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:
67,407 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #38

Nov 232016


  • 80,000 miles


Switch to start vehicle is "sticking" when it works or not starting after 15+ attempts. Very annoying & perhaps dangerous when attempting to start the car. The pop feature, I believe, is not allowing the vehicle to start or remove the key. Car less than 80K miles. Otherwise, love the car. Car hasnt been fixed or repaired yet, looking for re-calls bc seems to be a common situation.

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #37

Dec 122016


  • 179,288 miles
Our 2008 Ford Focus has become increasingly harder to crank. We have been have to apply pressure while turning the key and now it won't start at all. I am now stranded at work until I can get someone to come pick me up. I have been told it is a pin inside the ignition that wears down until it can no longer make contact with the part inside to get car to crank. I believe Ford really needs to look into this because I have seen many people having this issue on this and other websites.

- West Monroe, LA, USA

problem #36

Nov 282016


  • 94,437 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. While the vehicle was parked, it failed to start while the key was in the on position. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was approximately 94,437. The VIN was not available.

- Prescott Valley, AZ, USA

problem #35

Mar 052016

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. When the ignition key was turned to the on position, the vehicle hesitated to start without warning. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was able to start after more than fifteen attempts. The contact also stated that the failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000. Updated 10/19/16 the consumer stated the ignition switch was hard to turn, when attempting to start the vehicle. Updated 10/24/16.

- Statham, GA, USA

problem #34

Apr 262016


  • 190,000 miles
We have spent over 700$ trying to fix a ignition problem. Never received a recall. This is awful. It isn't fun getting caught in hot weather stuck, not being able to start your car.

- Mammoth Spring, AR, USA

problem #33

Jul 012016


  • miles
I had to push the key in really hard to start the car. Well, after doing that so many times it eventually stopped working.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #32

Mar 102016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the ignition key failed to start the vehicle numerous times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #31

May 122016


  • 108,000 miles
2008 Ford Focus does not accelerate properly or stalls randomly. On multiple occasions I was in traffic on both city streets and highways and nearly got hit more than once. I had the PCM replaced by a certified Ford mechanic in 11/14, it had a two year warranty. In 1/16 it began doing the same thing. It had to be replaced in 4/16. After replacing the PCM at a Ford dealership the second time my car stalled out on me the next day. The PCM code was the same at each location (code P00607). Both PCM's were purchased from Ford brand new. I am now being told by the Ford dealership that the following code (P0320) was obtained. They indicated the following work needs to be done in the amount of $575: The cost of the repairs include: Tune up is $260 this includes spark plugs, spark plug boots, and 2 ignition coils and the labor to install them. The cost to replaced the valve cover gasket that is leaking oil into the spark plug valleys is $315 this includes the parts and labor. (spark plug valleys #3 and #4 have oil in them.) my concern is that this was never a PCM issue; however, it is something else feeding misinformation to the PCM to send inaccurate codes to the entire system. The probability of three PCM's being faulty in 1 year is not likely. This vehicle has stalled in traffic on more than one occasion and is a risk to others and myself on the roads. I have grave concerns regarding the reliability and safety of the 2008 Ford Focus SE. Ford needs to investigate and correct this safety issue.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #30

Mar 012016


  • miles
I have to push the key in really hard before the engine will turn over...I just hope it dont leave me stranded one day....

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #29

Oct 012015


  • 35,000 miles
Yes lately over the past couple months I'll put my key into the ignition and go to start my car nothing happens at all no click no noise no lights come on. So I will then proceed to turn the car key back to the starting position then try to start my car again and yes nothing happens again not a peep. So then I have to proceed to turn my key back pull my key out stick my key back into the ignition kind then as the two times previously turn to start my car and it actually starts except it takes like 2 second hesitation before it actually turns over my ignition is never been tampered with my car only has 40,000 miles on it so I'm kind of curious as to why this is happening because I see somebody else had the same problem

- Castro Valley, CA, USA

problem #28

Feb 012012


  • 15,000 miles


My. 2008 Ford, Focus has factory installed sunshine shield on all windows. It has become impossible to see through the back windshield, especially at night, the installed shade had become foggy! my car eats tires which have to be replaced approximately every 2.5years. The heater/air-conditioner fan has shorted out 3 times, thankfully, no fire has been started! all of these complaints occur on stationary or moving vehicle. The only complaint that has been taken to the shop is the tire complaint. No problem was identified.

- Globe, AZ, USA

problem #27

Jan 122016


  • miles
3 of my 4 door handles do not work the pin came out inside the door panel allowing me to only use my back passenger door to get in my car I had my keys in hand but the door wouldnt open causing me to call aaa to get in im very unhappy and I will be contacting anyone I have to in order to fix this im not paying for it.

- Phelan, CA, USA

problem #26

Aug 052015


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The contact also stated that the key had to be forced into the ignition and shaken for the vehicle to start. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #25

May 012015


  • 130,000 miles
My Focus door locks do not work. Not only will the electric system not lock and/or unlock the doors but it is physically impossible to lock them manually. So the car wherever it is is always unlocked. My mechanic said that parts are back ordered for months out as this is a common issue with the Focus. This is a serious safety concern when it comes to theft but more importantly predators.

- Buffalo, ND, USA

problem #24

Jul 012015


  • 122,056 miles
While driving on the beltway the car stalls and shuts off and will not restart. This has happened several times and once a truck just missed me trying to coast to the emergency lane. It has been to two shops that say nothing is wrong. Today I had it towed to the dealership and I found the other complaint here on this site while looking for recalls. This is an extremely dangerous failure and these ignitions missing a screw should be recalled before someone is injured or killed.

- Cheverly, MD, USA

problem #23

Jan 122015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 58,707 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the ignition needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The failure mileage was 58,707. Updated 8/31/15 the ignition switch was replaced by a repair shop. Updated 09/08/15

- Jamestown, NY, USA

problem #22

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 #21

Jan 012010


  • 50,000 miles
Randomly the back doors will not open. They will remain in the "locked" setting. They will not open from the outside or inside. Unable to manually unlock/open either door. Sometimes both do this simultaneously and other times it will be one or the other. I bought this car new and this started happening a few years later. It was seldom in the beginning but now it is almost always that one or both doors will not open. If I carried back seat passengers often this would be a major problem as this is a small car and very little room available to crawl in/out from front seat. This could easily turn into an emergency situation on a hot day and a large person locked inside unable to get out. A while back the front door handle also began sticking. The door unlocks but the handle doesn't always feel like it releases all the way to allow the door to open. Then when it does open, sometimes the handle has to be manually pushed back into the door before the door will latch.

- Meeker, OK, USA

problem #20

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 #19

Jul 042012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The ignition switch, when I turn the key to the on position it sometimes sticks in this position and sticks it does this every other time when I turn on the vehicle it feels the key is going to get stuck in the starting position it don't spring back the way it should.

- Addison, IL, USA

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