Notes: Most people need a car that shifts gears & coil springs that don't shred tires. The Taurus fails in that respect.

The 2003 Ford Taurus has major issues with the transmission failing. Typically the 2003 Taurus transmission failure costs $2,000 to fix by about 90k-100k miles. Not good.

Adding insult to injury, the 1999-2003 Taurus also 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...


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
73,120 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. recall (1 reports)
2003 Ford Taurus body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments

problem #3

Oct 152007

Taurus SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles


My car was just barely out of warranty when I noticed the paint bubbling over the back left rear well. I contacted the dealer about this premature rust and being I had an extended warranty which wouldn't cover rust they did check with FORD and they agreed to pay for half the repair charge to fix the rust. I paid $300 of the cost. They did so as I believe they knew they had a manufacturing defect.

After several years the rust started again and I fixed it the second time, but rust returned within a year. The first time the auto body shop told me the seal was breaking and all the cars were rusting in the same place. My car has 58,000 on it and the rust is awful over that wheel well only. I have rust along the left doors and rocker panels. I believe this rust is due to the plastic trim holding in the water and moisture which leads to premature rust. I took care of the car and washed/waxed it often until the last few years when the rust got so bad. It sits out.

Every Taurus I see on the road has rust in the same place as my car. When I pay that price for a car I expect the car to not rust so quickly. I have always been a loyal FORD owner, but was really disappointed with the rust problem. My car does not have access to a garage, but then either do my neighbors vehicles. Their cars are a BMW and Jeep and are as old as mine and driven much more than mine and their vehicles do not have a speck of rust. Is this poor defective metal FORD is using or is it a paint/design problem? My brother still drives a Nissan Pulsar and it has no rust and sits outside. The car has to be 25 years old. What gives with premature rust. Ford needs to do better and eliminate the plastic trim molding that only traps water and moisture.

- , Milan, OH, USA

problem #2

Jan 132015

Taurus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I don't have any pictures, but my car is rusting in the same spot the other guys is; back rear panel by the tire. How odd that it is in the same spot? It started bubbling and then the paint is slowly chipping off! I also have three little rust circles starting on the top of the car. I can understand the two on the hood from rocks chipping the paint and exposing the metal, but on the top there's no reasoning.

- , Walled Lake, MI, USA

problem #1

Jun 012012

Taurus SES 3.01 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,361 miles

click to see larger images

rust on body rust on body

I am very disappointed with the rust on my Taurus. The car has always been garaged and taken care of. I have noticed that when I see other Taurus with rust it is always in the same place as mine. Can this just be normal or did something happen during the painting/rust protection process? I had a 1995 Ford Windstar til about 4 years ago and it didn't have a spot of rust. I would like to purchase another Ford but have concerns about this problem.

- , Dayton, OH, USA

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