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 1 of 4)

problem #71

Apr 252015


  • 61,000 miles


Car has been in 4 times for transmission problems.tcm and PCM replaced and was bought 4/25/15 and was in shop 4/27/15 and 3 consecutive mondays after with engine lights and of 01/01/17 my steering assist went out with no warning in a snow storm.almost wrecked..very disapointed.all probs while driving and in motion.steering assist went out in mid right hand turn and for abt a week wld petiodically be functional then harden up steering again..

- Nampa, ID, USA

problem #70

Dec 162016


  • 31,870 miles
The power steering stopped working while driving on a rural highway at 50 mph and the steering became very stiff and difficult to maneuver the car. When I tried to drive the car to the dealership the next day the steering completely locked up and needed to be towed. The odometer was only at 31,870, but out of warranty. The repair bill was $2500 and took 10 days to fix.

- Chesterland, OH, USA

problem #69

Nov 282016


  • 103,000 miles
While driving home on a very busy freeway in dallas the steering default warning came on. Shortly thereafter numerous other warnings displayed on the dashboard, my car immediately lost acceleration and the engine default light came on causing me to completely stall. I almost caused a major accident being rush hour. I was towed to the dealership where they said I needed a new battery. Over $400 later, 4 days later, I picked car up and 5 hours later it did it again. Returned car to dealership and this time they reported an evap code. This has nothing to do with the steering and I knew this. I contacted a friend who is a master technician who went into the dealership with me and subsequently I was not charged the diagnostic code again. He discussed this issue and they said the steering was fine and until it happens again there was nothing they could identify to fix!! (however, the repairs the dealer wanted me to agree with now-the evap code"- were just under $2,000 and didn't address the steering code warning in any way. Fuel tank, lines & purge valve" all in need of repair 6 hours after car was fixed via a brand new battery) I am at 103,000 miles. I drove the car that night fine, the next day and then again it repeated the steering warning and shut down while in motion on a major freeway that evening. Four times later since 11/29/16 I have had this steering warning/subsequent results of almost crashing. This is thee most unsafe vehicle being driven on american roads today. Ford should recall this, fix this steering issue once and for all. I will never, ever buy or drive a Ford car again.

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #68

Dec 042016


  • 128,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving 65 mph, the power steering failed and the power steering assist warning indicator illuminated. The dealer diagnosed that the steering gear failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 128,000.

- Lebanon, OH, USA

problem #67

Nov 252016


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 60 mph, the steering wheel shook violently and the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the engine was failing. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 74,000.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #66

Sep 262016


  • 36,500 miles
I'm another victim of the epas power steering gear assembly failing. It failed on September 26th, while under warranty, but unfortunately I didn't bring it into a dealership on September 30th. Two days after the warranty expiration. Despite the well-known occurrences of the epas / gear assembly failures, the warranty expiration date, etc., Ford still chose to refuse it under warranty care. Instead, Ford forced me to pay out of pocket with no assistance. The worse part is it nearly caused an accident because it chose to fail in traffic while under operation at low speeds.

- Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #65

Oct 062016

Focus 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles


While driving at a high rate of speed(55mph) on a highway, the "power steering assist failure" came up on the dash screen. I immediately noticed the steering was tight to turn. While turning to get off to the side of the road, the tightness got worse. It took a lot of strength to turn the wheel. I almost got in an accident. When the Ford dealership diagnosed the problem, they said the steering assist was shot and would cost around $1600 to replace and realign the wheels. They informed me the problem was not a recall issue although I see Ford has recalls on various other model power steering assist units. They need to add the Focus to the list.

- Hampshire, IL, USA

problem #64

Oct 092016


  • 49,000 miles
My 2013 Focus titanium electronic rack & pinion failed. It occurred without any prior warning on a busy interstate. Miracle without an accident. 49,000 miles. I have no warranty.. my research shows many with similar stories and no recall" this is a serious safety issue.quoted $1800 to repair. So that my car will simply steer" recalls happen for many reasons and to think it hasn't happened for a sudden loss of a vehicles steering in incomprehensible. To repeat, all withoout any warning. No dash light or message! I changed lanes at 60 mph and it would not respond so that I could make the needed correction to not continue in to oncoming traffic. Getting it safely to the shoulder was physically difficult and extremely dangerous.

- Maryland Heights, MO, USA

problem #63

Oct 092016


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While operating the vehicle, the power steering malfunctioned, which made the steering wheel very difficult to turn. When the failure occurred, a warning message would display. No further information was available. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 56,000.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #62

Oct 022015


  • 75,235 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle shuttered while attempting to accelerate from a complete stop. The vehicle was previously serviced per a manufacturer's customer satisfaction campaign; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the shuttering on the clutch of the vehicle occurred intermittently. The contact also stated that the steering seized independently without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic power steering gear failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 75,235.

- Mazomanie, WI, USA

problem #61

Oct 052016


  • 115,000 miles


This is the second time this has happened in a month that the power steering module light has come on while driving and I lost power steering. I had to restart the car to reset it. Thankful I (and everyone else) was safe and in a secluded area when it happened. This happening on the freeway or neighborhood could be a different story.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #60

Oct 092016


  • 61,217 miles
While attempting to turn right on two occasions today my wife's 2013 Ford Focus had no power steering. I have read many complaints about this issue and am very curious as to why Ford has not done anything about it" will somebody have to crash and die for the motor company to accept responsibility" there have been several problems with this vehicle since we bought it and the fact that we purchased it practically brand new it is concerning to have so much go wrong.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #59

Sep 232016


  • 39,000 miles
Received a "steering assist fault" notification while mid-turn traveling at approximately 30 mph. It felt as if I'd hit a slippery spot in the road or had hit a small bump on the front drivers side. While straightening out of the turn, I noticed a significant change in steering feel, and steering in general became very difficult. There was no gradual decline in steering performance, just a sudden failure. I can only be thankful that I was not traveling at a higher rate of speed. I checked the error codes later and noted the following: U3000-49 (control module: Internal electronic failure), U3000-53 (control module: Deactivated), U3000-4B (control module: Over temperature).

- Nacogdoches, TX, USA

problem #58

Sep 092016


  • 37,000 miles
One Dec 24 2015 driving down the freeway my car had full loss of steering, the engine light came on, the pedals stopped working and I nearly crashed the car. After pulling off the freeway I turned the car off and it would not start back up. Moments later I could start the car, I ran a vehicle health report to prove to Ford that something had happened. I then drove my car which was stuck in 1st gear to my destination. The steering was very heavy, the pedals were not working well at all. After leaving it parked for 30 minutes I turned the car on and the check engine illuminated, but the problems had cleared. This feature is very deceiving, as some may assume the car is now safe. I took the car in for repair, and they simply reprogrammed the car. I continue to this day to have transmission issues, and have had the clutch only replaced one time dispite bringing it to them constantly for repair. In January of this year my cars clutch and transmission failed, the car seemed to make a loud acceleration noise and then become forced into 1st gear. This made steering heavy or hard, & the pedals not work with the usual weight on them. I drove my car to Ford like this, stuck in 1st to show them finally that the whole time I knew something was wrong. My various other complaints of this vehicle include regular acceleration between 1st and 2nd gear, there is the standard shudder. In addition, my visiting family became stuck in the back seat with indoor latches not working - the child locks were off. I feel as though I was sold a "dud" car & that the salesperson lied to me about the transmission. If I had known it was an "electronically controlled manual car" I would not have purchased it. Now I can't get my car appraised, no dealer is willing to buy this car form me. Kbb states my current value is at around $9000 and 12 months ago I paid $16000, close to $17000 including financing

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #57

Sep 082016


  • 68,000 miles
On the evening of Sept. 8, 2016 while driving straight on lee jackson memorial highway in fairfax, va at about 45 miles per hour, power steering failed with no warning. Power assist cut out and a warning indicator came on. This resulted in an immediate challenge to maintain control of the vehicle. I was fortunate an accident did not occur given the immediate, dramatic increase in physical effort required to steer. I was able to safely return home that evening with difficulty, and I brought the car to ted britt Ford the following morning. I was told that a control module had failed, but since it was integral to the steering "gear" the entire steering system needs to be replaced at a cost of $1,600. I understand that there is a recall on recent Ford with steering problems, but my model, year, and issue are not covered. This is clearly a widespread safety issue. Had a smaller adult or a child been driving, this event could have had a very bad end.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #56

Sep 062016


  • 16,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. After starting the vehicle, the power steering seized and the power steering warning indicator illuminated. The steering wheel was not functional and the vehicle could not reverse properly. After restarting the vehicle several times, the power steering regained function and the vehicle was taken to the dealer. The mechanic stated that the vehicle's model type was known to experience power steering failure. The failure mileage was 16,000.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #55

Aug 162016


  • 29,000 miles
Takata recall: While I was driving straight on the highway, my steering wheel stopped responding. It just stiffed up and I had little control of it and it was very hard to make turns. Also I noticed some type of malfunction message on the lcd display saying something about the steering wheel stopped working, switching to assist mode, and to take it in for service. I took it to the Ford dealer the next day and they said I needed a whole new steering rack, but from reading the same problem that other users of the Ford Focus 2013 experienced and from my repair invoice, I suspect it has something to do with the (electric power-assisted steering) epas

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #54

Aug 122016


  • 63,000 miles
I own a 2013 Ford Focus. The dealer replaced tcm module and updates as needed due to recall. My car has 60K miles and every since dealer completed work, my steering wheel will not turn once you first crank the car. After it idles for awhile, I can drive off. As of this morning, my "steering assist default service required" sensor is on, and my steering will not turn at all. There is also a clicking noise, like a blinker, that will not stop even if keys are out of ignition.

- Jesup, GA, USA

problem #53

Jun 292016


  • 48,288 miles
I have the car parked in my driveway when I went to drive it gives me the message "steering assist fault service required". the steering wheel is extremely difficult to turn. The car has 48,288 miles which I've only put 12,088 of it. I have only had the car 14 months when this occurred I've contacted the dealer which they stated the extended warranty I requested was never purchased when I told them the warranty paperwork that was given to me was expired before I purchased the car. I am furious with the dealer, and Ford. I don't have $1,500 for the repair and without a car I can't get to work. Now I have to worry of having it repossessed because I can't make the car payment.

- Clarksville, NY, USA

problem #52

Dec 312014


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving 45 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The contact had to apply force to the steering wheel in order to steer the vehicle. "steering assist fault" was displayed across the message board. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic steering system needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

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