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...


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,451 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments

problem #19

Feb 102016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. While the vehicle was stopped, the rpms increased and the brake pedal had to be applied with force to ensure that the vehicle remained at a complete stop. In addition, the contact constantly had to apply the brake pedal to ensure that, when the vehicle was started, it did not independently accelerate without warning. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 02V266000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was not available.

- Gloucester Point, VA, USA

problem #18

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 #17

Jul 072016


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 36,000. The VIN was not available.

- Greensburg, IN, USA

problem #16

May 112016


  • 175,000 miles


Car accelerates and/or maintains high rpms. This usually happens when driving at various times.

- Baxter, TN, USA

problem #15

Jan 102010


  • 167 miles
I having so much trouble issues on this car I want refund money for this was $1,900 refund back to me...updated 11/13/15

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #14

Jan 102009


  • 167,777 miles
I have an issues.

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #13

Aug 242015


  • 37,800 miles


Vehicle stalls at traffic light several times. Strange sounds from engine.

- Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #12

Feb 102015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that after igniting the vehicle, smoke was coming from the outside of the vehicle. In addition, the engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 04/14/15 updated 7/20/15 updated 7/29/15

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #11

Sep 272013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 52,300 miles
When accelerating to go up a slight incline, the vehicle "surged" and lost all gears. I let my vehicle coast to a stop and put it in park. The vehicle will go into and out of park, but when placed in any gear is motionless....will not move in reverse, or drive. This vehicle only has 52000 original miles on it!

- Lake City, MI, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Jun 292013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 130,600 miles


Was driving in traffic when throttle became stuck open. Engine revved high. I put it into neutral, applied the brakes and pulled over. Engine was revving at 4000 RPM's. open engine hood and noticed the throttle cable mount/harness had broken loose and came out of alignment. I then drove home and tried to call a service station, but it was after 5pm on Saturday and could not find an open service station. Will call Ford on Monday morning.

- Canonsburg, PA, USA

problem #8

Mar 132013


  • 82,000 miles
Numerous problems!!!car died in the middle of an intersection.has happened 3 separate times. Have had car towed several times. Car won't start after being run for afew miles;will start again after cool. Mother has cancer and need this vehicle to get her to her chemotherapy and doctors appointments. Mother also uses a walker and after getting chemo treatments which physically wear her out it is extremely dangerous, frustrating, and highly inconvenient to get her into a tow truck!!!!! hundreds of complaints all over the internet and still nothing. Apparently someone(perhaps your department)needs to look into this very prevalent issue!!!!!

- Willow Street, PA, USA

problem #7

Nov 182012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 92,900 miles
Went to my mothers for thanksgiving dinner. On the way home going 55 mile an hour the car stared excelling in speed. My husband was driving and knew to put the car in neutral to get the car to stop. He had to constantly stay on the brakes to slow it down. We got the car home, I looked on line and saw the complaints on your website. My husband then took the car to the local for dealership. He took a copy of the complaint with him. Ford service dept. Said they didn't want to see that article and wanted $80 to even look at the car. The car is not fixed, we plan on trying to get it fixed in the near future. If you would like to see what it is doing, that should take place in the next few weeks.

- Clarksville, IN, USA

problem #6

Oct 042012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 203,000 miles
I was driving down state road 9 an as I started around a curve my RPM shot up an mph gauge went down envied revved up. I had no drive no neutral no reverse no nothing.

- Crothersville , IN, USA

problem #5

Sep 192012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 157,673 miles
Entered highway on-ramp. As I merged onto highway at approximately 55 mph, I notice that the car was accelerating faster than usual for the amount of throttle I was using. I took my foot off the throttle completely and the car continued to slowly but steadily accelerate. Without placing my foot on the throttle, I continued down the highway to the next exit. As I approached the light at the end of the exit, I began braking. Feeling the engine fight the brakes, I moved the shift level into neutral and brought the car to a stop on the shoulder of the exit. As soon as I placed the shift lever into neutral, engine RPM shot up as if the accelerator was being depressed. Repeatedly pressing and un-pressing the accelerator pedal did not nothing, nor was the pedal stuck on the floor mat. I turned the car off and place the shift lever into park. Starting the car again resulted in the same behavior: Engine RPM shot up even though the accelerator pedal was not depressed. I turned the car off and opened the hood. I identified the throttle body and notice that a plastic clip had become dislodged from the point where the throttle cable enters the throttle body. After several minutes of reinserting and wiggling the clip, I was able to get it to stay in its proper place, and thereafter, the throttle behaved normally. I carefully drove to the nearest Ford dealership where they replaced the following part: Yfiz*9A825 actuator asy. I have this invoice available if you need it. I have not experience any other issues with the throttle.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #4

Aug 042010


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled while driving. The contact stated that every light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was restarted but the failure recurred. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the fuse needed to be changed and the fuel pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified and stated that there was nothing that could be done because there was no recall. The failure mileage was 70,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Fort Thomas, KY, USA

problem #3

Aug 082012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
The latest incident was today. Vehicle was started, idling, put into reverse with foot on the brake. Engine suddenly increased speed and vehicle lurched backwards. Vehicle was put in drive with foot on the brake, engine would periodically increase speed and vehicle would lurch forward. On several other occasions while driving, notably at speeds 20-40 mph, vehicle speed would start increasing on it's own. On those occasions, the increase was not rapid or extreme, these were thought to be flukes, but now it's lurching after the vehicle is put in drive or reverse. The frequency of these incidents with this vehicle are increasing and I believe this is a serious safety issue.

- Lonoke, AR, USA

problem #2

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 #1

May 012012


  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact had to have the vehicle pushed to their residence because it could not be restarted. The dealer was notified of the issue who advised the contact that there were no recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 32,000.

- Brunswick, GA, USA

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