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. Notes: Even though the first model year of a major redesign should typically be avoided, Ford did a good job & the 2008 Ford Focus doesn't appear to have any major defects.

That said, the following model years of this 2nd generation Focus (2009-2011) do appear to be slightly better.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,561 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.

2008 Ford Focus body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2008 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #20

Aug 012016


  • 140,000 miles


Driver side door will not open from the outside. 2 weeks later passenger door failed from the outside as well. I drilled a hole through the interior handle and strung it outside the door so I can get into my coupe. Yeah that's right all doors will not open from the outside. What makes it even worse is Ford in their infinite wisdom discontinued both parts I need to fix it faulty though they may be. 8S4Z-5421812-D (passenger) and possibly 8S4Z-5421813-B (driver - though I'm not entirely certain this is the correct manual lock assembly.) so Ford put millions of faulty latches out there and discontinued the part needed to fix it. In the meantime I'm not able to keep my car secured with any belongs I may put in it as I have to have a rope/string hanging out anyone can walk by and pull to get in my car.

- Two Harbors, MN, USA

problem #19

Aug 022016


  • 106,000 miles
In July of 2015 the right front door of my car would not open from the outside. In July and August of 2016 my drivers door will not open from the outside as well as the back door on the right side. I'm disabled and I have to leave my doors unlocked so that I can crawl into the back seat and open my drivers door with my cane to get in.

- Driftwood, TX, USA

problem #18

Aug 012016


  • miles
The takata recall-both of my door latch are not working on my Ford focu 2008

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #17

Apr 142010


  • 18,671 miles


Takata recall one day went to get into my car on driverside and my doorhandle broke from outside, can open it from inside but not outside took it to local dealer they told me it would cost me 200-300 dollars to fix I dont have that kinda money so I get in passinger side and roll window down so I can reach in drivers door to open door its a hassle

- Zanesville, OH, USA

problem #16

Jul 272016


  • 100,000 miles
The outside door handles have broken twice on my car, I can unlock the car but cannot open the car, currently both door handles are broken on the car and the only access inside the car is through the trunk, the part /labor to fix the door is about $400 and the part only lasts about a year before it breaks again. The first time the door handle broke I had stepped out of my car with the engine running to get my mail, went to open the door and it would not open! there were two emt's across the street and they called the deputy sheriff to help me get access to the car. They said it was lucky that I had not had an infant or small child in the car. This is truly a safety issue. I have to keep my window rolled down or crawl through the trunk until I can get it fixed.

- Nebo, NC, USA

problem #15

May 162016


  • miles
Takata recall I have 4 door handles that have broken twice and have 3 broken door handles right now, including the drivers door. The car is no longer under warranty and the cost to repair is $400 per door. I believe Ford should recall these door handles and pay for the cost of repair on the broken doors I have now. If I had a medical emergency while driving, no one could open my door to help!

- Boonville, MO, USA

problem #14

Feb 062014


  • 101,000 miles


The vehicle has flawed latching mechanisms. Within 6 months, 3 out of my 4 doors failed to close. They still will not close. I was taking a turn, when my rear passenger door opened. I eventually got it to close, however after several uses, it will not latch shut. Neither will the rear driver door. The driver door had the same problem, but I had it fixed. Both back doors are currently duct taped shut due to high price of parts. This is a safety issue. I have a friend with a Focus with the exact same problem. If a door opens while driving, someone will get seriously hurt in a collision.

- Youngstown, OH, USA

problem #13

Aug 202014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Driver's side front door no longer opens from outside. In order to enter car, must either enter through passenger seat, or leave the driver's window down so I can reach in and open the driver's door from the inside.this is a serious safety issue, because in the event of an accident, emergency personnel would be unable to remove the driver from the vehicle, since all of the car's doors automatically lock themselves! I have found several other complaints of this issue on this website.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #12

May 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I was driving nw on SR626 about 45 mph when a white car pulled from stop sign striking my car in the pass side, hitting rear tire and body just in front of tire as I was swerving left to miss car. At impact my car spun 180 degrees sliding backwards into a deep ditch, on right side of road, rolling onto drivers side then back onto all four wheels. The airbags never deployed as I was tossed around inside car hitting my head, neck and left shoulder area causing injury. I did have my lap and shoulder belt on and in the correct position.

- New Middletown, OH, USA

problem #11

Mar 092011


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated that she attempted to open the rear drivers side door from the outside but the door was jammed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection but they could not determine the cause of failure. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure recurred and included the rear passenger side door. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000.

- Little Falls, NY, USA

problem #10

Mar 132014


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 70 mph, a loud popping noise occurred as the sunroof suddenly detached from the vehicle. The contact indicated that the sunroof was closed when the defect occurred. After the incident, the contact discovered rusting and corrosion located where the sunroof was positioned. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Franklin, IN, USA

problem #9

Dec 262012


  • 110,000 miles
The back passenger door latch failed resulting in the door not remaining closed. The door had to be held shut with a belt so that it could be safely driven. Thank god that no one was in the back seat as they might have been hurt if the door flew open while driving. The amato Ford dealer did a diagnostic test (for what we are not sure as it is a manual door no electronic locks or windows) that cost 113 dollars and then told us it would cost 385 dollars to fix. This is clearly a safety issue and Ford should fix this before someone is killed. I have been a loyal Ford customer but never again will I purchase a Ford vehicle if they care this little for their customers safety.

- Milwaukee , WI, USA

problem #8

May 152012


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the doors failed to open from the inside. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was determined that the door locks were faulty. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Cedar Falls, IA, USA

problem #7

Sep 152008


  • 2,000 miles
This is an on going issue we have had since shortly after purchasing the vehicle. The rear passenger door leak due to a faulty splash guard. We have had it serviced by Ford several times; however, the issue has come back again, and we are no longer in warranty. I have 3 complaints that come with this issue, 1 I am very concerned about the floor underneath rusting out, 2 even with defrosters on high, it becomes difficult to see out of the windows because of the moisture in the car (even after doing what we can to soak up the moisture) and 3 I have some concerns that the electrical components will become an issue ie. The rear window defogger is almost always wet. At this point we are not dealing with mold concerns, but we have had to have mold clean from the interior of the car before. I am writing you, because this is an issue Ford knows about, and it seems as though it is a very common issue with this model. I am very concerned that at some point someone is going to get hurt, and I feel as though Ford is no longer concerning themselves with this issue, and are not concerned with correcting their issue.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #6

Jun 012011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
Key locks for front doors and door latches won't open door from the outside. Took it to dealership, of course it isn't covered. If you accidentally lock your door with your child in it on a hot day, you can't get them out in time. Shouldn't the locks and latches work for at least 100K miles? have to leave the car unlocked all the time.

- Colleyville, TX, USA

problem #5

Mar 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I have had to replace 2 door handles due to an issue with them breaking. I talked to the local Ford dealer and he says he has replaced over 10 other 2007/08/09 Focus exterior door handles. None however were covered under warranty and of course both of my broke after the warranty expired and the cost was 142.00/per this is a huge design flaw as well as costly.

- Dushore, PA, USA

problem #4

Jan 042012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 74,100 miles
Right rear passenger door locked. Cannot be opened. Cannot be unlocked electronically nor manually.

- Coldspring, TX, USA

problem #3

Nov 022010


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated that both front doors could only be opened from the interior. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 25,000.

- Clarington, OH, USA

problem #2

Jul 302008


  • 130,442 miles
I purchased a '08 Ford Focus- 4dr sdn SE in March '08 from mark martin Ford in batesville, ar. July '08, doors locked & wouldn't open. Since the original delivery of the vehicle, it's been returned to dealership 14+ times. Vehicle has been out of service for repairs for a total of 209 calendar days (just from May 14, '10-Dec. 31, '10). It is documented that the car started having problems before 12,000 mi. Have been in contact with the ar atty. Gen's off, Ford Motor Company, Ford credit, mark martin Ford. Started lemon law proceedings & had an arbitration meeting set in Jan. '11. Ford customer care was working on a buyback/replacement. Ford wanted a second opinion. I took it to another dealership. Ford made many attempts to repair the vehicle. I sent a demand letter to Ford. They didn't attempt to do a final fix. Instead they repossessed the car. I was only 2 mos behind & made arrangements w/Ford credit to make a payment in Dec. '10. I did. I have a letter from mark martin Ford stating, "they have done all they know to do." I have a letter from Ford stating, "although they admit to no wrong doing on their part, they want me to be a satisfied customer & are willing to waive the balance I owe" (yet it's on my credit report). The ar atty gen's off says I have a case. Vehicle has been in mark martin Ford on these dates for repairs/defects:7/30/08-rr door stays locked;7/30/08-rumble sound when driving;10/08/08-drs hard to open w/outside handle;10/08/08-rr dr won't unlock;10/08/08-starter hung after car started;10/08/08-dust leaking in rr & lf;3/16/09-rr;3/16/09-rr dr weather-stripping falling down;3/16/09-popping noise in rf&lf;3/26/09-lr dr won't unlock;8/07/09-lr tire sensor off;06/09/10-lfront dr won't open from outside;06/09/10-lr dr won't open;06/09/10-dr seal leaking dust in;8/21/10-lrear dr won't open from;8/21/10-dust coming

- Hardy, AR, USA

problem #1

Aug 082009


  • 38,000 miles
Concerning a '08 Focus, 4 door SE. Car is approximately 18months old and has covered 38,000 approx.. rear passenger door failed to open. When using power locks, the door button would fail to move. On a couple of occasions (lucky) the door could be opened. Then the same happened to the other rear door. So now both rear doors were inoperable. Car was taken to the local Montana Ford dealership where the problem was explained. Car was kept in shop for four days whilst bits were ordered, and problem rectified. Was charged $100 and told this wasn't covered by the warranty (although a rental car was provided for this period). In hindsight I should have checked both doors, as later I found out that the other door hadn't been fixed. Car now has to go into shop for further rectification. I realize that in '05 Ford recalled approx 359,000 01-02 Focus for this problem, and have had trouble with other door latches on various vehicles. For this to happen on a 08 Focus, which has been driven carefully by one owner, fail to see how the Ford dealer can say it's not a manufacturers defect" are they worried that it'll cost more for a recall than any lawsuits"

- Missoula, MT, USA

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