NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,840 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 Mercury Sable transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Mercury Sable Owner Comments

problem #5

May 302010

Sable 6-cyl

  • 41,035 miles


Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) please see your report PE09033. My Mercury Sable uses the same transmission. And this week end me and my family almost got killed when on I-75 in the middle of a construction zone with concrete barriers on both sides my transmission died with no warning. This car has only 40000 miles on it and I changed the fluid as recommended at 30000 miles. The mechanic said that this was a catastrophic transmission failure and never should have happened at 40000 miles! the mechanic said to me you had no warning did you! I agreed. He said the torque converter had probably failed! the he told me it would cost about $2200 for parts and about $1100 for labor a grand total of $3300. I am an engineer so I know a little about engines and mechanical applications. This should never have happened. I believe after some research that these transmissions have a significant design fault in them partly from torque converter failure and partly from over heating because of poor circulation and heat dissipation design. I would like to register an official complaint with the NHTSA about the above and join or start a campaign for a recall about the above stated problem. I hope that at some point I will have some recourse with Ford. So with some anticipation I respectfully request some help or a response with to my request. [xxx]

- Lantana, FL, USA

problem #4

Oct 212008


  • 72,000 miles
I have a 2003 Sable upon driving on the interstate, my car just stopped going forward. I had to have it towed to a garage and have it diagnosed. Come to find out the transmission failed and will cost me over $2700 to replace it. I have contacted every transmission repair shop in a 75 mile radius and they all give me the same price. They have also told me that every Sable they have run across around that year of production has had the pump in the transmission has failed. There is only 72,000 on this car and I do not have the money to replace the transmission. This is an issue that should be taken care of by the manufacturer.

- Hamilton, MT, USA

problem #3

Jun 222009


  • 34,000 miles
I was driving along, and with no warning, no noise no squeak transmission failure at 34,000 miles, also master cylinder failure. Last month.

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #2

Aug 082006

Sable 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,165 miles
Went to take my daughter to school one morning, noticed that the car took extra long to engage into reverse. Drove my daughter to school, went to work and decided that I better check the transmission fluid. Upon removing the dip stick, the transmission fluid came boiling out of the dip stick hole. I immediately called a tow truck and had it taken to aamco transmission located at 1705 w. kennedy blvd., tampa, fl 33606, 813-251-1049. Upon their inspection of the transmission, they had determined that the torque converter had gone bad which in turn caused the pump to go bad. So therefore, I had to have a complete overhaul of the transmission which has now cost me $2223.04 plus $88.11 for car rental. Total amount was $2311.15. I am going to make a formal demand for payment from Mercury as this should not have happened on a car that only has 37000 miles on it.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #1

Nov 102005

Sable 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Contact stated the instrument panel would light up and the radio would go out, and the vehicle would shut off. She put the vehicle in park and was able to restart it. She contacted the mechanic, who replaced the two sensors on the vehicle. The mechanic stated the vehicle thinks it is being stolen. The vehicle is still having the same problem.

- Cinnatti , OH, USA

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