Flike14
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:18 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Steering Issues with the 2014 Ford Focus Electric

Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:05 pm

Hello All,

I'm curious to know if any other FFE owners have noticed steering issues with their vehicle? Specifically that there is quite a lot of play in the wheel between the neutral spot at 12 o'clock and about a half inch or so on either side of 12'oclock before the steering engages. Once you pass this dead spot and the steering engages, the car over-steers to whatever side you're turning and you have to nimbly correct it or else it dramatically over-steers in the opposite direction. You have to fine tune it back and forth just to get the car back into a straight line. Due to this you are constantly having to make adjustments to the wheel left to right, right to left, etc., making for a completely annoying and unpleasant drive as the car twitches from side to side. This happens even more noticeably at high speeds. It also does weird things when you break and turn at the same time. I know to apply light pressure to the breaks because of the regenerative battery, and know you're not supposed to break while turning to prevent skidding, but sometime you have to and when I do in this car, the steering wheel jerks abruptly and is dangerous in my opinion.

I did take it to the dealer and asked to have a technician drive the car so they could experience it for them self. While the technician was driving the car he said he felt the same play and over-correcting in the wheel and thought it might be the alignment, but that's not the case. If you let the steering wheel go, the car stays straight. The problem is when you start to turn the wheel, nothing happens and then all of a sudden it engages and steers way harder then you intended even if you only slightly turned the wheel. FYI the technician was visibly annoyed by the car's driving. I left the car with the dealer hoping for some resolution to the problem, but was told the next day that they couldn't find any issue with the steering. I asked if I could drive one of the FFE's the had on the lot to prove to myself it wasn't the car I had and was told they didn't have any in stock for me to test, but that I could drive 15 miles to the next dealer and see if they had one.

I did happen to meet another owner in the parking lot of Homedepot and asked if they noticed the same problem and was told no, so I'm hoping the community of FFE owners here can help me determine if it's just my car or if this is just the way these cars are. Sadly, when you test drive a car they take you on a short loop and typically don't allow you on the highway. My mistake for not being more aggressive about a longer test ride because I would never have gotten this car if I'd known it steered like this.

Lastly, I've never owned a Ford before and prior to this car had a VW Jetta, so it's not like I went from a high-end expensive car to a FFE or a SUV down to a little car or some other dramatic difference between cars.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

michael
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:55 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Steering Issues with the 2014 Ford Focus Electric

Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:20 pm

Some people have reported oddness with the steering. I used to feel it until I had an alignment.

It may be related to a problem with the electronically assisted steering. I understand there were problems several years ago and possibly occasionally still the case.
2013 FFE Returned after 3 years with 52,000 miles and battery down to 15.2 kWh
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Rogerschro
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:55 am
Location: Bellbrook Ohio

Re: Steering Issues with the 2014 Ford Focus Electric

Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:27 pm

There were a few TSB's for defective steering racks, at least on the ICE Focus, and the electronic steering controls. I'd have them look at the program and see if a TSB applies. I'm sure what you describe is not normal.

Flike14
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:18 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Steering Issues with the 2014 Ford Focus Electric

Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:13 pm

Thanks for the reply Michael and Rogerschro.

You both know your stuff because that was the first thing the service manager thought it might be - electrical steering problems - so he had the service technician who handles electrical issues drive the car with me. He was the one who said it wasn't the electric, but the alignment. The dealer supposedly checked that out and the alignment wasn't an issue.

I guess the only way to know for sure is for me to go to another dealer and test drive a different FFE.

Thanks again!

Jonpspencer
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:49 am

Re: Steering Issues with the 2014 Ford Focus Electric

Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:57 am

I have had my ffe for about three weeks and I have exactly the same issue with the steering dreadness/oversteer wobble during freeway driving. I was passed by a cop the other day and was surprised he didn't pull me over for drunk driving. It's almost as if something is loose.
I plan to take it back to the dealer this week, but expect I will get the same shoulder shrug that you got. Let us know if you discover anything. It is extremely frustrating and unsafe.

davideos
Posts: 406
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:58 pm
Location: So Cal

Re: Steering Issues with the 2014 Ford Focus Electric

Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:35 am

I remember reading on this forum that someone had the steering system replaced. Might want to look for that. As for my FFE, the steering is perfect; no odd behavior at all. And from the description, I can definitely say it is not normal.

TrojanEV
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:49 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Steering Issues with the 2014 Ford Focus Electric

Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:24 pm

Brand new FFE owner here (picked mine up this weekend) and I think I am noticing the same thing. I don't notice the issue much driving on city streets, but I agree it was very noticeable on the highway at high speeds. Seems like there have been a few posts about steering/alignment problems mentioned in the forums here: http://www.myfocuselectric.com/forum/vi ... hp?p=13551, here: http://www.myfocuselectric.com/forum/vi ... 634#p12634 and this post: http://www.myfocuselectric.com/forum/vi ... 464#p12464

I'm going to give mine a few weeks to make sure this is a persistent problem and one that doesn't go away as I break the car in. Flike14 -- Do you have any update on your situation? Have you had a chance to drive another FFE and see if it drives similarly?
2014 Blue Candy FFE

Abelgoddard
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:17 am

Re: Steering Issues with the 2014 Ford Focus Electric

Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:43 pm

Sorry to say, I don't think it's a universal problem. I certainly don't have it; my steering is great. If I'd experienced that when I went to pick it up, I would have left it. There's no way I'd drive off in a car with loose steering.
Stay shiny, and May The Force Be With You!

------------------------
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TrojanEV
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:49 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Steering Issues with the 2014 Ford Focus Electric

Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:04 pm

Abelgoddard wrote:Sorry to say, I don't think it's a universal problem. I certainly don't have it; my steering is great. If I'd experienced that when I went to pick it up, I would have left it. There's no way I'd drive off in a car with loose steering.
It's very subtle and something I don't think anyone would pick up on immediately, unless taking a very extended test drive, including driving at high speeds (70-75mph) on the highway. Whenever you are in a new car for the first time, there is so much that is going to be different from your existing car that it is very hard to pick up on all these little nuances. To be clear, I don't feel in danger at any point while driving so far, it just doesn't handle as good as I would hope.
2014 Blue Candy FFE

TrojanEV
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:49 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Steering Issues with the 2014 Ford Focus Electric

Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:49 pm

I keep stumbling upon more and more posts about people complaining about the steering feel, particularly at high speeds. Here's another one from a year ago: http://www.myfocuselectric.com/forum/vi ... 1410#p6760

I'm beginning to wonder if this is just the "new normal" for cars with electric power steering and low rolling resistance tires, and we need to get used to it. Perhaps some owners just aren't as sensitive to it (or have grown accustom to it) and therefore don't see an issue. Needless to say I will be following the results of this thread closely as I break in my FFE.
2014 Blue Candy FFE

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