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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
69,000 miles
Total Complaints:
29 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace power steering (11 reports)
  2. dealership: buy a new one for $1,500.00 (7 reports)
  3. not sure (6 reports)
  4. repair for $1450 (2 reports)
  5. replace power assist module (2 reports)
  6. replace rack & pinion (1 reports)
2013 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Apr 282019

Focus SE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,900 miles


This is the first Ford I have ever purchased thought I would be smart and buy a fairly new economical car for commuting to & from work and less than 4 weeks 800 miles and it already has a clutch issue and now the entire steering rack has to be replaced, and no recall has been issued for this huge problem even after all I have just read on it today.....huge, huge mistake on both Fords and my part = selling immediately after I foot the bill of well over 2 grand for this s#!× 🤬

- pabrego54, Brillion, US

problem #28

Feb 072019

Focus ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

I was driving on the interstate when my 2013 Ford Focus became difficult to steer. A few minutes later, the warning light came on.. indicating a Power Steering fault. I could barely get the car home. Once I did, I had to have the car towed to the garage. It has a new transmission thanks to an earlier recall. Now the Power steering failed at just over 58K miles. If I hadn't been on a rural interstate, I could have crashed. Despite the $1900 repair bill, I feel lucky to have survived this.

I have also filed a complaint with the NHTSB.

- John W., Washington, DC, US

problem #27

Feb 052018

Focus SE 2.0L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Power steering started to fail. Got by with it for a month or so, until I realized I would be stuck somewhere until I fixed it.

- Eric K., Hendersonville, TN, US

problem #26

Jan 162019

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,800 miles


Purchased a used 2013 a few years ago and everything was great. I drive it maybe 5000 miles a year, live too close to everything. It has roughly 48K miles on it now. A little over two weeks ago I drive it to work, everything is working just fine and dandy on the way there. Afterwards, on my way home, the steering starts having a grinding noise like sand grinding between two rocks.

Had it at the dealership last week (to fix the transmission recall issue, which happened to "coincidentally" start two days after, and they told me about the grinding, which I already knew about and said it would be roughly $3,500 to fix. I declined, because really who has that much just laying around? This morning I started my car and can't even turn the wheel at all. Its not in its locked position, just wont turn AT ALL.

This is a known issue with the 2013 Focus because its the same system as all the other EPAS that Ford uses in the vehicles that have been recalled. I'd just like a recall to be issued for this faulty steering system that Ford should've never changed to in the first place. There's been so many issues with it, why not change back to a hydraulic system? Now I have to replace my entire rack and pinion on my car instead of just a pump.

- Jeff T., Mc Kinney, TX, US

problem #25

Nov 142018

Focus 4DR 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles

Well maintained by higher mileage Focus SE developed "sudden" issue with power steering. With no prior problems, while parked, a "steering assist fault - service required" warning came up on display. Vehicle will not start.

- Michael G., Mableton, US

problem #24

Jul 202017

Focus SE 4 Cylinder 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I was driving on my lunch break when the problem first occurred. The power steering failed and I had to turn into a parking lot without any power steering, which is very difficult in this particular car. The dealership quoted me $1,500 to fix the problem, luckily, it was covered under the extended warranty. The steering system is all electrical in this car so there's no way to fix a bad steering pump ( there's no power steering fluid in this car, because the steering system is electrical ) so if your power steering goes out, you'll most likely have to fork over $1,500 or so if it's not covered under warranty.

- John S., St Peters, MO, US

problem #23

Sep 082018

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles


Total Garbage! 3 temporary failures in last 2 months. Would correct itself by turning car off and restarting. Total Failure.

- tcno, Pingree Grove, IL, US

problem #22

Apr 302018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

Electronic Steering Assist has failed twice in less than a year on our Focus. This could cause a major accident if it happened while driving. We were lucky and, both times, it happened right as we parked at a gas station. The Ford dealership here told us it will cost us $2000 to fix the whole steering rack. I called Ford customer service to complain (twice in one year is not normal). They basically told me there is nothing that they can do but acknowledged this could be a serious danger if it happened on the road.

I have filed an official complaint with NHTSA. If enough people file complaints, Ford will have to recall these vehicles (or reimburse customers) and take responsibility for the malfunctioning steering system. NHTSA's phone number is 888-327-4236. It only takes a minute. We should not have to pay thousands of dollars for something that is obviously a manufacturing defect, given how many people have already listed complaints on here...

- johann.lg9, State College, US

problem #21

Aug 102018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


Two weeks ago I left work, got to my car and 'faulty steering' dummy light came on. Car steering would not turn steering wheel at all. Got my 2013 towed to the dealer ($90). After waiting a few days, I was informed by the dealer that the steering rack had gone out and it would costs about $2700 to fix. Since I am 1/2 way through my car note with Ally that was not good news. I don't have the $2700 to fix my car or 1/2 of that amount to find a trusty mechanic. Tomorrow, I will have my little car towed to my house.

So...after this diagnosis, I started researching this problem. I find ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: WIRING recall, and 6 other recalls on the car I'm still paying on. I also found RECALL: Doors May Unexpectedly Open, RECALL: Engine Wiring Splices May Cause Stall, RECALL: Side Lights Inoperable/FMVSS 108, RECALL: Driver Side Child Lock May Not Function. All in all there are 7 recalls that might pertain to my Ford Focus. So, now I have to ask myself: Is this a safe car with me carrying my two granddaughters around town? They are 4 and 10 so I'm thinking seriously on this one. Is the Ford Focus safe? I'm really leaning towards NO.

As I read accounts and blogs of other Ford owners whose cars were going along at 65 and all of a sudden the steering went out - how tragic and scary is that?

I don't think I will ever drive this car again. question is 'When can I tow this car to Ford'? I do not trust the car at all now. It has become a death trap; not a safe mode of transportation at all even if all of these 7 recalls do not relate to me.

So now Ford, I ask you, what can you do to help me in this situation?

Hoping it's good news as I attempt to find a ride to work tomorrow - a lovely position to be in.


Robbie McMeans 4709 Yellowleaf Dr. Fort Worth, TX 76133 817-602-9003

- Robbie M., Fort Worth, US

problem #20

Jul 022018

Focus SE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,381 miles

Vehicle experiences power assist steering failure while driving, reversing or when parked. No recall yet but there should be.

- Chris L., Creemore, ON, Canada

problem #19

Jul 242018

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,206 miles


Ford already recalled a lot of cars for the same problem. I think their power steering system has serious problems. They should at least fix other cars with the same problem which is not on the recall. Never buy Ford car again!

- Bei W., Saint Louis, US

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, US

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

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