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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Ford Taurus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Jul 172011


  • 125,000 miles


I was driving eastbound on I-90 (mass. Pike) in Massachusetts, about 60 miles outside of boston, with my fiancee in the passenger seat. Road conditions were ideal. Temperature was in the high 80S. Sun was out, about 4 P.M. in the afternoon. Suddenly, the rpms went through the roof, but the car did not slow or speed. I tested again and same thing happened. I signaled right and was able to move over one lane and again onto the shoulder. Once parked, the car would not go into gear. I just got revving in park, drive, reverse, lower gears, etc. Transmission failure. No power to the ground. Repair costs came to $2,000. I would consider this a safety problem since I was not able to control the speed of my car on a busy highway. I was lucky enough to have space to my rear and right when the incident occured, but had I been boxed in, there certainly would have been an accident. It appears this is a common problem with the '03 Taurus.

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #15

Apr 252011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact was driving approximately 20 mph, attempting to park the vehicle when the brake pedal was engaged; yet, there was an unintended acceleration. The vehicle failed to stop and crashed into four unoccupied vehicles and small trees. The contact sustained no personal injuries; however, there were three bystanders that sustained minor injuries. A police report was filed. The front end of the vehicle was severely damaged. The vehicle was towed to a collision center. The failure mileage was unknown. The VIN was unavailable.

- Johnstown , NY, USA

problem #14

Nov 012010


  • 70,000 miles
Vehicle speed control: Linkage 2003 Ford Taurus station wagon; 3.0L DOHC a black plastic connector along the throttle cable under the hood became disconnected from a gray plastic piece. The black plastic piece became stuck against the edge of the gray piece, causing the throttle to stay wide open & undesired acceleration & some panic. It appears that this could be repaired by simply inserting 2 screws to secure the 2 plastic pieces together.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #13

Feb 052010


  • 130,000 miles


On February 5, 2010 my 2003 Ford Taurus caught fire at 1:00 P.M. parked under our car porch and there was no one in the car and no one had driven the car for 5 hours on Saturday morning. The shreveport fire department was call to keep the house from burning down with the car. The city fire marshall said the fire was caused by the cruise control switch. I told him no one uses the cruise control in that car because we just go in town and there is a red light at every corner. He stated that he had been to many other fires just like this one and it was always the cruise control switch. My husband is emotionally disabled and I nearly had a nervous breakdown just the sight that our investment was burning up and there was nothing we could do. I have call the fire marshall for a written copy of his report. I have taken pictures of the vehicle and their is some minor damages and lots of smoke damage to done to the house.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #12

Jul 262008


  • 79,000 miles
Cruise control cable become disconnected and get lodged behind throttle linkage.

- Warwick, RI, USA

problem #11

Jan 132008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle unexpectedly accelerated as the contact turned onto a road. She attempted to stop the vehicle, but was unsuccessful. She was finally able to shut off the engine and the vehicle was towed. The tow truck driver stated that a cable had become stuck, which caused the failure. The failure recurred approximately 3-4 weeks later. The contact performed the procedure the mechanic showed her in regards to the failure and continued driving. The contact's son explained that it was the cruise control cable that was stuck and he proceeded to disconnect the cable. Ford informed her that her VIN was not included in the cruise control recall. The current mileage was 75,300 and failure mileage was 74,000. Updated 04-08-08

- Lonoke, AR, USA

problem #10

Aug 122005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Dt the vehicle surged forward when in park. Contacted dealer, they checked it, and said was a sensor problem. They had to have an order to fix it. Did not say from who or why. Had not contacted the manufacturer. This happened on August 12, 2005.

- Canden, NY, USA

problem #9

Nov 152004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
While coming to a stop the caller hit the brake and the vehicle surged forward. It happened when vehicle was in park as well. Also, there was a sudden loss of power and rough idle when on the highway or city streets. The caller said there was poor gas mileage. Tool vehicle to dealer 7 times, on February 11, 2005, July 6, July 22, 2005, July 27, 2005, and August 12, 2005. Called the manufacturer, and manufacturer said they have had this problem in other vehicles. Dealer said they could not fix the problem and someone form the manufacturer will get back to him.

- Laredo, TX, USA

problem #8

Aug 012003


  • 27,000 miles
2003 Ford Taurus experienced sudden acceleration when brakes were engaged. The dealer acknowledge the problem, but has been unable to correct it.

- Bluffton, SC, USA

problem #7

Feb 262005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 19,397 miles
2003 Ford Taurus problems with sudden acceleration.** answer required***. while parking the vehicle accelerated suddenly and jumped over two curbs. The vehicle came to a stop after hitting a flower pot which became lodged under the vehicle.

- St Augustine, FL, USA

problem #6

Feb 272005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,550 miles


Owner was driving in a parking lot at approximately 5 mph and suddenly the vehicle began to accelerate. Owner drove into a large plant which got caught under the vehicle, causing the front of the vehicle to become airborne. This caused damaged under the vehicle and the front bumper. The dealer replaced the iac valve assembly.

- Saint Augustine, FL, USA

problem #5

Jan 032005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The consumer experienced sudden acceleration. The manufacturer has been contacted by consumer.

- North Yarmouth, ME, USA

problem #4

Jan 252005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,900 miles
Involutary acceleration of car at low speeds while the traction control is engaged due to slippery surfaces. This has happened four times in the last month and, everytime the driver's foot was on the brake pedal and not on the accelerator. The dealer has had the car twice and has not been able to replicate the conditions. Ford Motor Company refuses to take further action.

- Montpelier, VT, USA

problem #3

May 012004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
Consumer complained that the vehicle would continuously accelerate to 200 RPM and causes the engine to overheat. Vehicle had been to the dealer on two occasions, but problem recurred. Dealer contacted the manufacturer, and manufacturer informed that dealer that was the normal characteristic of that vehicle.

- Clifton, NJ, USA

problem #2

May 042004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 12,800 miles
The consumer experienced unexpected acceleration. The driver stated while sitting at a stop light he lifted his foot off the brake the and vehicle suddenly accelerated. The vehicle hit another vehicle in the rear. This same instance recurred another time and on the time, the vehicle was in the park position. Ford suggested that nothing was wrong with the vehicle.

- Ronkonkoma, NY, USA

problem #1

Apr 282003

(reported on)


  • miles
While going down a hill the vehicle shifted from over drive to drive, the vehicle gained speed and appeared to be in a "free wheeling" mode. The dealer stated the problem was the idle air control. Mr scc

- Coulee Dam, WA, USA

Not what you are looking for?