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...


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,508 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 Taurus body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #59

Jul 012005


  • 65,000 miles


I found water in the passenger side of the floor board after a rain storm in the summer of 2005. This began happening after most heavy rains. After several occurrences the blower motor of the heat / ac would only work on high. After taking it to a mechanic the blower resistor was changed. I have had this completed twice now. I have also had to have the blower motor replaced once (they found evidence of water in the motor). There is also a musty smell when I run the heater so I assume there is some mold growing in there now. This problem has been occurring for several years. The Ford dealer said it would cost about $300 to fix. Through my internet search this appears to be a leaky cowl problem on Taurus's and not unique to my car.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #58

Jan 172008


  • 116,765 miles
Passenger floor board leak in my 2003 Ford Taurus. Took car in last quarter of 2008. Could not find cause of leak. Was told there was mold under the carpet. Lovely. Blower motor not working on 1/17/09. Took it in and was told I needed a new one. Had it installed and heat/exhaust is not working at full capacity the very next day. It sounds like it is going to short out again.

- Lincoln Park, MI, USA

problem #57

Dec 062008


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact noticed a leakage in the dashboard during rainy conditions. The floor would become wet and the blower motor stopped functioning. She only noticed the failure when it rained and it only occurred on the passenger side of the vehicle. The manufacturer has not been notified. The current mileage was 64,724 and failure mileage was approximately 63,000.

- Athens, TN, USA

problem #56

Dec 092008


  • 50,000 miles


Water leak at front passenger side, replaced blower motor, resistor and cowl, still leaks. Reference recall 03V087000 and many additional complaints from owners, specifically 10184014. There was water leaking at passenger dash area on and off since 07. It hadn't leaked in quite a while so I didn't worry about it. The dealer said it would cost about $250 to fix and I was waiting to see if it kept up or got worse. Then the blower quit working. I spent $373.14 for a new blower motor, resistor assy, weatherstrip, cowl panel and sealant. On the 28th of December, 2008 my front passenger floor was again, full of water. Note, this had not happened for many months and should have been fixed with the new cowl put on on December 9th. I asked the dealer if the previous water problem caused the blower motor to go bad. He said it was hard to say. Evidently it was "hard to say" because it says right on the receipt "water in blower case". I bought the car in October of 03 (as a used vehicle but still under warranty with only 18,408 miles on it) but was never notified of a recall for this problem. I understand there is a service bulletin out for this problem now. I have been going to the same dealer since April 9th, 04. Can you tell me if the recall was in effect at this time or how long the recall was in effect" this is very discouraging. Where are the ethics from Ford for taking ownership of this problem" maybe I should file for my own "bail out", with the amount of water leakage I've had, I'll probably need it. Thank you for your consideration in this matter. Jeanne acheson

- Decatur, IN, USA

problem #55

Dec 132008


  • 50,000 miles
2003 Ford Taurus has water leaking in to blower motor.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #54

Mar 012008


  • miles
I discovered earlier year that water was leaking into the floorboard of my car's passenger side front seat. I never noticed it before, since I am always the driver, and rarely have passengers. In researching the problem, I found that it was a design error, and I have tried to plug the holes where water is coming in. I still have periodic leaks. As a result of the water leak, my blower has now shorted out. This is design error and Ford should have to rectify it. This is an ongoing complaint with Ford, please see other complaints attached to recall number 03V087000 and complaint 10184014. Please help!!

- Biltmore Lake, NC, USA

problem #53

Sep 152008


  • 57,000 miles


The fan on my heater has gone out on me three times since I purchased this care in August on 2006 - just a little over 2 years. I understand it has to do with a leak under the hood that Ford is well aware of (recall 03V087000? - see complaint #10184014). I don't feel I should have to replace this blower every 8 months.

- Spring Lake, MI, USA

problem #52

Jun 012008


  • 86,000 miles
After a strong rain, a leaky cowl in my 2003 Taurus let water into my blower motor and shorted it out. The fan only worked on high. I had it fixed once, and then after another storm it immediately shorted out again. Then, in the last week (9/1/92008), it stopped working all together, even on high. Ford has issued a related recall for a leaky windshield (03V087000), but will not fix this issue, even though it is a known problem. When I went in to talk with Ford, they were aware of the problem, but said since it was not yet recalled, they would not fix it for free. I have not as of yet had this replaced again.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #51

Aug 242008


  • 60,000 miles
Water leaks into the passenger side front floor board. Water also accumulates in the blower motor housing, causing it and the control resistor to short out.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #50

Aug 152008


  • 30,000 miles
Poor vehicle design allowed water to leak into HVAC system causing damage to blower resistor and blower motor. Now unable to defrost / defog front windshield.

- Edmond, OK, USA

problem #49

Aug 242008


  • 100,000 miles


Passenger side floor full of water after it rains, air only blow on high until it recently went completely out. Worse this time radio and wiper blades were affected. A recall is needed to fix this problem.

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #48

Jun 152008


  • 86,500 miles
2003 Ford Taurus, water leaking in cabin on passenger side and flooded A/C unit. Ac only works on high. Repair of leak will cost $579 from dealer. Ford is aware of problem in vehicles but will not repair.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #47

Jan 152007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact noticed water leaking onto the passenger side floorboard. More water was noticed when it rained or when the vehicle was wet. The failure caused two resistors to blow out, including the blower motor. A mechanic inspected the vehicle, but could not diagnose the cause of the failure. The dealer has not yet been notified. The current mileage is 62,000 and failure mileage was 48,000. Updated 06/25/08.

- Grants Pass, OR, USA

problem #46

May 012008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
The part in question is a transitor for the Ford Taurus 2003. The same problem exist with earlier model such as the 2001. A leak above the dash board allows water to fill the compartment and overflow onto the floorboard. The amount of water is enough to short out transitors and cause problems. When talking to a Ford dealer"vancouver Ford dealer", they acknowledge that they repair this problem quit often. Could a previous recall for the same problem be extended to include 2003 models"?" thx

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #45

May 152008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
Leaky cowl. Causes floorboard to be constantly soaked. Has already been reported with complaint # 10184014. The recall # is 03V087000. The recall needs to be extended to cover these cars no matter the mileage since it is a factory defect.

- Frankfort, KY, USA

problem #44

Apr 292008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
2003 Ford Taurus several months ago the heater would not blow and then started working again. I also had water leaking onto the passenger side floor board. Again yesterday, my heater and A/C will only blow on high. I see many people online have had the same symptoms. Please refer to recall ref# 03V087000 and complaint #10184014.

- Salina, KS, USA

problem #43

Apr 202008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
2003 Ford Taurus cabin air intake leak due to design defect allows rain water to enter interior of vehicle and causes heater/ac fan unit to short out disabling defroster as well as heat and airconditioning control.

- Clifton, VA, USA

problem #42

Nov 012007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 28,500 miles
2003 Ford Taurus several months ago the A/C worked only on high for a few days then A/C went out completely. As I didn't have money nor the time to fix, I have left until now to look into the problem now I see many people online have had the same symptoms. Since this originally occurred I've noted water leaking on the passenger floor after some rain storms. I think the blower fan has gone out and probably what ever caused the leak caused the blower to go out, too many coincidences and other people experiencing the same thing. Refer to recall ref# 03V087000 and complaint #10184014. Ford should step up and take responsibility for the problems they are causing due to design flaws.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #41

Mar 282008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,800 miles
1. discovered water collecting in passenger side floorboard, following heavy rains. 2. blower motor resistor failed, causing blower motor to only operate on the highest speed. 3. located technical service bulletin #tsb 04-15-3 which described the problem I was having, the cause, and corrective action required. I took the vehicle to a Ford dealership and had the corrective work performed as described in the tsb.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #40

Feb 052008

Taurus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was driving my 2003 Ford Taurus on February 5, 2008, when the blower motor ceased working. I also noticed that there was a water leak on the passenger floor board. When I took my car to Goodyear I was told that the water leak caused my blower motor to short out. I understand that this is a mechanical problem and the Ford Motor Company should be responsible for the expense of time lost from work and the following costs: R/R blower motor, $88; new blower motor, $110.21; cabinet air filter gasket and blower weatherstrip $27.73; R/R/ cabin filter gasket $70.40 and the costs of installation of the air filter $29.66. The total is $362.82. I am referencing Ford's existing recall number, 03V087000 and the complaint of william Ford #10184014.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

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