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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,263 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 (Page 1 of 3)

problem #52

Feb 142010


  • 149,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. While attempting to depress the brake pedal at speeds of 5 mph, the pedal fell to the floorboard and would not engage. The emergency brake was utilized in order to bring the vehicle to a halt. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic who advised the rear-brake knuckle line had failed. The repair was performed at the owner's expense. The dealer was contacted and advised filing a complaint with the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 149,000 and the current was 152,000.

- Wako, TX, USA

problem #51

Jan 112010


  • 82,500 miles
I was driving from home to go to my parent home. I had to slow down due to traffic. My brakes failed. I was able to slow down by down shifting and hand brakes and had the car towed to the repair garage. The repair garage found that the passenger side rear brake cylinder had blown out and was squirting brake fluid all over. This the second time this had happened. The first time was in July 2007 when the driver side rear brake cylinder had failed on the freeway, causing major damage - ODI # 10304293. Please investigate and take action to recall this serious life damaging component on a otherwise good vehicle.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #50

Jul 102007


  • 65,000 miles
I was driving on the freeway and the vehicle in front of me slowed, therefore, I used brakes. The brakes failed. I had barely enough time and space to move to the next lane and thereby hitting other vehicle. The car was towed to the repair garage and body shop. The repair shop determined that the driver side rear brake cylinder blew out and therefore brakes failure. There was brake fluid on the freeway. I avoided killing myself and others due to my safe driving training at the barber school, given to me by my parents when I turned 18. Please do something to recall these vehicles so other people will not die or get seriously injured.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #49

Oct 162002


  • 130,473 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle was experiencing numerous failures. The main failures were the electrical system, brake system, bent tie rod, shaking and vibrating, rear window mechanisms, and flooding after it rains. The leak occurs on the passenger side and the water rises 2 to 3 inches. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer due to the inspection costs. The failure mileage was 130,473.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #48

Aug 222008


  • miles
I will start with the fact the car is on it's fourth battery. It has had the wiring harness replaced along with every sensor in the car some twice. There was a steering column recall done on it. The two back windows tracks have been broke a total of six times. The door handles brake three so far. The stereo is broke for the second time. I have had to do the brakes twice so far and all this and the car only has 63,498.8 miles.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #47

Aug 012007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2001 Ford Focus has a defective brake system. This causes the brakes to wear prematurely.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #46

Feb 182006


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Ignition not turning on 2001 Ford Focus. I have read a message board that this has been happening a lot with this type of vehicle. Also, brakes have been a constant problem. I have been a loyal Ford buyer but am considering changing to a different make.

- La Grange, NC, USA

problem #45

Jan 072006


  • miles
Went so sears auto center at 9570 South West freeway houston Texas 77074. For a tire change they charge $156 and also told me that my car rotors were broken and need shoe/pad to be replaced. And car not to be driven. Total amount $571. Called next morning to cancel work because I decided to take to dealer Ford. But that time car wasn't fixed yet cause they told me to pay first but I didn't have a credit card with me that night so I left it there and took bus. They charge 271. Next morning for some shoe/pad which I took my car the the regular mechanic and they told me that sears did not change anything on my car. So I pay that many my car is still not fixed. I have to drive my car because I don't have another way to move. So please help me to to get my money back or to get my car fixed.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #44

Dec 182001

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,001 miles
2001 Ford Focus experiencing problems with the front brakes, fuel pump, battery, sway bars and tires. The consumer replaced the front brakes five times, the radiator went out, the thermostat and sensors pertaining to the engine light ad gone out, the fuel pump and the battery went out and the mechanic could not find the problem. Currently the starter showed signs of going out and the vehicle needed sway bars and 4 tires.

- Verona, NJ, USA

problem #43

May 102005

(reported on)


  • miles
2001 Ford Focus ignition cylinder broke, problems with the tire equipment, engine light illuminated and the sway bar bushing needs to be replaced. The ignition cylinder had been replaced three times. The steel belts were showing through the front tires at 54000 miles. The sensor which caused the engine light to illuminated was replaced three times. The front brakes were replaced twice. The battery, radiator, thermostat and fuel pump also failed.

- Verona, NJ, USA

problem #42

Aug 012003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles


The fuel filter gets clogged which blocks the flow of fuel to the engine, causing stalling. This is the third time that the fuel filter had to be replaced. A recall was issued regarding this problem. Recall campaign # 03V482000. There was brake pulsation, the front end creaks really bad and the vehicle would have no power and or stall while going 40-45 mph.

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #41

Oct 092004


  • miles
Brake pad and rotor failure.

- Niskayuna, NY, USA

problem #40

Jan 012001


  • 696 miles
While driving and upon stepping on the brakes front wheels moved back three to four inches. The bushings were too small. Upon turning the steering wheel left one could see the front wheels moving back. Consumer stated vehicle had been to the dealer fifteen times. Dealer put replacement parts five times. Tires had to be changed between ten to thirteen thousand miles, and tires were under warranty for 30000 miles. Also, ignition switch had been changed twice, but problem recurred.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #39

Dec 012002

Focus 4-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
Nary 02/28/2003 mr new front brakes replaced at 29 thousand miles.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #38

Aug 152002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,156 miles
Fuel system-stall out at freeway speeds-and at any long right hand turns-contacted dealer/out of warranty, to many miles to consider. Brakes-rotors and pads worn out at 24,000miles-dealer stated maintenance issue, normal for the Ford Focus- they directed me to call Ford Motor complain...

- Graham, WA, USA

problem #37

Mar 152003


  • Manual transmission
  • 39,948 miles
I bought my Focus used, it had 38,000 miles, on a trip the engine began to act up. It was revving all the way up but would not go above 40 mph. After calling a tow truck the check engine light came on, the dealership that I took it to had it for over a week and had difficulty locating the problem. It started and drove just fine for them. I had the fuel pump and filter replaced, as well as the fuel system flushed. While it was there they performed recall work on my battery cable routing, and my one of my engine control arm bolts. Everything was fine for a few months, then I had a tire throw tread, the front passenger side. 1 week later it was back to get the other tire replaced because it had a bubble in it, after learning that I got the rest of the tires replaced. A few weeks ago my brakes started squeling, I had the pads checked they were fine, after they kept making noise I insisted that they were changed. After driving about 100 miles I started hearing a spinning thump. That became very loud. Back into the shop, they replaced a brake caliper, and also I had to get yet another fuel filter, it was begining to become restricted, again. The brake problem even though it had been doing it for a while since I did not have a Ford dealership do it was not covered under my warranty, and I am sure that something else will go wrong. Yay!

- Bastrop, TX, USA

problem #36

Oct 152001


  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
My security system basically went even sounded funny when the horn sounded, the cruise would also stick or not work at all when it should have been turned on. I have had the hego sensor or the front oxygen sensor replaced 3 times, one at my own cost...I had a huge bulge pop out on my tire early on, Firestone replaced it at no cost...the brakes have intermittantly squealed since the vehicle had few miles on it, when I took it in to get it fixed, it basically felt like they had loosened them because you had to press on the pedal harder to stop, soon after they started squealing again, all Ford will tell me is that I need new brake pads at my cost because it is road hazard...should a car with 40,000 miles need brake pads? I think not. The last complaint that I have is that the car will stall with no apparent reason matter what the speed is or if I have just started it or have driven it all day it does not matter, I will just be stuck until it decides to start again.

- Cherokee, KS, USA

problem #35

Mar 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
My warranty was 36,000 which is up. Fixing the brakes was no problem but I dont feel my wheel bearings need replaced this quickly without having some kind if default in them from the start. My car is making this loud, roaring sound, which is driving me crazy. I'm writing to see if there's anything the headquarters of Ford can do. There are recalls on 2001 Ford focuses but just so happen not on my car and why is that when im having complications with it. It sounds like a tractor and ive only had the car for 16 months. I was a student in dallas and that was the only traveling I did. I'm not hard on vehicles at all. The wheel bearing are gone bad on my car and I hope there's something someone can do. Its the front ones. By the way it doesn't seem as if my transmission is changing the correct # of gears.

- Ferriday, LA, USA

problem #34

Mar 152003


  • Manual transmission
  • 18,530 miles
In November of 2002, I noticed a squeal under the hood of my 2001 Focus. The first time I took it in, they claimed they heard no sound. I then told the mechanic you must actually step out of the car to hear the noise.; he did hear the noise and Ford had to replace the belt tensioner and serpentine belt. I began noticing that my windshield wipers would function at will. The left headlamp and turn signal was also malfunctioning. I could not get the wipers to turn off at times. I would turn the headlights off and back on again, and the wipers would turn off. This would also work at times when the wipers would not turn on, but not always. I never noticed an absolute consistency as to what would get the wipers to function properly. They also would not function at the correct speed. They would go fast when I wanted them to go slow and vice-versa. I had taken the car in twice to have this problem fixed. They replaced the multi function switch both times. A week following the second visit, I noticed they would not work again. I scheduled an appointment for the third time. In between the time I scheduled the appointment and the actual day of the appointment, I noticed the gas light had come on when I still had about 36 miles worth of gas left in my car. I noticed the light was on for a bit and then it went off. So, I told them about that problem as well when I took the car in. They replaced the fuel pump and sending unit assembly. Also they replaced whatever wires were causing the multi function switch to go out again and again. I left the dealership and made a stop at a convenience store. When I tried to start my car, it would not start. Not a sound or anything. The car was totally dead. I called Ford to have them tow the car. This time, they claimed they needed to replace the clutch safety start switch, which they did. My breaks also squeak constantly. They adjusted the breaks and clean them up. They claim the squeaking breaks are normal. Do not buy a Ford.

- Blue Bell, PA, USA

problem #33

May 152001


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
I have had numerous problems with my Focus. About 3mo after I bought it, the transmission began to feel like it was slipping, and making a noise. I took it to the purchasing dealership, and a mechanic told me it was the torque converter. They didn't have a loaner car for me, so I made an an appointment for the following week. The next day on my way home from work, the car shut down. I called a tow truck, they took it to the closest dealership. When I called the dealership the next day, they said the fuel pump went out. They told me that the stutter I was feeling in my car was probably that. A few days later, the same problem. Took it back to the selling dealership, and the shop supervisor went out with me. He said I was driving the car out of context. What he meant by that, he wouldn't elaborate, but said there is nothing wrong with my car. I have been driving it since, and the computer will fade in and out, but I won't lose engine power. My car has to have new brake pads every couple of months, new tires, and other maintenance things. At less than 40000 miles, it needed new spark plugs, and wires, which I happily bought. The dealership wanted $300, because the plugs were in the back of the motor. I went to my car, popped the hood, four spark plugs lined the top of the head cover. There was no further explanation of the attempted over charge. My car has several other problems. The positive cable on the battery, has melted back, there is a loud roar in the cab of the car, and three of the four lug nuts on the right rear tire has snapped off. The explanation for the lug nuts, was that the tire was loose, not fastened properly. But this problem occurred 3-4 mo after I bought it. The tires had not been taken off. I am to the point where I hate Ford for selling me this car. I will ever buy Ford again, but I love the concept of the car

- Weavervlle, NC, USA

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