really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,066 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 Thunderbird engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford Thunderbird Owner Comments

problem #8

Jun 052016


  • 2,000 miles


On three occasions auto accelerated on its own. Tried to break to no avail. Kept going faster. Shifted to neutral, engine kept racing. Was very difficult to stop vehicle. Went to dealer. They could not find the cause..one event in a parking lot, one on the interstate and the other when approaching an intersection on a city street auto has only 10,000 miles on it. Incidents occurred 2005 20014 2016.

- Sevierville, TN, USA

problem #7

Oct 272014


  • 83,000 miles
As I was parking my car, it suddenly accelerated at a very high rate of speed. I was parking by a wooded area, and was propelled about 2 car lengths into the bushes in the woods (barely missing a tree) before I was able to stop the car. Not certain if the car stopped because of my braking, or because the thick bushes would not permit the car to travel any further. I had the car towed to the Ford dealership, but the service dept. Has not been able to find the problem. I am absolutely certain this was not a "driver error" situation and am very concerned about continuing to drive this vehicle should this occur again and I hit someone or something less forgiving than the bushes in the woods.

- Shelton, WA, USA

problem #6

Jun 052014

Thunderbird 8-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
Coming off I-5 freeway in West washintong state. Stopped for red light and then moved into left turn lane but car kept picking up speed, applied brakes (hard) slowing down but auto not wanting to stop. Applied emergency brake, car slowed down more, could hear engine racing and feel it still wanting to go. Slipped car into neutral on the auto transmision, now forward progress slowing down greatly but still hit rear of car in front of me. Ford in body repair shop so have not been able to take to Ford to exam for any defect(s). I only use my right foot to accelrate and brake so I know I was not stepping on gas pedal & other foot using brake at same time. Car had been on cruise control prior to accident set at 60 mph for I-5 driving.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #5

Jun 272010


  • 38,000 miles


I have a 2004 Ford Thunderbird. For the second time in the past 8 months, my car went into limp mode unexpectedly while driving. On a 50 mile an hour road, my car suddenly dropped to 20 mph. I immediately activated my hazard lights, but came very close to getting rear ended. The throttle bodies on these cars evidently go out an alarming rate. This will be the second time I have narrowly avoided being in an accident because of this problem. I had the problem addressed once already, and now it is happening all over again.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #4

Oct 212009


  • 15,000 miles
Car intermittently goes into shut down mode(decelerates, will not take gas) during driving. This has happened while trying to merge onto a highway and almost resulted in me being rear needed by an tractor trailer. This is happening during the middle of highway traffic and has placed me in sever safety situations. I am told by Ford this is a throttle body problem and apparently this is wide spread for numerous Ford automobiles (escape, Thunderbird, mustang, Lincoln, Thunderbird...) of the years 2002-2005. Ford needs to be held to task for this repair! this is dangerous!!

- Palm Springs, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 152005

Thunderbird 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,400 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Thunderbird that has suddenly accelerated 3 times over the course of 2005. This happened once forward and twice in reverse. On all 3 occasions I had to stand on the brake while shifting to neutral before the revs would come down. The forward one was the most scary since I had a car in front of me. I took the car to the dealer on Nov 11, 2005 but nothing was found. Thank you tim shipley.

- Chesterland, OH, USA

problem #2

Dec 162003

Thunderbird 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
2004 Ford Thunderbird accelerator has a 1\2 to 1 second or more delay in engine response (drive by wire) when either starting from a dead stop or when passing or changing lanes. Ford claims it is by design and will not address the delay. The Lincoln ls is identical in engine and drive chain and has no delay. This delay is extremely unsafe when pulling out from a stop street or even on the highway when going to pass or changing lanes. The dealer has been helpful but must wait for Ford to respond with a computer change to rectify the problem but none has come in two years. This problem existed from date of purchase.

- Phillipsburg, NJ, USA

problem #1

Oct 052005

Thunderbird 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,028 miles
On August 19, 2004 I was parking my 2004 T-bird in the parking lot at work. My foot was on the brake. As I eased in, I realized I wanted to edge forward an inch or two so I slowly began to release my foot from the brake and without warning the car lurched forward hitting the curb and flew forward 4-5 feet while I was putting extreme pressure on the brake pedal. It finally stopped as the car actually hit the company signage. The front end was damaged to the tune of ------. not understanding how it happened, I chalked it up to human error, although I knew I had not touched the gas pedal. October 5, 2005. I am slowly pulling into my garage in the same 2004 T-bird. As I approach the curb and a 5 foot deep cement stoop, I need to edge in another 1 to 2 inches to clear the garage door. As I gingerly begin to release the pressure on my brake, the vehicle lurches forward hitting the curb and flying forward into an upright freezer in the garage on the stoop- 5 feet from where the car usually is parked. The force is so great that the freezer is T-boned and pushed into the finished wall of the garage, which in turn rearranges the cabinet in the powder room in the living quarters of my home. The counter top/sink combo is shattered. The event was most disturbing and frightening. The car was towed to the dealer service dept. Of willowbrook Ford in willowbrook, il. After examination and finding no mechanical defects it was transferred to the body shop where I was informed over the phone that nothing was found mechanically wrong and they couldn't reproduce the incident. The insurance had approved payment for body repairs and so it was fixed. The car has been returned to me completely repaired, but I am never going to drive it again. A T-bird enthusiast website www.thunderbirdnest.com also relates similar stories of horror. Perhaps Ford will do something once someone is maimed or killed.

- Hinsdale, IL, USA

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