really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,517 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.

2004 Ford Taurus engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Sep 072016


  • 100,000 miles


The whole entire wires under the dashboard caught on fire and almost blew me my kids up in dallas Texas, had it total and the mechanic stated that the whole computer system blew the wires out and that it was a manufacturing problem.

- Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #20

Jan 012016


  • 80,000 miles
Vehicle throttle got stuck, daughter was drive had to put car in neutral to kick throttle down, found out that cruise control cable is coming off throttle body and jamming, been happening multiple times for last year

- Monroe, CT, USA

problem #19

Feb 112016


  • 134,272 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. While depressing the accelerator pedal, the pedal became stuck to the floorboard. The vehicle continued to accelerate when the brake pedal was depressed. In addition, the vehicle was idling while in park. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the cause of the failure was undetermined. The technician repaired the fuel injection, cabin air filter, idle control valve, and the butterfly valve. The failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 134,272.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #18

Jul 262015


  • 107,200 miles


This has happened over the past two days. The first time was at a freeway speed of 65 mph and the second time happened on a side street at a speed of 40 mph. As I released the gas peddle the car maintained the speed or accelerated on it's own.

- Brewster, NY, USA

problem #17

Jun 222015


  • miles
Drove car about 4 miles. No problems. When parked it was smoking real bad under hood then caught on fire. Fireman said it was electrical. It gave no warning. As I looked on this website I have seen that I am not the only person that has had this happen. My car is totaled and I am without a vehicle. Now what will Ford do about that? I could have been killed. Thank god I wasn't.

- Pineville, LA, USA

problem #16

Jan 012012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving at 35 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently. The contact also stated that the check engine warning light illuminated. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 130,000. Updated 04/10/15 updated 11/5/2015

- Farmington, MI, USA

problem #15

Nov 222014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 130,802 miles


Coming down poway road in poway, ca it was very difficult to stop and it seemed the engine was revving. I pulled over to a safe turnout and it was difficult to stop completely as the brakes were spongy. When I put the transmission in park, the engine speed was over 2500 RPM. I turned the engine off and could smell the brakes. Suspecting a stuck throttle, I removed the protective cover and the accelerator was being held open by the cruise control cable which had become disconnected at the throttle linkage area. I removed the assembly and pushed it aside so we could continue driving. I consider this a very dangerous situation as we were driving down a grade and I was trying to apply the brakes at the same time the engine was pushing us faster. Since it was Saturday I drive to the dealer. I knew there had been a similar recall I checked to see if our vehicle was included and it was not but the service advisor was very familiar with the recall which Ford had done as "customer satisfaction program 13B04" which he provided me a copy of. I have seen this in my son's 2002 Ford Taurus also. The clip that holds the cruise control cable to the throttle linkage disconnects and because of the stiffness, actually prevents the accelerator linkage from returning to idle. Although it has not failed, I can see the same linkage on my 2003 Mercury Sable which of course is a repackaged Taurus. This clip is a very poor design in that it does not do a good job of holding onto the accelerator pin. From observation I know that it was used in at least 3 model years and perhaps more. This should have been more than a courtesy fix as unintended acceleration can be very dangerous as the last few years have shown. It should be expanded to include any vehicle that used this design. It's not a question of if it will fail but as our experience today shows, when.

- Poway, CA, USA

problem #14

Oct 032014


  • 90,677 miles
My 2004 Ford Taurus accelerated on its own quite a few times. After goggling the problem I saw that there had been a recall. I called Ford & was told my car wasn't included in the recall. They also told me to get it fixed because it could be dangerous. I know that because I was almost in a few accidents because of the sudden acceleration. I'd have to pull over, if not at a red light or stop sign, put the car in park & hit the accelerator a few times. I actually had to turn the car off & back on once to get the rpms down. I had the cruise control cable totally removed. The cruise hadn't worked in yrs. My mom owned the car before I did. I'd like to know why my Taurus wasn't in the recall.

- Johnstown, PA, USA

problem #13

Aug 142013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
The plastic bracket that attaches the cruise control cable assembly to the throttle is defective it slips off the throttle and gets caught causing the throttle to stay open.. this has caused my car to continue accelerating with my foot on the gas pedal to speeds in excess of 50 mph... braking is difficult because the car is continuing to accelerate.. this is causing stress on my braking system... I had a brother who was nearly killed in an accident because of a similar issue on a different vehicle.. the Ford reps I have talked to are aware of the issue yet Ford refuses to issue a safety recall.. are the waiting to be the next "GM" in the news.. waiting until people are killed instead of being proactive...

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #12

Sep 012014


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. While driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently. When the brake pedal was depressed, the throttle would continue to rev intermittently. The failure occurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and the mechanic stated that the control cables detached from the throttle body and subsequently interfered with the throttle fully closing to the idle position. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 68,000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #11

Oct 112013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 111,550 miles


When accelerating at about 40 mph the cruise control would not work when I tried to engage it, however the car began speeding up quickly while my foot was off the gas peddle. I tried to engage/disengage the cruise control but got no response, except the engine RPM and car was still speeding up, the car was getting close to 60mph and I began putting on the brakes the car was still trying to accelerate and RPM still going up as I was stopping the car. This car continues to accelerate faster on it's own when driven and today 5/19/14 again from about 35 to 50 in about a mile, this was not as severe as the first time but is troubling and a waste of my gas and brakes. This is a Taurus sel with automatic trans. And a 3.9L V6 engine. I found the cruise control cable off of the lever it connects to near the intake manifold( after reading about other Taurus models/years with the same problem). I will be contacting a Ford dealer to see if they have a fix as cable is still very loose after I tried to reconnect it.

- Shelby Township, MI, USA

problem #10

Oct 012013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that after driving off from a traffic stop, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. Where the technician diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure recurred on three occasions. The technician replaced the fuel pump, the intake manifold, and map sensor but it failed to repaired the problem. Also, the contact mentioned that while driving 65 mph, exhaust fumes began to emit into the vehicle and smoke started to emit from the engine compartment. The vehicle was taken back to the independent mechanic who stated that the intake manifold had a hole on the side causing the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was unknown.

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

problem #9

Mar 042014


  • 160,000 miles
I was driving and coming to a complete stop, when the car began to accelerate itself. I brake, that didn't help much. It stopped the car, but did not stop the engine from abnormally revving itself up. I pushed the gas and it was okay, but still at a higher RPM than normal. Again, 5 mins later, while sitting in traffic it revved up again. It was at about 2500 RPM, coming from a dead stop. I freaked out and tried to put the car in park thinking that would help. When I put it in park, it revved itself to about 4000rpm. I turned it off. I turned it back on a short while later and drove to a parking lot and kept it parked.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #8

Feb 242014

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
I was trying to stop for a red light. The engine RPM suddenly increased and when I pressed the brake the RPM kept increasing. I shifted from drive to park and the RPM still kept increasing. I finally pumped the gas pedal while in park and the RPM went down. This happened again about 20 minutes later when I accelerated after being stopped at a light.

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #7

Sep 132013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 64,800 miles
Over the past three weeks, the engine would quit running while driving on the road. I took the car into the Ford dealership on 9/16/13 and the problem has not been found. This happened 5 times over a 3 week period. I can't be driving this car on the highway and have the engine shut down. I am afraid of this car. I have keep up all maintenance required at the local Ford dealership, the mileage is low for the year of the car. I have all the receipts for maintenance and repairs since buying the car in 2007.

- Bella Vista, AR, USA

problem #6

Feb 152013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 153,000 miles
Went out one morning, cranked the car and the engine was racing and would not slow down. The engine sounds like it is going to blow up. It is revving up around 3000 RPM and will not slow down. I have to constantly use the brakes to keep the car from going too fast. I tried to tap the gas pedal but it does nothing except rev higher. Some kind of cable had fallen off and a friend of mine put it back on, but now I think it is off again. The car has made me feel very unsafe while driving it and I do not have the money to get another car.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #5

Apr 162013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 129,500 miles
While traveling on the highway, auto speed increased to 70 miles per hour with foot removed from the gas pedal. Application of brakes slowed the auto but the brakes were working against the engine. Auto returned to 70 miles per hour without applying gas, when the brakes were release. Pulled off the highway. Shifted into neutral and engine revved up to 4,000 RPM. Applied brakes to a stop. Turned off the auto. Checked that the floor mat was not restricting the gas pedal. Opened the auto hood operated throttle by hand and the throttle seemed to release. Continued to destination without problems. Checked throttle at destination and noted that the cruise control cable was disconnected.

- North Stonington, CT, USA

problem #4

Nov 232012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 85,500 miles
I was driving and had turned into a store parking lot. I made a turn down a row to park and as I ran over a grate, going no more than 25 mph, the car began to accelerate. The RPM's went up to about 40 mph. I could feel it. My foot was not on the gas. My daughter and I were horrified. I pulled into a parking spot as far away from the other vehicles as possible. The car was roaring so hard. I called my mechanic because I had just had the vehicle inspected. The mechanic told me to quickly pat down on the gas (then release) while the car was safely in park. I did it and it and it stopped it. I could feel it immediately stop the acceleration.

- Henrico, VA, USA

problem #3

Aug 242012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
We were driving into Aurora, il on hwy 88. Suddenly, the engine began speeding and we had to apply the brakes and ride the brakes to keep the speed at 45. We were in a work zone, there was a lot of traffic, and the car was hard to control. We pulled into an oasis/rest area where we turned off the car and restarted it. We would push down the accelerator and the revving would drop off some, but it continued to be a problem. When we returned home, we took the car to our mechanic, who did fuel injector cleaning and flushed the transmission; he also found that the accelerator line had disconnected the cruise control. We thought the problem was fixed. Today, it happened again. We googled it and discovered the NHTSA's investigation of sudden, unexplained acceleration in the Ford Taurus model. My wife is now afraid to drive this care or have me drive it. Please advise.

- Waterloo, IA, USA

problem #2

Aug 242012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
While driving the accelerator was racing so high, I turn off the engine then I start the engine it still racing.when I put in reverse then drive it stops racing it really scares me.

- Mckeesport, PA, USA

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