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 7 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Jun 242006

Taurus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles


2003 Ford Taurus transmission failed at 59,000 miles. We were going down the interstate at 65 mph during the weekend. It was hard to get it towed it being the weekend. Cost to repair was $2,000. Won't buy Ford car again. B

- Mccalla , AL, USA

problem #15

Apr 022007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
Interstate driving at 65 mph the transmission suddenly failed on 2003 Taurus with 53,000 miles. All gears reacted like neutral. Towed to transmission shop, and was diagnosed T as torque converter and gasket failures. Rebuilt transmission installed at $1500.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #14

Mar 202007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Stopped at red light, was unable to move car when light turned green. No warning whatsoever. Had car towed to local shop who diagnosed as major transmission work needed and suggested I contact Ford for assistance. I contacted Ford and they advised I take to local Ford dealer and they would try to work with me on "financial assistance". dulaney Lincoln Mercury Ford dealer replaced entire transmission. They advised the cost was $3100, Ford covered all but $1000 labor portion & tow bills.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #13

Nov 012006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,870 miles


: the contact stated the vehicle's transmission warning light illuminated. The service dealer determined the transmission needed to be replaced. No repairs were made.

- Hanover, PA, USA

problem #12

Oct 112006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
As with thousands of other 2003 Taurus owners, I also have water leaking into the passenger side compartment from a design/manufacturing flaw. I also replaced the heater fan which I found to be full of water. I am also very, very unhappy with the idea that this is obviously a design flaw and Ford won't make it right because they're not having their feet held to the fire by a government Agency. But wait, there's more. The automatic transmission on this car has occasionally done what is called a "neutral drop". while starting out from a stop in "drive", the transmission has (on three occasions) not engaged until the engine has reached about 2000 RPM. The resultant effect from this surprise engagement can only be described as the feeling of having someone run into the back of the car. The car was taken to the dealer where it was purchased, tests were run with no error codes found for any transmission malfunctions. Apparently the computer's memory is selective. I used to have a wife like that. I've purchased five Ford since 1994 and have had serious design/manufacturer problems with all of them. Do you think I'll buy another one? I have a long memory, and that's it for me.

- Lynnwood, WA, USA

problem #11

Oct 012006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
No warnings....Ford Taurus 2003 ses...58,000 miles....transmission failed. I had a remanfactured transmission installed. Traded car in for a Hyundai the same week.

- Radcliff, KY, USA

problem #10

May 302006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


My transmission slips going from drive to neutral and from neutral to drive. Car only has less than 50,000 miles on it. Back seat belt malfunctions, does not work properly.

- Belleville, MI, USA

problem #9

Jan 272006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission went out completely. Car went into free roll. Caused serious personal problems financially.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #8

Feb 032006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Taurus's transmission died as I was driving my sons to school at 45 mph, completely without warning.

- Pembroke, NC, USA

problem #7

Oct 242005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,200 miles
The contact stated the gear position indicator cable disconnected. He was moving the selector from drive to reverse when the cable disconnected on the switch at the transmission. On the column it said reverse and it was actually in drive. He opened the hood and the cable had become disconnected at the park neutral drive switch. The manufacturer has not been contacted. He temporarily repaired the vehicle himself. Updated 1/4/2006 -

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #6

Aug 172005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 4,000 miles


Power traim: Transmission while I was driving the car would not move when I stepped on the gas peddle

- Justice, IL, USA

problem #5

May 202004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The consumer noticed water leaking in the front passenger side every time it rains. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, but the mechanic could not duplicate the problem. Also, while driving 40 mph, the vehicle vibrated uncontrollably, and the consumer was unable to shift the gears. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, however, the mechanic was not able to duplicate the problem. There was a leak in the passengers floor, fumes and or odors from the water leakage, the transmission would stall out while in motion, the overdrive was not working properly, the blower motor made noises and was not blowing properly and the transmission jerked. The consumer requested a refund.

- Wise, VA, USA

problem #4

Oct 052004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
When slowing down, the vehicle lurched forward. This started after the transmission was serviced. The manufacturer needed to have the problem duplicated before the problem could be resolved.

- White Pigeon, MI, USA

problem #3

Sep 282004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
While driving at 65 mph automatic transmission failed at 42000 miles. Vehicle was towed to the dealership, who will replace the transmission at consumer's expense.

- Orland Park, IL, USA

problem #2

Mar 092004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Ford Taurus SE - the vehicle in question has stopped twice while coming to a complete stop. I have questioned mechanics and they have said that it is most likely an issue with the electronic transmission's computer. But if they can't reinact it, they can't fix it. We are now experiencing additional problems with the transmission. The vehicle now "jumps" forward randomly. The RPM's increase when we are breaking and our foot is not on the "gas" pedal.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #1

Jul 152004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles
When attempting to accelerate the transmission malfunctioned without warning. As a result the vehicle jerked back and forth and produced a " roaring" sound. Please provide additional information.

- Columbus, OH, USA

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