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
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
124,809 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replaced airbags and chip (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 252015

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 185,000 miles

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

click to see larger images

curtain air bags deployed unnecessarily

I was trying to hook up my boat to my trailer hitch. After getting in and out of the vehicle several times to check where the hitch was, I put the vehicle into Park, opened the door and got out, and then shut the driver door. I heard what appeared to be gunshots. I turned around and saw that my side curtain airbags had deployed for no reason on the drivers side front along with the rear seat behind the driver. There was no impact whatsoever to this vehicle! I have owned this truck since 2005 and I am just to the point of utter frustration!!! This truck has had so many problems over the years, that when I hear of someone wanting to buy this truck, I will talk to them until I am blue in the face telling them to please run from these trucks. They are HORRIBLE!!!! There is no excuse for my airbag to deploy like this. My 10 year old daughter always sits in that seat and I am just so thankful that she was not sitting there.

- , Poquoson, VA, USA

problem #2

Jun 092010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Airbag deployed after re-fueling. The electrical system was going haywire - the door ajar alarm was going off, the cabin lights were flickering, and I closed each door to try to fix the door ajar alarm, and on closing the right rear door, the curtain airbag deployed on the passenger side. I was told by the dealership that those systems are not linked. I asked about disabling the door alarm/security system, and the same mechanic at the dealership in the very next sentance looked me in the eye and said that he couldn't because the systems are tied together. It seems to me that they cannot be both tied together and "not linked" at the same time. Ford has taken no responsibility for this as of this writing. I complained to the TSB through my congressman - no response. I have serious concerns about the potential safety of these vehicles, but no-one else seems to be care.

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #1

Feb 192008

Explorer UT XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,428 miles

click to see larger images

curtain air bags deployed unnecessarily

I bought my explorer in November 2007 and took it on holidays. All went well and as far as holidays went it was a dream. No transmission problems, went straight up sand dunes and we had a ball. A month later I was driving home from work, peak hour traffic, 70km round a bend when suddenly there was an enormous bang and everything went white. Regaining control of the car I managed to steer it off the road, without killing anyone. I actually thought a limb from a tree had fallen on the roof of the car. No such luck! The reason it had all gone white? I had an enormous air bag wrapped around my face. For anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of this experience, let me give you a little insight. Firstly, the explosion, which not only deafens you, but stuns you into complete shock for precious minutes. Then the interior roof of the car shoots down and shunts your head somewhere into the middle of your neck and shoulders. If you are unlucky enough to have your sunglasses on top of your head, it actually pounds the nose grips into your scalp! Now with your head securely embedded down your throat somewhere, the airbags proceed to knock you senseless at a speed of about 220mph. Are they soft? NO. They feel like a flying sand bag, which then wraps itself around your face for PROTECTION! And last but not least, when you think things can't get any worse. You dazedly fall out of your car, hoping to retreat before anything else decides to go off, only to be left dangling by the neck. Pity those little signs on the back of the visors don't tell you that when they deploy, they pull all the door trims off and also have a thin nylon rope that they are attached too. Beware! If you actually survive the airbags, the door trims and ropes may strangle you upon retreat. With all the dust these things give off and the shock of it all, you just can't see the dangers until its too late. The photo that was taken was nearly a week after the accident, and most of the swelling had subsided, but as you can see, these things are not gentle. The rope that holds the thing, has a knot in the end of it, which also cut into my forearm. Causing bruising, swelling and quite a lot of blood. My airbag lights had gone on intermittently on previous occasions, but every time I took it in, they went off again. Ford replaced the airbags with new ones, and a chip that is part of the electronics, which had apparently registered a side impact. (definitely no impact on any part of the car) What worries me is that this chip has not been updated, redesigned, modified at all. If the existing chip can cause this fault, then what is to stop it happening again? The new chip is made the same way, by the same people, with no modifications. How many people have to get seriously hurt before they take this seriously? No explanations, no "were terribly sorry, we will have a full investigation". Just, the chip malfunctioned and we replaced it. I can't afford to take the chance of it happening again. My daughters young skin is a lot softer than mine. So after only three and a bit months, my car is on the market again. I'm going to loose money on it, but at least I wont be driving something I don't trust.

- , Perth, W.A, Australia

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