really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,187 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #22

Nov 152005

Focus 4-cyl

  • 52,012 miles
After 2 complaints to dealer about rear brake vibration/noise, they found noting wrong. On our trip going down interstate 40 at 70 mph the back wheel comes off my car. The wheel and hub are broken, cuts the brake line and I lose my brake fluid. No brakes and trying to keep it out of the ditch. If there would of been a car on the side of me. I am positive there would have been injury/death. Had extended warranty. Ford paid 0. said I hit something in road. Now at the repair shop again. The wheel bearings on the rear are frozen. I have to buy new drums for both side again.

- Mount Juliet, TN, USA

problem #21

Apr 292007


  • 38,200 miles
My 2002 Ford Focus wagon needed brakes because the front end would shake when I applied brakes. Also noticed a whirling noise from the back off car but did not mention that to my mechanic. He took it for a test drive and asked if I noticed the whirling noise too. He said he was concerned and checked that 1st. My right rear tire was frozen and not turning, that's where the noise was coming from. It had to be cut off in order to be replaced. He told me that the wheel could have broke off while driving and could have killed me, I had that repaired, along with front end brakes and replaced warped rotors. Then just 2 days later backed out of my driveway and broke a front right coil spring. A year later replaced the alternator. And last week just had to pay for a rebuilt transmission, because would not shift properly, upon observation the transmission had metal chips in transmission fluid and needed to be replaced. I cant believe no recall on this car!

- Beverly, MA, USA

problem #20

Jul 112008


  • 88,000 miles
The front springs on the 2002 Ford Focus are faulty. The front passenger side spring was cracked, and took the car to Goodyear to get repaired, since it's out of warranty (including the extended warranty I purchased). I then lettered Ford, and they said in November 2004 they mailed a notice to customers ( which I never received) notifying them of F the problem with the springs. They said there is no recall, but they are repairing under a customer satisfaction program. They said I should have brought my car to the dealer and it would have been repaired for free. They would not reimburse me. I even tried to negotiate and asked them to at least reimburse me what they would have paid their dealer but they refused. This car also has defective brakes and rotors. When the car was under the original 3 yr 36,000 mile warranty, the front and rear brakes and rotors needed to be replaced. Ford said they could not repair the rotors or cut them, and brakes and rotors are excluded from the warranty. It cost me over $ 500 for brakes and rotors on a less than 2 year old car. A few yrs later, same thing, front brakes and rotors, and again, I was told the rotors can't be cut, they always have to be replaced.

- Monmouth Junction, NJ, USA

problem #19

Dec 272007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,800 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. While driving 10-15 mph, the vehicle would not stop when she applied the brakes. In addition, the contact had to put the gear shift indicator into the park position to stop the vehicle. The mechanic was unable to diagnose the failure. The failure mileage 103,800 and current mileage was 103,900. Updated 02-14-08 the consumer stated to a Ford dealer the previous owner installed decorative overlays to gas and brake pedals. Updated 02/14/08

- Taylorsville, KY, USA

problem #18

Mar 192007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles
- the contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus wagon with a current odometer reading of 57,5000 miles. On March 13, while driving in heavy traffic on dry pavement the contact tried to decelerate by applying the brake pedal and the pedal was pushed two to three times until coming to a complete stop, narrowly avoiding another vehicle in front of the contact's vehicle. Also, on March 19, 2007 while driving in heavy traffic in the morning the same problem occurred, the brakes did not work, the contact made a hard right hand turn, causing the vehicle's rear end to swing to the left, while the front end continued to swing right toward the guard rail. After coming to a complete stop the vehicle was struck on the rear driver's side by another oncoming vehicle. The contact struck her head, but required no additional medical assistance. The failure mileage was 57000.

- Fortuna, CA, USA

problem #17

Aug 302006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Focus ZX5 that is well maintained. Within the first 2-3 years, I have had to replace the front brakes and rotors. In 2004 I had to replace the battery. In 2005 I had to replace the right rear window motor. Presently the left rear window motor isn't working; the window will not go up. The rear front window is not working properly and the air bag light comes on each time the car is started and stays on. The cd player had to be replaced in 2005. In 2006 all four tires had to be replaced because of factory dry rot. I regularly service and maintain the car, and have approximately 28,000 miles on it. I take excellent care of my vehicle and feel this car is not made with quality parts and that it is not safe. Although I drive at normal speeds, it does not get the mileage stated on the sticker.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #16

Oct 212005

Focus 2-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I recently purchased a used 2002 Ford Focus. I have been having trouble with the brakes, the radio, and water leaking in through the front passenger side. The brakes squeak everytime I apply them. The radio only works for one minute and then it fades out, all you can hear is static. The most important of these problems is the leak. It has rained really hard three times in the past month, and all those times I have found the carpet in the front passenger side soaking wet. I have taken it back to the dealership from which I bought it, but they say that it is not covered under the 90 day warranty. I have reaserched on the web and have found that there are many complaints like mine. The Ford company should be made responsible since they are the manufacturers of the car.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #15

Jun 202005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
Consumer complained about brake problems. Both front and rear brake were replaced in less than 3 years. The brake pedal was making a noise. The dealer and manufacturer stated that the proble was the brake booster and that it was a normal thing. This failure made it harder to stop the car. Manufacturer said to fix this problem would make this failure worse. Also, said this was not a safety issues. Manufacturer said do not worry about this. First happened about 8 months ago. Now it happenes everytime the car is used.

- Tyler, TX, USA

problem #14

Jan 032005


  • miles
Multiple failures; continual issues with brakes. Correct water leak and patch tire. The alternator needed to be replaced.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #13

Dec 272004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,500 miles
1. spindle holding brakes was stripped. 2. reported by covington Ford third auto that had to be replaced 3. no explanation as to why spindle failed.

- Covington, GA, USA

problem #12

Oct 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
There is a line that went straight into the engine's intake that has been leaking fluid since 2,000 miles and was inspected by deler who told to me that it was nothing. But the engine case should not have a large leak of fluid that soon. Finally now, they have done something on this and replaced the hose, as it was seen once more and knows of all the times reported. I hope this is just not a easy fix or this now hasn't caused any damange to the inside of the engine itself, as the engine has been in the shop for riding rough. They told me last time that the part of the transmission that was fixed would fix this. I think it is due to the oil leak on the top of the engine case since it was new. A new car should never have a oil leak on a engine case.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #11

Jul 152003


  • Manual transmission
  • 0 miles
I have experienced problem after problem since purchasing my 2002 svt Focus. Random stalls, leaks, and noises. Shift linkage failure, wheel bearing failure, power window problems. Intake manifold failure, wrong idle speed, loss of electrical power. 35 days in the shop so far and counting, all within 11mo of purchase. Don't buy a Ford car, you'll regret it.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #10

Apr 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles
At this early mileage the brake pads and rotors need to be replaced. We were informed by the service manager at the dealer that this is a problem the see often because of the type of brake pads and type of rotors. This is unbelievable that Ford is hiding this problem. We bought a brand new car so we wouldn't have this problem.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #9

Nov 152002


  • Manual transmission
  • 0 miles
Fuel pump was replaced twice from January to June sterring wheel and car shake while stopping and driving at 50 mph or above brakes have been checked 3 times finally had replaced and rotors, no change in performance

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #8

Apr 052004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Today is the fourth time my car has been towed for service for a recurring problem: Brake sensor fails and car won't shift out of park - disabling the vehicle. This problem last had me stranded in Tennessee. I feel this is a vehicle failure rather than dealership failure. I am concerned where I will be stranded next. I believe my car might be a lemon. I am extremely concerned that my vehicle fails, is repaired and fails again with no warning. I am scared to drive the car not knowing where I will be next when it does not work. I would like to know what can be done to insure this problem is fixed; and what should be done in the event I cannot be guaranteed that this problem will not occur again.

- Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA

problem #7

Sep 012002

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I bought my 2002 fordfocus in August 2002 from universal Ford dealership in long island city, New York. About one month later of having the Focus my brakes started squealing. My new car only felt and drove like a new car for one month. I took back the car for service and they told me the car is normal. I recently changed my brake pads and had my rotors checked out and still am having brakes squealing.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #6

Aug 012003

Focus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
My Focus has only 30,000 miles and the brakes have been serviced four times for the same reason. I have had to replace my brake pads and rotors do to the excessive warping and wearing. Fixed numerous times, and the problem persists. Dealership informed me that this is a major issue with the Focus, but no recall has been made to notify the problem. I guess Ford is waiting for a few fatalities before addressing the issue. Sad but true. Welcome to corporate America!

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #5

Sep 032003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 25,000 miles
The vehicle was taken to the dealer because noise was heard coming from the front brakes. The dealer replaced the front brakes. The brake problem continued. The radio had no bass and after the vehicle was shut off the radio would turn back on.

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #4

Apr 122003


  • miles
Consumer states when starting the vehicle in the morning, the brakes would not work.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #3

Jun 142003

Focus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I bought my 19 year old daughter a new Focus because I felt new cars were safer and more reliable. Today, she was involved in an accident. She has had ongoing problems with the brakes making noise and not being responsive. On her way to have them looked at again, she made a left onto a major road and the traffic in front of her was at a dead stop. It was the rav 4 in front of her, not her brakes, that stopped her car dead. Thankfully, no one was hurt. To add insult to injury, the airbag I felt would protect her did not deploy. How many complaints have to be submitted before things get addressed by a manufacturer? to think I bought my only daughter a car with unreliable brakes and airbags that don't work. Unfortunately, like a lot of other consumers, we found this out the hard way.

- Maitland, FL, USA

Read the next 2 complaints »