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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
100,750 miles
Total Complaints:
85 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (31 reports)
  2. ford should issue a recall (28 reports)
  3. replace ignition switch (5 reports)
  4. ignition cylinder needs to be replaced (3 reports)
  5. replace the steering column and ignition switch (3 reports)
  6. drill a hole into the ignition to drop the tumblers (2 reports)
2000 Ford Focus accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2000 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #85

Apr 112017

Focus ZTS 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles


Luckily, it happened at home and found out that it is common on the ford focus. Needed to have it towed to the dealer which cost an additional $75. There is a class action lawsuit in California for this problem that I am trying to join.

- asjskoy, Foster City, US

problem #84

Dec 172015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

I have read that Ford Focus's are having this same issue and no recall has been made. There is no way that I will take it to a dealer to repair this. I am going to either try myself or enlist the help of a locksmith. The ignition switch cylinder is stuck and won't rotate to turn the car on. From one U Tube video, I will have to drill a hole in the cylinder to remove the locking mechanism. If I get some time off, I will tackle this next week. This may be my last Ford ever.

- jpgilly1992, Bartow, FL, US

problem #83

Nov 172014

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,400 miles

Put the key in the ignition to go to a meeting and to my surprise, the key would not turn. Tried a variety of fixes but nothing helped. After some Googling, I discovered this was a common issue with this vintage of Ford Focus and called a locksmith who replaced the ignition cylinder.

- kschlesinger, Nashville, TN, US

problem #82

Dec 292012

Focus SE

  • Manual transmission
  • 49,000 miles


I bought my daughter a ford focus se 2000 5 speed to ensure that she had a safe and reliable car for herself and her two young children. She was so happy and was off to a good start or so we thought, Two days after she got the car the altenator went out. But luckily enough I called the person we got it from and he replaced it after stating this was the second time he'd done so. Evrything was fine until the clutch started going out leaving the car a struggle for her to drive as it only gets gears 3.4.5 while cranker. You have to put it in reverse then start it to back out, then turn it off and put it in second and shift by rpms and hope it catches. So I now have to do all the driving until it can be fixed. If that wasnt bad enough, I was at work and I work overnight so when I got off work I drove the car home gringing and praying it would catch gears, I parked it and went to sleep only to get up to go to the store and found that the ignition was locked an the key would not turn. I tried everything I could for over an hour and it would not turn. I found this site while looking up the problem and did the "tapping" with a hammer on the key and after three times it worked. So I now have to leave the key in the second position and cant take it out or turn it off or it will lock again. This also means I have to take off the battery cables so it doesnt drain the battery. I see this is a serious problem many ppl are having and now my daughter cannot drive her own car! Thank ford! This needs to be addressed and fixed at fords expense and a pubic apologie should be made to us all!

- Patricia B., Jacksonville, FL, US

problem #81

Jun 042014

Focus ZTS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,666 miles

I have out an insane amount of time and money into fixing up this car. To find out there was a recall due to the locking of ignitions is highly upsetting. This is a problem not easily fixed by hitting your local auto parts store. I believe all owners of recalled vehicles should be given free repairs.

- Mannar A., Silver Spring, MD, US

problem #80

Mar 212014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Car was running normally, parked it, went back to my car and key would not turn in the ignition. After hours and multiple people troubleshooting, I am having the car towed to my mechanic.

- Laura E., San Francisco, CA, US

problem #79

Nov 042013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,935 miles


This is the second time that this problem has happened. I had it fixed once a few years back, I guess the service department at the ford dealership thought by replacing the defect parts with the same type of parts it would do the trick. Same parts, same problem down the road. Now it's going to cost me a locksmith or tow to the dealership to have it repaired. Luckily I was at home when it failed, so not a total gong show. It could have failed in worse places.

- nucks12, Langley, BC, canada

problem #78

Jun 222012

Focus 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

Come to find out this is a known recurring problem with lock cylinders in Focus.

- elfprince, Holland, MI, US

problem #77

Sep 162012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

was just fine, new keys, ran into store, came out and could not turn the key.

- cbunsen, corvallis, OR, US

problem #76

Jun 102013

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,367 miles

I started having problems turning the key in the ignition last night, each time I took the key out and then went to restart the car after getting back in it. I was working and my job requires numerous stops. A lot of those stops require me to get out of my vehicle and lock it up because I am going to be away from it for extended periods of time. This morning shortly before 1am I tried to restart my car and the key wouldn't turn. I wiggled it, tapped on the flat around the key and nothing, NOTHING worked. My car had to be towed to my home. I was stuck at a gas station where I had stopped to get WATER to drink. It took almost TWO hours for a tow and my boss had to come get me so that I could finish my shift. Reading this, seeing how common this is...I'm heartbroken and furious. Many of the places that I have to get out at are dark and isolated. I'm lucky to have had a working cell phone. If I'd been at one of those places and hadn't had a cell, I could have been stranded for hours until someone came by or worse! How DARE they know how common this issue is and not fix it!

- Andrea J., Salem, OR, US

problem #75

May 242013

Focus SE 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


This is a known issue with Ford for a number of years without a recall. At least one class action lawsuit has been filed in California.

The severity of the problem ranges from damn inconvenient to dangerous. Imagine you pull off the road in a remote location for any reason and turn off the car. Then you get back in the car and put the key in and the key doesn't turn, the wheel stays locked and you can't start the engine. You're stranded.

Damn inconvenient if your close to home, quite scary if you're on a long stretch between towns, alone or with small children with you.

Come on Ford, buck up and do the right thing, recall and get this fixed before someone dies out on some lonely highway one day because you want to keep getting your $250 - $350 dollars for replacing this obviously defective part.

While this happened to my car at just over 100K miles the average mileage this occurs is around 36K based on numerous reported cases.

- Shannon M., Allen, TX, US

problem #74

May 132012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles

Well we bought this car for our god daughter and tonight she phoned and said the steering is locked and the key wont turn and after an hour she finally abandoned it in a parking lot, and a friend drove her home! well after going on line I'm outraged!!!!! Shame on you ford knowing about this and abandoning young ladies in dark parking lots at night !!!! shame on you putting your customers at risk by not recalling these cars and fixing such a common issue!!! tomorrow she will go there with a can of wd 40 and try to get it going so make due till i can get over there and replace the lock cylinder. if she can't and has to have it towed in for will get a nasty letter and i urge all with this issue to do the same. there is strength in numbers and i hope they wont ignore young girls who buy these cars, leaving them in dark allies when they know the problem and the solution!!!!

- tweety2, Fort Sask, AB, canada

problem #73

Apr 142012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

About a week ago, I would go to put the key in ignition to leave, and it would not turn. RANDOMLY. No forewarning. I would hit the key and wiggle the steering wheel and it would finally turn.

Not today though. Got stranded downtown in the pouring rain because key will not turn in ignition. I have had a Honda and a Chevy, and NEVER had as many problems as I have had with this crap car. Had to have it towed to the mechanic by my work and find a ride home. Hope I can find a ride on Monday to work. No idea how much this will cost.

Ridiculous, as my car only has 45,000 miles on it.

- Chelsea B., Columbus, OH, US

problem #72

Apr 062012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles

So,I have read over and over again how the ignition switch locks up on you.I drove my car with no problem,got out ran upstairs came back to leave and key went in fine, but would not turn igintion switch to start the car.Had my car towed,they changed the ignition out but they now have to wait for locksmith to come out so,far its 260.00,you know will be more when locksmith comes out.Ford should of done something about this problem.

- ssheila11, Chicago, IL, US

problem #71

Mar 122012

Focus SE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

Ignition stopped turning when I put in the key. Had to leave my car in a parking lot overnight, miss work and call a locksmith in the morning to replace for 280 bucks. He said he changes the ignition for a focus an average of 5 times per week! Completely irresponsible for Ford to ignore this problem. This will absolutely affect my decision making when choosing a vehicle in the future.

- Jason B., Elgin, IL, US

problem #70

Feb 222012

Focus ZTS 2.0L V4

  • Manual transmission
  • 131,500 miles

Nothing bothers me more than spending money on my car on something that is expected to last the life of the car. It conveys a lack of integrity that Ford dealerships won't repair this issue free of charge. I commute 40 miles a day in this car and my last class is at 10pm... Worst part is I am broke.

I have found that after about 3 to 5 minutes of working at it, that it finally turns. Ever since it happened, every single time I try to turn the key it locks. If I leave the key in it can turn back and forth. If I take the key out and put it back in it gets stuck instantly.

Pisses me off because Ford probably wants 500 to fix this.

- uberstuber, auburn, CA, US

problem #69

Feb 282012

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

This morning my husband was getting ready to leave for work, and when he went to start the car the key wouldnt turn. He had his mother take him in, and I have had no success with trying to get it to turn today. It is a huge inoconvinience. Turnign the steering wheel and banging the key into the ignition that has worked in the past decided not to work this morning. I know this is a common problem.

- danyel, Waldron, IN, US

problem #68

Jan 092012

Focus LX 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I have a 2000 ford focus and I went to get in it and go to the store. The steering wheel is locked and the key will not turn. I dont have the money to fix it and I dont know what to do. I see that there is alot of problems with them but there is not a recall. THERE SHOULD BE. Someone please help.

- apples1980, jonesboro, Arkansas [AR]', US

problem #67

Jan 052012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 260,000 miles

Okay, Ford. Listen up. This is ridiculous! I have been visiting many many MANY websites and this seems to be a very common problem with your Focus cars. One day the car works beautifully and then WHAM key won't turn in the ignition. This forced me to walk to daycare and preschool with two boys who were both down with colds. In January. In Pennsylvania. I was also late for work. Then I had to have said car towed, only to be told by my mechanic that it had to be towed AGAIN to the dealer.

If this is such a problem and there are so many complaints and websites devoted to the issue, why hasn't there been a recall? This seems like it would be a relatively easy fix, so just do it already!

- Heather M., Lock Haven, PA, US

problem #66

Nov 072011

Focus LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,890 miles

This happened at 6:45 in the morning on my way to work. My Focus had to be towed in park onto a flatbed and then taken off the truck with a forklift at the Ford dealership. I saw online that a number of people have complained about this issue, so I asked after the repair how this could be prevented in the future with the new ignition chamber. The service sales rep had the nerve to tell me that this was just mother nature and that I should appreciate the fact that I had 107,000 miles without this problem. Then I asked if this has the chamber freeze up has the possibility of happening again, and he said yes (YES!). So I got pissed and told him how I've driven cars with way more miles on them and never saw anything as ridiculous as a key not fitting in the ignition. He said it happens all the time, just happened to his Buick with 50,000 miles on it. I called BS on that, and this is why I will never buy a Ford again. Enjoy that $500 dollars because its that last cash you are getting from me. This should have been recalled and has the potential to be a safety issue if I were to get stranded in the middle of nowhere just because someway, somehow my ignition chamber refuses my key.

- Dan O., Rutherford, NJ, US

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