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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
94,565 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Jan 152012


  • 87,726 miles


Left front spring cracked/broke, shredded front left tire.

- Westmont, IL, USA

problem #30

Jan 082012


  • 140,000 miles
While backing up in my 2003 Ford Taurus ses, front driver side coil snapped and slashed tire.

- Sterling, MA, USA

problem #29

Jan 082012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Coil spring busted, went into my tire.

- Kane, PA, USA

problem #28

Jan 032012


  • 80,000 miles


Driver's side coil spring snapped while sitting in the cold. Thinking tire was flat moved car over a few feet in driveway and shard of metal from coil spring shredded inside of tire. This is our third Taurus (also have an '01 and '02) that the same thing has happened to.

- Saline, MI, USA

problem #27

Aug 262011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
At approximately 126000 miles first of two coil springs broke in the front driver's side of the car. Had both front coil springs replaced. Three weeks later was backing out of parking space at work only to have the transmission pump fail. Car acted exactly as described in many other complaints here, sudden loss of power, high engine rev and an inability of the car to work in any gear. Had the car towed to my mechanic and was then told that not only did the transmission need to be rebuilt but I also had a rear coil spring that now was broken. Have purchased many Ford vehicles but this is enough to make you look at a different manufacturer.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #26

Sep 252011


  • 68,250 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact was driving 5 mph, when the front driver side tire blew. The vehicle was stopped and the contact noticed that the front driver side coil spring was fractured and had pierced the tire. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the coil spring was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages were 68,250.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #25

Dec 042007


  • 66,936 miles


I heard from an acquaintance that there were several issues posted on the NHTSA website regarding the failure of coil springs on the Ford Taurus. I too experienced the complete loss of control of my 2003 Taurus while driving in heavy traffic due to coil spring failure. With the initial jolt and subsequent dragging of the car to bring it to a safe area to bring the car to a stop, I actually thought I had hit a person or large object. When I got out of my car I found the the front end of the car sitting on top of my tire. My mechanic actually took pictures of the car as he could not believe the amount of damage that had occurred. I had to replace the struts, springs, sway bar links, lower ball joint and axle shaft. All of this at 61K miles!! for a cost of $1300. In closing, my 2003 Ford Taurus has been involved in 2 serious malfunctions posted to the NHTSA website which could have easily resulted in serious injury or death to myself or fellow motorists if I was not able to react quickly and control the car with a complete collapse of the front end or complete loss of power with the transmission failure (ref #fbn24-10467). Both of these issues occurred within 4 months (5K miles) of each other (66K - 71K) and cost in excess of $4,000.0 to repair. Given the number of coil spring complaints received by the NHTSA and the open investigation (NHTSA action number: EA08018), I would think either Ford or the national highway transportation safety administration take responsibility and issue a notification of these serious issues with this car (and the other year/models listed in nhsta action # EA08018)) and the steps to remediate those issues before the issue causes serious injury or death.

- Marshfield , MA, USA

problem #24

Jun 012011


  • 89,000 miles
Front drivers side coil spring broke and punctured the front drivers side tire.

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #23

Apr 272011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 71,063 miles
Was told by Ford dealer both front and rear coil springs on drivers side were broke on my 2003 Ford Taurus. Found out this is a ongoing problem that Ford has with no recall. Bought this car new and now I have only 71,000 miles.paid $1354.12 to have car repaired and im very unhappy with Ford over this. Ford should make good for this repair.

- Pocono Summit, PA, USA

problem #22

Jan 132011


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while in reverse, the left front strut spring broke and punctured the tire. A month before, the right front strut spring had broken and punctured the tire. The vehicle was repaired. The contact called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Dearborn Heights, MI, USA

problem #21

Jan 042011


  • 116,432 miles


While exiting my driveway the left front spring coil let go puncturing the tire and rendering the vehicle inoperable. Had to have vehicle towed to repair facility for replacement. Ford Motor Company had a recall on this component on some other of its vehicles, but I was informed my vehicle was not in the recall. It seems to be an ongoing problem. When are they going to admit the problem and fix it, when someone has a serious crash or dies?

- Peabody, MA, USA

problem #20

Dec 162010


  • 133,038 miles
Drivers side front coil spring in the strut broke and slashed the adjacent tire. This was noticed when the car was beginning to be backed out of a parking spot. We had to replace both strut assemblies for safety sake, replace the damaged tire as well. We opted to replace the other three tires due to wear. Also, the garage recommended we replace the ball joints and LH side tie rod end. The front end was aligned as well. Total cost $1871. I am outraged that there is a recall for 1999 thru 2001 Taurus cars but nothing covering up to and including 2003's. I also think it is ridiculous that the cutoff to repair this problem occurs when a car exceeds 100000 miles. This is a known design defect and all Ford Taurus cars should have been recalled and repaired. My daughter was lucky this failure occurred in a parking lot and not when going 65mph! severe injury and death could have been the result and other people may have been involved! I implore NHTSA to force Ford to engage in a retroactive recall for all affected Taurus cars. It is inexcusable to have a design defect of this magnitude on the public highways. I can understand a broken spring can occur, but the complaints clearly show that the spring then slashes the tire, causing an immediate blowout and potential loss of control of the vehicle.

- Fort Loramie, OH, USA

problem #19

Dec 092010


  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus SE (na). The contact stated that the front coil springs broke while the vehicle was being reversed at 5 mph and punctured the tires. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the coil springs and tire were replaced. The contact called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 125,000 and the current mileage was approximately 132,000.

- Haverton, OH, USA

problem #18

Dec 092010


  • 130,000 miles
The suspension coil spring fractured and punctured the tire next to it, causing the tire to explode.

- Slippery Rock, PA, USA

problem #17

Dec 012010


  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The driver side coil spring broke and punctured the driver side tire. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic shop who replaced two struts assembly and a tire at the contact's expense. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer were notified. The failure mileage was 113,000.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #16

Mar 172010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,617 miles
2003 Ford Taurus. Consumer states problems with coil springs the consumer questioned the lack of a recall for an obvious safety problem and perhaps defective material. The front and rear coil springs ruptured on the consumers vehicle. The ball joints, front stabilizer and serpentine belt all had to be replaced on different occasions. The caliper froze, and the rotors were warped. Updated consumer letter 10/27/10.

- Sanbornville, NH, USA

problem #15

Feb 182010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 89,700 miles
2003 Ford Taurus - started car morning of 2 18 10 heard a loud noise car sagged to the left got out of car and saw that left front tire was completely flat there was a blow out and there was a big piece of coil spring that was broken lying next to it on the garage floor. The mileage on the car was 89,700 miles. Car was towed to dealer. Mechanic put in whole new suspension system on the left and right side front. The cost was $856. I would like to see a recall for the 2003 Ford Taurus to replace all 4 springs front and rear. I would also like to have my $856 refunded to me since I understand this same type of occurrence has occurred to hundreds of 2003 Ford Taurus owners. My vehicle identification # is [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Utica, NY, USA

problem #14

Jan 042010


  • 90,000 miles
Rear coil spring failed on 2003 Ford Taurus October 2009 - both rear tires and coil springs had to be replaced due to failure.. front coil spring failed on same vehicle Jan 4 2003, punctured right front tire which then blew out.

- Lewis Center, OH, USA

problem #13

Dec 162006


  • 53,000 miles
Front coil spring broke causing blow-out. Car repaired at heritage Ford burlington vt. S/O 454663 at a cost to me of $660.27.the part is the exact part that was recalled before. The exact part was again put on.

- Milton, VT, USA

problem #12

Jul 242009


  • 84,000 miles
I was stopped at a red light. When the light turned green I began to proceed into the intersection (approx. 5 mph) when I heard a loud explosion. Luckily because I had just begun to accelerate (thankfully I wasn't on the highway), I was able to somewhat maneuver the vehicle into a parking lot. The front passenger side tire was completely flat from being sliced open by a broken coil spring.

- Worcester, MA, USA

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