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:
74,499 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #96

Jan 052011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


Transmission failed at just under 95,000 miles with no warning.

- Eastlake, OH, USA

problem #95

Dec 182010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
When coming home from picking up my daughter from work, my car could not shift gears and luckily I was able to coast to a stop and put the car in park. The car runs but I cannot shift into any gears. And it had to be towed to a gas station. I was advised that the problem is with the transmission and I see by your website that there are quite a few complaints regarding this issue with the transmission on the 2003 Ford Taurus. Who is going to be held responsible for this problem as it could have been far worse and someone could have gotten killed.

- Canton, MA, USA

problem #94

Dec 192010


  • 138,452 miles
My husband and I along with our 2 yr old were driving home one evening and stopped at stopped sign and my husband hit the gas to go and it took off slowly, than just wouldn't go we had to coast off to the side of the road with traffic around us. No warning light or anything the transmission just went out. The car wont go forward or reverse, it shifts but wont move. We need the transmission rebuilt, we got an estimate of 2100. I lost my job, im pregnant with my 2nd child and we just purchased the 2003 Ford Taurus about 10 months ago. We don't have the money to be repairing a car we just got.

- Edinburg, TX, USA

problem #93

Nov 012010


  • 103,798 miles


I had to have my transmission rebuilt last Dec and now am experiencing electrical problems, my signal lights/hazard lights do not work and was told the wires and harness need to be replaced. Hinges that hold rear window in have snapped off, window held in place by lock.

- West Haven, CT, USA

problem #92

Dec 032010


  • 70,000 miles
I was stuck in the middle of an intersection. I just broke my neck about 2 years ago so it was hard for me alone to push the card to safe area. The transmission on my 2003 Ford Taurus without any warning signs would not go further like it was in neutral. I tried putting it into drive, reverse and the only thing that would happen is the motor would rev up like it was in park. I understand that this is a common problem with this model Ford. Ford needs to recall this model or at least pay to fix all these transmission problems I am reading about. The amount that it cost to fix the transmission is the same amount the car is worth if that. What can we do to get Ford involved with this problem and stand behind their product. This really leaves a bad taste in my mouth about Ford. One unhappy customer tells the whole world 100 happy customers barley get the word out about a company, but I believe if Ford would do a recall on these 2003 Taurus transmissions everybody would change their mind about how Ford does not stand behind their product. All these transmission compliant sound the same. So it must be the product not the driver.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #91

Nov 302010


  • 110,000 miles
Transmission just died like this website states.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #90

Nov 232010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles


I own a 2003 Ford Taurus LX and the transmission failed with no warning whatsoever on 11/23. Mileage is 71,000. I was driving on a rather busy road and all of a sudden I hear a noise and the car no longer responded even though my foot was on the accelerator. Fortunately, it was early in the afternoon and the road was not heavily traveled at the time. I am thankful for that. I was able to drift into the post office driveway and a kind gentleman pushed me because I was blocking the access road to the parking lot. I could go no further. Car was towed to repair shop but an estimate is not available at this time.

- Winter Springs, FL, USA

problem #89

Nov 152010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 70,756 miles
While exiting highway auto lost power to drive axles. Had to push car 1/4 mile to parking lot, walk 5 miles home, arrange tow and get auto checked out. Talked to 5 different mechanics and all agreed that it was transmission. Cost to repair or replace transmission 900-1500 dollars depending on problem. Will know more latter but costs keep rising. This is bs as Ford knows about this problem.I know this is true as I know several Ford mechanics.

- Lorain, OH, USA

problem #88

Nov 182010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 72,210 miles
I have a complaint about my 2003 Ford Taurus ses. My wife was driving my car yesterday getting ready to pull onto a heavily traveled highway when the transmission suddenly went out without any warning or previous indication. This car only has 72,210 miles on it and from what I've discovered on other complaint websites this seems to be a very common thing especially with the 2003 years. This really concerns me being a loyal Ford customer that nothing has been done to resolve this. It has clearly been exposed as an issue with Ford and they are taking no responsibility"!" the worst part of this issue is that not only did my wife, and five month old child stall out half on, half off of the highway, but a loaded rock truck almost took her and an oncoming vehicle out in the process of trying to avoid an almost certain incident. Thank god my family is safe and no harm was done, but something has to be done about Ford's ignorance of quality and more importantly safety!

- Braddyville, IA, USA

problem #87

Nov 052010


  • 106,000 miles
Traveling in a busy area, driver attempted to pull out at a traffic light and the transmission lost all drive. All of a sudden, with no warning, the car would not go into any drive gear or reverse. The car had to be towed to a mechanic who looked to see if the filter had fallen causing no fluid to get to the pump. No such luck. Appears the pump or pump shaft has failed. A friend of his that does transmission work for Ford admitted to this being an issue. It is a shame we have not heard anything from Ford about this. I am so grateful that my wife, who normally drives the car, was not stuck in heavy traffic with no way to get off the road.

- Seffner, FL, USA

problem #86

Nov 022010


  • 118,000 miles


I was driving my 2003 Ford Taurus down I88.. I was doing about 65 mph. All of the sudden my car revs all the way up while I had my foot on the gas. I pull over and try to shift it does not move in any gear. Turns out my tranny went.. thanks alot Ford. My car only had 118,000 miles on and I had general maintenance on it regularly. This is ridiculous.

- Harpursville , NY, USA

problem #85

Oct 292010


  • 55,000 miles
Parked car overnight, started next morning- car would not move. Park worked, all other gears acted as if in neutral.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #84

Oct 242010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Transmission failed on my 2003 Taurus with my son driving in heavy rain at night. After almost being hit from behind, he had to push the car off the road & wait for the tow truck, still dangerous on a busy street in any condition or situation. This seems to be a Ford issue with no solution. Worse yet, there was no warning signs & the fluid smells normal.

- West Seneca, NY, USA

problem #83

Oct 232010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 15,500 miles
My husband was driving in the city late Saturday night, and without any previous warning, the transmission completely died. The car was just coasting on it's own momentum. He tried restarting the car, tried reverse-none of the gears worked. Our mechanic verified what we feared- we need a new transmission. We are now trying to decide how to handle this. We can not afford thousands of dollars for a new transmission, yet we still owe money on the car.

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #82

Oct 252010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
I was on highway 89S coming off of the ramp when I hit the stop sign at the end of the ramp the Ford Taurus just stopped. I noticed that it was revving up a lot on the highway then nothing. It is now sitting in the driveway after being towed from clinton St.

- Concord, NH, USA

problem #81

Oct 172010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 108,210 miles
Driving a 2003 Ford Taurus sel down the interstate at about 65 mph, the car just stops. Luckily, I was able to pull off the highway with no mishaps. I had no warning lights showing, no check engine light on, no engine noises or slippage. After my $300 tow back home, I had it checked out and was told the transmission was gone. The car has 108, 000 miles on it. After checking on the internet, it seems this is indicative of the 2003 Taurus - the transmission just goes without warning. It could have very easily caused an accident, and seems that with the number of complaints I found, Ford should have issued a recall.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #80

Oct 222010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
I was driving my 2003 Ford Taurus on nb 23 highway at 70 miles ph and all of a sudden my vehicle was like it was put in neutral. Had to coast from the left lane over to the right edge of the road, during rush hour traffic. The transmission would not engage. There had been no warnings prior to this event. Just all of a sudden you have no transmission.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #79

Oct 212010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 104,328 miles
2003 Ford Taurus ses, stops on busy highway without warning. Transmission failure! car won't move forward or backwards! very dangerous! Ford and dealer says it's not their problem! I hope my problem becomes their problem!! they sell us this junk and then don't have to stand behind wonder everyone is buying foreign!

- Salisbury, NC, USA

problem #78

Oct 192010


  • 60,125 miles
Loss of forward motion on a dangerous highway intersection due to transmission failure.

- Hillside, NJ, USA

problem #77

Oct 042010


  • 100,000 miles
2003 Ford Taurus transmission quit in middle of my wife driving home from work. No warning light, noise, indication of an issue. After she got the car to the side of the road, and parked, she tried to engage the car in "reverse" and there was not a sound of engagement and the same when she tried to engage the car in "drive". this morning I looked at the car and everything she said is true. The transmission failing in the middle of her merging across the main road could have created a devastating accident if people didn't allow her to merge to a safe location at the side of the road.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

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