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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,221 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #42

Sep 072016


  • 134,000 miles


Ok so I've had my Ford Focus for about 3 months now I fell in love with this little thing recently got struts changed in front and ball joints bushings and tires so I knew it would need an alignment so got that done now at speeds from 50-60 mph this car starts fishtailing out of control I dont have alot of money I am not workin at present so I cant afford to take my used car to dealer much less to another auto shop. I travel 50 -70 miles each day to work and I'm scared its gonna fishtail me into a wreck. Mileage 134000 applke valley calif.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #41

May 152015

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. While driving 50 to 60 mph, the suspension spring on the front driver side snapped in half. The failure caused a sharp point and shredded the front driver side tire. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The tire and spring were replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 120. Updated 08/17/16 the consumer has since sold the vehicle. Updated 08/22/16.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #40

Jun 282014


  • miles
2002 Ford Focus ZX5. Brakes were replaced and first time it was drove there was a noise from front passenger wheel area. Found the coil spring is moving and making popping noise. I googled the problem and found a lot of complaints about these springs breaking and damaging tires or causing accidents and that there had been a recall? trying to find out for my mom. This is her car but I am giving my contact info.

- Eureka, MO, USA

problem #39

Jul 152013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


Last inspection it was reported to inspect this year the crossmember/subframe needed to be replaced or car would not pass inspection researching this I've found several people complained about this also I saw recall of more suspension issues occurring now.. 40 K mileage it has last year had to replace sway bar because it let loose when I drove home puncturing my tire almost went into the river this night.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #38

Jul 262013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 56,193 miles
In 2004 Ford issued a warranty extension on the front coil springs. This was called: Customer satisfaction program 03M02. They knew the part has been incorrectly manufactured and the coil spring would break due to corrosion. The warranty was extended to 150,000 miles or 10 years. My coil spring broke on July 26 2013 when my car only had 56,193 miles but it was 11 years old. The Ford dealer told me that the company would not pay for this repair. My complaint is that I think the Ford Motor Company should pay for this repair and for the other front coil spring since the problem should have been a recall since the company knew the part had not been manufactured correctly.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #37

Nov 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 30,422 miles
This is our first year driving this Focus in the snow, we bought it in 2011. We had a snow fall on 11/1/2012 and we took the car out for a drive. Any speed above 35 mph and the rear of the car floats (wiggles) back and forth up to a foot. It is completely unstable on snow or ice. I did some research online, and Ford apparently knows the problem, : defective rear upper control arms, since they did a silent recall on these in 2006. NHTSA should investigate this since there are many more Focus out there like ours, and Ford should have to recall and replace the control arms on all of these units from 2000-2004. I have over 35 years of winter driving experience and I have never had a vehicle (even the old rear wheel drive models) behave so dangerously on snow and ice, even with all season tires on it. I contacted Ford Motor Company and they said there is nothing they have to do since the car is out of warranty. Here is an attached article I found on line. October 03, 2006 Ford Motor Company told dealers that they may need to replace the rear upper control arms on Ford Focus models. The models include: 2000 through 2004 Focus sedan, wagon, ZX3 and ZX5 series. Ford will check the rear camber and, if possible, make an adjustment. If an adjustment to the vehicle's rear camber is necessary beyond the negative end of specification, then the dealership will need to source replacement rear upper control arm(s)." This is considered a "silent recall" where upon Ford may not notify owners of this condition..

- Belgrade, MT, USA

problem #36

Jul 062012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 127,000 miles


The front sub frame on my 2002 Ford Focus zts was completely rusted through and unable to support the front suspension. I also had my car inspected by a Ford dealer who passed it and told me nothing about how destroyed my sub frame was. When I took it to a mechanic they told me it was so bad I shouldn't be driving the vehicle. The bolts where even rusted out of the sub frame. Its believed that this also caused my motor mounts to have to be replaced. Cause such bad vibration that it ruined all my shocks, struts, and all 4 of my tires. The tires where only 5 months old and are destroyed.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #35

Jul 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The front subframe structure on my 2002 Ford Focus is rusted so badly that it no longer supports the front suspension it was designed to support no other it on this vehicle is as rusted as the very important part.

- Oregon, OH, USA

problem #34

Jun 252012


  • 113,800 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 25 mph, the contact drove over a speed bump and heard a popping sound coming from the front of the vehicle. The contact stopped the vehicle and noticed that the front driver and passenger side coil springs were fractured. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The technician stated that the coil and strut assembly would have to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 113,800.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #33

May 232012


  • 115,900 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 65 mph, the contact heard a popping noise on the front passenger side of the vehicle. After coming to a stop the contact inspected the vehicle and noticed that the front passenger side coil spring was fractured. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. In addition, the contact mentioned a manufacturer's recall for the failure. The manufacturer stated that the recall had already expired. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 115,900.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #32

Mar 142012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles


While using a highway on ramp, I heard a popping sound. I've been getting a rattle for a few weeks. I looked underneath today. The pass side rear coil spring is broken at the top. The dr. Side rear coil spring is broken off at the bottom. I drive mostly highway, 10 miles a day back and forth to work, so I don't understand how both rear coil springs would break. My fronts were replaced a few years ago by Ford dealer when they broke. This seems like a problem if all 4 coil springs break off the same vehicle.

- Windber, PA, USA

problem #31

Apr 292007


  • 38,200 miles
My 2002 Ford Focus wagon needed brakes because the front end would shake when I applied brakes. Also noticed a whirling noise from the back off car but did not mention that to my mechanic. He took it for a test drive and asked if I noticed the whirling noise too. He said he was concerned and checked that 1st. My right rear tire was frozen and not turning, that's where the noise was coming from. It had to be cut off in order to be replaced. He told me that the wheel could have broke off while driving and could have killed me, I had that repaired, along with front end brakes and replaced warped rotors. Then just 2 days later backed out of my driveway and broke a front right coil spring. A year later replaced the alternator. And last week just had to pay for a rebuilt transmission, because would not shift properly, upon observation the transmission had metal chips in transmission fluid and needed to be replaced. I cant believe no recall on this car!

- Beverly, MA, USA

problem #30

Feb 132011


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus ls. While driving 35 mph, the contact stated that the vehicle would not steer and the steering wheel locked. After stopping the vehicle and inspecting the problem, he noticed the left strut spring collapsed. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer had been notified. The failure mileage was 38,000.

- Dearborn Heights, MI, USA

problem #29

Aug 272010


  • 118,592 miles
My Ford Focus left tire fell off because of the wheel bearing breaking. With no warning or noise my tire detached during driving. My tire was found 40 yards away with the lugs nuts still attached to the outside of the drum brake. Police report was filed.

- Mchenry, IL, USA

problem #28

Jul 012009


  • 41,120 miles
My 2002 Ford Focus has only 41,000 miles on it and the front right coil spring broke on me last week. Fortunately I did not crash or loose my brakes but it has potential for a catastrophic event. I am hoping Ford will recall these as they did with the earlier models.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #27

Aug 172002

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 500 miles
The 2002 Ford Focus SE comfort wagon has been a continual problem of not staying in alignment (named the rear wheels worst that the front) for more than 5000 miles before needing addition adjustments. Tires have lasted less than 20,000 miles (regardless of manufacturer) before totally worn out and needing replacement.

- Rockland, ID, USA

problem #26

Nov 022007

(reported on)


  • miles
2002 Ford Focus zts Firestone tires with flat spots. Customer states that the flat spots would make a noise at certain speeds. Mechanic told the consumer that they no longer carried Firestone tires and they couldn't help him. The consumer was able to get the tire pro-rated, however the new tires started to experience cupping. The rear view mirror was loose, the sway bar bushings, front link pins, rear suspension bar, rear side bracket and front struts were all replaced.

- Brownstown, MI, USA

problem #25

Oct 252006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
In late October 2006 I took my 2002 Ford Focus for vibration/grinding noise coming from front end. Ford walker in clearwater, Florida said that my engine/trans. Mount were working properly. Ford kept my car for 1 week and I still had the same problem. I took the car back to Ford the very next day because of the same problem. Again their service manager and regional managers told me that nothing was wrong with my car. Ford charged me $100 for my deductible and didn't fixed my problem. I then took my car to another place where they replaced my right side engine mount which was completely broken. The very same piece Ford walker lied to me stating it was working properly.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #24

Jul 222006


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1. I was driving my 2002 Ford Focus wagon back from a camping trip and I was going about 60 mph on the freeway 2. all of a sudden there was a "crack"/"bang" from the back of the car, drivers side, the car continued without jolting/swerving (I.e. no affect to the driving of the vehicle), however, after another few miles the rear drivers side wheel was making a high pitched sound, plus cracking, plus some jolting as the bearing realigned itself at times. I stopped the car and the heat from the wheel was incredible, one could have fried an egg on it (this wheel was much hotter than the others). Unfortunately this happened on a stretch of road where there are no towns, no cell phone signal, etc, I was forced to drive the car to a town, max of 40 mph on a 60 mph stretch of road, I had a baby in the car and was scarred that something would happen to her. In the town, I left the car, had to call a friend to drive me home. I must say it was the most unpleasant feeling in the world. In addition, this happened on a Saturday night, where all car shops are closed! 3. repair shops open tomorrow, the repair is yet to take place.

- Kirkland, WA, USA

problem #23

Dec 262005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 54,429 miles
I purchased my 2002 Ford Focus in January of 2005. I love my car, have found out about of things that could go wrong later. Right now I am having trouble with my front wheels. I have put six used tires on the front since I purchased the Focus. In November I had two brand new tires put on plus in may I have had a wheel alignment done. The car still shakes very bad. Found out I need my wheel hub bearing replace, plus I found out there may be a recall on the rear bearing which I have not received anything. I should not have to pay for these things to be done.

- Detroit, MI, USA

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