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 29 of 31)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #58

Nov 192006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

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

Noticed the crack a few months ago. I have a family memeber who works for Ford in the Auto body department and she told me that "Ford would not cover the crack under warranty or defect" She said that it would cost $366.00 to fix it. She also said she has seen a large number of customers bring there Explorers in with the same problem. I believe that Ford should fix this at no cost as its caused from a defect from poor craftsmanship. I would be interested in seeing a class action lawsuit brought against Ford, if they are not willing to fix the crack for free. Everyone should call their local new channels and see if they can get a news crew interested in the reporting the story. We all need to find away to bring as much attention to this issue as possible so that it forces Ford to fix the problem.

- , St. Peters, MO, USA

problem #57

Jan 132007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

I recently bought my 2002 Ford Explorer. I noticed one month after I bought my car that a crack appeared in my rear panel. I took it too the local Ford dealership and the manager in the parts department told me that it was a common thing to happen. WHAT..... if it is so common why is that part not recalled and replaced with a proper one? Yesterday while unloading some groceries I noticed that the panel had cracked AGAIN on the opposite side. Im very frustrated and I would like Ford to replace this at no cost.

- , Bend, OR, USA

problem #56

Dec 122006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Same as everyone here. Noticed the crack two weeks ago. Out of warranty and no recall available. I called customer service and reported it. called the dealership and they said I would have to pay. Service person even admitted he has had a lot of complaints! Please call and report your case. I am not sure if someone needs to get injured or if they need a certain number of complaints before they issue a recall, but just in case i reported my case. 800-392-3673

- , Wpb, FL, USA

problem #55

Dec 142006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

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

This is the second time mine has cracked, the first time I had my car for 3 months, Ford admitted they had a problem, (the only problem with the fix was they had my car for an entire month)! As you should know Ford only covers parts for 12 months or 12,000 miles, and my car is out of warranty any way that you look at it. The reason that I am annoyed is that I have owned 3 Explorers, (5 Fords total), they admitted they had a problem the first time and fixed it, now it has cracked again from top to bottom and it is all mine! I will never buy another Ford again, so in my opinion I hope that a $350 repair was worth losing a $30K customer!

- , Campobello, SC, USA

problem #54

Jan 032007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to another member of AutoBeef for providing me with this website: safercar. gov. I have lodged my complaint on several issues with this SUV, including the large crack in the back panel. This vehicle has been nothing but problems. The exterior looks terrible since its paint is fading and now this crack. I will NEVER buy another Ford product since they have continued to ignore this problem- not to mention we had an 85' Escort and at 50000 the tranny went out in that one too! FORD JUST MAKES BAD PRODUCTS AND THEY DON'T TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR WORK!!!

- , Salem, OR, USA

problem #53

Jan 032007

(reported on)

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Same as the rest, one day out of the blue I noticed this crack on the rear hatch just to the right of the ford logo all the way through the panel. Ford won't step up to fix this and many other problems we have and thats why Toyota will surpass Ford and Gm this year. This is the firswt and the last Ford for me.

- , Beavercreek, OH, USA

problem #52

Jan 032007

(reported on)

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

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

My explorer has the rear cracked panel. The weather got cold and the next day it was there. The cracks about 3 1/2 inches long towards the middle of the panel . I live directly across the street from Auffenberg Ford in Belleville Illinois they said they havent heard of this before. I told them check the internet after talking with them awhile a mechanic did admit that they knew of the problem LYING SACKS OF SHI_. The manager wasnt there that day so I had to come back another. When I came back he didnt have the Balls to talk to me he sent another mechanic. I believe I will put up a sign in the front yard that says oh I dont know, maybe FORD SUCKS.

- , Belleville, IL, USA

problem #51

Jan 022007

(reported on)

Explorer 4.0 L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

It all started one day when we were out visiting a friend. We drove home that night and when I had got up the next day and seen the split in the middle of the plastic in the back hatch just below the window, I assumed that someone tried to break into the Truck. And for months I could not determine any other solution. It was not until I came across this site that told me this was one of the biggest complaints about this year of the Explorer. I was floored, all this time wandering how a person trying to break into the truck, would make such a even crack or break in the plastic." Well now I know," and I think it is wrong that Ford has not made a recall on this part of the 2002 Ford Explorer.

- , Trenton, Nova Scotia, Canada

problem #50

Jan 022007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

This problem is rampant, however there are no complaints with the NHTSA. Everyone needs to go to this link and file a complaints so Ford will deal with this issue.

http://www.safercar.gov/

It's easy to file the complaint online.

- , Kingwood, TX, USA

problem #49

Jan 022007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

This is definitely a structure defect. This happened at 68,000 and I had it repaired. The dealer partially covered it under the recall for the window hinge. Now at 100,000 it has happened again. There are 3 vertical cracks. The dealer said that Ford has not deemed this a defect and will not fix.

- , Kingwood, TX, USA

problem #48

Dec 282006

(reported on)

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 161,000 miles

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

Ok. I have had the same problem as mentioned below. I went to open the tail gate and when i walked back i noticed a vertical crack in the plastic. Well i thought about it and that crack wasn't there the day before when i closed it last. So i knew it had to have happened that day. The only problem is that there was no reason for this crack. So i called around and no one seems to know how it happened. But from the looks of it, it is a stress crack from the weather maybe, there isn't anyother way it could've happened. If anyone else has info on this please let me know... i'm still in the steps of gettin it fixed.

- , Bethel, OH, USA

problem #47

Dec 262006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

have a 2002 Explorer with the same problem. The crack is on the right of the Ford logo. I first noticed a little line, then 2 weeks later it was a crack about 3 inches and growing. I have yet to find how to have this problem fixed. The body shop where I get work done said it is a known problem with no resolution. If you get it fixed it is probable that it will happen again. I really like my Explorer but this crack is really a problem for me. I only hope that it doesn't lead to other issues with rear hatch. If anyone has any info on how to get this fixed, please let me know.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #46

Dec 262006

(reported on)

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

I just bought the Explorer three months ago, which was in excellent condition for a used car. A week ago I noticed a seven inch vertical crack on the lift gate about two-three inches from the center and another two inch crack forming next to it. I've contacted Ford's customer service and they said I had to take it to a dealer first for a "diagnosis" before they would make any determination. I told them that they needed to cover the repair. I'm taking it to a Ford dealer tomorrow for the "diagnosis". I've hardly used the lift gate and we've had an exceptionally warm winter so the hot-cold explanation seems lame. It appears to be a design flaw. No resolution yet.

- , Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #45

Dec 102006

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

I just spotted the problem and will contact my Dealer on Monday. While driving home this afternoon, I saw 3 more 2002 Explorers with the same problem! I hope that Ford will pony up and address this, and fix the problem! i know that this has to be a design flaw that needs to be fixed.

UPDATE: The Dealership that I took my Explorer to is a Lincoln Mercury Dealer and they took excellent care of me. They even gave me a loaner car to use while my car was being fixed. Great job.

- , Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #44

Dec 202006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,500 miles

I have a 2002 Explorer with the same problem. The crack is on the right of the Ford logo. I actually thought that my wife or son had hit the truck and refused to tell me. I later started seeing Explorers with the same issue. One owner mentioned that this was caused by the rear wiper motor. I have yet to find how to have this problem fixed. I really like my explorer but this crack is really a problem for me. I only hope that it doesn't lead to other issues with rear hatch. If anyone has any info on how to get this fixed, please let me know.

- , Ft Hood, TX, USA

problem #43

Dec 112006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

Same problem as others. Plastic panel beneath rear window cracked all the way from top to bottom about 2 inches to the right of the ford emblem. Happened on Saturday, December 9, 2005. Had liftgate recall fixed earlier this summer.

- , Kronenwetter, WI, USA

problem #42

Dec 072006

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

1st of all cold or heat if the car can't take it, it has been design wrong. There are minimum standards that a vehicle must be designed. After they found out about this defect they still only sold the replacement in black, when they should of had in every color they manufacture. The real cost is in the body and paint shop, not the 40$ part. This plastic piece below the back window may only be for aesthetics but it also shows that even the simplest part is lackadaisically designed. Fix Or Repair Daily.

- , Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #41

Dec 112006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,245 miles

This just happened and the fact that it currently is the #1 complaint on this site indicates that ford definitely has a quality problem with this piece.

- , Kamloops, BC, Canada

problem #40

Dec 082006

(reported on)

Explorer Limited 4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

total BS. Known defect... Ford should fix this problem.... we will never buy ford vehicles again... too many other problems as well

- , Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #39

Nov 062006

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,200 miles

A Ford dealership decided to fix the hinge on the rear tailgate without my authorization. The day after I got it back, I noticed the large crack in the back panel below the window. I was told that it was a "warm/cold" crack. I didn't believe it, it hasn't been warm or cold here in any single day or days! Now I find out it is common. The Ford dealership wants to charge me $100, but the rest is under warranty. Why do I want to pay ANYTHING for something that is clearly a manufacturing flaw??? I would like to have a large sign made "FORD P.O.S! FAULTY CAR, WORSE SERVICE. INQUIRE WITHIN FOR TRUTH! What a scam. I will NEVER buy another Ford. Hope they go broke! They don't deserve to stay in business.

- , Burnsville, MN, USA

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