Kona & Back… 4 Hours: Warning to Ford Focus Owners

I just got back from driving to the Kona side of the island and back.

My wifes car ignition got locked up over on that side and she wasn’t even able to turn the key over. I tried my best to jiggle the steering wheel and get the key to turn over but it just wouldn’t work.

After a quick search on the internet, I think I have found out the problem:

The Ford Focus’ most common problem, according complaints from Focus owners, is the key won’t turn in the ignition, or the key gets stuck in the ignition. This occurs on Ford Focus’ from model years 2000 through 2003. The ignition problems are covered under the standard manufacturer warranty, but since most of these vehicles are now out of warranty, most Focus owners end up having to pay for the repair themselves.

It is arguable that the ignition problems are a safety defect & so have a chance at being recalled, because the possibility exists that the ignition defect could leave you stranded somewhere. However so far there is no official recall. In California a class action lawsuit has been filed.

The best way to get this fixed is call a locksmith. Most locksmiths are able to fix ignition locks & the repair cost should be around $150-200, versus $450-500 to have the ignition replaced at the dealership. Many people have said this problem occurs again even after replacing the ignition lock, so apparently Ford hasn’t changed the design to correct the ignition lock defect. Some people have resorted to leaving a key in the ignition permanently.

It’s worth a call to Ford Customer Service and ask for a “goodwill repair”. Most people have not had any success getting a discount on the repair by going to their local Ford dealership. Your best bet is to call Ford’s customer service line at (800) 392-3673.

It’s also worth reporting this to the NHTSA as a safety defect, so they will investigate the ignition defect & possibly issue a recall someday.

One Response

  1. Thanks for that Ford Focus warning Damon. Bummer to have to be called to the other side of the island in an emergency.

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