really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,885 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 electrical problems

electrical 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 (Page 9 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #102

Oct 082007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. When attempting to start the vehicle, the ignition switch failed. It took the contact approximately 20 attempts to start the vehicle. The ignition cylinder is currently being repaired by a local mechanic. The contact filed a complaint with the manufacturer. The current and failure mileages were 59,000. Updated 03/14/08.

- Wichitasalls, TX, USA

problem #101

Oct 272007


  • miles
After fueling, my daughter tried to start the car (2003 Ford Focus wagon), but the key would not turn. We got the car to the dealership where we purchased it, and the key cylinder had to be replaced by a locksmith. The total cost of the repair, plus the towing, cost over $200. Meanwhile my daughter's car was stuck at the gas pump, where other customers wanted to fuel, but could not do so. I'm glad my daughter had not run over a nail, like I did the other day, having to pull over to the side of a busy interstate highway, and then have this problem occur. Depending on where this kind of thing happens, this could be a very serious safety concern. Not only with the vehicle, but with the place the vehicle is stranded when it occurs. I have found out that Ford has known for quite some time about this problem, but they refuse to recall cars to fix this problem, and continue to use this defective part in their Ford Focus vehicles. The extended warranty I bought was the most expensive one, and yet it covers everything but the ignition switch, it seems. Unless Ford decides to reimburse me, I will never purchase another Ford product. This is the fourth Ford Focus we have purchased. If I don't find satisfaction with this problem, it will certainly be the last. On top of all of that, my Focus has had squealing brakes since the day I bought it, and Ford has refused to repair this, as well, saying that it's "normal." No way this noise is normal. I'm fed up with Ford at the moment.

- Gray, GA, USA

problem #100

Sep 292007


  • miles
The ignition on my Ford Focus 2003 has locked up for the second time in 75,000 miles, and this is getting to be a huge problem to have replaced. Ford actually has the balls to charge me for this defect in their craftsmanship, using substandard parts in their ignition switches, and making me pay to cover up their faulty workmanship when getting it repaired.

- Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #99

Sep 202007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the ignition would not turn when she inserted the key. As of September 28, 2007, the dealer had not inspected the vehicle. The powertrain was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 65,000.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #98

Sep 242007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. While attempting to shut off the vehicle in the parking lot, the ignition locked up and prevented the contact from turning or pushing the steering wheel. He took the vehicle to the dealer for inspection and they informed him that the repair would cost $400. The current and failure mileages were 58,000.

- Wilmington, OH, USA

problem #97

Aug 152007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the ignition locked, which prevented the key from being turned. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of failure. The current mileage was 108,000 and failure mileage was 100,000. Updated 01-14-08. The dealer stated the cylinder needed to be replaced. Updated 12/12/07.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #96

Sep 192007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles


2003 Ford Focus/ ignition won't turn it looks like this is a huge problem by all the different websites and blogs about it. This defect should absolutely be a recall and when I called the dealer to find out the fix and price they laughed and said $600 to $700 dollars. This is outrageous and I am appalled.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #95

Sep 172007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 71,000 miles
At approximately 5:00 P.M., my ignition locked up on me, with my car parked in a parking lot close to my home (thank goodness). I have just learned that this has been a major widespread issue, and that I am definitely not alone.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #94

Sep 112007


  • miles
(1) not sure (2) steering wheel and ignition are locked and can not be moved anymore (3) new lock

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #93

Mar 102007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Over the past few months, the ignition/lock mechanism has been failing. The wheel will not release and the key will not turn to the on position. Sometimes if forced, the key will turn, but the lock has broken completely now.

- Hood River, OR, USA

problem #92

Jul 122006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. Approximately two minutes after parking the vehicle, the contact was unable to turn the key to start the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the ignition cylinder needed to be replaced. The dealer made the replacement. There have not been any other failures. The current mileage was 55,000 and failure mileage was 37,000.

- Fall River, MA, USA

problem #91

Jun 012007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the key will not turn in the ignition. She has had to strike the key while it was in the ignition for it to turn and start the vehicle. Currently, the key does not work at all while in the ignition. She has notified the dealer and the manufacturer and they stated that it would cost approximately $800 for the repair. The vehicle is not under a recall. The current mileage was 57,000 and failure mileage was 52,000.

- Lexington, SC, USA

problem #90

Jul 172007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
During the past week had been having trouble turning the key in the ignition, and a couple of days ago the ignition was completely stuck. After 4 hours of trying to get it too turn I had to have the vehicle towed and it was being repaired as of right now. I have had the vehicle less than 2 and a half years and have yet to even surpass 50,000 miles on it. This wa S a problem that is quite widespread among Ford Focus owners I felt the need to make my problem known also.

- Canyon, TX, USA

problem #89

Sep 302006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
Parked car when arriving to work at 8 am. Was leaving for lunch at 12 pm and ignition wouldn't turn at all. Wheel locked. Had to call tow truck. First truck arrived and they couldn't tow car since steering wheel locked and only a flat bed truck. Then had to wait several hours for a wheel lift truck. Was told by towing company that he had (8) Ford Focus' (same model), that week with same problem. He also told me that locksmiths do not want to touch the issue, since it is a manufacturer problem and that Ford won't take responsibility for the issue. Towed to dealer and was told that it would be $300 to replace ignition. Warranty had just ended on vehicle. Ford corporate honored a small portion of replacement cost, I ended up paying $100 (thanks to the dealers help), but this shouldn't have happened in the first place. Obvious from this site that it's not just me that this is happening to. (and this problem is among many others I have dealt with on this stupid car).

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #88

Jun 272007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Ignition lock failure on Ford Focus ZX3, 2003. Multiple occurrences. Purchased car used at 39,000 mi; now at 47,000 mi. Have owned for less than one year.

- Merced, CA, USA

problem #87

Jun 112007


  • Manual transmission
  • 35,123 miles
2003 Ford Focus. Steering wheel will not unlock after inserting key.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #86

Apr 172007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Ignition switch failed

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #85

May 192007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I went to start the car after work like always and the ignition was stuck in lock! I have been reading online all day about all the people that this happened to. Please make Ford recall this product or at least refund the consumer the cost to fix a product that is obviously defective. I have yet to get to see the final bill on the fix.

- Paradise, CA, USA

problem #84

May 052007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 62,980 miles
Key would'nt turn the ignition on MY2003 Ford Focus ZX5. Happened at various times, till it would'nt work at all. Had it repaired at dealership at a cost of $365. They replaced the ignition lock.ak

- Naconb, MI, USA

problem #83

May 012007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Focus has a locked ignition that I found out is a very common problem since 2000. It was told that it would cost me $500 to fix it.

- Easley, SC, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?