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:
42 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,565 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 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #146

Feb 012008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. After the engine was turned off and the door was closed, the contact heard a loud noise. She noticed that the liftgate glass shattered. The vehicle was driven to the dealer, but no repairs were made. The vehicle was previously serviced for NHTSA campaign id number 04V442000(structure:body:hatchback/liftgate:hinge and attachments) in may of 2007. The current and failure mileages were 100,000. Updated 03-04-08 the consumer stated the problem was thought to be fixed back in April 2007, however the rear glass shattered again. TL the dealer stated that the brackets were replaced; however, the glass broke and sounded like an explosion. The vehicle has been at the dealer for 21 days to have the glass installed. The contact had to pay $948 to have the vehicle repaired. The contact has the brackets that should have been installed. She also spoke with the manufacturer and they didn't offer her any assistance.

- Stella , MO, USA

problem #145

Jan 202008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 eddie bauer Explorer transmission transmission type 5R55W started to slip and the vehicle has 110,000 mi. Next my O/D dash light started to flash and then the check transmission light went on. Dealer stated it was just a bad solenoid replacement cost of $1,000 or worse" second opinion stated that there is a buried code in the diagnostic about the overdrive wasn't working and the test drive by mech. Noted that 5th gear wasn't working. The independent mech. Stated that he was sorry when he found out it was an Explorer because he has a lot of this work. The transmission was overhauled to the sum of $2,710. Safety concern" well you have your family in this vehicle trying to merge onto a highway while your transmission is slipping or worse. To me this is as big as a safety item as their back glass lift gate they recalled. Or their roll over issue for that matter. So I may be one person but you just have to type in this issue on the internet and the number of complaints are incredible. Ok so many people have had the same issue. So go to their tsb and this is littered with transmission issues. This is clearly a faulty transmission from the start but apparently consumer complaints have not been enough for Ford to do the right thing here. I would ask that the NHTSA do what is in their power to request Ford to do the right thing here and reimburse us for fixing an obvious and dangerous design flaw.

- Lincolnshire, IL, USA

problem #144

Jan 062008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,500 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. In March of 2007, the contact found a crack in the center of the liftgate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and was informed that the warranty had expired. The vehicle was taken to the dealer again on January 6, 2008 and they stated that the repair was the contact's responsibility. The current mileage was 16,000 and failure mileage was 14,500. Updated 03-04-08

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #143

Jan 102008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,999 miles

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

Went to open liftgate when parked in the dark and cut hand on cracked panel. Called Ford, they are aware that the plastic panels are cracking in the cold/hot temp changes but are not recalling them. We taped the crack so our children won't get hurt. Please help. If you go to www.carcomplaints.com there are lots of people with this same problem. Thank you

- Boylston, MA, USA

problem #142

Sep 092007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,600 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. On September 9, 2007, the hinge failed on the liftgate and the glass fell out and shattered. He notified the dealer and a recall was found. The dealer advised him to take the vehicle to the Ford dealer. Ford stated that his VIN was not included in the recall and would not repair the vehicle. The manufacturer stated that the recall had been performed by the previous owners, however, it was done improperly at the time. The recall number was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 91,600. Updated 01-14-08. Updated 12/12/07.

- Westville, OK, USA

problem #141

Aug 202007

(reported on)

Explorer 8-cyl

  • miles
2002 Ford Explorer with tailgate problems customer states that the structural integrity of the tailgate assembly is in question* the consumer stated Ford had a recall for the 2002 Ford Explorer and will not longer honor fixing the problem with thousands of vehicles.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #140

Jan 092007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the plastic portion on the bottom of the rear liftgate cracked vertically. The current mileage is 78,000, and failure mileage was 75,000.

- Boiling Springs, SC, USA

problem #139

Jan 242007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,200 miles
- the contacted stated that the rear liftgate applique on the 2002 Ford Explorer was cracked. The applique held the back rear glass onto the liftgate. The liftgate glass strut may become disengaged if the rear lift gate was opened. The contact was unwilling to open the rear liftgate due to the crack. The contact spoke with dealership and Ford manufacturer, and was informed that the vehicle was not part of the recall due to the VIN. The vehicle had 67200 miles.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #138

Feb 172007

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,355 miles
The liftgate exterior cracked down the middle with no pressure being applied, maybe the weather made it crack, but this is a manufacturers defect.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #137

Feb 122007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The back panel of our Ford Explorer has cracked the vertical length of the to panel. Have seen many other Explorer with the same defect.

- Broomall, PA, USA

problem #136

Jan 132007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,312 miles

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

Ford replaced the liftgate glass hinge on this Explorer per your recall notice on Sept. 1, 2005. On January 13, as I closed the liftgate (gently, not slamming it) it exploded into shards of glass that went all over the garage and cut my face. Glass flew in front of the car. I had only closed the liftgate approximately 2 inches from its full open position when this occurred. There was nothing to impede the closure, and the liftgate did not strike anything on its way down.

- Edwards, CO, USA

problem #135

Dec 092006

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
The panel below the rear window gets vertical cracks. It happened the first time at about 60,000. The dealer where I purchased it replaced the rear panel as part of the hinge warranty recall. At the time, it had 1 vertical crack. I now have 100K on my car and the cracks have happened again. I now have 3 vertical cracks. This is definitely a defect. My daughter has the same car and has the same problem. On carcomplaints.com there are 48 people who have reported the same problem. The Ford dealer said that Ford does not acknowledge that this is a design defect and will not cover repair of this. This is a safety issue because with the cracks the upper rear panel has lost it's integrity and the window could dislodge.

- Kingwood, TX, USA

problem #134

Nov 032006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
: the contact stated the bracket connecting the right strut to the liftgate rotated out of position, causing the liftgate glass to fall and shatter. The vehicle was taken to a service dealer, who was unable to determine the problem. The manufacturer was also notified. There was a NHTSA recall # 01I010000 which pertained to the side and rear glass. The vehicle was not included in the recall due to the VIN.

- Golden, CO, USA

problem #133

Sep 022006

Explorer

  • miles
I have taken in my 2002 Ford twice to have the hatch hinge repaired. The third time I took it in to the dealership was because I got a recall for my vehicle. The recall description was for: The liftgate glass strut may become disengaged or the hinge may fracture allowing the glass to fall and possibly break. After a year of it's recall the hinge again popped out but this time the rear glass of my vehicle did shatter. I took my vehicle again to the Ford dealership (where I've taken it now for the fourth time) and they stated that because they already "fixed" the recalled part they were not obligated to replace the rear window hatch. Two things are possible: 1. the Ford dealership installed the recalled part incorrectly or 2. the recalled part was also defective. I am not going to pay out of my pocket for the recalled part to be fix.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #132

Jul 082006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 32,256 miles
2002 Ford Explorer rear window hinge broke scraping the rear window. The liftgate hinge snapped off as the consumer opened the rear glass window. The broken hinge also caused the rear class to scrape the paint on the upper rear portion of the vehicle when the glass broke off the hinge. The consumer contacted he dealer. They advised the consumer that they were aware of the problem at to bring the vehicle in. The technician check the vehicle VIN against the recall and informed the consumer that the vehicle was not included in recall 04V442000. The consumer paid to have the hinge replaced.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #131

Aug 162006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,027 miles
: the contact stated the transmission slipped at variable speeds, sometimes not engaging the next higher gear or at times the engine would race, then slam into gear with a banging noise. The vehicle was taken to a service dealer where computer diagnostics would not recognize the 5th gear in the automatic transmission. The transfer case was rebuilt, but the problem continued. The vehicle has been inspected on 7 occasions. The rear lift gate window hinge was replaced, but continued to fall out of the hinge. The manufacturer was notified.

- Wildwood, MO, USA

problem #130

Mar 012005

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle started to hesitate when shifting, whining noise from rear end as well. Over drive light on, then finally vehicle stopped engaging gears. 2002 Explorer has been sitting in driveway for one year due to transmission failure. Ford not willing to fix the problem. Vehicle has 58000 miles. Prior to this incident rear hatch window blew out two times with the second time glass blew off so violently it damaged paint on new vehicle (dealer and Ford manufacturer refused to pay for repair and instructed me to file insurance claim) damage to other car was clearly due to defect in window hatch mechanism and they should pay. Nothing has been done.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #129

Jun 112006

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
The back glass lift gate which had been replaced once before due to a recall broke. The glass door opened with the button on the key fob, and as I reached into the car to put a stroller in the door, it slammed down and hit the back of my head forcing my chin to also slam into the frame of the door.

- Port Washington, NY, USA

problem #128

Jun 032006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,400 miles
Campaign number: 04V442000 date: 2004-Sep-13 component: Structure: Body: Hatchback/liftgate: Hinge and attachments the Ford Explorer had the recall work performed fall of Oct 11,2005. On June 3,2006, about 8 months, the epoxy/tar used to "secure" the strut bracket on the glass failed in 90+degree weather (moderate sunny day, it will get hotter). From observation, using adhesive to prevent the ball joint from pivoting was a bad design. I opened the glass liftgate and started to reach in and the glass lift gate slammed down on my head. Due to local temperature and regular vibration from driving and the load from the strut, the adhesive yielded and the ball joint rotated causing the strut to pop off causing the glass liftgate to come down abruptly and without warning. Had this happen to my wife, she would have been seriously injured being petite. I notified the Ford company and the dealer, both decline to repair the repair performed under recall as it was pass their warranty of 12 month or 12,000 miles. It was over the 12,000 miles. So I guess after 12 month or 12000 miles, Ford is no longer liable if the recall repair injures or kills someone as it was a repair under a recall.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #127

May 022006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
: the contact stated there are three cracks in the rear hatchback door above the emblem. The dealer and manufacturer have been alerted.

- Hackensack, NJ, USA

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