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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,117 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #5

Nov 212009


  • 118,587 miles


Accelerator pedal sticks when wide open throttle scenario presents itself in real world application ! 2002 Ford Explorer automatic, tranny, four wheel drive.

- South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

problem #4

Mar 152008


  • 40,000 miles
When I tried to remove my key from the ignition, the entire ignition cylinder came out!! my car had to be towed and have a new cylinder installed! a year later, it happened again!!! so I have had to replace my Ford ignition cylinder twice and my car only has 60,000 miles on it now---so probably had only about 40,000 miles the first time it happened and 50,000 the second time. Also-- now my fuel gauge says empty all the time, even after I just filled it with gas! and it's too expensive to fix! I did get the driver seatbelt fixed, because it didn't tighten, but now it's too hard to pull out and use! lastly, both inside mirror covers have just cracked off when lifting open, and I can't afford to replace both of the entire visors! we have 3 Ford and this is the only one that's ever had problems. Dates are spread out so it's too hard to complete that part of the form below.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #3

Oct 092008


  • 82,000 miles
Throttle stuck and car would not slow down, almost caused an accident, put car in neutral but engine kept on racing, searched internet on found that the throttle cable is defective, Ford changed design from 12 to 9 wire design, saw alot of posts on internet with similar experiences, can't believe no recall. Car accelerated on its own.

- Carbondale, PA, USA

problem #2

Dec 042004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
1. driving approximately 30 minutes on the evening (7:30 pm) of 12-4-04 to a holiday party with just myself and my wife. Upon arriving within seconds of the location an anonoymous dirver stopped our vehicle and made us aware that there was a fire coming from under our vehicle, a 2002 Ford Explorer XLT. As we jumped out of the vehicle and saw the fire a neighbor watching called the local fire department. Within minutes the fire department arrived and tried to extinguish the fire. Being unsuccesful it took the fire department approximately an hour to stop the fire at which time the vehicle was destroyed. There was nothing to be repaired as the vehicle was destroyed. And there had been no indication that there was anything wrong with the vehicle prior to this incident.

- Westwood , NJ, USA

problem #1

May 042004


  • miles
I own a 2002 Ford Explorer 4 door. The rear left window was failing to go down, and when it did it would take time for it to go back up again. My mother purchased a 2003 Ford Explorer as well and my niece and they too experienced the same problem. I also had problems with my air leaking and was informed that some form of an invisible gas was leaking into my vehicle. I have an infant daughter and was concerned that she was breathing this.

- Tampa, FL, USA

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