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:
28 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
31 / 1
Average Mileage:
74,798 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #66

Mar 162014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 172 miles

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

While driving in eve. I switch lanes and came onto an icy part of road do to broken leaking hydrant hit chuck hole in the road and lost control of my truck and hit pole and hydrant and the complete front end was crushed and no air bags deployed at all. I hurt my chest back and knee's and have headaches.

- Eastcleveland, OH, USA

problem #65

Jan 302014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
I was traveling in stop and go traffic. As soon as space opened between me and the vehicle in front of me, I accelerated. While gaining speed I looked in my right rear view mirror to see if I could change lanes. While looking in my mirror the vehicle in front of me stopped. I hit the back of his vehicle with the front of mine. The problem I have is that my airbag(s) fired but did no deploy. You could clearly smell that they fired and my airbag light is now on. My seat belt did not cinch up and restrain me either. This car had been well maintained and was never in an accident before this one. As I see it, it was a total failure of the SRS.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #64

Sep 292013

Explorer

  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, another vehicle crashed into the passenger's side, causing the vehicle to spin and then crash into a wall. The air bags failed to deploy. The rear driver's side passenger sustained whip lash and minor bruising. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 200,000.

- Detroit , MI, USA

problem #63

Sep 112013

Explorer

  • 76,000 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 driving approximately 4 mph, the air bags inadvertently deployed without the vehicle being involved in a crash. A police report was filed of the incident. There were no injuries. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 76,000.

- Dumont, NJ, USA

problem #62

Apr 012011

Explorer

  • 291,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that after shifting into reverse, there was an explosion under the hood. The air bags deployed and the engine caught fire. The fire department was present. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The contact also mentioned that the vehicle was taken to the dealer several times for the gears slipping where the transmission was rebuilt but the failure was not corrected. The contact and two passengers suffered injuries but they were unknown. The vehicle failure and current mileage was 291,000.

- Guilford , ME, USA

problem #61

Jul 232012

Explorer

  • 38,089 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the driver of the vehicle was forced off the road by another vehicle, causing the driver to lose control and the vehicle to roll over several times. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact was a passenger in the vehicle and sustained injuries to the head, ankle and ribs. In addition, the contact sustained several lacerations and bruises. The driver of the vehicle was killed and the vehicle was destroyed. The vehicle was not diagnosed by a mechanic or an authorized dealer for the air bag failure. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 38,089.

- Carmichael, CA, USA

problem #60

Nov 242012

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 150,169 miles

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

While driving down the road my airbag light comes on. On occasion I am just thankful that my air bag has not gone off yet. Also while driving my door ajar light & dome lights come on.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #59

Sep 052012

Explorer

  • 250,100 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, he inadvertently stepped on the accelerator pedal and crashed into a pole. The contact suffered a bruised chest, ribs armpit and wrists. He also sustained injuries to the knee and neck. The vehicle was destroyed. All of the air bags in the vehicle failed to deploy. The failure and current mileage was 250,100.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #58

Jul 062012

Explorer

  • 56,705 miles
The contact owns 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact was attempting to park and haphazardly depressed the accelerator pedal as opposed to the brake pedal. The vehicle accelerated rapidly, causing the contact to crash into a building. The air bags did not deploy and the contact sustained injuries as a result. A police report was not available. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence and was not inspected for the air bag failure. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileage was 56,705.

- Lehigh Acres , FL, USA

problem #57

Mar 132012

Explorer

  • 144,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while traveling 25 mph, the passenger attempted to secure their seatbelt when the driver and passenger side air bags deployed erroneously and without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was told that the air bags were no longer covered under warranty and provided no assistance.the contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 00V179000(air bags:side window) but was advised by the manufacturer that the recall was irrelevant to the 2002 model year Explorer. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 144,000.

- Hutto, TX, USA

problem #56

Feb 152011

Explorer

  • 110,000 miles

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

Ford has informed dealers that there is a problems with the air bags on 2002 Ford Explorer. If you move the seat too much it disconnects with the air bag. All Ford dealers are aware of the problem, but Ford is not willing to issue recall. Serious safety issue that should require action. It would be a simple fix of the pretensioner located under the seats.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #55

Jan 172012

Explorer

  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact started the ignition and the air bag warning indicator continuously illuminated until the engine was turned off. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- Lorain, OH, USA

problem #54

Jul 012011

Explorer

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the air bag warning light was illuminated. The dealer made four attempts to duplicate the failure by replacing the driver and passenger side seat belt pretensioners however, the failure continued to occur. The manufacturer had not been notified. The current mileage was 165,000 and the failure mileage was 70,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 01/10/12

- Severna Park, MD, USA

problem #53

Sep 182011

Explorer

  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that after loosing control of the vehicle and crashing into a pole, none of the air bags deployed. A police report was filed and the driver sustained minor contusions. The passenger suffered a broken arm. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 135,000.

- Cleveland , OH, USA

problem #52

Sep 012008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
I bought my 2002 Ford Explorer in 2005. At about 85000 miles I noticed the transmission started to slip and often jerks real hard when shifting into 3rd. I had the transmission fluid changed by an authorized Ford dealer in my area and they told me there are no metal shavings in the fluid, however, they did tell me that the 2002 Ford are well knows for having transmission problems and they see it all the time in this make model and year. I called Ford and they told me there are no recalls on the transmission, however, reading all the problems on the internet about owners who have complained, I feel there should be a recall on this because it is a safety issue!

- Schoenchen, KS, USA

problem #51

Sep 012010

Explorer

  • 70,000 miles
Air bag warning light came on, pulled plug apart under drivers, seat sprayed cleaner on it put it back together, took care of that problem. Gear shift lever sheared off. Ford says you need to replace steering column. Went online found a man in sweden that made a replacement part, ordered it, put it on, works great. (why couldn't Ford supply one?) the transmission is starting to act up, you shift in to drive it hesitates and leaps forward, quite hard, same in reverse. Ford should recall this before someone gets hurt.

- Fortuna, CA, USA

problem #50

Nov 032010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 99,623 miles
I am so disgusted after reading all the same problems with the 2002 Ford Explorer. I too have the airbag problem, they told me it was the airbag pretentioner and it is $650, now my air bag will not deploy if I get into an accident. I have the extended deluxe warranty that wont cover it. I also have a problem with the rear temp and mode actuators that failed and binding again not covered under warranty that is $510 to repair. I truly think Ford should recall these same problems.

- Coventry, CT, USA

problem #49

Mar 242002

Explorer

  • 172,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated while driving 25 mph, the air bag indicator light illuminated. The contact had the pretension set and clock spring replaced seven times but the failure continued. The failure mileage was approximately 172,000.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #48

Jun 252010

Explorer

  • 99,968 miles
Long list of repairs made this summer including computer, airbag sensors, A/C whole system, main window controls and now my transmission.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #47

Jun 052010

Explorer

  • 121,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the air bag light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact called a local dealership and was advised to take the vehicle in for a diagnostic test at his expense. The current and failure mileages were approximately 121,000.

- Haines City, FL, USA

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