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 5 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #86

Sep 212004

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,500 miles

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

The rear liftgate window assembly came completely out of the frame. Vehicle was immobile at the time of the occurrence. Consumer contacted the dealer, who was unable to assist the consumer. Vehicle was 2000 miles over warranty.

- Lincoln, CA, USA

problem #85

Jun 142004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
While opening my rear hatch window of a 2002 Ford Explorer, the driver-side hinge (strut.pco) which lifts the window came off, decompressing hard enough to completely shatter the window above me. I had several cuts to my neck, arms and head but nothing life threatening. I went to Ford about this and they admitted that they were aware of such a problem but because I am beyond the 36K factory warranty, they would not do the repairs for me. I asked about the extended warranty which I paid $2000 for and was told that this warranty would not cover any repairs. I had to pay my $500 insurance deductable to cover the repairs at my loss. Since June, I have searched all over the internet and find literally hundreds of complaints which not only had the same outcome, but the same sort of freak accident. Why does Ford not value safety? if my 2 year old child were standing next to me as he always does, he might have been killed.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #84

Sep 152004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
The right side piston assembly on the rear tailgate failed. As I was going to close the tailgate, the whole window shattered on top of me, resulting in glass in my face and the top of my head. I have done some research and seen that there is a "safety campaign" concerning this issue. What does that mean? I have contacted the dealer and have gotten no response.

- Cheyenne, WY, USA

problem #83

Sep 142004

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

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

Drivers side lift arm on rear hatch failed to retract, causing hatch to close with arm extended resulting in damage to left hinge on drivers side rear hatch. Lift arm was defective in that it would not work properly. Required replacement of drivers side lift arm and drivers side hinge. Rear hatch now does not line up properly.

- Ohio, OH, USA

problem #82

Aug 082004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,100 miles
The rear lift gate hinge became loose and the lift gate arm snapped out, I only had this vehicle for six months, I contacted the local dealer the person at the parts dept had exactly the same issue with exactly the same vehicle except his was under warranty my has 54K, he recommended contact their body shop which it was very familiar with the issue they checked any recalls regarding this issue their computer reported a somehow familiar issue with the 2002 Ford Explorer, they also mention that as of 2004 they had redesigned the location of the lift gate arm placement. They suggested new parts from Ford for $21.77 + labor. I'm looking this as an issue that should be recalled since has been a little use to this vehicle and this has been a common problem at the local dealer or doing a little research online. PE04045.pco.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #81

Aug 152004

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,900 miles
The hinge broke on the liftgate of the vehicle. PE04045.pco

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #80

Jul 222004

Explorer

  • 49,260 miles

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

The rear hatchback hinges failed, causing the window to fall into the vehicle. The dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem. PE04045.pco

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #79

Aug 182004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,150 miles
The rear window gate on our 2002 Ford Explorer has shattered twice from the simple act of closing the window.1.) my wife on both occasions was loading the back of the vehicle. The glass in the window shatters and spray bits of glass to a 5 -8 ft raidus. 2) this last incident she was in a crowded parking lot. She was closing the window gate when the glass shattered at about the half closed position. The bottom of the window gate fell to the ground, glass hit the cars on both sides our car. Glass hit her in the face and all over her upper body. Luckily she had her sun glasses on, so no glass was thrown into her eyes. It could have been alot worse had my 7 year old son been helping her like he normally does. 3.) Ford Motor Company refuses to aknowledge the problem causing us to incurr over $1500 in repair costs or an insurance claim. The Ford dealership we use says that it is a common occurance and they have numerous repairs of this type on 2002 Explorer. Parts are readily available but it involves body work so it takes up to a week to get it fixed. PE04045.pco

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #78

Aug 142004

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
While the vehicle was parked, the rear hatch window exploded without warning. No injuries reported. Please provide additional information. PE04045.pco

- Golden, CO, USA

problem #77

Jul 272004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The liftgate bracket cracked and the glass shattered. When this occurred driver was standing against the liftgate, and sustained cuts from the pieces of glass. Recall 01I01000 was issued for this component, but this vehicle was not included in the recall due to VIN. PE04045.pco

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #76

Jul 222004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

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

I opened the top part of the tailgate on my 2002 Ford Explorer last night and the right hinge broke and fell on my head. Luckily the glass didn't break and I wasn't injured. This is not the first case of this happening, I have come to find out. One of the other people this happened to (same year and model) was trapped underneath the hatch momentarily. I have documentation from this person of the incident that occured to him. This seems to be either a manufacturer's defect or something and luckily my 3 year old daughter who likes to climb in the back while I'm loadng the truck, wasn't there or it would have hit her in the head. Please tell me what I can do about this other than pay an arm and a leg to get it fixed and hope it doesn't happen again! PE04045.pco

- Erieville, NY, USA

problem #75

May 132004

Explorer

  • 39,700 miles
Recall 01L010000, driver's side liftgate bracket snapped, causing the glass to shatter. Dealership would not repair the problem because this vehicle was not included in the recall due to VIN. PE04045.pco

- Leonardtown, MD, USA

problem #74

Jul 152004

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
When closing the rear hatch glass window shattered. PE04045.pco

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #73

Jul 062004

Explorer

  • 32,000 miles
While closing the rear window rear glass unexpectedly shattered. No injuries reported. Consumer contacted the dealer for an appointment. PE04045.pco

- Beale Afb, CA, USA

problem #72

Jun 102004

Explorer

  • 80,000 miles
Hinge on liftgate glass broke and partially fell off, causing minor bruises finger & head injuries. PE04045.pco.

- Kyle, TX, USA

problem #71

Jun 302004

Explorer

  • miles
Ford 2002 Explorer. I had my one year old in a grocery cart, popped open the hatch, opened it and the glass shattered all over the cart with the bottom of the hatch swinging out toward the cart. Thankfully my child was not harmed. I went to Ford, they said it was not covered under a recall and that it was not a safety issue. They said they had never seen anything like this and that it was my responsibility to fix. PE04045.pco

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #70

Jun 262004

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I opened only the window portion of my back hatch and noticed that one of the hydraulic arms was no longer attached to the glass so I began lowering it and the glass shattered in my hands. Consequent repairs are going to cost over $700 being as it is out of warranty though just over 2 years old. PE04045.pco

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #69

Jun 192004

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
After I parked the Explorer at the mall, I opened the rear liftgate glass to take out the stroller. After I set the stroller up, I reached up to close the liftgate glass. At this point, while my hand is still on the liftgate, the glass shattered and exploded with glasses flew everywhere. The baby stroller is covered with glasses. Unfortunately, I had not put my 8 months old baby is the stroller or else his face would be covered with glasses. At this point, I felt a sharp pain on my right hand and saw that there were two cuts and I was bleeding everywhere. After dropping the Explorer at a dealer nearby, I went to the urgent care and got 12 stitches for the cuts. I called Ford customer relationship center on Monday to report the incident and was told to wait for 2 business days for the Ford Consumer Affairs to call me back. After two days of waiting, I called back and this time I was told that it might take up to 7 days before they can call me back. I did some research on this problem and found out that there are numerous complaints filed with NHTSA regarding this problem and there is an open investigation by ODI (opened on 06/02/2004). Apparently, shortly after the introducing the 2002 Explorer for sale, Ford issued a special service instruction (ssi 01I-010) in April of 2001 to correct a liftgate lift cylinder mount issued in 56,000 vehicles built from 2/5/2001 to 3/30/2001. All vehicles built after that period were to have an improved lift cylinder mounting design. My Explorer was built on 04/20/2001. However, I am very suspicious that this build date might be wrong since I kept the window sticker and the dealer's invoice when I bought the Explorer and the dates on those is 04/09/2001. Why is this date (04/09/2001) before my Explorer's production date (04/20/2001)? my Explorer might have been built during this 2/5/2001 - 3/20/2001 period since there are numerous complaints on this problem with known build dates after April 2001 period. PE04045.pco

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #68

Sep 162003

(reported on)

Explorer

  • miles
Vehicle's hatchback glass shattered. Two incidents occurred where the consumers hatch back glass shattered.the dealership repaired them twice but the consumer feels that there is definitely something defective in the manufacture of the hatchback door/glass. And maybe measures need to be taken for a recall issued. PE04045.pco

- Sarver, PA, USA

problem #67

Jun 132004

Explorer

  • miles
Returning home one Sunday evening from grocery shopping with my grand-daughters(ages 4 and 5),I removed them from the vehicle and sent them in the house, while my teenage son and I unloaded the groceries. After the last of the groceries were removed, my son started to close the liftgate glass. As I stood next to him, the liftgate glass had only made it halfway down, when there was an explosion.the liftgate glass had disintegrated as if shot with a gun. At the time of this incident, I had the Explorer backed into the garage. So when the glass exploded, it flew outward towards us, as well as inward into the vehicle. The next day, I drove the Explorer back to the dealership with the liftgate glass missing. I was fortunate to still be under warranty, but when I asked the Ford service advisor to confirm that this problem will be covered under the warranty, he was not reassuring. Not having that confirmation that the dealership was going to cover this upset me greatly. I was called by the dealership later that day (Monday), only to try to persuade me to agree to $500 dollars worth of maintenance, unrelated to the liftgate problem. In this same call, the service advisor did confirm that the dealership would fix the problem.two days have gone by, and I haven't heard from the dealership so I called and found out they had ordered a new liftgate glass and would replace it. However, by the end of the week (Friday), I called them again, since no one was calling me with updates and was told by the service advisor that they will have to replace the entire liftgate door. And because of this they will have to keep the vehicle for a few more days, since they now will have to paint the new liftgate door to match the color of the vehicle. At this writing, the dealership has had the vehicle for over a week now. I don't have an accurate account of what was specifically changed (I.e. parts), but I will insist on a detailed list of what was done and why. PE04045.

- Pflugerville, TX, USA

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