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. 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.


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 9 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #6

Jun 012001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles


The back window raised up while the truck was parked, and when I touched the window to shut it, it blew up completely, leaving nothing in the rear. All the glass was shattered, and the struts holding the window were blown out. I received cuts on my arms and wrists. PE04045.pco

- Rock Island, IL, USA

problem #5

Jun 172001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
On closing rear window the thing exploded in my face. Fortuneately I was not injured, but was covered with glass. I feel I was very lucky not to have gotten glass in my eyes. PE04045.pco

- Lamar, CO, USA

problem #4

Jun 202001


  • miles
Bracket and spring that holds hatchback window up broke completely off, causing left side of the window to almost drop into frame. PE04045.pco

- Mcclenny, FL, USA

problem #3

May 232001

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles


On June 4, 2001, I took my vehicle to world Ford kendall service (Florida registration #mv-06413) for repair (invoice #W71526) of the left rear liftgate cylinder which was detached from its bracket, the mechanic (jose fuentes) tried three times to repair it according to Ford Motor Company's technical service advisory #01T02 and was unable to repair it, the service representative (jose tejedo) even went to one of their stock vehicles, a new 2002 Ford Explorer to change the lift gate cylinder with mine and it detached after two closings, the service representative also stated that the flip-up glass was bending in the middle during closing and creating a potential for the glass to shatter, he also stated that Ford needs to come up with a better way to fix it and that Ford needs to recall it. Pe04045_pco re-eval to det to be valid since PE opening_pco

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #2

May 282001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
Hydraulic arm that holds up hatchback window broke. The pressure from the broken plunger arm pressed against the back glass and caused it to explode out. The pressure was so extreme that the door panel was moved two inches away from the frame. Car was parked in a garage at the time the glass and door blew out. PE04045.pco

- Golden, CO, USA

problem #1

Apr 052001


  • miles
Plunger that holds hatchback window opened/ fell off due to design defect, causing window to come crashing down on consumer, resulting in head and neck injuries. PE04045.pco

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

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