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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,545 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.

2004 Ford Taurus drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #35

Jun 162016


  • miles


I ran by a friends house to pick up an item. After putting my gear selector in reverse I realized that I not only couldn't back up, but could not get any gear to engage! my transmission had completely failed with absolutely zero indication that it was about to die.

- Youngsville, NC, USA

problem #34

Apr 122016


  • 172,666 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the transmission failed to shift gears without warning. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 172,666.

- Mckenzie, TN, USA

problem #33

Apr 042016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the gear was unable to shift out of park. The contact had to make numerous attempts to get the vehicle to change gears and, at times, the vehicle was unable to be driven. The vehicle was not inspected and diagnosed. The contact was to check with the manufacturer to determine a repair solution. The VIN and failure mileage were not available.

- Mc Kenzie, TN, USA

problem #32

Apr 022016


  • 105,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. After the vehicle was refueled, the gear shift failed to switch out of the park position. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Holbrok, NY, USA

problem #31

Jan 022015

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
Torque converter failed in transmission, which led to total failure. On highway at 65 mph when vehicle started to slow while driving. Got to shoulder, and had car towed. This is common problem with this car. Ford will not recall or help. Spline is to thin, and, out of spec. In regard to thickness.

- New Castle, DE, USA

problem #30

Nov 222014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 130,802 miles
Coming down poway road in poway, ca it was very difficult to stop and it seemed the engine was revving. I pulled over to a safe turnout and it was difficult to stop completely as the brakes were spongy. When I put the transmission in park, the engine speed was over 2500 RPM. I turned the engine off and could smell the brakes. Suspecting a stuck throttle, I removed the protective cover and the accelerator was being held open by the cruise control cable which had become disconnected at the throttle linkage area. I removed the assembly and pushed it aside so we could continue driving. I consider this a very dangerous situation as we were driving down a grade and I was trying to apply the brakes at the same time the engine was pushing us faster. Since it was Saturday I drive to the dealer. I knew there had been a similar recall I checked to see if our vehicle was included and it was not but the service advisor was very familiar with the recall which Ford had done as "customer satisfaction program 13B04" which he provided me a copy of. I have seen this in my son's 2002 Ford Taurus also. The clip that holds the cruise control cable to the throttle linkage disconnects and because of the stiffness, actually prevents the accelerator linkage from returning to idle. Although it has not failed, I can see the same linkage on my 2003 Mercury Sable which of course is a repackaged Taurus. This clip is a very poor design in that it does not do a good job of holding onto the accelerator pin. From observation I know that it was used in at least 3 model years and perhaps more. This should have been more than a courtesy fix as unintended acceleration can be very dangerous as the last few years have shown. It should be expanded to include any vehicle that used this design. It's not a question of if it will fail but as our experience today shows, when.

- Poway, CA, USA

problem #29

Sep 232014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles


When I drive, the gas pedal will get stuck and either stay at the speed without me setting cruise control or it may accelerate on its own. To get it loose, I have to jiggle the gas pedal (which can be very dangerous especially while driving), this usually stops the problem but I'm concerned that someday it will stop working and I won't be able to control this anymore. If I put the car in park or neutral it increases the RPM from 1 to 3 or 4. also if the RPM are increased while in park it makes it super hard to shift to drive and is stressful to my transmission.

- Wichita , KS, USA

problem #28

Sep 152004


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the transmission seized without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Newport, MI, USA

problem #27

Jul 142014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
When going from 1st to 2nd there was a loud and hard bump, transmission repaired now after having car back for 1 week when I put it in reverse it hardly moves and shudders and shakes.

- Dumont, NJ, USA

problem #26

Apr 182014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 148,547 miles
Transmission lost all gears with no warning.

- Akron, IN, USA

problem #25

Sep 012013


  • 94,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the gear shifter failed to release from park. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 94,000.

- Ortonville , MI, USA

problem #24

Aug 142013


  • 66,700 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The engine failed to restart after several attempts. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the torque converter was replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 66,700.

- Keyport, NJ, USA

problem #23

Jul 032013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 116,442 miles
While driving and approaching an intersection I began to apply brake for red light, the rpms spiked to 4000. The car continued to accelerate on it's own.tried to tap brake change. Put the car in neutral and tapped gas to finally get the rpms to lower to at least 2000 level. This has happened at least 4 other times.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #22

Aug 312013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 142,854 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to shift from reverse to drive. The vehicle was inspected by a private mechanic who stated that the shift cable had failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 142,854. Updated 12/5/13 the consumer stated the shift cable was replaced.

- Buena Vista, VA, USA

problem #21

Apr 282013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
I own a 2004 Ford Taurus ses V6 with an automatic transmission. I drove to work with no warning sounds, smells, or warning lights, and it drove perfectly. I attempted to go to lunch, and the vehicle started just fine, but wouldn't shift into any gears/reverse ect. I have researched online as well as the transmission shops, and this is a known problem. As far as I know so far the Ford freestar has the same issue & a class action was filed & then Ford followed up with a recall. Please do something about this! I have filed a complaint with Ford with no acknowledgement or resolution. I feel sick to be out so much money for a known problem. Of course I do feel lucky I wasn't driving when it happened like many others. Ford shouldn't be able to turn a blind eye to this!

- Neenah, WI, USA

problem #20

Jan 292013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 56,717 miles
Drove from work to home, parked car. When I went to go start car, it would not go forward or reverse. Had it towed to Ford dealer.upon further investigation with friends they told me Taurus/Sable were known for bad converters, went on internet to investigate information and had huge response to this problem.

- Adrian, MI, USA

problem #19

Sep 152011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
I spent 4 hours at night waiting for a tow truck to arrive. All most got hit by a semi trying to get this pos off the road. That was $150 for the tow and now I need to spend more to get this 2004 Taurus running. I am a Ford fan as you can tell by my email address. I even drag race mustangs. I am thinking about going Honda for my daily driver. Problem was a improperly heat treated torque converter spline. Has left 100's if not 1000's of us stranded. Gives out with no warning. Car just stops moving. Car was down for 1 week and cost ended up being just over $1000.

- Douglass, KS, USA

problem #18

Oct 282011


  • 35,000 miles
Torque converter failed in driveway October 2012. Almost $1000 in repair costs. 2004 Taurus with only 35,000 miles. The only owner/driver is my retired mother. Car was always well maintained. Very fortunate the failure did not occur on the highway.

- Massapequa Park, NY, USA

problem #17

Oct 092012


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. While driving approximately 30 mph, the engine RPM reading increased abnormally however, the vehicle would not accelerate. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic advised the contact that the transmission would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 82,000.

- Norwalk, IA, USA

problem #16

Sep 282012


  • 121,764 miles
I was driving on the interstate and the check transmission light came on. I pulled to the side of the road and checked the fluid, it was at the correct level and was clean and smelled good. I pulled back on to the road and it ran ok for about 2 hours. We came up on an accident and stopped, when we went to go forward the car made a big bang, shuddered, then drove ok. I went to the nearest exit and stopped at the light, the car drove away normally to the gas station. At the station I re-checked the fluid, again everything normal. When I went to pull away the car just revved up like it was in neutral. It would not go in to any gear.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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