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 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,946 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 (Page 1 of 4)

problem #70

Aug 032016


  • 168,357 miles


My car had caught on fire and the police officer and the firemen said it was a electric fire. My car was sitting in front of my apartment building at 8:30 P.M. and that between 3 and 4 a.M. a car that caught on fire and I was not even driving it was just sitting there park.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #69

Jul 082014


  • 132,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. While driving at any speed, the blower motor emitted smoke from under the dashboard on the passenger side of the vehicle. The failure recurred three times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the resister blower motor was getting damaged with water from the crow and under the air cabin filter where the installation of the cabin air filter. The technician informed the contact that the vehicle need to be taken to a dealer to have the installation replaced. The vehicle was repaired twice; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 132,000.

- Austintown, OH, USA

problem #68

Dec 222015


  • 2 miles
Driving 6am today both my headlights turned off while driving. They turned back on 5 second later but that is the second time it has happened within the last 30 days. Also dashboard lights turned off and on random times for the last year even this morning but different time then headlight issue.

- Cheswick, PA, USA

problem #67

Dec 102013


  • 70,000 miles


For the first 6 years this car was garaged, as soon as it was parked outside, exposed to the weather, a very bad water leak appeared. I constantly get water on the floor of the passenger side. This leak fried my blower motor, resulting in no heat. The blower motor was replaced, but the leak is still present. Once again, I find myself with no heat. The blower motor works, but is not getting any power to it. The resistor has been replaced, and all fuses and relays are fine. Driving in Connecticut with no heat in the winter is a difficult task.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #66

Aug 142015


  • 130,000 miles
Riding down route 539 at 5:00 pm when the theft alarm came on and car cut off and jerked and restarted at the time the truck almost hit me in the rear end which I could have been killed I made to the shopping center and had it taken to my auto repair shop were it still is. My repairman is running all kinds of test to find the problem and correct it. Ford needs to recall the car before someone gets killed and car dealer should also be held accountable for selling a car that is unsafe.

- Whiting , NJ, USA

problem #65

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 #64

Nov 222014


  • 128,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the brake lights failed to illuminate and the transmission would not shift out of park. The vehicle was taken to a repair shop who replaced the brake light switch and the wire assembly. The vehicle was repaired. The contact was not included in recall NHTSA campaign id number: 04V106000 (exterior lighting). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 128,000.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #63

Aug 082014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Taurus accelerates by itself to 35-45 mph without having to touch the accelerator (note: The car will also accelerate uphill without having to press the accelerator. Also, the cruise control light works, but the cruise control itself is not engaging.

- Rincon, GA, USA

problem #62

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 #61

Nov 182012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Oct 2012 bought my Ford Taurus 2003. In November as I drove home at 3 am at 55 mph the cars dashboard lights all flashed across my dash then the headlights went out as I pulled to the side of the road the car stalled. I sat for approx 15 restarted car and got it home. The next morn the battery was dead. Purchased battery. Car ran fine for a year then changed coils in October 2013. Ion November I was driving 55 mph and all of a sudden dash and headlights went out. I was able to move the car into a driveway before gettin hit by 2 cars. Car was towed to my house I charged battery check the alternator. Next day car was started 3 times. The fourth time no go. Car towed to mechanic. Or shall I say dealership where car is under warranty. They called next day to tell me it was a dead battery they have charged it for an hour. I let the car sit there for a few days then called back, they then said my neg term to my battery wasn't connected.. and the car is now fixed, the car has sat at dealership for three weeks. Im scared to drive it and don't want my four kids in that death trap.

- Eaton Rapids , MI, USA

problem #60

Mar 282013


  • miles


My husband picked me up from school and he went in the store and the car while me and my 1 year old were in the car started smoking like from the air conditioner part the whole front part of the car, my husband ran out of store stating car was on fire he pulled car way from gas station, I got out of car and got my daughter out, fire was coming out of hood and bottom of car high we called fire department everything is on camera, than a police officer came out. The fire department put out the fire.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #59

Jul 182013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
A water leak which dumped water onto the passenger floor board also caused my ac blower motor to short out. Ford will not honor a recall but will fix it for $550 replacing the blower motor, blower motor resistor and the leak that they said was coming from a "rain cap" on the windshield. I looked online and have seen several complaints about the same problem.

- New Berlin, IL, USA

problem #58

May 012007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
Ac/heater blower only operates on high - speeds 1,2,3, no air blowing. Blower resistor part (F6dz-19A706-aa) has been replaced three times in six years. Obviously, there is a defect/known problem that Ford should be addressing.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #57

May 072013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Water leaking in from cowl panel...causing heater motor to rust out...could cause a fire.

- Springboro, OH, USA

problem #56

Aug 252011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the ignition starter was replaced for the second time. The original starter that was installed by the manufacturer was replaced in August of 2011. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The failure mileage and the VIN were unavailable.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

problem #55

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 #54

Oct 152012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 104,220 miles
Affected part: would not start. I got it jumped and drove to autozone to test. Starter was dead. Replaced starter. Affected part: Not sure what part but I am having problems with the headlights/dashlights and air, all weakening as I am driving. Vehicles think I am flashing my headlights at them.

- Bedford, TX, USA

problem #53

Jul 112012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
Failure of blower motor. My research shows that water leaking into the blower motor compartment and shorting-out the blower motor/resistor is chronic in the 2003 Ford Taurus, evidenced by the presence of water on the floor passenger side-front, and necessitates replacement of the blower motor and/or ballast resistor from water damage, at owner expense! a recall is in order to compel Ford to address this design issue, at their expense.

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #52

Oct 102011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Total transmission failure out of no where. Multiple other phantom engine failures/engine inexplicably dies.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #51

Mar 092012


  • 130,000 miles
My son was driving along when the radio stopped working and than the car would not accelerate. He pulled over and it stalled and he saw fire under the hood. The police officer suspects an electrical problem. The car burnt from front to rear..a total loss.

- Readfield, ME, USA

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