really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
92,897 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 Excursion electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Ford Excursion Owner Comments

problem #17

Oct 122012


  • 140,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Excursion. The contact stated that the gear shift lever sparked a fire and the wiring of the shifter began to melt. The vehicle was engulfed in smoke shortly after the failure. The contact immediately shut off the vehicle and disconnected the battery. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician stated that the wiring insulation of the lever had worn and caused the failure. As a result, the gear shift assembly would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 145,000. In addition, the contact stated that the silver circuit box inside of the fuse box melted and caught on fire. When the failure occurred, all the gauges on the instrument panel and the alternator failed causing the vehicle to stall. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, who stated that the fuse box would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed him that the fuse box was discontinued. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred shortly after. In order to remedy the failure, a modification had to be made to bypass the melting current by placing an external wire and circuit breaker. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Bakersfield , CA, USA

problem #16

Jan 032014


  • 145,000 miles
At night, in fog, in driveway, I turned on high beams, defrosters, wipers and lowered driver window. A major silver electrical circuit in the fuse breaker box overheated melted and popped. Ford's incompetent electrical engineer's design causes circuit board silver circuitry in fuse box to melt, while no circuit breakers melt/work. The circuit that melted also causes vehicle to lose use of indicators and gauges in the dash gauge panel, the alternator also fails to work and vehicle dies within a day, with no warning, while driving, due to totally dead battery. Ford has at least three different versions of fuse boxes for the 2003 Excursion XLT 5.4L. Ford has no replacement fuse boxes to sell. Problem is so common on the internet, I luckily located the last used fuse box in the country, 1000 miles away from ca. Ford's only solution was a new fuse box for a newer F150 costing $750 and requiring hundreds of more dollars to modify it for an F250/F350/Excursion. The melting fuse box happened twice in one year at $500 per failure. Technician had to put in an external bypass wire with its own external circuit breaker. No more meltdowns in 2.5 years. Incompetent Ford electrical engineers.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #15

May 122014


  • 150,000 miles
At top of a hill I stopped completely and shifted to low gear, the wires in gear shift knob sparked loudly and began burning. Stopped car immediately, opened hood and disconnected battery. Overdrive indicator light harness is a shoddy design. Wire insulation wears through while rubbing with gear shifter selection. There is no armoring or other covering for the thin flimsy harness wires.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #14

Mar 132012


  • 75,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Excursion. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the instrument panel gauges failed and provided erroneous readings. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 75,000.

- Given, WV, USA

problem #13

Oct 132011


  • 183,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Excursion. The contact stated that the vehicle would stall sporadically and would also accelerate abnormally without warning. The contact stated that the failure could have been caused by the injection control pressure sensor. The contact believed that the 2003 model Excursion should have been recalled because the 2004 model was recalled for the same failure (NHTSA campaign id number: 05V270000: Electrical system:wiring). The vehicle was not inspected or repaired. The failure mileage was 183,000 and the current mileage was 184,000.

- Desoto , MO, USA

problem #12

Jun 152011

Excursion 10-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
Our Ford 2003 Excursion speed control/cruise control stopped working after the recall repair has been performed. There is brake fluid leaking from the master cylinder on the wiring harness. Ford states they will not repair again for no charge. My complaint is that I believe this should be taken care of at no charge to the consumer. Thank you

- Warrenton, VA, USA

problem #11

Mar 102011

Excursion 4WD 8-cyl

  • 204,000 miles


While driving on hwy 210 my ABS light came on then my interior lights went dim my head lights started to flicker then the dash board was like christmas everything started to blink fuel like miles to empty seatbelt ect.. then loss all power steering wheel locked I had my four children in the car when we flipped in to a ditch after hitting some mail boxes.. wth I see some of the same reports why hasn't Ford fixed this problem!!!

- Bryans Road, MD, USA

problem #10

Jun 062008


  • 31,600 miles
Driver used cruise control on tollway, got off tollway fire started 1/4 mile from exit. Ford Excursion V 10 gas engine, cruise control deactivation switch failure got hot causing engine fire. The diesel engines were recalled for the same reason. This vehicle is a limousine/qvm. NHTSA campaign # 07V078000 manufacture campaign # 05S28.

- Burbank, IL, USA

problem #9

Feb 202011

Excursion Diesel

  • 150,000 miles
Engine fire associated with electrical short in engine compartment while 2003 Ford Excursion 6.0 liter diesel was parked in the garage. The vehicle had not been driven for at least ten days. The resulting fire destroyed the vehicle, garage, contents and damaged the exterior of the home.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #8

Jun 102010


  • 136,000 miles
We own a 2003, diesel Ford Excursion. Late on 6/10 as we were going down a steep curve the engine stalled. We lost all power. It took all my husband's strength to keep the truck on the road, without power steering. The braking system was diminished. This could have been a potential disaster for our family, we had 2 children in the vehicle as well. He managed to get us somewhat off to the side of the road. The vehicle would not start. This is a very dangerous, potentially life-threatening malfunction of the Ford Excursion. We had the vehicle towed to the local Ford for investigation and found out that the wire harness is defective and needs to be replaced. We investigated this problem and found other reports with similar description have been reported. Ford needs to do something about this defect, it is a potential accident waiting to happen without warning. Thank goodness the circumstances were such that we were okay. We shudder to think if this had happened while I, the wife as driving or on a busy freeway. We don't want another person to experience this, when they don't have to if the problem is corrected. It is an obvious problem.

- Alpena, MI, USA

problem #7

Feb 012006


  • 25,286 miles


I have a 2003 Ford Excursion V-10. This vehicle is equipped with adjustable foot pedals which routinely stop working, sometimes in the fully retracted position. When this happens the drivers seat also does not work, making the vehicle un-driveable for my wife whose reach is considerably shorter than mine. Fords solution to this problem is to replace the seat at an out-of-pocket cost starting at about $800, instead of tracing the bad wire or faulty control module. Internet research has shown me that this problem is apparently prevalent in the larger Ford SUV's manufactured from 2003-2006. I feel this defect should be corrected in a factory recall and not at the expense of vehicle owners when the problem is clearly faulty exuipment / design. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #6

Mar 222008

Excursion 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,965 miles
Over the last 1 1/2 year, veh dies and wont restart or slower to start eventually will not start. All gauges go full tilt, ABS light comes on, loss of all electrical systems, will not restart, just clicks, then nothing. Have to disconnect and fully recharge batteries to restart, ,,, then, ,,, problem recurs in few weeks. New batteries 11/07, cam shaft sensor replaced 3/07. Code P0603.

- Lakeside, AZ, USA

problem #5

Dec 202006

Excursion 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,700 miles
Vehicle stalled while driving @ 40-45 mph on US41. Vehicle completely locked up. Batteries replaced more than 4X. Ford galloway fort myers, Florida refuses to fix wants me to keep replacing batteries. Vehicle being repaired for over 6-7 months. Dangerous vehicle almost killed me. From 12/2006-5/2007 vehicle has died on me every month several times during the month. Dealer still has vehicle.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #4

Nov 082005

Excursion 4WD Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
On route 228 I was going about 45 mph. My truck just stopped, everything turned off steering was locked I put it in park ank had to make two attempts to start my truck up again the batterry light blinked and went off.

- Bryans Road, MD, USA

problem #3

Jun 022003


  • 1,000 miles
While driving vehicle lost electrical power. When vehicle was jump started the electrical components were inoperative.

- Woodbine, MD, USA

problem #2

Aug 212003

Excursion 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140 miles
Dealership has refused to repair ( warranty ) my 4 month old 2003 Ford Excursion. The door locks do not work, the roof leaks, the hood is crooked. The cruise control sticks and the truck accelerates but when the off button is pushed the engine dies. The paint has 100,000 rust particles in the finish, the primer is showing through the white paint in places on the truck, strange noise when the truck is first started.

- Titusville, FL, USA

problem #1

Aug 112003

Excursion 4WD 10-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,550 miles
All guages went full tilt, ABS light came on, loss of power to electrical systems, vehicle was towed twice for same problem. Once vehicle turned off would not start just clicking. Dealer replaced battery twice.

- Riverdale, NJ, USA

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