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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,818 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 #12

Dec 192015

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. After the vehicle was started, the brake pedal was depressed and the vehicle failed to switch out of the park position. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the brake switch failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000. Updated 05/11/16 the consumer stated he had an accident when the brakes failed. The consumer injured his neck. Updated 06/14/16.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #11

Sep 292012


  • miles
Calipers front right F reb caliper remove and inspect and overhaul caliper front one side. Brakes were grinding again which required that inspection which I find out that the same area in the brake system needs replaced. Recomd, tie rod inner remove and replace tie rod end one side inner, ball joints lower front left remove and replace F ball joint one side, 2 brake hoses front. Brake rotors front both needed replaced. Suggested tires due to mileage also rubber valve stem. System failure- required. Recd, brake fluid exchange with ABS, and bleed brakes. Ceramic disc brake pads PD598 both front. 03/02/2013 mil 151213. 3rd repair shop, replaced all four tires with warranty brakes and pads along with discs needed replaced for the 4th time. Transmission flush due to leaking fluid. Qt dex 3 proline. Brake drums and shoes replaced. Replaced brake fluid, tie rod end one side inner along with replace of the shaft seal remove and install F axle shaft assembly one side. Tran's seal cr. Cv axle replacement. Ball joint replacement along with wheel cylinder rear both, brake service with rear brake drum. Engine light off/ runs poor diagnostic, replacement of PCV valve assembly, replaced upper and lower intake manifold gasket remove and replaced PCV valve along with tune up package. Relearn engine idle, rear brakes basic pc pkg, dorman rear right wheel and left cylinders. During these 3-4 repair shops cannot fix the cruise control to get the car to stop driving it self when above 30mph along with acceleration, back tail light right side shorts out continually. It is very difficult and very unsafe to control a vehicle that has had more than three or four repair shops try their hardest to fix a problem that apparently has some of these problems. I am with the belief that the brake system along the electrical system within the 2003 Ford Taurus ses DOHC is unsafe for street use in the U.S. due to our standards here of motor safety. When put into gear the transmission jumps loud.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #10

Mar 172010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,617 miles
2003 Ford Taurus. Consumer states problems with coil springs the consumer questioned the lack of a recall for an obvious safety problem and perhaps defective material. The front and rear coil springs ruptured on the consumers vehicle. The ball joints, front stabilizer and serpentine belt all had to be replaced on different occasions. The caliper froze, and the rotors were warped. Updated consumer letter 10/27/10.

- Sanbornville, NH, USA

problem #9

Sep 012008


  • 46,000 miles


2003 Ford Taurus with only 46,000 miles on it and the water pump has had to be replaced twice. Also, the brake pads on the vehicle have had to be replaced at least three times and the mechanic told us that the pads on the Taurus are cheap and will erode quicker than on other vehicles. Lastly, the vehicle does not get good gas mileage as expected. Next car will be a Honda.

- Cockeysville, MD, USA

problem #8

Jul 082008


  • 68,000 miles
Application of brakes causes car to shake and shimmy. Rotors, pads and calipers replaced twice. Replaced right front bearing, ball joint, sway bar link and half shaft the second time, do to bearing wear and squeak. None of the above has fixed this problem. It is especially bad when the brakes are being applied while going around a corner.

- Columbia Station, OH, USA

problem #7

Jul 282004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,500 miles
Excessive brake pressure to get vehicle to stop. Dealer unable to locate problem.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #6

Aug 292003


  • miles


Tires causing vibration of vehicle's front end. (when driving 35 mph or higher tire vibration would occur) there was also a brake problem. Grinding would occur.

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #5

Mar 032004

(reported on)


  • miles
Request for details about the defect trends ODI uses for determining recall factors.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 132004

(reported on)

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
Vehicle is experiencing a problem with the brakes. While moving at a speed of 65mph, driver applied brakes and ended up in the back of a SUV, damaging the hood. Vehicle has been at the dealership 3 or 4 times for brake repairs. Mechanic says "this vehicle was not equipped with anti-lock brakes. This experience occurs intermittently. Provide further details.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #3

Oct 012003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
Engine surges under constant speeds. Brakes soft in middle of pedal stroke. Dealer says both are related. Soft pedal alarms driver. 2 inches sudden travel in pedal causes driver to over depress brake to compensate for sudden "no brake" condition.

- Fairborn, OH, USA

problem #2

Apr 152003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,700 miles
When trying to apply the brakes, the pedal went to the floor, which caused the consumer to experience extended stopping distance. The consumer had an accident.

- Plainfield, NJ, USA

problem #1

Mar 152003


  • miles
The brakes failed to stop the vehicle, which resulted in a collision.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

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