really awful
Crashes / Fires:
14 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
19 / 1
Average Mileage:
85,859 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Ford Expedition Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Jul 172016


  • 153,000 miles


Side airbags spontaneously deployed while driving down the highway. I stopped the vehicle safely and no apparent injury to myself or passenger except for possible hearing loss due to the loud bang on deployment. I used a knife to cut the bags away from the front side windows then continued driving.

- Hickory, NC, USA

problem #27

Aug 112015


  • 191,260 miles
Driving on a paved road in a school zone when at approximately 5 pm, when side airbags deployed. The bags deployed deflated. I was near a residential neighborhood so I pulled off the road and exited the vehicle. I was not hit nor did I hit anyone to cause the bags to deploy.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #26

Jun 152009


  • 140,000 miles
While driving on vacation on vancouver island near victoria, the driver side air bag deployed for no apparent reason. We were uninjured and drove to the Ford dealer in victoria. No reason was found for the deployment and the system was deactivated by the dealer. It is still inactivated.

- Grass Valley, CA, USA

problem #25

Jan 102011

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • 111,424 miles


Air bag warning light came on. Dealer advised that the air bag system was defective, would not function any longer, and needed replacement.

- Sturgeon Bay, WI, USA

problem #24

Apr 292014

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
While traveling at approximately 70mph in the fast lane westbound on hwy 4 in my 2003 Ford Expedition a extremely loud bang was heard and smoke was seen from inside of the vehicle. At first I thought something had hit the top of the vehicle. Thankfully I kept control of the vehicle and proceeded to merge to the right to pull over in the emergency lane. Upon stopping the vehicle I noticed the side curtain airbags had deployed. Knowing that I didn't hit anything nor did anything hit the vehicle I still walked around the whole vehicle to inspect for any possible causes. After contacting my insurance company they stated that this damage would not be cover due to faulty cause. The vehicle was inspected from my insurance company and they stated no impacted was sustained to the vehicle. Conclusion being that the airbags deployed on their own with no impact, possibly a short or just faulty equipment. I'm glad my family wasn't hurt during this incident.

- Rodeo, CA, USA

problem #23

May 172014

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 105,774 miles
On Saturday, May 17, 2014 at approximately 1:00 pm, I was driving my vehicle northbound on ca-57 through brea when the side curtain air bags suddenly deployed for no reason. I did not come into contact with any other vehicle or object nor was there an eminent roll over. This caused me to almost loose control of my vehicle, but I was able to regain control and safely move to the side of the road. Once stopped, I opened all the windows to air out the smoke from the air bag deployment.

- Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #22

Aug 172013

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 163,000 miles


Lost control, hit parked car and tree, front end damage, driver side fender, driver door, driver received laceration to forehead and two fractured ribs. Air bags did not deploy.

- Levelland, TX, USA

problem #21

Jul 132013


  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. The contact stated that while driving 75 mph, both side curtain air bags deployed independently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis but no cause for the failure was determined. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 170,000.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #20

Apr 182013

Expedition 8-cyl

  • miles
Was involved in a head on collision doing around 20-30 mph and not one of the airbags deploys I need to know Y and what info I could get on it.

- Pontiac, MI, USA

problem #19

Apr 042013

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the contact crashed the vehicle into a building and the air bags failed to deploy. There were no injuries reported. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was destroyed. The approximate failure and current mileage was 100,000. Updated 05/23/13 updated 06/11/2013

- Barre, VT, USA

problem #18

Nov 032012


  • 159,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph the side air bags deployed without any warnings. 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 failure and current mileage was 159,000.

- Hephzibah, GA, USA

problem #17

Aug 022012

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 127,500 miles
My 2003 Ford Expedition and was involved in a crash with another vehicle. The Ford Expedition was traveling at 45 mph when another vehicle going in the opposite direction turned left directly in front of my car. My 2003 Ford Expedition crashed into the side of the other vehicle in the middle of the intersection causing severe damage to the front end and right front quarter panel locations. The passenger airbag deployed but the driver airbag did not deploy.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #16

Jun 192012


  • 120,000 miles
While driving South in the fast lane, the front left tire blew out (no apparent reason). The driver struggled to maintain control of the SUV but hit the guard rail with the left front bumper traveling approximately 75 mph. The back left tire then blew and the driver hit the guard rail again, at which point the A-frame and front axle were destroyed, eliminating steering and braking functions. The SUV careened on the two left tires, then several moments later the car fell back down to all four wheels, and the vehicle slid across five lanes of traffic to a stop in the far right lane. At no point in time did the airbags deploy.

- Solana Beach, CA, USA

problem #15

Mar 312012

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 161,500 miles
Head on collision, both vehicles traveling approximately 40 mph. 2003 Expedition air bags did not deploy. Both vehicles were totaled because of the severe impact, however the Expedition air bags did not deploy. As a result the Expedition driver hit his head on the steering wheel, and shoulder on steering wheel, with torn shoulder muscles and possible upper gi bleeding from the sudden stoppage and seat belt injury. *note***- all airbags on the 2010 Suburban did deploy (other totaled vehicle).

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #14

Nov 062011


  • 100,000 miles
The driver owned a 2003 Ford Expedition. The contact stated that the driver was traveling 40 mph and completing a turn when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed head on into a brick building. None of the air bags deployed. The driver was killed and four other passengers were injured. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and the current mileages were 100,000. The VIN was not available.

- Youngs Town, OH, USA

problem #13

Mar 242010


  • miles
A deer came onto the highway as I was switching lanes and I swerved to prevent hitting. Hit the deer and drag it approx 60 ft. Sparks and flames were coming from the vehicle as we flipped. Vehicle began to flip 6-8 times per passenger (daughter) and a tractor trailer driver. Air bags never deployed. This is the first time for the failure of the bags. The Expedition was totaled because the front and rear window came out, the driver and passenger window in the front row were shattered, the ashtray disconnected and went out the window. The mirrors on the expo were damaged and the body of the vehicle was terribly damaged. A new vehicle was brought a couple of weeks later.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #12

Feb 262010


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. While driving at speeds of 35 mph following another vehicle, the contact depressed the brake pedal as the preceding vehicle indicated a turn. The preceding vehicle did not complete the turn and as a result, the contact crashed into the vehicle. The air bags did not deploy and he sustained injuries to his left hand and a fractured sternum. The vehicle was destroyed. The dealer was not contacted and there were no repairs made to the vehicle. A police report was filed. The failure and the current mileages were 128,000.

- Clute, TX, USA

problem #11

Dec 142008


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. While driving approximately 68 mph, the contact heard an explosion and the side air bags suddenly deployed without a crash or impact. The failure occurred without warning. The contact was able to pull over to the side of the road without incident. The vehicle was then towed to his residence. The contact was in the process of having the vehicle towed to the dealer. The manufacturer has not yet been notified. The current and failure mileages were approximately 75,000.

- Danville, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 302008


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. While driving approximately 45 mph, the air bags deployed without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they referred the contact to her insurance Agency. The manufacturer stated that they would not inspect the vehicle because the mileage exceeded the warranty. They would not assume any responsibility. The failure and current mileages were 82,000.

- Sauges, CA, USA

problem #9

Feb 242008

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,500 miles
Driving down tar road when my truck caught the edge of pavement and shoot across the gravel shoulder then caught snowy hillside. Vehicle came in contact with several trees. The truck had severe impact totaling the unit. No air bags ever came out.

- Hastings, MN, USA

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