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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
67 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
52 / 1
Average Mileage:
13,228 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2001 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #83

Jul 112010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,500 miles


In July of 2010 I was driving my 2001 Ford Focus in stop and go traffic. The lady infront of me stopped, I had turned for a second, when I turned back I saw the airbags blow in my face. I was traveling a maximum of 10mph there was no damage to the other vehicle or mine (from the accident). The driver airbag burned my arm, the passenger shattered the windshield, gun powder covered the roof lining. The parts manager at the local dealership said that the airbags where rated 25-30mph. I contacted Ford in August of 2010, in January of 2011 they finally replied by saying that "all equipment functioned properly."

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #82

Dec 302010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
I own a 2001 Ford Focus. I was in stop and go traffic on a road near my house when I accidentally bumped the person in front of me. Both my passenger and my driver's side airbags deployed, smashing my windshield! the officer that reported to the scene said that there was no way I was going fast enough for them to deploy because I had been sitting in the traffic for a while and we were merely rolling. There was no damage to the front of my car or to the back of the other person's car so I feel that the airbags probably should not have gone off. Is it possible that this is a defect??

- No Providence, RI, USA

problem #81

Apr 242009


  • 113,000 miles
My daughter was driving 2001 Ford Focus SE wagon approximately 45mph when she described steering locked up in turn then she heard tires squealing and vehicle jerked hard left causing her to go off the road, hit a rock wall and flipped the car end over end. The air bags did not deploy. She landed upside down but was able to exit vehicle through broken window. She received cuts and bruises and was taken to emergency room for X-rays where they said she had no serious injuries and was released. On scene investigation by police and tow truck operated suggested ball joint failure or other steering/suspension failure. Car was totaled.

- Greenfield Center, NY, USA

problem #80

Feb 012006


  • miles


2001 Ford Focus passenger air bag deployed although seat was unoccupied. ***** the consumer was involved in a minor accident. The consumer is petitioning that all vehicles should be equipped with an on-off switch to deactivate the airbags from deploying if the seat is unoccupied. Updated 07/20/11

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #79

Dec 192005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 69,000 miles
The contact stated while driving in bumper to bumper traffic the air bags deployed without any impact to the vehicle. This incident caused the contact's vehicle to hit another vehicle. Both bumpers cracked. A police report was taken at the scene. The manufacturer recommended that no other mechanic look at the vehicle until they determine what occurred.

- Slingerlands, NY, USA

problem #78

Oct 282005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
The contact's vehicle was involved in a crash and the air bags did not deploy. The contact was driving at 40 mph when hitting another vehicle. The contact hit the steering wheel with her head, and when she did so, the air bags then deployed. The point of impact was the front end of vehicle. The contact sustained minor injuries since she was wearing seat belts. A police and insurance reports were taken..

- Wood Dale , IL, USA

problem #77

Oct 142005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


My son was driving our 2001 Ford Focus wagon on 10/14/05 when he was involved in a frontal collision in which both airbags deployed. He sustained 2nd degree burns on his left arm, from wrist to elbow, due to the airbag chemicals venting in an improper way. He is being treated by a physician for his injuries. The vehicle is not being driven at present.

- Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #76

Sep 302005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 52,000 miles
(1) airbag warning light started flashing on for a little while then going out a few days before accident. (2) in stop and go traffic, airbags deployed without warning and without cause in turn causing me to release clutch and bump in to the car in front of me. Additionally airbag caused 2nd degree burns on my left wrist and sprained knuckles on right hand. (3) car is currently at autoway Ford for evaluation/repair.

- Homosassa, FL, USA

problem #75

Sep 112005

Focus 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 56,000 miles
The airbag deployed and burned the driver. The car filled with smoke immediately.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #74

Sep 152004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I rear-ended a vehicle in front of me at a stop light. Mph was less than 10. Both airbags deployed giving me 2nd degree burns to my hand and arm resulting in loss of work for several days and scarring. My windshield also shattered. The vehicle that was hit had no damage. My was very minimal. My airbags and windshield were replaced, but my steering wheel was never fixed. With the many numerous recalls on this vehicle plus this incident, my wife and I feel unsafe in this car.

- Lowell, MI, USA

problem #73

Jun 092005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles


Accident happened at dept. Store parking lot. Hit concrete pole in parking lot causing airbags to deploy and causing airbag burns on wrist. Car totaled.

- Milford, OH, USA

problem #72

Apr 272005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was in a car accident where the driver side air bag deployed and caused a third degree burn on my right arm and stomach. It imploded and burned a 6-8 inch hole in my sweatshirt and jeans.

- Farmington, MO, USA

problem #71

May 132005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Focus driver hit rear of another vehicle at stop light - both Focus air bags deployed. Passanger air bag door hit windshield so hard it shattered windshield and shards of glass went every where inside the vehicle. Luckly there was no passanger or injury could have resulted from fly glass. Focus and other driver were not injured. Complaint is the poor location of passanger airbag. When activated the winshield is destroyed because of the passanger airbag door. Glass goes everywhere inside vehicle.

- Oklahoma City , OK, USA

problem #70

Mar 142005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
The air bags on a 2001 for Focus deployed when there was no impact. Ford will not take responsibility for this problem because the black box says the air bags deployed for a reason. There was no physical damage was done to the car except from the air bags. There was no accident report to file by the police because there was no impact, with another vehicle or without. She was driving 10 mph in traffic and used her brakes.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #69

Mar 072005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While applying the brake pedal driver's air bag deployed inadvertently. This caused the driver to sustain minor injuries. Vehicle was towed to a garage for inspection. The cause has not been determined at this time.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #68

Nov 302004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
While stopped at a light the frontal air bags deployed inadvertently. The driver sustained third degree burns to her face, lip, and neck area. The cause has yet to be determined.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #67

Oct 272004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,863 miles
Both front air bags deployed inadvertently while driving 35-40 mph. Dealer was notified.

- Edmond, OK, USA

problem #66

Oct 202004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving, the frontal air bags deployed inadvertently without warning. The driver was not hur, T but seeked medical attention the next day. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. Please fill in additional information.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #65

Aug 022004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at 72 mph C onsumer lost consciousness and vehicle took a nose dive off the inner state, rolling over, and landing on another road up side down. Upon impact air bags failed to deploy and the seat belt failed to retract. Driver sustained 11 staples to the back of head, stitches and cuts to the left eye and left arm and other upper, and lower bodily injuries. The vehicle is totaled.

- Barnwell, SC, USA

problem #64

May 252004


  • 36,000 miles
During a 5 mph rear end collision, the driver's side air bag deployed. The particles inside the air bag caused 3rd degree burns to the consumer upper body.

- Pennsburg, PA, USA

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