hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,382 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 F-150 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Ford F-150 Owner Comments

problem #16

Oct 272014


  • 105,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford F-150. While inspecting the vehicle, it was discovered that the fuel tank straps were rusted and corroded. The dealer stated that the straps needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 11V385000 (fuel system, gasoline). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Universal City, TX, USA

problem #15

Feb 192014

F-150 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
While traveling South bound on interstate 81 at christiansburg va. My gas tank fell off of the vehicle due to defective straps rusting into and letting it fall causing gasoline to leak on roadway and almost causing a fire. The gas tank struck the roadway and the grinding caused the tank to leak and the spillage. I had to have the vehicle towed to a local repair shop and have purchased a used gas tank and ordered new straps. I have written Ford an E mail, asking them to help with this problem.

- Narrows, VA, USA

problem #14

Feb 282012


  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford F-150. The contact stated that the vehicle was included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 11V385000 (fuel system, gasoline:storage:tank assembly:mounting). The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was advised that the fuel tank was also corroded, but that failure was not addressed in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 57,000.

- Del Haven, NJ, USA

problem #13

Oct 202011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


My 2003 Ford F-150 was subject to recall to replace the gas tank mounting straps which are known to corrode and fail. The fuel tank on the truck had significant rust under one of the straps, resulting in a leak in the area under the strap. When I brought the truck in for the recall work I notified the service department that the tank was leaking under the strap. I was told as long as the tank was leaking as a result of the strap failure and not leaking at a seam or elsewhere on the tank, Ford would replace the tank. I was later notified that Ford denied the tank replacement due to the fact that it was already leaking. I was told that if the result occurred as a result of the repair then Ford would replace the tank at no cost to me but since it was already leaking, they wouldn't take responsibility for the tank repair, only the replacement of the straps. As a result, I replaced the tank at my own expense. The fuel tank that was removed from this truck was in very good condition with the exception of the rust under the fuel tank strap. There was no leakage at any of the seams or anywhere else on the tank. The failure of the tank, in my opinion, is a direct result of the corrosion of the straps. Ford has acknowledged this as a problem but will only repair tanks (at their expense) that begin leaking during the course of the repair. I feel that this is a severe safety issue that Ford is aware of and therefore the current recall for fuel tank straps should immediately be expanded to include the inspection of tanks and the free replacement of any tank showing corrosion in the vicinity of the failed straps.

- Peabody, MA, USA

problem #12

Oct 312011

F-150 8-cyl

  • miles
Sept 2011 - receive recall notice advising fuel straps rust prematurely. 31 Oct 2011 - discover gas tank leak. Take truck to dealer (1) day early for work. Take pictures, fuel tank appears to be in good shape. Leak is directly under rusted tank strap. Contact with strap appears to have rusted through tank. 01 Nov. 2011 - call with dealer. Dealer did not advise of leak. I had to request confirmation. Service tech checked with mechanic who advises that replacing strap will probably make leak worse. Dealer would have replaced straps and returned truck to consumer with leaking gas tank and not advised? dealer advises Ford will not replace tank. 01 Nov. 2010 - call to Ford customer relationship center. 1-800-392-3673. Confirmed Ford will not replace tank. Approx. Cost $400.

- Mt. Lebanon, PA, USA

problem #11

Jul 162011

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 95,751 miles
Driving approx 25 mph on a side street when a thud was heard. Stopped vehicle to find gas tank on ground and gas straps broken. Gas tank was punctured by falling on the road. Two tank straps were found to be rusted through. Ford F150 XL truck from 2003.

- Orrstown, PA, USA

problem #10

May 012010

F-150 6-cyl

  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford F150. While the vehicle was parked with a half tank of gasoline in it when the fuel tank suddenly detached from the vehicle. The dealer was notified. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was 98,807. The approximate failure mileage was unknown. Updated 08/31/2011

- Castle Creek, NY, USA

problem #9

May 202011


  • 141,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford F-150. The contact was driving approximately 40 mph when the fuel tank detached from the vehicle and the contact drove over the tank. The contact discovered that one of the straps had fractured and was completely rusted. Approximately one fourth a tank of fuel spilled onto the highway. The vehicle was then towed to an independent mechanic and they advised him that he needed to replace the tank and straps. In addition, the vehicle would need body repairs from the contact driving over the fuel tank. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages were approximately 141,000.

- Abbington, IL, USA

problem #8

May 132011


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford F-150. The contact stated while driving approximately 5 mph she began to hear the vehicle dragging an object under it. The vehicle was pulled over and the contact noticed the fuel tank was partially detached from the vehicle. The contact stated one of the straps which held the fuel tank in place was fractured. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the failure had not been diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages were 112,000.

- Arkport, NY, USA

problem #7

May 022011

F-150 4WD

  • 162,000 miles
Gas tank strap on 2003 F-150 XLT 4X4 broke due to excessive rust causing the tank to fall and rattle on skid plate. Bought new straps from local auto supply and replaced both of them since the second strap was close to breaking also.

- Mount Sterling, IL, USA

problem #6

Feb 222011

F-150 4WD 6-cyl

  • 34,000 miles


Fuel tank strap rusted through and failed.

- New Milford , PA, USA

problem #5

May 042011


  • 96,404 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford F-150. The contact stated that the fuel tank started leaking fuel while he was driving approximately 55 mph. The contact noticed the straps were rusted and caused a hole to open in the fuel tank. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to be repaired. The failure mileage was 96,404.

- Beech Island, SC, USA

problem #4

Jun 102010


  • miles
I saw on the news that you are investigating rusted out fuel tank straps on the Ford F 150 pickup truck, model years 1997 - 2001. I want to tell you that the rear strap failed on my 2003 F 150 last year. I paid to have the straps replaced. The new straps were Ford parts and were stainless steel, unlike the originals.

- Hoosick Falls, NY, USA

problem #3

Jan 242011


  • 41,050 miles
Left dealership after lo-jack installation. Entered traffic lane and began lightly braking for approaching signal. I felt two forward surges and then increasingly rapid acceleration. I checked rear view mirror and then pressed on brakes with the sound of the racing turbo charged engine filling the cab. I then moved the gear out of drive and in my haste saw I had it between reverse and park. I brought it back to neutral and then the sound subsided. The entire acceleration incident lasted less than 10 seconds. The truck was immediately returned to dealership and then reported incident to the manufacturer.

- Benicia, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 022010


  • 143,688 miles
Coming home to va from Ohio we were going through the mountains and had to keep flooring the truck. The spark plugs acted like they were fouling and the truck sputtered home. We came home and our mechanic said we blew out or ejected two spark plugs on our Triton 4.6L 2003 pick up truck. He said it would have to be repaired by Ford and it would probably cost about $900. We found out this is a recurring problem on the new non-plug wires trucks using a series of coil, over plug coil connectors specifically on the Triton Ford truck motors. Why hasn't NHTSA contacted Ford. We smelled gas the whole way home; about 500 miles after it happened. If the gas fumes ignited it would have burned my truck up but could have hurt my wife and three grandchildren riding with us. [xxx] I bought the mechanic eight sparkplugs *$6.99 each, then eight coiled/sleeves $52 each and a new coil unit $163, he is having a company heliarc-coils to repair the sparkplug seats. This is a very poor design, and had I known this when we bought the truck, we wouldn't have. I sent Ford motor a customer service complaint as well. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #1

Jun 252010

F-150 4WD 6-cyl

  • 100,222 miles
Fuel tank fell off vehicle as a result of rusted mounting is a one owner well maintained Ford F150 purchased new in 2003 and mileage is only 100,222. New straps were located and installed 6/29/2010 and old straps were labeled and kept.

- Somerset, OH, USA

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