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.

CarComplaints.com 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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,737 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Feb 122005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 56,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Ford Focus ZX3 ignition failure- steering column locks, car won't start. Stuck in an unsafe area with no help.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #23

Jan 252005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,900 miles
No start, no crank. Randomly car will not start, and there is no cranking either. Happens once or twice a week. Shows dashes on the digit display. Car may start after 10 minutes or 3 hours - can't tell. Has been taken to the dealer once. Problem not replicated, but service found a technical service bulletin for the VIN, and 2001, 2002 models which specified this exact problem, suggesting replacement of a specific part for supposedly a dpfe shortening. Even though this part alone was changed, problem recurred just after a couple of days. Vehicle now again at the dealership. This is a really annoying problem, and I'm now afraid to take the car anywhere, even if it comes back from the dealership supposedly after being 'fixed', as there's no telling when the problem will recur, or if the car could even stall in the middle of a freeway!. have requested dealership to keep the car for however long it takes to replicate the problem, but not sure if they'll do it.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #22

Feb 072005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
This is the third time that my 2002 Ford Focus ignition has failed. I stick the key in the ignition, the car makes the beeping sound and will not turn. I have tried turning the wheel and turning the key at the same time. I have tried turning the key to the other side and then turning it and I have also made sure it was in park, tried to mess with the tilt of the wheel nothing works. This time that it happened I got stranded out in the middle of a dark parking lot where there was no one around. There were no other stores or anything around. I am now going to have to get my vehicle towed and spend another 250 to get this fixed. My car only has 55,000 miles and I have only had it for a year. Ford needs to consider recalling this because I know that I am not the only one that has made a complaint regarding this. If this is not recalled I will never buy a Ford again and neither will my family and we buy an awful lots of Ford in our family and my husbands family.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #21

Mar 172003

Focus

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Vehicle stalled and the ignition tumbler was defective whereby consumer have to leave the key in the vehicle. The ignition was replaced four times. Also, front brakes squealed, and did not stop the vehicle. Pads were replaced four times.

- Desoto, TX, USA

problem #20

Oct 232004

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,798 miles
I picked my car up from cleveland hopkins airport on Saturday, October 23, 2004. I drove to my sister in-law's house to pick up my husband and 2yr old daughter. We stayed for about two hours and then left. When I tried to start my 2002 Ford Focus I was not able to turn the key. The steering wheel was locked up and would only move a few inches in either direction. After about an hour I just drove my husband's mother's car home. The next day I had to have the car towed to Liberty Ford in maple hts. I was told several different things beforehand. I was told the steering wheel was locked and I only needed to "jiggle" the key and the steering wheel to unlock it. I was told I had a bad key and needed a new one. Well none of that was true. The service department said I had to have my entire ignition replaced and it cost $342. I have not picked up the car yet, but will try to get the old part.

- Maple Hts, OH, USA

problem #19

Oct 172004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
Approximately every fifth time I drive my 2002 Ford Focus, the key gets stuck in the ignition and cannot be removed. Subsequently, I'm able to get the key out of the ignition (after restarting the car and driving mindlessly for a few miles). The dealer is aware of this problem, and they have replaced the lock cylinder twice to no avail. Within days of getting "fixed", the problem sprouts up again, leaving me without keys, without the ability to lock the car (that would lock my keys in the car), and forcing me to plan ahead and take a spare key with me wherever I go (so I can lock the keys in the car, still in the ignition -- a prime candidate for vehicle theft). This problem has been reported on numerous web sites, and there are clearly problems with the ignition system employed by Ford.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #18

Oct 082004

Focus

  • 54,001 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Upon trying to start the vehicle, the ignition would not turn. The consumer tried several times to get the vehicle started. Consumer had to have the vehicle towed. The consumer stated that the mechanic already knew that the consumers vehicle was a Ford Focus and knew the problem before it was told to him.

- Joshua Tree, CA, USA

problem #17

Oct 092004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,980 miles
I own a 2002 Ford Focus. On the way out of the supermarket, I put the key in the ignition only to find it would not turn! it was jammed. I could pull my key in and out, but no amount of shaking the wheel or twisting the key could free this frozen ignition. Never had this problem before. Had to call a tow truck and have it fixed at the Ford dealer in yucca valley, ca. $650!!! is what it cost to repair! I went online and found hundreds of different people having the same problem with this model car, some having it repaired 3 times in one year! this is a defective part that needs to be recalled! even the mechanics knew after telling them what model it was, what the problem was! how can you justify owning a 2 year old new car and having to replace the ignition every 3 years"? or more" this is bs!

- Joshua Tree, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 062004

Focus

  • miles
Consumer stated the key stuck upon putting the key into the ignition. The ignition switch started to freeze. Consumer had problems starting the vehicle. This caused the steering wheel to lock. Contacted the dealer. Had the vehicle towed to the dealer. However the problem recurred..

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #15

Sep 102004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 500 miles
I purchased a 2002 Ford Focus from don hinds Ford in fishers, in on 9/28/02. The problem I am reporting is that the key will not turn over so that the engine can be started. The key routinely balks and jams. It failed to turn over 1 week after the purchase. The Ford 800 assistance # recommended pulling the steering wheel back & forth while simultaneously trying to turn the key over. That worked, they did not offer to fix the problem. I got the selling dealership to replace the ignition cylinder tumbler at 19,000 mi under warranty. Balking/jamming continued, at 38,000 the key would not turn over at all. After towing it to a private auto repair shop, they replaced the tumbler again. 1 month later it nearly didn't start again. Ford in greensburg, in replaced the tumbler again under a "good will" policy. 9/10/04 the car stranded me again due to the same problem. After towing to an indianapolis, in Ford dealership, they replaced the tumbler again. That's the fifth tumbler in that car in 43,000. I don't think the 5th one will fix it any more than the first 4 tumblers did.

- Rushville, IN, USA

problem #14

Sep 142004

Focus

  • 42,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Upon trying to start the vehicle. The ignition locked. However, the consumer could not turn the key. The consumer tried both keys to the vehicle, and neither worked.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #13

Sep 082004

Focus

  • miles
Ignition cylinder is broken again after repair. This part needs to be recalled! being unable to start the car at random is unsafe!

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #12

Aug 282004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Ignition lock on the 2002 Ford Focus is faulty. The cylinders become damaged over time (short duration of time) due to wear preventing the lock from turning. Also there is a defect in the passive anti-theft device connected to the ignition switch. It will fail over time and cannot be easily repaired. The lock has malfunctioned on my wife and myself multiple times and has even cost us ten minutes of "haggling" before the switch would engage. I do not care to have my wife stranded, especially late at night, due to a part which is known by the manufacturer to be defective.

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #11

Aug 212004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Sterring locked up. Key will enter ignition but will not turn. Car is still in the shop.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #10

Nov 012003

Focus

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,000 miles
Car will randomly not start. This occurs both when engine has been cold for several hours and after engine has been running a while and then shut off and restarted. Car will eventually start usually after waiting about 30-40 minutes. Dealer says cannot replicate problem but they will not keep it long enough to really try. If we were to tow to dealer, car would be starting by the time it got there. Occurs at random, about 1-3 times per month since November 2003. Has been to dealership 2 times. First time, loose wire in steering column was corrected but they said nothing was wrong with car. Second time they replaced a part in ignition switch but said nothing was wrong with it to start with. Still having no-start problem. Returning to dealeriship tomorrow.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #9

Jun 082004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,400 miles
In January 2004 and again on June 8, 2004 my 2002 Ford Focus stopped running while in traffic. The first time (January, 2004) was on the I-355 tollway while traveling approximately 55 mph. I was lucky enough to be in the right lane and was able to coast to a stop at the route 64 off-ramp. The last time (June 8, 2004) I was in rush hour traffic when the engine quit. There was no warning, sputtering or gradual loss of power. The engine just stopped and the dash warning lights came on. The June failure nearly caused an accident because of the cars folowing closely behind me on a narrow roadway. I was able to slowly coast onto a side street and out of the main flow of traffic. The car started after a short delay and was driven to the dealership where purchased. The checked out the car and told me that they could not find anything wrong. As such, they woould not make any repairs. When I contacted Ford, I was told they would do nothing, since the dealer could not find anything wrong. This intermittent problem is dangerous and ptentially could cause an accident if it occurs on a freeway with fast moving traffic. Ford told me that they could not do anything about it and that further conversation would be "just going in circles." I told them that they have been advised and that a problem exists. If an accident results from this I will persue the matter. I was told that they have attorneys for matters like this.;\

- Wheaton, IL, USA

problem #8

Jun 072004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,201 miles
Ignition key will not turn at all. Dealer quoted $400 to replace lock cylinder.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #7

May 162004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 48,000 miles
When putting the key in my ignition, the key will not turn and the steering wheel is locked. This just started happening and progressively gets worse.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #6

Nov 032003

Focus 16-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 21,470 miles
Engine stalled after I had driven two miles with no warning. I had just down-shifted into 2nd gear as I was slowing to make a turn and the car stalled across two traffic lanes and would not restart. The oil light, battery light, and one other light came on (alternator I think). The car was manually pushed out of traffic lanes in neutral gear by two motorists who stopped to help. They were also unable to restart the vehicle. After approximately 10 minutes the engine started. I had the car towed and after 5 days the dealership still cannot find anything wrong. Apparently the onboard computer did not capture the problem. I am extremely concerned because the car stalled without warning at approximately 25 miles an hour. Had I been on the interstate as scheduled (I was running late and had to drop my daughter off before going home to pick up my laptop) I would almost certainly have been involved in an accident because I had no time to maneuver out of traffic after the engine stalled. It was 75 degree day (Monday 11/3/03) so outside temperature could not have been a factor.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #5

Oct 102002

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 500 miles
Purchased 2002 Ford Focus 4 dr sedan, took delivery 9/28/02. About 1-2 wks later, tried to start car, ignition key would not turn over. Called Ford assistance toll-free #, they advised wiggling the wheel while turning the key. They say ignition key sometimes will not turn when wheels are turned or parked up next to a curb. This has happened many times since, not all under those circumstances. Today, 7/16/03, with just over 19,000 miles on it, I brought it into don hind's Ford dealership in fishers, in, where I purchased the vehicle new. They have put a new cylinder lock in there, per kip jacobs of don hinds Ford. Mr. Jacobs did try to get me to believe that this is a common problem among all cars. I informed him I've been driving 33 years, and I have never had a car do this. I consider this a safety issue. I rarely loan my car, nor is it driven by anyone else. Nevertheless, should I do so, and forget to warn them of this peculiarity in advance, they may have an urgent need to start the car, and be unable to do so. (like, "my baby can't breath! let's get her to the hospital fast!") or if I sell it to someone else, if they aren't aware of this idiosyncrasy, and don't know the Ford toll-free assistance #, they may be stranded until they can find a way to get help. I wanted to file this complaint for statistical purposes and for public information purposes.

- Rushville, IN, USA

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