Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The 2002 Ford Explorer is hands-down our worst vehicle on record. "Avoid like the plague" is putting it lightly.

The 2002-2005 Explorer has a very well-established record of expensive transmission failure at under 100k miles. The Explorer has an enclosed transmission which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of almost $3,000.

Another common problem for the 2002-2003 Explorer is wheel bearing failure at around 90k miles, with a typical repair bill of $500 to $1000 depending on how many wheel bearings failed.

Adding insult to injury, the 2002-2005 Explorer also has a massive problem with the rear panel cracking. While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
47,026 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.

2002 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #16

Jul 112016


  • miles


Driver"S side seat will go back and forth

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #15

Sep 172014


  • miles
Seat bracket broke when hitting the brakes when a deer jumped out in front of me.

- Mayfield, KY, USA

problem #14

Mar 032014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the passenger's side front seat became detached from the frame rail. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage and VIN was not available.

- Oak Grove, AR, USA

problem #13

Nov 052013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 106,400 miles


The metal bars that hold the seat to the floor broke causing the seat to fall towards the driver's side door while I was driving.

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #12

Mar 072011


  • 118,220 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the front driver seat was able to move forward but would not move backward when engaged. The contact stated that the failure would make driving very uncomfortable and he believed the failure to be an extreme safety hazard, as he felt he was sitting to close to the steering wheel. The vehicle was neither inspected nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The current and failure mileage was approximately 118,220.

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #11

Aug 152009

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
On 8/15/09, [xxx]was operating his 2002 Ford Explorer in houston, tx when the Explorer was struck from the rear by a pickup truck. During the collision, [xxx]seat back collapsed and, although he had been wearing his seat belt, he was ejected through broken-out rear window glazing. [xxx] sustained multiple blunt force injuries from which he died. The seat back in the 2002 Explorer is attached to a recliner mechanism on each side of the seat. The recliner mechanisms are attached to the seat cushion frame by spiral coil pins. When the Explorer was struck from the rear, the vehicle moved forward in relation to [xxx] body, causing his body to load the driver's seat back. As this occurred, the force of the seat back being moved rearward by [xxx] body caused the recliner mechanisms on both sides of the seats to move forward; as they did so, they contacted the spiral coil pins, and fractured those pins on both sides of the seat. When the spiral coil pins failed, the seat back collapsed onto the rear seat cushion, and [xxx] was ejected into the cargo area of the Explorer and then out of the rear window glazing. [xxx] suffered mutliple blunt force trauma injuries, which took his life. Upon investigation, including comparison of a number of other, exemplar driiver's seats from 2002 Explorer, it has become clear that the spiral coil pins are defectively installed in many Explorer seats. This manufacturing defect is manifested by the spiral coil pins being inserted through mating holes on the seat cushion frame to inconsistent depths, which can cause the pins not to seat properly in those holes. In the case of [xxx], because the spiral coil pins were not inserted far enough into the mating holes when manufactured, the pins on his seat were fractured by the recliner mechanisms and failed to hold his seat back upright in the collision. This failure mechanism in the pins allowed for [xxx]ejection. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #10

Aug 172010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 179,000 miles


Purchased 2002 Explorer XLT V6 4.0L already transmission slipping solenoid or whatever out.. I have read reports and wonder why this transmission is not recalled? I have it in shop now having to have it rebuilt and everything changed. Also right wheel bearings bad, upper and lower ball joints bad, suspension shot. And the records show the previous owners maintained everything well. But also had transmission replaced and had problems at 99,000miles. Please doing something for all of us out here. Also coolant leak, engine leak, power seat failure, and on.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #9

Apr 252010


  • 90,000 miles
Drivers seat is detached from floor, making it hard to drive safely. Airbag light came on, locks don't work, dangerous.

- Suisun City, CA, USA

problem #8

Jun 282010


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated the driver's seat detached from the floor board. The electrical gauges and components were also inoperable and the power door locks had failed. Neither the dealer or manufacturer was contacted in regards to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 90,000.

- Suisun City, CA, USA

problem #7

May 092006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 25 mph the drivers seat collapsed backward without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who determined the seat support bracket needed to be replaced. Updated 06/19/06.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #6

Sep 162004

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The driver seat was to close to the steering wheel, which made if difficult for the consumer to drive

- Hamden, CT, USA

problem #5

Nov 132003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,800 miles
The seat components that are underneath the driver's side have a severe amount of rust on them.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #4

Sep 292003

(reported on)


  • 27,000 miles
Driver side seat bottom cracked and the back broke without vehicle being impacted or excessive force being applied.

- Erial, NJ, USA

problem #3

Sep 102003

(reported on)


  • 54,000 miles
Driver's side seat back and seat were not attached. Driver had to connect the seat to the back upon entry. Dealer said that bolt attached to the seat back frame fractured. This could cause an accident if driver lost steering control or took foot of pedal while driving.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #2

Nov 102002

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer's vehicle was rear ended, which caused the driver and passenger seats to collapse backward.ts

- Mebane, NC, USA

problem #1

Aug 012001


  • miles
Second seat bolts that hold the seat to the frame are missing. Dealer has been contacted.

- Richmond, VA, USA

Not what you are looking for?