hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,282 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

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #7

Mar 072008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles


Placed key into 2003 Ford Focus and cannot turn key in ignition. The ignition is locked up. Car has only 60,000 miles!!!

- Hanover, PA, USA

problem #6

Nov 122007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,256 miles
When I put my key into my car it will not turn. While this may not be an "obvious" safety risk, it can lead to serious problems if you are stranded somewhere. Ford knows about this problem with Focus, yet has done nothing to correct it. I ended up stranded for over an hour as I waited for someone to pick me up, finally I banged the key out of frustration and I was able to turn it. This is a serious safety matter to me, as I am a single woman. Ford needs to take responsibility and recall their defective ignition cylinders. I will now have to spend at least $400 to fix this, and it's something that there is no guarantee won't happen in the future, as it will be replaced with the same defective mechanism.

- Tualatin, OR, USA

problem #5

Oct 182007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,715 miles
While in dangerous situation my Ford Focus again had a key fail in the ignition. I had taken it to Ford, while still under warranty, and asked for it to be replaced and they said, "oh, it's ok, just jiggle it." That does not work. Eventually it will come free, usually, but now it seems to be permanently stuck. No, there is no tension on the steering wheel from a partly turned front wheel. If this happened to my wife or daughters in a dangerous neighborhood, I would just go berserk.

- Marina Del Rey, CA, USA

problem #4

Sep 092007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 24,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the steering wheel has to be unlocked for the vehicle to start. On September 09, 2007, after many attempts, she was finally able to place the key in the ignition and unlock the steering column. On September 14, 2007, the contact had to leave the vehicle at her job because the steering column failed to unlock. The vehicle was towed to her residence. She scheduled an appointment with the dealer for September 22, 2007. The purchase date was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 24,000. *updated 12/12/07 the consumer stated the igniton module was repalced. Updated 12/12/07

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #3

Mar 172007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
2003 Ford Focus - an apparent "known defect" yet still not a recall or reimbursable expense to fix. We are unable to start the car. The key goes into the ignition, but won't turn the switch... Ford's fix is to replace the cylinder at over $300 and a new security key at $150.

- Palm Coast, FL, USA

problem #2

Jan 082006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The key goes into ignition but will not turn at all to start the car. This is a continued problem. In Minnesota when it is 30 below, there is no excuse to not be able to start your car and failure to do so could result in serious adverse events on consumer health. I do not feel safe traveling in the vehicle and plan to sell is very soon.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #1

Sep 162005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
The consumer had problems with the vehicle since purchase. The vehicle caught on fire on September 16, 2005. The motor was off, and it burst into flames. The fire department came and they said it look like it started from the wiring harness. The vehicle stalled before it caught on fire. Was having the same problem two weeks before, and took it to dealer. They replaced some ignition items. Also, was having latches, brakes, and engine problems.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

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