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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,942 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments

problem #10

Jul 012014


  • 140,000 miles


Takata recall: Car stops not accurately and makes sound whenever applied the brakes, feeling some suspension issues as well as transmission issue, car is fully maintain and have under car fax report system.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #9

Jul 242015


  • 208,000 miles
My car randomly stopped moving when I was on the highway it was a major scene almost got rear ended by 5 cars had to veer off to the side to avoid a accident these transmissions/torque converters need to be recalled they were recalled in the Ford winstar with the same tranny parts but not the Ford Taurus 2003 I was told the transmission and the torque converter went out and this is a more than common problem for this year of tauruses this is redicilious come on Ford recall these trannys!!! I cant afford $1500

- Finlayson, MN, USA

problem #8

Oct 012012


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

- Selma, NC, USA

problem #7

Aug 072014


  • miles


I wanted to report those black covers that go over the brake lamps in tx almost had a collision lite is not visible when sun bright please do something of this after market crap.

- El Paso , TX, USA

problem #6

Dec 292013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
Automatic transmission stopped working in the middle of traffic. Managed to get over to shoulder and car would nor move forward or in reverse.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #5

Sep 292012


  • miles
Calipers front right F reb caliper remove and inspect and overhaul caliper front one side. Brakes were grinding again which required that inspection which I find out that the same area in the brake system needs replaced. Recomd, tie rod inner remove and replace tie rod end one side inner, ball joints lower front left remove and replace F ball joint one side, 2 brake hoses front. Brake rotors front both needed replaced. Suggested tires due to mileage also rubber valve stem. System failure- required. Recd, brake fluid exchange with ABS, and bleed brakes. Ceramic disc brake pads PD598 both front. 03/02/2013 mil 151213. 3rd repair shop, replaced all four tires with warranty brakes and pads along with discs needed replaced for the 4th time. Transmission flush due to leaking fluid. Qt dex 3 proline. Brake drums and shoes replaced. Replaced brake fluid, tie rod end one side inner along with replace of the shaft seal remove and install F axle shaft assembly one side. Tran's seal cr. Cv axle replacement. Ball joint replacement along with wheel cylinder rear both, brake service with rear brake drum. Engine light off/ runs poor diagnostic, replacement of PCV valve assembly, replaced upper and lower intake manifold gasket remove and replaced PCV valve along with tune up package. Relearn engine idle, rear brakes basic pc pkg, dorman rear right wheel and left cylinders. During these 3-4 repair shops cannot fix the cruise control to get the car to stop driving it self when above 30mph along with acceleration, back tail light right side shorts out continually. It is very difficult and very unsafe to control a vehicle that has had more than three or four repair shops try their hardest to fix a problem that apparently has some of these problems. I am with the belief that the brake system along the electrical system within the 2003 Ford Taurus ses DOHC is unsafe for street use in the U.S. due to our standards here of motor safety. When put into gear the transmission jumps loud.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #4

Feb 012010


  • 140,586 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that when it rained, water made its way into the vehicle from the instrument panel and flooded the front passenger side. Furthermore, the defroster did not work. The steering wheel vibrated and, interior light was always illuminated and the door locks did not engage automatically. The contact called the dealership and was advised to take the vehicle in for repair at his expense. The current and failure mileages were 140,586.

- Louisville , KY, USA

problem #3

Mar 032010


  • 75,000 miles
2003 Ford Taurus steering wheel vibrates when applying brakes on the freeway.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #2

Feb 102010


  • 43,473 miles
On my wife's 2003 Ford Taurus, the front spring broke and caused multiple damages to the vehicle. First of all the tire was completely blown out due to the spring breaking and secondly, a sway link was damaged to the point of repair along with another part that I need to ask the mechanic the name of. This same model car had a recall in the years of 1999 and 2001 for just this reason. The mechanic sees this constantly from this model car. The recall was for a "boot" to be applied to the vehicle in order to prevent the spring from penetrating the tire while driving. Fortunately, I was driving the car out of my driveway and down the alley, therefore no accident happened. I have contacted Ford directly and they say that there is no recall on my vehicle for this and referred me to you. The car has 43,473 miles on it. Of course it is out of warranty but this is uncalled for. I can understand the spring breaking on an automobile, but to completely shred the tire and cause all of this is their responsibility for not addressing a concern that had occurred on an earlier model and correcting it. They need to be held responsible for the damage that has been caused to my vehicle and they should be happy that this did not cause an accident. Ford Motor Company needs to address this issue on this car. I sincerely thank you for your time and concern.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #1

Oct 082008


  • 54,366 miles
Driving on a straight away at about 55 mph., the car suddenly pulled to the left. The driver could not regain control of the vehicle, which resulted in a rollover accident. Driver and passenger did not hear anything prior to the sudden pull. The car spun around and hit the gravel on the side of the road then continued to roll down the hill. At least 2 rollovers. Air bags did not deploy. I'm concerned there might have been a problem with suspension or coil springs suddenly blowing out a tire. I will be contacting a mechanic on Monday and schedule an inspection. Car is totaled. Insurance does not cover vehicle, but fortunately covers medical and liability. Fortunately the driver and passenger, at this point, appear to have walked away relatively unharmed.

- Isanti, MN, USA

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