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 1 of 4)

problem #71

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 #70

Apr 232016


  • 174,000 miles
After the driving my car on April 22 (a Friday), I parked the car for the evening. On April 23, 2016 (a Saturday morning), I came outside to find my 6-mo.-old left front tire flat after sitting overnight. A friend took off the tire and it was discovered that the strut spring was broken. I had the car towed to my mechanic on April 25, where it was determined that the strut spring was indeed broken, and I had it replaced. Research and talking with others brought to light a recall for this exact issue on vehicle years 1998-2001, however, other drivers were reporting the same problem with newer models of the same vehicles. This claim is for reimbursement of the cost of replacing only the broken left strut spring (a quick strut) and the tow to the garage.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #69

Mar 122016


  • 74,000 miles
When backing up from being parked, the front drivers side tire exploded and the front left corner of the car dropped. The cause was a broken coil spring which punctured my new tire. 74K miles. I am upset that the NHTSA has investigated this problem that has been occurring for 15 years with Ford Taurus' vintage 2000 through 2005 and concluded its not a safety issue because there have been "no serious injuries or deaths". previously I had three spring failures on another (2001) Taurus. I had a front spring break and had both front springs replaced. One of the replacement springs broke two years later. Both failures caused tire failures. Shortly before getting rid of the 2001taurus, I noticed a rear spring had failed, but did not damage the tire. I do expect a few "serious injuries or deaths" to occur in the future because of this serious safety issue. It's too bad some of us will have to sacrifice our lives or limbs for the good of the rest of us. If such a dreadful thing happens, I feel NHTSA may be equally liable with Ford for wrongful death lawsuits for not requiring Ford to address this safety issue. In their investigation, NHTSA also mentions the relatively small number of complaints on this topic. That is because consumers do not know about filing a complaint with the NHTSA. I advise the NHTSA to request the number of replacement parts from Ford along with parts suppliers such as advance and autozone. I would estimate millions of springs have been replaced for just the 2002 and 2003 model years. I'd bet my craft beer money on it. Btw, the true cause of failure is that road dirt and salt causes the ball bearings in the mount to bind which in turn restricts the springs free movement. The spring does not rust, the binding of the ball bearings against the spring surface causes the failure. Poor design causing a very dangerous situation if driving at highway speed.

- Webster, NY, USA

problem #68

Jan 152016


  • miles


On about 15 Jan 2016, the driver'side side front coil springs broke. When it broke it punctured through driver'side side front tire. Luckily the car was sitting in the driveway at the time the coil springs broke and no further damage or injuries were sustained, just the broken coil spring and puncturedrives tire. From my research there was a previous recall for the exact same issue on earlier model years of the Ford Taurus but not for the 2003 model year and after talking to Ford customer care there are no existing recalls for this suspension issue.

- Sun Prairie, WI, USA

problem #67

Jan 082016


  • 77,000 miles
We had several close calls where the car would not stop, and slide on dry pavement, and wet conditions. The car had new brakes, rotors, tires, but still would have trouble stopping, unfortunately my daughter was driving the car today, and hit another car. I just replaced the tires again a few months go, thinking the tires were the problem. I had several close calls myself, and I think there is a big problem with this car stopping. Thank god nobody was hurt, but this could have been much worse. My daughter was going approximately 30 miles an hour, and she was on a city street, conditions were wet, but she had plenty of time to stop.

- Perrysburg, OH, USA

problem #66

Aug 032015


  • 60,479 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while parked, the coil spring fractured without warning. The failure recurred on one other occasion. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who diagnosed that the strut assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,479.

- Haddam, CT, USA

problem #65

Apr 102015

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 62,000 miles


The front strut spring broke and punctured the front tire causing $462.55 worth of damage, all other years of the same make and model but a few, including this one were covered by a recall or warranty. A serious accident or fatality could have occurred if this were to happen at highway speed.

- Coldwater, OH, USA

problem #64

Mar 172014


  • 140,000 miles
While driving my 2003 Ford Taurus around a sharp turn the passenger front tire exploded. While trying to change tire to spare it was noticed that the cause of the explosion was a broken spring sticking in the sidewall. I had it replaced. A few months later I saw a piece of a spring in my driveway, when I looked at my car I found the piece of spring came from the drivers side of the Taurus. Then later that year at state inspection the mechanic found a rear spring broke. I had both rear springs replaced. All four springs replaced at my own cost.

- Tyrone, PA, USA

problem #63

Jun 292014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 89,148 miles
Traveling in reverse at approximately 5 mph when front left (driver's side) suspension spring coil broke and punctured the tire. Reference: Investigation: #EA08018.

- Westlake, OH, USA

problem #62

Jun 132014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The vehicle suffered a broken passenger side front suspension spring. It immediately cut through and deflated the front tire. It is luck that this happened at very slow speed, if it happened at highway speed, loss of control would have been likely. The broken coil spring "hooked" the tire and cut the tire on the inside sidewall a full 360 degree separating the inside of the tire from the tread surface. It was difficult to move the vehicle in a desired direction. It was easier to park the vehicle safely by backing up to the curb. I understand that earlier model year Ford Taurus' were recalled for the same type of spring failure.

- North Fond Du Lac, WI, USA

problem #61

Feb 172014


  • 119,938 miles


Put car in reverse to move the strut assembly broke the spring went thru the tire multiple times.a 90,000 mile tire that only had 1900 miles on them. I am the one owner of this car with reg maintenance with no warning or prevention of this happening.

- Milton, IN, USA

problem #60

Feb 202014


  • 144,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while reversing from a garage, a loud abnormal noise was heard from under the front end of the vehicle. The contact discovered that the front passenger's side coil spring was fractured and punctured the front passenger's side tire. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, who discovered that all four coil springs were damaged and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 144,000. Updated 04/02/14

- Vadnais Heights , MN, USA

problem #59

Dec 212013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
Son was backing car down driveway and heard a noise and felt front end sag. He got out and noticed that the drivers front tire was flat. Tire was a year old and cut on inside of sidewall. Took tire off and had it replaced at my cost. When trying to put it back on the car I noticed the broken spring. This is what caused the tire to blow. Very sharp edge on spring facing tire. Glad it did not happen at highway speeds or in tight area so as to avoid injury or accident. Very inconvenient and an obvious metal fatigue issue. Rust not noticeable. Bought this car used from a dealer and I wish they had corrected this ongoing problem before selling the car again. Looks like I will have to look at other manufacturers as this is the second major expense on a Ford for problems they knew about but did nothing to correct or to help compensate customers for their expense or inconvenience..

- Rosemount, MN, USA

problem #58

Dec 062013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 149,500 miles
Just bought the car and doing some routine service, oil change, brake inspection etc. Noticed that the rear body mounts on the subframe had rust rot. And looking over the rest of the subframe noticed that the lower control arms on the front mount of both left and right sides were rotted out completely. The repair work is more than what I paid for the car. I can't even put the car on the road. It will not pass inspection. For a car that is only 10 years old the subframe shouldn't be rotted out like this.Ford should give some kind of assistance with this problem.

- South New Berlin, NY, USA

problem #57

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 #56

May 152013


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph in reverse, a loud bang was heard as the vehicle began shaking violently. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The mechanic stated the front driver's side spring was fractured. The vehicle was repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000.

- Grandville, MI, USA

problem #55

Jun 262013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 108,357 miles
Coil springs had snapped and ripped open inside of a brand new tire on the drivers side.our daughter noticed a flat tire so she went to change it and took to a local garage and they said they never saw anything like this. So we thought maybe the tires were on recall. I checked on the web and found that a lot of '03 Ford Taurus owners are having the same issues with the coils snapping but there is no recall on the '03's. but there was on '01-'02 Taurus, apparently same problem but Ford will not stand behind product.yet today I see a recall on the speed control cable for '03 Taurus due to deadly accidents. Another item I need to get fixed.thought we bought a reliable vehicle for a college kid that puts on tons of miles. So disappointed in Ford but thankful this was not a tragedy.

- Krakow , WI, USA

problem #54

Feb 122013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 133,083 miles
Minnesota: Front drivers side coil spring broke and punctured tire while traveling at approx. 15 mph. Replaced both front coil spring, strut assemblies. Cost: $1183.20 included alignment + new tire install + balancing. About 4 months later right rear coil spring broke. $cost not known at this time.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #53

Jun 102013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 163,741 miles
As I was pulling away from the curb to go to work my car just suddenly stopped as if I had slammed on brakes and made a very loud noise. Then the front drivers side tire went flat. I tried to back up back to the curb but it wouldn't move. A neighbor came to change the tire but couldn't get it off. Then a piece of the coil spring fell onto the road and he discovered that the rest of the spring is in the side of the tire. There is no rust on the spring. I have owned the car for 5 years and it never gave me any indication that the spring was going to break such as bouncing, etc. What if I had been barreling down the interstate" now I'm scared to drive it even if I manage to afford to get it fixed! I've read hundreds of complaints for this same issue. Maybe there is a product problem?"

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #52

Jun 032013


  • 65,000 miles
Front spring broke and uncoiled, stabbing front tire. Vehicle was parked so no strain on spring. If moving tire sidewall would have ripped open. No containment at all.

- West Bath, ME, USA

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