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:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,350 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments

problem #4

Apr 012007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the windshield slipped down and she heard a lot of wind noise, rattling, and water leakage. The floor began to rust, the lights flickered, and the cruise control failed due to water damage. The alternator was replaced twice due to water damage. The manufacturer stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 03V087000 (visibility:windshield). The failure mileage was 43,000 and current mileage was 68,000. Updated 04-02-08 the vehicle jerks when the consumer drives over 35 mph. The dashboard lights go dim. The vehicle would also stall. The dealer stated it was due to a bad alternator. Updated

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #3

Nov 102007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
I am the original owner of a 2003 Ford. The car has 52,000 miles and no problems until now. The car engine light came on one evening so, the next day I brought it to be serviced. It was hooked up to the electronic computer analyzer only to find out that the computer board was no good. The mechanic installs the new computer board. Two weeks later I go to start the car and the RPM is accelerating like I'm driving 60mph while in park! the battery light stayed on the whole time. When I tried to put the car in neutral or drive the rpms gradually go down and the car shuts off. Finally, I had to had aaa tow me back to the garage who serviced the car. The alternator was no good. After the new alternator was installed the mechanic said it still did not run properly which, lead him back to the computer board. There is problem with the computer board again. I've had 3 Ford in the past and none of them ever had a problem with the computer board.

- West Hempstead, NY, USA

problem #2

Oct 192007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
Have a 2003 Ford Taurus ses; 80K miles. Initially, my fan only worked on high. I just dealt w/ it, no big deal, but eventually, my alternator went out... so after I changed that, my fan no longer works at all. I have to replace the blower motor & the resistor for it. In the mean time, due to the fan not working, I almost was in an accident due to the defrost not being able to do it's job, and because there was no heat, I got a cold and missed some work. I am filing this complaint due to the number of people I have found that have had the same problem w/ their Ford Taurus. This seems to be a recurring problem, if that's the case, there should be a recall on the part for a resolution. Bad choice on Ford part. Next time, I'll buy Honda.

- Bellevue, NE, USA

problem #1

Oct 082007

Taurus 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,400 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. While decelerating from 30 mph, the vehicle stalled in traffic and stopped on its own. The battery light illuminated before the failure occurred. The vehicle would not restart. The vehicle was jumped and taken to the contact's residence before being towed to the dealer. The dealer stated that the alternator needed to be replaced; however, no repairs were made. This is the third time that the alternator needed to be replaced. The current and failure mileages were 50,400.

- Hollywood , FL, USA

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