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.

4.0

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,567 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.

2002 Ford Thunderbird electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Ford Thunderbird Owner Comments

problem #16

Jul 102016

Thunderbird

  • 8,237 miles

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

The dashboard lights for speedometer, tachometer, temp and fuel gauges fail to turn on with headlights. The dimmer switch is functional since other lights for odometer, radio, A/C function correctly. Fuses check out. Cannot view speed while driving at night. This makes driving at night dangerous. Ford dealer claims that the cluster for the dash might need to be changed. However, none are available anymore. The car only has 8237 miles on it.

- Oak Lawn, IL, USA

problem #15

Aug 272015

Thunderbird

  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Thunderbird. The contact stated that the instrument panel failed to illuminate. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the entire cluster needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 42,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #14

Aug 072014

Thunderbird

  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Thunderbird. The contact stated that while driving at 40 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the number 8 coil and spark plug needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000.

- Salisbury, NC, USA

problem #13

Jun 032013

Thunderbird 8-cyl

  • 72,000 miles

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

Ignition coils malfunction replacement needed. Engine misfire at lower speeds.

- Bonnyville, CA, USA

problem #12

May 012012

Thunderbird 8-cyl

  • 0 miles
Clock spring, on both of my 02 tbirds, VIN# [xxx] [xxx] I think this is a very poor part installed in my birds, since I paid top dollar for these cars, $4000 over list price each at the dealer autoway for in bradenton Florida. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #11

Apr 252011

Thunderbird

  • 43,700 miles
I've seen numerous complaints for this same issue and I've done a lot of research on it. My 2002 Ford Thunderbird began having this problem at 43,700 miles. I did not know what the issue was and it was intermittent. Within the past month (September, 2011), I have personally replaced all eight plugs, boots and coils. While doing this I found three plugs that were oil fouled. After completing this repair the car continues to drive rough. The tach will race, the car will not accelerate smoothly or at all while trying to enter a highway and behaves poorly on both neighborhood roads and the highway. I could not afford to have the dealer make the repairs. As a matter of fact, just a week before I replaced the plugs, boots and coils, I had the oil changed at the dealer. They changed the oil, rotated the tires, replaced the oil filter and air filter and windshield wipers. They charged me $151 for this. I think that is robbery!! when I checked out, the mechanic said that it appears I have a "coil" problem. Hmmm. I researched this issue and know that Ford will not admit nor include the 2002 in their extended warranty program. This is shameful! this coil on boot problem is a major safety issue and many folks can be hurt or killed because of how the car behaves when this problem arises. I called customer service at Ford corporate to attempt to register a complaint, the customer service person said "we don't have any problems that we can talk about with this model". well, that sounds like an admission of guilt to me. I am hoping that perhaps you can assist all of us who own 2002 T-birds get justice from Ford and have them admit they have a problem and fix it! extend our warranties before another owner has an accident or dies as a result of this problem. There are 1000S of us! I've owned seven Ford and never have I had an issue or treatment like this before.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #10

Aug 012011

Thunderbird 8-cyl

  • 92,578 miles

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

Had the vehicle tuned-up. After a few driven miles the airbag light came on and stays lit. The problem "driver side air bag high resistance" causes "a poor connection where the clockspring connect into the main wiring harness." Cost to replace/repair $681. This is a defect safety product. Ford refused to pay stating, "there is no extended coverage or recalls for this issue." There are not "sufficient consumer complaints" regarding this problem. This is a defective product dealing with a safety issue with Ford refusing to acknowledge as their responsibility.

- Cameron Park, CA, USA

problem #9

Jul 052011

Thunderbird

  • 38,000 miles
I am writing today to express grave concerns for my 2002 Ford Thunderbird. It is my understanding that Ford Motor Company has extended the warranty for model years 2003-2005 for the coil over plug (cop) ignition system, but has chosen to omit the 2002 model year even though a majority of 2002-2005 Thunderbirds were produced in model year 2002. My concern is that many owners of the 2002 model year have experienced cop failures which have rendered their cars virtually inoperable without notice of the impending failure. To take this a step further, imagine driving on a high speed interstate and have the system fail. The car is designed to go into "limp" mode whereby the car cannot go any faster than 25 mph. This is a disasterous accident waiting to happen! not only is this a safety issue, it the repairs are costing owners of my 2002 cars in excess of $1,500 where owners of newer models are covered for 10 years/100,000 miles free of charge for the exact same failure. This inequity must seriously be investigated and corrected by the NHTSA!

- Newport Beach, CA, USA

problem #8

Jun 152006

Thunderbird

  • 48,351 miles
Multiple engine ignition coil failures in my 2002 Ford Thunderbird. In spite of a dealer acknowledged common problem with frequent coil failures by 50,000 to 60,000 miles, Ford refuses to warranty these vehicles. They do warranty the same problem in the 2003, 2004, 2005 Thunderbirds. What's going on?

- Encino, CA, USA

problem #7

Jun 012009

Thunderbird

  • 62,000 miles
I am writing to hopefully prevent a dangerous and serious situation. I own a 2002 Ford Thunderbird. This particular car and others like it have defective ignition coils which could cause the car(s) to become involved in accidents. The coils are prone to cease functioning at any moment, thus causing the engine to suddenly and rapidly lose power. This is dangerous at best at low speeds, and deadly at highway speeds. The Ford Motor Company has issued a letter stating that 2003-2005 Thunderbirds can have their coils replaced at no cost to the owner. However, they have failed to include the owners of 2002 models in this action. The result of this is that 2002 owners cannot afford to have their coils replaced due to the expense (between $1500 and $2500). This places thousands of cars on the road that endanger not only their own occupants, but those of other vehicles as well. Since Ford has acknowledged that there is a problem with the coils (the 2002 uses the same as those being replaced for free), I implore you to use whatever influence you might have to rectify this situation. Many potential deaths could be avoided if Ford would simply include the 2002 model Thunderbird in the list of approved vehicles for coil replacement at no cost. --------------------

- Waterford, NJ, USA

problem #6

Aug 142008

Thunderbird

  • 3,200 miles

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

I am writing today to express grave concerns for my 2002 Ford Thunderbird. It is my understanding that Ford Motor Company has extended the warranty for model years 2003-2005 for the coil over plug (cop) ignition system, but has chosen to omit the 2002 model year even though a majority of 2002-2005 Thunderbirds were produced in model year 2002. My concern is that many owners of the 2002 model year have experienced cop failures which have rendered their cars virtually inoperable without notice of the impending failure. To take this a step further, imagine driving on a high speed interstate and have the system fail. The car is designed to go into "limp" mode whereby the car cannot go any faster than 25 mph. This is a disastrous accident waiting to happen! not only is this a safety issue, it the repairs are costing owners of my 2002 cars in excess of $1,500 where owners of newer models are covered for 10 years/100,000 miles free of charge for the exact same failure. This inequity must seriously be investigated and corrected by the NHTSA!

- Coventry, RI, USA

problem #5

Feb 252009

Thunderbird

  • miles
I am writing regarding a potentially serious and dangerous situation. I own a 2002 Ford Thunderbird -- an otherwise great car that I have learned has a significant design flaw. I have learned that this particular car and others like it (for example, model years 2003 through 2005) have defective ignition coils which could cause the car(s) to become involved in accidents. The coils are prone to cease functioning at any moment, thus causing the engine to suddenly and rapidly lose power. This is dangerous at best at low speeds, and deadly at highway speeds! the Ford Motor Company has issued a letter stating that 2003-2005 Thunderbirds can have their coils replaced at no cost to the owner. However, they have failed to include the owners of 2002 models in this action. Yet the 2002 model uses the same equipment as the 2003 through 2005 model years, and more 2002 models were sold than those of the subsequent years. The result of this? 2002 model owners cannot afford to have their coils replaced due to the expense (between $1500 and $2500). This places thousands of cars on the road that endanger not only their own occupants, but those of other vehicles as well. Since Ford has acknowledged that there is a problem with the coils (the 2002 uses the same as those being replaced for free), I implore you to use whatever influence you might have to rectify this situation. Many potential deaths could be avoided if Ford would simply include the 2002 model Thunderbird in the list of approved vehicles for coil replacement at no cost. Thanks in advance!

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #4

Oct 032008

Thunderbird

  • miles
I just purchased a 2002 Ford Thunderbird and have become aware of a design problem that potentially could be fatal to the driver and other motorists. I have learned that Ford Motor Company has extended the warranty for model years 2003-2005 for the coil over plug (cop) ignition system, but not for the 2002 model year. A majority of 2002-2005 Thunderbirds were produced in model year 2002. I further learned that many owners of the 2002 model year have experienced cop failures which have rendered their cars virtually inoperable and without notice of the impending failure. Clearly this creates a hazardous situation on the highway at best, and mortal at worst. In addition to being a safety issue there is an equity issue as well. Repairs cost owners of 2002 Thunderbirds in excess of $1,500 but owners of newer models are covered for 10 years/100,000 miles free of charge for the exact same failure. I hope that NHTSA will correct both of these problems with the Ford and its 2002 Thunderbird: Highway safety and equity. Thank you.

- Jarrettsville, MD, USA

problem #3

Sep 022008

Thunderbird

  • miles
I am writing to hopefully prevent a dangerous and serious situation. I own a 2002 Ford Thunderbird. This particular car and others like it have defective ignition coils which could cause the car(s) to become involved in accidents. The coils are prone to cease functioning at any moment, thus causing the engine to suddenly and rapidly lose power. This is dangerous at best at low speeds, and deadly at highway speeds. The Ford Motor Company has issued a letter stating that 2003-2005 Thunderbirds can have their coils replaced at no cost to the owner. However, they have failed to include the owners of 2002 models in this action. The result of this is that 2002 owners cannot afford to have their coils replaced due to the expense (between $1500 and $2500). This places thousands of cars on the road that endanger not only their own occupants, but those of other vehicles as well. Since Ford has acknowledged that there is a problem with the coils (the 2002 uses the same as those being replaced for free), I implore you to use whatever influence you might have to rectify this situation. Many potential deaths could be avoided if Ford would simply include the 2002 model Thunderbird in the list of approved vehicles for coil replacement at no cost.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

problem #2

May 042002

Thunderbird

  • miles
I am writing to hopefully prevent a dangerous and serious situation. I own a 2002 Ford Thunderbird. This particular car and others like it have defective ignition coils which could cause the car(s) to become involved in accidents. The coils are prone to cease functioning at any moment, thus causing the engine to suddenly and rapidly lose power. This is dangerous at best at low speeds, and deadly at highway speeds. The Ford Motor Company has issued a letter stating that 2003-2005 Thunderbirds can have their coils replaced at no cost to the owner. However, they have failed to include the owners of 2002 models in this action. The result of this is that 2002 owners cannot afford to have their coils replaced due to the expense (between $1500 and $2500). This places thousands of cars on the road that endanger not only their own occupants, but those of other vehicles as well. Since Ford has acknowledged that there is a problem with the coils (the 2002 uses the same as those being replaced for free), I implore you to use whatever influence you might have to rectify this situation. Many potential deaths could be avoided if Ford would simply include the 2002 model Thunderbird in the list of approved vehicles for coil replacement at no cost.

- La Crescenta, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 022008

Thunderbird

  • 18,000 miles
I am writing to proactively prevent what I perceive to be a dangerous and serious situation. I own a 2002 Ford Thunderbird and other 2002's like it have defective ignition coils which could cause the car(s) to become involved in accidents. The coils are prone to cease functioning at any moment, thus causing the engine to suddenly and rapidly lose power. This could be deadly at highway speeds. The Ford Motor Company has issued a letter stating that 2003-2005 Thunderbirds can have their coils replaced at no cost to the owner. However, they have failed to include the owners of 2002 models in this action. The result of this is that 2002 owners cannot afford to have their coils replaced due to the expense (between $1500 and $2500). This places thousands of cars on the road that endanger not only their own occupants, but those of other vehicles as well. Since Ford has acknowledged that there is a problem with the coils (the 2002 uses the same as those being replaced for free), I implore you to use whatever influence you might have to rectify this situation. Potential serious injury or even deaths could be avoided if Ford would simply include the 2002 model Thunderbird in the list of approved vehicles for coil replacement at no cost.

- Frankfort, IL, USA

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