hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,445 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #9

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 #8

Feb 272014


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that part of the unibody was rusted. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or independent mechanic for inspection or repairs. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 124,000.

- Erskine, MN, USA

problem #7

Oct 122011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
The driver side exterior door handle is not working. This has happened before and lasted a few days then somehow started working again but now it is back. When I try to pull it open it is as if there is nothing attached to the other side. I pull it out and it stays out and loose. We have had a recall on this same vehicle for the rear doors having this same exact issue except we have never had a problem with the rear doors, only the front. My dealer says they can fix the rear doors for free but I will be charged for the front. I find this funny because Ford is willing to work on my doors that work fine for free but won't do anything for the broken and hazardous doors. Can we please update this recall to affect all the doors on the 2003 Ford Focus before we have drivers rolling out of their cars?

- Oak Park, IL, USA

problem #6

Feb 012012


  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving various speeds, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The failure was experienced several times. The vehicle was restarted and began to function normally. The contact also stated that the trunk latch failed to function correctly and the ignition failed; however the ignition switch was replaced. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where the failure could not be replicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 84,000 and the current mileage was 93,000. The VIN was not available.

- Windsor , NY, USA

problem #5

Nov 082012


  • 62,500 miles
The left rear door doesn't latch properly, causing the door to fly open on it's own. Thank goodness kids were not in the car when this occurred. Since the first incident, the door will not latch and is now tethered with rope and can't be used. Ford know about this problem as they have a current recall notice NHTSA campaign id number: 05V030000 Ford claims that my vehicle is not covered. The issue for my vehicle is that it was purchased in the state of Florida in 2003 and registered in the state of Florida in Feb of 2005 when the recall came out. (it is now registered in the state of NY where it has been since 2006. If the recall came out one year later, my car would be covered?) covered or not, Ford knows that the car is unsafe. A remedy would be to re-issue the recall again so that it covers any 2003 Focus as I am certain that my car is not the only car sold in a state not covered, but that has since relocated to a state where corrosion can occur due to salt and winter conditions (unbeknownst to consumers). I am lucky that my kids were not hurt, but someone else might not be as lucky.

- Purdys, NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 012005


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that both the driver and passenger side rear doors failed to open. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic and the manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 140,000.

- Miami, OK, USA

problem #3

Dec 142007

Focus 4-cyl

  • 42,495 miles


Upon opening, three hard clicks are heard - and lock opens on occasion. Often refusing to latch and on many occasions, I am unable to open the door. It appears to be as stated in NHTSA campaign id number: 05V030000 I have spoken with dealer and Ford on many occasions the past several years, and they insist this car was not part of the campaign and refuse to inspect, or view, or assess.

- Presque Isle, ME, USA

problem #2

Oct 212008


  • 118,507 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that there was a recall for the rear doors on the vehicle. The vehicle was taken in to be repaired, but afterwards, the failure still occurred. The handles on the vehicle failed. The contact can open the doors from the passenger compartment, but not from the exterior of the vehicle. The doors seem to be sealed extremely tightly. The contact stated that this was a serious safety issue not being able to open the doors from the outside. The dealer did not repair the doors properly. The failure and current mileages were 118,507.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #1

Jul 272008


  • miles
Water leaks in to my 2003 Ford Focus from under the dashboard onto the passenger side of the car. I googled the problem and literally found 100's of complaints. It seems it is related to the cabin air filter housing. It acts like a funnel that directs rain that escapes the cowl seal into the cabin. Why isn't there a recall on this?

- Dix Hills, NY, USA

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