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.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,281 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

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 #25

Jun 042011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,311 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that he deactivated the cruise control while driving 55 mph, but the vehicle would not decelerate. There was a constant increase in engine rpms until the contact applied heavy pressure to the brake pedal. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and the throttle position sensor was replaced. The contact examined the vehicle the following morning and noticed that transmission fluid had leaked onto the ground. The failure persisted. The contact then disconnected the cruise control cable and the failure had not recurred since. The transmission leak continued despite numerous repairs performed by the contact and an authorized dealer. The failure mileage was 86,311. Updated 04/13/12 the consumer stated the vehicle would not decelerate normally. There was a higher than normal engine RPM and he had to use heavier than normal braking to both slow and stop the vehicle. Just prior to arriving at a safe parking area, the idle returned to normal. After a brief stop, the consumer went back home. Initially, the idle was normal, but then the high idle returned. The vehicle wa taken to an independent mechanic, where the throttle position sensor was replaced. The consumer examined the vehicle the next day, where he noticed transmission fluid was leaking. The transmission dipstick shaft and dipstick was extended about 3-4 inches onto the ground. All fluids appeared normal after inspection was performed. The consumer replaced the iac and returned to the mechanic to verify proper installation. The consumer then disconnected the cruise control cable from the throttle body as the high idle persisted. The transmission leak continued despite numerous repairs performed by the consumer and the authorized dealer. Updated 04/23/12

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #24

Feb 212012


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Cpsc#I1220619A. 2004 Ford Taurus. Consumer stated the transmission failed and left his wife stranded in the middle of the road.

- Clifton, IL, USA

problem #23

Aug 222011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 101,080 miles


2004 Ford Taurus with approx 101K miles. Turning left at a traffic light, the transmission disengaged without warning. The engine runs fine, but the transmission will not engage in any gear. The dealer says there is zero line pressure and the pump shaft and torque converter needs to be replaced. $1700 or basically a total rebuild. This is dangerous!!!

- Freeland, MI, USA

problem #22

Apr 242011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 94,249 miles
Transmission total failure with no advance warning. Just lucky that was not rear ended or worse.

- Wind Lake, WI, USA

problem #21

Jul 192011


  • 189,000 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Taurus ses with a 24V duratec 3.0L DOHC engine and 4F50N transmission. My wife was pulling out of a parking lot on July 19, 2011 around mid-day, when the transmission lost all forward power. She stopped the car and tried the other gears with no result. No movement in any gear, forward or reverse.

- Paint Rock, AL, USA

problem #20

Jun 302011

Taurus 6-cyl Diesel

  • 125,000 miles


I have a 2004 Taurus and on my way home from work my car stopped dead in the road and had to be towed. There was no prior warning or issues just my transmission stopped dead in the middle of a busy road. Mechanic told me I need a new transmission. I see this is a common issue but also a serious safety concern.

- Tupper Lake, NY, USA

problem #19

Jun 262011


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. The contact was driving 60 mph when the vehicle stalled and the transmission failed. The contact stated that the failure was the second occurrence and the vehicle had been taken to the dealer several times for repairs. The transmission was previously replaced yet the failure recurred. The failure mileage was 83,000.

- Gahanna, OH, USA

problem #18

Jun 022011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I bought my 2004 Ford Taurus new and have had no major repair problems. It currently has just over 140,000 miles on it. Yesterday my wife was traveling on the interstate, when the vehicle suddenly lost power at 70 miles per hour and began making a loud "whining" noise in the engine compartment. She was fortunately able to coast to the shoulder, where she put the gear selector in "park" and turned the ignition off. After letting the vehicle sit for a few minutes she restarted the car and put the gear selector in "drive". the loud "whining" noise continued, and each time that she depressed the accelerator the RPM's increased as the engine revved, but the car would not move. I had it towed to a transmission repair facility where the electronic components of the transmission were tested. There were no malfunctions detected in the electronic components. I was informed that the transmission would have to be removed, as the malfunction was due to a failure of either the torque converter, the transmission, or possibly both. The repair estimates were quoted to be about $850 if the failure was due to a faulty torque converter, which the technician informed me was a quite common problem with that model, as the splines often stripped out. The second quote was for about $1500 if metal shavings are found in the transmission pan, which would indicate that the failure was a result of a faulty component in the transmission, which would require a transmission overhaul. I searched yahoo for "2004 Ford Taurus transmission problems" and discovered an overwhelming amount of consumer complaints involving the same manufacturer defect. Many of the consumers filed complaints with Ford Motor Company, but Ford refuses to admit that there is a defect in the parts, materials, or design. Ironically I found that the defective transmission components were used in the 2002 to 2006 models. Prior to my 2004 model, I owned a 2000 model Taurus with over 100,000 miles and never had any problems.

- Robards, KY, USA

problem #17

Apr 122011


  • 139,000 miles
After reading all of the complaints, I can definitely relate to what I'm reading. Unlike most of the people on here I actually had the transmission light come on before a drastic failure occurred. However my cars symptoms are exactly the same. It has started pulsing slightly while at freeway speeds. I'd like to keep operating it to see if it goes away, but after reading all the reviews I'm too afraid to try. Ford has finally started to develop a strong reputation for themselves, and if they want to keep things that way they better get a hold of this one before its too late. I can imagine that they aren't interested in becoming the next "Toyota" in the car industry. Come on Ford, make this right!

- Menomonie, WI, USA

problem #16

Oct 142010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,439 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. The contact was attempting to enter a highway with the overdrive activated. As he attempted to accelerate, the vehicle would not respond despite several attempts. The contact disengaged the overdrive as the vehicle resumed normal operation until the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was advised that the torque converter would need replacing. The vehicle was repaired yet the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the technician was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 82,439 and the current mileage was 86,978. Updated 04/12/11 the transmisson cooler lines were flushed. Updated 07/11/11

- Northville, MI, USA

problem #15

Dec 222010


  • 86,000 miles
I have a 2004 Taurus which without warning just coasted while on the interstate. Problem identified as transmission problem. After searching web noted a web site in which there were other similar complaints. I have also discussed with anyone who I note to have a Taurus during the years 2003-2005 and all of them have had to have transmissions replaced because they suddenly went out. Driving down an interstate and transmission go or in atlanta downtown traffic at quitting time is quite a danger. This would apply to all large cities. Seems the problem occurs between 60,000 and 90to 100 thousand miles. Had a 1996 that had over 200,000 miles never any transmission problems. I think this is very dangerous due to the way it just stops. Of course when contacting Ford Motor Company they have denied a problem with the cars. I can actually identify personally 30 Taurus drivers in my area that have had to replace transmissions prior to 100,000 miles. We expect as much as they cost for this to last longer. The autobeef is only a small portion of the folks this has happened to. Please consider this problem of danger to the public due to the nature of the auto just costing to a stop or even just not moving forward after stopping at a light esp in heavy traffic situations.

- Aiken, SC, USA

problem #14

Feb 112011


  • 125,000 miles
I was driving my 2004 Ford Taurus and suddenly it jerked and made a noise. I was on my way home not far away and did manage to get to my house into my driveway but then it would not pull at all, the transmission went out completely. We are still making payments on this car that is even worse and it could have been dangerous if it had quit in traffic on the road.

- Rutherford, TN, USA

problem #13

Dec 172010


  • miles
Just another mid-2000S Ford Taurus with a major transmission failure with absolutely no warning prior to loss of drive power. This particular Taurus is a 2004 and the transmission broke while traveling at a steady highway speed. I presume a fatality will have to occur before Ford will address this pandemic transmission failure problem.

- Centreville, MD, USA

problem #12

Jan 052011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
Driving down the road, made a left turn, tried to accelerate and the car acted as if someone had put the car in neutral. No warning lights, no sound, nothing to give any warning the transmission had any problems. At this time we have not repaired the vehicle but plan to in the next couple weeks, the cost will be around $1800 for parts and labor.

- Kirkland, IL, USA

problem #11

Oct 132010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
I have been a Ford employee for 17 years and have followed all maintenance on my 2004 Ford Taurus SE 3.0 liter vulcan 2-valve better than the dealer would. It has 138,000 very easy driven miles on it. I live about 35 mile from the plant one way. The transmission has been serviced by me with all Ford parts, fluids, etc. No warning, no codes from snap-on scanner, no check engine light and to top it all off my wife was pulling across three lanes of oncoming traffic when the transaxle just let go. No forward or reverse gears at all. Car only had a slight vibration at 45-60mph on acceleration for about two weeks before this happened. It was very slight and you could only feel it in the seat of your pants. She was almost T-boned by a super-duty truck with my children in the car with her. I have seen all of the other complaints about these transmissions. I wonder how many people were not as lucky not to be hit because of the same problem. I have not drop the powertrain pod as Ford calls them to check what broke. I would bet a months pay it was the torque converter because of all of the same issues I have read and been about this safety issue with them. I have talked with the quality rep here at our plant and he did contact Ford but they tell me they haven't had enough of these go out to place a recall on them or enough people hurt or killed. That is the most unsafe failure I have ever seen in a car of any type. I am a product evaluator for Ford and test drive new super-dutys everyday. I know this is a major design flaw in these transmissions and Ford knows !!!! that is why Ford only covers them under a 36,000 mile warranty unless you pay an extra 2500 for the extended warranty. I don't want people to have to get hurt or worse before this issue get resolved or recalled. They have known for awhile. I have talked with other workers at my plant from atlanta, ga where they did build them until the junk start pouring down the assembly line. 3500 for a new trans.

- Pendleton, KY, USA

problem #10

Feb 102004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
When I bought first bought my 2004 Ford Taurus it would shift with a jerk and make a brief noise. Ford serviced it and it was better. But it still would occasionally shift hard. About 2 years ago was the first time that when I put it in drive it did not engage in gear, I went back to park and then shifted to drive again and it did not go in gear again. So I shifted to low to finally get it go. Then it finally went to drive when I shifted again. It has been doing this off and on since then, only lately it has started to do it more and is shifting with a jerk sometimes also. I have been keeping up with the preventative maintenance, filters, fluids, belts, plugs, etc.

- Saint Cloud, FL, USA

problem #9

Aug 192009


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that there was an unusual increase in engine rpms and the vehicle immediately began to lose power. The vehicle would not accelerate forward or in reverse. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the converter and converter shaft had failed. The vehicle was repaired at the contact's expense. The manufacturer would not provide any assistance. The failure recurred and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer. The converter and converter shaft had failed again. The vehicle was repaired a second time at the contact's expense. The manufacturer was contacted and again, and would offer no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 70,000 and the current mileage was 127,569.

- Hernando, FL, USA

problem #8

May 212010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
Torque converter failed, driving on interstate highway torque converter went out, trouble getting it to side of road in traffic.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #7

Jun 172010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 162,000 miles
Was driving along Missouri hwy 92 at about 35 mph in my 2004 Ford Taurus when I turned off and the car seemed to slip out of gear. Depressed accelerator and the tachometer revved but car decelerated and began rolling backwards back into the highway (I was on an incline). No dashboard warning lights came on nor was there any unusual auto noises. Was able to stop the vehicle before it rolled completely into the highway. Shifted through all gears and it would not engage in any gear. The dealership gave me an estimate of $172 in which to run a 27 point inspection or I would have to remove the transmission for further evaluation at a cost of approximately $1500 saying it was likely the torque converter. In light of the recent Toyota acceleration problems I find it amazing that another car dealership has no regard for their product! I purchased this car from a fleet dealer with less than 6,000 miles on it. I have had regular maintenance done on it for upkeep and never had any problems. Had my 16 year old daughter been driving this, I am certain it would have resulted in an accident with dire consequences. I have found a website with at least 80 complaints of the same nature, and several service stations which I have contacted which have informed me this happens frequently with the Taurus's.

- Smithville, MO, USA

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