really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
134,694 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 Expedition brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Ford Expedition Owner Comments

problem #12

Nov 212016


  • 169,000 miles


The contact owned a 2003 Ford Expedition. While driving 15 mph and making a sharp right turn, the brakes and emergency brake failed without warning. The vehicle crashed into two parked vehicles. The air bags deployed. A police report was filed. One passenger located in the rear seat sustained a fractured neck, which required medical attention. The vehicle was towed to a hotel. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 169,000.

- Chalmett, LA, USA

problem #11

Sep 122016


  • 224,000 miles
2003 for Expedition not running properly shutting down while driving passenger window stuck brakes not working properly when vehicle shuts down.

- Texarkana, TX, USA

problem #10

May 262016


  • 156,000 miles
Owner has replaced brakes and rotors several times. When driving, the driver feels as if they are pushing against resistance, like the emergency brake is engaged. Vehicle is able to move with emergency brake fully engaged. When braking, a pulse is felt, but rotors are new.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #9

Mar 272016


  • 100,000 miles


The brake line that is routed to the rear brakes rusted completely through, causing me to lose all braking function hence, control of my vehicle. I had to run off into a ditch to miss a slowing vehicle. After I had come to rest in the ditch there was an engine fire caused by brake fluid spraying onto the hot engine exhaust manifold. Fortunately, I had a fire extinguisher on board, so I was able to put the fire out before there was any damage. The interesting thing about this incident is that there is another line that runs parallel with the defective line that shows zero evidence of corrosion.

- Morehead, KY, USA

problem #8

Jan 312016


  • 71,000 miles
My vehicle experienced total brake failure as I approached a four-way stop intersection on a rural county highway. Inspection by auto repair technicians revealed my brake lines had rusted and had experienced several ruptures. The technicians said the rust was the result of Ford's decision to install steel brake lines in the vehicle, rather than aluminum. When exposed to the salt prevalent on local roadways in the winter, they easily rust out long before the vehicle even approaches the beginning of the end of its life.

- Dekalb, IL, USA

problem #7

Dec 012015


  • 116,785 miles
Abrupt, no warning(on digital dash) loss of braking ability. On stopping while pulling in a parking space in a parking garage, brake pedal went to the floor. Vehicle did stop without hitting concrete wall. Very scary getting the vehicle out of the garage from the 5th floor to be placed on a roll back. Dealer states brake lines have rusted and drained brake fluid causing catastrophic brake failure. Stated they have seen this before

- Prospect, KY, USA

problem #6

Sep 062015


  • 180,000 miles


The contact owned a 2003 Ford Expedition. The contact stated that the brake pedal was depressed and smoke emitted into the vehicle from the air conditioning vents. The contact also noticed that there were flames under the hood. The fire was extinguished by the fire department. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 180,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #5

Jul 032015


  • 197,000 miles
Truck shut off at 60mph towing a camper because my fuel pump relay blew because of a defect in the fuse box!! almost killed us........ not happy at all. I've spoken to many mechanics and been on many forums and this seems to be a wide spread and dangerous issue Ford should take care of. Spoke with the local Ford parts department and they are aware of the issue. This is not a cheap part by any means, but on top of that it almost killed my wife and family! please do something about this defect. I can send you pictures of the fuse box board so you can see the burns.

- Goldendale, WA, USA

problem #4

Jul 182013


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 mph, the brake pedal dropped to the floorboard as there was a loss of braking capability. The contact stated that the ABS warning light also illuminated and the emergency brakes had to be used in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the brake lines were completely rusted and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 110,000.

- Oxin Hill , MD, USA

problem #3

May 182013

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 89,800 miles
I previously reported 3 failures of the brake system on this vehicle due to corroded brake lines under NHTSA id# 10491754. This past weekend I just had a fourth brake failure due to a corroded brake line in 11 months. This brake line runs along the left front below the engine bay.

- Mantua, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jun 142012

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 81,743 miles
Brake line running across the front end of the vehicle ruptured due to rust causing loss of brake fluid and loss of braking. I had a local garage replace the ruptured line and inspect the other lines. I was advised they were all rusted but they did not see a need to replace them at this time. In October 2012 I had another brake line rupture, this time it was a brake line running along the frame rail on the driver's side to the back brakes. This also caused a loss of brake fluid and loss of braking. I had it repaired at a different repair shop. I also had him inspect all other lines and again I was told the other brake lines were rusted but he saw no reason to replace any others at that time. On January 6, 2013 I had another brake line failure near where the brake line failed in October 2012 (the other brake line running parallel) again causing a loss of brake fluid and loss of braking. Both repair facilities informed me this is a common problem. I also went to different repair facility to have maintenance performed when they saw my new brake lines, they asked what happened. When I told them they said, "oh it's a common problem" I can not understand how the federal government allows vehicle manufacturers to make brake lines out of a material so prone to corrosion. There is no other safety device on a vehicle more important than the brakes. What good are the anti-lock brakes you mandate if the brake lines fail?

- Mantua, NJ, USA

problem #1

Dec 032012

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
Driving South on rt 202 in left lane at 35 mph /a car in right lane changed lanes to the left in front of car in front of me to get to an exit. The car in front of me applied brakes / I pressed brakes hard to avoid rear end collision.. ABS system locked brakes but pedal went to floor. After that brakes felt soft when applied.. found leak in rusted lines from master cylinder to booster.

- Landover, MD, USA

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