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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,041 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2001 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #61

May 092011


  • miles


There were no warning signs. On May 09, 2011, the key became stuck in the ignition and would not come out. Did some research online to find out this is a common problem with no recall.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #60

Dec 202010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
The events leading up were intermittently spaced this has been happening since I purchased the vehicle from a private owner in 2004. When I would put the key in the ignition the wheel would not turn and feel locked I would sit for 10-20 minutes and work on it by pushing the key in hard and turning the wheel as hard it would come loose and the ignition would turn. This impacted my life as a nuisance. Recently in Dec of 2010 the occurrences became more frequent two to four times a week constantly being stranded until I could get the ignition and wheel to turn. Happening frequently while at the store, work or somewhere away from home and again causing a great nuisance and frustration as it has made me late for work several times, allowed me to be vulnerable in situations that could have been avoided with proper recall. Then around Dec 20th 2010 the ignition stopped working. I was at work leaving for the day and I sat there for over an hour, not knowing any of this was a normal recurrence with other Ford Focus owners. After working on this myself I had to contact my spouse to come and try and he was unsuccessful as well. I have kept up the maintenance on my Focus and it is in very good condition for the year. Currently it has not been fixed only towed to my home residence. The cost is so high for the ignition replaced I have been given estimates of $500 plus extra for towing. This cost comes after months previous I had replaced the radiator tank at a $400 cost. This car seems to have some of the highest amount of recalls and service bulletins and I do not understand how the main power to the car, the ignition, is not seen as a hazard to the public who purchased these vehicles.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #59

Feb 142011


  • 54,044 miles
The ignition on this car has been replaced already by the first owner. Well, the key cannot not be removed from the ignition. Now the key has broken off in the ignition. The key stub can be removed and the engine will still run. This morning I moved the 01 Focus and I shut off the car and took the key out but the shifter was still in drive. I locked the door, walked behind the car and it rolled backwards into me. Lucky my neighbor was there to help me stop the car. There are many complaints from other Focus owners regarding the failure of the ignition switches and Ford will not recall the car and fix this dangerous problem. Thanks for any help in this matter.

- Pepperell, MA, USA

problem #58

Feb 032011


  • 120,000 miles


Interior dashboard lights went out, also noticed extrior rear lights went out. Replaced fuses, blew new fuses immediately so some sort of short in the electrics. Wiring on hatch lid appears to be frayed. We have found a recall for this for the 2000 version of this car but not the 2001.

- Sidney, Bc, Canada, 00, USA

problem #57

Dec 142010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Ford Focus 2001. Ignition locks up requiring new tumbler. Key won't turn in the ignition. The car won't start nor can you get it in neutral to push it off the road. It is a known defect but not remedied by Ford.

- Midland, PA, USA

problem #56

Aug 132010


  • miles
My 17 year old daughters' 2001 Ford Focus had her stranded after work August 13 when she put her key in the ignition, but it wouldn't turn. We called aaa, and they couldn't 'fix' it, so we had it towed to the nearest Ford dealer only to be told the repair will cost between $450 and 1000.00!!! I'm a single mom and my daughters' still in high school for gosh sake. I thought this vehicle would be a safe and dependable one. I spent a lot of my savings on this car and insurance for her. I don't know what to do now, I've got a vehicle we can't start.

- Manitowoc, WI, USA

problem #55

Jul 072010


  • miles


My cars battery was not working, as told by a triple a mechanic. I took my car to the repair shop to get it replaced and they said that the battery was working fine, the alternator was bad. They said the car wouldn't go out of the shop if it wasn't fixed. So I paid them $416 to get the alternator fixed. After I got the car back within a day, it stopped working again. The same problem and the car would not start, while I was driving home they messed up my meters, the lights wouldn't turn on and the car wouldn't start, not only did they charge me wrongfully there was no alternator problem, the battery was bad. I called them and they wouldn't answer me properly, they said that it wasn't their fault and I should replace the battery myself. They hung up the phone. This company is a fraud, they lie and wont answer my calls. My car is messed up, they changed all the wires the lights wont work, the gauges don't work. I called the sheriff and they said I should take them to court, they also replaced my tired and they used different tires. Im extremely mad and I need help.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #54

Mar 012010


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the key would not turn when she tried to turn on the ignition. The contact called roadside assistance who 'slammed┐ the key into the ignition to start the vehicle; the key had to be 'slammed┐ everytime to start the vehicle. The vehicle had not been taken to an authorized dealership at the time of the complaint. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileages were approximately 82,000.

- Watertown, MA, USA

problem #53

Jan 012004

Focus 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
MY2001 Ford Focus ZX3( manual transmission )with over 105,000 miles on it has had a electronic throttle problem since it had 30,000 miles on it. Intermittently the engine speed would not decrease when your foot is taken off the accelerator pedal. The car would act like the cruise control was engaged. The car could be controlled by heavy braking or depressing the clutch. It was taken into three different Ford dealer at least seven different times only once did they claim to see the problem. That time the mechanic show me disconnecting a electrical plug under the hood caused the throttle controls to go to a fail safe mode making the problem disappear for period of time(days).I was told to bring it back in when it happened again. I did that, mechanic was know longer with the dealership. Several parts were changed several different times but did nothing to correct the problem. When the problem is present the engine speed will decrease to a fast idle once the car comes to a complete stop. The problem will go away sometimes after shutting off the engine and restarting but not always.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #52

Jan 172010


  • 135,000 miles
Key will not come out of ignition of my 2001 Ford Focus. The key will turn the car on, but will not come back out of the ignition. I fear that at some point the key will not turn the engine over, leaving me stranded during winter weather. At this point I cannot get it fixed due to the high cost of having it replaced. I have found numerous complaints about this same problem, which tells me Ford has a faulty mechanism. Why hasn't a recall been made?

- Chillicothe, OH, USA

problem #51

Jan 152010


  • 90,000 miles


I own a 2001 Ford Focus. Up until now, I have had no issues with my vehicle. I currently woke up today 1-15-10 and was unable to turn my key in my car. My car was in park and I had tried moving the steering wheel while turning key but still did not turn. I later searched on the internet and found results instantly on the Ford Focus defect for 2000-2003 models about the key being unable to turn. My car currently only has 90,000 miles on it and I am in the middle of my second of five internships for physical therapy. This is a huge problem. This defect should be highly considered for recall! this is a huge issue for many drivers. Please help us out. Thanks for your time. Dustin R. brown Iowa

- Bellevue, IA, USA

problem #50

Feb 072009


  • miles
Ignition sticks and moves around, horn fell completely out from under the car and hit someone's car, the fan box and all fell completely off and down, backfiring stalling rattling vibrates front right side around tire area rattles horribly, check eng. Light stays on mass air flow sensor is bad transmission sensor is bad lighter stopped working car completely goes dead spits sputters, manifold pipe broke so now its loud. Its all day long non stop period we have replace several sensors and tubes and wires for it doesn't work not getting the gas mileage I should and I have had it 11 months but hardly dove it 3 total all together I cant afford any thing else to fix these problems 3 days after I bought it its been pure ?!@#$%.

- Grenada, MS, USA

problem #49

Oct 232009


  • 73,248 miles
The ignition on our 2001 Ford Focus has locked up and will not turn at all.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #48

Oct 162009


  • 250,000 miles
Issue: Keys stuck in the ignition. Vehicle: 2001 Ford Focus SE failure occurs intermittently, car will start if you jiggle the keys however keys remain in the ignition. I have tried moving the tilt steering, attempted to remove the key in every gear, ensured that the car was in park by parking on a hill with the wheels straight, nothing will allow me to remove the key. This is a safety issue as you could be stranded anywhere if jiggling the key does not consistently work to start the vehicle. Additionally I am forced to leave my key in the ignition and use the spare to reenter the vehicle which leaves me at a high risk for vehicular theft. I have had to have the tumbler in my ignition replaced which will hopefully resolve the issue. Costs: $105 labor/hr plus $115 plus taxes in parts (prices in cad). No aftermarket parts available.

- Dieppe, 00, USA

problem #47

Aug 282009


  • 93,000 miles
The ignition in my 2001 Ford Focus needs to be replaced again. I first had it replaced in Sept of 2004 with only 36000 miles on it. Now with 93,000 miles it will have to be replaced again.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #46

Aug 052009


  • 215,000 miles
We have a 2001 Ford Focus SE. My brother stopped to put in gas. When he returned to the vehicle, the key would not turn in the ignition(car wouldn't start). He had to call a tow truck and get the car towed home. He than had Ford dealership pick up the vehicle to inspect. The ignition locked up, needs a new key cylinder...charge for the tow $80. Charge for the fix $1451.84.

- Converse, TX, USA

problem #45

Jul 202009


  • 70,000 miles
I was driving normally on a 45 mph road and pushed in my clutch to coast up to the stop light that was about to turn green again, when my car just died unexpectedly. My clutch was still in so I started my car back up and kept driving, but this is about the 10th time that this has happened to me this month, and my car should not be randomly dying while I am driving, thus far there have been no consequences, however it is slightly worrisome. So far I have not been able to resolve the problem.

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #44

Apr 302009


  • 139,000 miles
1. I own a 2001 Ford Focus. 2. the ignition locked. There was no indication that anything was going wrong. As a result, I could not go to work, as I work an hour away. 3. Ford is not willing to extend a "goodwill repair or warranty" on my behalf, and so I will have to pay to replace the ignition. Research has proven that in some cases, the replacement will result in the same problem. Also, this is a frequent problem in Ford Focus models from 2000-2003 and yet Ford has not taken ownership of the problem. I will ultimately have to have my car towed at my own expense and the ignition repaired at my own expense, for a manufactured problem. The total of both will likely be more than half of the current blue-book value of my car.

- St. Joseph, MI, USA

problem #43

Feb 162009


  • 963,000 miles
Battery positive terminal corrosion on my 2001 Ford Focus have replaced battery twice and alternator once because of no start, dead battery and alternator. Battery cable shows battery corrosion.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #42

Jan 022009


  • 60,000 miles
While driving my 2001 Ford Focus back in November of 2008', I experienced the engine stalling while driving on the freeway. The headlights started to flicker along with the dashlights going haywire. I then drove the vehicle home and had it towed to my auto repair facility. They found nothing wrong and could not do what I described to them. Approx. 1 week later it did the same thing again, this time the check engine light stayed on, and they were able to receive some diagnostic codes. They cleaned some ground wires but stated that was all they could find, the same thing happened a few days later, I called my mechanic, and we both agreed that I should send it to the Ford dealer. I had it towed again, this time to the Ford dealer where I stated that the problem only occurs while it is being driven. After approx. 1 week, the dealer stated they were unable to duplicate the problem, but they advised me that the alternator dropped to 11.5 volts. I advised them to replace with a new alternator. They advised me that they were sure that is what the problem was. On or about 1/2/09, I experienced they same electrical problems that I have been having over the last 2 months. I drove it to the dealership immediately and advise them I was having the same problem and that it was not the $ $550 alternator that I paid for. I again reiterated to them that it has to be driven, to have the symptoms occur. Since I had the new alternator installed I only put on 325 miles. My service manager kory foster with gosch Ford in hemet, ca has only called me twice since 1/2/09. When he calls he has always stated that he cannot find anything and he does not no what the problem is he has not heard of this type of problem with the Ford Focus. I have told him everytime I have seen him and when he calls to drive it ! it is the only way to get it to stall out. The last time he called me which was last week sometime, that I could come get my car if I needed it. I advised him to keep it until it is fixed.

- San Jacinto, CA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?