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.

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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 1
Average Mileage:
76,593 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.

2003 Ford Focus accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #14

Oct 022015

Focus

  • 152,300 miles

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

I was using my passenger seat heater while I was driving to pick something up from the mall when I started smelling a burning smell. When I got to the mall, I looked over to find a large scorch mark on the passenger side front seat

- Fortfille, IN, USA

problem #13

May 312014

Focus

  • 88,000 miles
My wife complained that the front driver side heated seat was so hot it was burning, resulting in a mild burn. 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, OH, USA

problem #12

Mar 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
While driving passenger side leather heated seat caught on fire filled the car with smoke in flames.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #11

Apr 192012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 159,000 miles

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

The seat back adjustment to recline the front drivers seat broke, therefore we are unable to incline or recline the position of the seat.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #10

Jul 012011

Focus

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the bracket for the front driver's seat fractured and caused the seat to lean to one side abnormally. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer was notified of the failure. A local mechanic attempted to repair the seat but the failure recurred. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 114,000.

- Daton, OH, USA

problem #9

Jan 142011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
My daughter and wife were out shopping and turned on the seat warmers in the front seat. As my daughter was driving she began to complain of a smell of something burning in the car. Soon after realized her back side was hot ! summary- driver side seat burn marks visible and her winter coat ruined; it burned it too. Why hasn't this been addressed with Ford? several complaints have been filed stating this exact description.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #8

Jun 302009

Focus

  • 80,000 miles

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

I have a 2003 Ford Focus. Since I had the car from 2004 on, I have had to replace the driver side front seat because the seats driver door side back welding failed. The broken welding causes the seat to twist to the right. Seat was replaced at my cost and replacement also broke at the same place. Dealer refuses to acknowledge issue. I believe that may have also been a major contributing factor to a recent injury of my lower back since I had not received any trauma from any other source that I am aware of. A cursory review of the internet turns up dozens of complaints for the same issue. Please note the date provided for the incident is the approximate date the second seat broke. The first one broke in 2006. Both seats are available for your inspection should you want to review.

- Hillsborough, NH, USA

problem #7

Oct 152009

Focus

  • 55,000 miles
The driver's seat 2003 Ford Focus wagon ztw (purchased new in 7/2003, currently 55K miles) seems to have had a seat heater malfunction and burned through the seat cover, and the clothes of the driver at the time. The seat heater button would not turn the heater off. The fuse had to pulled to get it to turn off. There was never a problem with the seat heater before this event. The dealer (quirk Ford in quincy MA) says it's only an out-of-warranty repair and wants to charge $600 to fix it. I think this is a major safety hazard that could have caused a significant fire and personal injury.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #6

Jan 012008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. While driving 60 mph, the contact heard a loud noise. He arrived home and felt as if the driver's seat back rest was leaning more than normal. He checked the seat and found that it had failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that a defective factory welding caused the seat bolt to fail. The contact will need to replace the entire seat and he feels that the manufacturer should be responsible for the cost. The manufacturer stated that they were aware of the safety concern, but they would not assist because the vehicle exceeded the warranty mileage. The current mileage was 133,000 and failure mileage was 101,000. Updated 05/06/08 updated 05/06/08

- Greenville, IL, USA

problem #5

May 182007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 101,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the driver seat welds have failed and the back of the driver seat came apart. The vehicle has never been in a crash. The engine size and powertrain were unknown. The current and failure mileages were 101,000.

- Polk City , FL, USA

problem #4

Sep 062003

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles

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

Driver's seat had a piece of metal which was exposed, as a result, the consumer cut her leg. (several others had been hurt as well) the metal was only exposed when the driver's seat was pushed forward to allow the passenger in the back to exit. If the seat was backed for a tall driver, it would be extremely impossible for the passenger to become injured.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #3

May 152003

Focus

  • miles
Representing jesus rosales/ requesting information on recalls in regards to seatbelts, air bags and or saftey restraint system for the for Focus years 1990-2003. The vehicle was traveling about 45 mph at time of the offset frontal crash. The driver's seat broke from its seat bottom attachements to the floor pan causing fatal injuries. Front seat passenger walked away from the crash.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #2

Jan 312003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,500 miles
Sedan was rear-ended resulting in limited flexible bumper damage. Substantial spinal damage to the healthy, 22 year old driver who was securely seat-belted into the driver's seat. What was lacking in the seat design to protect the driver from such injuries?

- Wayne, PA, USA

problem #1

Jan 312003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,500 miles
A stopped 2003 Focus sedan was rear-ended at a traffic light by a Mazda 626 resulting in limited flexible bumper damage to the Ford Focus, but substantial spinal damage to the healthy, 22 year old driver who was securely seat-belted into the driver's seat. What was lacking in the seat design to protect the driver from such injuries?

- Wayne, PA, USA

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