really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
51,924 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 3)

problem #54

Dec 052016


  • 42,000 miles


Shorted brake wires in trunk area blown fuse no start no brake lights would not shift into drive.

- Orland Park, IL, USA

problem #53

Aug 282016


  • miles
The car has had 5-6 repairs over the last 6 years. 3 batteries and 2 alternators. The car dies out while driving and wont restart without a jumpstart, is dead randomly or only clicks.just spent another $200 on an alternator when the key wont turn and the real problem over all these years has come to light. Very dangerous situation with the car just dieing wherever and whenever.

- Lexington, SC, USA

problem #52

Jul 232015


  • 142,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Focus. While parked, the vehicle was not able to start. The failure occurred constantly. The contact had to jumpstart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the battery failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was 142,000.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #51

Jan 062016


  • 142,000 miles


My car was turned off and my dash lights would flicker and beep, my radio goes on and off by it self, the rear wiper and third brake light do not work, and now everything does not work.

- Clearlake Oaks, CA, USA

problem #50

May 292015


  • 147,345 miles
Car was inoperable due to key not working in the ignition and emergency repair service in parking lot had to be done. Read more: www.justanswer.com/new-question/optional-information.aspx?tqid=423907452&pt=630&catid=56411&R=autobeef&rpt=220#ixzz3bac4irxz

- Evans , GA, USA

problem #49

Feb 112015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact noticed that the failure recurred intermittently whenever a bump or a pothole was hit on the road. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000. Updated. 06/09/15

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #48

Feb 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


3/1/14: Driver's side heated seat burned through upholstery and caught fabric on fire, while my daughter was driving vehicle. After searching the internet, I found that this has happened to other Focus owners. There was a service bulletin (04B16); why no recall?

- Belfair, WA, USA

problem #47

Oct 062010


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the speedometer fluctuated continuously. The vehicle was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Milledegeville, GA, USA

problem #46

Nov 272012


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Focus. The contact stated that after inserting the key in the ignition the vehicle failed to start. The contact tried approximately six times. The vehicle was later towed to the dealer for diagnosis. After diagnosis they advised him that the ignition failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure and current mileage was approximately 118,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Ankeny, IA, USA

problem #45

May 042012


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start with the steering wheel locked. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnosis where the dealer advised that the ignition cylinder needed replacing. The manufacturer was contacted and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 94,000.

- Lockport , IL, USA

problem #44

Sep 092011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


The 2004 Ford Focus has a problem where the key will not turn once inserted into the ignition. The only way to get the key to turn is to tap it with a hammer or other heavy object or spend over 300 dollars to get a new ignition lock. This problem has happened to me before on occasion but now it happens every single time I take the key out of the ignition. Numerous people are complaining about this problem yet Ford has not issued a recall to address the issue. I'm hoping the NHTSA will force Ford to do something about this problem because I know I am not the only one that this is happening to.

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #43

Aug 202011


  • miles
Ford Focus wheel and ignition locked up. Cant turn key or wheel! I have red multiple problems with this and cant believe Ford has not recalled this issue!!! the best part about all of this is my car just got out of warranty! you suck Ford and your cheap [xxx] dealers!!!!! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #42

Aug 102011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 99,125 miles
All of a sudden I am having trouble turning the key in the ignition of my 2004 Ford Focus. As of now I am able to get the key to turn by gently tapping on the key with a hammer as I try to turn. I have not replaced the ignition because when researching this problem I have come to realize this is a very common fault that Ford is aware of, but refuses to take responsibility for.

- Southgate, MI, USA

problem #41

May 312011


  • 28,500 miles
The key would no longer turn in the ignition (but operated door and hatch without difficulty), creating an unsafe condition in which the car could not be driven and the owner was stranded with an inoperable vehicle. The local Ford dealership required $400 for a replacement ignition cylinder. There is a known issue with poor quality ignition cylinders in this model year and they were subsequently redesigned by Ford (perform a google search for "Ford Focus ignition cylinder" or see the discussion at http:forums.focaljet.comteam-tech497529-new-ignition-cylinder-help.html). Given that this is a known defect, the issue should be covered by a technical service bulletin or recall instead of requiring a significant out-of-pocket payment by the owner.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #40

Mar 012011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 54,111 miles
Attempted to start car and steering column and ignition was locked. I can't get either to turn.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #39

Feb 262011

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
The ignition is completely locked. I've been having trouble the past month being able to turn the key in the ignition and now I cannot turn it at all. My car is stranded at a local tire shop with the window down, which may cause even more damage from the weather or allow for easy theft. This problem is so unpredictable its scary, I could've been anywhere and been stranded. Then I looked up the problem and find that tons of other Focus owners are having the same issue because Ford used a cheap metal. Its time that they treated there customers right and recall this part.

- Englewood, CO, USA

problem #38

Feb 142011


  • 63,200 miles
2004 Ford Focus, key will not turn in the ignition. This has been an on going problem. Sometimes it takes 20 minutes, other times it has taken hours to get the key to turn. With less than 70K miles, this is a safety hazard when I have children in the car!

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #37

Jan 262011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 62,350 miles
Battery failure due to a short in the ignition switch.

- Highland Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #36

Jan 142011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
We have a 2004 Ford Focus 2.3L. Key wont turn in the ignition. The steering wheel is locked. We had to call a lock smith out to replace the ignition cylinder assembly. The lock smith said that he replaces two to three every week on the Ford Focus model. Lucky for us we were at home when the ignition failed. I read other stories where others were not so fortunate. It is unfortunate that Ford still to this day dose not have a recall on this issue. Even a courtesy alert would be better then sitting in the dark and having to do your own research to discover what the fix is.

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #35

Sep 142010


  • 85,000 miles
Parked car as always. Came out to start car to leave and key will not turn in ignition. Had to have it towed. The tow truck driver said they tow Ford Focus models with bad ignitions quite often. A woman in a Focus wagon pulled up in the lot where I was stranded before the tow truck arrived. I asked her to not park there since a tow truck was coming; I also told her why. She said she had several times where her key would get stuck in her Focus. Mine had done that a few times over the past 3 months, it appears based on the internet searches, and just my conversations in one day that this is a major issue. Mine is a 2004 model Focus. So it goes beyond the thinking that it is only 2000 to 2003 models. This past weekend I could have been stranded in the henry M. jackson wilderness area in wa. State, possibly with no cell phone service available either. Luckily this problem happened when I was in civilization. I was in the middle of nowhere this past weekend, in black bear & grizzly bear country.

- Kirkland , WA, USA

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