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 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

Feb 222003

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Hydrolic arm on back liftgate broke 3 times and was "repaired" at the dealer. It broke a fourth time, causing the liftgate window to shatter. The glass and falling debris scratched the paint on the back of the vehicle. I was not notified of the recall. PE04045.pco

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #25

Jul 102002

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Last summer (July 2002) during a military move from ga to AZ I noticed that my windshield had a large piece of glass missing on the outter right edge that you could not see until you actually got right up on the windshield. Part of it was visible to and part of it was hidden behind the rubber seal that is around the windshield. This windshield was actually installed with this piece missing from it when the vehicle was built and sent to the dealership. Also, the rear glass hatch, gas shock twisted from its original position and caused the window to be off center by about an inch or more. After fixing it three times it had to be replaced. Both of these problems (the windshield and the gas shock) have been fixed by my local dealership and thus far have held up. There are numerous other complaints that I have on my vehicle that include the elecrical system not functioning properly. When you turn the truck on sometimes all the dashboard lights stay on as well as the interior lights and you have to shut the truck down and back on several times in order for them to go out. The truck will sometimes stall at take off or will lurch while shifiting into a higher gear and has totally shut down while driving down the road on a few occasions. The trim paint on the doors, both front and passenger has faded there are rusted spots in the paint on the top of the vehicle, and the hood has a very bad orange peel effect on it with grit in the paint. The left rear speaker has busted and the panel on the rear hatch below has broken loose as well as one of the plastic bracket covers on the back of the passenger seats. PE04045.pco

- Ft Huachuca, AZ, USA

problem #24

Dec 182002

Explorer

  • miles
NHTSA#14956-01-F-061-000 lift gate glass bracket rotation of the bracket could potentially cause the lift cylinders to detach from the glass: Consumer states has the same problem. Dealer has been notified provide further information. Ts PE04045.pco

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #23

May 102002

Explorer 4WD

  • miles

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

For the second time in five months, our Explorer back window has exploded, propelling the window and frame outwards, cutting my husbands arm and shattering glass all over him and our driveway. He was attempting to close the tailgate, but was just lowering it, when it flew out. The second time it happened, my daughter was raising the window, and the frameand window flew out, and hit her in the shoulder, spraying glass all over her and imbedding it in the garage wall. This time they replaced the back window with a completely re-designed window. We told them that we didn't want the vehicle, because we were afraid of future injuries and were actually afraid to use it again. The dealership told us it was Ford problem, not theirs, and so we contacted Ford. A representative promised to get back with us after taking the information, but it has been over a week now, and we have not been contacted. I hope you can help us resolve this matter. Should there have been a recall? dt PE04045.pco

- Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #22

Aug 242002

Explorer

  • miles
Rear liftgate window exploded in consumer's face. Cause of explosion is unknown. PE04045.pco

- La Quanta, CA, USA

problem #21

Aug 192002

Explorer

  • miles
While opening the rear top hatchback, the rear window exploded in my wife's face while my 4 year old sat in the rear seat. My wife received minor scratches from the flying glass. My son was shaken but not injured as the shattered glass flew appx 15 feet outward and to the left and right. Since the bottom panel of the top half of the rear gate is only attached to the car by the glass and the defogger cable, this four foot by six inch metal panel slammed to the ground just missing my wife's legs. I was in the house at the time and heard what sounded like a small explosion when it burst. It was terribly frightening to my wife and son. I brought the car to the dealer who at first told me that it was not a warranty issue and I should go to a glass repair shop. I refused and asked them to fix it and inpect the work. They told me they had "only" three or so reported incidents of breakage in past year and that the previous recall notices I received for the rear window had nothing to do with what happened. They said my car was fine after it was checked for the recall notice two previuos times prior to this incident. I am waiting for the car to be repaired. PE04045.pco

- Malverne, NY, USA

problem #20

Jul 032002

Explorer

  • miles

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

My 2002 Ford Explorer was parked in an parking lot. Returning to my vehicle I attempted to place my items in the back section of the SUV. When the hatchback glass was opened the left hydraulic lift shattered the rear glass. The glass flew to the front seat and 3 car lenghts over in the parking lot. I have taken my Ford Explorer back to the dealer for repair. The rear panel was replaced after a month of waiting. But we are not fully satisfied with the repair. Ford is sending replacement parts that have a buldge in the bottom panels. So we are on our second door and still waiting for a new part. It is funny how you can buy a vehicle that looks perfect but when you get replacement parts you get less than perfect. Makes me wonder if they are really Ford parts. The problem we are having now is not a safety hazard, but it is a value problem if we sell or trade in this SUV. We are very disappointed that after buying the vehicle we where never told of the recall. This problem was recalled in April of 2001. PE04045.pco

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #19

Aug 012002

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While parked with rear window of liftgate raised for about 30 minutes, it was shattered. Occupant did get cut by pieces flying of glass. Temperature that day was about 70 degrees. A witness saw the incident, and told the other party that the young lady didn't do anything to cause this. Glass/assembly is being ordered and glass has been modified. A Ford dealership told her that they have never heard of an incident like this. PE04045.pco

- Granby, MA, USA

problem #18

Mar 092002

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer states attempted to open liftgate to unload groceries when the liftgate blew out crashing on the top of the roof of the truck, shattering the glass to the liftgate window. Vehcle has been shop for 14 days. Body roof was badly damaged. PE04045.pco

- Calumet City, IL, USA

problem #17

Jul 042002

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
Mounting bracket on glass liftgate became detached from strut-lift mechanism joint upon reaching maximum extension causing glass to fall onto my head. Reported to dealer but not repaired/replaced due to parts N/a. often have difficulty turning ignition switch after inserting either of the factory keys. It requires a "jiggling" motion to engage and turn ignition. PE04045.pco

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #16

Jun 022002

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

While opening manual tailgate window glass exploded, glass was thrown inside vehicle with such force that interior panels were scratched. Please provide additional information. Re-eval to be valid since PE opening_pco pe04045_pco

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #15

Oct 202001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
Collapse of tailgate window/structure onto my head while I was in the process of removing groceries from the vehicle. I have suffered cervical injuries as a result. PE04045.pco

- Highland, NY, USA

problem #14

Aug 082001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
The rear window piston shattered the glass in back of SUV. My passengers standing by were hit with flying glass. Superficial cuts only. The date of this incident was August 8th. I'm writing this on September 3rd. We still don't have our car back. PE04045.pco

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #13

Aug 232001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
The left strut on the glass section of the tailgate broke free and shattered the rear window. The broken glass covered my hair and my clothing, this is potentially very dangerous as the glass could shatter into the eyes of someone closing the tailgate. PE04045.pco

- North Babylon, NY, USA

problem #12

Aug 152001

Explorer

  • miles
01 1 010 000/liftgate glass bracket; while closing tailgate both brackets broke and caused glass to fall onto consumer. Consumer sustained cuts and bruises. Dealer was notified, and given appointment for repairs. Feel free to provide any further information on this matter. PE04045.pco

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #11

Jul 192001

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While opening rear window, and without any indication window popped off hinge and shattered. Dealer has been contacted. Left hand hinge appeared to be missing threads to engage with bolt for mounting rear window assembly to vehicle. Pe04045_pco

- West Haven, CT, USA

problem #10

Jul 202001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
Four hours after new vehicle was collected from dealer, glass tailgate exploded on being closed gently. Complete rear window shattered with such force that metal components of the door were badly bent and scratched. Glass was scattered over a radius of 20 feet, including into the back seats and onto the roof. My right leg was cut in three places. Luckily, my children were not in or at the back at the time of the explosion. The entire door was replaced by the dealer within four business hours. Unless recalled, this apparently common defect will result in serious injury. PE04045.pco

- West Townsend, MA, USA

problem #9

Apr 152001

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Left hydrualic support bracket for rear window has broken off three times. PE04045.pco

- Edgewater, MD, USA

problem #8

Jun 172001

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer started to slowly open tailgate window, and piston popped off back of windshield, dented inside top of vehicle, and wedged between glass and body of truck. Consumer stopped, opening process. This was how first Explorer's back window explod to take vehicle back. PE04045.pco

- Canadensis, PA, USA

problem #7

May 012001

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
4 hours after taking delivery of vehicle consumer parked it and opened tailgate window. Window exploded with glass flying 15 feet. Windshield wiper assembly hit consumer in chest, and glass flew into eyes. Dealer picked vehicle up. Then, stated he could repair vehicle or replace it. Consumer chose new vehicle. Consumer still has pain in eye, still under medical attention. Piston popped off the window and caused glass to explode, consumer has since had another piece of glass removed from her eye. PE04045.pco

- Canadensis, PA, USA

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