really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,516 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

Nov 152003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles


. the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. On October 31 of 2003, I purchased Ford Focus SE, brand new.. for five month I own this vehicle, I was in the shop for all kind different problems 9 times. It was: Constant very strong vibration while driving at any speed, constant grounding noise comes from engine site and transformed to an ultrasound noise at hire speed, the squealing has intensified and sounds horrible! transmission locked up while I drove on the highway at 70 mph, had to use tow track.( dealer sad they cannot duplicate the problem),but transmission still locks and jerking constantly, squeal noise from breaks, (dealer replaced front pads and resurface drum, but refused to repair rear breaks and noise and pulsation is still there., dealer found defective rims, defective tires, throttle problems, brakes problems. Problems with my car intensified. I got my cruse control accelerated by it self in the middle of a highway, transmission locks up and jerking intermittently, brakes squealing and pulsate the Ford dealer sales and service people said that I should not return for service and waist any bodyS time, he said that what I hear and fill in my Ford Focus is normal. Ford warranty is not worth a paper it is written on. So, Ford wonT fix my car and I cannot do it other wise. As a result of strong vibration and squealing noise I am loosing balance, have severe headache, all body eking, I have pain in booth of my arms, and I have difficulty to walk and my right leg become num. I have to use walking cane and knee and ankle support. I scared to even drive it anymore. I am pleading to you, to help.me to get a full refund from Ford Motor Company for its defective product, plus a compensation for all expenses incurred as a result of this ordeal.

- Palm Coast , FL, USA

problem #7

Mar 072004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
On Saturday morning I bought the car - a brand new 2003 Ford Focus SE wagon. On Sunday morning, I was traveling about 50mph when I applied the brake due to the traffic conditions of the moment. Instantly, the back end of the car swerved to the right in a jack-knife manner. The car spun around and threw itself onto the shoulder of the road. The front end wound up pointed in the direction of the oncoming traffic. Fortunately the car landed in a sandy spot with no damage to the vehicle or to me. It was as if I had hit black ice, except that driving conditions that day were perfect - 50 degrees, sunny and dry with good road surface. In my opinion, this incident may be the result of poor design: That is the rear end of the Focus SE wagon is too light to hold the road when the brakes are applied at highway speeds, or the brakes failed, causing the car to spin. In any event, this was a near death experience for me. I think that this car is a death trap for me and a hazard for everyone else near it on the road.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #6

Jan 162004

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
While driving at any speed, the vehicle stalled twice, but always started back up after a few minutes. On one occasion, the dealer replaced the starter and on the another occasion, the transmission was replaced. The starter was found faulty, the transmission was inoperative and there was a vibration while going 40 mph due to shifting, the clock display was inoperative, and the engne light stayed on.

- Temple City, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 062003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,900 miles


I bought a new 2003 Ford Focus hatchback car from seramonte Ford on 7-4-2003. It had been running fine until Friday, 2-6-2004. After driving for about 5 minutes the car stalled after stopping at a stop sign on the way coming home from stonestown shopping center. I was able to restart the engine but it stalled again and again. Nearly got hit from the back once. It was really scary. My wife was really shaken up.. I was afraid to use the car until Tuesday, 2-10-2004. I started driving to the dealer that morning at 8:30 am and when I almost got into their parking lot the car stalled at about 30 ft from the entrance to their lot. I tried to restart the engine but was unable to get it started again. I walked over to the Ford dealer and asked the service man named carl to go over to the infinity lot to see if he could check on the car. It was about 9:15 am at that time. Carl told me that he could not do anything for me and that I have to wait for my regular service man -kevin- who will be in at 10 am that morning. I waited 45 minutes at their lot for kevin. Kevin walked with me over to the infinity dealer's lot and tried to start the car but it would not start. My car was towed into the Ford dealer's shop at about 11:30 am. I waited there until 1:30 pm and was told the car will have to be left at their shop over night because they have not found out what was the problem. My car was at their shop since 2-10-2004. I called the service manager ray wertz the next day to ask if he has information about what is wrong with my car, and he told me that they are checking on it still and an important part has to be ordered from the factory and will keep me informed. That was Wednesday, 2-11-2004. Ray wertz called 2-16-2004, and said that important part to be here on Thursday, 2-18-2004. My wife and I feel uneasy about this car. She tells me that she would be scare to ride in it. She feels we should get a new car from serramonte Ford. Please help thank you.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #4

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

problem #3

Dec 312003

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,585 miles
When coming to a stop, transmission operated poorly. It was hard to shift gears or gears did not shift at all. The dealership was notified, but the problem was not resolved.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #2

Apr 272003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 600 miles
Transmission suddenly drops down one or two gears, cruise control kicks off, transmission trouble light in dash comes on, then goes away, dealer checked on 04/28/03 and found no cause code, dealer performed fluid pump check and tested ok, transmission did the same thing again on 04/29/03.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #1

Apr 252003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60 miles
The transmission made a "shuttering and flipping" sound while in reverse. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, and the transmission was replaced, however the vehicle continued to experience the same problem.

- Post Falls, ID, USA

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