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. Notes: The 2002 Ford Focus 2.0L SOHC engine has a defect where the intake valve seat fails. The valve then falls into the cylinder, destroying the engine & most owner relationships with Ford in the process.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,719 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.

2002 Ford Focus brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Nov 162005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,500 miles


At around 35,000 miles my father noticed a grinding noise on the front of his Focus. Thinking that it was the screech of a warning indicator he parked the vehicle until he could have me look at it. Both front rotors were severely ground down with the left inside pad being totally down flush with the metal. This shouldn't be normal wear. Back brakes showed signs of normal if not less than normal wear. This should not be normal wear and tear on a vehicle with this few miles on it. I had to replace both rotors prematurely. We will keep the old parts for thirty days in case they are needed.

- Zachary, LA, USA

problem #20

Oct 272004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Yearly inspection resulted in a failure due to excessive rotor wear on both fron rotors. Although I was informed that the brake pads would have lasted another 5 to 6 thousand miles. No faulty or damage to the front end that would have caused this type of wear. Previous inspection last year at another Ford dealer showed no issues. Also informed of this type of wear being considered normal by the dealers due to the manufacturing process of the original rotors being changed to intice owners to replace rather than turn the rotors when needed. Found that there is a pending class action in California of the same incident. Also located two technical bullitens from Ford showing concern over the issue. Called the Ford corporate and was told that there was nothing I could do due to the factory warrent covering only 12K miles and I was at 34K miles. Called the dealer back, told them of my findings and my disappointment in discovering that it was a known issue after all. The service manager called me back to inform me that it would be covered under warranty since they had overlooked the issue.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #19

Oct 152004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,040 miles
1)normal driving pattern; 2)brakes started to crunch at 31,000, this car was purchased new and still under warranty, but not for brakes. 3)took to Ford dealer on 10/15 they wanted $550 plus to fix, my salesman told me he had never heard of this happening at such low mileage. Called Ford corporate, got no help with service rep, requested a call from supervisor, still haven't recieved a call back. Took to midas to fix, was repaired this morning.

- Elgin, IL, USA

problem #18

Jul 152004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,600 miles


2002 Ford Focus with 23,600 miles required all new pads and rotors-- dealership has said that this is normal...for the Focus... and such work is not covered by warranty. Took the car to midas and had front brakes and rotors replaced (rotors couldn't even be turned!), mechanic at midas stated that replacing pads and rotors on a vehicle before the warranty has even expired is not normal, typical, or to be expected. Before replacing the brakes, there was chronically a large amount of brake dust on the front wheels.

- Evansville, IN, USA

problem #17

Aug 132004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,777 miles
2002 Ford Focus ZX5. Brakes grind and squeal. At 10,777 miles (10,000-mile service), Ford dealership said front brake pads and rotors are completely worn out and need to be replaced at cost of $500. Car is unsafe to drive without replacing brakes.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #16

Aug 032004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
My 2002 Ford fucus ZX3 needed new brake pads and rotors after a mere 22,000 miles!! this service cost me $280 and is not covered under Ford's warranty. Clearly there is a problem with the braking system if a car needs new rotors before the first set of tires wear out.

- Chico, CA, USA

problem #15

May 282004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles


Have only 23,000 miles on my Ford Focus 2002 wagon and it needs front pads and rotors. I have never had a car that needed rotors at 23,000 miles. This is a major safety and design defect.

- Burtonsville, MD, USA

problem #14

Feb 282003


  • 23,424 miles
While having vehicle serviced for another problem dealership noticed that brake pads and rotors wore out prematurely and needed replacement.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #13

Mar 052004


  • 22,314 miles
While performing an oil change dealership indicated that the brake pads and rotors needed to be replaced. They wore out prematurely.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #12

Feb 252004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 24,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Focus with 24600 miles on the car. The brake pads and rotors where gone when I took the auto into the shop.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #11

Dec 102003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles


Front brake pads and rotors had to be replaced after only 20,000 miles of driving. The mechanic told me that this is a common problem with all the Focus's he has seen.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #10

Sep 212003


  • 16,000 miles
The front brake rotors were warped. Dealership notified of the problem, but the problem has not been resolved.

- Combine, TX, USA

problem #9

Sep 092003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,692 miles
2002 Ford Focus has failure of front brake calipers, needs replacing of rotors, pads and calipers under warranty but dealer refuses to agree to this estimate by master brake. Dealer says I only need pads and rotors machined. Car only has 14,692 miles on it.

- North Ogden, UT, USA

problem #8

Aug 162003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,700 miles
To my Focus in to service Jan 2003 for squeaking brakes, rotors were warped, brake squeaking said to be "normal". they machine straightened the rotors and said Ford engineering looking into squeaks. Aug. 2003 take Focus in for loud vibrating sound. Brakes and rotors completely shot. $440 to fix. 13700 miles on car.

- Las Vegas , NV, USA

problem #7

Jul 072003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,053 miles
At 14053 miles, the rotors on my 2002 Ford Focus had to be remachined, now at 20K miles, I have to have the same brake problem fixed again. Obviously the rotors are either substandard or defective and or there is a larger problem, master cylinder etc. Also the rear brakes tend to lock up periodically.1st incident-Jan 03.

- Mechanicsville, MD, USA

problem #6

Jun 022003


  • miles
Consumer states that brake rotors are wearing out, and when applying the brakes, vehicle will have a heavy vibration and extended stopping distance. Dealer notified.

- District Heights, MD, USA

problem #5

Jun 122003

(reported on)


  • miles
While driving a grinding noise was heard. Vehicle was taken to the dealer, who stated that brake rotors and pads had to be replaced.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #4

Mar 142003


  • miles
Brake rotors are wearing out. When applying the brakes vehicle will have heavy vibration and extended stopping distance. Dealer notified.

- Clinton, MD, USA

problem #3

May 032003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,000 miles
2002 Ford Focus, only 15000 miles. $500 for brake job because rotors were shot. Mechanic says common problem with Focus.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #2

Apr 302003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Brakes are completely ruined along with rotors in 11,000 miles. Completely unthinkable. Dealer says they have noticed a problem but no one is willing to do anything. I am very unhappy.

- Miami, FL, USA

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