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 2003 Ford Explorer one of our worst vehicles 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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,244 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.

2003 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #14

Dec 232004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Received recall notice for hinges on rear window of hatch and was advised not to open until hinges were replaced, which we did not. Noticed the fiber glass under the window cracked from the window to bottom of where window lifts. Took to Ford dealer and service writer said the fiber glass was not covered under recall but he felt the crack was a result of hinge failure. He opened the rear window on the hatch and was unable to close it. The dealer had to replace the hinges before we could drive the vehicle. The service writer has sent a request for Ford to repair the fiber glass under the glass but don't know if they will. I am convinced this damage is a direct result of the defective hinge and feel that Ford should repair my vehicle.

- Belmont, NC, USA

problem #13

Nov 152004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Rcall 04V442000 concerning rear liftgate glass: Consumer was unable to get this recall honored by the dealer because no parts were available.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #12

Oct 012004

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer has been waiting for recall 04V442000 concerning rear liftgate glass repair since October. Consumer contacted Ford several times, and was told the parts have not come in. Also, while driving and upon depressing the accelerator pedal and releasing foot off it vehicle surged forward. Recall campaign

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #11

Dec 022004

Explorer

  • miles

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

Consumer was waiting three months for recall 04V442000 concerning liftgate parts to come in. He contacted Ford manufacturer, and was told they do not know when the parts will be available. Consumer was very concerned.

- Salado, TX, USA

problem #10

Aug 012004

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer has been waiting for the repair parts to come in for recall 04V442000 concerning rear liftgate glass for four months. Was told the parts should have been here late November. However, the parts were not here, and the problem recurred.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #9

Oct 012004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
The liftgate window would open when no one was near it and on several occasions the vehicle was in motion. Bf the consumer received the liftgate recall and hopes that the repair will also repair the window. Campaign id number : 04V442000

- Booneville, MS, USA

problem #8

Oct 082004

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,555 miles

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

The glass blew out of the back rear trunk window. After going to the dealer for repair, the manufacture stated there was a recall, however, the consumer was never notified.

- Spring Valley, NY, USA

problem #7

Oct 132004

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The lift gate sheared off the hinges while pressing the remote. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer. The mechanic informed the consumer the parts were not available at this time. Please fill in additional information.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #6

Aug 052004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
2003 Ford Explorer...when opening glass portion of hatchback, the right hinge failed, causing the window to fall on my wife's head, giving her a concussion. Ar has 38000 miles and has not been in an accident. Hinge failure due to bolt shearing off at window. Going to get it looked at tomorrow. PE04045.pco

- New Market, MD, USA

problem #5

Jun 212004

Explorer

  • 53,000 miles
The liftgate glass shattered when consumer's son was closing the liftgate. The glass landed in consumer's son hair and face. Technical service bulletin #10004078 was issued on this problem. Manufacturer was contacted. This is a MY2002 vehicle and not MY2003 per consumer_081704.pco PE04045.pco

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #4

Jun 212004

Explorer

  • 10,000 miles

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

While opening the tailgate window, the right and left hinges broke. PE04045.pco the back window was hanging by the pistons. When popping up the window using the button it did not go up automatically. The tailgate window does not shut properly.

- Eden, NY, USA

problem #3

Apr 302004

Explorer

  • 36,000 miles
While parked rear liftgate glass exploded.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 112003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12 miles
We bought a Ford Explorer XLT late Saturday night October 11th. That late night after bringing the XLT Explorer home we pressed the blue liftgate button for liftgate. The glass went up by itself and the shock rod disconnected from the ball bearing slamming back down. Luckily no one was injured but this is a serious safety concern that needs to be addressed because some could seriously get hurt including children when the weight of that glass comes down. I contacted Ford and have only received a merry go round and no suitable answers. I had taken the vehicle back to the dealership and have gotten it checked out... with no suitable answers except it was factory related. Please investigate. We do not this to happen to anyone else or someone from getting seriously hurt. Please investigate and forward to all other regulatory and safety agencies federal/ state/local so a thorough investigation is done. Factory mis-installation of struts causing lift cylinder detachment at first use.pco

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 222003

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 20,000 miles
Consumer states that vehicle had been sitting for 40 minutes when the rear hatchback window exploded. Cause unknown.

- Newark, OH, USA

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