definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,319 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.

2004 Ford Focus electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #74

Sep 112014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


Ignition lock stuck. Key would not work. Car had to be towed. Ignition had to be replaced. Could have been very dangerous depending on where car was parked.

- Wakefield, MA, USA

problem #73

Apr 162012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The key will not turn in the ignition. This has been ongoing for two months. It takes several minutes of jiggling to finally get the ignition lock to release. I drive this car on business, including in remote areas. It is scary to try to start the car and have the key not turn. So far, I've always been able to get it to eventually work, but this is ridiculous. We've just started experiencing the same issue on my wife's 2007 Ford Focus. In researching this, it has been a problem on the Focus since the beginning and apparently Ford has refused to acknowledge the issue or change the ignition lock mechanisms on later Focus models. Potentially getting stranded at night or in a remote area due to a faulty ignition lock is a serious safety issue. One should never have a problem in turning the key in the ignition. For what it is worth, I am a career safety and risk management consultant working in the commercial insurance industry with 35 years experience.

- Murray, KY, USA

problem #72

Jul 052011


  • miles
2004 Ford Focus key will not turn in ignition.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #71

Sep 082010


  • 80,000 miles


My key ignition has locked up on my 2004 Ford Focus leaving me stranded and costing me time from work not to mention the cost its going to be to fix it. I have read many many complaints on this problem and as of yet there is no recall. But I strongly suggest Ford considering a recall because it is a safety issue.... who feels safe stranded on interstate, bad area of town, at night or whatever the case may be!

- Welaka, FL, USA

problem #70

May 062010

(reported on)


  • miles
2004 Ford Focus. Consumer states problems with turning the key in the ignition switch

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #69

Apr 242010

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
My Ford Focus svt 2004 ingintion key will not turn and the steering wheel is locked. I had problems starting 4 months ago and now it is worst.

- Cypress, CA, USA

problem #68

Feb 282010


  • miles


I own a 2004 Ford Focus, I've had an issue with the ignition sticking for about 4 months, usually being able to jiggle it and get it to turn. Now it is stuck completely, I've read tons and tons of articles about this being a problem, my car is now parked in my driveway because I don't feel this is my responsibility to fix.

- Indian Trail, NC, USA

problem #67

Nov 262009


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Focus. While attempting to start the vehicle the key would not turn in the ignition. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership. The current and failure mileages were 86000.

- Frederick, WI, USA

problem #66

Nov 142009


  • 67,787 miles
On a Saturday evening I drove to grocery store. After I had finished shopping I tried to start vehicle. I could not turn key in ignition and the steering column remained in the locked position. The vehicle had 67787 miles. I had car towed to Ford dealer and they drilled out lock cylinder and replaced with a new one at a cost of $385.34. Tow truck driver stated that he had towed the same model before with an identical problem. The service manager at dealer stated that he had several of the same model with identical problem. He also stated that the part had been updated a few times. I am 53 and have driven many vehicles, some with over 240,000 miles and have never before had this problem. I feel it was manufactured with a defect and it failed prematurely.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #65

Dec 242007


  • 99,000 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Focus. The ignition locks whenever the car is turned off. It is impossible to start the car again without hitting on the key itself. This has resulted in the key breaking off in the lock. The ignition lock appears to be a common problem with this make and model, and poses a significant safety risk.. I have had this problem for the past 2 years, but it has become much worse recently. There was no accident or damage to the car prior to this issue. The local Ford dealers told me it would cost between $400-500 to fix, and it seems that many times, the new parts are also defective and the problem returns. As this appears to be a widespread problem among Focus owners, please consider issuing a safety recall for this make and model.

- Athens, NY, USA

problem #64

Dec 082009


  • 48,000 miles


2004 Ford Focus ignition problem. Could not put my key in the ignition and was stranded.

- Bluff City, TN, USA

problem #63

Nov 282009


  • 66,345 miles
2004 Ford Focus-- ignition key won`T turn leaving the driver stranded.

- Wheeling, WV, USA

problem #62

Sep 212009


  • 61,000 miles
I own a 2004 Ford Focus ZX5, I went into work, came out and found my ignition would not turn. The steering wheel was locked, the key would not budge, the brake wouldn't even push in all the way, as well as my car wouldn't come out of park. I looked up the problem online and saw it was a very common problem and I'm very displease that this would happen. I bought this car about a year ago from a dealership! I'm going to have to take my car to a locksmith or dealership and have the entire ignition system replaced.

- Crofton, MD, USA

problem #61

Sep 012009


  • 90,000 miles
My 17 year old daughter was left stranded one evening when the key wouldn't turn in the ignition of her 2004 Ford Focus so she couldn't get the car started. I had just signed up for a class at our local community college at a campus 25+ miles away. I was in class with my phone off, so I couldn't help her. It is a dangerous situation for a young girl to be stranded anywhere. In addition, we live in Texas where we're up to 65 days of temperatures in the triple digits. This could be a major health concern for anyone who became stranded in the heat of the day. I understand this problem is quite common in 2000-2004 models. We were finally able to get someone to get the key to turn so she could drive home. However, once there, the same thing happened. We had to have the car towed to the dealership for service. Then I learned that the part wasn't even covered under the warranty I had purchased. For whatever reason, Ford doesn't consider this to be a safety issue and has failed to issue a recall.

- Spicewood, TX, USA

problem #60

Aug 032009


  • 63,000 miles
2004 Ford Focus key ignition is a faulty design in seemingly all Focus models according to my dealer and many sources. This left me stranded in 100 degree weather with my pet and no idea what to do. The repair is quoted at $550 to replace it at the dealer and Ford has done nothing to recall their poorly designed ignition. My dealer said every Ford Focus will eventually need this repaired, why then isn't Ford accountable?

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #59

Jul 292009


  • 53,600 miles
1. there was no warning sign 2. my key wouldn't turn the ignition, I was stuck at my job 11:00 pm. 3. I had the car towed to the nearest Ford dealerships and had the ignition replaced costing me $382.

- Richmond, CA, USA

problem #58

Jul 172009


  • 70,000 miles
I tried to start my 2004 Ford Focus ZX3 one night only to find that the steering wheel and ignition were locked up. It felt as if the whole steering mechanism was frozen. I'm still researching how to deal with this issues since I can't drive my car. On-line resources have taught me that this is a common problem with the Ford Focus' yet there is no recall available and we are stuck paying hundreds of dollars to fix a manufacturer defect.

- Grandville, MI, USA

problem #57

Jul 102009


  • 64,000 miles
There is a defect which causes the ignition lock to fail, making it impossible to turn the key or start the vehicle's engine. The form says it's invalid but I checked both places in the car and that is what it says. The form did not have, "electrical system:ignition, " as an option for component name which better describes the problem area.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #56

Jun 232009


  • 31,000 miles
Our 17 year old daughter stopped at a seven-eleven store and when she tried to return home the ignition key in our 2004 Ford Focus would not turn. This left our daughter stranded and required her to wait for a tow truck. Being a 17 year old girl stranded outside a seven-eleven was not a good feeling! I believe Ford is aware of many complaints about their Focus ignition locks.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #55

Jun 172009


  • 69,000 miles
2004 Ford Focus. The key will not turn in the ignition and the ignition needs to be replaced. This has happened to tons of other people with the same car and issue and Ford has not recalled it because they are cheap.

- Fayetteville, GA, USA

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