really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 1
Average Mileage:
46,366 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #12

May 152012


  • miles


The driver's side seat belt is coming to pieces. It looks like something is chewing on it.

- Johnson City, TN, USA

problem #11

Jan 052013


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the front passenger side seat belt buckle and retractor was inoperable. The seat belt warning lights was constantly illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who stated that they would replace the seat belt system. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 93,000.

- Woodleaf, NC, USA

problem #10

Nov 212011


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owned a 2003 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, another vehicle crashed into the passenger side and the contact's vehicle spun around. The air bags did not deploy and the front driver's seat belt did not restrain the contact. The contact sustained bruises, contusions, a tear to her spine, a broken rib, and heart problems as a result of the impact to her chest. In addition, the driver of the second vehicle involved in the crash was injured. A police report of the incident was filed. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was declared destroyed. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileages were 80,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 222012


  • miles


The left rear seatbelt shoulder strap harness caused my passenger, a young child, to almost be strangled, leaving marks and bruises to the neck. Child was unable to unbuckle seat belt on the right he pulled with both hands on the part of the seatbelt that crossed over his neck, to get out, the tension on seatbelt released, and stretched as he turned to the left and then tightened up, the seatbelt had to be cut to save him.

- Banning , CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 282011


  • 153,896 miles
The driver side seat belt is stuck and will not move, can not put seat belt on to drive. Pulled on belt it will not budge.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #7

Dec 202010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
My driver's seatbelt is not properly clicking shut, so the seatbelt is not properly secured.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #6

Jun 112008


  • miles


I own a 2003 Ford Focus and 3 out of 5 of my seat belts do not work properly. My passenger seat belt sometimes has to be ripped out in order for it to come unbuckled which could lead to someone dying if they cannot unbuckle after a crash. Two of my back seat belts will not buckle at all. I have contacted Ford and they said I would have to pay to have them fixed. I however feel that this is a safety issue and they should fix it. I have also seen online that others have these same seat belt issues. This has been going on for at least a year. Thankfully there have been no wrecks yet so no one was stuck in the passenger seat but I am very fearful of this happening. I have even tried cleaning out the buckles and it did not work at all.

- Columbus, IN, USA

problem #5

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 #4

Jan 072006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles
Piston in transmission deteriorated causing shift solenoid and value body to go bad at 71,000 miles, front drivers seat belt will not unbuckle, rear seat belts will periodically not buckle, now blowing massive amounts of smoke, rims are seized when trying to change tires, no matter if it was just taken off 5 minutes previously to takeoff; ignition seized and ending up having to rebuild steering column.

- Garden City, MI, USA

problem #3

Jan 082006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My boyfriend and son took my car to have it washed. When they turned the corner the steering wheel just spun. Causing them to almost crash. I have had several other things happen with the car since I bought it in May 2004 used. I have replaced the back tires 4 times in a year. They all have cupped. Every tire place we have went has said the rear of the car has a defect in it. Also, my seat belts used by my children do not always work properly. Last Jan, the transmission wouldn't shift out of first. Ottawa Ford did fix this issue as a speed control sensor wiring problem. With the steering issue the car is undrivable and I am a single mom with no other transportation or means of income to fix. I need some help with this.

- Baldwin City, KS, USA

problem #2

Oct 222003

(reported on)


  • 8,500 miles
While traveling at 40 mph a dog ran into the street and consumer's vehicle hit the dog. Upon impact, none of the bags deployed, and consumer sustained chest injuries. In addition, driver's side seat belt failed, it locked the driver in after the impact. However, passenger's side seat belt and rear seat belts functioned properly.

- Del Mar, MD, USA

problem #1

May 152003


  • miles
Representing jesus rosales/ requesting information on recalls in regards to seatbelts, air bags and or saftey restraint system for the for Focus years 1990-2003. The vehicle was traveling about 45 mph at time of the offset frontal crash. The driver's seat broke from its seat bottom attachements to the floor pan causing fatal injuries. Front seat passenger walked away from the crash.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

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