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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,900 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.

1998 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

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1998 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #10

Feb 222006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles


1. my 1998 Ford Explorer XLT burst into flames with absolutely no warning while parked at my daughter's high school parking lot. 2. the vehicle was consumed by flames and is a total loss. The local fire department brought two units to put the fire out. 3. after filing my insurance claim, I researched the problem and found that the Ford Explorer poses a big fire risk. 4. specifically, my cruise control stopped working 3 months ago and just as been documented by the NHTSA, the defective cruise control caused the electrical fire. 5. I thank my lucky stars nobody was hurt....but if my Explorer had been parked inside my apartment building this incident would have burned down my building. Pls let me know if you require additional documentation or photos.

- Austin , TX, USA

problem #9

Feb 252006

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
1998 Ford Explorer, 5.0, sn [xxx], speed control after learning about the fires caused by the speed control on other Ford vehicles I check the '98. Voltage is measured at the speed control disengage switch located on master cylinder. Using a voltage meter I measured 12 volts to this switch with the ignition switch in the off position with the key removed. This indicates that the switch is hot 100% of the time. I have not had a failure yet, but am concerned that this represents a possible failure in the future causing the vehicle to urn up. I have noted that there have been 16 failures and fires on 1998 Ford Explorer do to this problem. Updated 07/17/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #8

Apr 192005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle was parked outside of the home and a few minutes later it caught on fire. The fire department was called to extinguish the fire. Vehicle was towed and totaled by the insurance company.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #7

Dec 042004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Vehicle taken to repair shop when the left turn signal did not operate. The result showed that a new computer module was needed. Then, vehicle was driven home when consumer heard a crackling noise coming from inside the steering column. Vehicle returned back to the repair shop, and mechanic determined that there was a problem with the electrical wires in the steering column. Repair was performed by the repair shop.

- White Lake, MI, USA

problem #6

Dec 272002

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Electrical fire in steering column. While traveling at highway speeds at night, drive lights went out and steering column was glowing and smell of burnt plastic. Wiring harness, multi-function switch both melted. No after market add on or modifications made to vehicle.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 172002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When making turns, especially right turns, vehicle slides and almost turns over.. consumer states vehicle is experiencing acceleration problems, and there was a humming noise coming from the engine, signals are not working, dealer replaced a defective connector and multi-function switch, Firestone tires have experienced tread separation, which were replaced in July 2001, the rear seats move/bounce when driving, the rear seat belts were inoperative, the dealer replaced the buckles, there was smoke coming from the steering column, dealer replaced the multi-function switch, the windshield was chipped, the alarm would not chut off at times, dealer replaced a bad loose wire.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #4

Mar 011998


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Wires in steering column failed.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 281998


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving vehicle interior lamps/odometer/speedometer, wipers, and power windows went out. Possible cause defective fuse. Dealer's engineers are looking into problem. Dealer repaired wiring.

- Pasadena, TX, USA

problem #2

Jul 251998


  • miles
Vehicle was parked and consumer looked out of the window and saw the vehicle up in flames. The fire department put out the fire, and they determined that the fire was caused by electrical wire.

- Dixmoor, IL, USA

problem #1

Sep 291997

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The dealer/ factory did not fullt tighten the the main power wire in the engine which caused power surges in all electronic equipment. This could result in an accident by consumerloosening power to steering/lights or brakes.

- Cahrlotte, NC, USA

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