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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 1
Average Mileage:
23,552 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2001 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Sep 062008


  • 68,000 miles


While in curve driving 50 mph steering locked up, not sure if car cut off but I was unable to straighten out wheel resulting in accident where I hit telephone crushing pelvis, and breaking my left arm.. I spent 37 days in hospital and now have plates and screws in my pelvis and arm. It has been a month since the accident and I am now in a wheel chair for 2 months healing time before I can start therapy to begin walking, and doctors say I will have to have a hip replacement in the next 2 to 5 years. Help me please Ford is responsible for this I am 24 years old..

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #25

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 #24

Aug 242008


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 5-10 mph, the steering wheel pulled to the left without warning. As a result, the vehicle sideswiped a parked vehicle. The mirror was damaged. The police was not called to the scene. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence and has not been repaired. An independent mechanic stated that the steering control arm disengaged, which caused the failure. The failure and current mileages were 93,000.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #23

May 182008


  • 74,778 miles


Defective front coil springs fractured, wedged against tire, causing partial loss of steering control. Right side fractured July, 2005, left side fractured may, 2008. Coil spring & related parts replaced both times.

- Mahwah, NJ, USA

problem #22

Nov 092006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,893 miles
I have a 2003 Ford Focus. Now I am having a problem with steering wheel lock-up. My search on the internet has shown that this is apparently a very common problem with the Focus. This problem will occur out of the blue and now I am beginning to think that it isn't just my key. There is a problem with this lock design. Ford needs to recall this.

- Gastonia, NC, USA

problem #21

Feb 272006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles
We bought our daughter a 2001 Ford Focus. All the reviews stated that the car was a good, economical, safe car. We purchased the car used in 2004. Since the purchase her steering and ignition system has locked up on her twice. After reading many sites it sounds like this is a common problem with Ford Focus. This is an economical car that many parents are relying on to get their college aged children to and from school. Ford needs to recall all Ford focuses so they can all have new ignitions installed. The safety of our children is most important here. Parents should not have to continually worry that their 22 year old daughter may be stranded somewhere without help due to Ford lazy attitude. Please recall these cars that so that parents can have peace of mind knowing their children are safe.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #20

Jul 152004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles


Owner says there is to much play in the steering wheel. Driver must turn the wheel several inches before the steering wheel will turn the tires in the direction. Provide further details.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #19

Jun 282004


  • miles
Steering wheel locked and key would not turn wheel start vehicle. Happened 3 different times car had to be towed into dealership twice and each incident was close to a 300 dollar bill each incident.

- Reagan, TN, USA

problem #18

Dec 152002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
I purchased a 2001 Ford Focus SE 4-door sedan in November 2002. The car was a manufacturer buy-back from the original owner and had a small warranty left. At the end of November 2002, I brought the car back to the dealership to have the spark plugs, spark plug wires and a faulty belt replaced. At the end of December 2002, the car was making a strange noise and the engine light was on, so I returned the car to the dealership. A day or so before my appointment with the dealership, I received a recall notice from Ford regarding the pinch bolt. Unfortunately, I received that recall notice too late the faulty pinch bolt had already failed and caused so much damage to the rack and pinion that it had to be replaced. I have since replaced the front brakes. I also experienced a faulty valve in the heating system that was allowing water to flow into the car's cabin and soak the carpeting. Getting to the transmission problem, about a week ago, the car refused to accelerate going up a hill and instead the engine revved. No matter what I tried, I could not get the car to accelerate past 30 mph. Since the car is now long past its small manufacturers warranty, I had an independent mechanic look at the car. He recommended that I flush the transmission and see if that would help the problem. I spent $100 on a transmission flush. That didn't work and the problem continues. I called Ford Motor Company to complain about the car and to ask for a buyback, but my request was refused. I then took my car to wiscasset Ford. They diagnosed the problem(s) with the car (at no charge). I need a new transmission. They gave me two options for payment. 1) pay for the new transmission out-of-pocket, estimated cost at $2500 - $3000; 2) buy an extended warranty on the drive train for $500. I am planning on purchasing the extended drive train warranty which will allow wiscasset Ford to replace my transmission and will also give me an extra 15K miles for the drive train.

- Liberty, ME, USA

problem #17

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 Co.to complain...

- Graham, WA, USA

problem #16

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 #15

Feb 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
I have had several repairs for this car. In regards to steering, wheel, tire as well the suspension. As the car was under 18000 mile I had so much problem with mentioned above problems. I could not control my car when it rained or when ever the road was not in perfect shape.

- Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #14

Dec 152002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
There is just to much paperwork to copy out, but would like to mail copies. I am going to pick up car this afternoon just had second fuel pump fitted and new gas tank. To date no recall info received by post. However I have been drenched with gas on more than one occassion while filling car. I have nearly been killed when car cut out at 55mph on highway narrowly missed by two other motorists. Vehicle has 38,000 miles & has had the following repairs. 1/countless engine sensors 2/four new tyres 3/new front brake pads 4/new front brake rotas 5/new front wheel bearings 6/two fuel pumps 7/one fuel tank 8/waiting for third set of a frame plastic covers 9/three stereo players 10/tracklink reset three times 11/still have realy noisy brakes 12/engine sounds like 10 year old car 13/rear passenger window works when feels like it 14/right hand door speaker sounds as if broken 15/new tires fitted showing signs of odd wear 16/tail gate leakes water 17/ thought Lincoln/Mercury dealer might give better results no just longer wait.

- Longwood, FL, USA

problem #13

Jan 152002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
Hydroplaines at certain speeds even with new tires and alignment! (originally submitted December 17, 2002)

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #12

Sep 242003

(reported on)


  • miles
Vehicle was taken to the dealer for recall# 02V289000 repairs concerning steering pinch bolts. The remedy for this recall is inadequate because the control arm continues to loosen from the steering knuckle, causing difficulty when steering the vehicle.

- Maple Park, IL, USA

problem #11

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 #10

Jul 222003


  • 38,000 miles
Consumer had a front collision and neither of the air bags deployed. Dealer notified. Vehicle's engine stalled causing steering and brake failure causing a collision into the side of a mountain. Air bag equipment failed to deploy on impact.

- Towanda, PA, USA

problem #9

May 242003


  • miles
Vehicle lost steering while turning right. Vehicle was taken to the dealer.

- Duvall, WA, USA

problem #8

Jan 132003


  • 14,012 miles
The vehicle hit a ditch in the road and front suspension failed completely..................

- Burlington, WI, USA

problem #7

Feb 042003


  • miles
The steering wheel wandered to the left and right.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

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