Just took possession of low mileage,5500 miles, Ford Focus, year 2000, zx3.
According to KCBS in Los Angeles and
the latest roll-over tests by NHTSA the Focus zx3 is dangerous to drive and
has been the most recalled vehicle in history.
Should I get rid of it before it puts on new mileage?
Great driving car, but consumer complaints, auto reports and government
crash statistics scare the hell out of me!
Am I over reacting?
Looks like the media's "culture of fear" has caught another victim. Forget
what the media tells you and get on with the enjoyable experience of driving
a Focus. Given the excellent handling of the car and decent body structure,
I would say it offers more active and passive safety than most cars out
Oh, and watch out for spills in the kitchen... those wet floors will kill
The Focus gets a 4-star rollover resistance rating from the US NHTSA.
Magazine reviews do not mention any unusual rollover instability, and
they generally give praise to the Focus' handling. Rollovers are more
of a concern with high center of gravity vehicles, like many SUVs.
However, the ZX3 has had poor results for the rear seat passenger in
NHTSA side crash tests (without side air bags, which are an option for
the front seat only in any case). Whether you consider that to be
"dangerous" may depend on whether you have people sitting in the back
seat, whether you drive in places with lots of red light runners, and
what alternative vehicle you'd drive instead.
2000 was the year of the recalls, but you should be able to go to a
Ford dealer to check the recall history and get any that were not done
With only 5500 miles, you'll want to inspect the car for any problems
due to being used in the city, used for cold start short trips, or
parked for long periods of time without being driven.
Timothy J. Lee
Go figure. I have a 2000 ZX3. Recent crash tests have not been kind to
this car particularily for rear seat passengers. Yes, it has had it's
share of recalls. I bought mine in the fall of 2003 and within a few
weeks went back to the dealer to see what had been done on the car prior
to my purchase. I was surprised yet pleased to learn that there were
many recalls but that everything was up to date on my car. I might add
that it has been trouble free for the past year and a half.
Now my other car is a 2005 Subaru Outback and guess how it scored on
The only one with 5 stars in all four categories.
So, now I have the best and worst cars LOL. However that will not change
my driving style which is relatively careful and cautious anyway.
My advice: unless it is mechanically troublesome, keep it and enjoy it.
I know I will keep mine. It is more fun to drive than my Outback.
The most recalled vehicle in history I'm not so sure about. But
regardless, getting recalled doesn't make a vehicle inherently unsafe.
In fact, if the the recalls are performed on your vehicle, then you can
probably have comfort in knowing that the purpose of the recall is to
improve the safety of the car, thus eliminating the "unsafe" factor.
As far as government crash tests go, they don't tend to represent real
world data. The insurance industry does their own research based on
real world crashes, and they analyze damage, repair costs, injuries and
fatalities in each crash a specific vehicle is involved in. And the
majority of times you'll find that their results are VERY different from
the NHTSA tests.
Probably not. Don't believe everything you see on the news. The news
station you were watching probably had a slow news day and had to drum
up ratings, so they decided to pick on the focus and make it out to be
some kind of death trap based on only theoretical data and recalls. I'd
bet real money that more people have died in Crown Victorias than in
Ford Foci, and some would argue that doesn't make the Crown Vic any less
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