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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,763 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

May 062009


  • 51,000 miles


2003 Ford Taurus - water leakage through the heater box caused a failure of the ventilation fan, resulting in inability to defrost/defog the windshield for safe operation of the vehicle.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #31

Mar 252009


  • 76,000 miles
2003 Ford Taurus. Fan blower motor (for heat and air system) failed due to cowl leak on passenger side of vehicle. Known issue for Ford. Can create hazardous driving conditions if failure occurs during rain or cold weather. (lack of heat or ac to clear windshield).

- Lenoir City, TN, USA

problem #30

Mar 162009


  • 78,000 miles
2003 Ford Taurus wagon. There are serious safety issues that need to be addressed by a recall: Water leaking through the cabin air filter area into cabin compartment and seizing and overheating heating resistor and heater blower motor. My Ford dealer told me there were no recalls for these problems on my car which is no longer under warranty the water leaking through the cabin air filter area into the cabin compartment in many 2001-3 Taurus's have caused their heater blower motors to bind or seize which also burns out the blower resistor. It also eventually causes mold to form in the heater area and under the dampened carpeting. After noting a burning smell several times in my car's cabin after starting my heater fan, my heater defroster blower at first would not work- only to work a bit later-until it finally ceased to work completely. On at least 3 occasions when this happened my vision while driving was severely impeded due to the windshield fogging or icing up, as the dead blower could not defrost it. When I pulled the heater motor and resistor out (still wired) I discovered the cause of the burning smell. When I turned the ignition and fan switch on, the motor seized which caused the resistor to overheat to the point that literally flames were shooting out of the resistor! luckily I shut the fan off completely when I smelled the burning resistor but it is fortunate the car did not catch on fire. Ford is well are of this problem and has issued a technical service bulletin # 04-15-3 to resolve it. The heater blower motor and resistor must be replaced along with the passenger side windshield cowl (which apparently warps from the sun and heat) and an additional piece of rubber molding installed on the rain hat over the cabin air filter. Additionally an area near the over the cabin air filter must be silicone caulked and some foam insulation removed for proper drainage. I repeat the above are serious safety issues that need to be addressed by a recall.

- Holden, MA, USA

problem #29

Jan 032008


  • 110,000 miles


About 3 months ago, my windshield wipers began turning themselves on and off for various lengths of time, while switched off. Now they run almost non stop. Dealer suggests multifunction switch (I changed it -didn't work), or a GEM module. A search at Taurus car club sites shows this to be a common problem. Consumer reports identifies overall electrical problems in all Taurus' to be a common issue.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #28

Feb 232009


  • 44,781 miles
I currently own a 2003 Ford Taurus sedan. Twice in the last 2 or 3 years I noticed water on the carpet on the front passenger side of the vehicle. Well, over the last few weeks the blower motor started acting abnormally. Finally, on February 23, 2009, I had to take the car to a local dealer to have the blower motor, a resistor bank, a piece of cowl top plastic and some weatherproof gasket replaced. I learned just prior to taking the vehicle in that there was a "tsb" about this same problem for a range of vehicles built between 2001 and 2003. The cost of these repairs was $237 in labor and approximately $200 in parts. I am annoyed and irritated that Ford Motor Company still can't learn how to make cars, test them as long as they do, build them and then I experience this particular problem that they already knew about, six years after purchasing the vehicle brand new. It was also a potential safety hazard that the blower failed during extremely cold weather operations. I had to park the vehicle at home because there was no heat or any way to defrost the inside of the windshield.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #27

Jan 292009


  • 120,000 miles
Heater blower failed to start.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #26

Feb 062009


  • miles


I own a 2003 Ford Taurus with 40,000 miles on it. I have found out on the internet there is a design defect, water can get into the heater system and blows out the blower motor and resister. I am very upset about this and have read that many people that own Ford's have the same problem. I should not be having any trouble with a car that has only 40,000 miles on it.

- W. Boylston, MA, USA

problem #25

Nov 152008


  • 29,000 miles
Failure of the A/C, heater, defroster fan.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

problem #24

Apr 152006


  • 91,000 miles
1. purchased car in April 2003; 2. noticed water leaking into passenger side (on floorboard) of car during heavy rains after purchase. Problem occurs only during heavy rain and has caused a bad smell inside car. The fire retardant insulation is saturated and is cause of odor. 3. received recall in June 2006 regarding stop lamp switch assembly and air filter. Not certain if recall related to leaking water problem, however problem continued after dealership performed recall repairs. 2.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #23

Oct 172008


  • 52,000 miles
I had the problem that my blower would only work on high speed. My mechanic knew right away that it was the blower motor resistor. So went to Ford and bought a new one and replaced it. After about a month I had the same problem. It worked only on high. I had it like this for about a month when I lost the blower completely. Went to my mechanic again and he took out the motor, at which time we turned it over and out came about a 1/2 cup of water. Water is all over the glove box. Also like other complaints on the windshield the button rubber piece has expanded so what flows through there to the glove box.

- Elizabethtown, KY, USA

problem #22

Jan 102009


  • 53,000 miles


Due to improper sealing on passenger side of vehicle water leaks in and damages blower motor and blower motor resistor. This renders the defroster inoperable and therefore causes a dangerous visibility situation. This is a very common problem with the 2003 Ford Taurus.

- West Columbia, SC, USA

problem #21

Jan 132009


  • 63,000 miles
Rain water leaks onto the passenger side floorboard. This shorted out the heater/ac blower motor. Parts have not been replaced yet. Other complaints have been filed re:10184014. There is also a recall to replace the windshield which is the source of the leakage (03V087000).

- Barboursville, WV, USA

problem #20

Feb 052008


  • 37,000 miles
Heater blower motor went out on my 2003 Ford Taurus. It is a known issue through Ford Motor Company, as they have issued a service bulletin on it. My local Ford dealer refuses to replace the motor under warranty. Water leaks into the motor that causes the problem. There are many people with this same problem. It is dangerous in the winter because my defroster doesn't work and my front windshield stays fogged up.

- Ruston, LA, USA

problem #19

Dec 282008


  • miles
About 3 weeks ago, the heating/air conditioning on my 2003 Ford Taurus would only work on a high setting. A couple days later, it stopped working altogether. I took it into a mechanic, who replaced the blower motor and the resistor for over $400. Two weeks later, the blower motor went out again. I went to some random forum, and saw over one-hundred people upset because they own an 02 or 03 Taurus, and they have the same problem with their blowers. And there has never been a recall? I can't imagine how many Taurus owners are having this exact problem. All I know is that it is 20 degrees where I live right now and is going to be colder tomorrow. Not only is this uncomfortable, it is dangerous. It is clear that many others have complained about the same situation, so it's clear to me that nothing will be done. I just don't know what to do.

- Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #18

Dec 092008


  • 50,000 miles
Water leak at front passenger side, replaced blower motor, resistor and cowl, still leaks. Reference recall 03V087000 and many additional complaints from owners, specifically 10184014. There was water leaking at passenger dash area on and off since 07. It hadn't leaked in quite a while so I didn't worry about it. The dealer said it would cost about $250 to fix and I was waiting to see if it kept up or got worse. Then the blower quit working. I spent $373.14 for a new blower motor, resistor assy, weatherstrip, cowl panel and sealant. On the 28th of December, 2008 my front passenger floor was again, full of water. Note, this had not happened for many months and should have been fixed with the new cowl put on on December 9th. I asked the dealer if the previous water problem caused the blower motor to go bad. He said it was hard to say. Evidently it was "hard to say" because it says right on the receipt "water in blower case". I bought the car in October of 03 (as a used vehicle but still under warranty with only 18,408 miles on it) but was never notified of a recall for this problem. I understand there is a service bulletin out for this problem now. I have been going to the same dealer since April 9th, 04. Can you tell me if the recall was in effect at this time or how long the recall was in effect" this is very discouraging. Where are the ethics from Ford for taking ownership of this problem" maybe I should file for my own "bail out", with the amount of water leakage I've had, I'll probably need it. Thank you for your consideration in this matter. Jeanne acheson

- Decatur, IN, USA

problem #17

Dec 062007


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. In rainy weather conditions, the contact noticed a large puddle of water on the front passenger side floor. The failure occurs in any type of condition that involves moisture. Upon further investigation, it was determined that water was entering the vehicle through the windshield. Without repair, water could seep into the heater, burn out the motor, and cause mold to form. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection or repair. The contact is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 70,000 and current mileage was 90,000.

- Blue Springs , MO, USA

problem #16

Nov 152008


  • 83,552 miles
One day my heater stopped blowing. I first checked the blower motor fuse, which was fine. During this process I found that the passenger side floorboard was soaking wet. After research online I found that a bunch of people have had this problem. The water apparently shorted out my blower motor so now I have no heat or air.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #15

Nov 262008


  • 60,000 miles
Blower motor failure.

- Jonesboro, AR, USA

problem #14

Nov 142008


  • 84,500 miles
I own a 2003 Ford Taurus which experienced a heater motor and heater switch failure last year. I replace the components myself for around $250. This year I have been experiencing water in the passenger side floor after heavy rains and have not been able to determine the cause or location of the water entering the vehicle. This week with the torrential rains we have been experiencing, water was found coming out of my heater motor and heater and draining onto the passenger side foot well carpet while using my heater and defroster. Once I got home I removed the heater motor from the air duct and approximately 8 oz. Of water poured out on the floor. I surmised the water of this great volume was coming in through the windshield. I search the internet to see if there were other occurrences of this situation and on you web site I found there was a compliance recall on this issue on March 3, 2003 on vehicles built between October 29, 2001 and April 27, 2002 regarding windshield retention requirements. I am filling this complaint on November 17, 2008 in hope other owners will be notified of this defect(s). This poses a considerable financial undertaking by the consumer should the water infiltrate the electrical harness in the suspect vehicles and cause consider electrical component damage within said vehicles. To date I have not received any notification from Ford regarding my 2003 Ford Taurus SE with a manufacture date of 12/02 VIN.#. I feel the NHTSA should institute an national recall on said vehicles since we are talking about a major fleet model driven vehicle as well one the highest volume model cars driven in Ford history my the consumer in general. Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated. I look forward to your need response on this damaging situation that most consumers have no knowledge of. Sincerely, J. christopher veach.

- Fairlawn, OH, USA

problem #13

Oct 242008


  • 56,500 miles
I have two vehicles and rarely drive my newer car in the rain. I took my newer car on vacation and was returning home when it started to rain. A couple days afterwards I was headed to work when my car started to fog up. I turned on the defrost fans and could barely hear the motor running. I turned to high where it ran for about 1 minute before completely failing. I figured that maybe my blower was failing. I searched on the internet and found that this is not an unusual problem with the 2003 Taurus and is a known problem (recall number 03V087000 and complaint 10184014). From what I am hearing, water is leaking into the blower unit and causing it to fail. The blower is in a completely useless due to this leak. I have called the dealership and they said it would be about $500 to fix. This is ridiculous for a design flaw in the manufacturing process. This is a safety issue and a design flaw on the vehicle. The blower was working during and up to the several hours of driving in the rain.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

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