really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 3
Average Mileage:
36,750 miles

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problem #540

Apr 162015


  • 100,000 miles
The ignition lock cylinder (where the key inserts/turns on the steering column) locked up on me without warning, stranding me where I last parked the car. No amount of lubrication or quick fixes helped. From what I have read, this seems to be a very common issue with the Ford Focus in that year range. I'm getting quotes from locksmiths in the $250 range. Luckily I wasn't stranded in a bad place!

- Newark, OH, USA

problem #539

Jun 262012

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles
The contact owns a 2000 Ford Focus. While parked, the contact placed the key in the ignition and was unable to turn the key. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The technician stated that the ignition would have to be replaced. The contact also noticed the front driver?S door handle was loose and about to fracture. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 99,000.....updated 08-24-12 the consumer stated the door handles broke. Updated 08/30/2012

- Rushford, NY, USA

problem #538

Nov 072011


  • 107,000 miles
I have been researching the issue and while it doesn't fit within the traditional constraints of a safety complaint, it is indeed a safety hazard. The ignition column of the 2000 Ford Focus will "lock" as I was told by the service representative at a Ford dealership. Luckily, this happened to me in my driveway. However, if this were to happen to someone in a remote area, they would be stranded by a problem that they have no control of or any idea that it may happen. The service rep told me that there was nothing I could have done to prevent this problem, and there was no way I could fix unless I came to a dealership. If someone has a family of four (such as the people I bought this from) and they are stranded in the middle of nowhere, basically a default with a key tumbler is to blame. This seems unfair to the consumer.

- Rutherford, NJ, USA

problem #537

Dec 242010

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2000 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while trying to start his vehicle the key would become stuck in the ignition and he would be unable to release the key. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic who advised him that the tumblers had collapsed and the ignition needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages were approximately 102,000. Updated 6/8/11 updated 06/23/11

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #536

Apr 112005


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2000 Ford Focus. The contact stated that when she tries to turn the key in the ignition it won't turn. She has to hit it with a mallet to get it to turn. The contact stated there are numerous complaints online about this failure. The manufacturer was contacted and they are aware of the failure but stated there is nothing they can do. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was about 30,000. The current mileage was 100,000.

- Ashland , WI, USA

problem #535

Sep 172010


  • 76,188 miles
Oem ignition / tumbler mechanism locked up... preventing me from starting vehicle.

- East Peoria, IL, USA

problem #534

Aug 102010


  • miles
The key has gotten stuck in the ignition three time now. The first time we could not get the car started in a rough neighborhood, and had to leave it over night. The second time I had to remove the battery cable in order to shut the car off. This last time I also had to remove the battery cable to shut the car off.

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #533

Jul 112010


  • 115,945 miles
Driving home from family vacation. Ignition key/lock failed not letting us start out car after stopping for a rest. Leaving us stranded three hours from home on a Sunday night. Massive reports of this happening to the Ford Focus 2000-2003 but why haven't they recalled it?

- Mead, WA, USA

problem #532

Jun 252010


  • 140,000 miles
My year 2000 Ford Focus ZX3 had been experiencing some ignition issues. I could put the key into the ignition, but it would not turn at all. This was especially the case if the wheel was locked. Usually after some jiggling of the key it would turn and I could start the car. The first time this happened was in August of 2004. It began to happen about twice a month. The dealership claims they are the only ones who can fix the issue, by re-making the key and programming the now the key won't turn at all. In shopping around dealerships they believe the price will be around $300 if the cylinder is not damaged (by their own key?) for $500, plus the cost to tow the vehicle to them so they can program the key. A local locksmith has told me that this is a common issue with the Ford Focus. If so, why has it not been recalled?

- Altadena, CA, USA

problem #531

May 262010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 125,745 miles
There are no indicators that the problem is about to occur. Key stuck in ignition of 2000 Ford Focus. Repaired once already. Problem occurring again. Ignition switch was replaced the first time after being stranded when the key would not turn in any direction. Initial repair bill was around $400.

- Lawrence, KS, USA

problem #530

May 252010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 127,552 miles
I have a 2000 Ford Focus. In 2003 when it was still under warranty the ignition locked up and I couldn't turn the key. That happened at the Ford dealership while getting other recalled parts replaced. Yesterday 5-25-10 at 9:00pm I returned to my car and the ignition was locked up and I couldn't turn the key. Ford refuses to cover it as defect even though there are numerous complaints and it left me stranded at night time.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #529

May 032010


  • miles
I have owned a 2000 Ford Focus for over 9 years. I have had 3 ignitions installed in this vehicle and it is currently sitting at the mechanics awaiting a 4th. As a single woman, I feel this is a safety issue as I don't know where or when this ignition will lock up and leave me stranded. The key will not turn after inserted in the ignition. The steering wheel will lock if turned and towtruck must be called to move the vehicle to a garage. The first time was at night after a baby shower, luckily friends were near to help me. Another time it was in the parking lot after work, I had to walk several blocks to reach a phone to call for help. The third time was late at night on a city street...again I had to walk a couple of blocks in below freezing weather to reach a phone. And now this time I recognized the "symptoms" and was able to reach a garage before I was stranded. A quick google search will show you that many Ford Focus owners are experiencing this same problem. I have owned Ford all my life, but this will be my last. I shiver to think of where I might be someday when it decides to quit working...again. I will list the last incident date at there have been four so far dating back six years.

- Peach Creek, WV, USA

problem #528

Apr 012010


  • miles
2000 Ford Focus SE wagon key gets stuck in the ignition switch and does not turn leaving the driver and/or passengers stranded.

- Mississauga, 00, USA

problem #527

Mar 052010


  • 140,000 miles
The ignition key won't turn in the ignition. To start the car. Ford Focus 2000.

- Farmington, MI, USA

problem #526

Feb 202010


  • miles
I drive a 2000 Ford Focus. I was about to leave work after my shift and I was unable to turn the key to start my Ford Focus. I have heard that this issue is common with the Focus and that Ford has still not issued a recall or fixed the issue. As we speak, a locksmith is having to remove the ignition and replace it. It is going to cost me close to $300. I am fortunate that I was somewhere safe with cell phone service. If this had happened any other time, I could have been in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone service and no hope. This is definitely a safety hazard and a recall should be mandatory for Ford.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #525

Nov 212007


  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2000 Ford Focus ZX3 hatch back. She stated the factory key for the vehicle would not turn in the ignition. The dealer gave her a second key that also did not work. The dealer advised her to place the old key in the ignition to start the vehicle momentarily then removing it, and replacing it with the new key. The key failed to turn the ignition on. There were no repairs made to the vehicle. The failure and current mileages were under 106,000.

- East Wareham, MA, USA

problem #524

Jun 232003


  • 120,000 miles
Key ignition problem. Key wouldn't turn / stuck in ignition.

- El Mirage, AZ, USA

problem #523

Jan 232009

Focus 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
2000 Ford Focus. Key would not turn in the ignition. Car would not start. I had to be towed and had to have it fixed. $598, including the 125. Tow charge.

- Clifton, NJ, USA

problem #522

Jan 192010


  • 120,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2000 Ford Focus ZX3 my issue was that the key will not turn in car ignition and therefore I cannot start car. After researching this problem apparently it happens very often to owners of a Ford Focus and I'm lodging a complaint in the hopes that a recall will be made.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #521

Jan 152010


  • 60,000 miles
I have a Ford Focus 2000 wagon with only 60,000 miles on it. Within the past three weeks I have had to have it towed because I can not turn the key in the ignition. I am now waiting for it to be towed to my mechanic to fix the ignition. Looking online I have seen numerous complaints about this problem and wonder why there has not been a recall for this ignition.

- Fairhaven , MA, USA

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