ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
1,000 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 #2

Jul 012003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Possible defective brakes are a concern. Before the vehicle had 3,000 miles, the rotors were cut. That is unheard of for a car with so little mileage, at least to me. We still hear grinding noises on a hard brake in the right front. Everytime we take it back, (4 times) no problems are found. I have already talked to Ford twice about this, but since the warranty has expired, and the dealership says that brake pads need to be replaced (at cost to us), they do not feel they (Ford) should pay for it. One of the times that we took it in for service, they suggested a remedy that is not even recommended in the owner's manual. I understand that sometimes a vehicle is just not put together correctly, then fix it. Vehicle has 36,470 miles on it.

- Winter Springs, FL, USA

problem #1

Sep 292003

(reported on)


  • 2,000 miles
While coming to a light brakes made a grinding noise. When going up hills, and when coming to a stop vehicle skidded. Mechanic said rotors were severely rusted.

- Cheektowaga, NJ, USA

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