Notes: Even though the first model year of a major redesign should typically be avoided, Ford did a good job & the 2008 Ford Focus doesn't appear to have any major defects.

That said, the following model years of this 2nd generation Focus (2009-2011) do appear to be slightly better.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,704 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.

2008 Ford Focus accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2008 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #19

Nov 012013


  • miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. While the vehicle was in park or in drive, the front driver, rear driver, and rear passenger doors would not lock. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 16F698000 (latches, locks, linkages). The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Wasilla, AK, USA

problem #18

Oct 242013


  • 95,000 miles
I went shopping with my niece last year around this time and I locked my car the 2008 2 door Ford Focus ses, I had come out with it pouring rain and I got locked out of the car only instead of the keys being inside the vehicle it just wasn't working. I ran back into wal-mart thinking it was the keypads battery but nope soon to find out it was working fine but the car didn't want to unlock, so I had to contact my boyfriend to come grab my niece until the locksmith got to me. He clicked the inside unlock button many many times and still coupling get in, we tried using the actual key itself still wouldn't work so I had to use the metal rod that's normally used for unlocking the car to climb from the trunk and get the latch threw the seats to climb all the way threw the car so about 5 hours later I finally got into my car and opened the passenger door first and ever since my outside passenger door handle will not work. This hasn't happened to me quite like this but I've owned 6 focuses that all the door handles had to be replaced multiple times. This lockout thing has happened to me several times so I can't even lock my car and I keep the window down just incase.

- Detroit Lakes, MN, USA

problem #17

May 182011


  • miles
The back door won't unlock there for resulting in not being able to open them at all.

- Oldtown, ID, USA

problem #16

Aug 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 92,314 miles


My father is disabled. On multiple occasions, he has been locked inside his car due to the driver's side door not opening from the inside. He has struggled to crawl out of the passenger's door. He also helps to take care of his 91 year old mother. I pray that they will both be able to get out of the car when this happens. What if this happened while a child was in the car in the heat of the summer? his vehicle is a 2008 Ford Focus S/SE/ses.

- Ft. Oglethorpe, GA, USA

problem #15

Jun 282014


  • 107,000 miles
Parked the car at a local store, went back out and the passenger door will not unlock or open, passenger had to climb through drivers side to enter and exit.

- Huntsville, OH, USA

problem #14

Dec 262012


  • 110,000 miles
The back passenger door latch failed resulting in the door not remaining closed. The door had to be held shut with a belt so that it could be safely driven. Thank god that no one was in the back seat as they might have been hurt if the door flew open while driving. The amato Ford dealer did a diagnostic test (for what we are not sure as it is a manual door no electronic locks or windows) that cost 113 dollars and then told us it would cost 385 dollars to fix. This is clearly a safety issue and Ford should fix this before someone is killed. I have been a loyal Ford customer but never again will I purchase a Ford vehicle if they care this little for their customers safety.

- Milwaukee , WI, USA

problem #13

Jan 222013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 212,023 miles


The right rear door is locked shut and cannot be opened. This is not the result of any accident or occurance. The door cannot be opened from the inside or the outside or with the key or remote operator. If anyone is trapped inside the vehicle or if ingress is needed in an emergency, this door is inoperable. There is a mechanical or electrical failure which makes the door unusable.

- Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #12

Nov 212012


  • miles
After arriving at destination, went to open door, it would not open, unlock would not work. Door is locked and unable to unlock and exit out. Needed to crawl over to drivers door to exit vehicle.

- Papillion, NE, USA

problem #11

Jun 012011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
Key locks for front doors and door latches won't open door from the outside. Took it to dealership, of course it isn't covered. If you accidentally lock your door with your child in it on a hot day, you can't get them out in time. Shouldn't the locks and latches work for at least 100K miles? have to leave the car unlocked all the time.

- Colleyville, TX, USA

problem #10

Jan 042012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 74,100 miles
Right rear passenger door locked. Cannot be opened. Cannot be unlocked electronically nor manually.

- Coldspring, TX, USA

problem #9

Apr 122010


  • miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the only door on the vehicle that would open was the rear passenger side door. The door would open from the interior, but not the exterior. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the contact was informed the failure was either due to the wiring or the door latches. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were unknown.

- Roanoke, AL, USA

problem #8

Jul 042008

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
Locks freeze up. This is a 2008 Ford Focus 4 door. 6 months after purchased brand new the back doors would not open from the inside or outside. Repaired at dealer. Approximately 6 months later started freezing up again and before I could get it in to get repaired the front doors did this as well. I had gotten out of the vehicle and locked the doors then none of the doors would open up, had to climb through trunk. All four doors repaired. 6 months later doors locked up again. Sometimes they would work and sometimes they would not. Eventually the back doors would not open at all. This happened when I had a child in an infant seat in the back seat and had to roll down the windows to get child out of the back seat. This was fixed. This has happened one more time three of the doors. They where repaired and at this time I now have a back door that will no longer open. I have voiced my concerns to Ford but all they do is constantly repair the same way and even tried to tell me that it was due to dust building up in the car doors, I have lived in the country and had multiple vehicles and have never had this happen because of dust. Also I have researched on the internet and found that I am not the only person this is happening to which leads me to believe that it is not just my vehicle. The doors freeze up randomly with no warning and if someone where to be in an accident and not be able to open doors this could be a serious safety issue. I have had to climb in and out of windows to get in and out of my vehicle and put children in the car through window.

- De Witt, NE, USA

problem #7

Dec 042010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
Doors on Ford Focus malfunction. Only driver side door has key entry but does not work will not open door. Passenger side door opens with remote unlock entry but at times malfunctions and won't open. Driver side door will not open at all anymore. Have to enter on passenger side door and crawl over console to drive vehicle. I believe it's the Ford door lock actuator that is malfunctioned.

- Fort Defiance, AZ, USA

problem #6

Jun 152009

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2008 Ford Focus SE/ses and I have been having problems with the rear passenger doors not unlocking and not opening from time to time. The only way I am able to open them is with a set of pliers. I have gone to Ford with this issue and they claim it is because "I drive on a dirt road"; but I have never had a problem with any other vehicle from driving on a dirt road. Luckily I haven't had any instances where I need my passengers to be out of the back seat immediately. I also have a child that is 3 and I am concerned for her safety if we cannot get the backdoors open in case of an emergency. Ford will not do anything about it and told me that I should clean out the locks of the doors.

- Littlerock, CA, USA

problem #5

Sep 252010


  • 49,500 miles
I have a 2008 Ford Focus that the warranty has expired. The issue is the back passenger door will not open from inside or out causing a serious safety issue. I called the dealer and they want to charge me money just to look at it.. I don't think a door opening should be viewed in this way. There has been no accident. It just stopped opening. I loved my Focus until the initial warranty expired. Please help me.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #4

Nov 282008


  • 10,400 miles
Car door locks on 2008 Ford Focus SE will not unlock with electronic power button, key fob remote, door key, pulling up on plunger or attempting to open door with handle or any combination of the above. Doors lock automatically at 5 mph so it is impossible to avoid locking and then passengers must crawl out of another door. So far no one has been trapped, but I have handicapped friends and a pregnant daughter, what happens when they cannot get out. It seems to be temperature related and mechanical - the first time it was fixed under warranty, but now I am having to pay for the repairs even though recurring and dealer refuses to acknowledge any problem with the locks that intermittently lock and then unlock when the temperature drops at night - it is as if I need to camp out at the dealer until it happens.

- Lucerne Valley, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 032008


  • 33 miles
The door lock, locks and you cant open them to get in or out of the car if you wont in or out you have to crawl through the windows. The front end of the car will not stay aligned eats up tires. Head lights. We have had this car in the dealers many times they tell me that its normal. This car has been a lemon since the day I drove it off the lot but they would never fix the problems.

- Bunkerville, NV, USA

problem #2

Apr 092010


  • 23,000 miles
I been locked in my car 2X. I have a Ford Focus 2008. Where the door latches dust builds up to were I cant get out. I went to dealership they never seen this in 18 yrs. I have to spray computer cleaner/brake cleaner which I shouldn't have to.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #1

Aug 082009


  • 38,000 miles
Concerning a '08 Focus, 4 door SE. Car is approximately 18months old and has covered 38,000 approx.. rear passenger door failed to open. When using power locks, the door button would fail to move. On a couple of occasions (lucky) the door could be opened. Then the same happened to the other rear door. So now both rear doors were inoperable. Car was taken to the local Montana Ford dealership where the problem was explained. Car was kept in shop for four days whilst bits were ordered, and problem rectified. Was charged $100 and told this wasn't covered by the warranty (although a rental car was provided for this period). In hindsight I should have checked both doors, as later I found out that the other door hadn't been fixed. Car now has to go into shop for further rectification. I realize that in '05 Ford recalled approx 359,000 01-02 Focus for this problem, and have had trouble with other door latches on various vehicles. For this to happen on a 08 Focus, which has been driven carefully by one owner, fail to see how the Ford dealer can say it's not a manufacturers defect" are they worried that it'll cost more for a recall than any lawsuits"

- Missoula, MT, USA

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