Notes: The 2002 Ford Focus 2.0L SOHC engine has a defect where the intake valve seat fails. The valve then falls into the cylinder, destroying the engine & most owner relationships with Ford in the process.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,737 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.

2002 Ford Focus electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #84

Nov 292008


  • 80,000 miles


Ford Focus 2002 - ignition failure. Happened three times. The third time was stranded in the cold weather with 9 month old baby until I could get help. My husband was able to start the car and I drove it to the dealer. It cost 350 to get fixed. I don't feel an ignition should break and then be replaced with a poorly manufactured ignition. I have read thousands of complaints online about this. This is a problem and Ford should issue a recall.

- North Haven, CT, USA

problem #83

Nov 182007


  • 67,000 miles
Key locks up in the ignition and will not turn. The car would not start.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #82

Nov 082008


  • miles
The ignition key continued to get stuck in the steering column and refusing to turn until I'd continue to fiddle with it, sometimes for over 30 minutes. Very frustrating. The key has finally quit turning at all. The car is currently at howard's towing being repaired. The entire column is being replaced. Very expensive. Very unhappy.

- Grosse Ile, MI, USA

problem #81

Nov 012008


  • miles


I drove my car to downtown as I normally do except this time I has the company of my 3 sons. It was 4 am in the morning. I parked the car taking the key out of the ignition and exited. At about 5:15 I tried to start the car by placing the key in the ignition and trying to turn it. The key would not turn. I tried again but again the key would not turn. I called aaa and the rep asked me to try to turn the steering wheel a little and then the key, this still did not work. He called a tow truck to come out to help. Meanwhile my children and I were left to sit in the cold and wait for the tow truck driver. While waiting I pressed on the brake really hard and pulled on the steering wheel and tried the key again, luckily it worked. Spoke to the aaa rep again and cancelled the tow. I woke up this morning to try the ignition again and it stuck again so I did the same thing that seemed to work yesterday, but it did not. Fortunately I was at home this time and not on a mountain somewhere with my children. This is a scary thing to happen especially when you are with your children in a strange place. What if I were somewhere without a cell phone signal? would we have to wait until someone happens by or walk in the cold to get a signal. This is something that should not happen to anyone.

- Springfield, OR, USA

problem #80

Oct 262008


  • 72,100 miles
Ignition key lock. The steering wheel of the car locks up and the key will not turn the car on. Jiggling the steering wheel column and turning the key at the same time does not work. The ignition cylinder was replaced.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #79

Oct 072008


  • 66,720 miles
The ignition switch on my car will not turn over to start the car.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #78

Sep 092008


  • miles


I have a 2002 Ford Focus and the keys sometimes get stuck in the ignition and or the keys are not able to turn the ignition. I feel that this is unsafe.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #77

Jul 262008


  • 63,000 miles
Failure of ignition to turn on. Programmed Ford Focus keys fail to turn on ignition.

- Miamisburg, OH, USA

problem #76

Jul 202008


  • 60,000 miles
2002 Ford Focus X3, everyday I have problems with my ignition. I inset the keys into the ignition and the car locks up and the keys won't turn. I have to pray to try and get it to turn. Well today it finally gave up on me and I had to leave my car at my moms for good.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #75

Jul 172007


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. The contact was experiencing difficulty turning his key in the ignition of his vehicle. It took him 2-3 hours after leaving the store to start the vehicle. The failure occurred very frequently. The dealer advised him to go to a locksmith to remove the cylinder. The current mileage was approximately 76,000 and failure mileage was approximately 50,000.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #74

Jun 142008


  • 68,000 miles


Tried to turn the ignition to start my car and the key would not turn. Its a 2002 Ford Focus 2dr hatchback. It left me stranded for a few hours until I could have it towed. It seemed like the tumblers did not recognize the key. I could not shift out of park so I couldn't even push it out of the spot it was parked in. The entire ignition switch has to be replaced and the car restarted.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #73

Jun 122008


  • 38,125 miles
Ignition switch failure in 2002 Ford Focus.

- Mt. Pearl, 00, USA

problem #72

May 162008

Focus 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
My 2002 Ford Focus ignition switch will not turn. The steering wheel is locked because of this problem. The Ford dealership says this is a coming problem with these cars, but there is no recall. The charge will nearly be $500.

- Saratoga Springs, UT, USA

problem #71

May 152008


  • 76,000 miles
Key will not turn in the ignition. Had to call a locksmith to fix for over $200. The car was fine but would not start at all. The problem got worse and worse to the point I was stranded after about a week.

- Platte City, MO, USA

problem #70

May 202008


  • 20,000 miles
Steering wheel locked and ignition key would not turn, leaving me stranded.

- Corvallis, OR, USA

problem #69

May 012008

Focus 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My 2002 Ford Focus has a known ignition problem per don davis Ford but no recall has been issued. The key will no longer turn at all. The dealership offered to replace the ignition switch for $400.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #68

May 062008

Focus 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
I have heard from many of Ford Focus owners of their problems with their ignition key getting stuck or not turning. I have been experiencing this problem for a few weeks now, where I have been left stranded at night or in harsh weather conditions. I believe that since this si not an isolated problem with a few vehicles and also considering the implications if vehicles not starting because of this problem in an emergency situation, should be enough to request to Ford company, take responsibility for the design flaws in the ignition system.

- Carrolton, TX, USA

problem #67

Apr 182008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 89,420 miles
My ignition switch on the 2003 Focus wagon, locked up. A tow truck driver, hit it to release. I took it to the dealership for repair, and they said it would be $338. This is an ongoing issue with this model for years according to web blogs. I spoke to Ford and they would not help me, and stated this was not a recall issue. We have 4 Focus in the family. Our 2002 had the same problem -but was repaired under warranty. This should not happen and must be addressed as a safety issue.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #66

Mar 212008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Went to the grocery store about 10pm when I was done got into my car and the ignition would not turn. I sat there trying for a long time and nothing. It was obvious the ignition was locked up. Got my car towed the next morning to the Ford dealership, which did not open until the following Monday. They finally were able to look at it and said the ignition tumbler had to be replaced and the cost for that is $453. I was extremely disappointed because I am already on a tight budget and there was no event that led up to the ignition defect.

- Fort Washakie, WY, USA

problem #65

Mar 182008


  • miles
The ignition is locked on my 2002 Ford Focus. Nothing led up to it. Apparently this happens to focuses often. I need to have a locksmith replace it, at cost to me, when Ford knows about this problem and has taken to action to remedy it.

- Healdsburg, CA, USA

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