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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
69,723 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace seat (1 reports)
  3. replace with new updated version of seat heating element (1 reports)
2003 Ford Focus accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #3

May 312014

Focus ZX4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles


My wife complained that the front driver side heated seat was so hot it was burning. I investigated the problem and found that the driver side back cushion heating element had malfunctioned and burnt into the seat cushion and back lining of the seat fabric. I have pictures and have held onto the defective part. The heating element has been replaced however we are concerned that the passenger side may have the same issue. I have read of occurrences of this incident including reports of fires.

- , Cleveland, Ojio, USA

problem #2

May 072009


  • Manual transmission
  • 78,295 miles

On May 7, 2009 I was driving from my home to Toronto and it was a pretty chilly morning, in which i decided to use my driver's side seat warmer (pls note that this was the 3rd time, I have used it). when I arrived at my destination, I locked both windows and doors. When it was time for my departure, I went to adjust my seat, at which point I noticed that there was black fabric attached to my back pillow rest. I pulled the pillow and seat cover away and to my horror, right there, the size of my rump was my seat scorched. I can see the coils inside the seat. the most amazing thing is that there is no odor at all, it doesn't even smell like burnt anything. but it is definitely a burnt hole. I will be following up with both the dealer as well as Ford Canada. I will keep updating as I go.

Carlos C

- , Kitchener, ON, Canada

problem #1

Feb 292008

Focus ZX5 V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,875 miles

click to see larger images

heated seats burning cushion heated seats burning cushion

On 29 February 2008, while I was driving on 72 Avenue between 144th and 176 Streets in Surrey, BC, the driver�s seat heater caught fire when I turned it on. There was a strong odor of formaldehyde in the car and extreme heat radiating on to my lower back from the element. I stopped at a gas station at the corner of 72 and 176 in order to determine the source of the problem, The lower seat cushion and seat back cushion were charred and smoking.

I have reported this problem to ICBC and also to the Service Department of Kamloops Ford, Lincoln Limited, 880 8th Street, Kamloops, BC. The service manager, Jeff Leplante, inspected the damage and agreed that it was serious. However, he did give me to understand that because the car is no longer under warranty, I would have to bear the full cost of the repairs.

In the mean time, I have discovered that Ford Technical Service Bulletin 04B16 dated 08/01/2004, identifies problems with the front seat foam cushions in the Ford Focus 2003 model. A related Field Service Action for the Ford Focus 2003 mentions inspection of the seat heater element pads. In addition there is a Customer Satisfaction Program related to TSB 04B16.

I requested that the driver�s front seat be replaced by Ford at their expense the interest of preserving my safety and that of my passengers.Ford have refused to do so.

- , Kamloops, BC, Canada

Not what you are looking for?