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.

CarComplaints.com 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.

5.9

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$195.00
Average Mileage:
66,481 miles
Total Complaints:
63 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. ford should replace the piece (27 reports)
  2. replace black plastic panel (19 reports)
  3. not sure (14 reports)
  4. i bought back to black by mothers (1 reports)
  5. replaced all the rear doors (1 reports)
  6. used "Black Box" by Turtle Wax (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Apr 012007

Explorer Eddie Bauer V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have seen two other explorers with this same problem. It is obviously a ford problem with this year. Ford should fix it. I am calling them on Monday. Everytime I shut my hatch it gets worse!!

- , Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #22

Jan 152008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

ok so it cracked in cold weather went to ford ..argued for an hour ..then pissed on the counter and went to my local body shop...removed the panel went to my friend and bough glue they use in NASA lol :) seriously ...took the new panel shaved off the ford logo with fiberglass painted and glued back on. no problem ever since. Ford are cheap F*cks saving on tar glue ...put around and not in the middle of panel ...so it rattles and cracks or cant even stand the cold weather ...what ever now my car completely shaved from all the ford logos. so HA FORD no advertising on my CAR lol :)

- , Broklyn, NY, USA

problem #21

Aug 142006

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Once again, Ford did not fix their bad paint problems.

- , Wadena, MN, USA

problem #20

Jul 282007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Reported problem to Ford Company with no response. Crack of the back panel is a manufacturer latent defect that Ford Company "MUST" replace at no cost to vehicle owners. Ford Company is NOT acknowledging this fact. Ford Company and its subcontractors did not comply with ASTM testing standards for this plastic back panel. I see a huge number of Ford Explorers on the road with a cracked back panel similar to mine which probably not reported.

- , Dearborn Heights, MI, USA

problem #19

Dec 032007

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

I thought I would post to help some of you out struggling with this appearance disaster. I actually went to the body shop at my local Ford dealership and he understood where I was coming from with Ford's long line of bullshit and said he could strip the coating that is on the deteriorated panels and paint them for around $40-$60 and it would last longer then spending $100's replacing the panels. I have an appointment to get it done later this week. I thought I would pass that along as a cheaper solution to yet another Ford blunder.

- , Plano, TX, USA

problem #18

Nov 052007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

This is the second time this has happen I called dealer they said it was fixed March of 2006 and now that it is OVER 1 year or 12000 miles I WILL HAVE TO PAY TO GET IT FIXED why get it fixed if will not last for 2 years this will be the lats Ford I will EVER BUY I have had all Fords all the time NO MORE

- , Keene, NH, USA

problem #17

Oct 102007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I feel that the Ford Motor Company should be held accountable for all problems. I am all for a CLASS ACTION SUIT!!!

- , Birmngham, AL, USA

problem #16

Oct 072007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I began noticing that the black panels looked as though the coating was becoming crackled. When I first asked someone at the dealership what the problem was, they didn't know. It even looked as though someone in the repair shop tried using some chemical on them to fix it, which only made it worse. It wasn't until I had hail damage fixed in the body shop that someone there knew that this problem existed and told me that this is a common occurrence as these panels age. They looked terrible so I had them replaced. THIS SHOULDN'T HAPPEN. If this is common, FORD SHOULD REPLACE THESE PANELS WITH ONES THAT DON'T CRACK AFTER LESS THAN 4 YEARS!!

- , Marble Falls, TX, USA

problem #15

Jul 072007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Black panels crack and peel. If any part of the vehicle is barely bumped against, paint falls off. Never experienced body/paint problems this severe before until I purchased this 2002 Ford Explorer.

- , Covington, KY, USA

problem #14

Aug 042007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,500 miles

very unattractive when you consider i still have 2 years to pay $300 a month for a vehicle that looks terrible. this is in addition to paint chipping elsewhere on the car. i am very very discouraged about buying a ford product again if this how i am going to be treated.

- , Sebring, FL, USA

problem #13

Aug 032007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Called Ford and was given the runaround. They pretended they would assess the problem but never did.

Totally disgusted because the exterior is important to me. I spend a lot of money for mechanical maintenance only to have the exterior look bad.

- , Springfield, VA, USA

problem #12

Jun 132007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

While the car was still under warranty they replaced 2 of them in the rear but now the ones between the front and rear doors are going. I'm so frustrated with the problems I am having with a high end car so to speak on the trim

- , San Diego, CS, USA

problem #11

Jun 282006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • 53,000 miles

I purchased this car two years ago with 24K on it, now the Black Plastic Panels all around the car and rear between the windows are all fading and cracking. Really ugly for such a new car which is parked in a covered parking area. Ford dealer claims it is the heat and won't fix, they say i have to replace them. I also have a big area on the rear gray bumper where the paint is peeling off and they say it is not their problem.. I am trying hard to reach ford directly and complain, this is not right for a new cars paint to just peel off like this.. All I can say is they lost a good customer for ever.

- , Chatsworth, CA, USA

problem #10

Feb 192007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

The top few inches of all the black panels between all the windows have faded and look like they are going to peel. The dealer said that it's definitely not covered. It's annoying because the rest of the car is great condition and it's through no fault of mine.

- , Livermore, CA, USA

problem #9

Jan 132007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

Im irritated that the paint on my doors is chipping off!! Is there anything that can be done to prevent it from going any farther down?

- , Bend, OR, USA

problem #8

Dec 262006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

This is poor quality workmanship. I shouldn't have to worry about issues like this on a vehicle with such a presence on the road as the Explorer. This is the second issue I have with body defects on my Explorer. The other is the crack in the tail/liftgate.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #7

Nov 272006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

Black paint/panels between windows are cracking/fading and peeling. This is the same thing that happened to the FORD TEMPO.... take a look around to see what your Ford Explorers are going to look like in the near future. The Tempos paint cracked and peeled off completely.

- , Littleton, CO, USA

problem #6

Nov 252006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I purchaced my 2002 Explorer two years ago and began to notice that the black glossy trim between the doors and on the sides of the rear hatch is began to fade and flake off. It obviously does not affect the performance of the vehicle, but it does create a nice eye sore on a $30,000 automobile. I have looked around other used lots and it seems rather consistant that this is a common problem with the Ford fleet. The paint on mine is still in perfect condition and i have no other complaints... well fuel efficiency, but that is another story. I feel that Ford Motor Co. should do something about this.

- , Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #5

Nov 232006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Black molding between windows faded & cracked. Nothing will take the fading out. We have tried everything. Not even buffing.

- , Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #4

Nov 062006

(reported on)

Explorer Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I purchased the truck new and in excellent condition about a year ago. I try to take great care of my vehicles and this includes washing about once a week or every two weeks. I began to notice that the columns in between the doors were appearing to be "flaky" one day while I was drying the truck. The problem has continued to spread down the columns and after they have "flaked" they leave behind a faded and dull black look. I believe that Ford should take care of this problem as well, since it is obviously a defect.

- , Glen Burnie, MD, USA

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