really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,795 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 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #29

Apr 202004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles


My 2001 Ford Focus started having problems when I would put my key in the ignition and it wouldn't turn, it would take several minutes for my car to turn on. Eventually after several attempts to turn the key it never did, and I was forced to tow my car home. I will have to pay out of my own pocket to tow it to the dealers and they said that the cost to fix will range from $350-600. I am a single mother with two kids on a limited income, there is no way I will be able to afford this.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #28

Apr 072004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My steering wheel locked. The key will go into the ignition (and the dinging sound starts), but the key will not turn.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #27

Mar 112004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,450 miles
I'm having a problem with the steering wheel locking up and the ignition key won't turn. I tried jilting the wheel to try to get it to unlock.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #26

Jan 312002

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,639 miles


Ignition cylinder on my 2001 Ford Focus has failed twice and left me stranded. Total cost of repairs is over $700. Ford will not stand behind product. Recall is in order.

- New Castle, PA, USA

problem #25

Mar 022004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,788 miles
Ignition cylinder failed, resulting in a $250 repair.

- Steubenville, OH, USA

problem #24

Jan 282004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
When I tried to start my car the steering wheel and the ingnition switch cylinder both were locked up. I had to have it towed to the dealership and then found out that my extended warranty did not cover all of the expenses so I was out $350. Now why do you by an extended warranty if it doesn't cover something like this that is apparently a flaw in the design of the car?? I would like to receive any information about this matter.

- North Richland Hills, TX, USA

problem #23

Jan 242004


  • miles


Ignitioin switch freezes. When key is inserted the switch will not turn. A locksmith showed me how to free it up by tapping on the switch with a screwdriver...!

- Mount Vernon, IA, USA

problem #22

Dec 092003


  • 37,800 miles
The consumer was unable to start the vehicle because the key would not turn in the ignition switch. The vehicle had been sitting for a month. Please provide additional information.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #21

Dec 052003

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The ignition switch locked without warning. As a result, the vehicle became inoperative. Several people tried to unjam the key but no success. A tow company was called and the tow company stated that many Ford focuses were having the same problem. The tow advised tapping on the key with a hammer to see if the tumblers would realign. It worked and the vehicle was taken home and again the ignition jammed but after several attempts with the hammer the key turned. The vehicle was taken to the dealer they had to order the part and a special locksmith was required for the repair.

- Binghamton, NY, USA

problem #20

Dec 072002

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 16,500 miles
I have had my 2001 Ford Focus ignition switch lock up on me a total of four times in the first 14 months I owed my Focus. If you have this problem, look at the tip of your key -- is it being worn down at the tip? this is the source of the problem -- Ford basically used inferior metal when designing their keys for the 2000-2001 Ford focuses. They have supposedly fixed this problem in later models. After having my ignition cylinder replaced or rebuilt three times, finally after the fourth time, they gave me a new set of keys. But the problem still exists and it is just a matter of time before my current "new" key gets worn down enough to lock up the ignition switch when I insert it. I am in the midst of pursuing the lemon law on my car. I've asked Ford to "repurchase" my car and they have countered my offer to "replace" my car with another Focus -- fully acknowledging that the "ignition cylinder malfunction... was a known concern in 2001 models, and was unfortunately unable to be repaired on your vehicle." This problem has the potential of being recall-worthy (in my opinion) but I have no idea of how to get that process rolling! all I do know is that all four separate tow truck operators(without being asked by myself) told me that they tow 12-15 Ford focuses a month with this same problem! that's ridiculous! I was told by a kind Ford service guy that if I ever do get in a dangerous situation where my ignition switch locks up and my key will not turn and start my car, that if I lightly tap the end of the key into the ignition switch with something hard -- it may work to allow it to turn. So if you are in a pickle, give this a try. If your car is still under warranty, be sure to keep a good record of every time this happens to you. Then look into the lemon law requirements in your state.

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #19

Nov 132003

(reported on)


  • Manual transmission
  • 2,000 miles


When trying to start the vehicle the key did not turn in the ignition. Dealer replaced the steering column four times, but the problem still occurs.

- Fort Smith, AR, USA

problem #18

Oct 272003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles
The ignition switch was locked in place and would not move. This caused the steering wheel to be locked. Also, exhaust sensor had to be replaced three times because it did not register properly.

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

problem #17

Aug 012003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
Ignition cylinder broke without any signs, and was stuck without a car for a week.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #16

Aug 052003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,500 miles
I purchased my 2001 Ford Focus on August 6 2002. In the last year I have had to replace all brakes and now my ignition is stuck. I took the car to my dealership (citrus Ford in Ontario California) and after spending an extra 1200 on an extrended warranty when I purchased the car, they told me the ignition cylinder was not covered under my warranty. Have they looked at the number of people that are having this problem. I am now spending about $595 for a new ignition cylinder. This is a very common problem for all Focus owners. Why has there not been a recall or at least an amendment so the warranty will cover the cost.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #15

Jul 222003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
My key was stuck in the ignition switch. It did not turn easily. Luckily I was able to start the car, and bring it to the dealer. They replaced ignition tumbler at 31500 miles.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #14

Jun 122003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,193 miles
When the vehicles key is placed in the ignition sometimes the key will not turn, dealer has to replace the ignition switch.

- Chatanooga, TN, USA

problem #13

Jul 222003


  • miles
Consumer states that ignition switch broke. Dealer notified.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #12

Jul 212003


  • miles
Consumer states ignition switch is not working properly. Dealer notified.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #11

Jan 012003


  • Manual transmission
  • 20,000 miles
Jan 2003 - ignition locked and key could not be turned. Car was towed to dealership and the ignition cylinder had to be drillled out and replaced.ay 2003 - same as abovej. Une 2003 - same as above.

- Prescott, WI, USA

problem #10

Jul 102003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
The key didn't go all the way down into ignition. I had to replace the ignition lock cylinder.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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