'04 Focus and Ignition Switch

I just bought a Focus ZTW wagon and love it. Drives more like a sportscar than a wagon. Anyway, I see all the postings here about ignition switch problems on earlier year models. Does anyone know if this is a problem with
the 2004 models, or has Ford become enlightened and fixed it?
-- Jim Bethlehem, PA
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As far as we know, Ford hasn't seen fit to alter the design (why would they - it's a good money maker for them).
I'd say you stand some chance of seeing this part fail in your car - just as I, and many others here, did. What percentage of chance? How many years from now? I couldn't say.
My car was three years old when the original ignition switch packed it in. If I still own this car in a couple of years, I'll probably have the switch changed out again, as preventative maintenance.
I'll bet that wasn't the answer you were hoping to hear.
Rob
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"Jim" wrote ...

with
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From what I gather the part is still the same. But that doesn't mean that they haven't improved. Ford has been pretty good at improving defects of the Focus, so I think it's reasonable that they have taken steps to improve switch reliability even if they haven't changed the design. Also, the (somewhat) redesigned 2005 Focus is coming out in a couple of months, so it'll be interesting to see if they change the switch then.
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The parts people tell me it is the same switch still.
But it really is not that bad, as long as you fix it before it stops turning and has to be towed and drilled out. The design flaw is that the locking bar that the tumblers push to latch the cylinder, for some insane reason was not put above or below the tumblers. Instead it was put at 90 degrees to the tunblers. This means the tiny tumbler springs, push on the tumblers, have to somehow coax the locking bar into the right position, by pushing at it from the side, with the angled portion of a notch in the tumbler. If this large locking bar is at all canted, it will bind up, and not allow this tiny force to move it into the right position. So for now the ONLY solution is to either get a third party lock that is supposed to be better, or leave out all the tumblers next time. You don't really need them anyway, because there is a catch that will not let the cylinder turn at all unless there is some key inserted, and the electronic transducer will not let the car start until the right key is inserted.
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