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:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,388 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #12

Oct 192016

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles

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

Driving nd steering wheel fell apart brake switch stopped working 3 times had new transmission put in had to have 3 different sets of tire put on back window shattered while sitting at red light.

- Millville, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jul 152016

Explorer

  • miles
I own a 2002 Ford Explorer, it's our daily driver everything works except the hubs, this truck has never been wrecked, and we find ourselves@ about every 15,000 to 20,000 miles having to replace the wheel bearings and hub assembly's, last night on the way home the driver side front hub started squealing and came apart and we had to have it towed again, I have owned this truck for 3 years, I have had to replace the bearings and hubs brakes 11 times and now I'm going to have to do it again, wow, these parts are really expensive to have no better quality than that, everytime we get it fixed it cost around $1400, it's a nice truck, and everything else works great, no issues, I Transport my family members in this vehicle, and I'm getting tired of fearing for their lives and my own when the wheel hubs break and leave us stranded, it's obviously time for a different vehicle, and I just thought about how many other people drive one of those trucks, and how dangerous that could have been out on the interstate, it's a good thing we were driving 30 mph on a country rd, if we had been in town when it broke again we I thought that the last time this happened too, there definatly is a problem, when the guy at the dealership says that's a very common problem, but unfortunately, all he can do is fix it, or sell me something else, and that that's the issue that those trucks have and that everyday someone is dropping one of to get fixed for the exact same problem, anyway I think it's time to try something else, but this problem needs to be on a recall list because it's just bad business and a safety hazard, and it's problaby already gotten people and families killed, I'm going to fix this thing one more time and give the people that buy it this website info, Ford Motor Company needs to fix this ever occurring problem.

- Rockfeild, KY, USA

problem #10

Jun 122015

Explorer

  • 118,000 miles
Rear pads and rotors failed June 8, 2015. O/D light blinking with check engine light on, on June 12, 2015. Transmission shop got the codes and stated I don't have 2nd and 5th gears. $2000 cost. Please force recall! help! many other repairs including U-joints, tie rods, front axle, front rotors with pads etc. Since I bought it in April 2013.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #9

Dec 092014

Explorer

  • 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 while in reverse, the vehicle accelerated independently. Additionally, the brake pedal was depressed but failed to respond and the steering wheel seized. As a result, the vehicle crashed into trees then went forward independently crashing into shrubs, a fence, and a building. In addition, the air bags failed to deploy and smoke started to emit from the front of the vehicle. A police report was filed. The contact sustained bruise and neck and head injuries that did not require medical attention. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

Oct 142014

Explorer

  • 75,000 miles
When braking vehicle accelerates. Could not stop had to put in N and it stalled before hitting a store front and a second time on the way home at a red light.

- Novi, MI, USA

problem #7

May 012014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Over the past year I have noticed that this particular vehicle is experiencing severe rust issues on various components including lower body work, specifically under the driver and passenger doors in addition to emergency brake components. When I first noticed the issue I took immediate action to repair the damaged body work areas by using anti-rust treatments and applying new paint as recommended by a certified mechanic. The issue though is still ongoing to the point where door seals are no longer water tight and small pieces of body work are flaking away from the vehicle as a result of wind resistance and bumps while the vehicle is in motion. I have also needed to replace rusted emergency brake components which I was advised were no longer functional or safe. Upon further research it appears that a large number of Ford/Mercury/Lincoln vehicles (primarily between 2002 and 2004) are experiencing the exact same issue and that supposedly Ford is aware of a known paint defect that is the root cause, however no related recalls or further information has surfaced. (example testimonials here: www.lemonlaw.com/wordpress/more-problems-for-Ford-paint-defects-in-2000-2005-models/ ) my vehicle has always been regularly serviced and well maintained and I would not expect to be seeing an issue as significant as this given the vehicle's age and mileage. This issue needs to be investigated as I am not confident in the overall safety of my vehicle.

- New Milford, CT, USA

problem #6

Apr 012014

Explorer

  • 135,500 miles

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

I was driving home from work thank god I was almost home at this time, my Ford explore was driving fine all of a sudden I herd a pop and a bang and then the motor started stumbling and shaking. As it was running the motor kept on popping I got out and seen a spark plug next to driver side fender under the hood also the coil that was plugged on to the plug was there too.I tried to grab the coil but got shocked because the rubber on the coil was broke from the plug flying out like a bullet and hitting the coil braking it in four or five places thats Y I got shocked so much.the hole point is that the plug striped out of the head and did all this damage. Now I have no way to fix this issue one of the ways to fix it can be to replace the heads on the motor witch will cost lots of money.what can I do im desperate so it would be nice to have a helping hand by the dealer but they claim it's not there fault but this has happened to so many Ford because of the heads they have used on this motor please make a recall for this issue it is a defect I do believe it is. I found over 50 people online having trouble with the same issues as me. Please help us.....

- New Haven, CT, USA

problem #5

Feb 102014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 158,000 miles
This is the third time I have to replace brakes (full job) with ABS concerns.

- Fair Lawn, NJ, USA

problem #4

Mar 112013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
This is the second time I had to replace brake pads and other brake parts on this car within the same year (2012-13).

- Fair Lawn, NJ, USA

problem #3

Aug 272013

Explorer

  • 89,000 miles
August 27,2012. Huaband driving howm from work. Going down hill to traffic light. Car suddenly, with no warning, stalls out completely. Loss of power steering, power brakes.etc. A/S contuinued to work. Engine ligh came on. Wrestled car to verge of road. Turned car off and it restarted on forst try. Stated that the following day as he attempted to pull away from stop sign, car would not initally take gas but then suddenly accelerated ( " I peeled rubber!") recalled that thatsame incident had had happened approx. 2 weeks before at a diffeent stop. Car taken to repair shop, somputer shows no issues. Believe car unsafe to drive if affected with sudden, unexplained stalling with no apparent cause. Bought car as "certified, pre-owned" used car from Ford dealership in Dec. 2012. They have no answer, no suggestions as to problem cause. Internet search shows multiple complaints for this same problem with the Ford Explorer.

- New Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #2

Mar 172013

Explorer

  • 177,156 miles
We were driving down the highway and we heard a clunk and so we pulled over right away and looked and thought it looked like the rear passenger side was sagging but wasn't sure, we drove home and then realized it was def sagging. I took it to the car lot I bought it at and their going to check it all out to see what's going on.. just be looking at it the car lot mechanic said looks like suspension issue as if something broke. Also the check engine light came on and we had it checked out a few times and it appears to have O2 sensor issues located on the exhaust which seems to be a issues with alot of Ford Explorer which makes gas mileage terrible and vehicle stalls out and dies, not to mention the piece of plastic under the rear hatch window that always breaks.

- Fairmont, MN, USA

problem #1

May 152012

Explorer

  • 135,000 miles
As I was driving home from work my fuel gauge went from full to empty and the check gauge light came on then the vehicle died and I lost power steering and the power brakes.

- West Bend, IA, USA

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