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.

1.3

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
130,107 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #18

Jul 052016

Focus

  • miles

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

The needles on the instrument cluster have stopped working 80% of the time. They will also jump around, along with the mileage screen flicker to "8888888" or "--------" whenever the vehicle is off. Battery and connections are all fine and the alternator has been replaced.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #17

Apr 192016

Focus

  • 89,000 miles
The ignition cylinder has had issues with turning when first inserting key. On two (2) separate occasions has left me stranded. Once was while I was leaving work and another when trying to go to work. This issue has now cost me a days pay and a lot of headache. Ford has claimed that the ignition cylinder not turning is not a safety issue and therefore will not issue a recall. At this time I feel that there have been more than enough people with this issue that Ford needs to do right by their customers and fix the issue.

- Augusta, ME, USA

problem #16

Jan 162016

Focus

  • 109,000 miles
My rear door does not latch. Back door flung open while I was driving and turned left.

- Canandaigua, NY, USA

problem #15

Aug 212015

Focus

  • 168,000 miles

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

The ignition switch would not turn. Although I had both keys with me, and both will still unlock the doors, neither would turn the ignition switch. Between towing and replacement of the switch, I had to shell out $450. Ford knows this is a problem with this vintage Focus, but does not think it important or a safety matter. As a woman who often travels alone, I think it is a safety matter. I have driven many, many old cars - much older than this one - and have never been stranded by something as simple as a faulty ignition switch. Although I was stranded in familiar territory and not far from home, it might easily have been otherwise. Ford knows of this problem, it was caused by their use of faulty equipment, and they should fix it.

- Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #14

Jul 082015

Focus

  • 1,400,000 miles
Key won't turn in the ignition, its getting stuck and im getting stranded in areas that are not safe.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #13

Jun 142015

Focus

  • 52,500 miles
Parked car at a service station and went to start it and key wont turn ignition locked solid im waiting to get a estimate to get it fixed.

- Katonah, NY, USA

problem #12

Dec 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 248,000 miles

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

The drivers seat back support has snapped. The seat needs replacement. This was not caused by any accident just normal driving. I must say I've never heard of a seat breaking like this before. Needs to be replaced.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #11

May 252011

Focus

  • 73,420 miles
Key would not turn in the ignition, so vehicle was unable to start and had to be abandoned.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #10

Feb 152011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
My ignition key cylinder has gone bad. My key will not turn therefore I cannot drive my car. Being that I am a young female, I found this experience to be horrific and highly unsafe. My county has one of the highest murder rates and being stuck without a way to get away from a troubling situation has left me to highly regret the purchase of my Ford Focus. I see on your website that hundreds of people have complained about this issue. I don't understand how a defect in a car cannot be recalled! this Venture is costing me over 600 dollars which I like everyone else do not have to spare. I find it a shame that Ford does not own up to their mistake. It makes you question the quality the american auto industry puts forth. I have always been a believer of supporting our local business and industry however I have learned that american industry like to burn people and sell unsatisfactory products. I appeal to you to recall the Ford Focus cylinder before someone makes the ultimate sacrifice to prove that this is indeed a high risk safety concern!

- Berwyn Heights, MD, USA

problem #9

Dec 092008

Focus

  • 68,000 miles
I was out doing errands and the key would not turn in the ignition even with the steering wheel loose. I tried a few times and it finally turned. Later that evening when leaving the key would not turn again, except this time it did not ever turn and I ended up having to borrow a car from my in-laws. We are in the process of getting quotes to have it looked at and fixed or replaced.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #8

Apr 272008

Focus 4-cyl

  • 39,000 miles

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

Key will not turn the ignition on.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #7

Jun 242005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
Today, June 24/05 my 2003 Ford Focus with 22000 miles on it, had a problem. I went to start the car, and the ignition was totally locked up. I happened to have stopped at a gas station, and the garage man gave it a try and couldnt' do anything so I called Ford roadside. La's all city tow, stopped very shortly, and told me that they knew very well that all the Focus' did this and he was able to slam on the keys just so to force the faulty ignition lock pin to turn and the car started so I was able to get it to the dealer. The head of service at hollywood Ford acknowledged that they all knew about the issue and repaired it. However by that time I had missed work. I just shudder to think about some poor person somewhere stopping in the wrong neigborhood and unable suddenly to start thier car, particularly if they have a child with them. Ford customer service rep acknowledged that there had been complaints about this issue and confirmed that no recall had been issued.

- La, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 012005

Focus

  • miles
The consumer believes the vehicle had a manufacturing defect.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #5

May 152003

Focus

  • Manual transmission
  • 0 miles
When running the ac on the car, there is an extremely bad odor which can be smelled both inside the car and out. It appears to be some kind of burning or chemical odor. It will actually affect the body by making your eyes burn and making you feel sick. It can not be driven. We have taken it to the dealership three times with the problem unresolved. The third time, we were told that the car was fixed; however, upon testing at the dealership, it was clear that the problem was unresolved. We have been told that Ford's engineers are coming in to assess the problem, as the service manager pulled three new cars off the lot and found the same problem.

- Travelers Rest, SC, USA

problem #4

Jan 152003

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
After leaving my auto, I returned to find the rear window shattered, but in tact/in place. There no signs of any impact or attempted entry. The police were called and they said they could not find any evidence of anything striking the window and appeared it might be a faulty window. Upon bringing it to the dealer's sevice shop, the manager said he would notify his Ford rep of this problem. He said normally they would not do anything but since the auto was so new, he would try to see what he could do. Upon investigating if there was a Ford recall or similar regarding this problem, I came accross at least one other occassion where the window just shattered and was replaced by Ford under warranty. The individual said Ford claimed it was due to welding irregularities and such. When I was speaking to the service manager at Ford, he claimed that the 2003 Ford Focus rear defroster was changed and they had given it a higher amp to make it hotter. Since it has been about 6 dgrees outside, it could have been hot and shattered when cooling quickly - he did not know and was just searching for answers. Regardless, the auto had 440 miles on it and was only about 10 days old when this occurred. It could have been serious if this windowed shattered and blew out while driving, possibly causing harm to any passengers in the back - or anywhere for that matter. I believe this needs to be checked out to prevent any possible harm to anyone. The auto is a 2003 Ford Focus SE sedan. Thank you, michael maleto

- Westmont, IL, USA

problem #3

Mar 082004

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My husband and I bought our Ford Focus in may of 2003. In Sept. Of 2003 we paid it off. We have been having problems with an odor coming out of the cooling/heating system. It smells like mold/mildew. We have taken it to bob bell Ford in glen burnie, Maryland on three separate occasions but to no avail. They only put some kind of deoderizer in the system that lasts a few days, and then the odor comes back again. The last time we took it there, my husband was insulted by one of the service managers. They still haven't fixed the problem. We got our car back on Saturday, 5 days after taking it to them, only to be told that the 'service manager' had it detailed, and suggested that the odor was due to the car being dirty. Granted, the car needed a good washing on the outside, but come on now, please, that won't cause an odor on the inside. It is either a condensation problem or an improper water draining problem that we are experiencing and they won't correct the problem properly. For some reason, after it rains, we smell this horrible odor when we use our cooling/heating system. It doesn't matter how many times they deodorize the system the odor comes back. It is a "health hazard" breathing this horrible odor. Hopefully filing this complaint may help our situation before we are forced to go any further. If they don't soon correct the problem, we will be calling the BBB and contacting our lawyer.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #2

Mar 082004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
My husband and I bought our Ford Focus in may of 2003. In Sept. Of 2003 we paid it off. We have been having problems with an odor coming out of the cooling/heating system. It smells like mold/mildew. We have taken it to bob bell Ford in glen burnie, Maryland on three separate occasions but to no avail. They only put some kind of deodorizer in the system that lasts a few days, and then the odor comes back again. The last time we took it there, my husband was insulted by one of the service managers. They still haven't fixed the problem. We got our car back on Saturday, 5 days after taking it to them, only to be told that the 'service manager' had it detailed, and suggested that the odor was due to the car being dirty. Granted, the car needed a good washing on the outside, but come on now, please, that won't cause an odor on the inside. It is either a condensation problem or an improper water draining problem that we are experiencing and they won't correct the problem properly. For some reason, after it rains, we smell this horrible odor when we use our cooling/heating system. It doesn't matter how many times they deodorize the system the odor comes back. It is a "health hazard" breathing this horrible odor. Hopefully filing this complaint may help our situation before we are forced to go any further. If they don't soon correct the problem, we will be calling the BBB and contacting our lawyer.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #1

Aug 052003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My 2003 Focus station wagon will violently shake (the entire car) at speeds above 55 - 60 mph when both rear windows are open all the way and all other windows shut, causing the driver to become alarmed at high speeds. This seems to be a design flaw w/air flow, which causes the entire car to resonate.

- Sterling, VA, USA

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