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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,900 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #8

Jan 032008


  • miles


I could not but the key in the ignition and the steering column is locked up. It seems like it is stuck in the start position. So now I have to get the car towed.

- North Pole, AK, USA

problem #7

Oct 122007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,500 miles
Have a 2002 Ford Focus that has had the steering wheel locked up again. Last time I was able to turn the wheel hard enough to get the key to turn and start the car. This time no such luck. Right now it's sitting in the parking garage at work. Guess I'll have to call sam packs Ford to come fix $$$$$.

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #6

Oct 152004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
Locking device locked up on the streering column for the second time it was necessary to tow the car and damage occured because towing co towed were replaced and techs in the vehicle shop say this is a problem that occurs frequently.

- Phillipsburgh, OH, USA

problem #5

Nov 132003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles


The ignition lock cylinder locked up, making it impossible to start the car.the ignition key will not turn the lock.if the car is towed in it creates a problem in that the car stays in park and if towed incorrectly will damage the transmission.Ford motor views this as natural wear and tear.

- Brookville, OH, USA

problem #4

Oct 262004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My husband and I bought a 2002 Ford Focus. When I tried to start the car to go to work this morning, the ignition would not turn all the way to start the car. This has been a common problem for the Focus model. I have read many complaints about the same problem on the internet therefore, this should be a manufacturer default and should be fixed. The dealers are charging $450 to fix the problem that wasn't our fault.

- Newhall, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 242004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When I put the key in the ignition, it would not turn. The steering wheel locked and the ignition switch froze. I had to have it repaired for $300. Apparently the locksmith is making a fortune off the Ford Focus with this problem.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #2

Sep 302004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,700 miles
After work on the evening of September 30th, 2004, I got in my vehicle and put the key in the ignition and was unable to turn the key as to start the car. I thought maybe the steering wheel locked in place funny so I wiggled the steering wheel while trying to turn the key and still nothing. I felt sick because I had no idea what to do. Luckily there were still co-workers in the bank where I work so I was able to use the phone. First I called the Ford dealership where I purchased the car and spoke with the service dept. They diagnosed the problem in about three seconds. I was told this was a very common problem with my particular vehicle. They said the only thing I could do would be to have it towed to them and it would cost around $400. I thought I would just die. I am a single parent on a very tight budget. I have very little room for such repairs being that I am making payments on a car I bought new to try and avoid repairs on an old vehicle. I had to wait for a friend of mine to drive out from irvine, ca (about 70 miles away) to help me. He had auto club so I was able to tow my car to the dealership. The driver of the tow truck informed me that he tows around 12 to 15 of the same cars with the exact same problem once a month. I told the dealership to not work on it if it was going to cost anything because I don't have the money. They said that they would hold off to see what I was going to do. Over the weekend I researched the problems others were having with their Ford Focus. There are countless websites with hundreds of people writing with the exact same problem I am having. You can call any Ford dealership service dept and inquire about the ignition problem and before you can finish they tell you how common this problem is and that it will have to be replaced for about $300 to $400.

- Beaumont, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 172004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When turning the steering wheel towards the right steering wheel locked up, causing consumer to lose control of the vehicle.

- Oxford, NC, USA

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