hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,596 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 - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #8

Nov 252009


  • 106,000 miles


I have a 2003 Ford Focus SE. The key will not turn when you put it into the ignition.

- Paragould, AR, USA

problem #7

May 132010


  • 88,000 miles
I own a 2003 Ford Focus. Sometimes the ignition locks and the key will not even turn in the ignition, leaving me stranded. This problem began a few weeks ago. It has gotten progressively worse. Until tonight, when this problem has occurred, the key would turn the ignition after 5 - 10 minutes. Tonight, the problem lasted for over an hour and I had to call a tow. I was stranded in a bad area. Having looked up this issue online, I can tell it is an all too common problem for Ford Focus model years 2000 - 2003.

- Waterville, ME, USA

problem #6

Mar 022010


  • 45,000 miles
2003 Ford Focus ZX5--key won't turn in the ignition, so can't start car. Steering wheel locked up and no amount of cranking, jiggling, etc., would allow me to turn the key in the ignition and start the car. Was an intermittent problem for about two months, then tonight I couldn't get the car started at all; neither could a kind stranger; neither could my husband. Snowing and cold. I had to leave the car in a grocery store parking lot overnight and hope it will be unharmed in the morning. Will probably have to have car towed to a dealership. Could have been worse: Two weeks ago I was 120 miles from home for three days and would have been terribly stranded. I understand that Ford will replace this defective part (ignition switch) with the same switch, which will also be defective, and that I can look forward to getting stranded again when the key will not turn in the ignition switch again. Cost will be between $350 and $400, plus time away from teaching school (not a good idea and frowned upon by administration). The $350-$400 will only buy me another faulty ignition switch. This is potentially a life-threatening situation. Others have been stranded in freezing, snowy weather nowhere near a repair shop, in extreme heat with small children in the car, in unsafe neighborhoods at night (see www.fordproblems.com/Focus/key-wont-turn-in-the-ignition.shtml complaints). Ford should fix this problem at no cost through a recall and installation of a reliable ignition switch.

- Shelby, NC, USA

problem #5

Nov 082008


  • miles


Owner of a 2003 Ford Focus svt. I went to the movies last night and when I put my key in the ignition the ignition switch would not turn. I since have had to have my vehicle towed and the ignition fixed.

- Camp Pendleton , CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 252007


  • 70,000 miles
I have replaced the transmission, the water pump, the thermostat, and all radiator hoses. The car overheats daily still. The stereo cuts on and off and can't be turned off by the power button. The rear left seatbelt is stuck where it can't be used. The driver window fell into the door, when the panel was removed it showed that the whole wire system had snapped. The driver door also can only be opened from the inside.

- West Columbia, SC, USA

problem #3

Jun 102007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,765 miles
I had no event that lead to the failure of the (ignition) in my 2003 Ford Focus ZX3. I was on my way to work at 10:30 P.M. and I stopped to put air in my tires at a local gas station. When I got back in to my vehicle I put the key in the ignition and tried to turn the ignition over but it would not move. I turned the steering wheel while trying to turn the key because I thought maybe the steering wheel locked up and yet nothing happend. I walked a mile back home and got my spare key and returned to my vehicle and tried it again and it to failed to turn the ignition. I had the vehicle towed to a local repair shop and I had to miss work that evening. It ended up costing me $336.28 to repair the ignition switch/tumbler. I looked online for other Ford Focus owners who have had the same problem and found over 30,000 other owners just on one website that have had the same problem with there ignition. I found plenty of people that have had to replace the ignition more then two to three times in there Ford Focus. This is a problem that Ford denies having on there Ford Focus. The Ford Focus ignition is made in germany by a company called huf. The Ford Focus is the only Ford vehicle that has the huf ignition used in it. That is very ironic considering that the only Ford vehicle with numerous ignition problems is the Ford Focus. Ford needs to correct this problem at once. Ford also goes on to state that this is not a safety issue. I beg to differ, for just one example out of many that I could describe, I live in las vegas where the heat can reach over 110 everyday of the week in the summer. If the ignition broke while I was on the side of the road any where outside of las vegas I could be stranded and if I had no water I could easily die within hours. This is a safety issue and I could list a number of saftey problems that could come from this ignition problem.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #2

Jun 122007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
Recently we purchase a used 2003 Ford Focus that has the blaupunkt radio. A new radio station was programmed and the button pushed to store it. Right after the radio started turning on and off with music blaring then silence then blaring again over and over. There was no way to stop it even after turning the car off. I know this may seem insignificant but at the time we were driving on the highway, the passenger set the station and then this started happening which was very distracting to the driver. It could very easily have caused an accident. Blaupunkt sent an email admitting this is a defect if you set a station that has blank rds information. Subsequent web searches showed a lot of people have had this happen. I'm reporting it becuase Ford passed it off as no big deal but I think it's an unsafe condition.

- Tyngsboro, MA, USA

problem #1

Oct 092006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
: the contact stated the ignition locked resulting in the ignition cylinder key being replaced by the service dealer. While searching the NHTSA website, complaints were found where this occurred to vehicles and the ignition cylinder key was replaced multiple times. The contact expressed concern that this repair does not seem to be a permanent fix for the problem. Also, there was an odorous smell when the heating fan was turned on and the smell occasionally occurred when the air conditioner was on. The vehicle has not been to the service dealer for the odorous smell.

- Hayward, CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?