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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,449 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 wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments

problem #15

Jan 272015


  • 102,300 miles


On Tuesday, January 27th about 1:00pm, while driving on the interstate, the rear passenger tire exploded and was completely flat. I drove to a nearby by gas station to await my motor service to replace the tire. I photographed the damaged tire. On Tuesday, January 27H, Goodyear replaced the tire and stated aging was a factor in the tire failure. The tires were serviced by the same Goodyear store on Friday January 23rd and no mention of aging or replacing the tires was stated by Goodyear. I still have to replace three (3) of the tires on my vehicle.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #14

Jun 172011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 27,688 miles
Tires on my 2003 Ford tauruses wore down to steel belts with rubber separating from belts causing tire replacement under (2) 20,000 / (2) 28000 miles. Called Ford's hq cs an received a letter 01/27/2012 from hq cs was told by Ford motor cs to take the letter sent to me to a dealer. Showed the letter from Ford motor hq cs to local dealer but was told we do not cover defected tires after they called an yelled at the cs rep. In front of me from Ford's hq at which time I said but the letter ask the dealer to honor my reimbursement for parts & service complaint. The dealer's service manager firmly ask me to leave after bringing to their attention if I was the cs rep. I would not honor it either after being yelled at like. That's when the service manager ask me to leave firmly so I honor his request an left. Also, my 2006 Ford Taurus had wear issues. Sincerely, a very dissatisfied customer

- Youngstown, OH, USA

problem #13

Apr 012011


  • 34,000 miles
Toyo versado LX for 2003 Ford Taurus. I bought these tires and have had nothing but problems since I had them installed. The shake started off slight, and over time has progressed to dangerous levels where I can no longer drive the car. I have taken the car to 5 different front end shops searching for what I thought was a problem with my car. The fourth finally pin pointed the tires. I went back to where I purchased the tires, and neither the shop or toyo want to do anything to fix the safety problem with my car. The shake is now so extensive I can not drive the car due to fear of damaging the steering or suspension components. Each time I have been in, a road force balance is performed, but does not completely remedy the problem. Even the so call front end "expert" said it was the tires. The car can not be driven until I save enough money to buy new tires.

- Haysville, KS, USA

problem #12

Sep 302009


  • 59,000 miles


2003 Ford Taurus has had 3 coil spring failures in the last 2 months, resulting in 2 tire punctures. No accidents, no injuries. This vehicle is driven daily by a 71 year old man.

- Rossville, IN, USA

problem #11

May 102009


  • 166,813 miles
My 2003 Ford Taurus had been parked in my driveway when I heard a very loud bang and then air leaking. I discovered that the left front spring had broken causing damage to the spring, stabilizer link, strut and tire. We had to replace both springs, both stabilizer links, both struts and the left front tire.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #10

Feb 222009


  • 86,690 miles
1. driving 60 mph on a dry expressway, light traffic, shortly after dark. Car lightly loaded (one person, no luggage), tires properly inflated 2. left rear tire exploded, destroying a good part of the sidewall; able to pull to a safe stop and change tire. 3. tire company (Goodyear) has been contacted, but no replacement has been made.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #9

Dec 152008


  • 36,942 miles


When backing out of my garage to leave for work in the morning I heard a loud popping and screech coming from the left front wheel. I stopped and got out of the car and found my tire flat. Upon inspection by my mechanic it was discovered that the left front coil spring just snapped without warning causing a large tear in the tire. It was very fortunate that this happened when I was in my driveway and not on the highway at high speed. This could have caused a very bad accident. My mechanic said that it will need a new spring and a new tire. Since my front tires are winter tires I will probably have to purchase two to match.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #8

Oct 182008


  • 106,300 miles
Tire went flat going 65 mph on a interstate highway. Filled the tire up with air the next day to look for possible leak and noticed valve stem was cracked. I purchased 4 tires in July of 2007. During the month of August 2008, 3 of the tires went flat do to cracked stem valves. The first 3 tires the stem was replaced. The tire that went flat on the highway was taken back to point of purchased and was replaced.

- Salem, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jan 052008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles
Front coil spring broke, destroyed the strut, and shredded the front tire.

- Glencoe, MN, USA

problem #6

Jul 162007


  • miles
2003 Ford Taurus tire blew out causing the consumer to hit a guard rail. The consumers passenger experienced some pain in her shoulder. Ohio traffic crash report.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #5

Feb 252007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


- the contact stated that while backing up the 2003 Ford Taurus with 72000 failure mileage a couple of feet he heard a popping sound. The contact got out of the vehicle and raised it to discover that the driver's front left tire H split and coil spring sheared. The vehicle has not been repaired.

- Beecher, IL, USA

problem #4

Jan 142007


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
First incident happened on 7/22/06. I thought it was isolated, I was wrong. Second incident happened on 1/14/07. About two weeks prior to the incident the started pulling to the left & the will rattle like you're driving on a dirt road. On the morning of 1/14/07 while my wife was driving going to work the left front tire blew up on the freeway luckily she was able to control the car to a stop.

- Winnetka, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 152004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Ford Taurus has problems with transmission, engine backfiring, hood latch is broken, and seat bracket fell off. The tires were continuously going flat. Six flats occurred while the consumer was on a trip, the transmission was slipping and would jerk in traffic, the engine would back fire intermittently and stalled on one occasion, the seat bracket was replaced by the dealer but failed again (the seat bracket was incorrectly installed from the start), the engine also displayed knocking and had taken about 9 visits before the problem was corrected, it was discovered that a valve was sticking out. The A/C did not cool, the consumer smelled coolant which leaked inside the vehicle. The tires and rims were a problem and the vehicle had been in for repairs about 18 visits/two rear tires remained a problem due to severe inflation problems and the tires would need to be inflated several times daily. The consumer requested another vehicle. The gas mileage was poor. Tire loosing air pressure from the time of purchase. The consumer was involved in an accident on 2-25-06 and the air bags failed to deploy. Updated 03/29/06.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 292003


  • miles
Tires causing vibration of vehicle's front end. (when driving 35 mph or higher tire vibration would occur) there was also a brake problem. Grinding would occur.

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #1

Jul 222003

(reported on)


  • 13,000 miles
Firestone Continental. Consumer states that the Firestone tires are rounded out. This is causing vibration in the steering column.

- Harricane, WV, USA

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