2020 Ford Fusion Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Cars might not make as much news today, but there’s still a market for the 2020 Ford Fusion. While the automaker claims it is “a big part of the big picture,” customers find it to be a big disappointment instead. This car suffers from defective steering, malfunctioning air bags and a shoddy electrical system.

 

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2020 Ford Fusion

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
14
Unknown Or Other
9
Power Train
7
Wheels
4
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
3
Structure:body
3
Service Brakes
3
Engine
3
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
2
Air Bags
2

Problems with the Steering

Any new car should be equipped with enough technology that steering should become second nature. Customers shouldn’t have to wrestle with their vehicles on the road.

Yet, that’s what is seen in this Edmunds review. “The tail is not very stable in raining days, it slides easy.”

While Ford has nothing to say about the steering complaints, there are some other “sliding” concerns. According to Service Bulletin #TSB 20-2171, some models might experience seat pan looseness, causing lateral movement and a clunking noise while turning. To fix it, the technicians must install reinforcement in the seat pan tracks. With this issue combined with the trouble driving in the rain, the Fusion seems to be a glorified Slip ‘n Slide.

Problems with the Air Bags

It doesn’t matter what type of newer car is driven; occupants expect to be protected by the air bags. However, the Fusion doesn’t seem to offer any type of guarantee regarding safety.

Here is an NHTSA complaint to read. “I got into an accident on the highway, deer ran in front of me. Hit deer, car lost control and went into a ditch, hitting a tree. My air bag didn’t deploy and my seatbelt didn’t lock up. After I got an alert on my phone saying it was faulty. Suffering with neck and back injuries.”

This is one situation that Ford doesn’t really want to talk about. There are no communications regarding air bag defects. Instead, the Blue Oval would have customers believe that everything is just fine. Maybe if the Fusion’s tagline said “big” just one more time, it would throw things over the edge.

Problems with the Electrical System

A deeper look into the electrical system shows even further troubles, ranging from minor to major.

One NHTSA complaint says, “The contact owns a 2020 Ford Fusion. The contact stated that the backup camera remained on while driving at an unknown speed. The vehicle was taken to the [dealer], where the sensor was replaced. The contact stated that while driving home, the vehicle hit a pothole. The front passenger tire went flat. There was not a spare tire. The contact’s husband purchased a new tire, jacked the vehicle up to replace the tire. While on the jack, the vehicle went into Reverse, rolled back and fell off the jack. The vehicle was taken to the same dealer who stated that the vehicle was not equipped with a spare tire. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures and referred the contact to the dealer. The contact was told to take the vehicle to a body shop and replace a mud guard that detached. The part was not replaced. The failure mileage was 4,051.”

This telling of events is reminiscent of how one bad situation often leads to several other consequences. What started as a simple backup camera malfunction turned into quite the fiasco. What’s interesting is how Ford has chosen to talk about electrical system problems. For example, Service Bulletin #SSM 48908 states that the SYNC 3 touchscreen has trouble with the volume control at times. However, the automaker claims it is related to the software on the phone and has nothing to do with the car’s system. So much for taking responsibility in a “big” way.

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Complaint Data

CategoryElectrical System
DateFeb 02, 2023
StateOH
Description
According to dealership, the 12-volt, 7 year battery passes all testing and has a "good" (best) rating (battery is only 3 years old). Diagnostics reveal batter at 80%. When battery falls below 85% (such as frequently happens in cold weather), the computer program shuts down several features including remote car starting. Electrical programming must be changed to when a battery falls below 50%... When a car battery should be changed out. Please recall these vehicles and require ford motor company to reprogram the electronic system. Thank you.
CategoryElectrical System, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings, Unknown Or Other
DateDec 28, 2022
StateIN
Description
If the car is parked in directly sunlight and I start the car a "front camera temporarily unavailable" message will appear. It happens more when the outside temperature is warmer.
CategoryWheels
DateDec 28, 2022
StateIN
Description
Finish on inside of wheels flacking off and rusting
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateDec 18, 2022
StateNC
Description
My 2020 ford fusion has a broken shift bushing. Which is causing my dial box to revert back to park after changing gears.
CategoryPower Train
DateDec 01, 2022
StateVA
Description
The contact owns a 2020 ford fusion. The contact stated that the gear shifter failed to shift into the intended gear and the vehicle would not drive forward. Upon inspection, it was discovered that transmission fluid had leaked from the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the local dealer who diagnosed that the transmission had failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not yet repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 66,000.
CategoryElectrical System, Structure:body, Unknown Or Other
DateNov 21, 2022
StateTX
Description
Water is leaking into the trunk of our vehicle through the tail light assembly and soaking all the electrical wiring in the base of the trunk. The wheel well is becoming flooded with water. All the wiring going in and out of the trunk is soaking wet. If you google this issue. Other ford fusion owners with older model vehicles and the same tail light assembly are having the exact same issue where water is coming into the trunk from the tail light assembly. This is clearly a design flaw and with water coming inside and covering the electrical system I want to believe this is major safety concern.
CategoryElectrical System, Power Train, Service Brakes
DateOct 25, 2022
StateTN
Description
The contact owns a 2020 ford fusion. The contact stated that while driving and attempting to make a right turn, the parking brake activated causing the vehicle to abruptly stop. The contact was turned off and then restarted the vehicle. Approximately 3 miles later while driving, the failure reoccurred. The odometer lights began flickering, the gear shift indicator (prndl) light started to change, the location of the gear shifter started to switch gears, and the radio malfunctioned. The shift sensor malfunction and fault warning lights were illuminated. The failure occurred a total of 5 times. The contact took the vehicle to a certified mechanic who reset the vehicle to remove of all the codes however, the failure reoccurred. The contact scheduled an appointment with the dealer however, the vehicle had not yet been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and referred the contact to the nhtsa hotline. The approximate failure mileage was 38,750.
CategoryEngine
DateOct 18, 2022
StateNJ
Description
The contact stated their son owned a 2020 ford fusion. The contact stated that their son was driving at approximately 35 mph, when the vehicle's instrument panel illuminated all possible warning lights. Then there was smoke emitting from the vehicle near the driver's feet. The driver pulled to the side of the road where they turned off the vehicle. The vehicle then caught on fire under the hood of the vehicle. The fire department was called and distinguished the fire. A fire report was filed. The vehicle was towed and deemed totaled. There were no injuries. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and then opened a case regarding the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.
CategoryService Brakes
DateOct 04, 2022
StateCA
Description
I was backing out of my driveway and my brake pedal went to the floor. I could not stop and hit a vehicle brhind me.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
DateSep 24, 2022
StateCA
Description
This has been a constant since I purchased vehicle in may 2020. If the car is parked in directly sunlight and I return to the car after a "front camera temporarily unavailable" message will appear. The system works fine I have tested it very cautiously. It happens more when the outside temperature is 90 - 100 degrees. Living in california that means it happens more frequently than I like. Took it in to be checked in 2020 and was told to avoid parking in direct sunlight and that until enough complaints are filed nothing can be done. I took it in for an oil change today (09/24/2022 - 29,800 miles) with dealer and brought it up to service writer who told me he thinks the camera is faulty and may need to be replaced which is different from what I was told before. Glad there hasn't been any major incidents but having that message come up makes me second guess trusting it. And I think its ridiculous that I have to consider parking in shade in my still brand new vehicle. Hoping more complaints come in before I'm stuck with the bill to fix/replace which is what I believe ford is hoping will happen. The first picture I will include is the first time this happened in july 2020 and 4k miles and the most recent this month.
CategoryEngine, Lane Departure: Assist, Wheels
DateSep 20, 2022
StateCO
Description
Constantly with this specific vehicle, especially with the lane assist. The vehicle continuously jerks either left or right even within the green parameters of the lane, especially when doing a slight turn on the highway. When it is raining the vehicle smart as go offline an cannot read the lane or the vehicle in front of it. When I first purchased the vehicle after driving for less than a year I had to take the vehicle in because the engine was warped. Constantly when I'm the vehicle the apple car play system would either freeze or the screen would go black.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 31, 2022
StateME
Description
Rear backblast felt cover severely deteriorating after only 2 years the tiny felt peaces get everywhere and harmful to your health if inhaled
CategoryElectrical System:wiring
DateAug 30, 2022
StateMI
Description
The contact owns a 2020 ford fusion. The contact stated while driving 68 mph, the vehicle started to stall. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the contact was informed that the vehicle was not wired correctly. The vehicle was repaired but the failure reoccurred. The manufacturer was contacted but offered no assistance. The contact was referred to the nhtsa hotline for assistance. The failure mileage was 30,000.
CategoryEngine
DateJun 21, 2022
StateFL
Description
There is exhaust smell of rotten eggs that enter the cabin while driving and it happens almost every drive. I have brought the car to the dealer where they ran tests but found no problems. As soon as I got the car back it started producing the rotten egg smell again.
CategoryPower Train
DateJun 21, 2022
StateAZ
Description
The contact owns a 2020 ford fusion. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle would hesitate upon the depression of the accelerator pedal without warning. The contact also stated that while the vehicle was in park(p) on an inclined driveway, the vehicle rolled forward without warning and crashed into a home. No injuries and damages were reported; the contact was able to resume normal driving operation after the failure. The manufacturer was contacted and a complaint was filed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for a diagnostic; however, the dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle had yet to be repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 16,270.
CategoryService Brakes
DateJun 21, 2022
StateMI
Description
The contact owns a 2020 ford fusion. The contact stated that their husband was coming to a stop light at approximately 5 mph, he attempted to stop the vehicle by depressing the brake pedal but the vehicle failed to respond. In order to avoid a crash, the driver veered to the right where they went over a curb, into a bush, and eventually came to a stop by crashing into a guard wire. The driver then drove the vehicle in a parking lot nearby and when attempting to stop the vehicle again, the vehicle failed to stop again. The driver had to place the vehicle in neutral and shut it off. There were no injuries reported. A police report was not filed. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer but the diagnosis was unknown. The vehicle had not been repaired as of yet. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and opened a case and referred them to the nhtsa hotline. The approximate failure mileage was unknown.
CategoryPower Train
DateJun 10, 2022
StateWV
Description
My 2020 ford fusion has a broken flex plate after only 40,000 miles on the road. This appears to be a very common problem among several different ford vehicles that have this combination of engine/transmission. It is a safety risk because the car is no longer drivable after the flex plate breaks. This could lead to dangerous situations if a vehicle is broken down in the road. There are no warning lights or messages that something is wrong, but a noticeable rattling sound was coming from the front end of the vehicle that lead to the diagnosis of a flex plate issue by the ford dealership.
CategoryPower Train
DateJun 01, 2022
StateOH
Description
Vehicle purchased used in feb 2022, dealer said vehicle was in excellent mechanical condition. May 2022, 3 months after purchase vehicle has a broken flywheel and now needs the flywheel, torque converter and transmission pump replaced before 1st oil change since purchase was due. 65k miles on odometer.
CategoryStructure:body
DateMay 09, 2022
StateOH
Description
I purchased this vehicle on mar 4 2020 at al spitzer ford in cuyahoga falls, oh with only 11,800 miles. I am getting the run around with their service department. The vehicle does not have a hoodliner insulator installed. It's needed to control temperature, protect paint and reduce engine fires. This is ford's way along with the dealership to cut costs. The vehicle is covered under warranty and is metallic black which will attract the heat
CategoryPower Train
DateMar 25, 2022
StateNE
Description
I started my car and the engine was running very rough. The check engine light came on and I received a notification in the fordpass app of a powertrain control module detected an engine misfire. I was 108 miles from home in a snow storm. I drove to a hotel and spent the night. My husband picked me up the next morning. We towed it to the dealership where they found coolant had leaked into the spark plugs because of a warped cylinder head.
CategoryElectrical System
DateFeb 24, 2022
StateIN
Description
Dead battery again; this is a major concern on this particular fleet car that we have. Dealer had car towed in. I told them to check the connections. This seems to be a concern of other 2020 ford fusion owners as well, after researching. We need this vehicle in our fleet and we cannot have this keep happening. No dealer paperwork yet as the problem has not yet been resolved; car still at the dealer.
CategoryElectrical System
DateFeb 24, 2022
StateIN
Description
Car dead again; had to be jumped. Towed into dealer. Battery concern
CategoryElectrical System
DateFeb 24, 2022
StateIN
Description
(fleet vehicle) car was dead; had to jump start; battery replaced under warranty
CategoryElectrical System
DateFeb 24, 2022
StateIN
Description
(same fleet vehicle from before) electrical system concern again; battery issue. Battery was already replaced on 2/02/21. Dealer had to replace battery again.
CategoryAir Bags
DateJan 31, 2022
StateOH
Description
The contact owns a 2020 ford fusion. The contact stated that after stopping to make a left turn; while in the middle of completing the turn, another vehicle approaching from the rear crashed into the driver's side front and rear doors, dragging the vehicle for several feet before coming to a stop. The contact stated that the driver's front and rear doors were completely destroyed however, none of the air bags deployed. The contact stated that she received some medical assistance at the scene but was then transported from the scene by an ambulance to the hospital. The contact sustained injuries to her ribs and bruises to her upper body. The contact was the only person injured in the crash. A police report was filed. The contact stated that the following day the vehicle was taken to the auto body shop by her uncle however, she was unsure if the vehicle was driven or towed. The contact stated that she was informed by her insurance provider that the doors needed to be replaced to repair the vehicle. The vehicle was not yet repaired. The contact was concerned that as severe as the crash was that the air bags did not deploy. The local dealer was contacted, and she was referred to the manufacturer for assistance. The manufacturer was contacted however, the contact stated that after being transferred several times and hung up on, she finally spoke with a representative however, she received no assistance from the representative. The manufacturer was informed of the failure. The failure mileage was 13,942.
CategoryEngine And Engine Cooling, Unknown Or Other
DateDec 11, 2021
StateMI
Description
I can hear the coolant sloshing around and gurgling while the vehicle is in park with the heat on. When I turn the heat off, the sloshing and gurgling goes away. It appears that I do not have a coolant leak.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
DateNov 08, 2021
StateCA
Description
Pre-collision assist not available shows on dash every time when starting the car now. Started in october intermittently.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateSep 10, 2021
StatePA
Description
After pulling forward into a parking space, I stopped and shifted my car to reverse. When I touched the gas pedal again, the car went forward and the light on the shifter starting flashing quickly. I stopped and was able to shift the car and it have it move as expected. I've been unable to reproduce this so far but wanted to report it in case others were having similar issues.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateSep 03, 2021
StateNY
Description
The contact owns a 2020 ford fusion. The contact state that the more they turn the vehicle's acceleration pedal that the vehicle would pull to the right. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer who was able to duplicate the issue however were not able to find the cause of the failure. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 23,000.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateMar 05, 2021
StateNY
Description
Tl* the contact rented a 2020 ford fusion from hertz car rental. The contact stated while driving 25 mph on a incline hill, a strange sound occurred and the vehicle started to slow down. The contact depressed the acceleration pedal , however the vehicle started to roll backwards down the hill causing the vehicle to crash into two other vehicles. No warning lights was illuminated. The air bags failed to deploy. The vehicle was damaged on the driver side door and the back light was dented. The contact sustained whiplash and lower back pain; no injuries sustained by other vehicle drivers. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to the a parking lot and then towed to hertz car rental lot(625 south columbus ave , mount vernon ny, 10550 914-665-1780). The contact stated the rental company was apprising the vehicle and had not received any updates. The failure mileage was 23,600. The vin was not available.
CategoryElectrical System
DateFeb 11, 2021
StateKS
Description
Battery drains very quickly and needs to be jump-started repeatedly, which has risks to safety and equipment. This is a fleet vehicle.
CategoryElectrical System
DateFeb 11, 2021
StateKS
Description
Battery drains very quickly and needs to be jump-started repeatedly, which has risks to safety and equipment. A new battery was installed earlier this month and it has already drained also. This is a fleet vehicle.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateFeb 01, 2021
StateTX
Description
There was white smoke coming out of the hood and there was a smell of burned rubber. I had reached my destination and had just parked.
CategoryWheels
DateJan 27, 2021
StateTX
Description
Wheel bearing had to be replaced, heard sound while in motion and slowed down car. Car one year old and less then 30k miles
CategoryElectrical System, Power Train
DateDec 14, 2020
StateIN
Description
The touchscreen display is not working. It turned completely black. I cannot change the radio station. I shut off my car and turned it back on and it is still not working had to hard reset the system car also shifts hard in and out of park and reverse, makes a clunking sound and shifts hard in first and second
CategoryElectrical System
DateSep 18, 2020
StateWA
Description
The touchscreen display is not working. It turned completely black. I can change the volume using the dials, but I cannot change the radio station. It also will not show my back up camera. I shut off my car and turned it back on and it is still not working
CategoryElectrical System
DateSep 01, 2020
StateMI
Description
As I'm driving my radio shuts off and will not power on. The vehicle was in motion
CategoryElectrical System, Structure:body
DateJun 11, 2020
StateMI
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2020 ford fusion. The contact stated that the backup camera remained on while driving at an unknown speed. The vehicle was taken to the royal oak ford dealer, located at: 27550 woodward ave, royal oak, mi 48067, where the sensor was replaced. The contact stated that while driving home, the vehicle hit a pot hole, the front passenger's tire went flat. There was not spare tire. The contact's husband purchased a new tire, jacked the vehicle up to replace the tire. While on the jack, the vehicle went in reverse, rolled back and fell off the jack. The vehicle was taken to the same dealer who stated that the vehicle was not equipped with a spare tire. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures and referred the contact to the dealer. The contact was told to take the vehicle to a body shop to replace an mud guard that detached. The part was not replaced. The failure mileage was 4,051.
CategoryAir Bags, Seat Belts
DateMay 27, 2020
StateCO
Description
I got into an accident on the highway, dear ran in front of me, hit deer car lost control and went into a ditch, hitting a tree. My air bag didn't deploy and my seatbelt didn't lock up. After I got an alert on my phone saying it was faulty. Suffering with neck and back injuries.*dt*jb *tr
CategoryWheels
DateDec 25, 2019
StateNY
Description
The michelin energy saver a/s had two failed tires one with a blow out and the other with a side wall bubbles. Tires only have 1800 miles on them on a brand new car. Dealership claimed road hazard but nothing was hit and there were no punctures.

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Brian Jones

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Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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6 COMMENTS
  • Ivan

    Hello I have bought my 2020 Ford Fusion with 24,000 miles and everything was good. The only problem was when I would turn the steering wheel all the way. The steering wheel would lock on me and it would say that it was a traction control problem and now at 42,000 it have gotten worst. It’s getting harder to drive the car and to make an appointment with Ford it took me years

  • Michelle.

    Purchased my fusion in 2020. June to be exact. The padding under the back windshield was wearing off when I first purchased it. I have experienced problems with my electrical system, breaking system, sensors, tires, and backup camera. I keep taking car to dealership. My dealership experience was so bad I got my car back dirty. They promised me a full detail. Nothing happened. I have less than 40,000 miles only dealership maintenance.

  • Robbie L

    I bought a 2020 Ford Fusion a few months ago and it started now having problems. The engine light comes on stating there is an emissions problem. Ford dealer I bought the car from replaced the part. A week later the engine light comes back on. The dealer says different code comes up. They order another part and replace it again. A couple days later my engine light comes back on again Now suddenly they need to take the car apart to fully diagnose what the problem is. They have no loaners to give me. I work 2 jobs and can’t be without my car. The mechanic believes the car has an electrical problem but yet needs a full day just to diagnose the problem. Not saying they can fix it same day either. I’m at a loss. I’m paying 369 a month financing this car and paying for the extra warranty and they can’t even fix it.

  • Patricia

    I bought my 2020 fusion with 8 miles on it. It now has 26,000 I have had to replace a module behind the touch screen cause the radio and gps wouldn’t work that was in the first 2 weeks of owning it then right after that the battery went out had to have it towed, now it is back in the shop cause the air won’t work properly told me the temp outside was -40 and wouldn’t come on it was 98 degrees when air came back on it won’t shut off full blow at 66 degrees. I’ve had a couple issues with my camera and also makes a random clunk noise in the front. It makes a weird scrap type noise when I took it in they tried to say I must of ran over a piece of plastic, it still does it. I’ve had issues with my dome lights not shutting off and supposed to be able to start it from my phone which it won’t do half the time

  • Misty M

    Bought my 2020 Ford Fusion SE with the appearance package brand new in July 2020. Since buying it I have replaced tires 2 times. Car barely has 45k miles. Came with Michelin tires. Tires wear uneven due to alignment won’t stay aligned correctly. Vehicle is horrible on rainy days to the point of I’m scared to drive it when it rains. The auto braking feature almost caused 2 major accidents by braking on icy roads in the winter time and caused car to go sideways and almost sending us off a bridge one time. If I could sale it for what I owe at this point I would be why put someone else in a dangerous car. Ford needs to recall and fix these issues.

  • Jessica

    I have a possessed 2020 Ford Fusion that I bought with 3 miles on it. My radio comes on when it wants to, lane assist tries to pull me OFF THE ROAD, and more! I have video of my backup camera on and other things. I have reached out to Ford a few times with no avail. How can someone not stand behind their product?? I need help!

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