2018 Ford Focus Problems and Complaints


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2018 Ford Focus Sedan Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: April 28, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

With Ford planning to pull the plug on its sedan line-up in coming years, 2018 would be the last running year for the Ford Focus sedan in the states. Its relevance has mostly stayed below its hatchback counterpart throughout the years and has not come out as one of the most reliable choices around, especially in the company of established rivals like the Honda Civic, the Toyota Corolla, or even the Hyundai Elantra. The 4th iteration of the final generation doesn’t feel all that short in problems with 2 recalls and 227 complaints officially recorded by the NHTSA and it is also the only car in its segment to peak at over 2,000 complaints in the past despite not being a top seller any year. Improvements from previous model years are definitely apparent here, but it is too little too late. So, does paying around $17,950 for a car that is soon to be discontinued make sense especially with it boasting one of the tackiest reliability records in its class? This section should give you a brief idea on that topic.

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2018 Ford Focus Sedan User Complaints and Problems

Mechanical Complaints

  • Engine- Engine problems have been pretty common with the 2018 Ford Focus as per the NHTSA. Owners complain about the vehicle failing to start or randomly shutting off after it has been re-filled with gas accompanied by the ‘engine malfunction light. The issue was traced to be a faulty emission control system later as the issue started getting widespread. The automaker initiated a recall (ID 18V735000) later that year during which the fuel-canister purge was inspected for malfunction and replaced.
  • Transmission- Transmission problems have been a widespread issue on the 2018 Ford Focus. Cars equipped with the 6-speed automatic sputters, jerks, and free revs when pressing the throttle. While the failure of the transmission module was mostly the cause of these issues but some users found the need to replace the entire unit at mileages as low as 19,000-miles. The manual 5-speed transmission also has premature clutch wear/ fracture with owners forced to replace them under 40,000-miles. This issue did also receive a recall (ID 18V845000) from the automaker is suspicion of transmission damage.
  • Service brakes- Complete loss of braking ability and intense vibration while braking is some issue with the 2018 Ford Focus. While the former issue did not receive any statement from the automaker, the latter was caused to excessive brake disc and pad wear due to corrosion and surface cracks. At least three crashes have been reported against brake failure by the NHTSA.

Structural Complaints

  • Steering- Multiple owners have complained about the loss of steering assistance with a warning lamp while driving the Ford Focus which in some cases causes the steering to lock. A faulty steering rack or blown power steering fuse is the root cause of this issue, with the latter needing a replacement of the entire unit to resolve the issue.

Safety Complaints

  • Airbags- Multiple instances where the airbags on the 2018 Ford Focus failed to deploy have been reported by the NHTSA. At least 4 injuries have been recorded in this case officially. No further statements have been released on this issue by the automaker.

2018 Ford Focus Sedan Recalls

S. No



Issues Noticed

Additional Remarks



28th November 2018


Transmission clutch slip and fluid leak.

The clutch may fracture, resulting in damage to the transmission assembly and possibly a transmission fluid leak, which in presence of a hot surface can increase the risk of a fire.

The dealers will update vehicles with software that detects and prevents prolonged clutch slip and will replace the clutch, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on January 17, 2019.


22nd October 2019


A stuck canister purge valve may cause an engine stall.

The Canister Purge Valve (CPV) may malfunction, possibly causing excessive vacuum in the fuel vapor management system which may cause the engine to stall while driving, increasing the risk of a crash.

The dealers will reprogram the Powertrain Control Module. Dealers will also check for fault codes and replace the CPV as needed. If the CPV is replaced, dealers will inspect and replace the carbon canister, fuel tank, and fuel delivery module as necessary. The recall on began August 19, 2019

Should you buy a used Ford Focus?

The Ford Focus has been a sedan that hasn’t seen a smooth sail in recent years. Even though the recall and complaint status has seen a real good dip in recent years, you still can’t classify it as a reliable option, especially with the engine and transmission issues taking a huge chunk of the complaints that have been registered. Also, given that Ford is already planning to discontinue the car with this model year makes its future support is questionable. Even though the car has been a decent seller for Ford, managing over 200,000 in its peaks years, we still advise you to think twice before getting one or even better go for something like the Honda Civic or the Toyota corolla.

Important 2018 Ford Focus Links:

Used Ford Focus For Sale

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Price Drop, $504
Earlier Price: $8499
5 Oct 2022
Portland, OR

2017 Ford Focus SE

SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 160 hp FFV 6AM)

Est. $108/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,322 Below market
RMV: $11,317
Listed On 10 Aug 2022 (173 Days)
Price Drop, $2000
Earlier Price: $11999
26 Jun 2022
Maineville, OH

2018 Ford Focus SEL

SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6AM)

Est. $135/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,940 Below market
RMV: $13,939
Listed On 19 May 2022 (256 Days)
Tampa, FL

2017 Ford Focus SE Hatchback

SE 5dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6AM)

Est. $128/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,661 Below market
RMV: $13,160
Listed On 19 Jul 2022 (195 Days)
Price Drop, $999
Earlier Price: $7987
21 Dec 2022
Panama City, FL

2017 Ford Focus SE

SE 4dr Sedan (1.0L 123 hp 3cyl 6A)

Est. $94/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,658 Below market
RMV: $9,646
Listed On 14 Oct 2022 (108 Days)
Seattle, WA

2017 Ford Focus SE

SE 4dr Sedan (1.0L 123 hp 3cyl 6A)

Est. $149/mo
Excellent Deal
$4,188 Below market
RMV: $15,187
Listed On 15 Jun 2022 (229 Days)
Irving, TX

2017 Ford Focus SE Hatchback

SE 5dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6AM)

Est. $135/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,759 Below market
RMV: $13,747
Listed On 17 May 2021 (623 Days)
Price Drop, $1000
Earlier Price: $9995
2 Jan 2023
Tiffin, OH

2017 Ford Focus SEL

SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6AM)

Est. $122/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,339 Below market
RMV: $12,334
Listed On 22 Feb 2022 (342 Days)
Manassas, VA

2018 Ford Focus S

S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Est. $149/mo
Excellent Deal
$4,071 Below market
RMV: $15,066
Listed On 05 Aug 2022 (178 Days)
Clearwater, FL

2017 Ford Focus SE

SE 4dr Sedan (1.0L 123 hp 3cyl 6A)

Est. $93/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,529 Below market
RMV: $9,429
Listed On 12 Oct 2022 (110 Days)