fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
71,182 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (11 reports)
2003 Ford Focus accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #11

Nov 192016

Focus ZX3 2.3L

  • Manual transmission
  • 183,000 miles


Called FORD to report the issue was told to have it fixed keep the receipt in case of a future recall, however she doubted that would happen due to the age of the car. The back hatch releases when you press the brake pedal no matter what speed you are traveling, even after the latch has released and you press the brake you can audibly hear the mechanism moving to release the latch even though it isn't closed. This only happens when the car is running, if the car is turned off it doesn't do it.

- , New Sharon, IA, USA

problem #10

Mar 152005

Focus ZX-3

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

Started with the driver side door being difficult to open, then got to the point where you pull the handle and nothing happens. When it is above 80 degrees outside, it doesn't matter whether you are pulling inside handle or outside handle. Door will not open. I have to climb over to the passenger side to let myself out.

Dealer replaced the door handles on the driver side in 2005. I now have the same problem again, and both doors are affected.

- , Front Royal, VA, USA

problem #9

Mar 162011

Focus ZTS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

OKAY, now that the rear door handle won't work (previously reported, I'm having trouble with the handles on the front doors, especially the drivers side, which is used the most... You have to pull so hard so often, you think you're going to break it! WHAT IS GOING ON FORD????? YOU are putting CHEAP parts on your cars, BUT YOU WANT US TO BUY AMERICAN????

- , North Smithfield, RI, USA

problem #8

May 132009

Focus LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


click to see larger images

doors don't function properly

I believe,the remote control apparatus thinga majig opens the latch on the trunk. Luckily, the trunk doesn't pop open instead it rattles a little. The light comes on, so I know what happened. However, this is a constant re-occurring ordeal which becomes quite annoying

- , Rapid City, SD, US

problem #7

Jan 082010

Focus ZX3

  • Manual transmission
  • 29,000 miles

Yesterday, the door locks seized up completely and I had to climb out of the back of the car through the lift gate. Today, the lift gate wouldn't unlock from inside.

First and last Ford I'll ever buy... this car has cost me over $3,000 in repairs since I bought it brand-new in 2003.

- , New Britain, CT, USA

problem #6

Mar 022009

Focus 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Since day one the doors open rough, and close rough. The handles stick and I am afraid that one day it might break off. Told by Ford nothing is wrong with it.

Funny thing is I know other Focus owners with the same complaint.

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #5

Nov 242004

Focus ZX3 Power Premium 2.0L Zetec

  • Manual transmission
  • 28,000 miles


The door handles seem to require a good yank to pop the door latch mechanism open. This is worse on the passenger side because it doesn't get used much beings I'm single. The driver's side handle opens fine, but it will stay cocked in the open position sticking out unless I push it back in. Seems like a poor inconsistency issue to me. Probably needs lubed, but should cause problems this early in the ownership. Cheap plastic this-that-n-the-other stuff. Couldn't Ford have used a little metal in this car?

- , Rockford, MN, USA

problem #4

Jul 012008

Focus ZX3 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles

i bought my 2003 ZX3 winter '07, i'm the second owner. the passenger side door started acting up (hard to open) soon after i bought it. it opens OK via the inside lever. today, the driver side door started exhibiting the same problem. however, it will not open via the interior lever.

i guess i'll see about getting the doors fixed at the same shop visit when i get the infamous ignition-key-not-turning issue fixed.

i like this car, it's fun to drive. but it's hard to actually drive it when you can't get in, and when you do, the key won't turn.

- , Saugerties, NY, USA

problem #3

Jun 152008

Focus ZTS 4

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I don't now if anyone has found a fix for the door handles of the car sticking but my car is now to the point that one of my doors won't open anymore. And of course that's just one of many problems with the car. Anyone know a fix that I can do from home that would be great.


- , West Bend, WI, USA

problem #2

Feb 122008

Focus SE Comfort

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

Stepped out of my car to go into drug store and went to close the door. The latch had jammed and it would not close. I worked with the handles, inside and out for about 45 minutes before it finally unlatched. I used WD-40 to help lubricate it but have since seen a recall. Apparently doors have been unlatching and opening during motion. I would to have my driver side door open while I am on the highway doing 70 MPH! Taking it to dealer tomorrow. Had another problem today with ignition, see separate ignition complaint.

- , Rochester, NY, US

problem #1

Jul 052006

(reported on)

Focus SE

  • 50,000 miles

I have left several other reports about this car and I have talked to other ford focus owners and have found out that this issue AGAIN is a recall issue but not for my cars year. Its hard as hell to open the car from the outside. You have to pull on the door handles with all of your might to get them to open. AGAIN this is a recall issue for cars 20001-2002 and not for 2003 so again I am stuck paying for this out of pocket. NOT REALLY-----THE REPO MAN IS COMING TO GET THIS PIECE OF

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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