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 3 of 31)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #578

Sep 012010

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

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

The back hatch cracked. It looks awful and every Explorer I see on the road has the same problem. A $30,000 car should NOT do this especially with a company like Ford.

- , Helena, AL, USA

problem #577

Nov 012014

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,556 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

Ford should never allow problems like this to leave the factory.

- , Pocatello, ID, USA

problem #576

Dec 012010

Explorer Eddie Bouer 4.0L Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

The back panel, under the window, which is a piece of plastic glued to the glass, cracked in two places.

- , Salem, MO, USA

problem #575

Jun 062011

Explorer 4DR XLT 4X2 4.0L Sohc V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

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

REAR HATCH DOOR CRACKED JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER FORD SUV ON THE ROAD YET WE ARE ALL SUPPOSE TO JUST LIVE WITH IT. IT IS NOT FORD'S PROBLEM THAT A MAJORITY OF THE SUV'S ARE ALL DOING THE SAME THING. SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHY THERE HAS TO BE A CLASS ACTION SUIT FOR FORD TO DO RIGHT BY THEIR CUSTOMERS?

FORD HAS PROVEN TO ME HOW THEY VALUE THEIR CUSTOMERS AND HOW THEY STAND BY THEIR PRODUCTS. I CAN GUARANTEE THE ONLY REASON I WILL EVER PUT FOOT ON A FORD DEALERSHIP AGAIN WILL BE FOR REPAIR OR TO SELL MY SUV, NEVER EVER TO BUY AGAIN. IF I WAS NOT DISABLED I WOULD CHOOSE TO RIDE A BIKE OVER DRIVING A FORD PRODUCT AGAIN. THE PAINT IS PEELING AROUND THE DOORS, YES THE VEHICLE IS 12 YEARS OLD BUT IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN IN A GARAGE AND ONLY HAS 61,000. MILES

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #574

Oct 082013

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Just about anyone that owns this vehicle has this same problem. Just about every Ford Explorer that I see on the road, you can't help but notice this problem.

- , Staten Island, US-New York, USA

problem #573

Nov 152004

Explorer XLT

  • 50,000 miles

The original cracked. This was a big surprise to me. Had it fixed at the same time Ford recalled the hinges for the liftgate glass panel that was prone to fail and break the glass. This was around 2004. Around 2006, I noticed that the new panel had begun to crack. It now has about 5 major cracks. Was told that water gets behind, freezes and expands causing the cracks. Overall, satisfied with the vehicle. Just not happy with this cosmetic flaw. JY

- , Bells, TN, USA

problem #572

May 102010

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

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

The crack below the rear windshield was very ugly.. I was upset when I first saw it, I take very good care of my vehicle and I was wondering how it happened. But after I got on internet to see why my transmission was messing up so early, I then discovered more people than myself had rear windshield panel cracks.

- , Comer, GA, USA

problem #571

Nov 142014

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 174,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

I guess I am going back to Ford to complain. The panel is broken into pieces and I'm out of luck.

- , Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #570

Jan 152010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

Dissapointed, already had it replaced under warranty and the replacement also cracked

- , Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #569

Aug 012009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I am a Ford fan through and through but the 2002 Explorer I owned was the BIGGEST PIECE OF JUNK I have EVER owned. In 2007, both rear springs were broke---never took it off road. Also had to replace wheel bearings twice Also replaced a fly wheel in 2007. At about 90,000 miles replaced the transmission.

Then I noticed the rear panel--under the window--was cracked. I just figured a rock or something hit it. About the same time the rear window wiper quick working and the spring came out of the arm. At 101,000 the oil sending unit went out and the motor seized. JUNK, JUNK, JUNK. I wouldn't take another 2002 Explorer if Ford gave it to me.

- , Grantsville, WV, USA

problem #568

Dec 312003

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

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

Since I bought this vehicle, the back middle panel under the glass door gets full of water, and when I open the door the water gets off. Now the upper door don't open, to fix this problem they have to take out the plastic under the wiper out.

The plastic that covers the plate is broken and is was so fragile that opening and closing broke the plastic. It is not only my vehicle because I saw in the street a lot of the same Ford Explorer with the same look.

Now it is very difficult to me to open the back door and the upper window dos not open, the plastic is broke. That is a company construction fault..

They should do a call back. Now it costs a lot of money to repair it.

For me it is a big problem, but the company don't gave warranty.

- , Toa Baja, PR, Puerto Rico

problem #567

Jul 152005

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,579 miles

I think Ford Motor Company should Fix It because they knew there was a problem, all of these back panels break.

- , Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #566

Jun 012012

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

water getting into panel causes alarm to go off, crack developed after window repair on recall notice.

.

- , Modesto, CA, USA

problem #565

Nov 182009

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Three months after purchasing my brand new 2002 Explorer the panel under the rear window cracked. Ford replaced it. Then again in 2010 it broke. I called Ford and they told me they did not have many complaints for this issue. I continued to tell them 8 out of every 10 seen on the road had a cracked panel. I was in the market to purchase a new vehicle and being Ford made me so mad I traded it off for a BMW X5. This is the best vehicle I have ever owned. I continue to tell anyone that will listen the 2002 - 2005 Ford Explorer is a piece of junk and the Ford Motor Co is worthless.

- , Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #564

Aug 152005

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

90% of ford Explorers I see have this same exact problem

- , Wilmington, MA, USA

problem #563

Aug 122014

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,924 miles

As stated to me by the Southeast Regional Ford Representative, whom I won't identify since at least he was honest, "the 2002 Explorer from a maintenance standpoint is one of the worst cars Ford ever manufactured"! The old Ford motto of " THE QUALITY GOES IN BEFORE THE NAME GOES ON" is no longer true. I've owned 12 Fords, but this is my last as quite simply FORDS HAVE BECOME A PIECE OF CRAP!!!

I'm filling out several complaints, mainly because this model is one big problem and repair bill after another. These include:

I suffered the cracked panel under the rear window. After mine cracked I started noticing that about 70% of the Explorers like mine that I saw in my community had the same crack. I lived with mine for a few days until half of it broke off while going through a car wash.

PRNDL shift lever broke off. Ford refused so issue recal despite over 500 complaints. $1689.00 to replace steering column. 10 months after installing new steering column, air bag sensors alerted, problem was a "bad spring" in a new part. Cost another $387.00.

Replaced transfer case twice at a cost each time in excess of $2800. Second replacement was result of misdiagnoses by dealer when I toke pact in for noise from transmission complaint and was told the noise was coming from a front axle that was replaced at cost of over $450.00.

My car looks like it has a disease as the paint has bubbled/blistered and the clear coat has peeled/flaked off in large spots on almost ever area of the vehicle. Ford has a long history of paint problems, so beware. A local body shop (I wouldn't take my car to the dealership ever again...and I've used 3 different ones in the area....wanted $3200 for a quality paint job with clear coat, pinstripes, and decals put back in good condition.

BOTTOM LINE: Is it any wonder why people buy foreign??? Excuse my bluntness but simply put ... FORD SUCKS.

- , Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #562

Dec 072007

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Already had to replace the transmission that Ford knows is faulty but won't recall. the rear panel has been cracked for years.

- , New Boston, MI, USA

problem #561

Jan 012005

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

i see many fords on the road with the same problem. so it must affect many explorers.

- , Muskogee, OK, USA

problem #560

Dec 302007

Explorer XLT

  • 25,000 miles

Paid for this out of pocket to have repair if needed. Ford should pay for this, it is clearly a design fail.

- , Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada

problem #559

Jan 062005

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles

rear crack just like other owners report. about 4 inches long, 1mm thick.

- , Harrison Township, MI, USA

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