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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,800 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments

problem #5

Dec 232016


  • 168,000 miles


Throttle stuck while driving up a hill going into a turn nearly causing an accident. I released the throttle and the engine continued to rev, forcing the use of breaks to gain control. Placed transmission in neutral and engine revved before turning ignition switch to off position. Inspection revealed that the cruise control cable retaining clip broke and prevented the throttle from returning to neutral position.

- Cowan, WV, USA

problem #4

Nov 112016


  • miles
There is a serious gas leak on my Ford Taurus. The mechanic lifted the vehicle and the gas was just dripping out of the gas tank. I was informed not to drive the car since it is a fire hazard.

- Morgan Mill, TX, USA

problem #3

May 142016


  • 127,000 miles
Fuel filter retaining clips (white plastic/nylon) are not available. Maintenance schedule requires replacement of fuel filter and instructions require replacement of R-clips/hairpin clips. Ford does not sell proper retaining clip. This can/will result in a dangerous massive fuel leak when the parts separate.

- Sealy, TX, USA

problem #2

Sep 012015


  • 136,000 miles
I started constantly smelling gas outside the car then it started smelling in cabin then I located and replaced fuel filter then realized tank appeared to be leaking around seams.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #1

May 072015


  • 68,000 miles
I was departing from parking lot and the car suddenly had some noise in the hood then lost all the power. After starting engine again, I can shift the gear into D or R, engine works ok but the car won't move at all. Before it happened, the transmission works fine, no delayed engagement, no slips, no jolts, smooth gear-changing...the transmission just stopped with no warning signs at all. The car is regularly and well maintained. No check engine light on when it happened. Later it turned out to be the stripped torque converter splines. It is a very common problem among Ford early 2000's vehicles, the splines are only 0.16" thick by Ford's defect designs, which can be easily stripped.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

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