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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,811 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2002 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #7

Nov 072016


  • 64,000 miles


Tail light connection melts due to bulb getting too hot. Impossible to remove connector to replace bulb. Have to replace entire lens. Many, many reports online of this happening. Ford denies and refuses to replace. Expensive remedies for customers. This happens on Focus wagons and many other Ford.

- Driggs, ID, USA

problem #6

Sep 262012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
While waiting at a construction site the engine died and would not start (the engine indicator lit). The brake lights, power windows, and rear hatch release also failed to function. The vehicle was towed and the personal mechanic reported the electrical harness to the rear hatch had failed where is passed between the body and the hatch door. The harness electrical insulation was cracked on the entire bundle of wires and shedding fragments causing some wires to short, the 15 amp fuse for the brake lights had evidence of heating, but did not blow, rather, wires leading to the brake pedal sensor, the 15 amp fuse, and along the harness back to the short in the rear wiring harness near the center brake light had discolored and were melted in some segments. Ford customer service said to consult a Ford service center to determine if there was a manufacturing defect. The Ford service representative said he had seen this before and said it was not a manufacturing defect, rather it was a design defect that occurs after 10 years or more.

- Oregon City, OR, USA

problem #5

Nov 052008


  • miles
Rear door wont latch right and driver side tail light wont work.

- Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #4

Jun 262008


  • 74,000 miles


Driver side tail light and brake light. The housing is shaped so that you can't take the lightbulb out w/O breaking it. I told them to do whatever to make it work can't afford $118 to replace a manuf defect part.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #3

May 272006


  • miles
A year ago, the driver's side turn signal light on my 2002 Ford Focus wagon burned out. In trying to replace it at a local auto parts place. The socket was so tight in the lens/reflector assembly that it could not be removed. I took it to my dealer, kain family Ford in london. I learned that the problem was that the fitting for the socket had warped from excessive heat, apparently. The dealer searched to see if there was a technical bulletin and found one instance in which a pizza driver in a similar vehicle had a similar problem. They were able to pull the light out and with a pocket knife make the new socket fit in the assembly, and charged me the hourly rate for the work. I suspect this is a manufacturer's defect, because I've heard of two other instances in the same type of vehicle in this area with the same results. I recently replaced the passenger side headlamp and fount the same warping. I have yet to take it to my dealer, but will. Is there a way to search repair records for this vehicle to determine if this is a defect and should be recalled? I learned of this site from click and clack on npr's cartalk.

- London, KY, USA

problem #2

Oct 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
There is a line that went straight into the engine's intake that has been leaking fluid since 2,000 miles and was inspected by deler who told to me that it was nothing. But the engine case should not have a large leak of fluid that soon. Finally now, they have done something on this and replaced the hose, as it was seen once more and knows of all the times reported. I hope this is just not a easy fix or this now hasn't caused any damange to the inside of the engine itself, as the engine has been in the shop for riding rough. They told me last time that the part of the transmission that was fixed would fix this. I think it is due to the oil leak on the top of the engine case since it was new. A new car should never have a oil leak on a engine case.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 212003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,678 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Focus ZX5 4 dr hatchback my problems started on 7/21/03 when my brakes lights, headlights, turn signal and radio stopped working. I took it into the dealership and it was repaired however now the radio will no longer response to me turning the vol. Up or down as well as I only only set the time on military time. Now on 9/7 my brakes have started to grind. On 9/11 my car now vibrates when I accerate at 60 mph +. in the past week I have also noticed that my car will accellerate and hesitate when in motion. In the last three months my gas mileage has slowly declined as well. I am taking it into the dealership tonight - but thought I need to report. Seems there are many others like me.

- Corinth, TX, USA

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