Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
94,276 miles
Total Complaints:
71 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (32 reports)
  2. replaced ignition (19 reports)
  3. hit key while in ignition (6 reports)
  4. Ford should recall the ignitions (5 reports)
  5. call a locksmith (3 reports)
  6. pop out ignition lock & give it a deep cleaning (2 reports)
2001 Ford Focus accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2001 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Dec 052009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


our son is 340 miles from home at college-key won't turn-he has to get to work-Does it feel better to know lots of others had this problem? NO !

- , Hoxie, KS, USA

problem #30

Sep 012009

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Pain in the ass! After we parked the car i went to start in not only did the dang key not go in but we couldn't turn the steering wheel, and the brakes were hard to push down. We tried to use the spare key thinking that maybe our regular key was not good enough, neither was the spare. I call the dealership and he said that it tends to happen and to just jam the key in there with the palm of my hand. It worked. But it was still a pain in the ass.

- , Laramie, WY, USA

problem #29

May 312009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

This is the second time this has happened to my car. The first time wasn't a big deal, as I was in high school at the time (2004) and my dad was able to drive me to school. However, the second go-round I was trying to drive to work. I had to call AAA, who suggested a locksmith. The locksmiths all declined to do anything, so I had to settle for taking it to the dealership. The dealership said up front the replacement ignition would be $150. Lord knows how much the labor will be.

The fact that this has happened twice to me and multiple times to other people is infinitely frustrating. I wish there was a way to get a refund for this because Ford HAS to know this is a major issue.

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #28

Oct 152006

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 125,000 miles


Had this problem with the ignition for a couple years and could get by just banging and jiggling the key till it worked and it would get stuck every time i got in the car. So it was annoying but nothing i couldn't deal with. Until last night that is. It completely froze and would not even budge. It is difficult to even put the key into the ignition and i had to get it towed to a friends house after being at a gas station from 11:30 PM to 4:00 AM it was horrible and I had to work this morning, which is where I am here ranting about the issues that I have with this car. I always thought the issues were due to me owning this as my first car when I was a teenager but now I realize that the stalling while coming to a stop and speedometer not working and the shaking when I drive over ten miles per hour is not just me. It is the piece of crap car that ford sells and leaves you to pick up the pieces! So angry and just moved to a new town and now without a car! This is horrible and I do not have five hundred dollars to fix or the money to fix the wires I cut trying desperately to hot wire my car, however ridiculous that attempt was, Ford needs to understand what it is like to be stranded!

- , Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #27

Mar 112009

Focus ZTS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

i hope i don't spend anymore money bailing this greedy ford company they have ripped people off and now wants to do it again by having our tax payers money to bail their sorry ass out. i hope they go out of business. greed from management on down only in America. ford, take care of your costumers and maybe we can help you out. i'm just pissed i bought this sh*tty ford car. i should have stay loyal to dodge. i got a hammer to hit ford management to fix this problem. you gotta be shitting me. can't fix it smack it. thanks ford seee you in bankruptcy court like the rest of us.

- , Watseka, IL, USA

problem #26

Feb 012009

Focus SE 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

Last night I had to get a ride home from work cause my key would not turn while in the ignition. i had this problem about 2 years ago while researching it on this site i found that if you hit the key with a hammer while in the ignition it would eventually turn. But not any more last night and now i have to put in a whole new ignition and get the key programmed. Dealer wants 250 to do parts and labor and then i still will have to get it towed there. I have had too many problems with this car. Flooding in passenger side floorboard area,seat belt problems, transmission, timing chain you name it i prob replaced it. this is just getting old. The best way to deal with the problem at hand i found to be put the ignition in yourself and then have it programmed. I found a locksmith that can do it. Dont know what he is gonna charge yet though. The part from a reg part store was 68.00. Just wish i could afford to get rid of this car. Would prob save me money in the long run.

Ford sucks. I am never going to buy a ford car again my husband has a 94 car which we dont have near the problems with. Thanks God. Just wondering when it will end with this car. or when ford people will get off their butts and realize that they sold pieces of crap cars to their customers and fix it.

- , High Ridge, MO, USA

problem #25

Jan 032009

Focus ZX3

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles


Ok, we went to a friends house Saturday, and everything was fine, and we get into our car to leave, when the key will not go into the ignition. Let me start by saying we are a military family, and the reason we purchased the focus is because it is inexpensive, and "reliable". Well, we were stuck at our friend's house all night, and I go on the internet to research the focus problem. It turns out, EVERYONE who has a Focus that is a 2000-2003, has had, or will have this problem. Ford is completely aware of the problem. The best part was that when i called the locksmith, and told him what was going on, his first question was, is it a Focus? Gee. This was a very expensive inconvenience, and anyone else who experiences problems like this, I am so sorry. The only other problem was when the hub was falling apart. THAT was at least covered under warranty. Good luck with the Focus, as I will never ever purchase another Ford product again.

- , Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #24

Dec 242008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

click to see larger images

key won't turn in the ignition

This happened on a last minute Christmas eve run. Spent two hours Christmas day fixing it. It was acting up before it froze completely and wish I'd got it fixed while the key could still turn. I drilled it out myself which was a bit tricky but not that hard to do with the right tools. If you are considering a drill job yourself, try and get as much info as you can first. My car now starts but it looks like I stole it;-) From what I understand, I can order a new lock from Ford or a decent Locksmith without paying for a new set of PATS keys. Good Luck!

- , Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #23

Dec 022008

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Yesterday the key of my car would not turn. Someone told me to hit it with a hammer and it worked but it kept happening every time, each time we needed to hit it harder.

I went looking for solutions to repair it... car shops wanted 300-400 to repair the problem. I finished by calling a Locksmith who replaced the ignition and reprogrammed the key for 190.00, He said he does at least one Ford Focus a day.

I would recommend buying the ignition and replacing it yourself.

I used to like my Ford Focus but now it looks like it gives me trouble all the time

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #22

Jul 162008

Focus LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

Well about two months ago my key wouldn't turn I just was in the car and drove it I stopped to put air in my tires and when I went to start it the key wouldn't turn. Having no idea what was wrong with I was so upset and called my boyfriend he looks at it and nothing. We both now have no idea whats going on with the car. We call one more friend and he comes looks at it plays around with it and finally it works I ask oh man what did you do to fix it and he said I just hit the key in and it must have unlocked it. After that it didn't do it again for about a month and then it was acting up but I would hit the key and be on my way. So today I get into my car the key doesn't turn I hit it like I always do and nothing I try it again and again nothing. I have two hours to work and the key wont turn. I sat there for about an hour hitting this key pulling it out hitting it again, and yet nothing, it won't budge. Needless to say this was about 11:00am and it is about 11:40pm and I still can't get my key to turn and I am sorry but I NEED MY CAR that's why I have it and what am I supposed to do now? I can't have everyone go out of there way just for me because my stupid key wont turn. I am going to try some of the things everyone says to do and I hope to god it works. Thanks for the help. But that's my story and I hope something works.

- , Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #21

Sep 242008

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


When I got in my car after work, I tried to put the key in the ignition, but it would only go in halfway. I turned the steering wheel and kept jiggling the key, and it eventually wiggled in, but the key wouldn't turn. I banged on it, I pushed, I pulled, nothing worked. I found this site online and called a locksmith to see if he could fix it. Of course this was the coldest, windiest, rainiest day of the whole year, and I was stuck in the car with the locksmith for 3 hours with the driver's side door open. He tried banging it, he tried WD-40, nothing worked, so he took the ignition out. He said my key had worn down and broken the ignition, so no only did I need a new ignition, but he had to make me a new key as well. The focus has a chip in the key and if it doesn't have the right code programmed in, the car won't start. So he had to program the new key. Each time he ran the program on his device, there was a 10 minute time delay that I guess is a Ford safety feature. . . he tried 3 times to program it, but he was unsuccessful. Bottomline: Service Call - $39 Fix ignition - $69 New key - $139 Labor - $120 Tax - $18.35 TOTAL: $385.35

And I still have to go to the Ford dealership to get my new key programmed. . .something tells me that's not going to be free.

- , Vienna, VA, USA

problem #20

Sep 092008

Focus LS V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

My daughter went out to the car to go to school. After trying all 3 keys in the ignition, she came in and told me she couldn't turn the key. I went out and tried it and found the same thing. We asked a friend who is a GM mechanic and he said he couldn't replace the ignition due to the keys having the transponder in them. I saw online that this was a common problem and that the repair cost at the Ford dealership was anywhere from $300 to $400 -- money we don't have right now. We also wondered how we would get it to the dealership, even if he had the money.

I did some more research and found this website. Thanks to all that posted with the solution of using the hammer. I immediately went out and tried it and after several tries, it worked. We opted not to keep the key in the ignition because, even though the car would be safe in our driveway (because another car could be parked behind it), we wouldn't want to keep the key in while we were out. I am not sure if we will take it out for a drive until it is fixed, but at least we can get it to a mechanic when we are able to pay the bill for the repair. (We have 4 other vehicles, so not driving it isn't a problem.)

Thanks again to all that posted the solution (however temporary it might be).

- , St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #19

May 032004

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

My ignition locked and I had to leave my car overnight in front of a park until I could call to get it towed. The next day, however, I jiggled the steering wheel just enough to release the lock and was able to drive it home. I never had it fixed because I only kept car for 6 months after that.

- , Greeley, CO, USA

problem #18

Jun 212008

Focus SE 2.0L L4

  • Manual transmission
  • 126,900 miles

Ignition would not turn with key in the ignition. Happened about 2 years ago and tow wrecker fixed it by cranking on the locked steering wheel. Had tried hitting the steering wheel and cranking on it, did not work. Called locksmith and he recommended another locksmith that can fix the problem. Decided to try and fix myself

Read various websites and found recommendations to hit the key while in the ignition and/or spray WD40 in the Key Slot.

Gave the key one good hit with the palm of my hand while in the ignition and it was able to turn. Contrary to what the following website suggests:

Read other complaints for Focus MY2000 that this always works, hitting the key while in the ignition....

- , Waterford, MI, USA

problem #17

Jun 182008

Focus DX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,203 miles

stuck 50 miles from home and key would not turn in ignition. Had to have car towed. ($250.00). Still not fixed. In driveway awaiting mechanic. Now that I see how many complaints there are about the Ford Focus having this chronic problem, I am wondering why Ford doesn't get off their dead asses and recall. Wish I had known this before I bought my 2007 Fusion, definitely would have bought another brand car.

- , Springdale, AR, USA

problem #16

May 132006

(reported on)


  • 35,000 miles

I had my Ford Focus for a little less than a year when the ignition locked up with the key in it! I had to have entire ignition replaced, and a new set of transponder keys purchased for it! It was a pain in the ass, and Ford refuses to acknowledge the problem. My ignition now needs to be replaced a SECOND time. The key stuck is stuck in the ignition yet again! I've heard of people replacing ignitions up to FOUR times on their Focus!

Beware of Ford! Beware of Ford Focus!

- , Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #15

Mar 222008

Focus ZX3 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Key wont turn at all! Steering wheel locked. Read on the internet about hundreds of others who have had the same problem. With this many cases, Ford should REALLY fix this problem under warranty, no matter if its still in tact or not. I haven't got it fixed yet, but I hear it will cost around 300 to 400 dollars, a temporary fix is hitting the key into the ignition with a hammer (lightly) Seems to work for now. I am tired of putting $ into this thing.

- , Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #14

Feb 142008

Focus SE 2.0L Ztec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

My wife parked at Walmart, dragged my 2 and 4 year old daughters in to buy a week's worth of groceries. She then dragged our daughters, and the groceries back out in the 19 degree Colorado winter only to find she couldn't turn the key. She called a neighbor to pick them all up (including the groceries). The spent the night at Wally World. I called the stealer who said $385.00 and the keys would have to be reprogrammed so the car had to be towed to the there. After getting several "sorry, can't help you"'s from locksmiths, I found a guy who says only about three people in CO know how to fix these. He was able to jimmying the lock to turn enough to get the cylinder out. He rebuilt it (new wafers, etc), reinstalled it. Done for $140. He confirmed that NO KEY REPROGRAMMING IS NECESSARY. He also said that '05 cylinders don't have this design flaw but won't fit in '00 and '01 Focuses. He did say that if he couldn't pull the cylinder out without he would have to drill it out. New part alone - $225.00. Luckily he was good and didn't have to pull out his special drill bit imported from England to drill out the case-hardened safe-quality cylinder steel. He said Ford put cheap parts in a super-theft-deterant cylinder to protect a "Pinto". Ok, will Ralph Nader get involved with this too...?

- , Falcon, CO, USA

problem #13

Feb 012008

Focus ZTS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

we've been having problems with the key ignition, this isn't the first time it's happened to us. In December 2007 it started, and somehow we got it to turn. Now it happened again in January but this time it's not turning at all it seems like the key does not fit. We are down to 1 car and it's an inconvenience and we have to pay for towing and to get it fixed, it's going to cost us about $500 all together. This should be a recall since other people are having the same problem with this same kind of car.


- , Cicero, IL, USA

problem #12

Jan 262008

(reported on)

Focus ZX3 2.0L Zetec

  • Manual transmission
  • 88,259 miles

2001 ford focus zx3 go to store park come back out key wont turn in the ignition

Call tow truck to come they are nice enough to tell me that its really common and to take the key of key chain put it in ignition and with the palm of your hand hit the key once hard and it worked great got home tried to turn on again did not took one hour of messing worth it to go went straight to ford to fix and they act like what a unusual problem little did I know a women was waiting to get her focus back for the same thing lucky it wasn't expensive but it was very annoying!

- , South Haven, MI, USA

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