really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,152 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.

2001 Ford Focus electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 4 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #134

Oct 232007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


Ignition switch locked up beyond a mere steering lockup and could not be started. I had to pay to have the vehicle towed to the local Ford dealership. Vehicle has 84K miles. I hope I won't be paying for a repair that is likely to break again soon.

- Beavercreek, OH, USA

problem #133

Sep 062007


  • 83,000 miles
I own a 2001 Ford Focus and within the last month it has become increasingly more difficult to turn the key in the ignition. I did some research and found that this is due to a substandard/defective ignition switch cylinder. I also found that this is not an uncommon problem, quite the contrary; there are several car forums that have complaint after complaint specifically about this issue. For example, here is one at consumeraffairs.com: www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/ford_focus_ignition.html I accept the fact that car owners are responsible for their own maintenance but an ignition cylinder should not be going bad in a 6 year old car. Furthermore, I have read several Ford Focus owners say that they have had this repair done more than once. I am a college student; I cannot afford to keep paying out $500 to get this fixed. Please do the responsible thing and recall this part and replace it with one that works. Don't make me regret buying a Ford in the future. Https://secure.Ford.com/servlet/satellite/footer/contact-Ford/contact-us-email?contactmaintopic=vehicleserviceissues

- Valley Village, CA, USA

problem #132

Jun 012006

Focus 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the ignition locked while attempting to start the vehicle. She had to strike the tip of the key while it was still in the ignition for the vehicle to be started. The dealer repaired the vehicle in June of 2006, however, the failure recurred in August of 2007. The dealer would not repair the vehicle because the warranty expired. The current mileage was 57,834 and failure mileage was 56,000.

- Liberty, MO, USA

problem #131

Jul 162007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,486 miles


Could not insert my key into the ignition. It would only go halfway in. I was stranded in a parking lot and had to call a friend to pick me up. Had to have it towed to dealer where they drilled the lock out and replaced with new cylinder. The old part was totally destroyed by the drilling.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #130

Feb 222007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,700 miles
It had become harder and harder over the course of a couple of months to turn the key in my ignition. Then one night after work, I put the key in the ignition and it would not turn at all. I contacted aaa, and they sent out a locksmith the next day. The locksmith had to completely replace the ignition because, according to him, certain pieces were broken.

- Annandale, VA, USA

problem #129

Oct 012003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
Ignition lock cylinder failed, preventing car from starting. Key would go into ignition but would not turn. I was stranded in parking garage until a tow truck that could reach it was located. Ignition cylinder rebuilt, new keys created, total cost $550. Dealer kept old parts. This is the second failure of the same part. It was first replaced in October 2003.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #128

Feb 112007


  • miles


I own a 2001 Ford Focus SE automatic: My ignition lock and the steering wheel are jammed. It is a very recent development and I am finding out that I may have to pay hundreds of dollars to fix it, which I am very unhappy about since it would have been prevented by a recall of the vehicle. I still have no idea how I am going to fix it and I might have to end up towing the car which will cost even more and I don't have enough money to do that, but if I leave it on my street then I will get a parking ticket. Shame on you Ford for not issuing a recall, what am I supposed to do? another problem with my Focus is that the rear passenger side window broke in 2005. The motor got jammed and broke or something, but now my window won't roll up and my car is getting rained inside of, again thanks Ford for not issuing a recall on that problem, which is a problem that every Ford Focus owner that I know has. I will never buy a Ford again, and I will tell everyone that Ford's suck!!!!!

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #127

Feb 012007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
I was out shopping at night in a dark parking lot and when I went to my car the key would not turn I was left stranded for hours until a tow could come get my car the key would not turn it was locked.

- Chapel Hill , NC, USA

problem #126

Dec 302006


  • miles
Bought a 2001 Ford Focus (used) from a orivate party. The person I bought it from had the ignition changed twice and it has locked up on me in less than a year. I bought a cylinder and key set from auto zone and changed it out myself, $90 later the car will not start because of the anti-theft in car and I refuse to take it to my local Ford dealer (arceneaux Ford). Ford should replace these ignition cylinders because they are junk and seem to occur often.

- New Iberia, LA, USA

problem #125

Jan 042007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 40,000 miles
- the contact stated that the ignition cylinder switch has seized. He could not put the key in the ignition. This was the first time the contact had a problem with the ignition switch. The vehicle has 40,000 miles. The contact has not contacted a repair shop. He was going to contact a locksmith. The vehicle was operable on 1/3/06. There were no warning signals.

- Boulder City, NV, USA

problem #124

Dec 272006


  • miles


The ignition on my 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 has locked up on numerous occasions, rendering it impossible to start the car, as the key will not turn in the lock. Each time this has happened to me in the past, I was eventually able to start the car by jiggling the key in the lock for up to ten minutes. This time, however, after jiggling the key in the ignition for a full forty-five minutes, there was still no give in the ignition. I tried turning the steering wheel to either side as hard as I could while turning the key, and it did nothing to fix the problem. After finally giving up, I did an internet search to see if there was some advice online, and I saw right away that hundreds, if not thousands of people have had the same problem with their cars. Each time, it takes them having to replace the ignition for a cost of between 200 and 700 dollars, all costs included. I am extremely concerned that I will have to take the same course of action, as I don't know what else I can possibly do. I can't even have a friend pull my car to the dealership, as it is impossible to steer it in its present state. I will have to pay the cost of a professional tow-truck and then pay the dealer to replace the ignition on top of it all. I understand through my research online that the reason this issue has not been dealt with through a recall by Ford is that it does not pose "an immediate and imminent health risk." That may be so, but it causes Ford Focus owners, like myself, countless amounts of frustration and anger to not be able to use our cars. My car is now sitting on the curb outside my house, in perfectly drivable condition in every way, and I can't even turn the key in the ignition. If you have other complaints about this issue, please lobby with all of your influence to have Ford address and fix this problem. Thank you for your time.

- Joplin, MO, USA

problem #123

Jul 202006


  • miles
Ignition cylinder locked up and I couldn't get the key in. Had to have it drilled out and replaced - $300.

- Chesterfield, MI, USA

problem #122

Nov 212006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,600 miles
Went to leave work one evening, put my key in the ignition and it would not turn. I was stranded and had to call my husband to pick me up. Had to have car towed to dealership. They installed new ignition tumbler. Since this is a known problem with this vehicle and I have only owned the car for a little over a month, the dealership paid half of the bill.

- Sartell, MN, USA

problem #121

Nov 062006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,156 miles
I tried to start my car and the key seemed "stuck". I tried everything to turn it to no avail. Called a locksmith and he said it was a very common problem with the Ford Focus, and that he responds to calls about this issue all the time. The key ignition cylinder just breaks on these cars. I took it to my mechanic who confirmed this and is in the process of replacing the ignition cylinder. The part from Ford is substandard and that is why it breaks all the time. This should be recalled! what is the point of a car if you cannot start it due to a mechanism constantly breaking" what if I were in a bad area of town, what if I really really needed to leave immediately but couldn't due to a faulty part that is a known issue!"

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #120

Nov 052006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,999 miles
2001 Ford Focus. Key will not turn tried both keys w/O help have been having trouble and now will not work. This is the car my daughter takes to college and lucky it was sitting in my driveway not with her on a dark campus all alone.

- Roswell, NM, USA

problem #119

Oct 162006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles
Key will not turn in ignition. Eventually after a half hour of trying, the car turned over and I was able to drive it to the dealership. I told them I was having problems with my ignition, and they asked me if my car was a Focus. Apparently this is a common problem in the Ford Focus. The tumbler needs to be replaced. I have a 2001 Ford Focus SE wagon. Why do you have to replace an ignition in a 5 year old car? I had a 10 year old car without any ignition problems ever.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #118

Oct 162006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I have a 2001 Ford Focus and in 2005 I had to replace my ignition cylinder. The key wouldn't turn at all. I bought the cylinder from Ford and replaced it myself. Now, a year later, I am having the same problem again. My key will not turn the ignition. I have tried troubleshooting but nothing has improved. I have to buy another cylinder again.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #117

Oct 102006


  • miles
2001 Ford Focus ignition cylinder locks up 10/10/2006 car is stranded overnight in a parking lot in an unsafe neighborhood lock cylinder was replaced at a cost of $300 plus tow fees.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #116

Sep 272006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 43,500 miles
For a week I was having trouble turning my key in the ignition of my 2001 Ford Focus. Then one morning I could not turn my key at all. I had to have the car towed to the dealership. According to the dealership this is a common occurrence with the Ford Focus. They had to replace the ignition cylinder at my cost. I was told that even though this is a common occurrence, Ford will do nothing about it because it is, according to them, not a safety issue. I want to know how this is not a safety issue when this problem can leave someone stranded anywhere with no warning.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #115

Sep 282006


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I had taken my grand-daughter to the dentist and when we came out the key ignition would not turn and the steering wheel was locked up. I spent the most of the morning trying to get it to turn one more time so that I could take it to Ford town to get it fixed. I knew what had happened because my daughter has a 2004 Ford Focus and hers had just locked up about a month before and she never did get it to turn over, she had to have her car towed and the ignition cylinder drilled out, finally we were able to get it to turn over one more time and the man at Ford town told me to leave the key in the ignition and the next day they would try and work my car in to have it fixed. I took it to Ford town the next day and they fixed it and it cost me $184.37.

- Carlsbad, NM, USA

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