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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,152 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

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2001 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #154

Aug 182008


  • 120,000 miles


I own 2 separate Ford focuses - both 2001 models. One is a zts and the other an sx. About a year ago, the sx ignition locked up and the car would not start. We had to have the ignition cylinder replaced. Now, barely a year later, the zts model is having the exact same problem. Searching online for a cheaper solution (the dealer charges upwards of $300 to fix the issue), I found that this is a very common problem and widely known but not acknowledged. I've been stranded twice alone with this car and now the ignition won't turn at all no matter how much I try to jiggle the key. This is unacceptable and could lead to very dangerous situations. The problem needs to be acknowledged by Ford and repaired.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #153

Aug 222008


  • 84,000 miles
The ignition on my 2001 Ford Focus will not release the steering wheel or start the car. The key will go in but not turn. This is the second time this has happened to me on the same car. A local dealership replaced the ignition 22 months ago. This is frustrating and has left me stranded in both instances. I would like to see if this has happened to anyone but me? the car is a 2001 Ford Focus LX.

- Ft. Collins, CO, USA

problem #152

Aug 172008


  • 45,000 miles
Key will not go all the way into ignition cylinder on 2001 Ford Focus, so the car cannot be started. It appears that many for Ford Focus owners, but Ford will not acknowledge that a recall is needed.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #151

Aug 012008


  • 72,000 miles


There were no events leading to the failure. I walked out to my car after work, late and night, in a dark, empty parking lot, and try and start my car. My ignition will not turn and the steering wheel will not turn. I tried for 30 min to get it working before I gave up. It just happened, no warning of an issue. I do not see this to just be wear.

- Orangevale, CA, USA

problem #150

Jun 242008


  • 110,000 miles
Key will not turn in the ignition. The vehicle behaves as if the steering wheel is locked and will not allow the key to turn.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #149

Jun 152008


  • miles
Well documented problems with 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 ignition lockup. Thousands of cases, yet no recall from Ford. Key won't turn in ignition. Happens repeatedly. Could endanger safety.

- Phx, AZ, USA

problem #148

Jun 102008


  • 130,000 miles


My 2001 Ford Focus ignition was locked up and key would not turn when attempting to start my car. I was stranded in an unsafe part of city while waiting for aaa to show up and provide assistance.

- Lowell, MA, USA

problem #147

Jun 092008

Focus 4-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
Ignition switch locked up leaving us stranded. Called Ford customer service, they claim they could do nothing and told me to call a dealer and have it fixed. This call was made at around 9pm so there were no dealerships open. My fiance hit the key while in the ignition several times and was finally able to get the key to turn and unlock the ignition. I am unable to remove my key from the ignition for fear it might do this again when I am alone.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #146

Jun 022008

(reported on)


  • miles
2001 Ford Focus ZX3 ignition does not turn. Consumer states that the dealer told her it would cost around $350 to fix the problem and then the problem might return. She would like to know if NHTSA has any suggestions.

- Unkown, DC, USA

problem #145

May 312008


  • miles
The key once inserted in the ignition will not start my car (2001 Ford Focus).

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #144

May 312008

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles


Key will not turn the ignition-2001 Ford Focus ZX3 I'm have to wait until mondayjune 2, 2008 to find someone to fix the problem/repair 2 day wait without a car.

- Silvis, IL, USA

problem #143

Apr 202008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 107,000 miles
My key will go into the ignition of my Ford Focus, however the steering wheel remains locked and the key will not turn at all. Even after "jiggling" the steering wheel, I can't turn the key at all. After several attempts for some reason the key can turn. I have tried several different "tests" to see if perhaps parking straight on, etc will allow me to start my car however there is no rhyme or reason to it. This problem leaves me quite frustrated, possibly stranded, and possibly in danger as I can't start the car when I need to. It has been a couple days and I thought I was going crazy so I have not done any repairs yet. But after reading that this is a prominent problem, looks like I will have to fix it. I am afraid to drive it anywhere for fear that my car will not let me turn the key.

- Tualatin, OR, USA

problem #142

Mar 302008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,925 miles
Lock cylinder locked.

- West Orange, NJ, USA

problem #141

Feb 262008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 115,000 miles
The ignition will not turn to the "on" position, regardless of what is tried. The cylinder apparently is stuck, and the car will therefore not start.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #140

Feb 202008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2001 Ford Focus and like other complaints my ignition also jammed up, and left me down and had to find a way get home from my job, and cost me $ $240 for a locksmith the next day. I think Ford should take action and recall this vehicle, and repay all that had this problem.

- Williamstown, NJ, USA

problem #139

Aug 142007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 140,000 miles
About 4 months ago I went to put key in ignition and I struggled for an hour or more to get it to turn. Very frustrated at that point that I finally have resided to keeping the key in the ignition, which is not a good idea, but afraid of being stranded somewhere.

- Dover, NH, USA

problem #138

Dec 132007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 31,000 miles
Recently the ignition lock on my Ford Focus jams up. I place the key in the lock, which is a bit sticky, and then the key will not turn. After 15-30 minutes of trying to turn it, it will start, other times no. We are still researching on the web how to replace this part.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #137

Dec 032007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
As the owner of a Ford Focus 2001 - I attempted to start my car and was unable to turn the key in the ignition. I was stranded in a parking lot - had to be towed. The problem is chronic in Ford Focus - yet Ford is not recalling or attempting to assist customers in any way to remedy the flaw.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #136

Dec 152003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,474 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. The contact was unable to restart the vehicle after adding fuel. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The failure occurred on December 15, 2003 and recurred approximately three weeks ago. The ignition lock assembly switch was replaced. The cost to repair the vehicle was $433 at the owner's expense; however, the first repair was covered by the warranty. The ignition switch should not fail after three years. The Ford manufacturer stated that they were unable to assist because the warranty expired. The failure mileage was 52,474 and current mileage was 52,732.

- Sacramento , CA, USA

problem #135

Nov 092007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles
I bought my 2001 Ford Focus in April 2007 from a used car dealership. One day a couple of months ago I went into a store and when I came out my key would not go into the ignition and the steering wheel was locked. Fortunately I grabbed a passerby to help me and he was able to get the key into the ignition and I was able to drive the car. Then a few days ago I got home from work one night, parked my car, and went inside. Next morning when I tried to leave for work the key would not go into the ignition and the wheel was locked again. After an hour of trying to get the key in, I had to call a mechanic to tow the car to the shop and get it repaired. It cost me $400.

- Prospect Heights, IL, USA

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