman, US

problem #13

Sep 272017

Focus ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

Got this on a Wednesday and on Sunday the engine light came on and the steering locked up. I cut the car off and started it back up and it unlocked.The dealership where I got the Ford Focus was Honda of Kingsport Tn and they gave me a hard time with it, cost was around $2000.00.That was a lot of money for me to pay. I probably will not invest in another ford because they do not stand behind their cars.

- hclarlkac, Surgoinsville, US

problem #12

Jun 232016

Focus SE 2L Flex Fuel L4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles


I took good care of this car. I drove it smoothly never making any rough turns, never accelerating aggressively (not like I could've anyways this car accelerates slowly) never hitting any bumps, always getting regular maintenance and filling it up with the best gas, and then before 40k miles it decides to fail and break down on its own.

First time I remember I was on South Beach and taking a date home and I start the car and couldn't turn the wheel. It wouldn't budge, it was hard like a rock. Took me like an hour but messing with the setting on the dashboard computer screen and starting and shutting off the engine a few times it finally started to work and I was able to turn the wheel and steer.

Then it worked flawless for a few months and then I didn't drive the car for like 2 months but I did start it up to make sure that the battery doesn't die. Then one day I get in it to drive it and half way into my 10 minute drive the wheel locks up while making a dangerous turn. I almost wrecked. The "Power Steering Fault" or "Steering Assist Fault" notice came on, I don't remember which of the two and I'm at work now and my car is stuck home.

Car can not be driving like that. I was able to drive it home but it is like driving a tank with no power steering. The EPAS system on this car is faulty and breaks on it's own. They have over half a million recalls for this matter but never for this year and model. Plus most of those recalls are expired already. My car is out of warranty due to it being a Rebuilt title due theft of parts/etc.

So here sits a practically new 2013 Ford Focus. The repairs cost around $1500-$3000 I've heard all types of prices. And they have mentioned that I need to change the entire Rack & Pinion. And who knows if I spend all that money and then the Electronic Power Steering Assist starts to fail again.

I hope Ford can help and repair this for free or give me a discount. Or I will hope to at least be able to sell this car for $4000 as-is and recover some money. I read that the Class Action suit was denied in Feb. 2017 so now I am out of luck. I live in South Florida any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

- Miami H., Hialeah, FL, US

problem #11

Jul 152017

Focus ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

Driving in traffic going speed limit @ 35 slowing to make a cross turn with oncoming traffic & steering locked up, made it onto side street, amazing, stopped car & still locked up,turned engine off & restarted must have reset steering. made another stop and went to back up & locked again all in about a 1/2hr time frame.

Then a scary drive to dealer & wait till Monday for them to check on the issue.

- Marsha C., Davenport, IA, USA

problem #10

Apr 012017

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,008 miles

I have a 2013 Ford Focus Sedan. When I started the engine and am ready to go, suddenly the steering wheel became stiff and unable to move. Then the warning signal appeared such as "power steering assistance problem. service required." It occurred twice today and twice in the past several months. I had to turn off the engine and then turn on again, which became controllable. I heard other Ford focus owners complaining the same problem and hope Ford can recall to replace the problem in case something serious happens.

- clara y, Cedar City, US

problem #9

Mar 182017

Focus S 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,700 miles

My teenage son's life was in jeopardy because of a known design issue that Ford is unwilling to address and NTHSA seems to be turning their heads on. This steering issue in Ford's is rampant and out of control... someone apparently needs to die before these guys will do the right thing. Frankly, I like our car... it has great gas mileage and has done its job to get me and my fam where we need to go... but having this expensive repair and a near miss with my son driving really sucks - especially when you find out that Ford knows this is their stupid design's fault. Do the right thing Ford! Make owning a Ford great again!!!

- Norm V., Knoxville, TN, US

problem #8

Oct 012016

Focus SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


I've been told that it's the owners responsibility. The power steering will just fail, sooner or later someone is going to get hurt if there isn't a recall.

- enemgoblue, Leroy, IL, USA

problem #7

Dec 012016

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

This car has 40,000 miles and is driven by a 16 year old kid. He was driving and poof, the steering was GONE. Could have been deadly...... The repair shop states that the electronic power steering gear assembly has failed and needs to be replaced. No warranty, of course. I called Ford Motor Company and lodged a complaint. They gave me a case #. They told me that there are other Ford models with this same issue that have been recalled. There is no recall on this yet, but one could be coming. In the mean time, I can have it fixed and keep my receipts. If a recall is issued, I can be reimbursed. I see there are hundreds of complaints of this on this site and the NAHTS site, Hopefully something will be done by FMC. Thankfully mine wasn't worse! Be sure to call FMC 1 800 392 3673 (have VIN # handy) and report if you have this issue. The more they list, the quicker this becomes a true recall.

- Stacy M., Freeport, IL, USA

problem #6

Sep 262016

Focus Titanium 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 36,500 miles

The car failed within my warranty period, but it was brought in two days after my warranty period expired. Ford refused to honor the claim because of the date it was brought into the dealership. Surely they could have and should have known the failure date from the computer, but they wouldn't budge. It was brought in 2 days after, so it was out of warranty. I escalated the case to no better result. The EPAS system gear assembly broke, which I believe has happened to many of us in this particular model. Not sure what to do at this point.

- Sean W., Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #5

Feb 052016

Focus LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

It has taken over 2 months of escalations and calls to lemon law attorneys (crooks) to finally get a reasonable (yea right) price. Now it has taken an additional 3 days to get an appointment. When I leave messages fro the service writer he doesn't return them, when I call the service manager he is not available. This dealership, Heritage Ford in Modesto, has the absolute worst customer service.

- Jim R., Modesto, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 252015

Focus SE

  • CVT transmission
  • 46,000 miles

So my Hub buys this 2013 car for me in 2014 and here we are in 2015. Within months of buying it I discover that my car just wasn't "used" it was a rental car. You know drive it like you stole it. Which the dealership/salesman never mentioned. I knew something was wrong when I noticed the inspection sticker had been tampered with and there was no owners manual. ANYWHERE. Couldn't get it online couldn't get a download NOTHING for several weeks.

Then one day I decide to give it a bath. Typical yard hose...bucket...sponge. The paint comes off in perfect circles....they wouldn't fix that.....guess I was using perfect circle soap that day.

And now I'm driving on an on ramp...getting read to join 55+ mph traffic ...curling to the right and the wheel jerks to the left like two inches. I'm like what the heck was that? Shrugged it off as a fluke.

Then I go out to start my car and the steering wheel won't budge. I can go forward and back....that's it. Not like that whining power steering sound. Nothing. Later that day.....not a problem. Next day same thing.....won't budge.....then later .....fine. So I drive it to the dealer.....4 hours and an estimate of $1750.00 later......"Do you have a warranty?" No "no extended warranty?" No it JUST ran out UGGGH

- Victoria T., North Kingstown, RI, USA

problem #3

Oct 032015

Focus Titanium 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,550 miles

There are many complaints on this same issue for both 2012 and 2013 Focus with approximately 44k miles; and mechanics have told me it is the same system being used in the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ that is currently under recall status. Wake up Ford! You need to issue a recall on the Focus, and stop pretending it is not a problem.

dealership said i need to by a new steering system $1,600

- rruth, Whitewater, WI, USA

problem #2

May 012015

Focus ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

I stopped at the store to purchase an item. I got into my car and started it, the panel stated "Steering Fault." The car started, but the steering wheel locked up and it would only drive forward. I immediately called and had the car towed. This is the second time in six months I have had the car towed for another problem. I purchased the car used in November 1, 2014.

- Thelma H., Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #1

Mar 192015

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,622 miles

First of all, let me just start out by saying that I like the car. It's my first "like-new" car and I'm grateful to drive it and when it works, I enjoy it. I'm not here to slander any companies character or reputation...but here is my story.

I bought a 2013 White Ford Focus after owning a Gold Pontiac Sunfire which I had for several years. When I got my Ford, I loved it....I loved all cool features, it's slick look and I adored having a hatchback. I'm in Sales so, I LIVE in my car and it means a lot to me to have something not only reliable to drive but, practical for driving around as well as clean and nice looking. So I bought the car in late June last year (28th) and yesterday I go to get gas, turn back on the car only to see this message appear across my dashboard, "Steering Assist Fault Service Required". Naturally I try to drive the car and it takes all of me to turn the wheel either right or left (you labor through it) so I call my boyfriend to come get me.

Later we look through my manual and come to find out, there is no "power steering fluid", it's all electronic and we tried replacing the fuse and that didn't work either. This morning I wake up and the car still shows the same message, "Steering Assist Fault". So today I head to a Ford Dealership in Clearwater to find out that there are other recalls on the car (Transmission), however, this is just a new issue and it is not a recall yet....and that in order to fix my car, the whole Steering System will be have to replaced (vs. just the module) and that is $1,300 + $100.00 in taxes + $100.00 in labor = $1,500.00! That's right! I just put $3,000 down payment in June for the car (and am just getting back on my feet) and now it's normal for a 2 year old Ford Focus to have its entire EPS fail.

So, I've lodged a complaint with Ford, the NHTSA and several others. In order to solve this issue immediately, I would just like Ford to contact me with $1,500.00 and a rental car for the amount of time to fix the car and I would be on my marry way. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

- Jessica O., Clearwater, FL, USA

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