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:
6 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 1
Average Mileage:
87,941 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 (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #56

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 #55

May 312011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 105,497 miles
Ford Taurus 2003 ses, engine 3.0L car was purchased on May 28, 2011. Left side electrical along with components of the turn signal snap back when attempting to use this safety feature made for vehicles. On 06/15/2011 the front right brakes of the vehicle went out and required the vehicle to be towed to a local repair shop. During the drive home which was from a distance of about 20 miles I experienced uncontrollable steering and almost lost control of the vehicle. The replaced brake caliper bolt came loose and was lost along the highway. On 07/19/2011 after the vehicle was towed back to the repair shop the A/C compressor had failed again along with the transmission as the transmission was slipping roughly during normal driving conditions. The vehicle was towed and was blowing hot, brakes grinding, transmission flare shifting 2-3 shift. Repair shop stated slipping at 30mph and stated rebuilt transmission. During a week period around 07/22/2011 the brakes were grinding again and the lower ball joints were installed. Transmission slipping around 30mph and ac was still blowing hot. Transmission was rebuilt during this time frame due to flare shift 2-3 shift. Vehicle was towed back to the shop each time. 08/17/2011 check engine light on, transmission does not shift, grinding noise when accelerate and brake, A/C blows hot. On 08/31/2011 the transmission would not shift, stated need to replace all electronics in transmission, one or more solenoids are defect. 09/12/2011 odometer 112377 out O. on 09/20/2012 mil 140,768. Balanced 55 series and above rear right wheels balanced parts for flat with plug. Vehicle was inspected for power steering fluid and it was normal. The vehicle jumps when put in reverse and into gear and seems to want to stay on cruise control. I will post further comments to my complaint as there is not enough space for facts.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #54

Jan 152013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Taurus wagon RPM's rev up and down causing the car to sputter, hard lurches forward and die when stopping, usually if the air conditioner is running, also the gas pedal does not release at higher speeds. When first starting car up, it rev's to 2000 RPM and I have to wait for it to idle down to 1000 before shifting out of park to drive. If I am driving at speed of 30mph or more, I can take my foot off the gas pedal and it will maintain the exact speed on its own for miles, sometimes even speeding up 10 more mph. If I turn on the air conditioner, still not putting my foot on the gas pedal, the car will decrease its speed by about 10mph, consequently if I turn off the air conditioner the car will speed up about 10 more mph's. I have had the wagon in the mechanic's shop twice, one was an independent shop, the last was a Ford dealership. Between the two shops I have spent over a thousand dollars and neither one could diagnose or fix my problem. It is becoming increasingly hard to control the car at stops and I'm scared to drive it with my three children in the car but being a single mother with no outside help, our lives depend on the wagon and I have no more finances to try a shop again. Has there been a recall or could you add my problem to your database to see if someone else has my problem, maybe they can tell me what fixed theirs, thank you!

- N Charleroi, PA, USA

problem #53

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 #52

May 312013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 157,493 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently. The contact was able to stop the vehicle on the shoulder of the roadway. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 157,493.

- Ames, IA, USA

problem #51

Mar 042013


  • miles
We have replaced valves. Cleaned throttles etc.. on our Ford Taurus and we continue to experience unintentional acceleration (revving) RPM's at over 2,000-3,000. At a stop light it will be at around 2000 rpms with your foot on the brake and then just drop down to.5. I have to keep my foot on the brake when it is revving so high. If the speed limit is 35 I ride the brake continually until it finally lowers. I am afraid of driving it or selling it, yet it is one of our primary vehicles. The shop doesn't know what to do. I seen there is an investigation on this and I am wondering what the current status is. If I continue to drive it, I am sure I will have to spend $ to replace all the brakes next.

- Greenville, MI, USA

problem #50

May 142013


  • 73,089 miles


Driving in city traffic at 30 mph, car began to accelerate on it's own, despite tapping on accelerator or brake pedal to stop. Had to put car into neutral and hold brake to come to a complete stop while the car remained at 4000 RPM. Even after turning the car off and on several times, it remained stuck at 4000 RPM (in both park and neutral). Had to have car towed to mechanic because it was inoperable and a safety concern.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #49

Mar 202013


  • 0 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact was driving into a parking space when the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The vehicle accelerated, crashed into the curb and stopped on the grassy area while the rpms continued to increase. The vehicle sustained damage to the front bumper, right passenger headlight and the right tire was flat. The tie rod was also broken due to the failure. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who repaired the damage. There were no injuries. The police and the dealer were not notified of the failure. The manufacturer also was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Aududon, NJ, USA

problem #48

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 #47

Dec 052012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 67,400 miles
The car was being driven at 15 miles an hour, slowing down to prepare to turn left. Suddenly the car sped up uncontrollably. The brakes would not slow the car down. The car had to be thrown into park to make it stop. We turned the engine off. Turning the engine back on, the engine started revving up very high on its own. We turned the engine back off and towed the car to the mechanic, and he found that the cruise control malfunctioned. He disconnected the cruise control cable, and the problem went away. This is identical to the problem reported here: we were lucky there were no pedestrians on the road and that we were not driving very fast. If this problem happened on the highway, the results could be very different. This needs to be turned into a recall before it causes a fatal accident.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #46

Jul 252011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 134,500 miles


I bought the 2003 Ford Taurus used at the end of 2008. I did not start to experience the sudden acceleration problem until 2011. Luckily, I'm a well-trained driver from the days of high school drivers ed. Classes and my dad teaching me everything from driving in different weather conditions to what to do if your brakes fail, etc. The occurrences have gotten more frequent; I called in a complaint months ago to Ford but the lady I spoke with acted like she didn't believe me. She stated that my car was an older model and that they were looking into things about a newer model, she also said if I were to fix it just keep the receipt. So in other words come up with the money yourself or have an accident. The cars RPM needle starts to rise and it's about 5500 to 6000 before I can get it to engage. I ride the brakes until I get to a red-light and then put it in park and rev the engine to get it back down to normal. Other times I've had to pop it in neutral, push the accelerator until it starts to come down then back to drive. This is unnerving, especially when I have kids in the car, in heavy traffic or near a school at 3:00. Ford needs to acknowledge this problem before someone gets hurt, if they haven't already.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #45

Nov 232012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,546 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph when the accelerator pedal became jammed, with speeds reaching 85 mph. The driver was able to stop after depressing the brakes. The vehicle was pulled over and later towed to an independent mechanic. After diagnosis they advised her that the cruise control cable started binding and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired with a new cruise control cable. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileage was approximately 116,546. Updated 05/23/13 updated 05/31/2013

- West Albany, NY, USA

problem #44

Nov 162012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
While driving on speed control, my car started to accelerate like crazy. Luckily, I was able to slam on the brakes, but this was a very scary issue!

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #43

Nov 012012


  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph and releasing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle would remain at that speed and would not decelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where he was advised that they were unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was contacted and stated that they were aware of the failure but there was no remedy available. The contact replaced the throttle body and speed sensor but the repair did not correct the failure. The failure and current mileages were approximately 125,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #42

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 #41

Nov 092011


  • 171,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the vehicle accelerated to 45 mph without the accelerator pedal being depressed. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer where the air idle regulator was replaced but the failure recurred on three separate occasions. The failure mileage was 171,000 and the current mileage was 193,000.

- Tarzana, CA, USA

problem #40

Nov 012011


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated while driving 15 mph she applied the brakes and the vehicle independently accelerated. The contact thought there was a brake problem and her son changed the master cylinder. Six months later the failure recurred three more times. The contact was informed by the local news about NHTSA action number PE12033. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 90,000.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #39

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 #38

Nov 022011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 67,184 miles
In addition to previous complaint..confirmation # 10482482...... the repair shop I took it to said that it was the cruise control cable that was causing the problem with my engine speeding up like that. I was in the car with my son at the time. Safe to say that me and him were scared out of our wits. I haven't had any problems with my engine speeding up since the repair shop replaced the cable. Nevertheless, I just heard a couple days ago about an investigation into my model/year vehicle again about engines revving up on abc news. I don't know if there is a recall or not. However, on my way from church today, my engine light came on for the very first time this year. I stopped by an autozone to get a free engine check and the results said that it detected a higher than normal engine speed due to a possible engine vacuum leak or failed iac valve. I will take it to Ford dealership this Wednesday to get it checked out officially (if my car will make it) because I have to work Monday and Tuesday. I'm a little anxious, scared, and wondering if my engine will rev up like that again or stall out somewhere :(

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #37

Nov 022011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 67,184 miles
As I was driving, I noticed my car starting to accelerate. At first, I thought it was the cruise control, but when I went to slow down, the car just wanted to keep driving as if by itself; so, I had to make a sharp turn into the nearest parking lot in my attempt to get the car to stop. Finally, it came to a stop and almost ran into another car, but when I put it in park, the engine was still running at a fast speed; none like I heard before and then I turned it off.

- Orlando, FL, USA

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