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 4 of 31)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #558

Aug 062010

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

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

When I bought my Explorer used it had the crack below the rear window. In hard rains or heavy snow the crack leaks into my interior.

- , Numa, IA, USA

problem #557

Nov 082014

Explorer

  • 118,000 miles

I replaced it with another I got from a junk yard, and it cracked too!

- , Honey Brook, PA, USA

problem #556

Mar 162012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

While driving down the road after panel was cracked it blew off the car , Gone .!!!! pissed off, Ford knew about this and did nothing to fix. They should pay for repair .

- , Fruit Cove, FL, USA

problem #555

Nov 102009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

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

God damn piece of crap! FORD NEEDS TO FIX THIS.FORD NEEDS TO FIX THIS.FORD NEEDS TO FIX THIS.FORD NEEDS TO FIX THIS.FORD NEEDS TO FIX THIS.

- , Carrington, ND, USA

problem #554

Nov 112014

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Baure V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

The rear panel was fixed the first time under warranty. It broke again after it was just out of warranty and has been broken since then. It expands and contracts with the temperature changes.

- , Saint Peters, MO, USA

problem #553

Aug 072013

Explorer LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

FORD SHOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR BAD QUALITY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , West Union, OH, USA

problem #552

Jun 062006

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

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

Here it is 2014 and I have a 2002 Explorer XLT with the vertical crack on the outside rear lid by the Ford Emblem. I have had this fixed 2 previous times that cost me over $500.00 each time. Now it's cracked again so the hell with it.

- , Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #551

Jan 032013

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

Yes, the back panel cracked below the rear window...too much for the repair. Looked lousy and embarrassing. Piece of crap. Worst car in the universe.

- , Billings, MT, USA

problem #550

Aug 072012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

had problems getting the rear window to open & then latch - noticed crack had developed.

- , Brentwood, TN - Tennessee, USA

problem #549

Oct 162013

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles

I have seen many Explorers with this problem, I can't afford to pay for it, other things on this car are breaking and need more attention. Rear window regulators (cables), timing chain replacement, rear axle bearing replacement, front seat motor switch replacement, transmission fluid flush and replace are a few of the recent things

- , Galt, CA, USA

problem #548

Oct 102006

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

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

We have multiple cracks in two areas. As a result, during heavy rain the water gets in, and the bottom of the gate gets wet ( The carpet inside by the latch).

Also the backup sensors stopped working due to this problem. I think it has to do with the water getting in.

When it first happened, we contacted Ford. Their replay was that it was cosmetic and did not affect safety.

Well, with the backup sensors not working, now it is a safety issue, is it not?!

We would fix it but it seams very expensive to buy the plastic panel and have it paint it. However, we know someone who took that route and the paint is peeling now.

- , West Chester, PA, USA

problem #547

Feb 032014

Explorer XLS V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

We first thought someone had keyed it as they have done all over this vehicle since day one.

But as we looked closer we found it is cracked. From what I have been reading Ford should be responsible especially if it cracks off . We need to drive from Florida to MN and I am worried it will fly off. We called our local dealer and they acted like what are you talking about??? Are now going to call insurance company.

- , Maplewood, MN, USA

problem #546

Jan 222014

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,622 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

I noticed this crack a couple of months ago after washing my 2002 Ford Explorer. Called my insurance company to file a claim. They said it is a defect in the panel, they gave me this Facebook page. I haven't taken it to my Ford deal, they said it should be a recall. I don't have $400.00 to get it fixed. Ford needs to take responsibility and fix it! (Warrenville, IL)

- , Warrenville, IL, USA

problem #545

Jul 212010

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,642 miles

Had panel replaced and subsequently cracked again. As of 2/2012 has 3 vertical cracks. Not worth the price to replace only to have it break again. Just living with a bad looking rear end. The rest of vehicle is still fairly good looking. Bummer that Ford won't replace with better materials.

- , Fresno, CA, USA

problem #544

Jan 112014

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I am quite surprised on how many Explorers I've found searching the web that have complained about the same problem. Some pictures I've seen show the SAME EXACT location and crack type that I have.

- , Miller Place, NY, USA

problem #543

Oct 012009

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Just let me know what material I can get to repair it, since I don't believe FORD will even bother to answer this.

- , Glenolden, PA, USA

problem #542

Jul 222011

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

Another common problem for the 2002 Ford Exploder. Ford won't stand behind it. Not much else to say other than KMA FMC.

- , Louisville, KY, USA

problem #541

May 012012

Explorer XLS 4.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

The cracked rear panel isn't a huge deal but its annoying and looks bad.

- , Glassboro, NJ, USA

problem #540

Nov 172012

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

The panel on my rear door broke off in 2008 I was shocked by this so I had it replaced and now 4 years later it broke off again. Ford should compensate all owners who have experienced this problem. I am mad as hell. I will never purchase a ford again !

- , Akron, OH, USA

problem #539

Jun 082011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

My parents bought this vehicle new. They had this problem within the first 20,000 miles, and the dealer replaced the broken piece. They had the same issue two more times before I inherited it. I owned it for a whole year before the piece cracked and then broke off in the car wash. The dealer said it would cost $167 for the piece, plus paint. I said, it wasn't my fault, and that Ford should fix it, but since there isn't a recall on it, they cannot give me a break. I called for, and they basically just said, thanks for you input, sorry you are having a bad time of it.

It's obviously just a crappy design job, and Ford actually did do a recall for older Explorers.

Ford obviously doesn't care about this issue at all.

- , Midland, TX, USA

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