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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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,847 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Thunderbird Owner Comments

problem #8

Mar 312016


  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Thunderbird. While driving on the highway, the vehicle lunged forward and stopped accelerating. The vehicle independently began to operate normally afterwards; however, the failure recurred. The contact stated that the vehicle would not operate past approximately 35 mph. After the failure recurred, the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the coil on plug was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The technician diagnosed that all eight vehicle coil on plugs needed to be replaced eventually. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #7

Sep 012015


  • 49,000 miles
I went to park the car and the car went racing into the spot and it was difficult to make it stop. I through the car into park and even then I was sure it was going to stop. If I didn't have an empty parking lot I don't think it would have been possible there would have been an accident. Then I had to drive the car home which I didn't want to do, because this was very frightening. Then driving home at the stop light I just put the car in park because it was still racing and I didn't think putting my foot on the brake would have kept it in a stopped position. Then when I tried to take off it acted like it wanted to stall. Not a cood feeling at all.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #6

Dec 162013


  • 32,533 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Thunderbird. The contact stated that while waiting at a traffic light, there was a sudden increase in engine rpms as the vehicle accelerated independently. The contact mentioned that the brakes were engaged at the time of the failure but failed to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 32,533.

- Cape Coral , FL, USA

problem #5

May 032010

Thunderbird 8-cyl

  • 10,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Thunderbird. While traveling at speeds of 35 mph, the contact applied the brakes but the brakes did not engage. The contact proceeded to crash into the rear of another vehicle. A police report was filed accordingly. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileages were 10,000. Updated 08/03/10. Updated 08/04/10.

- El Dorado Hills , CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 012009


  • 26,000 miles
The most recent problem started in June 2009 when the airbag indicator light came on for no reason and wouldn't go off (is it working or not" safety issue") then within a matter of weeks everything on the steering column controls quit working or went berserk. The cruise controls suddenly went haywire accelerating when any button was pushed now they don't work at all (safety issue). A car pulled out in front of me, I slammed on the brakes and laid on the horn and nothing!!! a terrible crash was missed by literally inches( safety issue)...30 minutes later the horn worked. The next day I tried about 30 times and I got it to beep twice. The radio/cd controls sometimes work and sometimes don't. change from radio to cd and suddenly the volume is blasting (shocked enough for it to be a safety issue). I was told over the phone it is a clock spring issue and the estimate was $450!!!!! in addition my 2002 Thunderbird was purchased Jan 2,2003. It was one of the last cars off of the line before the 2002 model switch to 2003. I have had the same coil on plug issues that were recalled on 2003's, yet dealer would do nothing for started only 2,000 mls out of initial warranty. I have replaced 3 of the coils/gasket cover and now the 4th coil is bad with gasket leaking. The design is unchanged from 2002 to 2003, why not fix mine? twice I have lost power when accelerating and the car hesitated or stalled in middle of driving. If you don't consider that a safety issue then try pulling out in atlanta traffic and see what you think. In addition now the passenger side auto door latch won't work. This is by far the worst car I have ever had in my life. I had purchased three prior Ford vehicles at the same dealership and they would do nothing for me. I never had the first complaint on any other Ford vehicles.... now the dealer has gone out of business...... please I am begging you see if you can get these issues fixed I have poured enough money into this car and it isn't fair!

- Lawrenceville, Ga, GA, USA

problem #3

Jan 012005

Thunderbird 8-cyl

  • 61,745 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Thunderbird. When the contact depressed the brake pedal at 5 mph, the vehicle would suddenly surge forward. Four years prior to this failure, the same issue occurred and the iac control was replaced by the dealer. The vehicle was towed to another dealer, but they could not duplicate the failure. The current mileage was 64,332 and failure mileage was 61,745. Updated 07/28/09.

- Sutter Creek, CA, USA

problem #2

Feb 092008


  • 28,000 miles
2002 Ford Thunderbird. Driving on the on ramp to get onto highway accelerating to get into traffic. When I took my foot of the gas pedal the car continued to accelerate a full speed. Applied brakes and the car was still doing 60 mph with the brakes on. Had to stand on brakes to get off the next exit ramp. Could not bring it to a full stop so I threw it into park. It was terrifying because I didn't have control over the accelerator. Turned off the car. Restarted it in park and the engine was still screaming. I did not have my foot on the gas and the brake. I only use my right foot for these pedals. My feet are not big enough to have one foot on both. The mat was not stuck under anything. After sitting for 5 to 10 minutes I restarted the car in park and it seemed to idle normally. I put the hazard lights on and drove home slowly and brought it to the Ford dealer (don davis auto group in arlington, tx) the next morning. They can't find anything wrong with the car and cannot "duplicate" the incident. They spoke to Ford and they want me to pick up the car because "they can't just start throwing parts on it when they can't duplicate the problem. I am now afraid to drive my car because if it recurrs someone could be killed. Please advise me.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 132004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,500 miles
When the consumer attempted to apply the brakes, the vehicle surged forward about two car lengths. The consumer stated the back tires spin and there was a smell of rubber. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but they were unable to find anything wrong.

- Flagler Beach, FL, USA

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