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
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,153 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.

2013 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Feb 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,286 miles


I was driving on the highway at midnight 2/8/2014 at about 75mph when my car started to become stiff in the steering and lost speed rapidly. I down shifted from 5th gear to 4th gear the car would not accelerate even with my foot pressed all the way down on the accelerator, I shifted down to 3rd because of the sudden loss of speed and still nothing the cars rpms would go higher but the speed would not change. This nearly caused me to have an accident so I exited the highway and shut the vehicle off. Once the vehicle was shut off and turned back on the problem went away, I contacted Ford brought it in to their service center and they could not replicate this problem and suggested I continue to drive the vehicle until it happens again.

- Chatsworth, CA, USA

problem #10

Jun 282013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Steering and computer aided systems along with tires that were not disclosed to be used under 40 degrees caused loss of steering input and control which lead to hitting a curb and damaging suspension components as well as the drive-ability of the vehicle is worse that before. There are known issues with the steering on the 2013 Focus St and after 6 months of going back and forth, Ford cannot remedy the situation and the care is unsafe to drive at any speed as the lack of steering control cause unnecessary movement of the vehicle, requiring nerves of steel to drive at even 20 mph. Clunking noises and grinding also coming from suspension and transmission gears.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #9

Aug 142012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 50 miles
I owned my brand new car for approximately 7 days, when the problems began! it had 4 miles on it when I purchased it new! I was driving on a local highway at approximately 45-55 mph, when the steering started to feel sticky, I felt like I was losing control of the vehicle, it felt as though I was in a major wind storm and was being blown back and forth across the highway! I was scared to death! I pulled the car to the side of the road and had my husband come drive us the rest of the way home. Also, when turning to a hard right or left, I can feel something under my feet like there's something about to rocket through the floor boards! also, when I'm stopped anywhere with the engine running and the transmission engaged, and I'm holding the brake of course, the car wants to lunge forward and it does it too, when I'm pulling into or backing out of a parking space. Its dangerous and very scary!! please Ford, please look into these issues before someone dies or is seriously injured.

- Breezewood, PA, USA

problem #8

Jul 292013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 500 miles


Steering intermittently gets 'sticky' in center position at freeway speeds. The vehicle tracks reasonably well but as it drifts slightly in the lane it is normal to make small corrections. In every vehicle I have ever owned before this requires no effort or thought. In this one it takes concentration to avoid looking like I'm driving under the influence. In other words, it resists normal micro-corrections and tends to twitch and over-correct when it finally responds to the steering adjustment. That results in my vehicle moving a foot instead of an inch which is not a lot of fun at freeway speeds and is potentially dangerous. My research suggests that this is a programming issue with the electrically assisted steering. NHTSA: Please address this with a recall before someone gets hurt or killed.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 212013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,500 miles
I was on my way back home from Chicago to Ohio. About an hour into the trip my steering started getting stiff and hard to control. I had to hold on with both hand tightly. It felt like the steering was locking up. Like a click. If I moved it ever so slightly it stuck and I had to move it back quickly. What should have taken 6 1/2 hours took me 10 1/2. my young son and I were scared. It was Sunday and I was in another state. Nothing open and on a toll road. It still gets hard to steer but my dealership said there is nothing wrong. Someone please help. I travel back and forth from Ohio to Chicago a lot.

- Hartville, OH, USA

problem #6

Apr 242013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
Vehicle wonders or drifts at highway speeds, seems like your always over correcting the steering wheel. Vehicle makes a zig zag motion on certain road surfaces like your caught in the wind behind a semi.vehicle alignment as of this date has been changed 4 times.

- Sturgeon Lake, MN, USA

problem #5

Apr 262013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,200 miles


When driving at highway speeds (55-65 mph) for periods of time greater than 30 minutes, the steering begins to become jerky and sticky. The vehicle starts to wander as if the front wheels are out of alignment, making it necessary to make many very small steering corrections. This problem has occurred every time the vehicle has been on the highway under the said conditions.

- Rolla, MO, USA

problem #4

Nov 012012

Focus 6-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
When driving at highway speeds the steering becomes "sticky". when attempting to keep the vehicle in a straight line the steering sticks in its current position and to make a slight modification I have to put more effort into turning the steering wheel. Once the steering releases the car over corrects and then I need to make a correction in the opposite direction causing a "zig-zag" motion. It feels like I could lose control if I over corrected and I find myself gripping the steering wheel when driving this vehicle at highway speeds. In city driving I don't notice this happening, only highway driving it tends to "stick" in its position. I brought the car to the dealership and they mentioned it has electronic steering and that this is normal and they didn't know of any tsb's on the vehicle yet. I feel that this is a safety issue since it would be easy to overcorrect and then eventually lose control of the vehicle, or even cause an accident if there is a car in the next lane. I believe Ford needs to adjust their electronic steering to assist less than it is currently programmed to do.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #3

Mar 182013


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 60 mph, the steering wheel seized without any warning and then resumed normally. The failure occurred when the contact was operating the vehicle in 70 degree and weather and above. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer twice for the same defect. The technician informed the contact that the rack and pinion would need to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 1,000.

- Moncks Corner, SC, USA

problem #2

Jan 232013


  • 3,900 miles
Approximately 15 minutes into trip to work from home the power assist steering on my 2013 Ford Focus failed at which point the vehicle became significantly difficult to steer. Luckly I was on a straight path, had this happened in a turn, an accident would have certainly occured. At the point where the power assist steering failed a message appeared on the dashboards led display that read something to the effect that lose of power assited steering detected. After the message disappeared, the vehicle's (!) light remained lite. Vehicle was towed to dealership who after looking at it stated that the technician started the vehicle and it ran perfectly. No isses with the steering at all, but that there were some "codes" looged in the vehicle's system that they were unfamiliar with and were trying to reach the "Ford hotline" for further help.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #1

Jan 082013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 60 miles
Driving straight on the highway ~50mph the car seemed to be drifting to the right as though being blown by heavy winds, although there was little/no wind that day. I applied a typical, slight adjustment to the left but the steering wheel resisted my input, as though somebody was holding onto the steering wheel and applying pressure to the right, after a split second, the opposing pressure released and the wheel overcorrected to the left followed by the identical response when I attempted to correct back to the right. It continued to do this every mile or so, for approximately 9 miles, until I turned off the highway. At lower speeds (city driving) the steering is completely normal. The same thing has happened on three different stretches of highway in the jacksonville area. I have tried different lanes, checking the tire pressure, and I had the dealership check it but they could not duplicate the problem. Applying light/steady/even pressure in the direction of the desired correction, without applying pressure beyond the point where you feel the resistance seems to help prevent the overcorrection problem. On 9 Jan, when crossing uneven lanes on the highway due to construction, the wheel pulled to the right more than you'd ever expect under these conditions and I ended up half way into the next lane. Luckily there were no cars in that lane otherwise it would have resulted in a collision without a doubt. That was followed by an overcorrection to the left, and again back to the right. I had to slow down below 40mph before the resistance in the steering eased up. This incident happened on a highway that I am very familiar with; I have traveled it without incident on my way home from work for the past 6 years, and I was prepared for the transition between the two uneven lanes. I have driven other vehicles with epas. This is not normal!!

- Fleming Island, FL, USA

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