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Old 07-10-2011, 07:33 PM   #51
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Hi, it is rather strange that this 'phenomena' hasn't been picked up by anyone else aside from this forum. None of the road tests, short or long, I've read have mentioned anything about this at all, infact all most of them say the steering is a little insensitive to input when cornering. I've driven one and didn't notice anything different from my Mondeo's hydraulic pas. It can't be tramlining, as this only occurs under slower speeds, it can't be that the steering automatically stiffens, as this has been around for donkey's years. It could be that the steering is over servo'd, if so this would just need a tweak to the car's electronic mapping.
Perhaps this is just a feature that needs a little adjustment to the way they are driven, it might just be that the car is designed around the driving characteristics of several different countries, not just the US.
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Hey folks, before people start assuming that those who've reported on-center strangeness, notchiness, etc...are a bit crazy ('cause they themselves find nothing amiss with their respective cars) I would cite the recent occurance with model year '09 and '10 US and Canadian Toyota Corolla's. There was a contingent of people -- perhaps about 1400 or so, amidst a vehicle population of I think several hundreds of thousands -- that made complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reporting strange on-center behavior at highway speeds. Tons of people in the on-line discussion said "what are these people saying?; I love the steering on my Corolla. They must be crazy..." They dissed them to no end! Well, as it happens, there were legitimate complaints -- though it was denied by Toyota. Toyota finally relinquished, and offered an un-publicized warranty arrangement, whereby after doing the requisite checks on four-wheel alignment, they upgraded the steering logic modules for the individuals who were complaining, and desensitized the steering officially, thru Toyota channels. It was a relatively small contingent of vehicles that were affected, but affected they were -- and they sent people 'clean off the road, in some circumstances!

It remains unpublicized.

EPAS is pretty sensitive to a number of parameters, and if the wheel angular position sensor is not spot-on, strange things can occur. Other "tolerances" / behavior of the electronic components can cause problems.

I'm not saying this is occurring here -- but DO NOT discount these complaints as being spurious, 'cause they may only be occurring for some of the vehicles!
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:09 PM   #52
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Highway lane drifting

Just wondering if anyone is working with their local dealer to identify the problem. The steering issue affects minor corrections. Itís more than just heavy steering, itís as if the EPAS is resisting your minor correction. You feel a resistance in the wheel to the correction then the resistance would give but it would be difficult or impossible to not overcorrect. So then the car goes too far requiring correction in the opposite direction. The resistance is much heaver than what you would experience with no assist at all. It requires both hands to make minor corrections.

I have returned my Focus and Iím now driving my trade in an Audi A3. Iím told a Ford service Rep will test the car later this week to determine what action to take. Love the car but can not live with this issue. Let me know if your dealer has resolved the issue for you. ThanksÖ
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:31 AM   #53
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Just wondering if anyone is working with their local dealer to identify the problem. The steering issue affects minor corrections. Itís more than just heavy steering, itís as if the EPAS is resisting your minor correction. You feel a resistance in the wheel to the correction then the resistance would give but it would be difficult or impossible to not overcorrect. So then the car goes too far requiring correction in the opposite direction. The resistance is much heaver than what you would experience with no assist at all. It requires both hands to make minor corrections.

I have returned my Focus and Iím now driving my trade in an Audi A3. Iím told a Ford service Rep will test the car later this week to determine what action to take. Love the car but can not live with this issue. Let me know if your dealer has resolved the issue for you. ThanksÖ
In the case of the Toyota, the EPAS fought the individuals who had the problem steering, so much so that they could not prevail even with both arms. When EPAS does this, it is a serious issue.
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:15 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by sehatch View Post
Just wondering if anyone is working with their local dealer to identify the problem. The steering issue affects minor corrections. Itís more than just heavy steering, itís as if the EPAS is resisting your minor correction. You feel a resistance in the wheel to the correction then the resistance would give but it would be difficult or impossible to not overcorrect. So then the car goes too far requiring correction in the opposite direction. The resistance is much heaver than what you would experience with no assist at all. It requires both hands to make minor corrections.

I have returned my Focus and Iím now driving my trade in an Audi A3. Iím told a Ford service Rep will test the car later this week to determine what action to take. Love the car but can not live with this issue. Let me know if your dealer has resolved the issue for you. ThanksÖ
Your description is right on the money compared to my experience (although it's severity is more intermittent.)

I will be taking my car back in again when I can get a couple hours off from work to go for a drive with the service manager. I also have an incident logged with Ford Customer Service. As with others, its tricky because it is intermittent for me. I will definitely report my outcome. There are a few threads up here and many people reporting this. My sense is that the issue will eventually be solved but I expect it will take a while and involvement from factory engineers. My initial visit was similar to others. That is, service finding no obvious defects.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:37 AM   #55
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It really not "pulling". When it occurs, It's not being able to achieve straight in the 1st place.
My Titanium (no Handling package) has the Continental ContiProContact and I think that's what most of the SEL and Titaniums with 17" have. Trying to remember if anyone with the Michelin's has reported the issue??. Tramlining may be the initial catalyst but I'm speculating something must be going wonky with the "Pull-Drift Compensation" technology on some units. Frustrating because in every other respect, this is the best handling car I've ever owned.



I have heard it mentioned in a couple of reviews. Cant remember both sources but here is a quote from a Focus review on "The Truth About Cars" web site:

"The steering feels quick and well-weighted around town—but borders on twitchy at highway speeds."
Hi, I've not accessed any american reviews only ones in the UK, which may or may not say something. Although I have read that one now, the M3 better than the Focus, you see that's maybe what I mean, the M3 doesn't touch anywhere near the Focus as being more fun to drive. I also note they drove the sedan with 18" wheels, maybe, as we've not the sedan, something to be said about that combination. Is the overhang at the rear more on the sedan than the H/B?
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:03 PM   #56
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Hi, I've not accessed any american reviews only ones in the UK, which may or may not say something. Although I have read that one now, the M3 better than the Focus, you see that's maybe what I mean, the M3 doesn't touch anywhere near the Focus as being more fun to drive. I also note they drove the sedan with 18" wheels, maybe, as we've not the sedan, something to be said about that combination. Is the overhang at the rear more on the sedan than the H/B?
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M3? What are you referring to?

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Old 07-12-2011, 04:33 PM   #57
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I have the same problem.It is a defective rack/sensor interface.Parts are hard to get due to a quality issue at TRW (the supplier of the rack assy).I have a note from ford stating this.I think they regret giving me a copy of this Ford missive. I called Ford corporate,got a return call from Ford Corp./Florida division.The are trying to get a new,non defective rack assy. I also got a case #.I appears the entire rack/sensor/electric assist assy. must be installed as a unit.
Look on my3cents.com for several other people with the same problem.
This problem can be fixed.I drove a different focus and it steered just fine.
We may have to get other people involved if this cannot be fixed in a timely manner.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:48 PM   #58
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Interesting...I'll have to get with the dealer now that a solution has been found. See what they have to say. Wasn't going to bother when there wasn't a solid fix.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:14 AM   #59
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I have the same problem.It is a defective rack/sensor interface.Parts are hard to get due to a quality issue at TRW (the supplier of the rack assy).I have a note from ford stating this.I think they regret giving me a copy of this Ford missive. I called Ford corporate,got a return call from Ford Corp./Florida division.The are trying to get a new,non defective rack assy. I also got a case #.I appears the entire rack/sensor/electric assist assy. must be installed as a unit.
Look on my3cents.com for several other people with the same problem.
This problem can be fixed.I drove a different focus and it steered just fine.
We may have to get other people involved if this cannot be fixed in a timely manner.
Very interesting fanddp and thanks for posting. I was looking to drive another unit like you did just to convince myself I wasn't imagining things. Like 'Joeywhat' said, I was hoping to get some clarifying information rather than taking it in for service 5 times with no resolve. I have a service appt next week and a Ford case tracking number so I am confident this will get resolved...just a question of how quickly with the demand on the part.
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:57 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by fanddp View Post
I have the same problem.It is a defective rack/sensor interface.Parts are hard to get due to a quality issue at TRW (the supplier of the rack assy).I have a note from ford stating this.I think they regret giving me a copy of this Ford missive. I called Ford corporate,got a return call from Ford Corp./Florida division.The are trying to get a new,non defective rack assy. I also got a case #.I appears the entire rack/sensor/electric assist assy. must be installed as a unit.
Look on my3cents.com for several other people with the same problem.
This problem can be fixed.I drove a different focus and it steered just fine.
We may have to get other people involved if this cannot be fixed in a timely manner.
Just as I was coming to terms with this issue and almost accepting it as the way the power steering behaves in general.

I drove an old Chrysler minivan back to back with my new Focus on the highway for significant miles, and honestly the minivan was 100x easier to keep in a straight line. This is flat out unacceptable.

Do you have a copy of this note you could scan and post? If enough people get on this issue hopefully Ford will acknowledge it. I'm willing to as well. My 2k oil change is coming up at which point I will let my dealer know of this problem.
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