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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 1
Average Mileage:
28,048 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #42

Jul 142015


  • 11,600 miles


When vehicle has ideled or traveled at slow speeds for a long period, the vehicle will not accelerate. It will also stall has lost fuel efficiency and driver can smell fuel. Mechanic states the fuel rail pressor sensor is leaking. Mechanic states part is on national back order. One can only assume that back order is caused by same or simillar malfunction.

- Rosedale, MD, USA

problem #41

Mar 202013

Focus 4-cyl Diesel

  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle would randomly accelerate and decelerate independently as if it were going to stall. The contact took the vehicle to a dealer but was told that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The contact also stated that there were no warning lights when the failure occurred. The failure mileage was 88,000 and the current mileage was 90,000.

- Oberlin, OH, USA

problem #40

Jul 072012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 115,500 miles
Driving with cruise control set at 60 mph when car accelerated gaining speeds over 75. I pulled over, shut down engine, lifted hood and saw accelerator linkage was stuck. I cleared linkage, started engine and car ran normally. This happened 3 more times on later dates with cruise control engaged. Car starts accelerating until I stop vehicle, shut off engine, and free up linkage/metal.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #39

Jul 122012


  • 109,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, there was a sudden up shift and the vehicle accelerated uncontrollably on its own. The contact attempted to down shift into neutral to apply the brakes, but the vehicle failed to brake. The contact was unable to stop the vehicle and it accelerated up to 40 and 60 mph. The contact had to shut the vehicle off to stop acceleration. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer or repair shop for inspection or repair. The manufacturer was made aware; however no further assistance was provided. The failure and current mileages were 109,000.

- Bensenville, IL, USA

problem #38

Aug 212011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 192,247 miles
While passing a car while driving down a two lane road, my accelerator pedal continued going down to the floor on its own. I tapped the brakes, checked to see if there were any obstructions by the pedal, tried everything I could to free the accelerator pedal but nothing worked. By this time the car was traveling in excess of 80 mph and applying the brakes were not slowing the car down at all. Finally I put the car in neutral and while the engine kept racing at full throttle, I turned off the ignition and coasted to the side of the road. My husband returned to look at the car and found the accelerator cable disconnected and lodged between the mounting bracket and the throttle actuator, jamming the throttle at full throttle. Fortunately this happened about two miles from the house. He was able to reconnect the cable and drive the car home, but he said that while driving back, the throttle was slow to throttle down when he released the pedal. Once back home he found the cable had disconnected again. We are going to contact Ford to see if there has been any recalls on this for the 2001. We found recalls on the 2000 model but none on the 2001. We also found one complaint that was described exactly as ours with the cable disconnecting and hanging up on the bracket.

- Abita Springs, LA, USA

problem #37

Jun 152011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 153,000 miles
The contact own a 2001 Ford Focus. When the contact applied the brakes and stopped the vehicle it accelerated. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer to have the throttle positioning sensor replaced. A year after the vehicle was repaired, the vehicle continued to accelerate. The transmission and the throttle positioning sensor were also replaced; yet, the vehicle continued to accelerate whenever the brakes were applied. The contact stated the throttle positioning sensor was defective and caused the vehicle to accelerate. The contact was concerned that the vehicle was unsafe to drive. The failure mileage was 153,000. The consumer also stated the vehicle went into neutral while driving. The mechanic stated it was due to a faulty tps sensor. The consumer stated the sudden acceleration would cease for abut six months and then return. The tps sensor was replaced three times. Updated 07/29/11

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #36

Nov 112001


  • 107,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. The contact stated that she experienced numerous issues with the vehicle which included the passenger side struts which had to be replaced twice. The vehicle would sit sideways when parked. The back of the front passenger seat would not lock into place, so it slid forward while the vehicle was in motion. The headlights were too dim and did not provide adequate lighting on the road. The front driver's side seat belt alarm would ring although the seat belt was engaged and the latch would also pop open suddenly at times. The vehicle stalled while the contact was driving and would accelerate suddenly. The contact called the manufacturer who stated that the repairs would have to be performed at the contact's expense. The current and failure mileages were approximately 107,000.

- Collinsville , IL, USA

problem #35

Jun 252010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 123,150 miles
Sticking accelerator pedal 2001 Ford Focus SE. 2.0L L4 DOHC driving down the interstate heading to work and was going to set the cruise. I couldn't get it to activate tried speeding up and slowing down and setting - didn't operate. A few moments later a car merged in front of me from the on ramp. I slowed down let traffic on the left go by. I then merged to left lane and depressed the accelerator and it stuck at/near full throttle. I tapped the brakes to see if the cruise had engaged - no change, looked to see if there was an obstruction by the pedal - none found, tried pulling pedal back with my foot - no effect, tried stomping on accelerator to see if it would unstick - no change. I was now going over 80 mph and close to rear ending a car in front of me I stepped on the brakes hard, it didn't slow down. At this point I turned the ignition off and merged to the right and off to the emergency lane. I opened the hood and inspected the accelerator linkage at the throttle plate. Found the cruise control cable had disconnected and got lodged between the cruise control cable mounting bracket and the throttle plate actuator keeping the throttle plate at or near full throttle. I reconnected the cruise cable went to work returned home and have set the car aside for further inspection.

- Oconomowoc, WI, USA

problem #34

Jul 242008


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. While driving between 20-80 mph, the accelerator pedal would become stuck momentarily. The dealer stated that the throttle body was defective and needed to be replaced. The part was unavailable and the dealer stated that it was being redesigned especially for this failure, and would not be available until December of 2008. The vehicle is inoperable and awaiting the replacement part in order to be repaired. The failure and current mileages were less than 30,000.

- Pocono Pines, PA, USA

problem #33

Aug 142005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
My daughter was driving on the highway. Traffic was trying to merge, and she was blocked in on the left. She accelerated a little to get ahead of the merging traffic. At that time the throttle stuck wide open and would not release. She stated that when she tried to stop the car with the brakes, it would not slow down even though she was pushing as hard as she could on the brake pedal. She placed the gear shift in neutral and was able to stop the car. She came to a stop at the side of the road and shut the car off. The rpms were at 7000 before she shut the engine off. Upon restart, the engine continued to race to 7000 RPM. She was able to get the throttle un-stuck by pushing the pedal to the floor and releasing. She drove the car to a sears auto center, where the technician found the throttle linkage malfunctioning. He could not fix the problem, and could not guarantee that it would not happen again. We elected to leave the car there, and have it towed to a Ford dealership in the morning. It was a very scary and potentially dangerous event.

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #32

Sep 142004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 32,089 miles


When attempting to brake, the consumer down shifted and the safety ignition switch malfunctioned and was caught under the clutch, causing the relay to slow down. The consumer pulled the emergency brake to stop the lurching, but it was too late and the consumer scraped another vehicle in a parking lot.

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #31

Aug 162004


  • miles
Vehicle stalled while driving or would not start. Dealership informed the consumer that the problem pertained to the idle control valve, but the problem was not resolved.

- Hartselle, AL, USA

problem #30

Apr 012004

(reported on)

Focus 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
Vehicle was surging at a steady speed of 53-63 mph.

- Bismarck, ND, USA

problem #29

Oct 172003

(reported on)


  • 18,000 miles
Vehicle stalled without warning when driving at any speed. The problem occurred more frequently when making turns or reversing. Vehicle was almost rear ended when it stalled while merging onto the highway. Dealership replaced the fuel pump 3 times, but problem still exists. Also, while driving at any speed vehicle will suddenly surge and accelerate at a high speed. The brake pedal was depressed to disengage the excess speed. The cause of the sudden acceleration was undetermined.

- Bell Gardens, CA, USA

problem #28

Aug 122003


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Ford Focus sped up for no reason and then veered to left crossing left lane and went into ditch which had a culvert and the car then bounced into a cornfield. Airbags deployed for both driver and passenger. Driver had broken ribs and other bruises. Passenger had chest injuries from which he died couple hours later. The inspecting officer said witnesses insisted they did not see brake lights, and if there was anything wrong with the car the driver would have hit the brakes. Driver remembered the accident, and was awake and talking to passenger. She was hospitalized and had neurological tests and did not have a stroke.

- Concord, MI, USA

problem #27

Jul 112003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,600 miles
Vehicle accelerated without driver touching the accelerator pedal. Over $5,000 for repair.

- Hudson, MA, USA

problem #26

Jul 302003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
My 2001 Ford Focus SE 4dr tends to stall out after using the air conditioner. The stalling behaviour starts after the A/C has been on for a while and continues after the A/C is turned off. The engine sputters and will stall while driving at highway speeds.

- Decatur, MS, USA

problem #25

Mar 142003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,550 miles
I bought a 2001 Ford Focus. The throttle was sticking and was hard to take off and then it would lurch forward all of a sudden. I took it to the dealer and they oiled the cable and it worked for a few hours and got stiff again. I took it to another dealer and they replaced the throttle body. That problem was fixed. Now when I drive it the check engine light comes on and then it dies. I had to have it towed back to the dealer. I feel this car is not safe.

- Marysville, WA, USA

problem #24

Oct 292002


  • miles
While backing up slowly with my foot on the brake, the car lurched backward with tremendous force and struck two other parked vehicles. The brake failed to stop it.

- Winchester, MA, USA

problem #23

Oct 302002

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,300 miles
The consumer was backing the vehicle of out a parking space when the accelerator pedal became stuck resulting in a collision with 2 other vehicles. The dealer could not determine the cause.

- Winchester, MA, USA

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