hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,237 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.

2003 Ford Focus accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #49

Jun 112015


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that all of the doors failed to unlatch without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 05V030000 (latches/locks/linkages). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 80,000.

- Windthrop, WV, USA

problem #48

Dec 182013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 111,500 miles
(1st) it was passenger rear door latch wouldn't stay latched, door come open during driving, (2nd) a month later trunk wouldn't latch, then (3rd) 2 months later driver side rear door came open during driving, wouldn't latch. Daughter almost fell out and car almost hit door when it flew open. I had to use seat belt to tie door shut to make it home.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #47

Jun 272012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle could not be started. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection or repairs. The manufacturer was notified who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 75,000. Updated 07/25/12 a lock smith determined the lock wafers were bent, due to it being made of cheap metal. Updated 07/30/12

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #46

Jul 312011


  • 102,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 05V030000 (latches/locks/linkages:doors:latch). After the vehicle was repaired, it was difficult for the rear drivers side door to remain closed. While driving approximately 50 mph the rear drivers side door opened while a child was seated in the rear seat. The contact inspected the vehicle and noticed the door latch was extremely corroded. The rear drivers side door would no longer latch. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 102,000.

- Plattsburgh, NY, USA

problem #45

Mar 192009


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that both rear door locks no longer functioned. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified and the contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 05V030000 (latches/locks/linkages: Doors: Latch). The failure mileage was 120,000 and the current mileage was 145,000.

- Union City, MI, USA

problem #44

Jun 282011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
Trunk latch failed at 37,000 miles on 2003 Ford Focus. Could not get the trunk to latch to drive home. Cost over $400 to replace the part which is not in yet. Driving around another week with my only car's trunk tied down.

- Monroe, NC, USA

problem #43

May 272011


  • 91,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that when closing the right passenger rear door, it would not close completely; making it dangerous to drive. The vehicle was performed under NHTSA campaign id number: 05V030000 (latches/locks/linkages:doors:latch), but the failure recurred. The dealer and manufacturer were contacted, but they were unable to provide any assistance. The failure mileage was 91,000 and the current mileage was 95,000.

- Observatory, PA, USA

problem #42

Jun 172011


  • miles
My key will not turn over and my wheel is locked up. The problems started and I would just turn the wheel and sooner or later it would turn over. Now im stranded in my driveway with the wheel locked up and no turning the key over. Missed work and money. I searched the internet on this and the was over 300 diff people with this problem. I bought this car (Ford) to save gas and money. I think this should be recalled if this many people are having this problem. I don't know why it hasn't yet.

- Fairborn, OH, USA

problem #41

Jun 032011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 108,200 miles
Late night 35 miles from home. Key would not turn in the ignition. Had to get a ride home. Returned the next day and had a locksmith replace the ignition lock with a strattec ignition lock.

- Little Neck, NY, USA

problem #40

May 272011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
The door handles on my 2003 Ford Focus have a recall on them, but only on certain ones and mine isn't one of them, although all four of my handles are broken. The first incident that happened with the door handles was I got out of my car at a store and left my four year old daughter in the car with it running to get a paper, and when I went to open the driver door, the door handle broke and all of the other doors were locked (because they automatically lock when you put the car in gear). I was 8 months pregnant at the time and was stranded at the store with my daughter locked in the car for about an hour. And then, on May 27th 2011, I went to leave my house and I usually keep the driver's side window down because the only doors that we can open are the driver's door and front passenger door and only from the inside. But on this day it had rained so I put the window up and when I went to leave my house I had already went outside and went through the whole "procedure" of getting the back door opened so I could put my 3 month old son in the car and I guess when I went back inside to get him, the drivers door got blown closed by the wind, because whenever I put him in and shut his door, I went around to the driver's door and it was shut and my 3 month old was stuck in the car!! it took 30 minutes for my husband to get to the house (because I had to call him home from work) and he had to climb in through the trunk and manover the carseat out of the way so he could wiggle in there and get the baby out. My son was covered in sweat from head to toe and was having a hard time breathing whenever we got him out because he already has breathing problems and he was in the car with all of the windows up for 30 minutes. I believe that the Ford company should fix our door handles because if that isn't a safety issue, then I don't know what is!!

- Alford, FL, USA

problem #39

May 292011


  • 120,000 miles


Key wont turn in ignition windows down in a bad neighborhood.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #38

Dec 242010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
Key would not turn the ignition, stalled the car and then could not turn the car back on in the middle of rush hour traffic, on christmas eve none the less.

- Magnolia, DE, USA

problem #37

Nov 262010


  • 86,331 miles
The key would not turn in the ignition of my 2003 Ford Focus zts, thus, the vehicle would not start. After a call to the local locksmith, I was surprised to hear "this is a common problem for a Ford Focus". when arriving, the locksmith proceeded to explain to me why the stock ignition switch of my car is a defective design, comparing to a new switch they were about to install. Upon further research online, I could not find any information about a recall for the defective item. I did find, however, plenty of complains of Ford owners having the exact same problem. I am surprised such a critical component has not been recalled since it jeopardizes the reliability of the vehicle.

- Manlius, NY, USA

problem #36

Oct 082010


  • 49,580 miles
The key in my 2003 Ford Focus will not turn the ignition. We were stranded in the middle of nowhere. The key is fine..the actual ignition mechanism is locked and will not turn.

- Davenport, IA, USA

problem #35

Aug 092010


  • 119,623 miles
2003 Ford Focus ignition lock-up. Every time the key is removed from ignition and then reinserted, it is very hard to get it to unlock to turn and start. We have been stranded in parking lots during 110 degree weather while trying to get the key to turn. We will have to either replace the ignition or call a locksmith. This is an everyday problem now.

- Conway, AR, USA

problem #34

Aug 182010


  • 50,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Focus will not start due to the fact that Ford has apparently used defective lock cylinders on the 2003 Ford Focus. I walked up to my local Ford dealership and was told that it would cost 350 to repair the car. (not including charges for getting the vehicle to them) this has prevented me from driving a car that I am still making payments on.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #33

Jul 292010


  • 102,000 miles
I was stranded with my 2003 Ford Focus because they key would not turn in the ignition. I finally was able to get my car towed to a mechanic at 2am and was able to get a ride home. I am very fortunate nothing happened to me - who knows what could have happened that late at night. I had to get the ignition replaced which cost $400. It is ridiculous that this has not been recalled.

- Somerset, MA, USA

problem #32

Jul 192010


  • 114,381 miles
Ignition cylinder locked unable to drive Ford Focus 2003. Cost of ignition cylinder, new key (1), reset of computer = $480.

- Sagamore Hills, OH, USA

problem #31

Jun 202010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100,600 miles
I have a 2003 Ford Focus and the ignition and the key suddenly won't turn in the ignition. I have looked this problem up online and it looks like a far too common problem. My wife is 8.5 months pregnant, and I thank god this didn't happen any later as it is our only vehicle. Please take prompt action against Ford and make them issue a recall! thank you.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #30

May 232008

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Ign key will not turning key gets stuck left me stranded in a bad high crime area I under stand that this is a problem on all the Focus why is a recall mot been done.

- Hazel Green, AL, USA

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