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 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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
130,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

May 052010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


We purchased a 2003 Ford Explorer xlt from Drivetime in February of 2009, at the time of purchase we acknowledged and questioned drive time about the air bag light coming on we were reassured that there were no problems with the airbags and that the vehicle had gone through inspection prior to being put on the lot for sale. My husband was in an accident on 5/5/2010 he was pulling away from a stop sign that he had been fully stopped at and ran into a vehicle doing around 60mph the airbags did not deploy causing injuries, I have read about this problem and it seems to be real common in Ford explorers for the air bags not to deploy. I am thankful that myself being 6 months pregnant or any of our children were not in the vehicle! PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN PURCHASING A FORD EXPLORER!!!

- , Windsor, CO, USA

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