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 6 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Dec 202004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,850 miles

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

Ford Explorer, 2002. Stress crack (about one eighth inch wide, seven inches long) in frame below rear hatch window, to the left of the Ford name plate. Crack occured without any external force being applied (no collision, not struck by foreign object, etc.) the frame is simply not able to carry the weight of the glass window. Consequently, the rear glass window appears to be in danger of falling out. This is the identical problem as reported at www.NHTSA.dot.gov in oid numbers: 10049180, 10052830, 10052901, 10053989, 10079762, 10104457, 10105660. In each case, neither the dealer nor Ford would fix the defective window frame. And likewise, they will not fix the one on my vehicle, even though I have an extended warrenty in effect. An individual in the body shop at my dealer said that he has recently seen about a dozen similar problems.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #10

Dec 202004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
The panel on the rear liftgate which contains the Ford emblem cracked for no reason and I was informed by 2 dealerships that it has happened many times in the past to similar Ford vehicles but that they will not repair mines because it has over 36,000 miles on it, but my complaint is that it is a factory defect and the amount of miles should not matter towards Ford repairing this defect.

- Pottstown, PA, USA

problem #9

Aug 212004

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,559 miles
1) I opened the top part of the lift gate, and left it open 2) I heard a loud crash, while nobody was within 15 feet of the vehicle. The window had catashrophic failure, and laid on the ground in pieces. It appears that the weight of the lift gate was too intense for the strength of the glass. 3)it happened yesterday, and has not been repaired yet.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #8

Jun 032004

Explorer

  • 40,000 miles

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

Rear hatch back window shattered when opened. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem. Dup of 10079152.pco

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #7

Jun 082004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
Liftgate glass applique cracked. I notified the Ford dealership, and they told me that because my car was no longer covered under warranty, Ford would not replace this item. I explained to them that this was a structural defect, and that I did nothing to cause the plastic to crack. They were very unsympathetic to my needs. This is a two year-old car, and I feel that if they do not fix this problem, by back window will not be secure, therefore causing yet another problem for me. The service manager told me that he has seen a number of Explorer's come in with the exact same defect. This crack has nothing to do with mileage or abuse to the car. I feel that Ford should replace and repair this defect at no charge to me, and issue a recall on this model.

- Paso Robles, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 102004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
Glass lift hatch opens while driving. Rear door liftgate intermittently unlatches and unlocks while vehicle was moving. Dealer made four attempts to fix problem. Ford weren't able to find out the cause of the problem.

- Midland, MI, USA

problem #5

Feb 262004

(reported on)

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,594 miles

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

The consumer complained about a rear hatch back window problem. There was a crack at the base of the window approximately 8 inches wide.

- Orrick, MO, USA

problem #4

Jan 092004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
I have a crack down the back hatch of my Explorer. It extends from underneath the back window to the latch of the back door. It developed without incident and steadily widens on a daily basis.

- Braselton, GA, USA

problem #3

Jan 102004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,130 miles
Found stress crack in rear hatch...goes from the bottom of glass to the bottom of the hatch...this is a dangerous problem that someone else reported to you on your site. This is a defect that could cause an accident or injury since the glass may dislodge and create a accident...bringing to dealer to get fixed. Panel cracked (vertical) down trim plate. Cold temp contraction. Purchased 08/02. 04/02 dob. New design

- Lynbrook, NY, USA

problem #2

Dec 042003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
I purchased a 2002 Ford Explorer. The rear hatch has cracked opening approximately 1/16 inch wide through the hatch below the window approximately. 5 inches long. Ford has agreed to repair under warranty by gluing the crack. As I have seen numerous injuries from other cracked hatches, I want Ford to replace the hatch not just glue a repair. They have refused.

- Millis, MA, USA

problem #1

Oct 172003

Explorer

  • miles
The half way cargo glass exploded while consumer opened the door. Technician stated it was related to NHTSA recall 01I010000. Vehicle description: 2002 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer sport utility vehicles. The brackets connecting the left cylinders to each side of the liftgate glass could rotate out of position if either the urethane bond or torque are not sufficient. This was not a safety recall; however, it was deemed as a safety improvement campaign by NHTSA. Dup_pco

- South Plainfield, NJ, USA

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