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.

CarComplaints.com 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...

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,688 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #121

Apr 182014

Taurus

  • 111,345 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was driving down a main highway when my RPM's dropped (as if car was going to stall), there was a loss of power and then the car would not accelerate. As I was in a area where there was a lot of traffic I had to ease my way over to be able to get the vehicle off of the road. The engine was still running, but as I tried to accelerate there was no power. The shifter on the column just goes up and down and does not engage in any gear. Everyone that I have consulted seems to think that it is an issue with the transmission. I have since done research only to find out that this is a known problem with these cars. Had I known that I would never have purchased it. On one website alone there were 293 cases reported of the same transmission failure and Ford has refused to do anything about this known problem. My dad worked for Ford for almost 40 years before retiring. We have always driven Ford and have never had an issue like this with any of our vehicles. I am sure that my dad is turning over in his grave right now at the poor quality of the Taurus and the known issues which Ford is aware of, but has never done anything to rectify it with Taurus owners. Who can afford to go out and buy a brand new car in this day and age" even worse yet, who would want to sink the amount of money it would cost for a repair job on a transmission into a car that isn't worth much more value wise. I am very disappointed with Ford! I am a single female in her 60's that can't afford the repairs or to go out and buy another vehicle at this time. I am still working and also drive a half hour one way to go to college 4 days a week. Now what do I do" shame on you Ford for not standing behind your products!

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #120

May 052014

Taurus

  • 108,000 miles
Started my 2003 Ford Taurus to go to work. My car was parked on a downward sloped driveway as it has been for several years. As I went to put it in reverse it rolled down the incline. Tried several times to put the car in reverse but each time it rolled down the incline. After almost hitting my backyard fence I cut the car off and called in late for work. I realize all cars have things that might have to be replaced or worked on but given the number of complaints of this same issue among this make/model/year with transmission problems Ford should make this right with people who trusted the company enough to buy their product. Many complaints have caused near accidents. I could have ended up destroying my fence and entering the creek that runs along my backyard. My mechanic said this was a defect in the transmission involving the torque converter. Ford please pay for the defect in your product so I can trust you again.

- Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #119

May 012013

Taurus

  • 120,000 miles
My battery discharge light came on then the ABS light, the brake light and others. I have taken it to a repair shop and neither he nor I can find the battery drain. The computer doesn't show anything. At times if its raining the wipers go as does the heat or air blower. I have also noticed the transmission not shifting correctly. My main concern is the engine stopping or the brakes not working and I have had my wipers not work in a rain storm. Any advice?

- Baltimore, OH, USA

problem #118

Apr 202014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Our daughter had planned to come home for a family gathering on easter Sunday and indicated she was leaving dekalb, il and would be taking the interstate 88 toll way to dixon. Shortly after she had called, she phoned again to say that her car suddenly went out of gear as she was driving to get on the toll way. The car engine raced has the car started to slow down. Fortunately, she was able to coast off on to a side road and stop the car. According to the web site www.carcomplaint.com, 292 complaints have been submitted since 2012 for this same transmission failure. To my surprise, further research showed there has not been a recall. This appears to be a faulty transmission design issue which could easily result in personal injury or death. Thankfully our daughterâ¿'s car had not lost the transmission while driving on the interstate. She could have easily been tail ended and seriously injured or killed. This transmission problem presents a serious safety problem and warrants a manufacturer recall. Our daughter fears that if the transmission is replaced or requires a major part, it will likely contain the same flaw as the original transmission. She says she does not feel she can ever feel safe driving the car on the interstate or Chicago freeways where she visits her friend. Ford needs to furnish a reliable and safe replacement transmission by order of the national safety administration. The high potential for injury or death dictates immediate action.

- Dixon, IL, USA

problem #117

May 052009

Taurus

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that when the vehicle was not warmed up he was unable to shift into any gear. The issue did not persist when the vehicle was running for a long period of time. The vehicle was not taken to a dealership or independent mechanic. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,000 miles and the current mileage was 100,000 miles.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #116

Feb 172014

Taurus

  • 119,938 miles
Put car in reverse to move the strut assembly broke the spring went thru the tire multiple times.a 90,000 mile tire that only had 1900 miles on them. I am the one owner of this car with reg maintenance with no warning or prevention of this happening.

- Milton, IN, USA

problem #115

Feb 222014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have a 2003 Ford Taurus, with 66K that my daughter was driving. She was headed for home with my grand kids when the engine acceleration increased and the car stopped moving forward. Lucky she wasn't on a busy highway and was able to coast to a wide spot in the road. The transmission quit working without warning which could have been disastrous had she been on the express way, in a major intersection or passing on a two lane road. The car had to be towed. After this happened I researched other complaints of this same year Taurus and there have been many! I strongly feel this is a definite safety issue with this car and intend to report this to Ford and the auto safety administration. I also intend to make a post on www.carcomplaints.com and suggest others with this problem do the same. This car should be recalled for this safety issue!

- Kane, PA, USA

problem #114

Feb 202014

Taurus

  • 111,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the transmission failed to respond. The vehicle was coasted into a nearby parking lot. The vehicle had not been towed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified, who informed that there was not a recall related to the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 111,000.

- Painted Post, NY, USA

problem #113

Dec 292013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
Automatic transmission stopped working in the middle of traffic. Managed to get over to shoulder and car would nor move forward or in reverse.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #112

Oct 222013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
There is a recall on my car, but my VIN was never entered and notice was ever sent out to recall the vehicle.I had problems with insurance because of the VIN, maybe the VIN should be [xxx]. Ford randall reed and reynolds Ford in Oklahoma city refused to do the recall repair. The Ford customer service rep confirmed my car came from the plant that had the recall and that there was never a repair/notice because the VIN hadn't been entered. They gave another phone number, but that number only speaks to dealerships. My car will not shift out of park. My mechanic is [xxx]at midas on nw 23rd phone: [xxx]Ford has been giving him the run-around, but he is trying to resolve the issue of my VIN not being reported. The recall went out in April 2004 the campaign # 04V106000. This defect can cause a crash. Recall id # 41871 - exterior lighting:brake lights:switch hide details recall date: Mar 02, 2004 model affected: 2003 Ford Taurus summary: Certain passenger vehicles are being recalled to correct a problem with a malfunctioning stop lamp switch and/or associated wiring. This malfunctioning could render the stop lamps inoperable or cause them to stay on all the time. This could cause confusion to a following driver, which could lead to a crash. Consequences: In addition, if the switch and/or associated wiring fail in the open position, the brake lights will not actuate and the driver will not be able to shift the vehicle out of "park" if they fail in the closed position, the brake lights will remain on, which will not allow the speed control to be activated. This could also cause the battery to discharge. Remedy: Dealers will remove the stop lamp switch and associated wiring assembly and install a newly designed stop lamp switch and wire assembly. Owner notification is expected to begin on April 5, 2004. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6),

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #111

Oct 222013

Taurus

  • 100,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

There is a recall on my car, but my VIN was never entered. Therefore a notice was never sent out to recall the vehicle. Ford randall reed and reynolds Ford in Oklahoma city refused to do the recall repair. The Ford customer service rep confirmed my car came from the plant that had the recall and that there was never a repair/notice because the VIN hadn't been entered. They gave another phone number, but that number only speaks to dealerships. My car will not shift out of park. My mechanic is [xxx]at midas on nw 23rd phone: [xxx] Ford has been giving him the run-around, but he is trying to resolve the issue of my VIN not being reported. The recall went out in April 2004T he campaign # 04V106000. This defect can cause a crash. Recall id # 41871 - exterior lighting:brake lights:switch hide details recall date: Mar 02, 2004 model affected: 2003 Ford Taurus summary: Certain passenger vehicles are being recalled to correct a problem with a malfunctioning stop lamp switch and/or associated wiring. This malfunctioning could render the stop lamps inoperable or cause them to stay on all the time. This could cause confusion to a following driver, which could lead to a crash. Consequences: In addition, if the switch and/or associated wiring fail in the open position, the brake lights will not actuate and the driver will not be able to shift the vehicle out of "park" if they fail in the closed position, the brake lights will remain on, which will not allow the speed control to be activated. This could also cause the battery to discharge. Remedy: Dealers will remove the stop lamp switch and associated wiring assembly and install a newly designed stop lamp switch and wire assembly. Owner notification is expected to begin on April 5, 2004.. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #110

Oct 132013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while stopped, the engine rpms abnormally increased and the vehicle would not accelerate as the engine roared loudly. The contact was able to coast onto the road shoulder. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where a diagnostic was performed and the failure was located at the torque converter. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 107, 000. Updated 12/04/13 updated 12/6/2013

- Joliet , IL, USA

problem #109

Oct 102013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
I was driving about 45 mph after exiting the highway. It was about 6pm in heavy traffic. I made a left turn and engine revved as hit the gas and suddenly the car stalled. I coasted to the left turn median. The car would not move, I put in reverse then in drive and no response. I turn my hazards lights on. I was almost hit twice in the back by other turning cars who could see me until they completed their turn. I called the police and he pushed my car with his cruiser 4 lanes over to get to side the road. I had the car towed home. Two mechanics advised me of a new/rebuilt transmission. A third mechanic advised me that it is likely the torque converter, which is a common complaint.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #108

Sep 292013

Taurus

  • 70,666 miles
Transmission failed while driving with no warning. Attempting to accelerate from a stop light there was a 'shudder' felt throughout the car and the car failed to accelerate. Park will work (no vehicle movement) but car will not move in any gear selection (R, od, D, D1). Mechanic states that it is probably stripped splines to torque converter. This an apparent known issue with this car. Had this occurred in heaver traffic or an intersection or interstate without the ability to pull over this is an accident (fatal) waiting to happen. Why this hasn't been recalled yet is unexplainable as there are several complaints on this and is known to mechanics.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #107

Sep 252013

Taurus

  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the engine rpms increased and the transmission responded as though the vehicle was engaged in neutral. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the contact was awaiting diagnosis of the failure. The mechanic informed the contact that the failure could possibly be related to the torque converter. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 71,000.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #106

Sep 052013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate from a stop sign, the vehicle failed to move forward. After several attempts to accelerate forward and in reverse, the vehicle still would not move. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence and upon further investigation, the contact diagnosed that the torque converter would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 148,000..... updated 10-17-13 updated 10/24/2013

- Cortland, IL, USA

problem #105

Sep 072013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 61,825 miles
I was on my way to work and as made my turn the transmission would not engage. I was able to coast to a safe place, but was unable to move. I had no warning of any kind, the engine would just rev. Thankfully I was alone in the car and I was not on the highway. I had to have it towed and am waiting to hear what the damage is.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #104

Jul 012013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, there was a sudden loss of engine power without warning. The vehicle towed to the contact's residence and later taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the power transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 97,000. Updated 10/30/2013

- Hamilton , AL, USA

problem #103

Aug 272013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while parked, she attempted to shift the gear into reverse but she was unable to move the gear shifter out of park. The contact was able to place the vehicle in reverse after applying excessive force to the brake pedal. Additionally, the contact noticed the tail lights illuminated while the vehicle was shut off. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign number: 04V106000 (exterior lighting) that could have been related to the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 46,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #102

Jul 152013

Taurus

  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. In addition, the power train malfunctioned and caused the vehicle to roll downhill. The contact stated that the vehicle would not function in any gear other than park. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic for a diagnostic test. The mechanic stated that the transmission was defective. The contact did not have the transmission replaced. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Nixa, MO, USA

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