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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,977 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 #3

Feb 122008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,348 miles


I purchased the car on 2/11/08 and then took it back to the dealer the next day because the door panel broke off and the car was idling high when I drive it. They knocked $1,000 off of the sales price and took off the Ford warranty for this exchange and they wrote out another sales contract. A month later, the starter went out and I paid $200 to fix it (out of my pocket). Then, on 4/7/08 when I was on my way to work, the car broke down again and I called raceway Ford. The car dealer whom sold me the car told me that he don't know if they can help me and if they did fix it, he said he wouldn't know when it'll be ready because he's not a mechanic (in a very sarcastic tone). He told me to just call back when the manager arrive at 3 P.M. today. I had to get my car repaired the same day so I took my car to general automotive shop in moreno valley and paid $688 (out of my pocket) to get it repaired. After my car was repaired, on 4/7/08, I went to raceway Ford and waited 15 minutes to talk to the sales manager, even though he was in his office, only 20ft away from where I was waiting, he sent his assistant manager to come out to talk to me because the assistant manager said the manager was too busy to handle the situation at this time. So, I explained all the problems I?ve had with the vehicle, which I purchased from them. The assistant manager made copies of my repair bills and told me that he promise he'll try to help me as best as he can and he'll call me back tomorrow (on 04/08/08). Today is 4/10/08 and I haven?T heard from the manager or the assistant manager in regards to this dilemma. Neither one of them has tried to contact me. I strongly believe that if they would have did a diagnostic on the vehicle before they sold it to me, this problem wouldn't even exist.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 202003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,182 miles
At about 8000 miles I was driving my 2003 Taurus when I noticed an electrical smell. I pulled over and shut the air conditioning off to listen to my vehicle. The car sounded like it was continually turning over while running. I turned the car off and removed the keys, but the car would not shut off. I pulled my baby from the vehicle and ran. Smoke was pouring from hood. The mechanic said the solenoid shorted internally causing starter to engage. We have since had many starting problems. Right now my car is in the shop for the 11th day in row.they are on the sixth attempt to fix the vehicle. The car will crank, but not start. The second try it will then sputter and start. They have even replaced the computer and that did not fix it. Also the tires had to be replaced at 22,500 miles due to vigorous shaking. The whole car would start to vibrate at about 40 mph. At 75 on the interstate the front of the car would shake for about 30 seconds then quit for 30 seconds. This routine continued through out the trip.

- Watertown, SD, USA

problem #1

Nov 212004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,400 miles
I have a concern of regarding a safety issue on my 2003 Ford Taurus. I am not sure if this is the right place to lodge a complaint, but would direct me to the right source if not. Sunday, November 21, 2004, I changed oil on my 2003 Ford Taurus. Like many vehicles I have changed oil on, I was not very pleased with the location of the oil filter. It is located beneath the manifold (extreme heat) and above the solenoid for the starter. It was the solenoid that I was suspicious about and that suspicion came true Sunday evening. When you take off the oil filter, oil drips onto the solenoid. I cannot imagine why an engineer would allow a location for a flammable liquid to drip onto a power source. When I used a filter wrench to get the oil filter off, the wrench knocked off the protective cap that covers the power leads and ground to the solenoid. What happened after that was not a positive experience. The oil wrench and the power leads made contact and immediately started sparking. The sparks in turn started a fire in my engine compartment and melted the metal band that surrounds the oil filter wrench. As quickly as I could, I grabbed some rags and doused the fire. As far as I could see, no damage was done to the electrical wires. Aside from getting shocked from the solenoid and getting minor burns I am okay. However, that is not the issue. What if I had not put the fire out" would the car and possibly my garage been engulfed in fire" I contacted the service department where I purchased the Ford Taurus (valley Ford, fargo) and voiced my concern. The service technician agreed that this solenoid was in an awful place. He also said to make sure the protective cap was placed over the terminal leads of the solenoid again. Please advise me as to what my next step is. Or, is this a safety issue that I am overreacting to? I anxiously await your response.

- Enderlin, ND, USA

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