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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
22 / 24
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 1
Average Mileage:
33,801 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 engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 8)

problem #151

Aug 012016


  • 140,000 miles


When I stepped on the gas pedal and started to proceed through an intersection, I lost all power and had to roll or coast very slowly through the intersection and stop on the other side in a dangerous position in traffic when I could coast no further. The gas pedal bracket had completely broken off the firewall and was laying on the floor. The bracket had been attached by three spot welds. Some other people stopped traffic and pushed me to a safe place to park. The Ford dealer parts' department has no parts to fix it and suggested we buy some bolts somewhere and reattach it ourselves somehow. To completely lose power without warning was extremely dangerous! thank god I was in a controlled intersection and not turning left across oncoming traffic or it could have turned out much worse. Reading online blogs and comments shows this problem of the gas pedal bracket falling off Ford products and losing power is not uncommon.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #150

Apr 282014


  • 164,581 miles
When accelerating from a stop, the bracket that suspends the accelerator pedal broke free from the firewall (it was tack welded in several spots). This caused an immediate loss of power. Luckily I was leaving my residence with no traffic behind. If I had been accelerating via on ramp to highway with vehicles right behind me might have been a different story. Local garage repaired ($47.50) by drilling holes and reattaching with bolts. According to "serious explorations" users group, not an uncommon problem.

- Colorado City, CO, USA

problem #149

Jan 222014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 168,654 miles
Gas pedal and bracket holding gas pedal broke free of it's mounting location on the firewall. 3 spot welds failed completely. Gas pedal is now dangling from its cable under the dashboard.

- Teaneck, NJ, USA

problem #148

Dec 222011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 131,000 miles


The Explorer brake peddle went to the floor to stop the vehicle. There was smoke coming from under the hood. In a few seconds, the truck was in flames. Police and firemen were called to the location. They put the fire out in a few minutes.

- Hammonton, NJ, USA

problem #147

Jan 192012

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
When backing up at 5mph vehicle accelerated at high speed went up curb and hit guardrail. After 2-3- seconds vehicle dropped down to 0 mph.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #146

Nov 172011


  • 236,000 miles
I was driving 45 mph when the accelerator went all the way to the floor, I put the car in neutral and then speedometer went all the way up to the max, and coasted off to the side as soon as I could. This caused the engine to be damaged and the car is not drivable.

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #145

Jun 232011


  • 96,160 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked when the engine caught on fire. The fire department appeared on the scene to extinguish the fire. The contact was informed that the fire was electrical and originated near the cruise control switch. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 96,160. The VIN was unavailable.

- Boca Raton , FL, USA

problem #144

Mar 252011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 167,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked unoccupied outside of the contacts residence when it burst into massive flames. The fire department extinguished the fire and the vehicle was completely destroyed. A fire report was available. The contact stated that the manufacturer issued a voluntary recall pertaining to the speed control system modification under NHTSA campaign id number: 00V422000 (vehicle speed control) and the vehicle was included in the recall but had not yet been repaired. The contact believed the failure was related to the recall defect. The failure mileage was 167,000. Updated 05/03/11 updated 05/23/11

- Rossville, GA, USA

problem #143

Jan 062011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
1998 Ford Explorer caught fire parked under my carport. 1/6/11 @ 14:00hrs.

- Greenville, MS, USA

problem #142

Nov 242010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
1998 Ford Explorer VIN#[xxx] registered to the state of Nevada; original owner: [xxx]...registered because of disability reasons to wife [xxx]...we were involved in a car crash accident...resulting to a total loss at baker, California because of the vehicle cruise control recall which could cause the tire to be treaded...pushing the car to be out of control..while the brake fluid leaking...and the air bag safety failed to develop (open). I think Ford Motor Company is the primary responsible of the mechanical failure of the workmanship and the car design. I got in touch with their legal department: Product recall & liability. The accident report# [xxx] ncic#[xxx]. the injured driver [xxx]; passenger and the permanent disabled passenger were taken to barstow community hospital emergency room. I need your help in removing all 1998 Ford Explorer from the road; this car could cause major & fatal injuries to the public at large. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #141

Dec 042010


  • 115,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Ford Explorer. While parked, the contact stated that she smelled smoke coming from the steering column. She believed the failure to be similar to NHTSA campaign id number: 06V286000 (vehicle speed control). The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that they would be opening a case on her behalf to further inspect the failure. The contact did not inform the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileage was approximately 115,000.

- Wallingford, PA, USA

problem #140

Aug 132010


  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked when it suddenly caught fire. The fire department was called but a neighbor extinguished the fire. The vehicle was still drivable. The vehicle had not been inspected to find the cause of the fire. The contact believed the failure was caused by the cruise control when he researched recall 09V399000 (vehicle speed control) which was related. The contact had not spoken with the dealer nor the manufacturer at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 113,000.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #139

Jul 172010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
On July 17, 2010 the accelerator to my 1998 Explorer (eddie bauer) stuck when I was trying to back a little ways down my drive way. The truck accelerated out of control and jumped the street hitting my neighbor porch damaging the porch and neighbor's yard. The police came and completed an accident report. The Ford Explorer was towed to the body shop and repaired towed to a local Ford dealership for repair. The dealership says there is nothing wrong with the Ford Explorer. I traded the vehicle in. I have spoken to other 1998 Ford Explorer owners and they also have experienced the same problem.

- Augusta , GA, USA

problem #138

Mar 082010

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 150,204 miles
While attempting to back of parking space at home, vehicle accelerated out of control and hit townhome across the street. Accelerator pedal was recently repaired at dealership (01/12/2010).

- Orlando , FL, USA

problem #137

Feb 232010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
I have a 1998 Ford Explorer, 4.0L V6 with almost 110K miles on the vehicle. On 2/24/10 I accelerated from a complete stop and the entire accelerator pedal assembly, detached from the fire wall at what looks like the spot wields. This almost resulted in a accident due to immediate vehicle deceleration. The entire assembly is now only "attached" to the car via the throttle cable. I was able to drive the car home by basically pulling the throttle cable. This was extremely dangerous as I had use one hand on the wheel while bending down to pull the cable. I was just able to see over the dash. I was told by santa margarita Ford in orange county California, that it's not of their concern since they don't "fix" parts but replace them. They would charge me to "replace" the part. So no fix has been done to my vehicle yet. I will mostly likely drill and bolt the assembly to the firewall, since Ford has no interest in "fixing" my car.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #136

Jan 112010


  • 220,000 miles
1998 Ford Explorer. Parked at restaurant, shut off vehicle, went inside. Approximately 10 minutes later someone yelled fire. Went outside to discover smoke and flames coming from the engine compartment. Fire department called and responded quickly. Fire extinguished, but vehicle totaled. No injuries, no other property damage except burned hedges that were in front of the vehicle where it was parked. Tow truck driver remarked that it appeared possible that it was one of those cruise control caused fires as it is evident that the fire originated on or near the brake master cylinder. I am the original owner, my son was using the truck when the fire occurred and I am relating his recollection of the events. Vehicle was towed immediately afterwards to a holding yard and subsequently to my home where it is presently.

- Wedowee, AL, USA

problem #135

Dec 292009


  • 160,000 miles
After sitting in the driveway for aprox 9 hours, the engine area caught on fire at 4am. Speculation is the cruise control switch ignited and caused the fire. The front end of the vehicle is completely destroyed, as is the interior with smoke damage.

- Lutz, FL, USA

problem #134

Dec 092009


  • 155,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Explorer. While parked he saw smoke and flames underneath of the hood of his vehicle. The dealer was contacted, and he was advised to bring the vehicle into the dealer. The speed control wiring harness had melted ; which caused fluid to leak. No repairs were made. He then received a letter for recall campaign id number: 09V399000 (vehicle speed control). The manufacturer will contact him with a response within a fifteen day period. The failure and current mileages were 155000.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #133

Sep 082009


  • 92,000 miles
While accelerating from a complete stop, the gas pedal snapped off and fell to the floor of the car. We were able to coast out of the intersection where it happened. Once stopped we discovered that the welds that held the petal to the fire-wall (I believe that is what the mechanic later called it) had broken. The mechanic was able to bolt the pedal back on. While there were no injuries, or irreparable damage to the car, it could have been a far more dangerous situation, as we were headed for a busy highway at the time. We feel Ford should be aware of this incident, take responsibility for the cost of repair, and take steps to prevent this from happening in the future.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #132

Feb 192009


  • miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Explorer. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign id number 06V286000 (vehicle speed control), but did not take the vehicle to the dealer for repair. She was awakened by a neighbor informing her that the vehicle was on fire. The entire front wiring system was melted. An investigator from the fire department speculated that the cruise control was the cause of the failure. The contact has pictures of the failed incident and she is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The failure and current mileages were unknown.

- Harbor City, CA, USA

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