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:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,060 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #40

Nov 152008

Explorer

  • 100,000 miles

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

2002 Ford Explorer developed a crack below the rear hatch window extending down and to the right of the Ford emblem. Since then I have observed these on dozens of Explorer. My vehicle was not involved in an accident, nor was the hatch being used when this occurred. I feel it is a safety issue since the glass could fall out on the highway. Ford in no way acknowledges the issue that has hundreds of complaints on message board.

- Denham Springs, LA, USA

problem #39

Mar 212009

Explorer

  • 103,000 miles
The rear panel below the rear window of my 2002 Ford Explorer cracked. While in the car wash, two thirds of the rear panel fell off the back of the vehicle. I have found out that this is an expensive replacement and that Ford has been made aware of the problem. My concern is if it fell off in a car wash what would happen if it fell off while I was driving 55-65 mph on the highway? also, I am not thrilled about the idea of having to spend $500 to fix a piece of my vehicle that should remain intact.

- Amherst, NH, USA

problem #38

Dec 012006

Explorer

  • miles
2 cracks in the hatchback above the logo.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #37

Feb 042009

Explorer

  • 69,500 miles

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

Crack in hatchback directly below window.

- Berryville, VA, USA

problem #36

Feb 062009

Explorer

  • 80,148 miles
Noticed what appeared to be a small scratch just below the glass on the plastic portion of 200 Explorer liftgate. On Friday Feb 6, 2009 there was a split from top to bottom. Ford is doing nothing about this problem even though it seems to possibly be related to the liftgate hinge recall already issued by the NHTSA.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #35

Dec 122008

Explorer

  • 104,000 miles
When I saw a crack on the Ford applique, I went to my local Ford dealer to see who I should contact about this problem. I've never had any problems with my Explorer; took excellent care of it; no dents, dings, accidents. The dealer told me I must have slammed the trunk too hard in cold weather. If that were the case, I should have cracks in all four doors (and the hood). They wanted to give me the name of a body shop to have it repaired. I said, no, this should be Ford's responsibility. I contacted Ford's corporate office, they replied that there's no recall nor is it under warranty and that I would have to pay for the repair. I will not! this was not something that I did! this is poor workmanship! I have had numerous Ford Taurus station wagons before this Explorer, and have had no problems with them... I placed this complaint on "auto beef". my complaint was #304, there are now 315 complaints on the same problem. I'm afraid this could fall of while driving.

- Tinley Park, IL, USA

problem #34

Dec 122008

Explorer

  • 104,000 miles

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

When I saw a crack on the Ford applique, I went to my local Ford dealer to see who I should contact about this problem. I've never had any problems with my Explorer; took excellent care of it; no dents, dings, accidents. The dealer told me I must have slammed the trunk too hard in cold weather. If that were the case, I should have cracks in all four doors (and the hood). They wanted to give me the name of a body shop to have it repaired. I said, no, this should be Ford's responsibility. I contacted Ford's corporate office, they replied that there's no recall nor is it under warranty and that I would have to pay for the repair. I will not! this was not something that I did! this is poor workmanship! I have had numerous Ford Taurus station wagons before this Explorer, and have had no problems with them... I placed this complaint on "auto beef". my complaint was #304, there are now 315 complaints on the same problem. I'm afraid this could fall off while driving.

- Tinley Park, IL, USA

problem #33

Jan 012007

Explorer

  • 75,000 miles
My 2002 Ford Explorer has 2 cracks from top to bottom in the back rear panel. I noticed the first on around January 2007 and the second one January 2009.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #32

Sep 152008

Explorer

  • 120,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer and all of a sudden the O/D light started flashing I have read other peoples experiences and this has led me to file a complaint about this and now that I realize that im not the only one well I hope you can help I was expecting for this vehicle to last longer than my 1994 Dodge Ram. And another thing the side of the windows started pealing off my back door is cracked because it would not close right and none of my three of my windows have stopped working at one time. This car is full of malfunctions and I thing that there should be something done about it I bought it brand new and paid 25,000 for this piece of junk.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #31

Jan 162009

Explorer

  • 155,000 miles
Approximately a year ago the top panel of the back tailgate began cracking on the right side of the "Ford" symbol. Yesterday morning I came out to find another crack in the panel in the exact same spot except on the left side of the "Ford" symbol. The first crack is about 1/8" wide and split approximately halfway down the back panel. The second crack spans from the top of the panel to the bottom and is approximately 1/4-1/2" wide. I did not hit anything and there is no structural damage to the car otherwise. The panel has not been corrected or fixed yet.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #30

Apr 012008

Explorer

  • miles

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

I have a 2002 Ford Explorer and the panel below the back window hatch has multiple cracks. I found on the internet that this seems to be a common problem for the 2002 Ford Explorer. I contacted Ford and Ford said that because it's out of warranty that they won't cover the repair. This seems to be the common answer that Ford is giving to everyone that is experiencing this problem too.

- Shoreham, NY, USA

problem #29

Jan 062007

Explorer

  • miles
Unexplained crack in the rear hatch lid.

- Colchester, CT, USA

problem #28

Dec 152008

Explorer

  • 88,000 miles
The liftgate cracked in 3 places. It started a year ago with one crack, then another crack appeared 6 months later. A few weeks ago a 3 crack appeared. The Ford dealer refused to help and a call to Ford was not returned.

- West Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #27

Jun 142004

Explorer

  • 45,000 miles
Cracked panel on below window on 2002 Explorer.

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #26

Oct 312007

Explorer

  • miles
Cracked tailgate applique (under rear glass). Dealer won't replace, car under extended warranty. Was never hit or abused.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #25

Jan 012009

Explorer

  • 101,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer and the panel below the back window hatch has cracked for seemingly no reason. I found on the internet that this seems to be a common problem for the 2002-2004 block of Ford Explorer. I have just over 100K miles on my vehicle and Ford said that because it's out of warranty that they won't cover the repair. This seems to be the common answer that Ford is giving to everyone that is experiencing this problem too.

- Jacksonville, AR, USA

problem #24

Jul 252008

Explorer

  • miles
I have not been involved in any accident, nor any incidences of property damage. It happens that on a Saturday during the summer, I noticed a crack in the liftgate of my vehicle. It is a clean and totally straight crack directly under the glass, measuring approximately 6 inches long and 1 to 1/12 wide. While driving and everytime I see an Explorer, I look to see if there is a defect in that particular area of their vehicle and I have seen several, which prompts me to think that this is in fact a defect. I took the vehicle to the repair shop and am told that it would be over $1800 to have repaired as they will need to order an entire lift gate vs. Repairing the one that on their currently. Have you had any reported incidences such as this? I noticed this in July of this year.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #23

Nov 272008

Explorer

  • 50,200 miles
A crack appeared on the rear hatch door under the rear window. The crack just appeared one morning without any direct action. Now I have 2 cracks. A search on the internet showed that this problem is happening to many 2002 Ford Explorer.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #22

Jan 162007

Explorer

  • 48,000 miles
1. due to a recall (Ford recall no. 04S20. ), the liftgate glass operation system was replaced in 2005. Since early 2007, the same glass struts and hinges are apparently having problem -- first it took extra effort to raise the glass to the fully opening position, then while the glass is lifted open, it unexpectedly dropped down. I got hit 3 times at my head or hands by the sudden dropped glass and frame; it coursed bleeding on my hand once. This is certainly of serious safety concern. I really doubt if the Ford dealer (gainesville Ford in gainesville, fl) correctly performed the recall job in 2005, as they have a reputation of low standards of service and technique. But, Ford, as the manufacturer, should have also taken the responsibility of enforcing the recall job meet the standard. Otherwise, what is point of going through the recall? 2. since July of 2008, I started to notice that the back liftgate panel start having cracking under the rear window. I suspect that this is related to the malfunction of the liftgate glass struts or hinges, the same system that was previously recalled. Nonetheless, this is clearly a safety issue as well, since the crack appearing reflects the liftgate being unstable and the glass having much higher risk of accidentally breaking, therefore coursing injury. This vehicle, with only 60 K miles, has been taken good care. Through searching internet, I found this appears to be a quite common issue for Explorer 2002 model. It is absolutely not acceptable to have this kind safety issue ignored by Ford for so long. Please help to get Ford to truly realize their responsibility and give the massive affected public justice. Thank you very much! J. james jia

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #21

Nov 162008

Explorer

  • 69,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer rear liftgate panel cracking below glass.

- Richmond, VA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?