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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,206 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #9

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 #8

Oct 012011


  • 60,000 miles
This is a ongoing problem with this vehicles suspension since I have had this vehicle I have replaced the tires on it 4X the rear suspension cups the tires and makes it bounce I have had multiple alignments and I bought it a 52.000 miles N for the last 4 yrs I have bought many types of tires and this car has ruined them all, also strut replacement and tie rods and I just got a new rackon pinion for the steering was affected and the fluid leaked out and I highway drive, it would not perform over 65mph without shaking terribly I see more complaints about this car and this supension problem and steering and idol jerks me forward and feels like its going to stahl, the moter mounts an trani mounts are always loose or need to be replaced, an the ac went on it an because it's behind the dashboard the housing unit for the evaporator it cost 1000 to replace because it is hard to get too, the intermitten fan does not come on at all it never cycles so it smells like burnt engine coming in thru the vents that makes me sick, I have had nothing but problems since day one after I took it back after 2mons they wanted to keep it and re-do the whole engine and told me I would have to pay for it, thats when I should of reported it as a lemon, is Ford going to wait until someone has a major blow-out an flip the car an die this should be a automatic recall for safety this car is so unsafe, the frame is all wrong and the rear is not aligned from the factory this is an in house problem.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #7

Aug 222013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I brought my first car in May 2014. I started noticing steering problems 2-3 months after I got it. My steering wheel became very hard to turn, especially when parking. So on August 22, 2014 me & my dad took it to the dealership so they can see what the problem is and fix it (since it's still under warranty) but all they did was put steering fluid in it and a few weeks after the problem returned. In March 2015 we decided to take it to the Ford factory dealership because the steering got very unbearable and they told us that the rack suspension was bad but they couldn't work on it because the dealership that I brought it from already told the warranty company that they already fixed the problem (which they didn't) so the only way the Ford factory could work on it is if they fix it without the warranty which would cost $1500-1600 (which I can't afford, just recently lost my job) so April 7, 2015-April 13, 2015 I left my car at the dealership I brought my car from so they will have more time to completely fix the problem. When I picked the car up they basically said there's not much they could do and that the steering is still rough but not as bad since they took out the old rack suspension and supposedly replaced it with a new one, they did not charge us for the work that they did so we didn't receive a receipt and they only showed us the old rack suspension that they took out. So in conclusion, my steering is still stiff/rough and I've been hearing that it might be a recall on the car and I don't know what else to do. I'm stressed and need answers. Please help!

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #6

Nov 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles


I have had the vehicle since it first hit the car lot with 15 miles on it. Since purchase, I have changed the wheel bearings 9 times! this is scary as the bearings can break apart and cause my vehicle to lose control. I have had enough! now, the bearing is bad again, just changed in April 2014.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #5

Nov 292009


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus SE. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 to 55 mph, the power steering seized and he was unable to turn the wheel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they informed him that the power steering pump and reservoir needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 5,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Marlton, NJ, USA

problem #4

Oct 012011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
Vehicle has become difficult to steer. Power steering pump is leaking fluid.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #3

Dec 182010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


Potential for accident. My 2008 Ford Focus started having power steering issues around 55000 miles. It would become intermittent in power assist to the point it would cause the steering to feel it was jumping from side to side. Took into the Ford dealership and they stated that teflon (used to help reduce friction on the gears, along with fluid) flakes were in the system and and that some part of the gear system was coming apart inside. Going to replace the rack and pinon system and attempt to flush out power steering pump, due to the worm gear in the rack and pinon being contaminated. Service advisor also stated that if continued to drive in this state steering could potentially lock up rendering the vehicle uncontrollable.

- San Tan Valley, AZ, USA

problem #2

Feb 152009

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,800 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. When driving over ice or snow the vehicle will begin to shimmy. This condition reduces his ability to control the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealership for inspection. Since the technician could not duplicate the failure, a remedy could not be provided. The current and failure mileages were 8800. Updated 01/12/10 updated 01/13/10.

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #1

May 012008


  • 50 miles
Since I purchased my 2008 Ford Focus ses on April 30 2008 I have felt that there is something wrong with the alignment or steering. When letting go of the wheel it almost immediately will head for the ditch. At 300 miles I requested a warranty alignment, dealer said they would not do one until at least 500 or 1,000 miles. At 1,200 miles I requested the same and was told they wouldn't do one until at least 5,000 miles, reasoning was that the suspension needed to loosen up due to being tied down in shipping. Called customer care and they informed me there was no mileage limit. Informed dealer and they did an alignment and did find it was off. Drove the car and still feel something is off. Took it back to the dealer and was told that is the way the car is, I told them if that is the way the car is it is the worse car I've driven needing to adjust the wheel constantly to drive in a straight line in 32 years of driving. I drove one on the lot that was not as bad as mine but still it would drift on a straight road after letting go of the wheel in a very short distance. Tired of fighting with the dealer but still not liking the way I have to constantly adjust my steering wheel to drive in a straight line. At 7,800 miles I had my 7,500 mile maintenance done. Now the car will drift almost immediately to left and at times feel like it is wobbling left and right. I have made an appointment with a different dealer to see if they can find what is wrong. If not I will get rid of the car because I feel it is dangerous and will be even more so when the snow starts to fly.

- Rochelle, IL, USA

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