really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,926 miles

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problem #42

Jun 162020


  • 157,000 miles
Steering wheel frame is cracked and allows for large movement before the vehicle may respond. Aluminium appears to have several hairline cracks and warping around the collar holding the steering column and you may loose control while turning or when the road surface is uneven at mid to high speeds. Lost control while traveling on an S shaped curve due to lack of steering and then over-steering. This happened on a highway in night conditions, no rain. Video footage is available via a dashcam.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #41

Feb 222017


  • 207,000 miles
The contact owns a 1997 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while at a stop sign and attempted to make a right turn, the steering wheel became hard and a pop sound emerged from the steering column. The vehicle was driven for approximately a half a block then the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was towed to the contacts residence and then the contact called the dealer that advised him that the VIN was not part of the recall. The vehicle was repaired but the parts replaced were unknown. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 207,000.

- Malden, MO, USA

problem #40

Jan 042017

F-150 6-cyl

  • 169,500 miles
I just started having issues with my steering. I was turning right and my steering wheel locked up and I had to tug hard to unbind and regain control of my truck. I have not had an accident, but this just started happening and has happened several times while driving and turning.

- Poway, CA, USA

problem #39

Nov 032008


  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 1997 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while driving over a bump, the steering wheel seized and extreme force was required in order to control the vehicle. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence where an independent mechanic diagnosed that the steering shaft needed to be replaced. The contact repaired the vehicle by welding the steering shaft but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 200,000.

- Columbia , MO, USA

problem #38

Sep 012014


  • miles
The contact owns a 1997 Ford F-150. The contact stated that the steering shaft became loose. The failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the steering shaft needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included under the NHTSA campaign number: 03V196000 (steering). The failure mileage was unknown.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #37

Mar 092010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 135,606 miles
I was driving home from town when all the ball bearings fell out of the steering column and the steering wheel became loose and the truck began to sway from right to left, it was controllable at the low speed I was going but thank god I wasn't on an interstate or highway at a higher speed I could have run off the road or worse had a head on collision ! the truck has not left my property since but I still have to keep full coverage insurance and tagged for insurance purposes and a lien from my bank on it, I have also replaced the starter on it eight (8) times the parts are very cheap but it has an airbag and my local Ford dealer gave me an estimate of $200 two hundred dollars to replace two six and seven dollar bearings. When the incident happened I had no idea what happened since the ball bearings are very tiny and are hard to see and it took a long time to figure out what happened my truck just sits there all this time because im afraid of someone getting hurt seriously or killed because im afraid of losing control on the steering. I have been driving since I was sixteen and was a big truck driver from 1979 to 1996 till I became ill but I would never drive a vehicle with steering problems, thank you

- Half Way, MO, USA

problem #36

Feb 082011

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 1997 Ford F-150. While driving approximately 4 mph, the contact lost control of the steering. The contact inspected the vehicle and noticed that the steering shaft was separated from the steering box. The contact replaced the bolt that held the steering shaft in place. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 03V196000 (steering:gear box:shaft sector) but was advised by the manufacturer that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 200,000. Updated 02/22/12 updated 03/01/12

- Barto, PA, USA

problem #35

Aug 042011

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 1997 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 mph, the steering wheel detached from the vehicle. The contact was able to stop the vehicle safely. While inspecting the vehicle, the contact noticed that the intermediate steering shaft was not properly secured on the steering box. The manufacturer was notified and the contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 03V196000 (steering:gear box:shaft sector). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were approximately 106,000. Updated 09/27/11 the vehicle was repaired at the owner's expense.

- Brinnon, WA, USA

problem #34

Oct 292010


  • 148,200 miles
GEM module failure at high speed. Caused 4X4 to engage at high speed causing loss of control of vehicle. Also, during turns, causes loss of control of steering. Did some research of several Ford F150 web sites and found several complaints for similar or the same problems. Took the vehicle to the Ford dealer for repair and was told the GEM module was the culprit and that there was significant corrosion in the adjacent fuse junction panel. The service department confessed that they have had several complaints for these kinds of conditions and have had to replace many of these GEM modules and fuse panels because of leaks in the windshield or hood cowling. They further told me that unless I replaced these components and any other electrical component, at my expense, they would not warranty any repairs. After a repair bill of $1000, Ford refused to help claiming it was not a design or component part problem. My concern is the possibility of electrical failures in the future or even damage to the drive train components.

- Ooltewah, TN, USA

problem #33

Oct 042008

F-150 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 1997 Ford F-150. After making a right turn at 10 mph, the pin in the steering column fell out. The contact lost control of the vehicle and managed to stop on the side of the road. The vehicle was towed to a personal mechanic. The manufacturer stated that they never heard of this failure and could not assist. The current mileage is 160,000 and failure mileage was 150,000. The steering shaft coupler sheered off. Updated 05/29/09

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #32

Mar 102007


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 1997 Ford F150. When the contact attempted to turn the steering wheel, it made a cracking and popping noise. In addition, the steering wheel could be lifted up from the anchorage and tilted to the left and the right. His VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 03V196000 (steering:gear box:shaft sector), although he received a recall letter in 2008. He was informed by both the dealer and manufacturer (Ford of America) that there were no open recalls for the vehicle. The failure mileage was 160,000 and current mileage was 170,000.

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #31

May 282008


  • 72,215 miles
As I was leaving the on ramp to enter heavy traffic on I-25 in denver the steering wheel became disconnected where the steering shaft meets the steering gear box. There was no steering capabilities of the pick-up. I was able to stop without causing any problems but was within feet of being in heavy traffic.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #30

Nov 282005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
My son applied his brakes on a 1997 Ford F-150 and tried to avoid hitting the car in front of him, however; he claims the steering wheel "locked" prohibiting him from avoiding the wreck. He said it was like when the steering wheel locks when you don't have the key for the car. I would like to know if there are any known issues with the steering wheel locking on 1997 Ford F-150's or if this is simply a by-product of the anti-lock break feature.

- Roswell, GA, USA

problem #29

Nov 012005


  • miles
While backing out to get on highway consumer Ford F150 had no steering. (11/16/05) the steering wheel assembly had broken. The consumers found that a piece on the steering shaft assembly that was made out of aluminum had worn out.

- Eunice, MO, USA

problem #28

Jul 252004

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
While driving 65 mph the consumer lost steering power. The consumer was not able to maintain control of the vehicle, and crashed into a guardrail. Upon impact, both frontal air bags deployed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection, and the mechanic determined that the steering shaft broke, and needed to be replaced.

- Zapata, TX, USA

problem #27

Nov 102003

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 104,932 miles
Steering failure: My 1997 Ford F150 had a steering failure. VIN:[xxx]. the steering shaft separated from the power steering box. The steering shaft connection is aluminum and the gear on the power steering box is steel. The aluminum wore and the steel, naturally did not. Basic engineering failure. Described exactly in recall no. 03S02 a very thorough search showed no recalls or maintenance notices. Please, please, please, if you have a 1997, Ford F150 have the connection of the steering shaft to the power steering box check immediately. I cannot imagine a worst failure in a vehicle. No steering. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Pocatello, ID, USA

problem #26

Dec 082003

F-150 8-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
While turning the steering wheel binds and makes a grinding noise. The consumer has to use excessive effort to straighten the wheel. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for analysis but the technician could not resolve the problem. The problem has been reported to the manufacturer but they refused to provide any assistance.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #25

Jun 142003


  • 109,000 miles
Consumer states steering has failed while driving. Dealer notified.

- Burlington, KY, USA

problem #24

Jun 302003

(reported on)


  • 15,000 miles
Consumer states received a recall notice. Took vehicle to dealer, and dealer stated that vehicle was fine. Dealer never looked at car..

- West Mifflin, PA, USA

problem #23

May 162003

F-150 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,455 miles
Complete loss of steering, went through 3 lanes of traffic luckily there was no accident or injury. Ford motor warranty said contact garage it would be up to them to reimburse any repair cost because vehicle was off warranty, garage also said they would not contact Ford warranty to discuss problem instead gave me a number to call. However I did talk to a Ford motor rep from slc, ut he was very sorry about my problems. On approx. May 20th 2003 I was notified by a friend for motor was recalling this particular model for a steering problem the garage said it was a lower steering, Ford motor warranty said it was an intermediate steering problem quote "not upper or lower" could be either and that my problem was upper steering and would not be covered under recall. " does for motor have a much larger problem than they are willing to admit, they will not talk to me they were supposed to respond to my E-mails and I haven't heard from them what is the next step" I have contacted attorney general state of Idaho wanting for there response. Thank you.

- Idaho Falls, ID, USA

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