really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,158 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Apr 152016


  • 150,000 miles


Rear sub frame crossmember rusted away and broken causing rear of car to bang and twist while driving.

- Altoona, PA, USA

problem #21

Mar 232015


  • 98,400 miles
Break in front driver-side suspension coil while backing up.

- Brentwood, NH, USA

problem #20

Nov 102014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
I took my car to have a oil change, and my mechanic saw that the left side rear suspension cross stabilizer bar is rusted and the bolts are rusted. He said to call Ford there should be a recall. There is not so I called Ford and they just filed a complaint.I can not take my car on the interstate or go over 40 mph if I did my mechanic said if the right side broke off the car would flip. My concern is does something have to happen first I Transport my grand kids but I can't go over 40. Can you help me with this.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #19

Jan 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


When driving on snow or wet roadways the handling becomes very unstable at speeds over 35 mph with the rear of the vehicle wanting to veer/pitch sideways causing the driver to have to quickly oversteer to avoid oncoming traffic. Vehicle has 85,000 miles, new Goodyear tires. This car is not safe to drive in these conditions and is getting more unstable even on dry surfaces making the vehicle feel like it's following every groove in the roadway. Numerous complaints seem to be everywhere on the internet. How many accidents/injuries/deaths is required before Ford is made to take this seriously and stop putting sub standard parts on their cars?

- Columbia, MO, USA

problem #18

May 282013


  • 132,000 miles
Right front coil spring broke. While checking consumer reviews on an auto parts website for a replacement, others have had the same spring failure.

- Rockford, MI, USA

problem #17

Apr 292013


  • miles
I started the car in the drive, put it in reverse, began to back up and heard a loud clunk. After some investigation, my husband (a former auto mechanic) found that the front coil spring on the driver's side was broken, and the tire was at risk of damage/potentially damaged. I am very, very glad this did not happen while I was driving on the road.

- Turners Falls, MA, USA

problem #16

Mar 082013


  • 41,000 miles


Right side coil spring broke, cut into tire. Ford will not fix, they know the Focus spring breaks tsb expired Sept 2012 ( I called Ford!); don't drive these cars. Replace your springs first.

- Chelsea, MA, USA

problem #15

Jul 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
I was driving my 2003 Ford Focus on the road when this incident happened. Suddenly I heard a crash sound in the right front side of my vehicle. I felt there was a force on the right front side tire. Then I noticed black smokes behind my car and then I stopped. I called aaa to have roadside assistant. The aaa guy came and checked my car and told me the coil spring was broken and the broken part damaged my tire too. I found there was a recall for the coil spring on 2000-2003 Focus then I called a local Ford dealer to get it fixed. However, the local Ford dealer told me my Focus was not eligible for the recall. Clearly this is the fault of Ford. The aaa guy told me if this happened on the freeway, I would probably be killed. I urged the NHTSA to contact Ford about this issue before this actually killed lots of people. I also urged Ford to place a recall to check all the coil spring on all cars they make to make sure this part has no problems.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #14

Jan 012005


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. The vehicle was parked when the contact noticed that the rear driver's side tire was severely worn. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer as well as an independent repair shop where the suspension was realigned approximately 4 times. The contact also stated he had to purchase a set of tires every 20,000 miles. The failure mileage was 30,000 and the current mileage was 241,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Lake Lillian, MN, USA

problem #13

Dec 052008


  • miles
Back tire sits in and keeps going through tires and had the bearing replaced and drum on both sides and shocks and it still does it and the rear end jumps to the side its bad.

- Hudson, NY, USA

problem #12

May 152006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,709 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. While driving 30 mph, the contact heard several squeaking noises coming from the front of the vehicle. The dealer inspected the front suspension and found the spring rubbing on the strut cover. The failure affected the front shocks on both sides of the vehicle. The dealer stated that the strut needs to be replaced, but it is not under warranty. The contact had it replaced and paid $550.62. The current and failure mileages were 17,709.

- Cheyenne, WY, USA

problem #11

Feb 272006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,500 miles
: the contact stated there was premature wear on the rear tires. The tires have been replaced twice, and need replacing a third time. The brand of tire has been changed. The manufacturer determined the tires should be rotated every other oil change, but the tires had never been rotated. Updated 3/17/2006 - the first set of tires went bald at 22568 miles. The second set went bald at 31500. The dealer aligned the rear to specs and aligned the front end and straightened the steering wheel.

- Marlette, MI, USA

problem #10

Jun 012005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Ford Focus. When the vehicle was first purchased front window came out. The dealership fixed it. Then, the trunk started popping open, the vehicle was fixed at the dealership where she purchased it. The vehicle was taken to another dealership, because she moved. They stated the vehicle needsednew brake pads. Te consumer told the dealership the vehicle made a noise on the passenger side by the front tire. The dealership did nothing about it. The vehicle was then taken to a tire company, they found the front rotors wore out, and this was a manufacturering problem. The vehicle was taken back to the dealership and they stated the vehicle needed new rotors and brake pads. Also a piece was coming off the vehicle between the two doors on the driver side between the windows. This vehicle just went over 15,000 miles when she was leaving the dealership. In addition, there iwas something wrong with the steering wheel, it was too hard to pull back, and it swerved in the other lane. The trunk was still coming open.

- West Bend, WI, USA

problem #9

Feb 092005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,869 miles
The vehicle hit a pot hole with the passenger side tire, causing the air bags to deploy on its own. The owner informed the manufacturer that the vehicle was involved in a side impact accident a year prior to this incident, and the air bags did not deploy. Another issue was that the left rear rotor had broken while the vehicle was in motion and the rear sensor assembly/ABS was replaced. The root of this problem stemmed from the left rear wheel bearing which had fallen apart and damaged the rotor and the wheel sensor. The left rear knuckle was replaced along with the left rear rotor.

- Melvindale, MI, USA

problem #8

Dec 012004


  • miles
Tires wear confined to rear wheels. The consumer believed the vehicle has an alignment problem which originated from the factory.

- Dickinson, ND, USA

problem #7

Feb 012003


  • miles
Vehicle has been taken to have repairs done three times and vibration problems has not been resolved. The consumer expects Ford to repurchase the vehicle under the provisions of the applicable lemon law in the state of Maryland, because of consistent problems with the vehicle. The consumer stated the vehicle had a defective tie rod bushing, bearing assembly, axle shaft and joint, front end alignments and numerous wheel and tire adjustments

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #6

Jun 172004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 13,000 miles
At about 13,000 miles my 2003 Ford Focus began to vibrate in the front (steering wheel and gear shift). I took it to my local dealership and they told me that I had a tire out of balance. I then took my car to my local tire center and had the tires balanced. I then went on vacation in my car. The car continued to vibrate through the trip. When I returned I took my car to a second dealership. I was then told that my Goodyear integrity tires have premature wear causing the vibration. My tires also have scalloping, but the dealership stated that the aligment was within Ford specifications. I now have a car less than a year old and just over 16,000 miles in need of new tires. I am concerned about the rapid wear of the tires and that this may cause accidents with other drivers of the 2003 Ford Focus. My dealership told me that this was a common problem with the 2003 Ford Focus because the Goodyear tires had a very soft rubber compound. I have been told that this is not a manufacturers defect, but premature wear and that I am responsible for replacing the tires at my expense. I am now planning on going to my local tire dealer and replacing the tires.

- New Plymouth, ID, USA

problem #5

Oct 312003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Squealing brakes, grabbing brakes, grinding noises from brakes, premature wear in front rotors, knocking noise from rear suspension, loud sqeaking noises from all suspension. Brought car into 3 different service departments a total of 10 times for all and no solution. Service didn't care enough and very rude.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 152003


  • Manual transmission
  • 14,000 miles
Metal peice on the back of the car like tie rod ends needs to be replaced it is broke and cause the car to go out of alignment and ruin all tires. Have to replace the metal piece with one that is adjustable. Have take the car to three different places to get the job done. We live in Wyoming so that means that we have to travel a ways to get to these places. Sheidan and gillette. Thunder basin Ford is currently ordering the part so that we can get the rear alligned properly. They stated that the peice was probably bent from the manufacture.

- Sheridan, WY, USA

problem #3

Jan 262004

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
While driving the vehicle suddenly began to jerk. As a resulted the consumer lost control of the van and hit a tree. The van was totaled.

- Stow, MA, USA

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