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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,948 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2008 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #12

Dec 212014


  • 120,000 miles


I was in an accident where I rear ended a truck on the highway going approximately 50 mph. There was an accident to the right of me on the highway shoulder and I looked to my right as I saw a guy get out of his car. I swerved and looked forward. It was at that time that I saw a truck completely stopped in front of me. I hit the truck and did complete damage to my car. I am concerned because there was extreme damage to my vehicle and my driver's airbag did not deploy. I had no passengers in the car, no other airbag deployed. My state police trooper who was on the scene said to file a complaint because my airbags most definitely should have deployed. I suffered some injuries and I am looking into this matter further. I just hope in the mean time this doesn't happen to someone else as it could be fatal for them.

- New Milford, CT, USA

problem #11

Nov 192014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
My car spun and hit a guard rail on the back bumper. This then pushed the car across the road where the front end hit the side of a mountain. I hit my head on the driver side of the car during the impact and was knocked unconscious and had to be taken to the hospital. My front air bag and my side curtain airbag did not deploy.

- Cool, CA, USA

problem #10

Nov 142014


  • 57,475 miles
2008 Ford Focus air bags never deployed in car crash, car flipped one and a half times after spinning out.

- Concord, NC, USA

problem #9

May 252013


  • 150,000 miles


I was rear ended while stopped at a red light in my 2008 Ford Focus. It was a very high speed impact (est. 60-70 mph) that threw me into the car in front of me. My car was totaled and the air bags never deployed. I had a certified mechanic record the computer and look at the damages. He stated that the air bags should have deployed from the damages to the front sensor as well as the side impact sensor. I am still dealing with my injuries a year and a half later. Two vertebrae in my back were crushed.

- Silver Creek, GA, USA

problem #8

May 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I was driving nw on SR626 about 45 mph when a white car pulled from stop sign striking my car in the pass side, hitting rear tire and body just in front of tire as I was swerving left to miss car. At impact my car spun 180 degrees sliding backwards into a deep ditch, on right side of road, rolling onto drivers side then back onto all four wheels. The airbags never deployed as I was tossed around inside car hitting my head, neck and left shoulder area causing injury. I did have my lap and shoulder belt on and in the correct position.

- New Middletown, OH, USA

problem #7

Oct 162012


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the vehicle was involved in head on collision and the air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained minor bruising and back pain. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to a collision shop. The vehicle was declared destroyed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 48,000. Updated 1/23/13 updated 02/11/2013

- Arroyo Seco, NM, USA

problem #6

Apr 182012


  • 26,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the air bag indicator light constantly remained illuminate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced various unknown parts. The dealer advised that there were additional repairs that the vehicle needed, but the parts for those repairs were not available. The manufacturer was contacted who advised that the needed parts were on back order and provided no further assistance. The failure mileage was 26,000.

- Weymouth, MA, USA

problem #5

Nov 102011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
I was traveling on industrial blvd when an elderly couple pulled out in front of me. With no time to react I hit the front end of their car with the front and side of my car on the passenger side. I was wearing my seatbelt. After my head hit off the windshield my airbag deployed. I have a severe concussion and some injury to my right leg. The main point to this accident is that I was wearing a seatbelt and my head still struck the windshield. And once again the airbag was delayed on deployment.

- Grantsville, MD, USA

problem #4

Aug 162010


  • 26,899 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. While driving at various speeds, the contact noticed that the air bag warning light illuminated until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on two different occasions for the same failure, where the air bag fuse was replaced. Recently, the failure occurred a the third time; however, the vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem and the failure mileage was 26,899.

- Siler City , NC, USA

problem #3

Feb 032010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated as she was driving someone rear ended her vehicle. The air bags did not deploy and the seat belt did not hugged her tight enough. The contact hit her head on the steering wheel and was driven to the hospital because she received a cut above her eye and had to have stitches. There is a police report if needed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for repair. The contact stated she informed the dealer but had not called the Ford manufacturer. The failure mileage was 25,000. Updated 03/18/10 updated 05/05/10.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #2

Aug 082009


  • 38,000 miles
2008 Ford Focus airbags not deploying after accident going 65 mph.

- Imperial Beach , CA, USA

problem #1

May 212009


  • 13,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact's vehicle was rear-ended and destroyed by a hit-and-run driver. The air bags failed to deploy. An occupant in her vehicle sustained neck and back injuries. Both the contact and occupant were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. The vehicle was towed from the scene and a police report was filed. The speed was unknown. The failure mileage was 13,000.

- Seattle, WA, USA

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