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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,949 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 10 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #81

Mar 142007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

A Ford Focus wagon 2003. When I trying to start the vehicle the ignition switch cylinder lockede, would not engage. The key would not turn when inserted in the lock & icould not turn on the car. The vehiclewas just over three years old. This problem happened two days in a row. Called Ford & they said there is no recall. I searched google for ┐┐Ford Focus ignition locks┐Ł. please note the following results copied from this google search ┐┐results 1 - 10 of about 455,000 for Ford Focus ignition locks. (0.39 seconds)┐Ł. I was concerned that a faulty ignition would be used if Ford replaced it so I called a local locksmith. The owner was very familiar with the problem & has replaced a number of Ford vehicle ignition locks. I had the locksmith replaced my Focus ignition. The cost was $240.75. I am 59 years old. My family has owned numerous cars & trucks. I have never had to replace an ignition key switch in any other vehicle especially one just over three years old. Ironically to add to my frustration, I just paid off the 36 month car loan on this Focus. Also, sent a letter to Ford Motor Company about this problem to attn: Alan mulally, president & CEO plus cc'ed to william clay Ford, jr., executive chairman & NHTSA headquarters, 400 seventh street, sw, Washington, DC 20590 (sending via mail & email to NHTSA)

- Collingswood, NJ, USA

problem #80

Jan 262007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,471 miles
I've had my 2003 Ford Focus wagon in twice for repair of the ignition lock. The first time I had the problem the steering wheel wouldn't release as the key wouldn't fit into the ignition. Took it to the dealer and they removed the lock cylinder. It was cleaned and lubed and operating normally on 26 January 2007. About a month later I was having the same problem. This time I had to have it towed to the dealer. This car only has 13,000 miles on it! they had to drill out the ignition lock cylinder and replace it. I hope this time it will last longer than a month! this was a very costly service! $267 for labor and $99.91 for the part! I haven't seen any recalls on this yet but if they do have one I'm hoping to get my money back as this has been a very costly service to me - almost $600 total for both instances!

- Dedham, MA, USA

problem #79

Jan 032007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,350 miles
I have a 2003 Ford Focus. The fault is that when I put the key in the ignition, the key will not turn at all. It is locked in place. It happened once this summer on this car and on a 2002 Focus I sold to a friend whom works with me. I called the Ford dealership to see if they have seen this problem, which they had. They told me I could tap it with a rubber hammer to get it to unlock. Sure thing, it did. I checked for recalls, which none were found. I checked for tsb's, sure enough, there are numerous reports of this problem. This appeard to be a major defect. I believe this could be a serious safety problem if for instance someone went for a drive during the winter in the remote mountains and stoped to got for a walk. Upon return, the defective ignition wouldn't work and they're stranded. Ford didn't appear to want to listen to my complaints. Look at the tsb's and you'll really get a good picture of the volume of ignation problems.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #78

Jan 202007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,500 miles

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

My key stopped working, or would only work intermittently for the past month. I started carrying my spare key at all times so I wouldn't get stranded. I finally had a 2nd key made ($125 at dealership). The new key failed to work later the same day. More intermittent ignition problems for next 2 weeks. This past Saturday both keys failed. When I could finally get the car to start I came home and started researching on web. Found this is a widespread well-known problem. Have appt. At dealership tomorrow for total ignition replacement, my time, my dime. It will be a few hundred dollars. I already work a full time and part-time job to make ends meet. I cannot afford this. I can't afford to be stranded someplace in the middle of the night, either. Ford damned well knows about this, and just ignores their customers. This is the 5th Ford I've owned in 20 years. It will be my last.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #77

Dec 312006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The ignition lock freezes and will not turn, which does not allow the car to start. This problem has happened on numerous occasions. The consequences have included loss of vehicle use, towing expenses, and unwanted stress.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #76

Dec 292006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The ignition started locking several months ago, but eventually would work after playing with the key to start. Today, while out at a shopping center, it locked up completely, causing me to have to tow the car to the dealer. This car is a 2003 with only 13000 miles on it.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #75

Nov 042006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 51,000 miles

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

Ignition cylinder locks when turning the key on a 2003 Ford Focus ZX3. The car cannot be started most of the time. This is dangerous if the car stalls.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #74

Dec 162006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
: the contact stated while parked, the steering wheel would not unlock. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who determined the ignition cylinder needed to be replaced. Also, the trunk would not close. The dealer was not contacted.

- College Park, GA, USA

problem #73

Dec 112006

Focus

  • miles
I have owned 2 Ford focuses, a 2000 and now a 2003 model. Both vehicles have had the ignition lock up and I was charged $400 to fix it. Obviously, Ford Motor Company is comfortable enough with this design flaw that there have been no recalls, and the consumer is left holding the bill. There are over 400 complaints about this logged on the following website: forums.focaljet.com/problems-service-recalls/416401-please-post-if-your-ignition-has-locked.html what does it take to get this company to admit they are putting out a faulty product?

- Christiansburg, VA, USA

problem #72

Dec 052006

Focus

  • miles
Second occurrence of key being put in ignition, steering wheel locking up and inability to start car. Vehicle had to be towed to dealership and repaired. First time (11/2004) under warranty, second time(12/5/06) charged $300, reduced to $80 under protest for a known problem. No wonder Ford is going under!

- Murrells Inlet, SC, USA

problem #71

Dec 032006

Focus

  • miles

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

I tried to leave my best friends house but my 2003 Ford Focus would not start. Apparently I need a whole new ignition. So I began surfing the net for prices and quotes but instead I've stumbled upon hundreds of complaint from across the country. I was told the part I will need cost $70. Plus $50 to tow the car since I cannot get the car started. So far I've only missed one day of work but I might miss many more because I can't afford to get the car fixed right now. When I spoke to the Ford company they told me that my total bill will be around $230. I am so frustrated with this car. I'm not sure if I will even get the car fixed. I plan to invest in a new Nissan.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #70

Dec 012006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
Locking of ignition in Ford Focus.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #69

Dec 012006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 46,000 miles
I have had this issue come up a few times lately. When I put my key in my ignition, the key will not turn. From researching this on the internet, it is obvious that Ford Motor Company has ignored the problem and refuses to recall a seriously faulty part. I have been told that it is not recalled because it is not a "safety" issue. When someone with a small child can not start their car in the dead of winter (stuck on the side of a road), I would classify that as a safety issue! the local Ford dealership admitted to me that this is a problem that needs addressed. The tow truck driver told me that he tows over 30 focuses per year for this issue alone. The local dealership told me that they need to do an official diagnosis before they will determine the problem. What a rip off! they are trying to charge me $100 to diagnose an problem that everyone already knows. This is why Ford is losing millions of customers and billions of dollars. They have lost me over a $90 ignition tumbler.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #68

Oct 202006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 20,000 miles
2003 Ford Focus that I bought used with only 14,000 miles on and have used as my commuter car for 3 months. At roughly 20,000 miles the key would not turn the ignition switch once but after a little shaking it worked. Around a month later it happened again but this time when it did engage it would not start the engine, I rolled started the car and got home but the next day the key would not turn the ignition switch at all - tried for three days will not turn, currently learning the details of how to replace an ignition switch from friends and nice folks on the internet but I have had to borrow a car for two days and will have to rent one at the end of the week and until I can buy and install a new part just to get to work. As other articles claim Ford claims this probably isn't a safety concern but is rather annoying and costly to folks like myself who bought the Focus hoping for a reliable fuel efficient commuter car.

- Gardiner, ME, USA

problem #67

Oct 222006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Had no previous problem with ignition in my 2003 Ford Focus SE. Left my hometown for the day to shop 2 counties away. After shopping, went to start my car and the ignition would not turn. The key would go in, but would not turn at all. Had to have the car towed and am waiting now for the problem to be fixed. I have read online about all of the complaints regarding this problem in the Ford Focus. This should definitely be a recall since the ignition is very obviously a defective part used in the car.

- Huntersville, NC, USA

problem #66

Oct 222006

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles
I have had ignition problems with my 2003 Ford Focus. First incident in July, 2006 and am now experiencing another. I have a small child and do not want to be stranded somewhere just because I can't get the key to turn in the ignition. I am now also dealing with (today) a solenoid malfunction in my transmission (3rd gear). This is the 2nd time this has happened to me as well. The car jerks like crazy and wouldn't go over 30 mph. Thank goodness I was close to a side street to exit the highway. This is getting ridiculous that these issues are not being recalled. The ignition is a huge issue with enough people....

- Belton, MO, USA

problem #65

Oct 142006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
Can't turn the key in the ignition, steering wheel locked, can't start the car.

- Monroe, WA, USA

problem #64

Oct 092006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
: the contact stated the ignition locked resulting in the ignition cylinder key being replaced by the service dealer. While searching the NHTSA website, complaints were found where this occurred to vehicles and the ignition cylinder key was replaced multiple times. The contact expressed concern that this repair does not seem to be a permanent fix for the problem. Also, there was an odorous smell when the heating fan was turned on and the smell occasionally occurred when the air conditioner was on. The vehicle has not been to the service dealer for the odorous smell.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #63

Sep 262006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 46,400 miles
: the contact stated upon placing the key in the ignition, the key would not turn and the engine would not start. The contact applied pressure with a pair of pliers, which allowed the key to turn and start the engine. The dealer and manufacturer were notified. Updated 10/25/2006 -

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #62

Sep 182006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle's ignition would not turn. The dealer determined the ignition needed to be replaced and the contact expressed this was a defect in the vehicle.

- Forest Lake, MN, USA

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