Notes: For the third year in a row, the 3rd generation Focus is experiencing massive transmission problems.

Most notably owners keep complaining about how there's bad hesitation and jerking when starting from a stop. This isn't the result of an old, worn out part. In fact, the average mileage it's reported to us is just over 15k miles.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,352 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.

2014 Ford Focus steering problems

steering problem

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2014 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Aug 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 400 miles


The steering is very responsive - there is no center on the steering. You move the steering wheel 1/4" and the car will move. When you are traveling you need to constantly correct the steering and are often going back and forth in your lane. You can't take your eye off the road for a second or you will be off the road or in the opposite lane. I glanced over to the passenger window to see how far it was down and I almost hit a stone wall on the right side of the road. My husband glanced down to see the cruise control buttons and when he looked back up he was 3' across the center line. Neither time did we have our eyes off the road for more than 1 second. When you are traveling at higher speeds the handling is worse - on the mass pike or garden state parkway you have to fight it all the time. If you are changing lanes you need to be very careful because when you take your eyes off the road to check your side mirrors before changing the car will often cross into one lane or the other. When you pull out to pass on a 2 lane road you better have 2 hands on the wheel or you will lose control - the same goes if you need to get on the brakes hard. The car has a mind of its own and if you don't have two hands on the wheel you are liable to end up hitting another vehicle or going off the road. I have taken it to my Ford dealer and they drove it. They didn't notice anything, but when you drive 40 miles roundtrip to work everyday you notice it. They did check for recalls, etc and couldn't find anything. The longer the trip the worse it is. I traded in a 2012 Focus for this car and am I ever sorry I did. I can't wait for the 3 year lease to be up and just pray I don't hurt someone because of the handling. We have searched the internet and have found numerous other complaints exact or very similar to mine and they are all having to do with the 2014 Focus.

- Hoosick Falls, NY, USA

problem #15

Jan 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
His is a Focus St. Unable to make small steering corrections at speed. It's as if there is a "notch" in the center of the steering. A small correction becomes a large one causing the vehicle to veer across the road.

- Greenville , SC, USA

problem #14

Jul 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
2014 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to steering wheel malfunction and requests vehicle compensation. The consumer stated two days after the vehicle was purchased, the steering malfunctioned as she was parallel parking on a busy road.

- Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

problem #13

Feb 262014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 200 miles


I noted that the vehicle was not "tracking" well on highways at the recommended cruising speed of 65 mph. The vehicle appears to "drift" from left to right within the lane in which we are traveling. This requires constant attention and concentration in controlling the position of the steering wheel in order to keep the car going in a straight line. It is less noticeable as the highway curves in either the right of left direction. One gets the impression that there is far too much "play" in the steering wheel/column relative to the front wheel drive train mechanism. In addition, the problem seems exaggerated during higher wind velocities. I asked my wife to drive the car and she too noticed the problem. I questioned the service manager at the dealership, at the time of my first scheduled service appointment, and asked if they could drive the car and "tighten" the steering wheel to reduce the "play" in it. He told me that the test drive was pretty normal, that there was no way to adjust the steering mechanism and that the "sport" set-up for this particular model results in that "feel" during driving. As an experienced driver of 56 years who has owned numerous automobiles, including some rather high end sport cars, this explanation made absolutely no sense what-so-ever. He offered me the opportunity to test drive a different vehicle of the same model type, but I declined as I saw no point to the exercise. I had seen an investigative report on the abc national news presented by [xxx] relative to reported problems by others in this regard. Upon accessing this sight, I found that there are reports about this particular problem. My purpose in submitting this narrative is to place on the record a possible problem with this Ford product in the event that someone is injured as a result of the steering problem. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Brookline, MA, USA

problem #12

May 012014


  • 1,200 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle would swerve to the left or right making the vehicle difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 1,200.

- Palatka, FL, USA

problem #11

Jun 022014


  • 1,200 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle would swerve to the left or right making the vehicle difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 1,200.

- Palatka, FL, USA

problem #10

Feb 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


Transmission jerks and grinds at 2200rpm in first gear, grinding noise while going up hills, transmission shakes and jerks when shifting from first to second, very rough and unpredictable shifts, shifts into higher gears way to soon then will downshift or go into neutral, hesitation and vibration from launch, transmission slips at random and will not downshift, transmission surges under acceleration....steering seems to have a mind of it's own when turning on to street the steering wheel wants to stay in whatever position you have it turned and is very hard to keep straight on highway..rattling noise like something is loose coming from front passenger area when going over bumps or while sitting at idle it can be heard has been to the shop three time S for rattling noise and it is still not fixed and has been in the shop for the transmission four times and every time they tell me the don't experience it or it's just the way it is or that I am driving the car wrong...I have a wife and a three year old and I am terrified for then to be in the car.

- Travelers Rest, SC, USA

problem #9

Jun 252014


  • 3,300 miles
Power steering light came on as I was driving and totally went out. I could barely control the car enough to turn the corner to take it to the dealership. This is a brand new vehicle with less that 4000 miles on it and the dealership refuses to honor the warranty. This is dangerous and should not happen on a brand new vehicle.

- Potterville, MI, USA

problem #8

May 192014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 220 miles
There were four incidents on my brand new 2014 Ford Focus leading up to complete electric power assist steering failure. I bought the car new on a Saturday evening. I drove it everyday since then. I drove it about 100 miles Saturday night, then another 100 on Sunday. Monday afternoon I left for work. My drive consists of about two miles from my residence to the expressway then 18 miles highway and less than a mile to the parking lot off the exit. As I got off the exit I got into the left turning lane which crosses two sets of railroad tracks and takes a long swooping left hand turn to a light. Then the parking lot is about a half mile up on the right. Accelerating over the tracks and in mid turn the steering assist fault service required warning light illuminated in the information box on the cluster. I had no power steering up until I got in the parking lot, turned the vehicle off, opened the door, waited a minute, then started the car back and it reset. Then two days later, Wednesday, the same scenario repeated itself and once again on Friday. Then Saturday evening I drove the car to a restaurant for dinner about 25 miles from the house, mostly highway, with no issues. Once we left the restaurant and got back into town the steering failed accelerating around a turn from a stop light about 10 miles from the restaurant. Once we arrived at the ice cream parlor and then left again, it reset. We left the parlor and about 10 miles from the parlor I stopped at a red light, went to accelerate from the light, did not turn in either direction, drive path was straight, and noticed the warning light appear again with no power steering the rest of the way home. Once we arrived home I assumed that it would reset, however the next morning (Sunday) I went to start it and the first thing that popped up was the warning light again and I haven't had power steering since then.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #7

Apr 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 50 miles
Driving my new Focus is a challenge, especially on the highway, keeping the car in a straight line. The car wanders in either direction, demanding a constant grip on the steering wheel to keep it going in a straight line. When the car drifts left or right, and you slightly steer to correct, it darts in the other direction. This is very scary driving on the highway especially when there are cars on either side of you. The service dept at my dealership claims there is nothing wrong. The sales dept. Wants to take the car in for trade at a discount of $3500 and I have owned the car a month! I have driven 3 other focuses, same tires, etc and they track straight without the constant correction/overcorrection issue. Advice" I see others have experienced this same issue stressful and unsafe! why should I lose this kind of money, or accept this on a new vehicle, when this is not a problem I have created"!

- Edgecomb, ME, USA

problem #6

Jan 222014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 734 miles


Purchased a 2014 Ford Focus SE on January 4, 2014 and have had problems since driving it off the dealership parking lot. When driving the vehicle, the steering wheel bounces or sways back and forth. The feel is similar to when it is windy and the car is caught in an air gust. When driving any distance or a speed over 10 mph, the driver must hold onto the steering wheel to keep the car in the lane of traffic. The steering wheel sways one way and once you correct it is necessary to correct the opposite way. The car is driven to and from work approximately 17 miles one day daily. By the time I arrive at work or home my hands hurt from holding the steering wheel so tightly. Prior to the third visit to the service department for the steering issue, a new problem arose. After breaking to stop the car, I lifted my foot off of the break, the vehicle accelerated forward fast enough to squeal the tires. Applied the break again, stopped, removed foot to accelerate and car accelerated on its own again. This is becoming an ongoing issue. As of April 9, 2014 the vehicle has been in at the Ford dealership four times, each time to be told there no problems can be found with the car. It drives the same as every other vehicle of the same make per the dealership. I've barely missed hitting the center barrier on the freeway, taking out the side of a delivery truck, accelerated forward at a dangerous speed in heavy traffic, and the steering is progressively getting worse. This car is unsafe for the public highway. Ford continues to say there is no problem with the car. Afraid to drive the vehicle in fear of hurting another driver or myself.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #5

Feb 242014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,200 miles
While driving on snow covered roads the wheel wells for the car became packed with snow and ice. The clearance of the vehicle did not allow for being able to clear the buildup. Steering was very difficult and the snow and ice build up was rubbing on all the tires. Even after placing the vehicle in a garage I was only able to clear the front wheel wells, the rear wheel wells have a felt type lining that sticks in the snow and ice so it cannot be removed and rubs on the tires decreasing the handling of the vehicle. I contacted the dealer and they said they do not have any suggestions.

- Worden, MT, USA

problem #4

Aug 232013


  • 500 miles
The car was scary to drive on the highway with uncontrollable swaying had to white knuckle the steering wheel with compensation of darty movements! brought to the dealer they align it 3 times got better but still no complete reward. Then Ford said replace the steering gear ! test drove home with mi snow on the roads wow was it scary to drive it home extra darting fish tail experience. Since last repair it seems to getting bad again 11000 mile later while driving on bumpy roads it darts bad and sway steering ! I believe its a comb of programming issue of steering gear and rack and roll control !!! next will need engineer to look at it!

- Gaines , MI, USA

problem #3

Jan 112014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
Steering sometimes wanders at highway speeds when problem occurs the wheels seem to wander left or right and small corrections are needed to keep the car going straight in the lane proper level of correction is impossible to make. As you correct in one direction you now are wandering in that direction. This causes the problem to happen over and over again. The result is the car "ping-ponging" in the lane problem is intermittent, problem is more pronounced at higher speeds problem seems to occur after driving the car for 40+ minutes problem is not "torque steer", the problem has nothing to do with throttle input wind seems to be unrelated to wandering sensation road surface quality seems to be unrelated to issue when making minor corrections on the highway: If I attempt not to overcompensate then I will veer too far in the direction that the car was wandering in the first place. You can't not overcompensate with the way it behaves. It's like you either don't compensate at all or you overcompensate, nothing in between.

- Duncan, OK, USA

problem #2

Nov 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,400 miles
I bought this car new 2 mos ago, it has always had weird steering. As you're driving it gets very stiff and '"dartey" and it difficult to maintain a straight line without constant correction and is very sensitive at higher speeds, you change lanes quickly and with little effort. I talked to the service consultant at the dealership and he said they can look at it but haven't had any complaints, but I see alot of complaints on the internet. I feel this car is unsafe and would appreciate your input, thank you.

- Youngsville, NC, USA

problem #1

Oct 202013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 528 miles
Low grinding noise coming from front of car after turns, inclines, accelerating after a stop. Sounds like aluminum cans grinding. Also, loss of power in car acceleration for brief periods when driving, especially when accelerating on the freeway to merge into traffic.

- Lake Forest Park, WA, USA

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