Notes: Most people need a car where the coil springs don't puncture or shred tires while driving. The Taurus fails in that respect.

The 1999-2003 Ford Taurus has a huge problem with coil springs breaking, which can puncture or even shred tires while driving.

The US government spent THREE YEARS (2008-2011) investigating the 2002-2003 Taurus coil springs. Although Taurus/Sable from earlier years were recalled, ultimately the NHTSA did not force a recall. They determined that because there had been no deaths & very few bad crashes & injuries, the broken coil springs defect was no big deal & not a safety defect. Tell that to all the owners who had close calls...


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,848 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 Taurus body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Taurus Owner Comments

problem #14

Dec 182012


  • 125,000 miles


The driver's door handle will freeze up on particularly cold days, and the door will not stay shut once it has been opened. Consequently, the door has to be tied shut, or it has to be held on to. It has been this way for about 3 years, even though we have attempted several "sure" fixes for the problem. Once the weather warms up, the problem goes away... until the next cold snap. It is not cold out right now, so I can't document this with a photograph. Incidentally, all of the outside door handles tend to stay in the "open" position once they have been lifted. We tend to get in the habit of pushing them down after we open it, but it seems unsafe to me.

- Farmington, MI, USA

problem #13

Mar 212008


  • 40,000 miles
Lower body has sever rust. Rocker panels are completely rotted off despite taking care to wash the cars under body in the winter. Floors are soft. Upper body has no rust issues. Lower body I have had to treat with rust preventative every year for the past 8 years. I believe the car will be too rusted to drive in the next 6 to 8 months.

- Saint Charles, IL, USA

problem #12

Dec 192014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Ford is aware that they have a fit problem with the cowl and air cabin filter areas of these cars that cause water to leak onto the floor of the passenger side. This causes carpets to get moldy/smelly. The leak sometimes allows water to short/ruin the blower motor. I believe recall number 03V087000 is related to this issue. I have brought this problem to the attention of my local Ford dealer and they won't do anything to fix it unless I pay them $400 or so.

- Windham, CT, USA

problem #11

Oct 212014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


I am being told this third party as I was unable to see the accident scene and have not seen a police report. My 19-yr old daughter was exiting a main road slowing to a stop. She was doing approximately 2-3 mph when she was struck from behind by another vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The impact knocked her vehicle into the vehicle in front of her knocking that vehicle into the vehicle in front of it. My daughter's airbags did not deploy. She received whiplash from the incident as she was forced backward and frontward. She also hit her head on the steering wheel. Her significant other hit his knee on the passenger side dash. Both were wearing their seatbelts at the time. Her vehicle (titled in my name and purchased by me) sustained major disabling damage resulting in a total loss.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #10

Apr 152014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 141,768 miles
My son was driving my 2002 Ford Taurus on 4-15-2014 at approximately 12:00 a.M. he had the cruise control set to 35 mph. While driving, the cruise control began to accelerate. He tried to disengage the cruise control by hitting the brake. The cruise control would not disengage and the car kept accelerating reaching the speed of about 70mph. As a turn approached he could no longer control the vehicle. He hit a curb and a stop sign before the car came to a stop on the roadway. This was not the first instance with that vehicle and cruise control malfunctions, though this was the only time that the cruise control caused an accident. The vehicle had to be towed from the scene. The vehicle sustained $6005 of damage and is a total loss. Which does not include the cost of fixing the cruise control and acceleration issues.

- Coventry, RI, USA

problem #9

Jun 012013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that water penetrated the vehicle and caused the climate controls to fail. The vehicle was not repaired or diagnosed. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Oak Harbor, WA, USA

problem #8

Jun 012013


  • miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that water penetrated the vehicle and caused the climate controls to fail. The vehicle was not repaired or diagnosed. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Oak Harbor, WA, USA

problem #7

Jul 232013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 94,100 miles
After openning the engine compartment hood to check fluid levels, the hood abruptly and unintentionally drops, subjecting the owner to serious bodily injuries. There's no latch to maintain the hood open and the devices to slow the hood movement do not properly operate.

- Las Cruces, NM, USA

problem #6

Oct 032010


  • 116,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that whenever it would rain, water would leak into the vehicle interior from under the dashboard and onto the front passenger side of the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired for the failure. The current and failure mileage was 116,000.

- Birdsnest, VA, USA

problem #5

Mar 082009


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. After a hard rain, water accumulates on the passenger side floorboard of the vehicle. In addition, the heater blower and air conditioner blower only operate on the high setting. The vehicle has not been inspected by the dealer. The contact blogged and discovered the issues with her vehicle. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 89,000.

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #4

Sep 162005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. In 2005, the contact was informed that water leaked into the cowl panel, rested in the blower motor, and caused a shortage in the blower motor. The dealer paid a small percentage to have the vehicle repaired, although it was out of warranty. However, the failure recurred. The contact vacuumed the water from the floorboard. The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage was 83,000 and failure mileage was 52,000.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #3

Jun 152007


  • miles
2002 Ford Taurus - I have water leaking onto the passenger side floor when it rains. It seems to come in through a cowl during heavy rain. The passenger floor collects water from under the glove box and the blower area. The Ford dealer told me I would have to pay for this problem. Also, the dealer said the problem was a known problem, and Ford even had a modified part to control the leaking, but I would have to pay for it. The estimate was over $200 and no guarantee. The problem would be fixed. This was a defect in design and should be repaired by Ford.

- Midwest City, OK, USA

problem #2

Jun 242004

Taurus 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
Consumer noticed that the floorboard and mats were soaked and wet. Consumer was unaware from where the water was leaking. Consumer took vehicle to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic could not duplicate the problem. Consumer informed the mechanic that this problem occurred more than once, and had not been resolved. Cowl panel was warpped. Dealer replaced cowl panel and installed lip seal. Lug and plastic nuts holding hub cap stripped.

- Victoria, TX, USA

problem #1

Mar 302004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles
When vehicle is driven over a puddle of water or goes through a car wash the floor mats become soaked, mostly in the front. The mechanic doesn't know where the water is coming. Consumer is afraid of being electrocuted. On sunny days the wet carpeting causes moisture to build up on the inside windshield.

- Round Lake, IL, USA

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