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:
87,571 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2008 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 252016


  • 97,000 miles


While driving the car it shifts hard into gears and then it doesn't want to stay in 4th gear while driving down the highway. It down shifts and then wants to run 3,000 or higher rpms while driving 60 mph down the highway.

- Wheatland, IN, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Mar 072016


  • 100,000 miles
The key has to be pushed in extremely hard to turn on the engine. It takes sometimes up to 5 minutes repeatedly turning the key for it to engage.

- Jupiter, FL, USA

problem #4

Dec 032015


  • 86,000 miles


2008 Ford Focus - 2 dr driver door only keyed entry point... locked car came back...door wouldn't open with key.called roadside assistance after the 1st time just left unlocked. Took car for oil change forgot to tell them don't lock and of course they locked when done.had to call road side assistance to get it unlocked. This is really unsafe is there a recall on this.

- Post Falls, ID, USA

problem #3

Aug 132014


  • 115,000 miles
The electronic door locks began to seize up over the course of about a year. Now only one door will lock and unlock using the electronic locking system. The doors can be locked and unlocked manually by pulling and pushing on the plastic manual door locks.

- Lone Tree, CO, USA

problem #2

Jun 112015


  • 77,000 miles
Car stalled in traffic and I could not get it started. Started having problems with the ignition to get the car started. Have to keep the key pushed in, straighten the steering wheel to get it started and sometimes would take 10 times. Not a good thing in traffic. Took it to a dealer and found out that there was a missing screw in an enclosed crimped area of the housing for the ignition which I was then told that was impossible except for an assembly error. Was told there was no way it could have fallen out. We have a stick shift so it is very easy to stall it while in traffic if not paying attention. We almost got hit because we could not get it started. This problem starting it has gone on for some time, but it had continued to get worse. Was told this one screw holds the housing in place so the key works properly.

- Pharr, TX, USA

problem #1

Jan 272010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
Manual door latches on 4-door, key entry. Use of key to gain entry on both front doors began a gradual failure. Had to work the key, apply pressure to the doors, etc, until both locks failed to open with key. Twice had put children in the car, accidentally locked doors, then unable to open doors with keys. Ford says it isn't covered by warranty, althought the problems first started appearing when the car was only 2 years old. For the past 2 years, had to leave the vehicle unlocked. Eventually had an auto body man disassmble the doors, lube the lathes, and the work again, althought they are starting to work intermittently again. New latches are $120 to $160 each if you can find them.

- Colleyville, TX, USA

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