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:
13 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,459 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Aug 172010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


This vehicle was owned by my mom when this incident occurred. She was entering her garage when the vehicle began accelerating uncontrollably and went through her garage door and wall. She was not injured in the incident but her car and garage were. She took the vehicle to the local Ford dealership where the car was purchased but they could not find anything wrong with the vehicle. She did not feel comfortable driving the vehicle until it was repaired. After some time the Ford dealership finally decided to replace the computer (I believe). When she brought the car to the dealership she was told there were no recalls and no investigation into sticking accelerators.

- Ettrick, WI, USA

problem #21

Jan 232012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
This is my second complaint for a second related incident. After taking my car to the dealer to check my Ford Taurus for sudden acceleration 5 weeks earlier, the following occurred. My seventeen year old son called me from the parking lot of his high school clearly panicked that upon placing the car in gear, the gas pedal was sucked to the floor of his Ford Taurus and accelerated wildly out of control. This was the third time that this had occurred but this one was a near miss with a number of other vehicles. Sure enough, the gas pedal was stuck to the floor and there was no way to free it up. We had the car towed to varsity Ford in ann arbor, mi (invoice # [xxx]). the following language is taken from the service order; "customer states gas pedal stuck wide open, had to be towed in, check and advise. Found throttle cable binding and holding the accelerator lever down. Ordered the part and replaced the cable. Note the old cable had water in it and froze (this was the service guy's speculation), that's why it was intermittent. Recommended not power washing the cable end (we had never power washed the car and we are the original owners)." I have retained the replaced parts for your or any other entity's inspection. Total cost of this repair: $125.25; total cost of the previous evaluation 5 weeks earlier: $164.01; the cost of peace of mind that your car is not going to accelerate out of control: Priceless. 1. how do I get my money back" 2. how do I know that they corrected the issue" the discussions I am reading are indicating a cruise control issue. Varsity Ford replaced an accelerator cable.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #20

Jan 232012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 71,935 miles
My seventeen year old son had told me previously that the gas pedal had been sucked down to the floor and the car accelerated wildly. At first, I dismissed it as the floor mat getting tangled in the gas pedal. But then I experienced it myself and it was a wild and crazy experience to get the car under control without any advance notice that it was going to take off from a dead stop after putting the car in gear. I took the car to varsity Ford in ann arbor, mi (invoice # [xxx]) and here is the service write up language; "customer states gas pedal will stick to the floor intermittently, check and advise. Checked the eecv system and road test inspected the throttle and cable and found absolutely no problem that would cause this concern, however, recommended some pm tune-up work. Replaced air filter as maintenance. This was the first incident. I will fill out another complaint form for the second incident. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #19

Aug 012008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


RPM races up and down intermittently at all speeds since 2008. At times, the RPM will race up to 4K (4000 RPM) until the vehicle is shut off. For the most part, RPM's jump from 900 RPM to 1500 RPM whether cold or hot even without applying the gas pedal.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #18

Dec 282011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
I had noticed that my accelerator would get stuck just lightly pushing on the pedal once the car warmed up it would not happen but it had happened all winter long. Whenever you would start it up and start to drive the accelerator would get stuck full throttle and you would have to put it into neutral and shut the car off, open the hood and pull back on the cable that controls the throttle. I called Ford and notified them of it in case of a possible recall and they said they have never heard of this problem and that it is just a common failure then prompted me to bring it in for service at a tune of $350. I of course did not because to me that is a manufacturer defect that should never have happened. I have owned many cars, mostly foreign and have never had any such problems. But this car is plagued with issues. Faulty accelerators, faulty brakes and rotors warping frequently for no reason, sensors failing, oil pressure problems, oil smell inside the cabin at sitting idle, camshaft synchronizer failure. Ford needs to be called on this because it is a major safety concern. I live on a disability income, cannot afford to buy a new car yet for the amount of repairs I've had to complete on this car I could have bought near new. Please do something about the accelerator problems and possibly look into the other problems associated with this particular Taurus. Ford sold a shady product and is not supporting it and making the consumer pay for their manufacturing defects.

- Goodrich, ND, USA

problem #17

Mar 102012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 162,000 miles
My wife started to accelerate our Ford Taurus ses onto a highway but needed to slow down for a car in front of her that was turning. She could feel that I couldn't slow down. Finally she shifted the car into neutral and turned the engine off so that she could bring the car to a halt. I came to look at the car and started it approximately 6 times and the engine would race to about 4500 RPM. Then on about the 7th time, the car started fine and idled at the correct speed. Have taken to the dealership where I work to diagnose the problem...

- Owasso, OK, USA

problem #16

Aug 302011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


On my vehicle, a 2002 Ford Taurus ses sedan with a DOHC duratec engine, there are plastic components that secure the cruise control cable to the throttle body. Over time these components wear out and break and become lodged in such a way as to hold the throttle open. This can have catastrophic and life threatening consequences. This happened to me this evening. If I had not quickly shifted the vehicle?S transmission into neutral I would have rammed the vehicle in front of me. Fortunately I know enough about cars that I was able to fix the problem with electrical ties and make my vehicle safe to drive. Ford motors has a duty to the public to immediately recall all vehicles with these plastic components and fix the problem.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #15

Aug 082011


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. The contact was driving approximately 30-35 mph when the vehicle abnormally accelerated and the engine rpms incresed to 4000 without warning. The contact applied the brakes and shifted into neutral, shut the engine off for a moment and was unable to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the contact's home and was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 78,000.

- Hanover Park , IL, USA

problem #14

Mar 262010


  • 99,700 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Taurus sel. Yesterday my cruise control cable got stuck in the open position while driving on interstate 45 in houston during the early evening. Braking helped slow the car down, but it would accelarate back up again as soon as the brake was released. My son was able to get off the highway safely, but only by putting the car in neutral with it still revving up past 5000 RPM. He turned off the car when on the service road and it came to a safe stop. When the car was started up again, it would rev back up. My oldest son and I met up with him, and when we opened the hood of the car, the cruise control cable was stuck in the open position. There is a small nick and crack in the outside housing of the cable that it got hung up on. My son disabled the cruise control so that we could drive the vehicle home. I have a picture of the housing and have put a call in to my dealer, champion Ford in houston, this morning. I am waiting for the service department there to call me back now.

- Friendswood, TX, USA

problem #13

Dec 282004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The first incident occurred while traveling at 35 mph and the vehicle accelerated to 65 mph. Depressing the brakes would not stop the vehicle. Therefore, the vehicle was placed in neutral and it still did not stop. The vehicle was turned off and then placed into the park position which resulted in the vehicle sputtered to a stop. An independent repair shop inspected the vehicle, but could not diagnose a problem. The second incident occurred at a stop light. The vehicle accelerated while the contact's foot lifted off the brake pedal. Again, the vehicle was taken to the repair shop, and the iac valve and spark plug wires were replaced. The third incident occurred while driving 55 mph. The vehicle accelerated from 55 mph to 95 mph. It was placed in neutral and moved to the shoulder of the road. While on the shoulder the vehicle was turned off and placed into the park position. After the vehicle sputtered to a stop the insurance Agency was contacted. It was towed to the dealership and test driven, however the problem could not be duplicated. The contact stated the cruise control has never been used.

- Tafton, PA, USA

problem #12

Aug 222005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The coil spring on passenger's side broke. This happened on August 22, 2005. Saw recalls online but it did not include this vehicle due to VIN. The recalls were on the coil spring and the acceleration. The vehicle surged forward. If at stop sign with foot on the brake it still tried to surge forward. This happened frequently.

- Sidney, 00, USA

problem #11

Nov 152004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90 miles
Ford issued a recall on its 2002 Ford tauraus vehicles for updating the computer systems. After the computer systems were updated I was told that I need to purchase a new oxygen sensor to keep the light from coming on again. I asked if this was a part of the recall and the dealership stated no that is was something different. Well the same exact thing happened on my father-in-laws 2002 Ford escape. I took it in and was told the same thing. I asked again if it was part of the recall and they assured me that it wasnt. I think they are wrong. Well about a month later the car started accelerating on its on and jumping out of gear. This could have caused and accident but thankfully no one was in front of us at the time. Then the battery on it drained down so far that the big jump box at the dealership couldn't even fix it and we had to purchase a new battery. I'm not sure of the exact date of the incidents.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #10

May 052005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,150 miles
Since purchasing my Taurus, V-6, 2002, I have experienced at least 4-5 " sudden, unexpected surges in acceleration; akin to a stuck accelerator pad. The acceleration was stopped only by putting the vehicle in neutral gear. The latest event occured 5-5-2005.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #9

Sep 162004


  • miles
Consumer states that she is having a problem with her throttle sensor. She states that she can be driving down the highway and all of a sudden the vehicle will accelerate. She states that this scares her, because she cannot stop the vehicle until she has pumped the brakes a number of times.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #8

Jul 092002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Upon starting the vehicle whether it was in neutral or park, the vehicle lunged forward. The vehicle was taken to the dealer with no cause determined. The dealership refused to service the vehicle any longer.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #7

Aug 192004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When consumer stopped at light, he often noticed that after a while, the car lunged forward a bit and then settled down.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #6

May 082002

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,029 miles
While driving at any speed the vehicle lunged and or accelerated suddenly. There was a burning odor that would be present along with the hesitating and jerking. The consumer was informed that the problem may have been due to a leak on the gasket onto the transmission.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #5

Apr 282004

(reported on)


  • miles
While shifting into reverse vehicle surged forward and collided with the vehicle in front. Driver sustained minor injuries. Vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection, and dealer was unable to resolve the problem. The insurance company totaled the vehicle.

- Bristol, CT, USA

problem #4

Oct 182003


  • 9,500 miles
While attempting to put the vehicle in reverse the gear shifter became stuck in park. The vehicle suddenly accelerated backwards and impacted several trees before coming to final rest.

- Hawley, PA, USA

problem #3

Sep 142002


  • miles
My daughter was pulling into a parking space, she applied the brakes, the car lunged ahead and hit the building. The passenger air bag deployed and not the drivers air bag. She had her seat belt on and hit the steering wheel. I talked to Ford and they siad to go through my insurance company.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

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