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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,546 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 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Nov 282005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

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

Crack below rear window.

- Brazil, IN, USA

problem #30

Jul 152005

Explorer

  • miles
I have developed a crack in the plastic applique beneath the liftgate window. It appeared as a scratch and has morphed into a full blown crack about six inches long.

- Cornelius, NC, USA

problem #29

Jun 182003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer XLT. The contact has been having a problem with the rear end. The rear end made an extremely loud roaring sound. Took the vehicle the vehicle to three different repair shops. One said it was the tires, and the other two maintained that it was an expensive rear end problem. She talked to other people with this same type of vehicle and they all had this problem. Also, had a ring and pinion replaced in the rear end not long after she purchased the vehicle. Currently, they told her that this what was needed to be replaced again along with other parts, including the rear axle. This noise originally started at 55-65 mph, and now it was making noise at 40-70 mph. After going over 70 mph could not hear it as badly. Also, the vehicle was leaking fluid from the ring and pinion. A strange sound that was coming from under the hood, like a buzzing sound that sounds like transmission. In addition, the hatchback glass fell on the contact's head. It just popped out. This happened twice. They do not even attempt to open the glass in the hatch. The dealership where she purcahsed her vehicle still has records of what was replaced on vehicle.

- Carrier, MS, USA

problem #28

Mar 202005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,050 miles

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

I own a 2002 Ford Explorer. On 3/20/05 I noticed a crack on the back panel just below the upper lift gate. The crack is to the right of the Ford emblem and extends from the top to the bottom of this plastic panel. Upon contacting my dealer, I was informed by their body shop that this repair was covered by the original warranty. When I went to the body shop at the dealership I was told that the orginal warranty had expired, my original warranty started 6/29/01. I have only just reached 36,128 miles to date. I had purchased an esp premium care contract, but was told that it would not cover the repair my vehicle required even though I was told at the time I purchased the esp that it offered "bumper to bumper coverage." If I want this crack repaired it will have to be out of my pocket to the tune of $450. In any event, I feel that this should be a recall item as it seems as though it will inevitably weaken the upper liftgate window frame. I only learned about the upper liftgate hinge recall with this visit to the body shop. I have never received any recall info. From Ford. This crack seems as though it could only add to the dangerous situation only ready imposed by the upper liftgate. At the very least, I feel that my extended service plan should cover this repair ensuring the safety of my upper lift gate window. I paid over $900 for the esp coverage.

- Peterborough, NH, USA

problem #27

Feb 012005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 43,877 miles
Recall campaign: Recall issued for liftgate on 2002 Ford Explorer. Prior to the liftgate being repaired it opened twice without using the latch release. The plastic panel which is a part of the liftgate cracked but the dealer refused to replace it under the recall.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #26

Dec 192004

Explorer

  • miles
Recall campaign: The liftgate on the consumer's 2002 Ford Explorer was recall but no parts were available to repair it. Prior to the liftgate being repaired it opened twice without using the latch release. The plastic panel which is a part of the liftgate cracked but the dealer refused to replace it under the recall.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #25

Dec 192004

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles

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

The back hatch on my Ford Explorer has a crack in the plastic. Ford has told us that this is an on going problem but will not fix the problem. My truck is not the only one that I have seen.

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #24

Feb 012005

Explorer

  • miles
'recall campaign' issued for 2002 Ford Explorer, parts not available. (the rear lift gate window)

- Warren, PA, USA

problem #23

Feb 282005

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
Rear liftgate structure below the glass has cracked. Crack is 6 inches long and growing. It seems this is a issue that is related to the design flaw covered (recall 04S20). This flaw will eventually effect the structural integrity of the rear liftgate structure and make unsafe.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #22

Oct 042004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
NHTSA recall campaign 04V442000; Ford issued a rear liftgate recall. This vehicle was included in the recall, but there were no available parts in order to do recall repairs. This was dangerous because the liftgate could fall off.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #21

Feb 092005

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles

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

Several problems - at 9,000 miles my brakes went and had to have my rotors resurfaced by 23,000 miles my rear brakes were completely gone and my front brakes were nearly gone. This cost me over $1,000 to repair. At 25-27,000 miles my vehicle would not change gears properly. Going in reverse the vehicle would "bang" into gear, then going from park to any gear this would happen. On level ground and on hill. The dealership said they guessed at the problem and fixed something in the transmission. At 32,000 miles the piece of plastic under the liftgate window completely cracked. Since under warranty the dealership is fixing this. There has been a "whining" noise while using the gas pedal for some time that the dealership can not recreate.... I expect that to go wrong as soon as my warranty expires. I think you only get 36,000 mile warranty because they know the vehicle will fall apart after that!

- Holden, MA, USA

problem #20

Dec 272004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
NHTSA campaign 04V442000; Ford issued a rear liftgate glass recall. This vehicle is included in the recall, but the dealer does not have the available parts in order to repair.

- Burlington, WA, USA

problem #19

Nov 022004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,649 miles
Originally informed Ford dealer of loud shudder in vehicle upon starting when cold at about 11,000 miles and was told that is "normal" for this transmission and they do not know what causes it--"keep on driving it." Transmission over-drive light began to flicker at about 69,400 miles. Ford service department looked into the problem and had the vehicle for repair for over three weeks. Reported broken seal in trans and worn torque converter. Trouble "locking out" after repair so they replaced the warped valve body.

- Yakima, WA, USA

problem #18

Dec 172004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Panel directly below rear windshield cracked from top to bottom. Ford delorships and the Ford Motor Corporation refuse to repair it. I was told by the delorship and Ford that this was happening to hundreds 2002 Explorer nationwide. Some how, they still believe its not necessary to recall. They have, however, issued a techinical service bulletin to delorships nationwide with intructions on exactly how to fix it.

- Lyncburg, VA, USA

problem #17

Oct 122004

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer received a recall notice. However, consumer was still waiting for parts, and recall repairs had not been performed.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #16

Jan 212005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The consumer received a recall notice(04V442000) rear liftgate glass no parts available. Notice was received on Nov. 2004 however still no parts availabl to repair liftgate.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #15

Aug 122004

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer has received recall letter/recall number 04V442000. However, the consumer has been waiting for almost 4 months now. The problem still exist. Consumer was told there are no parts.

- Claymont, DE, USA

problem #14

Jan 042005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,757 miles
1. no event leading to failure. 2. rear hatch applique panel is damaged and cracked. 3. nothing. I had to pay for the repair since the vehicle has 45K miles. 9000 miles beyond the warranty.

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #13

Nov 152004

Explorer

  • miles
Recall campaign: No parts available for recall#04S20 rear liftgate. Freeway Ford 281-588-5000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #12

Nov 202004

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 42,000 miles
Plastic body piece under rear glass on door cracked due to stress. Broke while driving down road. No impact.

- Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

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