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 1 of 4)

problem #76

Oct 052016


  • 116,000 miles


I was driving and the car revved the engine which made it feel like the car was going to take off.the car did jerk forward. And another time, I was at a stop light and the car revved like it was trying to go, even though the brake was being held down. The gray cap that holds the throttle cable in has broken on one side and the cable is slipping out. Is this a recall part?

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #75

Jul 202016


  • 181,560 miles
While driving my car began to accelerate and the more I tried to put on my brakes it continues on a busy 4 lane street. I was able to turn at a turn in slamming in on my brakes and throwing my shaft into park. It was still shaking like it wanted to go. I got it towed to my mechanic. The cruise control throttle cable insert split and got caught on the throttle bracket. It could have killed me and hurt a lot of people. I can't sell this car like this. I want Ford to recall and reimburse me for this terrible traumatic incident.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #74

Aug 182016


  • 95,000 miles
Car accelerated itself after releasing gas pedal on highway. Engine RPM hit about 4000. It was very hard to stop the car by brake. I checked under the hood and found the cruise control cable had problem. A plastic part on the cable was broken and caused the throttle body to stuck. Please see attached picture for reference.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #73

Feb 162016


  • 136,856 miles


Put vehicle in shop vehicle had rough idle, misfiring on #2 cylinder. Shop removed and replaced spark plug, air filter, fuel filter, and ignition coil. Got vehicle from shop. Vehicle idle too high-speeds up on its own. Took back to shop shop removed and replaced idle air control valve got vehicle out of shop. Vehicle still idle too high and still speeds up on its own. When stopped at stop light, when the breaks are released, car jumps forward. When backing up out of garage, car back-up too fast; must hold breaks at all times.

- Roxboro, NC, USA

problem #72

Oct 032015

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
My vehicle with [xxx]. I can not shift my car from park, or if I press on the brake a couple of times, and get the brake light to come on, they say on. Even when foot is not on brake. My vehicle in not apart of a recall, it was manufactured in an atlanta plant. I am being out of money and time with repairs that I have had done, and its not solving the issue. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #71

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 #70

Sep 012015


  • 160,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. While driving at an unknown speed, the accelerator pedal became stuck without warning and there was a sudden increase of engine rpms. The vehicle was merged to the side of the road, where it was turned off and towed to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the throttle cable was defective and needed to be replaced. The contact mentioned that there was a manufacturer service campaign directly related to the failure; however, the vehicle was not included. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- North Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #69

Aug 202015


  • 177,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. While driving approximately 65 mph with the cruise control engaged, the contact depressed the brake pedal and the vehicle's speed rapidly increased without warning. The contact lost control of the vehicle, drove into a grass field over a dip in the field which caused the vehicle to roll over and land upside down. While flipped upside down, the engine continued to rev until the vehicle was powered off. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact and two passengers sustained unknown injuries that required medical attention. The approximate failure mileage was 177,000.

- Canon City, CO, USA

problem #68

Dec 022011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 103,716 miles
Vehicle was traveling southbound in the outside lane of a 4 lane hwy. Vehicle changed lanes abruptly and went left of the center of roadway entering into the nourthbound lanes of traffic, continuing in a southbound direction, the vehicle departed the East side and collided with the end portion of a guardrail. The inside portion of the right front tire caught the outside of gaurdrail causing the car to straddle the top of the rail until the undercarriage of the car caught on a post of the rail causing the car to slide sideways until the left side tires dug into the ground and flipped the car completely over where it continued to travel South, rolling over again, colliding with a wood post then finally coming to rest on it's tires facing northwest. No airbags deployed at any point of the collision. Gearshift was between neutral and overdrive.

- Macon, MO, USA

problem #67

Oct 012012


  • 100,000 miles
Transmission stopped working, it was replaced at my expense.

- Selma, NC, USA

problem #66

Sep 212014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 171,000 miles


My car will accelerate on its own when driving.and in the morning it will be in park but the RPM nozzle will go up like somebody's pushing on the gas pedal.when im pulling off I have to hold the brakes down hard because the car will try to take off before has serious acceleration issues.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #65

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 #64

Jun 162014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 147,777 miles
Driving down long road, got up to 40 mph, car stayed on that speed as if it was in cruise control mode. I had the cruise control off. I even slowed down to 30, car stayed on thirty. Had foot off the gas pedal. It surges forward. I read horror stories of other year Taurus' doing same thing, causing crashes. My 16 yr old daughter drives this car. Every other car around this years date was recalled, but not the 2003. I changed my hoses, so it's not that. The car is literally staying in cruise control mode even when it's off. When I turn my steering wheel slightly to the right, I can hear a ticking sound once or twice, not sure what that is, it's scary though. Before something bad happens I want a recall for this year of Taurus regarding the cruise control being engaged.

- Moore, OK, USA

problem #63

Apr 152014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
The car does not slow down (intermittent) sometimes. Traveling at bout 55 or 60 I will take my foot off the pedal and the car will not slow down. When I finally come to a stop (which is hard on the brakes) my RPM's are 1000. If I put the transmission into neutral my RPM's will climb to 4000. Dealer has not been able to fix the problem and has no idea what to do.

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #62

Apr 032014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 121,757 miles
When driving the car the car will accelerate on its own with out pushing the gas. Even when you come to a complete stop the RPM will not go down to 0 it will stay above the 1. the car never comes to a complete stop the car is always accelerating even when at a complete stop.

- Middle River, MD, USA

problem #61

Feb 222014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 137,018 miles
I was pulling into a gas station, going to a gas pump, when all of a sudden the rpms revved up and the car accelerated on its own. I was able to avoid the gas pump and instead went over a ramp which caused the car to go airborne. I went through a fence and hit a pole. The impact caused enough damage on the car for the car to come to an abrupt and complete stop. The car has been totaled. I have seen other reports on 2003 Ford Taurus regarding acceleration problems/issues. I would like for my incident to be part of the investigation.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #60

Feb 042014


  • 159,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the vehicle proceeded to accelerate after she had removed her foot from the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 159,000 and the current mileage was 159,100.

- Webster , NY, USA

problem #59

Dec 162013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
After disengaging the cruise control by tapping the brake (the cruise control indication turned off), the vehicle continued to stay at the previously set speed. I then turned off the cruise control switch, which had no effect. I immediately started applying heavy braking until the vehicle slowed down to about 5 miles an hour and put the automatic transmission into park and turned off the engine ignition. All the while the car was attempting to accelerate back up to 55 mph (the previously set cruise control speed). This happened 2 more times and I was able to put the car in neutral and turn the car off and back on and that temporarily fixed the issue. I also later learned to briefly press and release the pedal to the floor which worked every time.

- Buffalo, MN, USA

problem #58

Feb 182013


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the speed throttle will sporadically become stuck. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer to be diagnosed. The dealer stated that the grommet would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacture was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000. The current mileage of the vehicle was 117,000.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #57

Oct 112013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
Car would not stop it seem ads if the accelerator was stuck.

- Dallas, TX, USA

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