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.

3.8

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,889 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #18

Jan 072008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Currently own a 2002 Explorer XLT with only 65K miles on it. The transmission is in need of a rebuild because is slip from time to time. The rear differential seals are leaking. The entire rear of the vehicle makes a humming noise so I suspect that a rear bearing is going bad. Not to mention the 4wheel drive system has not worked since I bought it a little over a year ago. I've had intermittent issues with the air bag control module and also the backup alarm system. There is nothing but poor write-ups about this truck all over the internet. All the same problems I'm experiencing are problems many other drivers have also had.

- Norton, OH, USA

problem #17

Jul 012007

Explorer

  • miles
I own a 2002 Ford Explorer and have had a ongoing problem with check lights coming on. First it was a check engine light which read that vehicle needed new catalytic converter.then couple yrs later came on again this time for a sensor. Now I have a airbag light on it seems like one sensor after another. After reading very simmiler complaints on your site and others I think this should be looked at further. No exact events lead to the problem. All problems have been fixed except airbag light which just happend this week.

- Boxford, MA, USA

problem #16

Mar 042007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles
- the contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The airbag warning light remained illuminated. The dealership informed the contact the driver's front seat pretentioner upgrade harness needed to be replaced. The dealership made the repair. The airbag warning light no longer illuminated. The current mileage was 73,000. Update 4/23/07

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #15

Dec 012006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

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

Recently the air bag warning light came on indicating a problem with the air bag system. Also, the driver's seat belt would not retract when the driver exited the vehicle. The onboard computer indicated a code of 33 in memory. This indicated that the mechanism under both front seats was faulty. This problem would have caused the air bags to deploy unnecessarily or not deploy at all. The faulty seat belt retractor would not have prevented the driver from being thrown forward in the event of a collision. The warning light was intermittent at first and eventually stayed on so there was 55,000 miles recorded when I finally took the vehicle to our dealership. The owner's manual revealed that the supplemental restraint system (SRS) is warranted for 5years/50,000 miles, so I realize that it was beyond the warranty period. However, this is my concern and complaint. The SRS is probably the most important safety system in a vehicle and should not require these types of repairs just 6 months and 5,000 miles after the warranty expires. This system should last for the life of a vehicle unless the vehicle is involved in a collision. No one should have to be concerned that their SRS system will fail after the warranty expires. I am not a mechanical engineer, but these parts must not have been manufactured properly. If they were, they would not have failed. As was stated above, this Explorer was totally redesigned and sent to the dealer showrooms prior to the start of the 2002 model year. Were things overlooked or not done properly just to rush this totally redesigned Explorer to the dealer showrooms" if this was the case, should there be a recall for this model year in order to check this problem and ensure there are no safety concerns" the cost of these repairs is the minor issue of my complaint. The major issue is the safety of the driver and passengers. Safety problems with a vehicle will cause serious repercussions for the company.

- Clinton, MD, USA

problem #14

Jan 042007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
Air bag disabled due to design defect in 2002 Explorer. A cable harness running under the floor to the drivers seat is too short. Moving the seat back causes the cable to disconnect and disables the drivers side air bag.

- Livermore, CA, USA

problem #13

Nov 012005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
I bought a 2002 Ford Explorer eddie bauer in Nov 2002. Around Oct 2005 my airbag light came on and I was due for an inspection. I took it into a Ford dealership and they "diagnosed" it as a faulty seat belt...the seat belt worked fine, it even continued to lock-up during moderate braking. This cost me over $300. Not a month went by and the airbag light came on again. I called the Ford dealer, explained the problem and they told me that if it was determined it was a "new" problem I would be charged for that expense as well. I just can't believe that the light would come on after being "fixed" so soon.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #12

Jun 202006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,404 miles

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

Airbag light came on dashboard, thus disabling airbags in vehicle. The Ford dealer supposedly repaired the sensor. Less than one year later, the same issue recurred, with the same diagnostic code, and the dealer is refusing to honor the repair warranty. Air bags are now disabled.

- Calgary, 00, USA

problem #11

Aug 292005

Explorer 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
I have had to have my vehicle serviced for the airbag light staying on two times in the past. Both times I was told it was a problem with the sensor for the airbag. The light came on again about one month ago and I took it to be serviced again last week. This time I was told it was an "electrical wiring problem" with my Ford 2002 Explorer that was causing the light to stay on. Repair was a whopping $487. First, I am wondering why they didn't discover this problem on the prior two occasions and secondly, I have since discovered that a co-worker has also had to have her Ford escape serviced 4 to 6 times for the same problem. The last time, she was told it was the sensor. Her airbag light has since came on again. Is this a systemic problem with the Ford family of SUVS?

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #10

Jul 012005

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
The contact stated the instrument panel cluster was no longer working. The service dealer did not state why the panel was no longer working. The electrical components failed, such as the radio, blowers, windows, airbags, and all of the safety equipment. The dealer stated it was a common problem within this type of vehicle. The part to repair was no longer available. The consumer contacted the manufacturer; they referred him to the dealer to find an aftermarket product to repair the problem.

- Norfolk, MA, USA

problem #9

Dec 202004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
April 04 purchased 2002 Ford Explorer; just over 60,000 miles. No longer under warranty'sold as is. Day after purchase, noticed knocking sound. Returned to dealer. Stated sound coming from the rear ac. Repaired, did not hear after repair. Approximately one week after purchase, noticed delay in gears engaging when going from park to drive, park to reverse also gear shift seemed to be loose. Returned to dealer; told it was normal for this model. Advised to keep in overdrive. Late July 2004, noticed delay seem to be getting longer and jerking suddenly when finally engaged. While driving, od light flashed on and off erratically. Problem with od light intermittent. Spouse took the car to the dealer; told that it wasn't under warranty, but we could make a service appointment. Spouse took the vehicle to a shop had done business in the past. Thought that it could need transmission fluid. Checked fluid levels not deficient. Problems continued; had them look at it a couple of months later. Could not determine problem, advised to take to a transmission specialist if continued. Problem persisted. Seemed to get worse as the weather turned colder. Late December 04, delays in engaging gears worsened; now making a loud clunking noise and lunges when engages, od light flashed erratically on a frequent basis and engine service light on and gear shift seemed to be coming out. January 2005, spouse took the vehicle to a transmission shop for diagnostic. Transmission shot. Rebuilt at a cost of $2900. Found out that the vehicle had been repaired twice before, while under warranty for the same problems described. Its obvious from the number of complaints that this is a known design defect. When a company sells defective products they should be held liable, especially when they do so knowingly. I stopped making payments on this junk and will notify the lender so that they and Ford can fight it out. Any owner who wishes may contact me at 703-998-5510.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #8

Apr 012004

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles

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

April 04, the airbag light came on flashing 3 times (3 blinks each time) and then would remain on. I took the car to the dealership here at freeport jet wash while the car was still under warranty and the warranty was finishing in June. When I took the car in they hooked it up to the computer then simply said we have resetted the control system in the car and if the light comes back on to bring it back!~~~ well, didn't last too long and it came back on but this is a couple weeks later and now they tell me my warranty is up but I told them they were aware of this before the warranty expired - long story short they changed it at no cost to me and said Ford approved it to be fixed under warranty. But, that didn't seem to fix the problem, the airbag came on again a couple weeks later when they hooked it up again they said it was the same code and reset the control system in the car and told me to bring it back if it turns on...we all know what happened...it came back on...so they said they will change it again but this time not only did it take 4 months to hear back from them (only because I finally got tired of waiting and called them back) about the part but now they tell me that the part was not covered under warranty and the guy who did it shouldn't of (he is no longer with the dealership) and that I have to pay for the 3rd pretensioner to be put in my car after I have been trying to get this problem fixed a year and a half!

- Freeport, 00, USA

problem #7

Dec 022002

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer noticed that the SRS light appeared on the dashboard and remained on. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that the SRS sensor needed to be replaced, and replaced it four times. However, the problem recurred.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #6

Dec 272004

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,600 miles
Air bag light came on. Consumer took the vehicle to the dealer. The air bag module had to be replaced.

- Fox Point, WI, USA

problem #5

Nov 272004

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
While driving out of a garage air bags deployed inadvertently. In May 2004 the vehicle was serviced by the dealer due to air bag light illuminating. Currently, six months later, while driving out of a garage at 5 mph the airbags deployed inadvertently.

- Burlington, CT, USA

problem #4

Apr 142004

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 10,000 miles
Consumer complained about an air bag problem. Consumer took vehicle to the dealer. The sensors were changed. However, the problem still occurs.

- Las Vegas, NM, USA

problem #3

Apr 142004

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 10,000 miles
Consumer complained about an air bag lightproblem. It kept coming on. Consumer took vehicle to the dealer. The sensors were changed. However, the problem still occurs.

- Las Vegas, NM, USA

problem #2

Nov 122003

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 29,000 miles
Vehicle is experiencing a problem with the airbags. The airbag light stays on. Owner says that "if vehicle is in an accident, air bags will not deploy." Vehicle was taken back to dealership where they want to charge owner $378 dollars to repair because vehicle is not under warranty. Provide further details.

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #1

Oct 212002

(reported on)

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer states of having problems with the air bag light remaining on while driving. Dealer was contacted.

- Birch Height, NJ, USA

Not what you are looking for?