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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,978 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Nov 222015

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while parked, the rear hatch window was closed and it shattered. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 91,000. The consumer stated after the window was replaced, she received a recall letter for the exact issue. Updated 03/21/16.

- Victor, IA, USA

problem #21

Mar 012012


  • 155,000 miles
When closing the rear hatch glass, the glass exploded. Car was parked inside our garage attached to our house. We were unloading packages and when we were done we reached up and pulled the window to close. The glass shattered all over.

- Combined Locks, WI, USA

problem #20

Aug 132011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The rear hinges gave way, and the back half glass exploded.

- Benton, ME, USA

problem #19

Apr 072002

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated the entire glass on all four doors exhibited permanent streaks which distorted his visibility. In addition, there were similar streaks on the front and rear windshield. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who specialized in auto glass. The technician stated the failure was contributed to acid. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 3. all glass has a fog type film and streaks which obscures vision during night time and inclement weather driving. Updated 09/29/2011

- New Tripoli, PA, USA

problem #18

Nov 292010


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While the vehicle was parked, the rear hatch window exploded without warning. The dealer repaired the window according to recall 01I010000 (visibility: Glass, side/rear) but the failure occurred again. The vehicle had not been repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The current and failure mileages were unknown.

- Miland, TN, USA

problem #17

Jun 032010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 64,800 miles
I have had many problems with my 2002 Ford Explorer. I started getting the crack in my hatch by the rear window in 2005. It has spread and gotten worse and I still have not fixed it. Last year in 2009 our ABS light has been coming on and off and when I go to brake at times it feels like they kick on at irregular times, but I also feel I do not have the braking power I should. In June 2010 I was driving the Explorer and the O/D light starting blinking and the Explorer was shifting out of control. We had to have the transmission replace and the U-joints and the rear axle fixed for around $2900. We also had to replace the battery in July 2010. I called Ford Motor Company and told them all of my issues and they told me that since they did not have enough complaints they could not do anything about it. To this point I was aggravated and couldn't believe the way they had treated me and let alone others who I am sure made the same call. I feel this is a safety issue because even now when it is in gear in park the car seems to move back and forth.

- Great Falls, MT, USA

problem #16

Jun 252010


  • 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 #15

Jun 142010


  • 70,000 miles
Re NHTSA # 04V-442. 2002 Ford Explorer. Liftgate glass hinge sheared and glass fell on me. I was told by service dept that Ford recall 04S20 (performed in 2004) was only warranteed for 1 year, so I purchased new hinge kit (2L2Z-78420A68-aa) and installed myself. After examining old parts, I noticed significant redesign. After discussion with a Ford service manager it appears that initial recall repairs were insufficient and by his estimate the hinges last about 3 years. There were several modifications to the recalled parts and procedures since 12/04. My vehicle was repaired 12/20/04 so the most recent procedure was not followed at the time and most recent parts were not installed. Ford will not compensate for additional expenses once any recall repair was completed. I was not injured because I was opening the hatch slowly and had not let go before the hinge broke and the glass fell. I believed that the safety defect had been repaired. This is not the case. The danger still exists. I suggest a warning notice be sent to all owners that had recall performed before the final procedures (rcrit-04V442-7848) were developed. It would also encourage Ford to cover the cost of repairs for the defective recall repair - including glass breakage - as they did for the original recall.

- Riva, MD, USA

problem #14

Jan 011973


  • miles
This is an accident waiting O happen. My panel below the rear window in 2002 Explorer may soon fly and hit another car on the freeway and cause a big accident. This is a problem from hundreds of other Ford Explorer. A recall should be made before major accidents happen because of this problem.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #13

Jan 022010


  • 70,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer rear window - the hinges or the slides on the side did not hold the window up for the window section of the rear door. While parked, the glass door came down onto the head of a person, the glass in the window exploded hitting the person in the head, causing the person to fall backwards into the bottom frame of the rear window assembly. The person suffered a large knot on their head and glass cuts. The Ford dealer service department advised this is a "common problem" they have with this vehicle and that Ford is aware of it but has not done anything about a recall or to repair the problem.

- Commerce Twp, MI, USA

problem #12

Jun 272009


  • miles


Rear window supports failed and were in a Ford recall. Ford replaced them several years ago, but now the rear window will not stay up and is dangerous.

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #11

Jul 142009


  • 140,000 miles
Driving on highway, no debris, and our sunroof exploded. As the screen was closed no injuries, but potential for cut and eye injuries by razor sharp glass. No one behind us affected. Huge noise very startling.

- Vancouver, 00, USA

problem #10

Jun 012009


  • miles
On Monday June 1st we were loading items into my Explorer for a garage sale and my husband went to close the door and when he went to close it just exploded everywhere. Luckily by the grace of god my grandson was not around the vehicle at that time. I just feel that Ford should be responsible for this repair because even though I was not the original owner whenever the recall was posted, they should still honor it.

- Morrilton, AR, USA

problem #9

Mar 172009


  • 350,000 miles
My SUV was parked in the driveway. I pushed the rear window release button to open the rear window and it exploded. Glass fragments were found up to 12 feet in all directions. The noise it made was loud, like a shot gun had gone off. A professional auto mechanic told me that my rear window regulator must have malfunctioned. Clearly this is a design flaw that Ford should rectify and fear for the safety of anyone owning/using this vehicle. I'm currently searching for replacement parts.

- Saint Cloud, FL, USA

problem #8

Aug 012008


  • 85,000 miles
1.) my heating does not work. The air conditioner works, however, when you turn the knob for heat, it makes a ticking sound and no heat. We took the vehicle to several garages, 3 in all, who have states they see this problem often with my model Ford Explorer XLT.

- Burlington, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jan 062009


  • 128,734 miles
Placed an item into the rear storage area of my 2002 Ford Explorer. Window didn't stay up, so I gave it another push with my hand. I didn't push hard. The window exploded in my hand. Glass flew everywhere. Ford had a recall on this which I had fixed early on in my ownership of the vehicle. I ended up with glass slivers in my hand and now I have a vehicle with no rear window.

- Yardley, PA, USA

problem #6

May 152003


  • 26,000 miles
Within four months from date of purchase my 2002 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD start having problems. They are: 1. vibration inside including physical movement inside when driving with rear window crack over 30 mph. The faster you drive the grater the vibration. I took the Explorer to several dealers, they inform me that this is normal and it's refer to as helicopter effect. 2. the digital keypad stop working. 2. the keys don't open the door 3. the transmission slip, kick and delays when put in drive or reverse. 4.transmission delays going into overdrive. 5.the passenger side quarter panel glass shatter twice, at first I taught someone had broke it and my son reported it to the police. The insurance company replace it and few months later in my garage it shatter again and that's when it all came together. This time my son fix it for me. 6.theres also a winding some coming from under the SUV and my son thinks it have something to do with the diff, keeping the vibration in mind. 6. the latch that secure the rear where the jack handle is located broke.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #5

Oct 152003


  • 61,000 miles
Same as noted from other Ford explore 02 owners.....the bottom of the rear window is cracked shortly after purchase in 03. I have now attached a sign using stick on letters that read on the back panel "Ford quality' with an arrow pointing to the crack as the dealer and Ford will not do anything about it as evident by all the complaints. I think Ford needs this type of publicity!

- Espanola, NM, USA

problem #4

Sep 252005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Ford Explorer rear differential clutch part failure. Consumer wants assistance from Ford to cover the repairs. The consumer stated numerous parts failed on the vehicle. Those failures included: The differential compass, HVAC blower motor, one of the rear window lift motors and one of the seals on the rear differential failed.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 172008


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. She noticed that the frame for the glass on the rear window was cracked. The dealer stated that the manufacturer would no longer provide a free remedy for the visibility: Glass, side/rear (NHTSA campaign id #01I010000). As of May 23, 2008, the dealer had not repaired the vehicle. The failure and current mileages were 73,000.

- Temple Mills, MD, USA

Read the next 2 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?