really awful
Crashes / Fires:
13 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
14 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,253 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #15

Aug 092016


  • 170,000 miles


The contact owned a 2004 Ford Focus. While driving 45 mph, the steering wheel veered to the right and vibrated violently. The contact had to release the accelerator pedal and crashed into a ditch. The vehicle flipped over twice. The contact sustained second degree burns from the seat belt, whiplash, and burns to the right arm from the air bags. Medical attention was required. The rear driver side passenger sustained whiplash and stomach bruises from the seat belt, which also required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed and destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 170,000.

- Macomb, IL, USA

problem #14

Feb 012016

Focus 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Takata air bag recall: I looked up my VIN number on the govt. Website many months ago, and found this car has potentially faulty takata air bags. I have not been able to move replacement forward on several occasions, since Ford has yet to issue a recall on this model. The dealer says they need a recall notice from Ford usa and when I call Ford usa they do not know how to move forward on a recall for this airbag. The dealer also said I could not be guaranteed a safe air bag if they just replaced the one I have, since the replacement might also be faulty, unless it was a special redesigned one as issued in a recall setting. I called dtvsh on the recommendation of Ford usa and they recommended I file a complaint with the ftc. The ftc contact gave me a case number: 69255063. I feel very uncomfortable driving around in a car with a potential bomb in the steering wheel, or loaning it to family members. The dealer even said I could just quit using my car for the years it might take to wait for the recall (!!!) I think they should give me a loaner if they think its that serious, yet they do not have the power to move forward on starting a recall. They have three models of cars from the year mine was built that are under recall. Please initiate a recall on the Ford Focus wagon to ensure it is reasonably safe to drive. The types of accidents that are killing people from the exploding, shrapnel filled air bags are low impact and otherwise would not be fatal. I don't want me or someone in my family dying because Ford is not in recall to fix this problem. Thank you.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #13

Oct 312014


  • 25,000 miles
Head on collison with another car. Cars in front of me stopped suddenly. I going down one of the busiest roads in town and I couldnt stop in time. Front of my car has significant undrivable damage. The air bag did not deploy.

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #12

Oct 112011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


While driving on a parkway in the right lane a car in the left lane of the two lane parkway hit the vehicle on the rear driver's side near the back wheel. The car then was driven into a rock cut and the entire front end of the vehicle was crashed in. Although the front end impact was substantial, the air bags did not deploy which resulted in several serious injuries to the driver. The police report and pictures of the vehicle are available as well as correspondence with Ford on this accident.

- Garrison, NY, USA

problem #11

Jan 132014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 202,354 miles
Driving along hit a pothole and heard a load bang thought it was just the suspension bottoming out, looked to my left and noticed that side airbag had deployed, filling the car with noxious fumes and hitting my shoulder.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #10

Dec 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Focus. The contact was driving at an unknown speed and crashed into a guard rail. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained a fractured sternum and a police report was filed of the incident. The vehicle was towed from the scene and had not been inspected to determine the cause of the air bag failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 120,000. Updated 2/11/14

- Crestline, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 252013


  • 160,687 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving 12 mph, the contact crashed into another vehicle's tow hitch and the air bags deployed unexpectedly and without warning. The contact also mentioned that only the license plate had a dent in it and he suffered a severe burn injury on her left hand. The failure was not diagnosed nor was the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 160,687.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #8

Sep 182011


  • miles
I was distracted while driving and hit a tree, that is right next to the road, on a winding road with the right front side of my car. Airbags did not go off at all. Was rushed to the hospital on a gurney, in an ambulance. Left side of my face hit the steering wheel and sustained quite a bit of trauma. It was swelling at such a rapid rate that the nurses and doctors thought I had broken my cheek bone. After ct scans, it was determined I had no broken bones, just bruised ribs, small cuts, and contusions on multiple parts of my body. The vehicle has been totaled by my insurance company. I plan to get the SDM from the vehicle and see what exactly was recorded.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #7

Nov 062010


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle was involved in a head-on collision but the air bags did not deploy. Four people sustained minor injuries (burn rashes, etc). The vehicle was destroyed. A police report was filed. The manufacturer had not been notified. The current and failure mileages were approximately 79,000.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #6

Apr 192007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Focus. While driving 50 mph, the vehicle veered off the road. The contact did not depress the brakes and the right front of the vehicle struck a guard rail. The air bags failed to deploy and the vehicle was destroyed. There was a recent tire rotation performed on the vehicle and aaa and the dealer determined that the lug nuts were stripped. The contact has a police report. The current and failure mileages were 97,000.

- Maple Valley, WA, USA

problem #5

Oct 032006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,747 miles


Front end collision, air bag put out powder and light indicates deployment, however no deployment of airbag occurred. My daughter was injured and the state trooper stated that the air bag should have deployed. This appears to be an obvious defect and it was noted that there are several other complaints on NHTSA website. Vehicle is currently at dealer for crash repair I have yet to hear their determination regarding the air bag non-deployment. Additionally, the brakes on the vehicle faded and failed to stop the vehicle, this is the second brake fade problem I have had with this vehicle. It has been to the dealer once for the problem and they found air in the brake system.

- Lake Worth, FL, USA

problem #4

Feb 182006


  • miles
About two weeks ago, my daughter was involved in an accident while driving her Ford Focus. She smashed the car into a cement barrier, spun around and smashed the back of the car into the barrier and then spun around again and smashed the front into the barrier again. The car is considered totaled by the insurer. This Ford Focus is equipped with air bags. These air bags did not deploy. Fortunately, my daughter and her passenger were not seriously hurt. I am concerned about the air bags not working.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 012004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
Vehicle was traveling on highway, weather was clear, road was dry. Steering wheel began to vibrate, vehicle suddenly veered to right and out of control. Vehicle struck guard rail head on, upon impact air bags did not deploy. My wife was seriously injured when her head struck the windshield. She received cuts to her forehead, multiple contusions and a fractured ankle that will require surgery to repair. The vehicle was inspected by a crash investigator and it was determined that a defective tie rod was the likely cause of the loss of control and there was sufficient force to deploy air bags.

- Plymouth, MA, USA

problem #2

Mar 072005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle was traveling on the road during inclement weather when all of a sudden the driver lost control. This caused the vehicle to flip over twice. Upon impact, the air bags did not deploy.

- Akron, AL, USA

problem #1

Aug 232004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While making a right turn a pedestrian was walking in front of the vehicle. To avoid hitting the pedestrian vehicle lost control and was involved in a crash. Upon impact, air bags failed to deploy.

- Orangevale, CA, USA

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