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 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #46

Jan 102008

Explorer

  • 90,527 miles

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

I have a 2002 Ford Explorer. For the last 2 years the air bag light is coming on and off. Finally I took it for inspection and it didn't pass because the light was on and is a safety issue concern. I contacted Ford Motor Company and because there is no a recall they would not fix the problem, despide of all hundreds of complaints about the same issue. Probably waiting till someone die...Toyota is the best example of ignoring problems like this...

- Gloucester, MA, USA

problem #45

Nov 112009

Explorer

  • 174,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While driving 15 mph she lost vehicle control, and then the vehicle rolled over. The airbags did not deploy. The manufacturer was notified and she was advised that the non-deployment of the air bags were normal. The current and failure mileages were 174,000.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #44

Nov 272009

Explorer

  • 93,492 miles
My SUV hit a concrete wall on the I-94 eastbound freeway, the impact torn my front end a part. A highway patrolmen said that the impact should have deployed both my front airbags, but it didn't, now I am concerned.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #43

Jun 252009

Explorer

  • 96,273 miles

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

Issue is with the airbag warning lamp coming on and disabling the airbag system in a 2002 Ford Explorer. Per the error code lfc 34 the issue is the passenger side seat pretensioner, though this also happens with the driver side. There is currently a tsb out article no 03-11-3. for my vehicle the replacement part# is 1L2Z-78610E22-aac. This failure is current everything the vehicle is turned on.

- Lemon Grove, CA, USA

problem #42

Dec 192008

Explorer

  • 82,000 miles
Air bag light.

- E Hartford, CT, USA

problem #41

Apr 022009

Explorer

  • 12,000 miles
My air bag light goes on and off alot.

- Watertown, WI, USA

problem #40

Mar 072009

Explorer

  • 89,000 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 the air bag indicator illuminates intermittently. He has taken the vehicle to the dealer on numerous occasions and they have replaced several components; however, the failure still persists. The dealers were unable to determine the cause of the failure and provide a remedy. There were no recalls available. The failure mileage was 89,000.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #39

Jan 082009

Explorer

  • 76,000 miles
Have had to replace both rear wheel bearings on 2002 Ford Explorer limited, also had to replace both rear springs. Lucky my wife has good hearing so she noticed the noise as soon as it started or else may have went far enough to loose wheel. Had rear springs and wheel bearings replaced at a cost of approximately $1100. After reading complaints and talking with other Explorer owner I feel it should have been a recall for factory to fix. Also have recurring problem with airbag warning light coming on. Have to jiggle wires under passenger seat to make light go out.

- Linden, PA, USA

problem #38

Apr 012006

Explorer

  • 60,000 miles
We have a 2002 Ford Explorer. The airbag warning light is on and stays on. It's been like this for a while now. I never thought much of it until I got online researching it and found that not only that it is a common problem, but a very dangerous situation. Apparently the airbags will not even work. From what I found the problem has to do with a cable that connects the seatbelt locking mechanism to the SRS system is to short also a possible problem with a clockspring. By doing something as little as moving the drivers seat all the way back can trigger the warning light because the cable is to short. I learned this mostly through people over the internet who took there vehicles to Ford dealerships and was told that was the problem. I called Ford to see if there was a recall on it or if they would fix it. No recall and won't pay to fix. Ford knows about the problem and knows what the problem is. I read that Ford sent a memo out to it's dealerships telling them about the problem had a memo number forgot to write it down. This vehicle is a family vehicle and that's the primary reason we bought it. I would think that this being such a serious safety issue that Ford would fix no problem, but at the very lest somebody should be able to make them fix this. I don't know what are the parameters for a recall to be issued, but I do know that if this does not call for one then who or what is the NHTSA for. I guess it takes a lot of people getting hurt or dyeing for something to be done.

- Macclenny, FL, USA

problem #37

Oct 222008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,600 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the air bag indicator remained illuminated. The dealer stated that the seat belt latch system does not work and they are charging him to diagnose and repair the failure. The contact stated that it is a safety hazard that the seat belt does not work. The failure and current mileages were 47,600. Updated 12/10/08 both of the rear springs broke and the rear axle bearing was bad. Updated 12/16/08.

- Windber, PA, USA

problem #36

Mar 012007

Explorer

  • 56,000 miles

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

2002 Ford Explorer airbag light has been on. I took it to the dealer and they said it needs a pretensioner repair kit installed for $650. I declined service. I looked on the internet and their are lots of complaints; in July 2001, Ford issued a special service message announcing that some air bag clockspring devices may produce noise when the steering wheel is turned full left or right. Ford was aware that some clocksprings may have been improperly installed. The improper installation may also cause an open circuit and the air bag warning light to illuminate. Starting with vehicles produced in September 2001, Ford adding length to the clockspring wire to reduce the likelihood of damage from improper installation.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #35

Sep 012008

Explorer

  • 58,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer, wheel bearings went out (pre-maturely as on thousands of this model car)and airbag disconnected (Ford made cable too short under driver's seat.) lucky we caught it before wheel flew off and airbag didn't deploy!

- Castle Pines North, CO, USA

problem #34

Jan 012007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
On my 2002 Ford Explorer SUV I have had to replace 3 of the 4 wheel bearings and hub assemblies(approx $250 each), with the 4th not far behind. I have also had to replace the 4-wheel drive module(approx $400-$500). I have had problems with the rear window motors going bad and having to replace these too. The air conditioning unit has stopped working. The passenger air bag dummy light has come on for no reason. The seat belt warning chime often comes on and will not go off, even though you have buckled your seat belt. You have to slam the buckle into place for it to go off and sometimes this does not work either. The transmission is now making a lovely clunking sound when shifting from park to drive and when you try to put it back into park, it does not want to. You have to put it up to park as far as it will go then go back to neutral and then into park from there. We have replaced the emergency brake shoes on both sides because they were completely worn off even though we do not use the E-brakes. These problems are just piling up one after another. I went to an internet site that has complaints about vehicles and found that there are hundreds of others with the same problems on their 2002 Ford Explorer of all kinds (XL, eddie bauer, special edition, etc.). why hasn't Ford done any recalls for these problems" does it require multiple injuries or even death for them to take responsibility??"

- Monroeville, OH, USA

problem #33

Mar 142008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,300 miles
We got in to a head on collision and the airbag did not deploy and we hit at about 45 M.P.H. on impact and nothing deploy soon after the crash the airbag light flashed for several days till we got the repair and they just reset the computer in the truck and now the airbag light is flashing only a week after they reset it and the Ford company here has no reasoning or answer to why this happened and they refuse to help us on this situation so we have to turn to you and get this problem resolved quickly before someone gets seriously injured or killed.

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #32

Dec 232007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On 12/23/07 my in-laws were involved in a rollover crash of a 2002 Ford Explorer. My wife and I witnessed the entire accident as we were following my in-laws home from church. A cardboard box was in the roadway, and my mother-in-law took action to miss the box. She steered around the box, but when she tried to correct the vehicle it got sideways and the front driver's side tire assembly broke away and the vehicle began to flip. The roof crushed about 15 inches, the airbags did not deploy and of course the front wheel had broken away. My father-in-law escaped with a few broken ribs, but my mother-in-law is in intensive care with several injuries. I know you have had several complaints about Ford Explorer, but isn't it time to do something about it before someone else gets seriously injured or even killed?

- Town Creek, AL, USA

problem #31

Jan 102007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On the Ford Explorer 2002-2003 there is a passenger restraint fault where the airbag light comes on indicating that the passenger restraint and or driver restraint SRS system is at fault. This is concerning me simply because it appears to me that this could cause the air bag to deploy while I am driving.

- Berkley, MI, USA

problem #30

May 012007

Explorer

  • miles
Had air bag light come on. It was a $44 harness that the dealer had a service bulletin telling him of the problem. It cost me 247 dollars to get the vehicle back. I have talked to several other 2002 Explorer owners and they have had the same harness replaced at about 60000 miles. A complaint has been sent to the dealer for the labor charges which were or seemed excessive.

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #29

Nov 122006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles
Airbag indicator light on the instrument cluster remains on after starting the vehicle.

- Beaumont, 00, USA

problem #28

Feb 212007

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My husband and I own a 2002 Ford Explorer XLT. The problem is with the airbag. The airbag light has stayed lit and needed repairs on 2 occasions. The first time this occurred was a year ago. At that time, we took the car to a Ford dealership and were told the safety harness needed to be replaced and this was covered under the warranty. The airbag light has recently come on again. Again, we took the car to a Ford dealership and this time are told that another harness needs to be replaced and a wire under the seat is not working and the repairs (which are not under warranty) will cost approximately $370. I complained to the service manager that I feel I should not have to pay for these repairs as this problem occurred previously while under warranty and their previous repair should hold some guarantee. I was told this is not the case and that I would have to pay for these repairs. I find this completely unacceptable. I have no choice but to have the repair done as a non-functioning airbag is a serious safety concern. I am notifying the NHTSA and the consumer product safety commission of this serious safety issue that seems to be a recurring problem with my 2002 Ford Explorer.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #27

Aug 242006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,700 miles
Airbag warning light, flashes several times and then stays illuminated

- Nassau, 00, USA

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