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.

8.4

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$306.00
Average Mileage:
83,497 miles
Total Complaints:
249 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (84 reports)
  2. replace the ignition (37 reports)
  3. insert the key and lightly tap the key with a hammer (28 reports)
  4. must go to dealership for high priced repair (28 reports)
  5. call a locksmith (25 reports)
  6. replace ignition lock cylinder (19 reports)
2003 Ford Focus accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 13)

problem #249

Mar 262016

Focus 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,267 miles

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

i just paid lots money to have the exhaust fixed and now the key won't turn. I don't have the money to fix it.

- , N.Billerica, MA, USA

problem #248

Feb 022016

Focus SVT 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 76,000 miles

You get in your car and are ready to leave and the key will not turn the ignition. It's a 2003 ford Focus SVT and I see ALREADY that HUNDREDS of people have had the same problem. What kind of moron was the engineering buffoon that screwed this one up? And why won't ford (doesn't seem worthy to capitalize their name) take responsibility for this

- , Henderson, TN, USA

problem #247

Jan 152016

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

My 2003 Ford Focus would not allow the ignition to be turned. My dad and myself had to get a tow truck to bring it to a dealer. I Googled the problem and found this site with 246 similar complaints. They mention Ford has not done a recall but I don't know. Some say a hit on the key with a hammer temporarily fixes it but they don't say which direction to hit the key. On the end of it I assume. Another mentions to get a locksmith to fix it for $130. Another ordered an ignition switch for $45 and installed it in 20 minutes. Many said they paid the dealer around $400 to fix it. Is anyone aware of the best fix or if there is a warranty?

- , Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #246

Dec 132015

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

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

I bought this car 2 1/2 years ago with 45,500 miles on it, it is now at 75,000 something. I have had nothing but problems with it. The ignition actually started sticking about six months ago, my mechanic cleaned the ignition and it worked... for a while, now here we are again, about two weeks before the ignition got completely stuck, since it started sticking. I was told to bang on it with a hammer as it only happened once in a while until I could get it to my mechanic to get it fixed. Wouldn't you know, I got it to his driveway and all we needed was for it to turn one more time to put in a new ignition AND IT WON'T BUDGE. So now he has to try to drill it out and TRY not to break the steering column or I will be looking at a TON more money to fix it.

I want to share with all on this website with the same issue that I was told by Ford that the complaints all around the internet do not count and you have to contact the Office of Defects Investigations for your complaint to count towards a possible recall. PLEASE call them with your complaint at 1-888-327-4236,

Save your receipts, if it does FINALLY get recalled you can get reimbursed by Ford.

- , Eastlake, OH, USA

problem #245

Dec 042015

Focus ZTW 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

I was at the mall and purchased some of my Christmas items, and packed the car. Got in and tried to start the car. The key won't turn. I don't know what to do. Called my AAA company. It will take up to one hour for some one to come. I was fortunate that I could call my husband to come and stay with this car until AAA arrive. Triple A arrives and can't do any thing to get the steering wheel unlocked, let alone get the key to turn in the ignition. The car was towed to my house where it sits in the garage. Called FORD Customer Service, and was told that there is no recall as they could see, and I should take the car to my mechanic or ford and save the receipts. If a recall become available, I will be reimbursed. What a bunch of malarkey coming from FORD Customer Service Department. This year of ford focus is turning out to be a real pain in the ass. I don't what else can be said!!!

- , Satellite Beach, FL, USA

problem #244

Nov 272015

Focus ZTW

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

this is a major safety concern. I have children and we got stranded in the cold due to this issue. had I known ford had this problem with the ignitions I would never have purchased a ford. I will NEVER buy another ford again seeing how they refuse to make this a recall!

- , Greenfield, ME, USA

problem #243

Aug 212015

Focus ZX5 2.4L V4

  • Manual transmission
  • 168,000 miles

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

Apparently, this is a well-documented problem - the ignition cylinder won't turn, so the car won't start. There are so many complaints about this on the internet that it was the first thing that came up when I started looking for information. Sadly, that was AFTER I paid a tow truck to deliver my car to a dealership and AFTER they had taken the car apart to diagnose the problem. So the solution is simple - replace the ignition cylinder. To the tune of $400+ dollars!

You'd think that if Ford had this many complaints about this problem, they would have done a recall by now. My car is twelve years old; no recall yet. Ford thinks this is not a safety issue. How would THEY like to be the person stranded in some dimly-lighted parking lot at 3 am? Or stuck with a baby in the hot sun, with no way to even turn on the air conditioning? No, it will not cause a crash, but it is certainly a major pain in the tuchus. And does Ford really need such a smear on its name? I wouldn't think that good for any car company.

Dear Ford - time to fix this.

- , Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #242

Jul 082015

Focus ZX3 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I am really overwhelmed because this is not safe. I work nights and this has gotten me stranded late on a very unsafe road. This needs to be addressed! I called Ford and they are not willing to do anything to help this is unacceptable.

- , Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #241

Jun 272015

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,240 miles

I CAN'T BELIEVE FORD IS NOT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS. I SEE THERE ARE OVER 235 COMPLAINTS ON THIS ISSUE. IF YOU CAN'T TURN THE KEY, YOU CAN'T START THE CAR. FORD NEEDS TO FIX THIS AND REIMBURSE THE CONSUMER. IT'S A GOOD THING I WAS AT HOME WHEN IT HAPPENED AS I TRAVEL FREQUENTLY AT NIGHT. I COULD HAVE BEEN STRANDED.

- , fairfield, CA, USA

problem #240

Apr 262015

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,000 miles

Key won't turn again! Why no recall yet for this VERY common problem?!

- , Punxsutawney, PA, USA

problem #239

Feb 102015

Focus ZTS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

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

The ignition switch didn't turn well for quite some time, then I had to hit it or bump it to turn the key. Sometimes it was really hard and time consuming. I checked at Ford dealership and they said they would have to do it because of the reprogramming.

(This might not be true Check out the video for DIY-- http://fordfanatic.com/ford-focus-ignition-tumbler-tutorial/ )

Anyway I made an appt. and it took dealer 3 hr 15 min. See the video and it looks like 1 hour for a first time shade tree mechanic. But once the car went into the shop, I didn't see it again until it was driven to the front.

The worse part was the $452 cost in March 2015!! It can cost about $45 --see the video. I know there is a rate book for each repair. I guess it was put together using people off the street to get the time it took to do the work.

I wish I had seen the video before I took it in to the dealership.

- , ELLENDALE, ND, USA

problem #238

Mar 132015

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

Was stranded for 4 hours in a parking lot. The wrecker that was sent was not able to get the car on the flat bed because the steering wheel was locked and front wheels were slightly right facing. No tire lift wreckers available. Wrecker operator felt so bad for me he drove me to the dealership in the wrecker with my $40 of spoiled chicken and ground beef.

This is quite an expensive repair. I have now read that this is a large problem for 2000-2003 Ford Focus'. It's a safety issue and Ford has refused to recall this cylinder. California has apparently filed a class action lawsuit. I asked for a courtesy assist. Ford refused. I just had cardiac surgery, was due for my medication and could not get to it. This situation could has been life threatening for me. I guess that's the good news in all of this, 1, that I didn't keel over and 2, that at least there were a few people that tried to help me. So disgusted.

- , Holland, PA, USA

problem #237

Mar 032015

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles

I had older cars and was used to my steering wheel locking and just having to jiggle the key to get the car to start but this was ridiculous. The steering wheel locked from day one and I've replace the ignition lock twice and the problem still exits. If this is a common problem then recall it and Ford should fix it free of charge!!!!

- , Hawley, PA, USA

problem #236

Sep 122014

Focus LE

  • Manual transmission
  • 161,000 miles

IGNITION IS STUCK AND NOW I HAVE TO PAY A LOCKSMITH TO REPLACE/FIX

- , Westland, MI, USA

problem #235

Oct 292014

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

If you know that something is faulty why would you not recall it. I know that you have wear and tear but this is ridiculous! Ford you have to do better. Replace and program keys, $300 bucks. How many folks have had to deal with having to replace the ignition cylinder at a unexpected time?

- , Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #234

Aug 292014

Focus ZX5 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,500 miles

My key wasn't turning in the ignition on and off for a week but now it just doesn't turn unless I tap it with a hammer. I just ordered a new ignition cylinder and when it comes I'm hoping to fix it or get a locksmith to install .

Ford, really need to do a recall or fix on this problem.

- , townsend, ma, USA

problem #233

Jun 142014

Focus LX

  • Manual transmission
  • 158,000 miles

I read this is the major complaint Ford receives concerning the Focus years 2000-2003. I can't believe Ford won't repair this widely occurring, extensively known problem. The key just quits turning in the ignition. I also read Ford knows the manufacturer screwed up and finally changed suppliers in 2004. I consider this a major flaw. Ford should step up and do a voluntary recall and repair these faulty ignition assemblies.

- , Santa Maria, CA, USA

problem #232

Aug 122014

Focus 4D Sedan 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,707 miles

The ignition is locked, I put the key in and turn it and nothing happens. This is not covered under warranty and Ford will not offer a good will repair. I cannot afford to call a mobile locksmith, but I guess I will have to.

- , Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #231

May 212014

Focus LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

With this many complaints about the ignition, this should be recalled.

- , Lancaster, OH, USA

problem #230

Dec 142013

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Key will absolutely not turn in the ignition. While looking for solution to problem. Find out this is common with 2000-2003 Ford Focus. What the ....? And Ford won't recall....

- , Clio, MI, USA

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