I've lost count of the multiple recalls and now have a new one to take care of. This recall covers two independent items.
Replaced front brakes and rotors at 32,000 miles at my expense. I replaced with aftermarket parts and refused to replace with Ford parts. The aftermarket pads seem to not leave as much brake dust on the wheels.
Rear brakes squealed at the end-of-braking from 22,000 miles to 36,000 miles until Ford replaced the rear wheel bearings under a "program". The fix at 22,000 miles that used "improved" pads did not stop the squeal.
Oil cap "click mechanism" failed and could not be removed without taking to dealer. Dealer replaced oil cap under warranty.
Windshield wipers do not last very long and tend to skip across windshield.
Rear wheel fender well cloth type material was not installed properly and made flapping noise. Re-installed correctly under warranty.
Cruise control "coast" button did not work and was replaced under warranty.
Ignition switch replaced under warranty. The "button" where the key is inserted would stick causing the "key in ignition" chime to go off even after the key was removed. The replacement ignition switch (i.e. the improved one) is starting to do this as well.
Sometimes the fuel indicator would malfunction and indicate "empty". This problem was very intermittent and has not been experienced for some time now.
At certain cruising speeds - most notably at about 45 to 50 miles per hour - it sounds like many crickets are chirping in my automatic transmission. Ford dealer investigated and said it was a gear in the transmission, but that all of the automatic transmission Focus's have the same noise. No repair available. Noise persists. I test drove a new Focus and confirmed Dealer's statement.
Trim molding corner piece on rear door exterior around window came loose. Replaced under warranty.
Noticed small hole (1mm x 2mm) along weld seam of spare wheel basin in trunk. I pointed this out to dealer, but only did so for the feedback to Ford. I did not want them to fix. Fixed it myself with a dab of silicon adhesive.
Screws on front fenders loosened. Resulted in noise at high speeds. They were re-tightened at about 36,000 miles.
I had engine performance problems when trying to use premium grade gas. Switched to regular and things seem fine. I am perplexed, but happy that cheaper gas works better.
Ford 1-800 Customer Service is useless and has proven to be a waste of my time. I've found it to be far easier and better to deal directly with the dealership on problems. I have been satisfied with the efforts of the dealership that I used (and will use) for service.
Ford would be better off replacing their 1-800 Customer Service with additional engineers to improve the reliability of their cars.
This car is fun to drive as it hugs the road well.
Road noise is loud.
Excellent sound system can almost drown out the road noise.
Seating is comfortable (except for headrests) for average sized people. My friends and colleagues over 6'1" don't seem to fit very well. Headrests are uncomfortable as they tend to push the head forward.
The drivers seat could use lumbar support.
Acceleration from a stop at real low speeds (i.e. reasonable parking lot speeds) is touchy. I find it difficult to keep the car from tending to lurch forward as I try to delicately depress the gas pedal.
Having to replace the front brakes at 32,000 miles isn't necessarily bad, but having to replace the rotors as well is absolutely ridiculous!
Depreciation on this car is way too much. I am certain it is related to all of the recalls and customer complaints and concerns. In three years, it appears it has lost about 59% of original value based on what a dealer will give for trade (loss of about $8500). This is why the car is so expensive to drive.
Gas mileage is not as good as I expected. I get between 24 and 26 mpg in a mix of flat land country highway and city driving - with the air conditioner turned off. This drops to about 21 to 23 mpg with the air conditioner turned on. I live in Florida were the grade changes are minimal!
Visors will not flip down and forward all of the way because of the headliner design. The visor tends to block the drivers view in this position. They will not stay in an intermediate position as they tend to snap back to the roof of the car.
The cup holders in the front are all wrong. A cup with a handle when placed in the holder on the drivers side will tend to poke the drivers leg. There is not as much height clearance for the front passengers cup.
The rear cup holders... well, there is only one - for a three person back seat!
Plan to spend many hours leaving this car at the dealer for warranty repairs.
If Ford would have fixed the many problems of the Focus before selling this car, they would have truly built a car worthy of all the awards and press it received. However, reliability problems have overwhelmed and overshadowed all awards and accolades this car has received. Ford needs to deliver quality (spelled r-e-l-i-a-b-i-l-i-t-y) instead of just talking about it.
There are far better choices for the buyer concerned with reliability over handling.