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 1 of 4)

problem #79

Oct 162014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 150,069 miles


The floor board on passenger side is wet and heater blower only blows on setting 4. mechanic said water shorted out blower motor. Did some searching and found I wasn't the only one. Please see the following; reference recall number 03V087000 and other complaint 10184014. This will show a continuing trend.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #78

Jul 182013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
A water leak which dumped water onto the passenger floor board also caused my ac blower motor to short out. Ford will not honor a recall but will fix it for $550 replacing the blower motor, blower motor resistor and the leak that they said was coming from a "rain cap" on the windshield. I looked online and have seen several complaints about the same problem.

- New Berlin, IL, USA

problem #77

May 072013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Water leaking in from cowl panel...causing heater motor to rust out...could cause a fire.

- Springboro, OH, USA

problem #76

Sep 232011


  • 22,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that whenever it would rain, water would leak from the front passenger side of the vehicle and into the engine causing a short circuit to the blower motor. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated he had to replace the blower motor and the resistor. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 22,000.

- Chaska, MN, USA

problem #75

Oct 212011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
A water leak which dumped water onto the passenger floor board also caused my ac blower motor to short out. I am not sure if this is related to recall 03V087000 but I know it is the same problem as complaint #10184014.

- High Point, NC, USA

problem #74

Oct 052011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
A water leak, possibly from a faulty seal, onto the passenger interior floor board also caused my ac/heater blower motor to short out. My heater switch will only work in the maximum position. From what I have read it is due to a heater motor resistor, which has caused similar problems for other Taurus owners. I could not get Ford to act even though a related recall existed under 03V087000.

- Porthill, ID, USA

problem #73

Nov 012010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


We had a small hail storm pea size hail and called geico to look at the roof, trunk and hood of the car. The roof had large area's of paint missing and bubbled with large area's of rust under it. The adjuster told us this was a defect that Ford was have with cars and trucks between 2000 - 2006 and denied the claim. After several months of research and body shops telling me this is a Ford defect, calling Ford and them telling me it's not there problem, looking at web-sites with 100's of complaints, lemon laws, facebook pages against Ford, frustration because people were loosing their cars due to rust, and Ford telling us oh well even after the tsa report Ford posted stating they knew they had a problem with the paint adhering to the aluminum to make the car weigh less and a good possible fix would be to replace the panels with steal and good primer and painted, the Ford 800 number stated we are sorry but unless we get enough complaints and NHTSA sees enough complaints to do a recall we won't help. Even the denver police department has issued complaints of paint peeling off the car like an orange.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #72

Jun 152010


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that water was leaking into the passenger side of the vehicle when it rained. Because of the leakage, the heating and air conditioning system stopped functioning. She was also concerned about mold forming when there was water on the floorboard. The contact called the manufacturer who took a complaint but offered no further assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The current mileage was 34,346. The failure mileage was approximately 30,000.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #71

Jul 202010


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that there was a water leak in the cowling that caused the blower motor to rust; therefore, it needed to be replaced. The contact noticed the failure when the fan was no longer blowing air. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired at the time of the complaint. The contact called the manufacturer who stated that there was no warranty or recall for the failure. The current mileage was approximately 120,000. The failure mileage was approximately 115,000.

- Fraser, MI, USA

problem #70

Feb 012010


  • 140,586 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that when it rained, water made its way into the vehicle from the instrument panel and flooded the front passenger side. Furthermore, the defroster did not work. The steering wheel vibrated and, interior light was always illuminated and the door locks did not engage automatically. The contact called the dealership and was advised to take the vehicle in for repair at his expense. The current and failure mileages were 140,586.

- Louisville , KY, USA

problem #69

Mar 082010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 54,900 miles


I have a 2003 Ford Taurus and every time it's setting out in a moderate to heavy rain the right front floorboard gets saturated with water. I've had to replace the blower resistor twice and the blower motor once and the motor in it now is going out. Why isn't Ford being held responsible for the repairs and costs affiliated with this manufacturing defect and the costs incurred on those of us unfortunate enough to have purchased one of them? due to this issue I nearly had an accident on 03/08/10 when my windshield fogged during a rainstorm and I lost almost all visibility. If I hadn't known the area very well plus 25 years of law enforcement driving I very well could have been seriously injured or killed. NHTSA needs to act on this asap before someone is killed. My name is [xxx] and I can be contacted at [xxx], in mesa, Arizona. My car is usually under cover and it flooded with water also in Feb. 2009 &Feb. 2010, when it was standing out in the rain, not being operated but just out in the rain. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #68

Dec 282009


  • 111,000 miles
My Taurus's blower motor stopped functioning in December 2009. I believe the cause is a water leak or blown A/C heater blower motor. I think the leak dumped water onto the passenger floor board also caused my ac blower motor to short out, needing a replacement. After browsing the internet to see if other Ford Taurus owners had the same or a similar problem, this seems to be a recurring issue with the 2003 Ford Taurus.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #67

Jan 212010


  • 40,997 miles
Due to a water leak problem, the ac blower motor failed (shorted out) and was unable to blow defrost air onto the windshield, causing poor visibility while driving. Water soaked the passenger floorboard. There was a previous recall #03V087000. Another person with the same problem has filed complaint #10184014.

- Arroyo Grande, CA, USA

problem #66

Nov 072009


  • 47,000 miles
[regarding Taurus/Sable for water leak and ac blower defect; silent recall; tsb 03-15-6; related recall existing under 03V087000, & possibly also compliance recall 03C03] - also see complaint #10184014 certified car, 2003 Ford Taurus ses, 47,000 miles have recently (11/7/09) gotten water on passenger floor, & now see that this is a common problem & design defect. Now my blower mower has started an unusual sound as well, & this is obviously related. I was told that this sound is water sloshing around & will rust my blower motor, making that yet another repair. Have been told that Ford will not pay for repair - but have found many instances online where Ford did indeed pay 80% of this exact same repair. This is a defect & there are hundreds of complaints about the Taurus water problem all over online, yet Ford chooses to ignore.

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #65

Oct 252009


  • miles
2003 Ford Taurus, blower motor failing and leaking water onto the floorboard. From the looks of it I am not the only one with this problem. I think there should be a recall from Ford to take care of this problem.

- Campti, LA, USA

problem #64

Aug 202009


  • 43,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. Water was leaking from the air conditioner vent on the right front passenger side of the vehicle. The floor was also wet each time it rained. The vehicle was purchased three days ago. The vehicle will be diagnosed by the dealer. The failure mileage was 43,000.

- Perkasia, PA, USA

problem #63

Jun 302009


  • 58,556 miles
A water leak from the firewall was discovered when the carpet became soaked after driving in a rain storm. The problem has existed for some time because there is mold under the carpet.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #62

Apr 112009


  • 35,000 miles
The passenger side front carpet, padding and floorboards become soaking wet every time it rains and it rains every 3 days in the Chicago area. We have to wet vacuum the water out to try and keep the carpet & padding from molding and stinking up the interior. The dealer thinks that they can fix this problem, but will not guarantee any repair for this expensive problem. We and have heard of, and the dealers know of multitudes of Ford Taurus owners with this same problem and there does not seem to be a known cause and good fix to this problem and as wide spread of a major problem this is, especially for allergy sufferers like my wife, there should be a factory recall on this issue and Ford should accept responsibility for this major design problem and fix this problem under warranty.

- Grayslake, IL, USA

problem #61

Feb 062009


  • miles
I own a 2003 Ford Taurus with 40,000 miles on it. I have found out on the internet there is a design defect, water can get into the heater system and blows out the blower motor and resister. I am very upset about this and have read that many people that own Ford's have the same problem. I should not be having any trouble with a car that has only 40,000 miles on it.

- W. Boylston, MA, USA

problem #60

Nov 152008


  • 29,000 miles
Failure of the A/C, heater, defroster fan.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

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