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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 1
Average Mileage:
60,366 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Dec 012008

Explorer

  • 115,000 miles

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

The back plastic panel under the rear window of my Ford Explorer 2002 cracked for no reason. I noticed that many Ford and Mercury have the same problem - this is a defect.

- Somerset, NJ, USA

problem #17

Nov 282008

Explorer

  • 124,996 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. When the contact closed the rear hatch, the left hinge failed and the glass shattered. Nhsta campaign id number 04V442000 (structure:body:hatchback/liftgate:hinge and attachments) was referenced. The insurance Agency was notified, but the manufacturer was not. The failure and current mileages were 124,996.

- Waxaw, NC, USA

problem #16

Oct 202008

Explorer

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that when he lifted the liftgate on the rear of the vehicle, it would only hold for a few seconds before coming back down. The failure occurred on several occasions, one of which injured the contact's back. The manufacturer stated that they would not assist with the repairs because the failure was not deemed as a safety related defect. The failure mileage was 80,000 and current mileage was 93,000.

- Pittsfield, ME, USA

problem #15

Oct 162008

Explorer

  • 65,000 miles

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

2002 Ford Explorer rear hatch has a crack in it.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #14

Oct 052008

Explorer

  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While attempting to close the rear door, the rear liftgate and hinge on the top left side became loose. The rear glass fell out and shattered all over the contact and her child. She took the vehicle to her mechanic and was notified of NHTSA campaign id number 04V442000 (structure:body:hatchback/liftgate:hinge and attachments). She called Ford and was informed that her VIN was not included in the recall; therefore, they would not be responsible for the repair. The contact feels that the repair should be made for free since the failures are identical. The current and failure mileages were 69,000.

- Fair Haven, NJ, USA

problem #13

Apr 042008

Explorer

  • 82,545 miles
Right below the rear window cracked from window down to the bottom of door. (top half) I thought at first that someone must have tried to break in using a pry bar. Went through the car wash and when I came out I noticed the crack. Pissed me right off..I hate driving damaged cars.. this was not called for..why did it crack?

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #12

Feb 182007

Explorer

  • miles

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

Paint is blistering and chipping on the hood and fender of my 2002 Explorer. ABS light comes on and airbag light stays on.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #11

Jun 232008

Explorer

  • miles
I have problems closing the back window. Yesterday I was simply trying to close the back window, then about 1/3 way down out of no where the back window shattered all over me for the second time! very dangerous, especially around children. (good thing my children were about 15ft away, but they witness the whole thing). The first time the window shattered, it was maybe around 2004-05. (I can verify upon request). Supposedly dealership fixed the problem. (yeah right!) very disappointed in Ford!!

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #10

Apr 282008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 40,435 miles
The fuel system on my Ford Explorer went out completely at 40,000 miles. Also, the black panels between the windows are faded and peeling.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 012007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The body panel below the back window is cracked for no reason when I took my truck into a Ford dealer they said that is normal and Ford knew about the problem and there isn't anything they could due. So I called the Ford service number in my Ford handbook and the manager confirmed they knew about the problem but its not a recall out because its not a major problem and if I wanted it fixed I would have to pay. So I also asked about the transmission failure rate and I was also told they knew about that too (the transmissions fail under 100,000 miles) but there isn't a recall and I would have to pay to get the transmission fixed as well.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #8

Jan 252008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

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

The rear windows was recalled and the repair was performed. Now the back window failed as I am told by the Ford dealer has cracked. After some searching I see this is pretty common after the repair. www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Explorer/2002/windows_windshield/rear_lift_gate_window_exploded.shtml

- Warrington, PA, USA

problem #7

Jan 092007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The fiberglass panel on the back hatch of my 2002 Ford Explorer has cracked from the glass straight down apparently due to cold weather. I called the dealer and was told that for some reason this had happened a lot this winter. I was told to bring it in to be looked at by the service manager and that it would probably be taken care of or at least a 50/50 split. When I took it in the manager told me because of the miles on my vehicle there was nothing that they could do for me. I have since noticed that a lot of the Ford Explorer that have the 2 piece fiberglass panels are cracked also that are driving around. Can Ford be held accountable for this? I have no other damages to my vehicle and take very good care of it. But this is very noticeable and you can bet when I go to trade it in Ford will discount for this defect.

- House Spirings, MO, USA

problem #6

Feb 012007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Crack in the plastic panel under the rear glass. 02 Ford Explorer. Went to pick up kids from mothers house, and walked around truck, and saw it. Cracked all the way from the bottom to the top, in an upside down fashion. All the way through from top to bottom. Lots of other complaints on the internet, and around town with the same problem. Afraid it is also a rear glass problem, as the rear glass is attached to the cracked peice. Also heard there was at one time a recall on the rear glass of the 02.

- Kennett, MO, USA

problem #5

Jun 032006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Cracking in panel below rear window of my 2002 Ford Explorer. I fear the nature of the crack has increased the possibility for the rear window to fall out during driving. Crack has just appeared due to no consequence or misuse. This apparently is becoming a common problem for this vehicle.

- Redding, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 212005

(reported on)

Explorer

  • miles
Part that holds the back window in the Ford Explorer has developed a crack. ** answer required***.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #3

Jun 012005

Explorer

  • miles
2002 Ford Explorer safety bar to the tail gate cracked. The safety bar cracked and caused the back window to flex. The consumer suggested that this same problem may occur on his 2003 model as well.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #2

Nov 012002

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
When driving my 2002 Explorer, the cabin has a pounding sound when driving over any uneven surface, just like a booming stereo. It doesn't evevn have to be a large bump or bumps. After about 5 minutes of this noise, I end up getting a headache. This has never happened before in any other vehicle. I can attach a letter I sent to Ford with no reply.

- Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 162003

Explorer

  • miles
2 of my cousins were involved in a Ford Explorer tire blow out outside of raleigh nc on August 16th. Amal muaraka, a pediatric surgeon was killed instantly and summeet murarka was placed in icu as the non-Bridgestone tire blew out on the Ford Explorer and the vehicle flipped 5 times when the tire blew out. What will it take for the government to act on Ford's malicious deceit. Ford's history is plagued with serious issues such as the pinto that blew up and this time it was the governments inaction and Ford cover-up that prevented my cousin from living a full life at only the age of 33. I can only hope that the government will immediately recall the Ford Explorer line even if it causes serious costs and financial burden to Ford to save lives and prevent so many from the pain of tragedies such as the one that we have experienced. Again - it is my belief that it is the fatal design flaws in the Ford Explorer that caused this wreck and the death of my cousin - he is survived by his wife, and 2 daughters. Please stop Ford from murdering others!!!!

- Washington, DC, USA

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