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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...


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 1
Average Mileage:
85,543 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #68

Dec 022011


  • 103,716 miles


Vehicle was traveling southbound in the outside lane of a 4 lane hwy. Vehicle changed lanes abruptly and went left of the center of roadway entering into the nourthbound lanes of traffic, continuing in a southbound direction, the vehicle departed the East side and collided with the end portion of a guardrail. The inside portion of the right front tire caught the outside of gaurdrail causing the car to straddle the top of the rail until the undercarriage of the car caught on a post of the rail causing the car to slide sideways until the left side tires dug into the ground and flipped the car completely over where it continued to travel South, rolling over again, colliding with a wood post then finally coming to rest on it's tires facing northwest. No airbags deployed at any point of the collision. Gearshift was between neutral and overdrive.

- Macon, MO, USA

problem #67

Oct 012012


  • 100,000 miles
Transmission stopped working, it was replaced at my expense.

- Selma, NC, USA

problem #66

Sep 212014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 171,000 miles
My car will accelerate on its own when driving.and in the morning it will be in park but the RPM nozzle will go up like somebody's pushing on the gas pedal.when im pulling off I have to hold the brakes down hard because the car will try to take off before me.it has serious acceleration issues.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #65

Aug 082014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles


My 2003 Ford Taurus accelerates by itself to 35-45 mph without having to touch the accelerator (note: The car will also accelerate uphill without having to press the accelerator. Also, the cruise control light works, but the cruise control itself is not engaging.

- Rincon, GA, USA

problem #64

Jun 162014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 147,777 miles
Driving down long road, got up to 40 mph, car stayed on that speed as if it was in cruise control mode. I had the cruise control off. I even slowed down to 30, car stayed on thirty. Had foot off the gas pedal. It surges forward. I read horror stories of other year Taurus' doing same thing, causing crashes. My 16 yr old daughter drives this car. Every other car around this years date was recalled, but not the 2003. I changed my hoses, so it's not that. The car is literally staying in cruise control mode even when it's off. When I turn my steering wheel slightly to the right, I can hear a ticking sound once or twice, not sure what that is, it's scary though. Before something bad happens I want a recall for this year of Taurus regarding the cruise control being engaged.

- Moore, OK, USA

problem #63

Apr 152014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
The car does not slow down (intermittent) sometimes. Traveling at bout 55 or 60 I will take my foot off the pedal and the car will not slow down. When I finally come to a stop (which is hard on the brakes) my RPM's are 1000. If I put the transmission into neutral my RPM's will climb to 4000. Dealer has not been able to fix the problem and has no idea what to do.

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #62

Apr 032014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 121,757 miles


When driving the car the car will accelerate on its own with out pushing the gas. Even when you come to a complete stop the RPM will not go down to 0 it will stay above the 1. the car never comes to a complete stop the car is always accelerating even when at a complete stop.

- Middle River, MD, USA

problem #61

Feb 222014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 137,018 miles
I was pulling into a gas station, going to a gas pump, when all of a sudden the rpms revved up and the car accelerated on its own. I was able to avoid the gas pump and instead went over a ramp which caused the car to go airborne. I went through a fence and hit a pole. The impact caused enough damage on the car for the car to come to an abrupt and complete stop. The car has been totaled. I have seen other reports on 2003 Ford Taurus regarding acceleration problems/issues. I would like for my incident to be part of the investigation.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #60

Feb 042014


  • 159,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the vehicle proceeded to accelerate after she had removed her foot from the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 159,000 and the current mileage was 159,100.

- Webster , NY, USA

problem #59

Dec 162013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
After disengaging the cruise control by tapping the brake (the cruise control indication turned off), the vehicle continued to stay at the previously set speed. I then turned off the cruise control switch, which had no effect. I immediately started applying heavy braking until the vehicle slowed down to about 5 miles an hour and put the automatic transmission into park and turned off the engine ignition. All the while the car was attempting to accelerate back up to 55 mph (the previously set cruise control speed). This happened 2 more times and I was able to put the car in neutral and turn the car off and back on and that temporarily fixed the issue. I also later learned to briefly press and release the pedal to the floor which worked every time.

- Buffalo, MN, USA

problem #58

Feb 182013


  • 110,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the speed throttle will sporadically become stuck. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer to be diagnosed. The dealer stated that the grommet would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacture was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000. The current mileage of the vehicle was 117,000.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #57

Oct 112013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
Car would not stop it seem ads if the accelerator was stuck.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #56

Sep 272013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 52,300 miles
When accelerating to go up a slight incline, the vehicle "surged" and lost all gears. I let my vehicle coast to a stop and put it in park. The vehicle will go into and out of park, but when placed in any gear is motionless....will not move in reverse, or drive. This vehicle only has 52000 original miles on it!

- Lake City, MI, USA

problem #55

May 312011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 105,497 miles
Ford Taurus 2003 ses, engine 3.0L car was purchased on May 28, 2011. Left side electrical along with components of the turn signal snap back when attempting to use this safety feature made for vehicles. On 06/15/2011 the front right brakes of the vehicle went out and required the vehicle to be towed to a local repair shop. During the drive home which was from a distance of about 20 miles I experienced uncontrollable steering and almost lost control of the vehicle. The replaced brake caliper bolt came loose and was lost along the highway. On 07/19/2011 after the vehicle was towed back to the repair shop the A/C compressor had failed again along with the transmission as the transmission was slipping roughly during normal driving conditions. The vehicle was towed and was blowing hot, brakes grinding, transmission flare shifting 2-3 shift. Repair shop stated slipping at 30mph and stated rebuilt transmission. During a week period around 07/22/2011 the brakes were grinding again and the lower ball joints were installed. Transmission slipping around 30mph and ac was still blowing hot. Transmission was rebuilt during this time frame due to flare shift 2-3 shift. Vehicle was towed back to the shop each time. 08/17/2011 check engine light on, transmission does not shift, grinding noise when accelerate and brake, A/C blows hot. On 08/31/2011 the transmission would not shift, stated need to replace all electronics in transmission, one or more solenoids are defect. 09/12/2011 odometer 112377 out O. on 09/20/2012 mil 140,768. Balanced 55 series and above rear right wheels balanced parts for flat with plug. Vehicle was inspected for power steering fluid and it was normal. The vehicle jumps when put in reverse and into gear and seems to want to stay on cruise control. I will post further comments to my complaint as there is not enough space for facts.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #54

Jan 152013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Taurus wagon RPM's rev up and down causing the car to sputter, hard lurches forward and die when stopping, usually if the air conditioner is running, also the gas pedal does not release at higher speeds. When first starting car up, it rev's to 2000 RPM and I have to wait for it to idle down to 1000 before shifting out of park to drive. If I am driving at speed of 30mph or more, I can take my foot off the gas pedal and it will maintain the exact speed on its own for miles, sometimes even speeding up 10 more mph. If I turn on the air conditioner, still not putting my foot on the gas pedal, the car will decrease its speed by about 10mph, consequently if I turn off the air conditioner the car will speed up about 10 more mph's. I have had the wagon in the mechanic's shop twice, one was an independent shop, the last was a Ford dealership. Between the two shops I have spent over a thousand dollars and neither one could diagnose or fix my problem. It is becoming increasingly hard to control the car at stops and I'm scared to drive it with my three children in the car but being a single mother with no outside help, our lives depend on the wagon and I have no more finances to try a shop again. Has there been a recall or could you add my problem to your database to see if someone else has my problem, maybe they can tell me what fixed theirs, thank you!

- N Charleroi, PA, USA

problem #53

Jun 292013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 130,600 miles
Was driving in traffic when throttle became stuck open. Engine revved high. I put it into neutral, applied the brakes and pulled over. Engine was revving at 4000 RPM's. open engine hood and noticed the throttle cable mount/harness had broken loose and came out of alignment. I then drove home and tried to call a service station, but it was after 5pm on Saturday and could not find an open service station. Will call Ford on Monday morning.

- Canonsburg, PA, USA

problem #52

May 312013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 157,493 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently. The contact was able to stop the vehicle on the shoulder of the roadway. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 157,493.

- Ames, IA, USA

problem #51

Mar 042013


  • miles
We have replaced valves. Cleaned throttles etc.. on our Ford Taurus and we continue to experience unintentional acceleration (revving) RPM's at over 2,000-3,000. At a stop light it will be at around 2000 rpms with your foot on the brake and then just drop down to.5. I have to keep my foot on the brake when it is revving so high. If the speed limit is 35 I ride the brake continually until it finally lowers. I am afraid of driving it or selling it, yet it is one of our primary vehicles. The shop doesn't know what to do. I seen there is an investigation on this and I am wondering what the current status is. If I continue to drive it, I am sure I will have to spend $ to replace all the brakes next.

- Greenville, MI, USA

problem #50

May 142013


  • 73,089 miles
Driving in city traffic at 30 mph, car began to accelerate on it's own, despite tapping on accelerator or brake pedal to stop. Had to put car into neutral and hold brake to come to a complete stop while the car remained at 4000 RPM. Even after turning the car off and on several times, it remained stuck at 4000 RPM (in both park and neutral). Had to have car towed to mechanic because it was inoperable and a safety concern.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #49

Mar 202013


  • 0 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact was driving into a parking space when the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The vehicle accelerated, crashed into the curb and stopped on the grassy area while the rpms continued to increase. The vehicle sustained damage to the front bumper, right passenger headlight and the right tire was flat. The tie rod was also broken due to the failure. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who repaired the damage. There were no injuries. The police and the dealer were not notified of the failure. The manufacturer also was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Aududon, NJ, USA

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