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 that shifts gears & coil springs that don't shred tires. The Taurus fails in that respect.

The 2003 Ford Taurus has major issues with the transmission failing. Typically the 2003 Taurus transmission failure costs $2,000 to fix by about 90k-100k miles. Not good.

Adding insult to injury, the 1999-2003 Taurus also 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...


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,508 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.

2003 Ford Taurus body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Jun 232006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,514 miles


I have a 1993 Ford Taurus that leaked water from under the passenger side dash. Then my ac switch went out. I took it to a mechanic and he said water had gotten into the blower motor and shorted out. He also had a 1992 Taurus that he just repaied with the exact problem. The mechanic said it will need a new blower motor and resistor. Also some kind of cowl is needed to prevent this again.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #18

Sep 092006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,300 miles
2003 Ford Taurus blower motor stopped working and the windshield fogged up while driving. The problem was water getting into the blower motor area from the cowl area at the cabin filter. Ford knows about this problem and has a tsb fix with a shield and weatherstrip. They tell you about the problem after the water has already caused the problem costing you $300 extra because now you need electrical problems fixed.

- Elmhurst, IL, USA

problem #17

Jun 272006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,250 miles
There was a known issue with the right cowl trim that allowed water to seep into the blower motor which caused the motor to rust out and stop working. If the failure happened within the 36,000 mile warranty it was fixed for free but if you were unlucky enough to have it fail afterwards Ford says you are responsible. They knew about the issue but did not warn the consumer. I believe that since they knew about the problem all along they should be responsible for the repair.

- Allen Park, MI, USA

problem #16

Apr 232006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Purchased used '03 Taurus ses from non-Ford dealer, on 3/2/06. April 22, after heavy rain noticed puddle of water on passenger side floor. Following Monday morning during drive to work...still raining and fogging up...turn on heater/defogger/ac...not working! call dealer to advise of the water and heater/ac not functioning...advised still covered under 3/36 factory warranty...however, Ford advised warranty expired 3/31/06. Dealer then had their mechanic take a look...advised there's a leak behind firewall causing water to get in...and also cause of motor blower not working...est. $500-600 to repair...not including part for motor blower! they would need to contact Ford about price on motor blower...I decide to check pricing online and discovered the numerous complaints from other consumers! contacted Ford customer relations asking if they could make an exception on having covered under warranty as it was not quite 30 days beyond expiring. They contacted service mgr. At Ford dealer closest to me...told that they would agree to repair work according to Ford's guidelines and discount repair cost...I dropped car off today for them to "asses" the problem which will cost $80 on top of the $109 paid to other dealers mechanic. I'd left several messages with service discuss...never called back! I put $4K down payment on this vehicle and only about to make 2nd car note...I'm certain that I, like many others who've complained, will be responsible for the costly repair.

- Sicklerville, NJ, USA

problem #15

Apr 212006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
Due to a design defect in Ford Taurus, water gets into the heater system causing the heater/air blower to fail. Also, puddle of water on the passenger side of car causing carpet to smell.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #14

Mar 032006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Taurus blower motor blew out per mechanic. This was a design flaw that caused water to enter into the air intake of the vehicle, entering the blower motor.

- Liverpool, NY, USA

problem #13

Jan 222006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Just like every one else. My heater blower quit working on all modes except high. Then within a couple days high went out. I tested it and found the resistor to be bad, but when I by-passed it, the blower motor was also bad. That's when I knew there was more to the story than what I was seeing. I noticed that the resistor had rust on it. This was not good, when I opened the fan motor casing I found water in it. This is not supposed to happen. The seal is faulty (defective). I researched and found out that there is a bulletin out on this at Ford dealerships so Ford is aware of this problem, but not obligated to tell customers. So if you still have a warranty it's covered only if you contact Ford. If you do not have a warranty no longer than you are responsible to pay the bill. They have not put out a recall because not enough people have complained. Most take it in to service and Ford repairs and charges them, usually without telling them about the defective seal. I am currently fighting with the Ford dealership and have called and made complaints. My vehicle is not fixed at the moment, but I am determined. They knew about this defective seal, but yet did not have the common courtesy to inform their customers and have the problem fixed before it cost approximately $400-$500 for those without warranty instead of saving the $300-$400. Something needs to be done about ripping off customers, and making them pay the price for another's knowing mistake. This leads to electrical problems and is a fire hazard lourie.

- Newprot, NC, USA

problem #12

Jan 102006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,086 miles
I purchased this car in spring of 2005 to buy american. I still will. Weeks after purchase I noticed a leak on the passenger side. Although under warranty, I paid dealership to repair. It seemed ok for a couple of months. When I go to the post office I keep important mail temporarily on the floor. After a long rain. I found my important mail sitting in a puddle, now my blower switch is not functioning, probably due to this leak. I am very disappointed. This was a new car to me. I want it permanently repaired for no charge. Thank you. Ford knows this is a problem.

- Mattawan, MI, USA

problem #11

Apr 102003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
The heater in my car failed. We called the Ford parts department and they told me it was a known problem that the cowl, relay and blower failed due to water leakage. We took the car in they said the cost would be $400 which I could not afford at that time. Now I have no choice winter is here and I need my heater working. There are numerous complaints about this problem its time Ford fixes the problem at their cost not ours! I've also been told that I need front ball joints my car failed inspection. This car is only two years old I shoudn't be having these major problems. I can't remember the exact month or day I took the car into westbrook Ford dealer but cost us $40 to tell me what I already knew the the blower didn't work because of water leakage.

- Limington, ME, USA

problem #10

Dec 062005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
Shortly after purchasing our 2003 Ford Taurus wagon, we noticed extensive water on the passenger side floor. We took car to newport Ford, an authorized Ford dealer. We were informed that there was a design defect which allowed water to overflow the rainhat and travel through the heater system to the floor. They "fixed" the problem under warranty. Several months later, still under warranty, we noticed water on the passenger floor again. Having moved, we took the car to howell motors of wright's corners, NY. They too were aware of the design defect, and were in possession of tsb # 04-15-3 which clearly indicates that this problem will lead to the failure of the blower motor, and/or blower motor resistor. We not being automobile mechanics, were not aware of the certainty of a defrost system failure. Not knowing that this was a safety issue, we did not insist that they replace all the damaged components. Last week, the defroster blower suddenly failed during the first snowstorm of the year. Water and slush from passing traffic froze to the windshield reducing visibility to zero. Was forced to limp home, stopping at gas stations to scrape and clean windshield. Researched on internet, and learned that Ford has issued a service bulletin for the exact problem we took the car in for twice while under warranty. Took the car back to dealer and were informed that this was no longer a warranty issue, and were charged $ $267.26 for a new blower motor, to replace the one destroyed by the water pooling in the heater system. We argued that this should be covered by the warranty, as the car had been in twice previously, while under warranty, for the exact same problem. As the car was clearly unsafe to drive in upstate New York in the winter, we paid the dealer. Ford is trying to pass this off as a "comfort" issue, while in reality, having zero visibility from the windshield is not only unsafe, but illegal in NY state.

- Wilson, NY, USA

problem #9

Nov 012005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles


Consumer discovered water leaking into vehicle.

- Moira, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 032005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,586 miles
Water gathering on passenger side floorboard, told by Ford that the cowling was simply "plugged up" by pineneedles and such. Turns out that this problem is widespread among these vehicles, in some causing blower motor failure and dangerous conditions (uncontrollable fogging of windows). Carpet is heavily damaged due to this flaw.

- Brookings, OR, USA

problem #7

Aug 302005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus ses. It is leaking in the front right passenger's side. The leak seems to be coming from under the dashboard. The contact said the problem has been fixed a couple of times, but it kept leaking. The first time she had it fixed was on 3-31-04. Then on 5-27-04 she had it fixed again. The dealer repaired the cowl leak from Monday. On 8-30-05 she had it repaired again.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #6

May 012005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Ford Taurus developed water seepage from the blower in the motor compartment onto the passenger side floor. Water leaked onto the front passenger side floor form the blower motor area. When the motor failed it did not blow out the fuse in that circuit. The consumer wonders if this failure could cause an engine fire.

- Cranberry Twp, PA, USA

problem #5

May 202004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The consumer noticed water leaking in the front passenger side every time it rains. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, but the mechanic could not duplicate the problem. Also, while driving 40 mph, the vehicle vibrated uncontrollably, and the consumer was unable to shift the gears. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, however, the mechanic was not able to duplicate the problem. There was a leak in the passengers floor, fumes and or odors from the water leakage, the transmission would stall out while in motion, the overdrive was not working properly, the blower motor made noises and was not blowing properly and the transmission jerked. The consumer requested a refund.

- Wise, VA, USA

problem #4

Jul 072004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Water leaks in the front passenger side everytime it rains. The harder it rains, the more water ends up in the car. The dealer put the kit in last sat to fix problem, however last nite I had more water in the car than on any other previous leaks. The car mat was full of water, and when I took that out the carpet underneath was under water. And now when you turn on the fan in the car it squeals. Called dealer, can't do a dry out of the carpet or a repair for another week or 2 due to no courtesy car being available. And when they do the repair it will take 2 days because the dash has to be removed and it's either something in/behind the dash or it's the windshield (or both).

- Frankfort, NY, USA

problem #3

Jan 162004

(reported on)


  • miles
Water leaked through the seams in the roof whenever it rained or snowed. Please provide any additional information.

- Vine Grove, KY, USA

problem #2

Sep 232003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 7,200 miles
There wa ca continuous water leak on the passenger side of the vehicle. The leak caused all the windows to fog up and obstructed the driver's vision. The dealer tried to repair the problem five times but with no success.

- Tigard, OR, USA

problem #1

Jan 022003


  • miles
Rust was found on the engine, wheel suspensions and pipes of a 2003 Ford Taurus. The consumer found that the new vehicle had rust on the wheel suspension, the engine, and pipes.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

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