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 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #39

Feb 042008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,700 miles


Within the last month (early Feb. 2008) I had noticed a small leak on the passenger side floor mat after a brief warming period (and melting of some snow). Then just last week (Feb. 18th, 2008) my 1-3 levels of my fan were no longer operating. Then on Feb. 23, 2008, the 4th and final still operating fan level stopped working as well. I checked all fuses applicable and it turns out that it is most likely the blower resistor that is no longer in operation. Now I have no heat or defrost and it makes life more difficult when I need to leave promptly and I can't see out my windows.

- Mosinee, WI, USA

problem #38

Feb 122008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My passenger floorboard is constantly damp as water has seemingly leaked through the exterior of the car. This has caused the blower motor to the A/C/heater to quit working. I would essentially have to find the source of the leak as well as buy a new blower motor to solve the problem, but it seems as if Ford is aware of the issue yet is hesitant to offer any assistance whatsoever. This is also in reference to recall 03V087000 as well as NHTSA complaint 10184014.

- Herriman, UT, USA

problem #37

Feb 042008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that water is leaking through the bottom of the windshield. The water leaked into the vents and traveled onto the passenger side floor. The dealer replaced a weather seal and cow panel. The manufacturer stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 03V087000 (visibility:windshield). The current and failure mileages were 40,000. Updated 3/11/08 updated 03/11/08

- Bethany , CT, USA

problem #36

Feb 072008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles


Front passenger side water leak. This leak causes unhealthy mold to build up in carpeting etc. As well as destroys the air conditioning fan switch. This is the 3rd Ford Taurus I have had the same problem with. Dealer wants $995 to repair while I am suffering from mold related allergies.

- Macclenny, GA, USA

problem #35

Jan 152008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
03 Ford Taurus, the heat has quit working in the car first I lost low and the next two speed controls then I lost high speed altogether. Doing research at other websites this is a very common problem. Also there has been the occasional water leak on the passenger floor board. Where is the recall.

- West Point, IN, USA

problem #34

Jan 122006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact noticed a leak underneath the dashboard on the passenger side floorboard. She also detected smoke and then the air conditioner failed. The mechanic stated that blower motor was leaking and it was replaced. The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage was 91,000 and failure mileage was approximately 80,000. Updated 3/5/08 the consumer stated the mechanic replaced the blower motor but the blower resistor was not repaired but the mechanic stated both were rusted from water damage. Updated 03/05/08

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #33

Dec 102007


  • miles


I have a 2003 Ford Taurus. I have found water in the passenger floor board. Over time, the blower fan has stopped working. During research on the internet, I have found that many consumers have had the same problem, and that Ford Motor Company will not repair this obvious defect.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #32

Nov 242007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles
Heater/ac blower only worked on high, water would leak into the passenger side floorboard, now it does not work. There are alot of reports about this for a 2003 Ford Taurus, please have them recall these and fix them.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #31

Dec 232006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,500 miles
Water leaks onto passenger side floor resulting in interior damage and damage to heater box and blower motor. Dealer replaced cowel at my expense, within 3 months leak returned and dealer wants to remove dash and check heater box, at a minimum expense of $850. Ford has a recall, 03V08700 and tsb 04-15-3 regarding these problems, but wants me to pay for the repairs. I also paid $375 to have the interior cleaned and disinfected after the first repair. I would also like to reference complaint 10184014.

- Bolingbrook, IL, USA

problem #30

Mar 302007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My wife noticed water poring out in the passenger floorboard of her 2003 Ford Taurus. She was aggravated by this, but had no mechanical failures and did not worry too much about it. Then she had her defroster fail while driving. This caused an issue, because she was not able to get home immediately and had to use a rag to clear the windshield to drive home. She told me about it and refused to drive anywhere with our children until the problem was resolved. I found water in the vent and had to replace the blower motor. The fan now runs, but only runs on high because another component failed that controls the fan speed. When I contacted the Ford dealership, they stated they were well aware of this issue, but no recall had been filed. I looked up recall info on the Ford site by VIN and it stated none were active. A quick search on the web will show I am not the only one with this issue. I believe this is a major safety hazard an inability to clear the windshield impairs the ability to see where you are going and recognize any hazards.

- Brookneal, VA, USA

problem #29

Apr 012007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles


My 2003 Ford Taurus has had water leaking in to the passenger side floor board ever since I purchased it, not thinking a whole lot about it when I returned from over seas due to a deployment there was rust stains in my carpet and the blower then would only work on high, about a month ago the blower motor quit working so I asked my mechanic and he told me that it should be covered but I have 40,000 miles on my car right now and the dealership is refusing to fix it under the tsb's or under any recalls.

- Columbia, MO, USA

problem #28

Dec 092005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,471 miles
Our 2003 Ford Taurus started to leak from somewhere. The floors became wet when it rained. We took the car to the Ford dealership and they fixed"the problem. This happened 3 more times each time they claimed to have fixed the problem. We were left without a car for a week the last time, and still we have problems with the car. The water damage has left my car with a foul smell and has shorted out our blower for the second time. Ford in waterbury ct has given up on the car and claimed that they cannot find where the water is coming from. This happened over the course of about 1 1/2 years. Since this time our warranty has ran out and the problem is not fixed. We are aware of recall # 03V087000, but we are not sure if this is part of it. I have researched the internet to find many descriptions of Ford models 2001-2003 with this same problem. At this point the value of my Taurus has dropped significantly, and I cannot trade in this car knowing that this problem has not been resolved. I'm not sure anyone would even want this car at this point. We are very frustrated and feel "ripped off" by Ford. This was a beautiful car when we bought it but is now plagued by water damaged carpets and unhealthy mold. The heater/ac/blower does not work and on very cold, icy, or hot days it cannot be driven due to safety hazards. Please help us to resolve this problem we have nowhere left to turn. Ford Taurus 4 dr sedan tan.

- Prospect, CT, USA

problem #27

Feb 202007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,450 miles
Water was noticed in the floor board on passenger side. A few days later, 2/20/2007, my blower motor went out. I called local Ford dealership and was told to bring it in. Turned out to be a well known water leak problem stemming from a design defect leaks at the base of the windshield. It allows water to get into the blower motor and the rest is history. I paid $324 for the repairs and the replacement cowl still bows so the water can continue to enter with the same results. I returned my car this morning 2 23 07, (the day after picked it up in the dark) to express my dissatisfaction and was told to come back Monday. How can a car manufacturer of 100 years not know what it is going to the base of the windshield??!! Ford needs to correct this problem. Thanks.

- Lebanon, TN, USA

problem #26

Feb 172007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,211 miles
We noticed a puddle of water on the passenger side floor and a burning rubber smell after a very heavy rain storm. We could hear water in the heater system. Took the car to a Ford service department, where they confirmed a design defect in the cowling which allows rain water to get into the blower motor & resister components. The motor and resister had both been damaged by the water and needed to be replaced (which was not covered under warranty but should have been, due to the design defect).

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #25

Jan 192007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,123 miles
Blower motor failure due to water leaking into blower case on my 2003 Ford Taurus, I took my car to the Ford dealer to get the blower repaired or replaced. After they replaced the blower, they told me that it wasn't covered under my 6 yr/ 75000 mi. Bumper to bumper warranty because of water leaking into the blower case. I'm going to fight this because Ford co. Knew there was a problem with leakage into the blower case which means Ford should have replaced my blower/motor for free, instead I got a bill for $508 and I'm taking it to small claims court. If anyone else wants to get on the bandwagon let me know. My email is: I'm in pittsburgh pa and by the way my car had 57,000 miles on it.

- Tarentum, PA, USA

problem #24

Oct 302006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,101 miles
Water leaked into front passenger side by windshield and soaked front floor area (at least 1 to 2 quarts of water) it also shorted out and destroyed the blower motor. Dealer installed new molding and an additional rain hat. Care was just out of warranty. So dealer would not help with cost. I wonder if it will take a fire for Ford to address this issue. If needed contact me for additional information. Thank you, bill.

- Broadview Hts., OH, USA

problem #23

Nov 062006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
Blower motor switch quit working. Is due, as I understand, to a defect in manufacturing and/or design in blower motor case which allows water to get in and ruin the resister switch. Eventually blower motor switch quits working altogether. When this happens there is no defrost or defogger which affects visibility. This happens according to a google search and tsb# 031506 frequently. Ford in the case of the 1996 Contour gave a ten yr. Coverage due to similar problem.

- Zearing, IA, USA

problem #22

Sep 232006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
2003 Taurus ses-windshield leaks water into pass. Side floor.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #21

Oct 112006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
As with thousands of other 2003 Taurus owners, I also have water leaking into the passenger side compartment from a design/manufacturing flaw. I also replaced the heater fan which I found to be full of water. I am also very, very unhappy with the idea that this is obviously a design flaw and Ford won't make it right because they're not having their feet held to the fire by a government Agency. But wait, there's more. The automatic transmission on this car has occasionally done what is called a "neutral drop". while starting out from a stop in "drive", the transmission has (on three occasions) not engaged until the engine has reached about 2000 RPM. The resultant effect from this surprise engagement can only be described as the feeling of having someone run into the back of the car. The car was taken to the dealer where it was purchased, tests were run with no error codes found for any transmission malfunctions. Apparently the computer's memory is selective. I used to have a wife like that. I've purchased five Ford since 1994 and have had serious design/manufacturer problems with all of them. Do you think I'll buy another one? I have a long memory, and that's it for me.

- Lynnwood, WA, USA

problem #20

Sep 012005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles
: the contact stated water leaked between the windshield and the hood, which shorted out the fan to the compressor. Due to the fan shortage, the heater and defroster did not work. The vehicle also leaks by the passenger floor.

- Seattle, WA, USA

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