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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,308 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 1 of 3)

problem #51

Jan 202010


  • 135,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. The contact attempted to start the vehicle; however, the ignition remained locked. The contact tried moving the steering wheel to unlock the ignition and was unsuccessful. The tow truck driver tapped on the ignition and unlocked the steering wheel. The contact drove the vehicle to a local mechanic who lubricated the ignition switch; yet, the ignition locked again. The mechanic could not order the part for the ignition and the contact took the vehicle to an authorized dealer. The dealer informed the contact that the ignition lock cylinder needed to be replaced. The contact called the manufacturer regarding a good faith repair. The manufacturer stated that since the vehicle warranty was not valid that they would not repair the vehicle at no charge. The contact is concerned about the safety risk and the possibility of being stranded if the failure recurs. The failure mileage was 135,000.

- Raymond, NH, USA

problem #50

Jul 282009


  • 134,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. While driving between 35-40 mph, the contact pulled the vehicle over and turned off the ignition. The engine was restarted; however, the ignition key failed to turn. Roadside assistance towed the vehicle to his residence. The authorized dealer stated that this was a common issue with this vehicle, and they replaced the ignition switch. The failure and current mileages were 134,000.

- Newark, NY, USA

problem #49

Apr 102009


  • 83,400 miles
I had come back to my 2002 Ford Focus SE, put the ignition key into the ignition switch & the switch would not turn. I had to pay $45 to have my car towed to a garage. The mechanic charged me $400 to replace the whole upper part of the steering column & redo the ignition switch that came on it.

- Bedford, IN, USA

problem #48

Oct 072008


  • 66,720 miles


The ignition switch on my car will not turn over to start the car.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #47

Mar 252008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Key won't turn in the ignition.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #46

Feb 232008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When I put my key in the ignition, it doesn't turn. I got stuck while shopping and had to have a locksmith come out. He informed me that my key was fine, but the ignition switch was the problem and that he has responded to many of the same calls for the same problem on the 2002 Ford Focus. He suggested there might be a recall due to the high volume of responses. So I called a Ford dealership and they then informed me that they had been receiving a lot of the same calls, but there was no recall in effect. The man I spoke to gave me the Ford 800 number to call and issue a complaint, which I did. Now I have to unfortunately go spend $300 plus dollars on repairing my ignition switch even though Ford is aware of the faulty part. Please recall 2002 Ford Focus ignition switches!

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #45

Dec 152007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles


When I attempt to start my car the key will not turn, when speaking with a dealer on the problem they explained to me that this is a problem very very common with the Ford Focus and agreed that this should be recalled due to the number of cars that need the key cylinder replaced, sometimes multiple times, due to this issue.

- Whitesboro, NY, USA

problem #44

Jun 172007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 58,000 miles
Ignition failed, key will not turn.

- Newark, CA, USA

problem #43

Jan 062007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the ignition switch locked and the contact was unable to start the vehicle. The key will not turn in the ignition, therefore the vehicle will be towed to the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 96,000.

- Scotsdale, AZ, USA

problem #42

Mar 222007


  • 22,000 miles
1) no warning symptoms 2) failure is that ignition key will not turn. Car will not start. This is a mass defect, but fort apparently is not issuing recall. 3) have not done anything. Car was towed to my home, and is sitting there useless. Dealerships tell me it will cost $300 to fix, but Ford should repair this for free.

- Diamond Bar , CA, USA

problem #41

Nov 292006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 66,000 miles


I had just gotten off work and went to leave. I tried to turn the key in the ignition and it wouldn't move. To make a long story short, it was my ignition switch. The guy at the Ford dealership new exactly what I was talking about when I called, stating it has happened several times to the focuses. The tow truck driver stated that same thing. Ford says it is not a safety issue, but it definitely can be. I will never buy a Ford again, especially not one from archie cochrane in billings, mt. They are a bunch of money hungry jerks who are unwilling to take responsibility for their wrong doings or have any sympathy for a customer.

- Billings, MT, USA

problem #40

Feb 032007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,232 miles
2002 Ford Focus ignition switch wont turn, locked up.

- Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #39

Dec 102006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles
2002 Ford Focus ignition locking up. It just cost me $285 to have a locksmith come to my house where my totally disabled Ford Focus sat. The locksmith completely replaced my ignition and showed me the difference and the problem with the Ford oem ignition. The locksmith told me that he has become an expert in Ford Focus' ignitions due to this faulty part. There is no way in the world that this problem that has happened repeatedly to so many people should just go away. Ford needs to be accountable for this problem and make it right for the american Ford car buying public or we should stop buying Ford's!

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #38

Aug 132006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The ignition on my 2002 Ford Focus with 60,000 miles locked up when I put the key in. What I thought would be a fast trip into the post office lead to a six hour event of trying to get my car started, calling Ford, and aaa., to make matters worse it was during a thunderstorm. After six hours my car was towed to a local mechanic where the ignition was worked on for a costly price.

- Utica, NE, USA

problem #37

Jul 092006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
2002 Ford Focus ignition problem. Key will not turn. My daughter, 17 years old was stuck in parking lot, late in the evening! this has happened on several occasions.

- Sanbornton, NH, USA

problem #36

May 272006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 35,000 miles
Ignition key would not turn to any position. No warning of impending failure. Car could not be driven, had to be towed.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #35

May 112006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
The ignition switch locked up in my car. I have had three other friends with the same car say that there ignition switch did the same thing.

- Mineral Wells, TX, USA

problem #34

May 032006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 33,500 miles
Ignition switch on my 2002 Ford Focus with 34,000 miles failed. Required a tow and replacement. Total cost of replacement was $290. Ford will not acknowledge that there is a quality problem with the ignitions. There are lots of failures of them. This should be recalled. Thanks tom rolland.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #33

Apr 072006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
The ignition switch locked up, not allowing the key to turn.

- Oro Valley, AZ, USA

problem #32

Apr 282006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2002 Ford Focus and my ignition locked up again and this time I could not start my car I was stranded for an 2 hours waiting for a tow truck to get the car. When I parked the car it was not straight so I caould not park it straight to wait to get it fixed. I called a repair guys and he said that this is very common what can we do about this. I was told it is going to cost me about $300 I am a single parent how does Ford Motor Company believe that we have any trust in the vehicle when they know that this is an issue and do not fix it at there cost in stead of ours.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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