hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,259 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 Lincoln Aviator body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Lincoln Aviator Owner Comments

problem #9

Jun 012017


  • 75,000 miles


There has been a unprovoked crack in the lift gate panel for a couple years now (which seems to be a very common problem in this model), we have not had issues until the rear window started flying open while driving at around 30mph. The latch has malfunctioned due to water seeping into crack.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #8

Jan 012006


  • miles
There is a crack below my back window that causes lots of air to come in and also lots of water leaks and when it rains I have small children and the dealership is unable to work with me to get this repaired it gets very cold in there with all the cold air that comes in with my small children hopefully something can be done for the amount that we paid on this vehicle

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #7

Oct 082016


  • 107,231 miles
Shifter knob on 03 Aviator broke off. The shifter was locked in drive, had to shut off vehicle and brace the tires from rolling on an incline. With my child in the car with me. Scary!!!!!! the problem is a plastic piece broke in the shifter column. Has yet to be fixed. Quoted $900 to fix. Also the liftgate cracked at the Lincoln emblem witch I was told that it holds the glass in place and it sound like a gunshot when it cracked, shook me up. This is a Ford/Lincoln failure on a manufacturer defect. The hatch is not being able to close completely because of where the crack is located. The crack is located near the Lincoln emblem. What if water cause a electrical fire from water getting into the closing mechanism, still waiting for a recall on this. Quoted $500 to fix 107,231 miles.

- Rock, MI, USA

problem #6

Jan 152013


  • 45,000 miles


On my 2003 Aviator the door ajar light comes on at various times during the day and night. My interior lights flash and my car alarm goes off. It's been doing this for about two years, but has gotten worse this year 2016. My battery has died twice in two days. So frustrated with this vehicle. Was summoned over the intercom in a department store and at work saying that a Lincoln SUV's alarm was going off and that the lights were flashing. I knew it was mine. I hit the alarm button on the key fob which cut off the alarm for about 30 seconds and it started up again. When driving at night, the door ajar light comes on which makes my interior lights flash quickly and makes it difficult to drive because of the glare of the interior lights being on. The door ajar light comes on anytime day or night, stationary or while driving. I bought this vehicle new. It only has 67,000 miles on it now, but over the years, I've had serious issues with the transmission, had to replace 2 wheel bearings, there's a crack near the emblem on the liftgate, the stereo makes loud popping sounds in the back which sounds like a gunshot, sometimes can't get out of park, the gear shift gets stuck! I'm so frustrated with this vehicle. I complained to the Ford company several years ago when there were only 40,000 miles on the vehicle and the transmission was having serious issues, and also my water pump went bad. Their reply was: "we're sorry to hear that, please take your vehicle to one of our dealers for great service repair". I think I bought a lemon!! too many things going wrong with a vehicle that was purchased new and still have low miles!! my windshield sprayer control on the left side on the steering wheel also stopped working suddenly about 5 years ago, I almost forgot about that issue.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #5

Oct 232010


  • 85,000 miles
Cracks in rear hatch panel.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

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problem #4

Nov 172011


  • 62,104 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Lincoln Aviator. The contact stated the rear hatch near the emblem was cracked. The hatch was never used and there was never a crash that occurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated there are no recalls and the defect was structural damage. The repair cost will be at the owners expense. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 62,104.

- Rock, MI, USA

problem #3

Mar 062009


  • 50,000 miles


The back lift component has a crack on each side of the Lincoln emblem. The body shop near where I work told me that this is very common with the Aviators, and that he has replaced many of them. It is a manufacturing error and should be replaced by Ford/Lincoln. I have purposely looked at other Aviators and found that they have the same cracks in the same place by the emblem. I was told by the Ford dealership here that the company would not fix it. My vehicle is no longer in warranty. It now has about 66,000 miles, but I noticed the cracks about a year ago, so at that time, it had 50,000+ miles.

- Tupelo, MS, USA

problem #2

Nov 012008


  • miles
Owner of 2003 Lincoln Aviator (acquired early 2004). Since that time, while vehicle under warranty, on 4 separate occasions, a crack has appeared near the emblem on the rear liftgate. On all four occasions, the entire liftgate portion which contains the window and the emblem has needed to be replaced. Now, in November 2008, a crack has appeared for the 5th time, but the vehicle is no longer under warranty, and the dealership states that Ford/Lincoln will not stand behind its vehicle. Also, lately the battery has weakened and died on several occasions. It seems that the cracked liftback may not be closed securely.

- Newbury Park, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 012008


  • 100,000 miles
The liftgate cracked at the Lincoln emblem on my 2003 Lincoln Aviator. This conditions appears to be similar to the service bulletin NHTSA #: 0485.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

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