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:
20 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
18 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,573 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2002 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #36

Sep 222015


  • 150,000 miles


I have a 2002 Ford Focus ZX5, my driver's side air bag deployed while driving down the street at a speed of 35 mph with absolutely no impact to the car. Due to it deploying and going off it had hit my left shoulder and caused me to swerve to the right, if it wasn't for the fact that I was already in the right hand lane I would've crashed into another vehicle and caused a serious accident as this also happened in the middle of "rush hour traffic". I have read on other websites where 2004 and 2006's same air bags have deployed for no reason w/O any kind of impact. The noise was so loud in my left ear that I could not hear out of it for over 45mins, I can only imagine what that would've done to my infant if they would've been in the car at that time. I feel this is a serious matter as I am 5months pregnant and if the front air bag would've gone off it could've caused much more injury to me and my unborn child. Please investigate and consider having this model put on the recall list.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #35

Jun 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Air bag light comes on blinks then stays on.

- Lewisburg , PA, USA

problem #34

Oct 272014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I simply want to know if my car is included in the current massive air bag recall. I already checked by VIN number. However, I am not sure if I went through the current source of information regarding the current big airbag recall. Thank you for your help.

- Grove City, OH, USA

problem #33

Jul 252014


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. The contact stated that after starting the ignition the air bag light illuminated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Earlton , NY, USA

problem #32

Apr 112014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving 50 mph, another vehicle made U-turn and crashed into the contact's vehicle. The air bags did not deploy and the seat belt did not properly restrain the driver of the vehicle. The contact was taken to a nearby emergency room to be treated with back, shoulder and neck injures. A police report was filed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure mileage was 30,000.

- Bellevue, OH, USA

problem #31

Apr 112014


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, another vehicle crashed into the contact's vehicle from the front end. The air bags failed to deploy and the seat belt failed to provide restraint to the driver. The driver sustained unknown injuries which required medical attention. A police report was filed of the incident. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not inspected to determine the cause of the air bag failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Belevue, OH, USA

problem #30

Dec 052013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


I was driving on baker street in West roxbury, MA. I had the right of way when another driver in a 2010 Lincoln mkx ran a stop sign and hit me. I was hit on the driver's side. The speed and force of the impact took out the entire front end of my car. My vehicle was dragged off baker street and into the intersection of baker and capital. The driver who hit me was driving at such a speed, that before stopping, they continued on, hitting a stop sign, taking it down and hitting another car, pushing it up onto the sidewalk into a telephone pole. This was an accident that totaled 3 vehicles - and - my airbags did not go off! I am writing because weeks after the accident my lower back and shoulders are still causing me a great deal of pain. And I called to report this incident to Ford after reading this has happened many times to drivers/owners in 2002 Ford Focus's! Ford told me their regional customer service manager ([xxx]) would be in touch in 1 day - and they would want to look at the vehicle... [xxx] has not been in touch and I have not heard a word from Ford. I appreciate the problems of airbags going off when the should not, or going off unexpectedly - but if airbags do not go off when there is an impact there is a problem! if it happens once or twice it may be a fluke - this is not the case! airbag failure in the 2002 for Focus is a reported problem by many - reported to you over and over - let there not be a death because you and Ford did not do the right thing - check these vehicles - all of them! one life is too precious not to do what is clearly the right thing - do a recall! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- West Roxbury, MA, USA

problem #29

Aug 132008

Focus 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
The car rear-ended a truck, slid under the truck, and crushed the whole front end. The hood was shoved into the windshield and none of the air bags deployed. The car was deemed totaled. This is the second 2002 Ford Focus we have owned. Both were in accidents (our other was in an accident, salvaged, and in an accident again) and all three times none of the air bags deployed. After doing some research, I found that the 2001 Ford focuses had problems with early deployment from the air bags. Perhaps Ford overcompensated for the next year's model" wonder if the 2002 Ford focuses should be recalled"

- South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

problem #28

Nov 212008

Focus 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Black ice was hit and the car slid over a thirty-foot embankment. Air bags did not deploy and the car was considered totaled. The second accident took place with the same car, which had been salvaged after the first accident. Hit black ice again, flipped on its side, and rolled. Again, the air bags did not deploy. The entire side and roof were demolished and the car was not salvageable this time. This is the second 2002 Ford Focus we have had--both were in accidents, and in all three accidents, both cars were totaled and no airbags were deployed. Wondering if these cars should be recalled" after doing some research on Ford focuses, I found that the 2001 Ford focuses had a problem with the airbags. They would deploy at the slightest impact. Can't help if Ford didn't overcompensate for the problem in the next year's model"

- South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

problem #27

Dec 222011


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus ztw. The contact was driving 25 mph and crashed into another vehicle when the air bags failed to deploy.the driver side seat belt extended outward and failed to secure properly. The crashed caused one injury and a police report was filed. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic and the manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileages were 59,000.

- New Albany, IN, USA

problem #26

Nov 092010


  • miles


Two cars collided. One was heading East the other heading North. The car heading North's airbags did not deploy. It was not hit head on, however, the front does have substantial damage and the airbags should have deployed. As a consequence, the driver experienced unnecessary internal damages and injuries.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #25

May 102010

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
Driving my 2002 Ford Focus ZX5. It was early in the morning and I live near many woods - I hit a deer going about 45 miles per hour. The front of the car was completely totaled, and the airbag did not deploy. The airbag light flickers on and off when you start the vehicle.

- Seymour, CT, USA

problem #24

Apr 202010

(reported on)

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Ford Focus SE station wagon. Consumer states problem with automatic transmission. Engine has strong noise. The consumer stated it took three times to fix the transmission. The window regulators were replaced four times, the thermostat housing failed twice which caused coolant leak. Also, there was a problem with the air bag system and the cover on the passenger side.

- Camuy, PR, USA

problem #23

Jul 192008


  • miles
2002 Ford Focus side airbag deployed while driving. Consumer states that the airbag deployed with a loud bang. Stated that it was kind of an explosion. The consumers son experienced ringing in his ears, reduced hearing and a severe headache from the explosive force of the air bag.

- Novato, CA, USA

problem #22

Aug 302006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Focus ZX5 that is well maintained. Within the first 2-3 years, I have had to replace the front brakes and rotors. In 2004 I had to replace the battery. In 2005 I had to replace the right rear window motor. Presently the left rear window motor isn't working; the window will not go up. The rear front window is not working properly and the air bag light comes on each time the car is started and stays on. The cd player had to be replaced in 2005. In 2006 all four tires had to be replaced because of factory dry rot. I regularly service and maintain the car, and have approximately 28,000 miles on it. I take excellent care of my vehicle and feel this car is not made with quality parts and that it is not safe. Although I drive at normal speeds, it does not get the mileage stated on the sticker.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #21

Sep 012005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
2002 Ford Focus. The consumer stated the diagnostic test found the thermal fuse in the control module for the air bag blew out, this was caused by the consumer hitting a deer on September 1, 2005. The airbags did not deploy when this occurred, the deer hit the front of the vehicle. The consumer stated the air bags did not deploy, but there was a white smoke that came from the driver's area, around the dashboard. The vehicle was then taken to the body shop, and they found the air bag light was on, and the vehicle was then taken to the dealership. There was no one injured when this happened. A police report was taken over the phone with the sheriff's department. The dealership did not tell the consumer what the smoke was that came out of the vehicle. The consumer stated the vehicle had not been in any accident prior to this.

- Williston, ND, USA

problem #20

Aug 282003

Focus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
While driving at 55 mph, a car swerved into my lane, causing me to swerve to avoid him. I lost control of the car and struck a concrete divider with the passenger front bumber, causing the car to climb up the divider, back down, and end up facing the other way on the highway. The airbags did not deploy, at that time, but 10-15 minutes later when I re-entered the vehicle, I noticed that the passenger side airbag had deployed partially. The car was totalled.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #19

Nov 232004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
A deer was struck with relatively minor damage to the hood and grill. Gun powder smelled in vehicle after collision. Suspect it was airbag propellant. Airbags did not deploy.

- Rocheser, MN, USA

problem #18

Oct 142004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My wife was driving our 2002 Ford Focus on expressway at about 40-45 mph when the driver's side, side impact air bag went off for no apparent reason. The vehicle was filled with smoke, but my wife was able to maintain control of the vehicle. My wife sustained minor injuries to her left arm and had ringing in her left ear for two days. The vehicle was taken to the dealership and inspected. The dealer could only find a small dent on the under carriage (located at the rear of the vehicle) of the vehicle. The dent appeared to be old damage. A check of the computer revealed the code for proper air bag deployment. Ford stated they would not cover the expense to fix the problem because the computer chip indicating the correct deployment of the airbag. Ford refused to listen that there was no damage to indicate the proper deployment of the air bag, nor would they believe my wifeS statements. Please advise.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #17

Aug 282004


  • miles
I was in a car crash about a month ago. It was a 2002 Ford Focus. The other auto slammed into my car on the passenger side near the front whee. My car was totaled. I had to go to the emergency room because my side hit the steering wheel; my knees also hit under the wheel. No airbag deployed. Why" does a car have to be hit head on for the airbag to deploy? what is oem on your form" I left the no as it was on the form without knowing what it meant.

- Fairfield, OH, USA

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