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 1 of 4)

problem #62

Jul 292016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. While driving at low speeds, the vehicle accelerated independently. The contact lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained severe injuries to the head and left side of the body that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #61

Sep 082016


  • 87,667 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. While driving 10-20 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently. The contact was able to place the vehicle in neutral to slow it down. The contact inspected the vehicle and noticed that a plastic tab linked to the vehicle speed control cable fractured and seized in the open position. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed, but was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 87,667.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #60

Sep 082016


  • 88,100 miles
While accelerating onto an interstate(210frwy in la), the vehicle began accelerating on it's own up to 4000 RPM's. the car reached up to 80 mph without touching the pedal. I had to use the neutral setting on transmission to slow down and eventually exit the busy highway. After checking under the hood I noticed the cruise control cable out of it's plastic retainer and stuck along the broken plastic clip that holds it. This car belongs to my 78 yr old father inlaw and I am glad this happened to me and not him or the outcome could have been fatal. Ford should have a recall on this design flaw in my opinion. At the very least they should have a simple fix like a metal cable retainer.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #59

Aug 232016


  • 107,672 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. While driving various speeds, the vehicle accelerated on its own at twenty six percent throttle without warning. The contact stated that there was an investigation per NHTSA action number: PE12033. The contact also referenced NHTSA item number: 100526000, which expired on August 31, 2014. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was unaware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 107,672.

- North Augusta, SC, USA

problem #58

Mar 152015


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving at 55 mph, the vehicle accelerated without warning and caused the vehicle to have trouble slowing down. The failure only recurred once. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- St Albans City, VT, USA

problem #57

Sep 132014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
Was stopped at a stop light and went to accelerate and the car started to accelerate by itself up to 4000 RPM's and I was unable to get it to stop. Had to keep two feet on the brakes until I could get it to a stopping place. When I had to stop I would have to put the car in neutral an the engine was still revving up and the brakes started to smoke. Had the car towed to a mechanic and he said it was the cruise control cable that had came loose. It was a very scary situation and thankfully no one was hurt and I managed to get the car to a place where I could stop and turn it off. The brakes were smoking and the rear brakes are totally burnt up. I am just glad that my wife or daughter were not driving when this occurred because I don't think they would have know what to do in that type of situation and there could have been a much worse outcome. We have been the sole owners of this vehicle.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #56

Jun 262014


  • 116,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. The contact stated while driving approximately 10 mph the vehicle suddenly experienced rapid acceleration after the accelerator pedal was slightly pressed. The contact indicated that after removing his foot off the accelerator pedal the vehicle continued to accelerate to speeds over 40 mph. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who was unable diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 116,000.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #55

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 #54

Jun 022014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 45,600 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Taurus ses and have been having a problem with the car all of a sudden accelerating. I am unable to stop it even standing on the brake. I have to turn the key off in order to stop the car. I am afraid I am going to get into an accident. Is there a recall on this problem? I brought my car into West herr Ford in amherst NY in August 2013 for a recall install clip. I took the car back to them a few weeks later and told them about this acceleration problem. They took the car for a test drive, of course it didn't happen then. But now it is happening more frequently and I don't want to just take it into a Ford dealer and be charged $100 for a diagnosis. I contacted Ford and they told me to take it back to West herr Ford, but I now live in Arizona and it is impossible for me to take the car back to nys.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #53

Apr 082014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 169,000 miles
Coming up to a yield on red right turn only lane at a stop light with a car in front of me, the car suddenly started to accelerate. I narrowly avoided hitting the car in front of me by slamming on my brake. The car was still traveling at about 5-10mph with the pedal brake fully engaged. I navigated to a safe location, put the car in neutral, and turned the ignition off, then put the car in park. I popped the engine hood and saw that the gray clip, holding in cruise control cable assembly, broke at a thin point in the plastic. This allowed the cable assembly to fall out and pull the throttle. I seated it back into the broken clip with electrical tape to get it to a place I could work on it. I plan on replacing the clip or the entire assembly; whatever is easier.

- Saint Peters, MO, USA

problem #52

Jan 032014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles


The cruise control cable broke at the throttle body bracket causing the engine to rev up to and stay at 4000 RPM. I had to put the car in neutral and shut it off.

- Ontario, OH, USA

problem #51

Nov 112013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
My wife was entering the freeway when the vehicle started accelerating on its own. Despite hitting the brakes, it still was going 70!! it took 2 miles to get the accelerator from sticking. This is a known issue but Ford is still not committing to cover it for us yet!

- Oviedo, FL, USA

problem #50

Aug 132012


  • 116,500 miles
1st major incident- on September 12th -traveling at approx 50 mph and when I tried to brake the car would not slow down but stayed or even accelerated its speed.I eventually was able to get control of the car and continued to my destination. My wife called the sandy springs Ford dealership and we made an appointment to drop off the car the next evening for service on Wednesday, August 14th. The Ford rep took down all of my information but never mentioned the recall or the repercussions of driving this car after this reported incident. 2nd incident- on September 13th - traveling approx 50 mph and then all of a sudden I lost complete control of the car and for a few seconds I thought I would not only kill myself but other innocent people on the freeway. I managed to pull the car into an apartment complex parking lot. I called aaa and they delivered the car to the sandy springs Ford dealership. My wife called the customer service the next day - spoke with karen. Why were we not told about the recall (did research on the internet)" her response: They just found out about it that very same day. We just returned from vacation and our neighbor just delivered our mail, well there was a letter from Ford about the recall. Then, on Friday September 16th we received an automated call from sandy springs Ford about the recall. Does Ford have any idea in the act of negligence they have created" there could have been fatalities. Our car is still at the Ford dealership - it is stalling out and the brakes were not the same (charged us to fix them). Ford said the speed control cable was completely broken off and they were required to report it and mail you the part. Was this done? for the life of me, I can not fathom that a car manufacturer would not have alerted their dealers about this recall. I should have been alerted and warned on Monday evening and told do not drive the car.

- Dunwoody, GA, USA

problem #49

Aug 072013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 118,250 miles
Many 2002-2006 Taurus vehicles are having this problem. Broken plastic housing for cruise control cable where it joins throttle body. Cruise control cable hangs up in crack of broken housing. Vehicle accelerates with foot off accelerator to 60 mph or more. Excessive braking to prevent running over something. Brakes fade and braking becomes more difficult. My wife avoided a wreck but she was extremely lucky. Even at this age of the car, there needs to be a warning sent out to all owners or better yet, a recall if the vehicle still qualifies for one. My repair wasn't extremely expensive - only about $80. But the danger is the concern. My wife is a lucky lady.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #48

Jun 202013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 136,800 miles
I had the experience described exactly in your current investigation PE 12-033. Throttle was stuck open which caused engine to remain between 3000-4000 rpms even while decelerating or stopped. Physical inspection revealed fractured speed control cable collar. I would like to know if Ford as agreed to recall vehicles or fix this problem.

- Whitehouse, TX, USA

problem #47

Jun 042013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 109,930 miles
Was coming off us 501 in conway SC and heard a load pop sound put brakes on and car keep on going it would not stop the brakes would not stop the car it keep racing up. Had no were to go but the back end of a GMC truck. Car was towed to conway Ford. On 6/10/2013 talk to service and they said they tried to drive the car on the lot and it did it to them.. the diag. Was cruise control broke plus the actuator asy. On this year cruise control cable and accelerator cable are connected to throttle body on the same linkage. When cruise cable broke it caused the throttle body linkage to not return to idle position. Cruise control was not on when this happened.

- Conway, SC, USA

problem #46

Jun 022013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 119,750 miles
When attempting to slow and exit I-77N in charlotte, nc last Sunday, the throttle remained open. I pulled off to the side of the road and shut the car off in gear. After calling for assistance, I noticed that the collar for the speed control was fractured and the cable was getting stuck on the broken collar. Obviously this was causing the accelerator to remain open. We brought the car to the local Ford dealer who replaced the cruise control cable. Scary experience for sure. In summary, the repair price was $235 (not including recovery from the highway).

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #45

Mar 202013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving at low speeds and attempting a left turn, the vehicle surged forward without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic however, the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 104,757.

- Englewood, CO, USA

problem #44

Apr 152012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
With a hard press on the gas pedal at 55mph..the gas pedal stuck in the fully pressed position after lifting my foot off the gas pedal...I then put the transmission in neutral and stomp the gas pedal a few times and then the gas pedal released from the fully pressed position.

- Bedford, VA, USA

problem #43

Dec 062012


  • 144,240 miles
While driving with the cruise control off. Normal acceleration up to highway speeds, upon releasing the gas pedal the throttle stuck open and the car would not decelerate without heavy braking. Pulled off the road and shut off engine. Discovered that the cruise control cable had pushed itself back out of a locking ferrule that is supposed to hold it in place with plastic tabs, and lodged sideways so the throttle was being held open. Put the cable back in place and it appeared to be properly seated but the same thing happened twice more before I could get the vehicle home. The plastic tabs have become brittle and broken and no longer properly hold the cruise control cable ferrule tightly in its socket. I see now from internet research that I could have completely disconnected the cable to completely alleviate the problem. But in the dark & cold and being unfamiliar with the mechanics of this particular vehicle I didn't have that knowledge at the time. Upon a bit of internet research I see this is a fairly common failure mode for this particular part on 2001-2006 Ford Taurus' and other Ford that use a similar mechanical cruise control method. I can't believe that there has not been a recall on this issue... this is a major safety issue and could easily cause a crash and fatalities. It was a pretty unnerving experience and I'm familiar with cars and have been driving over 35 years... I'd hate to have this happen to an inexperienced driver.

- Joliet, IL, USA

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