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...


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
100,682 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments

problem #14

Jul 012014


  • 140,000 miles


Takata recall: Car stops not accurately and makes sound whenever applied the brakes, feeling some suspension issues as well as transmission issue, car is fully maintain and have under car fax report system.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #13

Jan 082016


  • 77,000 miles
We had several close calls where the car would not stop, and slide on dry pavement, and wet conditions. The car had new brakes, rotors, tires, but still would have trouble stopping, unfortunately my daughter was driving the car today, and hit another car. I just replaced the tires again a few months go, thinking the tires were the problem. I had several close calls myself, and I think there is a big problem with this car stopping. Thank god nobody was hurt, but this could have been much worse. My daughter was going approximately 30 miles an hour, and she was on a city street, conditions were wet, but she had plenty of time to stop.

- Perrysburg, OH, USA

problem #12

Oct 032015

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
My vehicle with [xxx]. I can not shift my car from park, or if I press on the brake a couple of times, and get the brake light to come on, they say on. Even when foot is not on brake. My vehicle in not apart of a recall, it was manufactured in an atlanta plant. I am being out of money and time with repairs that I have had done, and its not solving the issue. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #11

Aug 202014


  • 189,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. When the contact depressed the brake pedal, the brake lamp became inoperable intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 189,000.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #10

Jun 022013


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 65 mph, the brakes failed without warning. In order to stop the vehicle, the contact had to force the vehicle into park and no warning indicators illuminated. The failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #9

Feb 112015


  • 160,000 miles
The park lamp switch seems to be failing and intermittently will stop working causing the brake lights to fail and the vehicle to not switch out of park. Using the VIN number the recall doesn't apply to my vehicle but obviously the recall needs to be expanded. Your help with addressing this matter would be appreciated. Thank you

- Watsonville, CA, USA

problem #8

Oct 102014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 68,892 miles


Vehicle exhibits failure state as detailed in Ford recall 04S12. Vehicle has failed in the same manner multiple times in the past, however cannot document what exact days the vehicle has failed in such a manner. The stop light switch/wiring has failed in the closed position once, in the open position twice, including today, and the vehicle's VIN was never entered as part of recall 04S12.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #7

May 012013


  • 120,000 miles
My battery discharge light came on then the ABS light, the brake light and others. I have taken it to a repair shop and neither he nor I can find the battery drain. The computer doesn't show anything. At times if its raining the wipers go as does the heat or air blower. I have also noticed the transmission not shifting correctly. My main concern is the engine stopping or the brakes not working and I have had my wipers not work in a rain storm. Any advice?

- Baltimore, OH, USA

problem #6

Apr 032014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 121,757 miles
When driving the car the car will accelerate on its own with out pushing the gas. Even when you come to a complete stop the RPM will not go down to 0 it will stay above the 1. the car never comes to a complete stop the car is always accelerating even when at a complete stop.

- Middle River, MD, USA

problem #5

May 312011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 105,497 miles
Ford Taurus 2003 ses, engine 3.0L car was purchased on May 28, 2011. Left side electrical along with components of the turn signal snap back when attempting to use this safety feature made for vehicles. On 06/15/2011 the front right brakes of the vehicle went out and required the vehicle to be towed to a local repair shop. During the drive home which was from a distance of about 20 miles I experienced uncontrollable steering and almost lost control of the vehicle. The replaced brake caliper bolt came loose and was lost along the highway. On 07/19/2011 after the vehicle was towed back to the repair shop the A/C compressor had failed again along with the transmission as the transmission was slipping roughly during normal driving conditions. The vehicle was towed and was blowing hot, brakes grinding, transmission flare shifting 2-3 shift. Repair shop stated slipping at 30mph and stated rebuilt transmission. During a week period around 07/22/2011 the brakes were grinding again and the lower ball joints were installed. Transmission slipping around 30mph and ac was still blowing hot. Transmission was rebuilt during this time frame due to flare shift 2-3 shift. Vehicle was towed back to the shop each time. 08/17/2011 check engine light on, transmission does not shift, grinding noise when accelerate and brake, A/C blows hot. On 08/31/2011 the transmission would not shift, stated need to replace all electronics in transmission, one or more solenoids are defect. 09/12/2011 odometer 112377 out O. on 09/20/2012 mil 140,768. Balanced 55 series and above rear right wheels balanced parts for flat with plug. Vehicle was inspected for power steering fluid and it was normal. The vehicle jumps when put in reverse and into gear and seems to want to stay on cruise control. I will post further comments to my complaint as there is not enough space for facts.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #4

May 212013


  • miles


I was driving home from work doing 25 mph the car accelerate to 45 mph without my foot on the gas. The brakes would not stop the car, I had turned down a side street trying to push the brakes while putting the car into park. The car made a loud noise. This happen again the next day. It is very scary and very dangerous Ford needs to fix this issue. I almost took the highway home thank god I didn't!!

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #3

Dec 172012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Brake light switch failed, at first the car wouldn't go out of park, after several tries it finally did. At that point it was noticed that the brake lights wouldn't turn off. I found an old recall that appeared to match the vehicle (04S12) but the Ford dealer stated my car was not part of that recall and they would not state whether the car had already had it done or not.

- Winnetka, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 052012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 67,400 miles
The car was being driven at 15 miles an hour, slowing down to prepare to turn left. Suddenly the car sped up uncontrollably. The brakes would not slow the car down. The car had to be thrown into park to make it stop. We turned the engine off. Turning the engine back on, the engine started revving up very high on its own. We turned the engine back off and towed the car to the mechanic, and he found that the cruise control malfunctioned. He disconnected the cruise control cable, and the problem went away. This is identical to the problem reported here: we were lucky there were no pedestrians on the road and that we were not driving very fast. If this problem happened on the highway, the results could be very different. This needs to be turned into a recall before it causes a fatal accident.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #1

Aug 042012


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact was driving 40 mph and applied the brakes but the vehicle did not respond. The contact shifted into park in an attempt to stop the vehicle. The vehicle did not stop and the vehicle crashed into the rear of another vehicle. During the crash both the driver and passenger side air bags deployed however, the contact was not injured. The driver of the second vehicle suffered a laceration above the eye. A police report was filed. The manufacturer was contacted and a complaint was filed. The failure mileage was 75,000.

- Quakertown , PA, USA

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