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3.5

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,988 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 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #58

Jan 152007

Focus

  • miles

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

Key will not turn inside the ignition. This happened several weeks ago as well, but I was able to jiggle it loose. This time it is stuck and 40 minutes of jiggling, WD40, and frustration did not work. I am still working on what to do about it.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #57

Jan 112006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 42,000 miles
The key insertion cylinder (located next to the steering wheel): It will eventually lock into place and will not turn -- making it impossible to turn the key and drive. The safety hazard: When my 2003 Ford Focus lost power and needed to be restarted on the road, the key insertion cylinder locks into place, making it dangerous to turn the wheel -- because the steering wheel locks when the key cylinder is in the "key insert/begin" position. There are several horror stories, on the internet, about Ford Focus vehicle owners who have been stranded because of a faulty key ignition cylinder; or their car will not turn off because their key is stuck in the start position. Ford dealerships will only cover this item if it warranted, but neglect the product design and refuse to consider a product recall. This typical item cost over $250 with labor. Eventually, even with a new key cylinder, the problem will start to exist again, costing the consumer and creating a serious hazard for our citizens on american roadways. The problem is current in my vehicle and I am authorizing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to use my vehicle as an investigative tool.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #56

Jan 062007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,010 miles
Ford Focus 2003 for several occasions the ignition lock key cylinder had not worked, I was not able to turn the key and get the car to start. Consequences, first I was not able to take my child to the emergency room until another vehicle arrived, another consequence, I was late to work, then it was in the middle of the night on a dangerous area of town, risking my life. Finally it got stuck at the airport and had to call a tow truck.

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #55

Aug 192006

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles

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

Ford Focus 2003: The ignition mechanism stopped working with no warning. The key could not be fully inserted into the ignition or turned. Subsequently, the car could not be started. At first, the key could be tapped into the ignition, but that only worked a few times. Eventually I had to have the whole tumbler mechanisms replaced in the ignition.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #54

May 122006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 0 miles
My car is only three and a half years old and for the last 8 to 10 months I have been having problems with the ignition switch. If I turn the car off it is very, very hard to get the key to turn over. I took it to a locksmith who said that they have been getting a lot of people who own Ford and Mercury vehicles coming in with the same kind of problems. They also said that Ford has redesigned their switches several times and still come up with the same problems that I am experiencing. I was wondering why no kind of recall has been issued.

- Spring Hope, NC, USA

problem #53

Dec 242006

Focus

  • miles
Ignition lock of Ford Focus 2003 broke and we were unable to move the car away from a driveway that was blocked since it was not possible to turn the ignition key. One mechanic was paid to try to start the car but he was not successful (but he was still paid). Eventually, we learned from the www that this was a wide-spread problem. A locksmith was called who replaced the lock and was paid. In addition to the financial expense, transportation to and from the location of the car and the time spent were significant costs.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #52

Dec 112006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

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

: the contact stated the ignition switch jammed and the switch would not turn. The service dealer and manufacturer were not contacted.

- New Castle, DE, USA

problem #51

Nov 172006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 36,558 miles
: the contact stated while attempting to start the engine with the keys in the ignition, the ignition locked and would not turn. After several attempts, the ignition turned and the engine started. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer, who determined the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was alerted. Updated 01/19/07.

- Normal, IL, USA

problem #50

Nov 242006

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The steering wheel locked up and I couldn't turn the ignition key. I had to call aaa to send a locksmith to replace my ignition switch. He said that this happened a lot with focuses. I researched the problem and discovered that this is a common problem in Ford Focus, but Ford has not addressed the problem.

- Griffin, GA, USA

problem #49

Nov 052006

Focus

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Steering wheel locks and car will not start. I am finding out this is a common problem with the Ford Focus. This could leave us stranded. It happens more often as times passes. As this seems to be a common problem, I feel the repair should be covered by Ford.

- Lynn, MI, USA

problem #48

Oct 302006

Focus

  • miles

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

My 2003 Ford Focus will not start because the key will not turn. I've tried a number of tactics to get the car to start but failed. After much research online, I've learned that this is a very common problem any my problem has all the same symptoms. Luckily, the problem has occurred at home and as only left me with one very inconvenient problem; however, it could have happened where personal safety could have been an issue.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #47

Oct 262006

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
: the contact stated while attempting to start the vehicle, the key would not turn the ignition. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced the ignition switch. Updated 11/30/06.

- Mountain View, CA, USA

problem #46

Oct 142006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,500 miles
2003 Ford Focus ignition is locking up with the key in it multiple times.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #45

Sep 302006

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,980 miles
1st- trunk latch does not disengage, I have taken it to the dealership in my nearest town. After 3-4 times of adjusting and oiling, it still does not release correctly, when you push the dashboard release, open the trunk it closes the latch on its own, you cant close the trunk unless you repress the dash release, which is difficult with arms full, or pull the safety release provided for not getting locked in the trunk, this has been going on since I purchased my car. 2nd- my ignition froze up yesterday morning. No for warning. Hadn't had any problems. Now I have to get back to my car and get it to the garage. Being newer to the area and no other vehicle at my disposal it is definitely going to cost me not to mention the repair cost. 3rd- oh my god--- I just read about the back door problems people have been having, I Transport very precious cargo back there, my grand children, being that there are 3 of them two have to be by the door. I will have the service area check my doors when they fix the ignition. Why wasn't I told about this.

- White Cloud, MI, USA

problem #44

Aug 122006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,500 miles
Failure of the ignition switch on my 2003 Ford Focus SE. Key switch just stopped turning. Replacement of switch: Part $89, towing: $60, labor $250...getting the steering wheel fixed later, after it was not installed properly: $100. I have done a search on this failure...there are many hundreds of complaints on the Ford Focus enthusiasts sites.

- Livermore, CA, USA

problem #43

Sep 212006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
(1) no event lead up to the failure; it was unexpected (2) the ignition switch failed on the vehicle, which resulted in us not being able to start the car. (3) the car has been towed to the dealership. We are awaiting to here the results from the diagnostic testing.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #42

Aug 122006

Focus 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,038 miles
My complaint is about the ignition cylinder locking up on my 2003 Ford Focus. The ignition locked up on me as I was leaving my mother's house August 12, 2006. When I inserted my key I found that it would not turn at all and the steering column had locked up as well. Leaving me stranded, I called a tow truck who towed my car to the local Ford dealership in which I purchased my car. The tow truck driver told me I was the fourth Focus he had towed that week with this same problem. This happened on a Friday night, so I had to wait until Monday morning to find out what was wrong and get my car back. This left me stranded all weekend, which meant I missed work all weekend. I am very upset that I had to pay for this to be fixed on my car, especially knowing that Ford has known about these faulty ignition switches for years. My main concern for this problem and reason I am so upset is that Ford has said this is not a safety issue and will not issue a recall on the problem. I say to them that this is a safety problem. What if your car stalls out on train tracks and you can't get it to start up again" I think that would be a safety issue. What about if you live near the coast and you have to evacuate due to a hurricane or some other natural disaster? what if this problem happened to someone in new orleans during katrina? are you going to tell them it is not a safety issue? are they supposed to wait for the Ford dealership to come and drill out the ignition cylinder before they can evacuate" I think that Ford should be ashamed of themselves and they should do the right thing and issue a recall on this problem. I know I will never be buying another Ford again.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #41

Sep 052006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
I have a 2003 Ford Focus station wagon. The ignition key will not turn. It freezes up. I have tried another key and attempted to turn the steering wheel as far as possible to the right or left with no success.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #40

Aug 072006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Ignition switch that manufacturer knows is bad.

- Weslaco, TX, USA

problem #39

Jul 312006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was left stranded when my ignition key would not work in my 2003 Ford Focus. Called a locksmith and he said it take about $300 to repair it. My wife had to drive 1 hour to come and get me and I lost a day of work, which I could not afford to lose.

- Randallstown, MD, USA

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