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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,964 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #10

Feb 102008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

My cars ignition doesn't work. It will lock me out of my own car. I have to bang my key as hard as I can to get the ignition to unlock.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #9

Jan 152008

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I am writing because I believe that there should be a recall for my car due to many complaints with the same problem with my car. My wife was shopping and when she went to start the car the steering wheel was locked and the key would not turn. We ended up having to have the car towed to our home. We went online and researched and saw that many people with the same car and year that we have has the same problem. Our car is a 2003 Ford Focus and its an ignition lock problem. The average repair is between $300 - $500. I believe that it is a huge safety issue as my wife was stranded with our 7 week old and 4 year old in very cold weather with no way to start the car for any heat. Its dangerous and the complaints are many. All you have to do is google it and you can see. I contacted Ford to see if they will take care of the issue and they are supposed to get back to me by tomorrow at 2 to let me know. I believe that they should as again they know that this is a very common problem with this vehicle and have yet to ever issue a recall for it. Thank you.

- Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #8

Jan 042008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
My mother purchased a new 2003 Ford Focus from lofink's Ford in carthage, NY late in 2003 several times over the first three years she had the car, there was a problem with the ignition switch/steering column. She was unable to turn the key to start the vehicle. She repeatedly tried the key/steering wheel and was eventually able to get the key to turn. When she reported this to the dealership within the warranty period, she was told that sometimes this happened, that she should just jiggle the key/etc. She relocated to belton, tx in Jun 07 to be near me, her daughter. On 30 Sep 07 the car had the same issue, except that no amount of jiggling the key/steering column would allow the key to turn. The car was towed to johnson brothers Ford in temple, tx. The dealership diagnostics read as follows: Ignition system diag found ignition switch binding replaced ignition switch, retest sytem ok. The ignition switch would not turn had to drill out ign lock cylinder to remove. This cost: $474.67 which was not covered because the car had 16,505 miles on it at that time and was out of warranty. I pursued this issue with the repairing dealership, the selling dealership, and Ford Motor Company (in writing) to no avail, requesting a good faith reimbursment. Today the switch failed again and the car is now being towed for repair.

- Belton, TX, USA

problem #7

Dec 072007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

My 2003 Ford Focus, left me sitting on a Friday evening because the ignition key cylinder would not allow me to turn the key. Not only was the ignition key cylinder locked, but so was the gear shift and the steering wheel. I couldn't move the vehicle at all. It was dark and I was left sitting with one of my two children. I had to call for a ride, get the car towed and then pay to get it fixed. All along, Ford knew that this was, as they stated on their website, "a defect". obviously this is an ongoing problem for the Ford Focus. I have a friend who also had this problem. It's a issue that needs to be faced and probably be considered for recall, in my opinion. I feel that paying for this "defect" is unacceptable. I believe that Ford should have this on recall and take care of replacing the ignition lock cylinder for it's customers!

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

problem #6

Apr 172006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
: the contact stated the steering wheel locked. The dealership replaced the key cylinder. This did not remedy the problem. The steering wheel locked again resulting in the vehicle being towed to the dealership. The dealership replaced the key cylinder again.

- Science Hill, KY, USA

problem #5

Jan 132005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
The ignition lock cylinder locks up, making it impossible to start the car.the ignition key will not turn the lock.if the car is towed in it creates a problem in that the car stays in park and if towed incorrectlywill damage the transmission.Ford motor views this as natural wear and tear.

- London , OH, USA

problem #4

Feb 172005

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,720 miles

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

I just bought this used 2 weeks ago, thinking it has under 50,000 miles it's good. Well on February 17,2005, I put the key in the ignition and the key wouldn't turn. I tried for at least an hour and nothing, I tried again the nex morning and nothing, the delearship had to tow and here I am without a car, so I deceided to search the web and see if this has happened to other people and sure enough it has, if this is a recall it needs to be fixed.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #3

Feb 052005

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles
After washing the vehicle at a car wash steering column locked up. Steering wheel would not move in any direction. Vehicle was towed to the dealer, who informed consumer that the steering column was broken, and needed to be replaced.

- Loudonville, OH, USA

problem #2

Oct 252004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,915 miles
I recently purchased a used 2003 Ford Focus from menlove Dodge Toyota in bountiful in late September. Verything was going fine, until one day my wife comes home an hour late from work saying that the keys for our car would turn in the ignition, she had to enlist the help 2 other co-workers & finally got it started after an hour of trying it. O I went out to take a look at the ignition and sure enough the key would not turn until after a bout 20-30 tries. So then I got to thinking, with this car having less than 50,000 miles on it I should have it looked at. After talking to other people & doing research on the internet, it appears to be a very common problem, which Ford apparently fails to acknowledge. This is a very serious problem as what if you were driving on the freeway & your car stops running, your going 65 mph, the steering wheel locks because the key wont turn to the on position again. I called to get a quote on getting this fixed and was told it would cost me in the ball park of 200-300 dollars for a defect that is obviously a know problem by Ford. Have found a message board that other for Focus owners have posted information on with the same complaint. My felling is, with so many Ford Focus owners out there with the same problem, Ford needs to step up and admit there is a problem & issue a recall on these ignitions. Here is the url to the site I referred to: www.autowhiz.com/messageboards/message.php?id=1784&page=1

- West Valley City, UT, USA

problem #1

Oct 112004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When sticking key into ignition the key will not turn, the wheels are not locked its the steering wheel locked, , I have taken this vehicle to 3 different dealer ships to report nothing is wrong, first it was igntion an now is the sterring colum, the cars is as of yet to be fixed, this car was purchased in April of 2003, an now the price I am being quoted is ridiculous. This vehicle needs to be recalled from the year 2000-2003, there are forums that customers complain about the same issue on this Ford Focus ZX3, I have contacted Ford Motor Company an have submitted several complaints, I dont feel that I need to pay for something the company failed to correct, I will continue to complain an report until this issue is resolved.......

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

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