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.

6.5

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$450.00
Average Mileage:
78,907 miles
Total Complaints:
618 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. Ford should pay for it (396 reports)
  2. not sure (86 reports)
  3. paid to have rear panel replaced (47 reports)
  4. file complaint with NHTSA to get a recall issued (26 reports)
  5. start a class action suit and get damages reimbursed (16 reports)
  6. dealership replaced the entire panel (10 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 28 of 31)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #78

Feb 032007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

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

I just discovered the same crack that everyone else has. Some how all of us effected should compile a list of VIN's on these cars. If ford was presented a list that had a very close range of Vin's we could get them to do something about the problem. Having restored older Fords you find problems can be traced if a pattern of VIN's is established.

- , Marietta, GA, USA

problem #77

Feb 022007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Ford should be held responsible for the defect.

- , Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #76

Feb 062007

(reported on)

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

I just turned my car into the dealer with the cracked back panel under the window. I refused to pay for it. They told me it wasn't under warranty and there was no recalls on it but KNEW the problem. The part is $60.00 but wanted to charge me $284.00 to replace it. I told them I would fight it with Ford Motor Credit. So any of you who are returning the vehicle with this problem I suggest you get it fixed on your own so you can pay less unless you are willing to fight the with the credit company.

- , Medford, NY, USA

problem #75

Feb 062007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

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

Same problem as the others, two cracks one on each side of the center line of the rear plastic door panel. Each starts at the top and extends down. The passenger side is about 6-7" and the drivers side is about 4-5". This started about 2 years ago and has continues to grow. Because of frustration dealing with Ford on several other issues with this vehicle I never dealt with the dealer on this one. Mainly, because every time I go to the dealer with problems, I leave there with an elevated blood pressure! I figured I should post though, since so many others have the same problem. Frankly, I just can't wait for another year or two (if it lasts that long) to get rid of it and buy a real SUV. For me, this is the last Ford I will ever buy in my lifetime.

- , Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #74

Jan 312007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited 4.1 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,950 miles

This is the second time this panel has cracked. The first time happened about the time of the recall on the latch. Now this time was on January 29, 2007, 3 months after my extended warranty ended. I have never owned a car that just cracks for no reason. Doesn't that seem defective to you? I began searching for a place to complain or ask questions, and then I found this site and there are 64 other complaints to date for this exact problem. I have posted my issue online with www.odi.nhtsa.dot.gov. Everyone needs to register their complaint so it can be investigated as a defect from the manufacturer. I can't believe after paying $37,000.00 for an Explorer Limited and owning it just 5 years now with 45,950 miles, this should have happened to this vehicle.

- , Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #73

Jan 312007

(reported on)

Explorer LX 3.2L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Noticed crack Jan 30 2007. It is below the window and to the right of the Ford insigna. Took it to Ford dealer and was told they would nothing about it and it would cost about $400.00 to have it fixed and they just happened have the part in the shop[1l2z-78402a30-captm] some other poor ford customer had ordered the part and found another way to fix it. I told them with that type of Quality it was easy to see why ford is in deep trouble. My salesman showed up and I as he knows me from buying Fords for the past 30 years wondered what the problem was, I told him and Reminded him I had planned on buying 2 cars this year but sure as HELL would not be Fords

- , St Catharines, Ontario, Canada

problem #72

Jan 312007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

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

The panel below the rear window cracked top to bottom and separated about an 1/8 of an inch. No way to fix has to be replaced. Rear door and window have not been opened in weeks. Got to about 10 degrees in St. Louis last night. I came out side and the crack was there, visible as can be.

The Ford Service guy told me they see it all of the time. When I asked him if Ford was going to fix it, his comment was "What do you think".

A body panel should not separate into 2 pieces on a modern car. I am an engineer and can think of no term other then design flaw to describe this. I have photos, the estimate from the Ford Dealer and a letter set to go off to Ford executives. I do not expect a response.

Ford Should not expect me to respond by buying my next car with them.

Paul A. Young Senior Vice President and Director of Operations LDP Engineering 16476 Chesterfield Airport Rd Suite 140 Chesterfield, MO 63017 636-787-0032 x12

- , Clarkson Valley, MO, USA

problem #71

Feb 052007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

The plastic applique panel below the glass on the liftgate has developed two vertical cracks, approx 1/8th" in diameter running the length of the panel (approx 5 inches) to the left and to the right of the "Ford" emblem. These developed spontaneously over time one after another. There was no collision or other trauma to trigger these cracks. I noticed the same condition on several other 2002 ford explorers simply driving around town. Ford should repair, free of charge, this problem which is most obviously a manufacturer defect.

- , Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #70

Feb 052007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,800 miles

I reported my cracked panel to the dealership (Lilliston Ford in Vineland) and directly to Ford. Both insist that because my vehicle is no longer under warranty, the cost (571.60) is my responsibility. WRONG! This is clearly a design flaw and Ford's responsibility. My car now sports two colorful placards denouncing my dealership. I am also in the process of contacting the consumer complaints depts. of every local tv station, the better business bureau, and anyone else who will listen. I guess my dealership thinks it's more costly to fix my vehicle than to repair the negative publicity I intend on generating. We'll see...

- , Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #69

Jan 292007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I live in Colorado and discovered a vertical crack on the right side of the Ford logo on the rear lift gate. Two weeks later another one appeared on the left side of the rear lift gate. I was told by a local dealer that this was common but I had to pay to get it fixed. This is ridiculous -- especially since this was replaced in a recall two years ago!

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #68

Jan 302007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6 V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

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

Ford Explorer in the cold climate of Atlanta........ what's the deal Ford??? You know you have an issue an literally 1000's of dis-satisfied customers - FIX YOU PROBLEMS or take a further downward shift to your annual sales. How can the cold effect a body panel like this with the modern materrials that you have to hand, whoops, of coarse, a good quality material may cost an extra few cents right??? I actually work for a company who supply you parts, I know how you work, try looking after your damn customers if you want to keep any. As for me, has anyone taken a look at the new Tahoe? What a fine example of REAL engineering, you couldn't shove an Explorer far enough up your a$$ for me!

- , Buford, GA, USA

problem #67

Jan 302007

(reported on)

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

Ok, like all the others. I bought my Explorer 1 1/2 years ago used, had this fixed before I agreed to purchase it, now it is back again. Of course, dealerhsip says nothing they can do. Unlike some of the other complaints, I have had several Fords. Older models, no problem. This one just keeps continually having unexplained problems that Ford will not deal with. If I had bought it new, would probably be a different story. I love the car, but wish it didn't have all of it's problems. By the time I have it for 2 years I might as well have paid for a brand new one!

- , Pleasant Hill, MO, USA

problem #66

Jan 282007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,895 miles

The problem is my 2002 Ford Explorer rear window liftgate, my panel below the rear window is cracking for no reason, I do not use is part of the liftgate, after doing some research on the internet I found over 100 owners with the same problem. This is a design, material and engineering Safety problem that will allow the rear window to fallout or explode when operating the door or normal driving of the vehicle . Ford Motor Company should replace the panels at no charge to the owner of 2002 and up Ford Explorer with this tailgate design. To all with this problem please contact the National Highway Traffic Administration at nhtsa.com, Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc. gov and Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.com.

- , Sumter, SC, USA

problem #65

Jan 272007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,895 miles

I'm having the same problem, my panel below the rear window is cracking. This is a design and engineering problem from Ford Motor Company. Ford should replace the panels at no charge to the owner of 2002 and up Ford Explorer with this tailgate design.

- , Sumter, SC, USA

problem #64

Jan 252007

(reported on)

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

02 Explorer. Cracked panel in the back under the window. Inverted Y shape. A so-called "stress crack". Called insurance company and got quote and waiting. Will be taking to Ford this weekend, not hopeful though. Entire family and extended family has traditionally bought from Ford. No more Fords for any of us with the problems I've had and the non-response from the Ford dealership.... (Regan Ford, Inc. in Haverhill, MA)

CLASS ACTION!!!! Anyone know how we go about it? Please respond with websites and/or phone numbers. Let's all badger them until it's an official recall. This is absurd.

- , Newton, NH, USA

problem #63

Jan 242007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

It seems this is endemic for I have seen several vehicles with similar problem on the streets. I decided to check on the internet thinking I would be alone but much to my surprise it seems there is a design flaw in the liftgate panel.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #62

May 262006

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 28,000 miles

Yep, same problem as everyone else. We went on a cruise, came home and in our driveway sat the explorer with a cracked panel. No-one had driven it, it just appeared. We just bought out our lease 6 months ago. Naturally the warranty expired 4 months before this happened. I called ford and got the same old well, we know about the problem but guess what, to damn bad. I called the ford customer service line and got nothing more than a sorry about your luck line. The sad part is I've only ever bought fords. My wifey and I have bought 5 new fords. I at least had a chance to tell them if they did not fix this problem my business would go elsewhere.

I see this problem on all kinds of explorers. This is happening to a lot of explorers, not just a few. I agree with some type of a lawsuit... tell me where to sign up.

While we're at it, lots of people with 2002 explorers are having problems with the auto 4 X 4 switching into 4 wheel drive for no reason. Sometimes it's just that or sometimes their 4 wheel drive won't work at all. All kinds of problems relating to this. Lots of people having problems with this issue also. Yes, there is a 4X4 modulator or something behind the glovebox that is the culprit.

Another thing to look forward to is the door ajar gremlin. Yep, no doors are open but it says there is. The interior light stays on while this is happening and lots of little sounds letting you know about the problem. I understand a lot of the time just a little wd 40 squirted in the door latches will fix it, I just tried that today, maybe I'll get lucky and this problem won't cost me.

- , Lima, OH, USA

problem #61

Jan 182007

(reported on)

Explorer ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

I bought the vehicle used. It is in great condition and runs well. This crack appeared for no explainable reason. it is 6 inches to the left of The Ford blue oval. Shaped like upside down "Y". It really detracts from the vehicle's appearance and if it is as common a complaint as it appears to be in this forum, Ford would be wise to FIX THIS PROBLEM. I have owned GM vehicles, Toyotas, and have driven a Dodge vehicle on work leases. I've never encountered anything like this. Really good customer service would recognize a recurrent problem and TAKE CARE OF THE CUSTOMER. So that they return to buy products over and over. If we live to be 70 and buy a car every 5 years each of us will buy 10 cars in a lifetime. Conservatively at $20,000 a vehicle times the number of complaints listed here it's about $12,800,000.00. Any car companies interested in that kind of customer loyalty for their business??????

- , Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #60

Jan 152007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,200 miles

Had this car new since November 2001 and take it to Central Oregon each week. Winter temperature can fall below 0F at some times. This week we had low temperatures never above 35F, nights of -4F or more. Today I noticed three cracks on the back gate panel. Guess I'm not the only one... I will update this once I talked to the Ford dealer. This is my third Ford from the same dealer, so we will see what they have to say.

- , Portland, OR, USA

problem #59

Dec 092006

(reported on)

Explorer Sport 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,800 miles

Ford does not care. when i called they sent me to ford's warranty people, in india. I was told that i bought the best extended warranty but it is still not covered. Ford stinks

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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