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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 1
Average Mileage:
8,188 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #8

Mar 202014


  • miles


In March 2013 I took my Ford Focus in to replace motor mounts, returned in April for the same awful vibration while heater was on and while idling. The mechanic checked and found that one of the motor mounts was faulty and he replaced. I am taking my Focus back for the third time because it is still vibrating while in idle while the ac is on. The first few times after he replaced the faulty motor mount it did the same thing and the mechanic told me that it'll just run like that and that he ran a diagnostic and the transmission, all mounts look good. And my sometimes my steering is off at 35 miles per hour. I only use my Focus for in town I don't use to travel out of city or state. I am not a mechanic but I am disabled and I need my car running good. I don't want to lose it. Thank you.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #7

Feb 112004


  • 1,500 miles
This vehicle is a total 4,900 miles 5 disc cd player had to be replaced. At 15,000 miles the vehicle began leaking coolant and had to have the radiator replaced, luckily it was still under warranty. At 22,000 the vehicle needed a new alternator because it would not crank. At 24,000 miles the key became stuck in the ignition and would not even turn over so the ignition was replaced. 26,000 the center console broke of hinges. 27,356 miles the car would not turn over the starter had to be replaced.32,000 miles the air conditioner went out. 36,000 miles alternator went out again and had to be replaced.38,000 miles complications with the air conditioner again. Had no problems until 54,000 then everything spiraled out of control. The water pump went out, the pump housing was leaking. The starter coil was bad a few fuses had blown that I hadn't know about. I had a full tune up, sparkplugs and new wires and also purchased a new battery. 61,000 the window lever to roll windows up on passenger side completely broke off, the door handle on passenger and driver side became very stiff and had to be aggressively opened until the passenger door handle broke and does not open from the inside or out. 68,000 miles waterpump adapter cracked and sprayed antifreeze everywhere. 72,000 light oil leak from the top of the engine, coolant leaked into the spark plug compartment and only days later the alternator went out. So this little problematic baby is parked in my garage with only 73,263 miles on it because I cut her off at nearly $4K in repairs. I don't know what to do with it besides send it to the junk yard because I would hate to sale it and pawn this money consuming vehicle off on someone else. Ford should just buy it back from me.

- Bayou La Batre, AL, USA

problem #6

Dec 152012

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I have been in the wrecker business for 20 years, this being the second Ford Focus involved in an accident this year. I have noticed that this vehicle does not perform adequately when involved in a crash, therefore putting the passengers at risk of severe injury or death. The driver of the vehicle mentioned above lost control, and slid sideways into oncoming traffic resulting in an impact to the passenger door and resulted in a fatality of the driver..the area of protection surrounding the passenger compartment is inadequate in that it does not provide safety upon impact. This being the second Focus towed recently, it has become aparent to me that these light weignt vehicles propose a safety hazard to the public and should be re-examined.

- Laurens, SC, USA

problem #5

May 012010


  • 64,000 miles


When accelerating at low speeds, turning and driving speed bumps a horrible rattling, vibration, metal on metal sound is heard inside the care on the passenger side behind glove box. Continues to get worse and 2 aaa approved mechanics could not find it.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #4

Feb 012009


  • miles
The car has been having issues with the locks for a while now. We can not put the key into the door to unlock it because it wont always work. The handle on the front driver side door has broke once and was replaced. Now the key for the ignition will not turn to start the car. The steering wheel has locked and will not allow the key to turn to start the car.

- Norwich , CT, USA

problem #3

Dec 202005

Focus 2-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I bought Ford Focus 2003 at 38,000 (certified pre-owned) from premier Ford Inc in brooklyn, NY in 5/04, had massive leaking of water during and after rain a month later in 6/04. This was repaired by dealership because it was under 90 day warranty. It was fine until this month 12/05 and is now again soaking my passenger floor when it rains or snows. I took to dealership, they said they cannot repair it - take it down the street where they "always take it for this problem anyway". I called Ford, they said it may be covered under my extended warranty, but the dealership needs to diagnose the problem. Apparently, this is a very common problem with Ford Focus' according to the dealership and from many postings online I have found. It seems to be a structural design defect in the dash causing massive flooding into the car and if it does get into driver floor would be a safety hazard since your feet could slip off petals while trying to operate the vehicle.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #2

Aug 272004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
On any rainy days the floor on the front passenger's side leaks water. Dealersip was notified.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 012003

(reported on)

Focus 6-cyl

  • miles
The sun's reflection on the dial system made it hard to see the speedometer. The consumer considered this to be a safety concern.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

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