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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,998 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.

2001 Ford Focus brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #17

Jun 232007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


Brakes have been failing frequently. After taking it to be repaired the first time in June, I attempted to make a stop at a red light and the car was nearly II the intersection before the brakes worked. The problem is repeated and I feel as though the car is unsafe to drive if the brakes can not be repaired properly by even the dealership.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #16

Jan 262006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
Brakes had to be replaced at less than 24,000 miles; continues grinding and squeaking continue even following brake replacement and turning of rotors; at have replaced all four tires two times, with less than 20,000 miles on each set of tires; ignition switch malfunctioned - I could get the key into the ignition, but it would not rotate; now at only 41,000 miles, the engine attempts to stall in idle - the whole car shudders - and has stalled twice while I was stopped at traffic lights. This presents a dangerous situation, not only for myself, but for my two children and others on the roadway. In reviewing this site, I am obviously not the only one experiencing these same problems. Why doesn't the NHTSA issue recalls on Ford Focus for these and other problems? Ford should recall the whole line and issue refunds to customers or cancel their remaining loan payments. I am a single mother with two children, who cannot afford costly repairs. The attitude of the service personnel at the Ford dealership here is awful, and they have treated me badly every time I have gone in there, so that I don't even want to take the car in with this latest problem.

- Tifton, GA, USA

problem #15

Nov 252001

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14 miles
Brakes failed twice since 2001. Brakes were replaced in 2001 and 2002. Kept repairing the vehicle. The water pump/battery, and tires malfunctioned. On June 11 2005 while driving the car stopped. The car made a popping sound and started smoking. There was a warning, the battery light was on. The engine lights came on right before. Car didnt start back up after several attempts. Car was towed to home. Dealer reported no problem with the vehicle. Car was regularly serviced.

- Mattapan, MA, USA

problem #14

Apr 192005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2001 Ford Focus the actual brake pedal bolts broke, causing the consumer to crash. She states that while her son was driving the vehicle the bolts that holds the pedal on broke off, causing the actual pedal to swing. The consumer says that she still owns the vehicle. The air bags deployed, and the car is now totaled. His neck is fractured due to the accident. Police report is available as well as photographs.

- Pittsburg, PA, USA

problem #13

Jun 112004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles
The brakes went out and transmission went out at the same time.

- Lodi, CA, USA

problem #12

Apr 092004

Focus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 75 mph vehicle vibrated uncontrollably. Consumer was able to maintain control of the vehicle, and drove it to the dealer for inspection. Mechanic determined that brakes and tires needed to be replaced, and replaced them. However, the problem recurred.

- Ten Mile, TN, USA

problem #11

Aug 072004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles


At a routine oil change/alignment I was informed that my front brakes were 95% worn and that they and the rotors needed replacing. At first I thought I was being had -- I've only put 24,000 miles on my car, all very gentle driving. Then I discovered that I'm one of the more fortunate -- many Ford Focus owners are replacing brakes and rotors at 15,000 miles! there wasn't an accident, but there certainly could have been a brake failure if my mechanics had not alerted me to the problem.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #10

Jun 162004


  • miles
While driving 50-55 mph consumer applied force to brakes to avoid a collision. Driver's side brakes locked up, causing vehicle to sway off the road into a ditch, and vehicle struck a tree head on. Upon impact, air bags failed to deploy.

- Forest Lake, MN, USA

problem #9

Jun 012003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,959 miles
My wife owns a 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 with anti-lock brakes. It now has almost 29,000 miles and the front brakes are still squeaking and grinding almost with every use. It has been to 2 different dealers since it was purchased in July 2001. They have made 4 repair attempts under warranty, but the brakes still make a lot of noise and brake dust. The pads and rotors have been replaced and various other brake parts also. The service manager (richard) at adams Ford in belton, mo informed me today they would do no more to fix the problem. He laughed and said feel lucky you don't own a Mercedes because their brakes sounded like a dump truck stopping.

- Belton, MO, USA

problem #8

Aug 022002


  • miles
Front brakes do not work properly. Also extended stopping distance. Contacted dealer.

- Soloma Beach, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 262002


  • Manual transmission
  • miles


When brakes were applied at unknown speed pedal went to the floor, resulting in extended stopping distance, and causing a collision. No injuries, damage to vehicle unknown at this time.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #6

Feb 032002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 35 mph, brakes malfunctioned, resulting in an accident. Both driver and passenger were injured.

- Los Gatos, CA, USA

problem #5

May 012001


  • miles
While applying brakes pedal is hard, and stays up. Dealership is aware of problem.

- Garrettsbille, OH, USA

problem #4

Dec 012001


  • miles
Stopping distance has increased, and brake pads are wearing out at only 13000 miles. Contacted dealer.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #3

Dec 312001


  • miles
When engine was started and gear shift was put into drive position vehicle started rolling backwards unexpectedly. Dealership examined vehicle for this problem, and replaced throttle. After dealership made these repairs and drove on highway brakes failed to stop vehicle when pressure was put on brake pedal. Driver for tow truck examined vehicle and determined there was no brake fluid in the vehicle (this diagnosis was confirmed by the dealership. Please provide any additional information / documentation.

- Amherst, MA, USA

problem #2

Dec 212001


  • miles
This car has been taken back for brake failues multiple times. Each time the dealer informs me that a switch has failed and my brakes are just fine. I have blown through lights going 45+ miles an hour. The dealer has failed to even inspect the brake system for any failures.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #1

Sep 012001


  • miles
Anti-lock braking system works on a intermittent basis. Dealer has been contacted, but has been unable to remedy problem.

- Fort Dodge, IA, USA

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