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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008

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  • I found some black ice with my 2000 Ford Taurus wagon and performed an operational test on a Jersey Barrier with the front end of my car at 20-30 mph on 2/10/04. After the collision the air bags failed to deploy - however, the idiot light on the dashboard was kind enough to light up to inform me that the air bag system was not operating correctly.
     
    I called Ford who has forwarded my complaint to some black hole. Is this problem an isolated case or has Ford been selling defective air bags?
     
    Further online searching shows that the NHTSA has 260 reported failures of the air bag system on the 2000 Ford Taurus. http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/defects reports that there have been two investigations into the problem. The second investigation is ongoing (NHTSA Action Number EA03010).
     
    You can file complaints as follows:
     
     By Phone
    Call the DOT Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236) and a NHTSA representative will record your complaint information.

    By Mail

    You may also print the web form out and fax it to (202) 366-7882 or mail it to:

    U.S. Department of Transportation,
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
    Office of Defects Investigation,
    NSA-10.01, 400 7th Street, SW,
    Washington, DC 20590.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    I know all of these people since the majority of them are my neighbors. I know their vehicle preferences, marriage status, and jobs they hold. Every 2 to 3 years they drive something new.

    I've liked Fords and other American makes since childhood. However I bought Sable because (1) is a very structurally safe car, (2) it's roomy (3) is powerful, (4) I got more bang for the buck as compared to Camry/Accords.

    My comparison of imports' stuctural strength to my Sable was made purely on issues of $$$$$. I believe that my car is just as strong as the luxury imports I happened to see while at the car wash. I follow NHTSA and IIHS and is no denying that luxo imports are well built. I was in no way referring, in my previous post, to Camry or Accords.

    If you read my post again you'll notice that I also mention the high insurance premiums these people pay for their vehicles. We live in a zip code which is well known for high theft.

    Sable or Taurus has not been falling behind in safety. I had an unfortunate chance to prove it when after 2 weeks after I had my station wagon I was rear ended. Cosmetic damage to the bumper, no damage to the car's body and no damage to my neck.
    My car also came with side air bags, traction control and ABS standard. These was back in 2000. The only safety neglect on the part of Ford was the lack of rear seat head rests, which is a glaring mistake. At this point in time, Accord and Camry as well as Subaru's Legacy are just as safe as Taurus/Sable.
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    It really seems like Ford is putting the Taurus/Sable in End of Life mode. They made some modest improvements to interior & exterior styling for 2004, but haven't seemed to have made any improvements in functional or safety features in several years. I don't know why, it has a good solid chassis, the Duratec is a very good engine, but four wheel disc brakes are only available on the wagon. Why? Still no side curtain airbag option. Why? Stability control isn't available, it my not be needed on such a car but it sure wouldn't hurt. Still no rear seat head restraints! There is no longer a performance version available even though it shouldn't be that difficult to put a performance tuned version of the Duratec, like those that power the Lincoln LS, and the Jaguar, in it, along with vented discs on all four wheels of course. If Ford really do plan to keep building these at Atlanta for two to four more years, why not bring them up to date functionally, and then market them? It shouldn't be that hard.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    once the 500 and futura come out the taurus will be regulated exclusively (or almost) to rental fleets. isn't this so. so i don't blame ford for not making heavy investments in the taurus.

    at least you recognize some of the taurus/sable's
    shortcomings.
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    "once the 500 and futura come out the taurus will be regulated exclusively (or almost) to rental fleets. isn't this so. so i don't blame ford for not making heavy investments in the taurus.

    at least you recognize some of the taurus/sable's
    shortcomings."

    Hey, I'm a Dearbornite and a stockholder, Ford's fortunes are too closely tied to mine for my own comfort sometimes. The trouble is it will take months to ramp up production on the 500/Montego/Freestyle, cars with brand new CVTs standard, and the Futura won't debut 'til a year after that. Atlanta is one of the most productive plants Ford has. It really same a shame to just write the car off so easily and watch people buy all those Camrys, Accord, and Altimas.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    What exactly do you need side curtain air bags and stability control on a car for????

    Ford has obviously given up on the idea of competing with the Japanese by using Taurus and Sable. To that end, Mazda6 will attempt to compete (Mazda partly owned by Ford), and Ford's new models.

    How about looking at Taurus from the standpoint of standard features and safety and not the functionality imposed by Honda, Toyota and Nissan?
  • I'm looking for an everyday driver, I'm in the hunt for a 2002 or 2003 Taurus SES...price with 15-25 miles $10-11,000 around here. Although this car is bland compared to my wife's Avalon, I can buy three Taurus for what we paid for the Avalon. I drive about 20,000 mile a year, the car's are reliable and as cheap as transportation as I can find. I'm 6'6" tall, the Taurus also is a roomy car for tall drivers...
    Question: should I hold out for a 24 valve engine or is the standard engine OK for this vehicle??
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    "What exactly do you need side curtain air bags and stability control on a car for????"

    WOW! that's quite a statement. are you being serious? what, if a safety feature is not available on your sable it's not important.

    i thought the accord should have side curtain airbags available on all of its models and not just the high end models. i guess i was wrong. why would you want to avoid head injuries from side impacts?
  • I just bought an '01 SEL yesterday and it has 33,000 miles. We paid, including a premium care warranty and the 35k service and TTL, $12k. The car is immaculate inside and out with the exception of a scratch by the moonroof and a scuff on the bumper.

    I drove a car with the standard V6 and one with the Duratec. There is almost no comparison between them and I highly recommend the Duratec. Considering the fact that the Taurus's have depreciated so much, I can't possibly imagine there is going to be a huge price difference between them, so it makes sense to get the 24V Duratec.

    Just my $.02,

    AS
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Actually i thought that side curtain air bags were more suitable for SUV's which have a tendency to roll over. Side air bags (which I have) take care of protecting the occupants from side collisions in cars which rarely roll over.

    If you bothered to read my earlier posts you'd have noticed that I'm quite critical of Sable/Taurus after owning mine for number of years and seeing its shortcomings.

    I am not fanatical about the brand or the manufacturer as you wrongly perceived. I have no loyalties to any car manufacturer.

    You, on the other hand venus, are a Taurus basher who got into arguments with several posters whom you sniped. By the way, how is your Jetta? Did it come out of the shop yet?? Did you finally buy an Accord????
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    and i thought you might of been kidding with the side curtain airbag comment. your side airbags won't protect your head in a side collision. if one cares about safety then you're going to want the side curtain airbags in your next car.

    guilty as charged for being a taurus basher. i can't believe a major manufacturer like ford (trucks or no trucks) would let one of their cars go so long without any major revisions in such an important segment.

    yes i did buy an accord last july. and my beloved jetta was only in the shop once outside of regular maintenance.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Have you heard of the Futura, or the even sooner to be introduced but largish 500/Montego? These models will eclipse the Taurus in every measure. That said, the Taurus remains a decent car, and a good certified used value especially. Though far from class leading, its not at the bottom of the sedan class either, at least according to the likes of CR.

    ~alpha
  • This may sound kind of dumb, but does the Duratec V6 require premium fuel?

    Thanks,

    AS
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    "Does the Duratec V6 require premium fuel?"

    No, the versions of the 3.0l Duratec in the Taurus and Sable do not require premium fuel, 87 octane unleaded is recommended. The same goes for the version in the Escape and Mazda Tribute. The higher compression and higher performance version of the Duratec used in the Lincoln LS and Jaguar X-Type and S models do require premium. I'm not sure about the Mazda 6.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    He likes to jump in and tweak us Taurus/Sable owners every once in a while. He just can't seem to understand that many of us want to pay $5-$7K less to get a good solid car in Taurus compared to V-6 versions of Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, especially when you equip it with the DOHC Duratec.

    Yes, Taurus is not leading the pack at the moment in some safety features and Ford is letting Taurus slip, as the 500 and Futura take its place. So what? With 500 being introduced this year and Futura next, why dump money into a platform that is being phased out?

    Fact is until just recently Taurus has been a safety leader, being one of the first to implement dual stage airbags that depower depending on severity of crash, seat positions and driver weight. This was in the 2000 model year, really not that long ago when you think of it. Please don't give me crap about Taurus not having rear disc brakes, as anyone who knows anything about vehicle dynamics will know that the vast majority of all braking force is done by the front brakes. Yes it is missing rear head rests and side curtain airbags-old news.

    If you are like Venus and buy a new car every three years or so, don't get a Taurus as it does indeed depreciate quicker. If you keep your cars ten years or so like I do, then depreciation means nothing, as almost every car is worth very little when ten years old. Up front cost is more critical. If you want to save more yet, buy a 1-3 year old used Taurus and save even more.

    I really truthfully don't care if I have the most current safety features, as I will always be behind the curve a few years down the road anyway. My own defensive driving skills mean more to my individual safety than all the airbags in the world. Yes I can't control my destiny 100%, but neither will side curtain airbags.

    Come this fall and next year, Ford will have competitive cars with innovative transmission, with more safety features than anything out there today available at reasonable prices, so continuing to trash Taurus is pointless.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    oh yes. i heard of the futura and am looking forward very much to this car.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    i was watching autoline and learned that the 500 will be offered with six speed and CVT auto transmissions. very impressive. i was less impressed with using the same ole duratec engine. they say the new trannys get a lot out of the engine though - very efficient.

    but dang it all, this car (and the futura) should be out now! if ford wants to offer a budget car that's fine but also offer alternatives.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    500 and its crossover equivalent wagon Freestyle is to be out late summer or early fall, which is not exactly that far away. Futura I guess is to be out sometime in calendar year 2005. Product development takes a while, especially when the company was screwed up by Nasser and is still in a recovery mode.

    That good ole 3 liter duratech is a very good engine and will likely provide acceptable performance for most, especially when combined with either a six speed or CV transmission, and if Ford wishes the 3 liter Duratech could be tweaked for greater output. Whether they will or not is not clear, but they can do it, as it has been done to it in Lincoln LS and Mazda 6.

    As I understand it, a 3.5 liter Duratech is due out in 500's second model year, which should sell to those who think they can never have enough power.

    Maybe your Accord will last that long Venus, so you can consider these new Fords!
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Besides having curtain air bags with side impact bags, ABS, traction control, stability control and all wheel drive, we shouldn't forget about knee-bolster inflatable bags and brake assist. Did I cover them all?

    When I bought my car back in 2000, some of these options were not available in any car. Technology advanced immensely in 4 years making my car somewhat obsolete in safety features. The Sable wasn't state of the art on safety department like Volvo is, but it was (and it is) ranked as a safe car.

    My kids were younger then and instead of buying a van I decided to get my station wagon because it's a car and therefore somewhat easier to drive and less cumbersome than a minivan. No SUV's for me.

    Station wagons are proven to be less stolen than cars. My station wagon has a convenient, although small wheel well under the cargo area deck where one can store items in. I have the deck covered with a large rubber mat. And since I drive to work and park in a high crime area, having a car with a trunk would be tempting for a thief to pry it open. I had that happened to my 91 Camry.

    One thing that no other car had 4 years ago was adjustable brakes; a very good safety feature. I am 5' 7" tall and can sit far from the steering wheel and reach the pedals which means that in a collision the chance of having my face injured by the air bag deploying are fewer than seating closer to reach pedals.

    I'd better leave it here because I sound like a commercial.
  • Hey all,

    My vehicle is in for some bodywork (minor parking lot collision, not my fault) and meanwhile it's getting some maintenance done. I was going to go for the whole 30K Tune-Up (what the owner's manual recommends), but then discovered it was over $400-- is this normal? Anybody else paid close to this much?

    So I opted for just the tranmission flush because I know ya'll have mentioned the importance of it--and that alone is over $100. My boyfriend hadn't thought it would reach triple digits but he's at work so I'm just going to go ahead with it I guess.

    Just wondering what else everybody else has paid for these kind of things and how much of this recommended maintenance is really necessary for a lightly, carefully driven vehicle. I'm not very mechanically inclined.

    Sara
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