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 1 of 3)

problem #56

Jan 122017


  • 56,000 miles


After driving about 10 minutes, I thought I heard a grinding noise after stopping at a stoplight on a major four lane road in rush hour traffic. When I started turning left onto a windy two lane highway, I initially didn't hear a grinding noise, and then distinctly heard it as I completed the turn. The steering wheel became very loose, then suddenly extremely tight and very difficult to turn left or right on the road placing me in a life threatening situation. I immediately attempted to call the dealership by my house and was unable to reach them. After calling the Ford dealership who last serviced my vehicle, I was advised to bring the car in immediately and be extremely careful while driving. He stated there may be an extended warranty covering repair. I drove the car to the dealership by my house who informed me of the door latch recall as well. After being told the next day the power steering rack/gearbox was defective and it would be $1800 to repair, I called Ford customer service who was of no service. I received a call from a Ford regional manager offering for me to pay a portion of the cost. I declined and requested speaking with their supervisor based on this being a problem Ford is aware of and has yet to reconcile. Furthermore, Ford placed responsibility on the dealership to make an offer for repair when this is a manufacturer issue. The dealership has been the only reasonable and understanding entity to date. I bought this car brand new to get me to and from work, and eventually give to my 17 daughter. I'm active duty military and appalled Ford has the audacity to not repair a life threatening issue. Although I have the strength to steer the vehicle on a two lane, winding road, my daughter would not!

- Pinehurst, NC, USA

problem #55

Jan 072017


  • 36,942 miles
Steering completely failed twice, once in traffic. This posed a significant safety risk to the general public and the vehicle. Failure caused significant contact with curb on roadside. Speed was app. 35 mph. Occurred on highway 100 in milwaukee county, wi. Second failure happened shortly after Ford dealer reprogramed steering system due to intermittent steering failures. During this instance steering failed when car was started (this happened just prior to the most significant issue which was the steering failure in traffic). Car was less than 1,000 miles out of warranty thus causing significant out of pocket repairs costs.

- Germantown, WI, USA

problem #54

Nov 152016


  • 43,000 miles
After going through a bump on a residential street at 30 mph the steering became very difficult to control the car. I was less than one mile from home and managed with great difficulty to make it to my home. Complete steering failure, there is no way to drive the car. Very glad it was me driving and not my daughter as this happened in a curve. The car has 43,000 miles on it. Over 600 complaints about this electronic power steering system and since it is out of warranty the repairs are expected to be at least $2,000. What is NHTSA doing about this problem. It is pretty obvious to me there is a problem and an emergency recall needs to be issued. Ford and it's local dealers are unwilling to address the problem. What's going to take NHTSA! to get this problem fixed.

- Nolensville, TN, USA

problem #53

Oct 152016


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving at slow speeds, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the power steering failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V514000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Camden, TN, USA

problem #52

Oct 152016


  • 50,000 miles
Following my low tire pressure indicator coming on, I noticed the power steering issue as I was pulling into a parking spot, and my steering wheel made a squeaking or whining sound. Later, while driving on a city street, as I began to make a turn, my steering wheel started hesitating, and making a gear stripping noise; the steering column locked up and when I tried to turn the wheel it made a loud squeaking sound. Also, my transmission shutters whenever I accelerate and slow down. The transmission issue was initially repaired via a software update before the warranty expired, but it has since started to malfunction again.

- Camden, TN, USA

problem #51

Sep 012016


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owned a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving 70 mph with the cruise control activated, the steering wheel vibrated when the cruise control was deactivated. The contact lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a guardrail. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was towed and deemed a total loss at the salvage yard. The police was notified but the contact was unaware if a report was filed. The contact was taken to the hospital by ambulance for observation of chest pains. The air bags did not deploy. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- Rusellville, AR, USA

problem #50

Jul 212016


  • 36,900 miles


Warning light came on stating "steering assist fault".. we lost all power steering while driving the car. We were able to get the car into a rest area off the highway. We had no power steering and it made it very difficult to operate the car. The steering gear needed to be replaced at 36,900 miles at a cost of $2,121.74. Ford customer service was no help at all to me. They were suppose to return calls within 4 hours and it took me 10 days until I was able to get a call back.there currently is no recall but 900 miles past warranty I would not expect this to happen.

- Jackson, MI, USA

problem #49

Aug 222016


  • 38,100 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving around a curve at 25 mph, the steering wheel seized and there was an abnormal noise coming form the vehicle. The contact reduced speed to 10 mph due to being concerned for their safety. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the power steering gear box needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 38,100.

- South Hambly, NJ, USA

problem #48

Aug 142016


  • 43,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced a loss of power steering. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor reapired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 14V284000 (steering); however the VIN was not provided. The failure mileage was approximately 43,000.

- Hinesville, GA, USA

problem #47

Jun 292016


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle began to vibrate severely. The contact pulled the vehicle to the side of the road to switch off and restart the vehicle, but noticed that the steering wheel required more force to maneuver. The failure occurred constantly. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V514000 (steering). The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #46

Jun 142016


  • 10,000 miles


Power steering failure and hesitation, shuddering in transmission. Reported on 6/17/16 for previous failure incident on 5/13/16. Dealer had repaired vehicle under warranty bur repairs failed to work. New incident that occurred on 6/14/16. Internet search indicated class action lawsuits have been filed against Ford for both the steering problem and transmission problem, nhtsb appears to have already opened an investigation. Still waiting for repairs to be made.

- Amston, CT, USA

problem #45

May 132016


  • 9,112 miles
On 5/13/16 power assisted steering failed. Vehicle very difficult to steer. Vehicle was towed to auto dealer. Also transmission shuddering, choking accident or damage occurred because of these at that time but elevated risk of an accident. Repairs for both made by dealer under warranty.

- Amston, CT, USA

problem #44

Mar 082016


  • miles
Heard noise in steering and tires took car to be checked out was nothing wrong that is how it sounds and drives. This was 2 months after getting the car. In March 2016 turning a curve car steering got hard and locked up hit curve busted axlle and steering component. Replaced axle thought that was all. Then had car taken to Ford I was then informed of $3000 in damages and labor to fix it. I did not proceed to getting fixed. The service manager proceeded to throw the keys at me and got pissed because I wouldn't get car fixed right then.I found out about the issues on the internet looking into the car parts and any issues with the car. The car was in motion.

- Knightdale, NC, USA

problem #43

Jun 092016


  • 46,000 miles
Car reports steering assist fault, service required sometimes at startup, sometimes while in motion, resulting in loss of power steering. Restarting the car results in normal operation for a time, sometimes a day sometimes weeks. No obd2 code present.

- Brooker, FL, USA

problem #42

Jun 012016


  • 34,000 miles
Even after several repair attempts by Ford when turning the steering cracks and pops loudly, it sounds like something is about to break. This vehicle also has had 4 clutch assemblies installed and has a creaking sound in the drivers side door that (according to the dealer) is because there is a bad weld in a "support" column located behind the front fender.

- League City, TX, USA

problem #41

Apr 052016


  • 20,200 miles
My vehicle has had numerous transmission problems, going into reverse while driving, shutting off while driving, etc. Recently, the power steering completely went out and reverted to manual steering. Today, while driving it for a while, I noticed a burning smell and pulled over. Under the hood, the fuse box had caught fire, but was blown out by the wind when I opened the hood. 20,500 miles.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #40

Mar 242016


  • 52,617 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while getting the vehicle serviced, the technician informed that the steering gear failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V514000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 52,617.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #39

Mar 172016


  • 201,000 miles
While turning at a light, my steering went out and caused me to veer into oncoming traffic in the opposing lane. It now takes great effort and muscle to make and turns in the vehicle. I have had the vehicle in the shop numerous times due to a faulty transmission. Now when I turn on the vehicle, the instrument panel displays that there is an urgent transmission fault, then it will flash that there is an urgent steering assist fault. While running a vehicle health report, the vehicle states that the transmission is at a "reduced power state" which causes it to hesitate, not change gears, and not be able to accelerate properly - all of which Ford says are "characteristics of this transmission." Also, the transmission does not work at all in sport mode and has went into reverse or park grinding to a screeching halt while driving on a highway. Luckily, I did not crash when the steering suddenly went out. My vehicle is currently in a lemon law dispute, therefore, Ford will not further diagnose my vehicle.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #38

Mar 102016


  • 60,000 miles
The vehicle a 2014 Ford Focus S model was moving at a high rate of speed going down the highway when it stalled out due to the wiring splices going bad causing the vehicle to stall out and stop without warning

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #37

Mar 102016


  • 31,000 miles
Yesterday I stopped in a parking lot when all of a sudden my steering seemed to go out as if my engine had stalled (didn't). It resumed normal operation until today when I entered a roundabout when the steering started to lose the power feature if only for a few moments. I consulted a Ford dealer and saw no recalls on this problem. I am having the car checked on 3/14/16 for my transmission shudder and will attempt to get this looked at then. It is troubling to know that this may happen at high speed. In the roundabout I seemed to have a manual steering feature, but as I stated the roundabout speed was about 15 mph.

- Westfield, IN, USA

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