How common are ECU, dashboard and ABS module faults on the 2005 Ford Focus?

It was very timely to read in the Telegraph on Saturday about an Audi's failed ABS system. The light on my 2005 Focus keeps coming on intermittently. I haven't had it diagnosed yet but have just looked at the reports given by ECU Testing and am rather alarmed to see that they warn of common problems with the engine ECU, the dashboard instrument cluster as well as the ABS pump module. This seems to me to be a potentially costly bill around the corner. I have been getting used to cars being far more reliable over the last 20 years or so but this seems not to be the case, or are my expectations unrealistically high?

Asked on 20 November 2010 by KJ, via email

Answered by Honest John
No, they are becoming increasingly unreliable largely due to the increasing complexity of components being forced into them as a result of connivance between governments and manufacturers dressed up as safety and environmental measures. Catalytic converters, diesel particulate filters, EGRs, ABS, ESP, multiple airbags etc have all been forced into cars and the failure of any of these components in a car seven years old or more can cost more to rectify than the car is worth.
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