Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: Most people need a car where the coil springs don't puncture or shred tires while driving. The Taurus fails in that respect.

The 1999-2003 Ford Taurus has a huge problem with coil springs breaking, which can puncture or even shred tires while driving.

The US government spent THREE YEARS (2008-2011) investigating the 2002-2003 Taurus coil springs. Although Taurus/Sable from earlier years were recalled, ultimately the NHTSA did not force a recall. They determined that because there had been no deaths & very few bad crashes & injuries, the broken coil springs defect was no big deal & not a safety defect. Tell that to all the owners who had close calls...


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,530 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Ford Taurus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Jul 212011


  • 103,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the transmission failed, causing her to lose power while driving 53 mph. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The failure diagnostics stated the torque converter failed. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 103,000 and the current mileage was the same.

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #20

May 262011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 44,790 miles
While driving to work my transmission failed. After having the car towed to the mechanic, I was told the transmission needed to be replaced. It only has 45,000 miles on it. After researching this issue online, I have found numerous issues with the torque converter failing due to a manufacturers defect. I have not had it repaired as of yet.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #19

Apr 182011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
Premature transmission failure on 2002 Ford Taurus. Based on mechanics comments, discussion with other Taurus owners and internet research there is sufficient anecdotal evidence to support the assumption that there is a design defect in the transmission in the and other Ford vehicles. I had recently had the transmission serviced. I noticed a performance issue following the service. The PCM produced an error code three weeks following the service. I was able to safely drive directly to the mechanics the error code indicated that 3rd gear in the transmission had failed. The only fix for this problem is to replace the transmission.

- Lynchburg, VA, USA

problem #18

Apr 192011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles


Without notice, the transmission failed to respond in any gear and the engine just revved. I was on a road that was not busy and able to coast off of the road to a safe location. Had this happened on my way home on the interstate during rush hour instead, I may have been seriously injured in an accident since the car just slowed down without any warning or indication that it was about to quit. I was told by mechanic that stripped torque converter is common issue with this vehicle.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #17

Jun 202010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Taurus and was driving/accelerating down the road and all of a sudden nothing was happening. The car was like in neutral even though the transmission was in drive. The car rolled a bit to the side with the impulse it had, but had to push it to the side. The transmission's drive and reverse were in neutral. The transmission went out. Seems to have happened to many other owners that the transmission goes into neutral. The corrections I have been told is to (1) change the torque converter or (2) rebuild the transmission. Well over $1,750 in repair and labor costs (minimum).

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #16

Jun 132010


  • 180,100 miles
I was driving down a four lane freeway and was passing someone in the left lane when suddenly my car just revved up and lost all acceleration. No warning signs or anything. It was a busy day on the road and I could have got into an accident trying to get off the road. Luckily I was able to coast to the side of the road avoiding an accident, but that was not an easy task. If this would have happened as I was accelerating through a busy intersection or similar circumstance it could have been deadly. I checked online for people who had the same problem and I found many complaints about this issue and how much of a problem it was for people who were not as fortunate as me who have come close to life threatening incidents. I'm wondering why something has not been done to rectify this issue with this car. It makes me very upset to see that nothing has been done to alleviate this life threatening issue. Now the car will not go into any gear. I makes me further upset to know that someone online indicates that "the problem stems from a bad heat treatment on the torque converter stamped steel part" from (see complaint #69 submitted by [xxx] ). it seems to me that the consumers should not be held responsible for bad manufacturing practices. Any help would be appreciated. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #15

Oct 012009


  • 112,000 miles


I was in the middle of driving on the highway when my car just stopped accelerating and would not go back into gear. This left me in the middle of an off ramp. I took it to a transmission specialist and the mechanic says I need a new transmission.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #14

Jul 052008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. While pulling out of a grocery store parking lot at an unknown speed, the transmission suddenly stopped functioning properly. The vehicle failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. She was able to coast 50 feet down the hill to her house, which was near the store she had just left. Once she was near her home, the contact's son helped push the vehicle into her parking space. The vehicle was still running, but the transmission failed to respond. The vehicle was towed to russell's exxon, where the mechanic stated that the gears in the transmission had fallen apart. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 68,000. Update 09/10/08 updated 09/16/08.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #13

Mar 032008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
My 2002 Ford Taurus transmission fail while drive, this transmissions is know to fail at 30,000-60,000 or 90,000 miles due to it operating sporadically and it is an ax4S family unit similar to the old 1989 units. The baltimore police department use to have Taurus as police cars until the transmission failure problems and the contract for Taurus was redone to use crown victorious this was done to prevent a lawsuit. In my case I just want Ford to assist in repairing this transmission and I will never buy another Ford ever again.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #12

Mar 272007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles
- the contact stated that while driving the 2002 Ford Taurus with 78000 failure mileage he discovered that the rear brake lights did not work. There was recall 04V106000 on the same year/make and model, but this vehicle was not a part of the recall. Also, the contact had problems with taking the vehicle out of park. As of 3/39/07 the vehicle had not been repaired.

- Greenberg, PA, USA

problem #11

Mar 262006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles


: the contact stated the rear brake switch and stop lamp did not work when the brake pedal was depressed and sometimes did not turn off mechanically. Also, the brake light would remain illuminated for many hours. The battery was replaced once. The problem was linked to the gear shift. The contact could not shift the gear from parking to drive. The vehicle needed to be turned off and turned back on in order to shift the gear to drive. The vehicle was taken to the dealership for repairs.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #10

Apr 092006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
Transmission failure - car jerked & drive failed when proceeding from a green light, (see ODI # 10155047). When transmission was being replaced, it was also found that the neutral safety switch had melted and also needed to be replaced, I had asked the service technician how that could have happened & the service technician found it to be very odd, and that it was very rare to even have happened.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #9

Apr 092006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
I was stopped at a red light, when the light turned green I tried to drive forward; the car then jerked and the drive gear(s) became completely inoperable. The car had to be towed to my home. On 4/10/2006 I called the dealership and they said "sorry, your warranty is over, but we can look at it for you" they then gave me the 800 number to call for Ford. The car was purchased 12/31/2002, it was a demo with 7,838 miles. It currently has only 55,000 miles. The entire transmission needs replacement at a cost of $1600 (plus) which is entirely my expense with no assistance from Ford or the dealership. A call was made to the consumer line at Ford, 1-800-392-3673, and they registered the complaint and said there was nothing they could do to correct or assist with the problem.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #8

Feb 112005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,500 miles
While driving the vehicle suddenly accelerated. When exiting the freeway the vehicle lurched forward and increased in speed. The owner put both feet on the brakes, yet the vehicle continued to go forward. The owner had to turn the engine off in order to come to a stop. The transmission experienced shifting slippage, a slight leak was found in the bell housing area. The transmission was removed and the converter front hub seal was leaking. The seal was replaced along with the valve body pan. The alarm would sound when no one was near the vehicle and the vehicle could not be started unless the alarm was reset.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #7

Sep 012004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission, 2002 Taurus, approximately 22,000 miles is clunking and banging when you shift from park to drive, drive to reverse, reverse to drive and even when you put it in neutral. We have been telling the dealer since we owned this car that the transmission was clunking at times and we keep being told that it is normal or itS the parking pawl. It used to take about a second after you stopped to downshift into first. We brought it in on 02-18-02 and were told there is not a problem and that this is normal. We kept bringing it up when we brought it in for service and was told this is normal. We brought it back on 02-25-04 and told them that it had a hard up shift into second and when shifting from park to drive and drive to reverse etc. It bangs and you can feel it jerk the car. They reprogrammed the PCM and replaced 2 motor mounts because they were bad. The up shifting while driving and the hesitation down shifting when stopping has seemed to improve. We took it in on 09-1-04 and asked service writer if we could have a mechanic take a drive and listen to it. He said wait a minute. He came back with who he said was his service manager. His service manager told us that he owns a Taurus and they do this. After research on the internet about transmissions they should have a smooth shift from park to drive and drive to reverse etc. This transmission is smooth at times and clunks and bangs at other times. We wanted to have a mechanic take a drive with us and we would show him what it was doing. It clunks and bangs after it warms up and we told this to mike and his service manager. What made the motor mounts go bad" will this transmission fail on us unexpectedly or hurt the motor mounts etc" I called the service writer on 9/7, he kept telling me it was normal. We want to sell the car but donT believe this is normal. If this is normal and safe, then we want Ford to provide in writing. It is getting worse!

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #6

May 082002

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,029 miles
While driving at any speed the vehicle lunged and or accelerated suddenly. There was a burning odor that would be present along with the hesitating and jerking. The consumer was informed that the problem may have been due to a leak on the gasket onto the transmission.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #5

Feb 042004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,800 miles
While driving at 65 mph, transmission warning light came on. Vehicle downshifted automatically, decreasing speed and increasing RPM's significantly. For remainder of trip, vehicle could not accelerate consistently and could not hold a constant speed. The following day I took it to a dealer who informed me that a solenoid had failed and replacement cost ~$700.

- Algonquin, IL, USA

problem #4

Feb 012004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles
While vehicle was running driver got out to wipe off the windows and transmission unexpectedly shifted to reverse. Driver attempted to stop vehicle, and was run over. Driver sustained leg, chest, and arm injuries. The vehicle ran into a boat trailer. A friend of the consumer's took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer indicated that the vehicle was fine.

- Juneau, AK, USA

problem #3

Nov 072003

(reported on)


  • 42,000 miles
When driving at low speeds vehicle severely vibrates and fails to accelerate. When this occurs, the driver has difficulty controlling the vehicle. Dealership ran a diagnostic test, and found a broken component within the automatic transmission.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #2

Oct 182003


  • 9,500 miles
While attempting to put the vehicle in reverse the gear shifter became stuck in park. The vehicle suddenly accelerated backwards and impacted several trees before coming to final rest.

- Hawley, PA, USA

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