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.

8.6

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$903.00
Average Mileage:
123,449 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace window (6 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #10

Sep 272016

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 205,000 miles

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

My family was coming home from the store, when suddenly BOOM!! The rear hatch window just exploded and everyone in the car was Startled . We thought someone shot through the window, after we figured out that wasn't what happened, I began looking for an explanation. I was looking for a website to help me replace the window when I found this site and WTF!! I can't believe Ford knows about this and is doing nothing about this !!! Never buy a Ford explorer, they are crap !!

- , Wheeling, IL, USA

problem #9

Jul 182015

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

No reason in the world this should have happened. The car was parked, in the driveway and the rear window exploded into a million pieces. It looks like the shocks/ actuators were trying to push the window up while it was latched in the center. While pushing outward, the glass couldn't resist the upward force and gave in. To date Ford has no recall based on the local dealership I bought it from. 1st time for me, based on my research, I should consider myself lucky because it appears to have happened multiple times to other owners.

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #8

Apr 192015

Explorer Sport

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,000 miles

On a beautiful sunny day I walked out to my Ford Explorer Sport (two door) and for the THIRD time, I found my back window completely shattered.

The first time was in April 2013 and I thought it was caused by a hailstorm. However, the next time my alternator had died in fall 2014 (whole other story) and as we were cleaning it out, we opened the back hatch, shut it, stepped back, and it exploded. And today, I found it broken yet again.

Now yes, there are worse things that could happen to my car, but this is is annoying and inconvenient as hell. Plus, since the insurance deductible is $500 and that's how much a new window costs, that has been a grand total of $1,500 over three years. Whoopie.

- , Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #7

Jan 012015

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

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

The rear glass of my 2003 Ford Explorer blew up while sitting in my garage. It was 50 degrees. I was in and out of the garage getting tools and equipment for a project I was doing in the kitchen. I walked out to get one more tool and the window was all over the floor and all over inside the vehicle. I'm looking to find out if there is a reoccurring problem with this vehicle. I have a mess, it looks like the gas charged shocks that lift the rear glass might have pushed through the glass.

Does anyone have an idea what might have happened?

- , Seattle, WA, USA

problem #6

Jan 082015

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear window exploded

Woke up to find that overnight, while parked, the rear window exploded. After contacting Ford it turns out there was a recall for this problem. However, the previous owner took it in to solve the recalled rear window issue. After being repaired by Ford, the rear window exploded a second time and they will not repair it because it is a one time repair when covered by a recall and it is no longer within the 12 month warranty on repairs

- , Almont, MI, USA

problem #5

Oct 132012

Explorer Eddie Baur Edition 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

Apparently this is an issue that Ford needs to deal with. My daughter and I had left the grocery store, just like other similar stories. We went to open the hatch to put groceries in and the hatch didn't want to open, so I went to let it back down and it shattered. Luckily neither one of us were hurt, but something has got to be done. This is very dangerous and could lead to serious injuries. Ford needs to take notice on how many people this is happening to and do something about it. I love my Ford and have owned some type of Ford since I was 16, but I think it's time to find a better made vehicle or at least a company that cares about their customers and safety.

- , Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #4

Nov 232011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

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

WENT TO DEALERSHIP,TOLD NOT RECALL OR THEIR PROBLEM OWN TO REPLACED. CALLED FORD CO. TOLD MY VIN NUMBER NOT ON RECALL LIST. THIS FAMILY HAS TWO EXPLORERS BOTH WITH CRACKED REAR WINDOWS. NONE ON RECALLED LIST WHAT A BOMBER;BUT THEY WANT YOU TO BE THRILLED TO BUY A NEW FORD

- , Harvey, LA, USA

problem #3

Feb 172011

Explorer LSX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Last week on February 12, 2011, the back window on my Ford Explorer Sport shattered when my daughter closed the back hatch door. It cost $1000 to repair!

Today, February 17, 2011, it happened AGAIN! I am not getting it repaired until somebody tells me why this is happening!!

- , Fort Vermilion, Alberta, canada

problem #2

Jul 312010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,490 miles

On a Saturday afternoon, I was outside spraying weed killer around my house. I walked around to my driveway, where my Explorer was parked and was horrified when I saw that the rear window was shattered, the rear hinges were extended which caused the rear trim panel to bow out. There was broken glass everywhere! Inside the car, outside the car, and all over my driveway. It literally looked like the window just exploded! There were no other vehicles in my driveway, no one in my neighborhood was mowing their yard, and there were no kids outside! WTH? So, I immediately called my husband home from work to see if he had any ideas as to what could've caused it...no idea. We couldn't call anyone (insurance co., the local ford collision center, etc.) because it was Saturday.

I searched online for any possible recalls and found the one w/the hinges & latchgate. I searched for recalls on my vehicle and of course, there were none. On Monday, we called Ford's customer service and they verifed there was no current recalls, and told us to take it to our local dealership to have it inspected. At that point, my husband and I were reluctant to submit a claim to our insurance if, in fact something on the car was defective. We notified our insurance company of our plan to take it to the local dealership to have it inspected before we made a claim and they were fine w/it.

To make a long story short, the Ford dealership told us nothing was defective and that it was a factory part that would have to be ordered, and they would have to install it. Whatever. So now, we had to make a claim with our insurance (which we've never had to do) and have to pay our deductible for something we didn't do!! AND we have to wait until 8/23/10 to have the window/hatch fixed! Nearly one month without our vehicle!! UNBELIEVABLE! We are extremely frustrated that this company continues to get away with this nonsense.

- , Murphysboro, IL, USA

problem #1

Sep 042008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

MY LIFTGATE WINDOW EXPLODED WHILE I WAS DRIVING...WITH MY CHILDREN IN THE CAR!!! I was driving down the road (a two lane road with no shoulder) and all of a sudden, we heard an extremely loud BANG! My children began screaming, I am trying to maintain control of the vehicle and stay calm myself. I had no idea what happened...no other cars were on the road at that exact moment. I came to a safe location where I could pull over and check things out. The window and window liftgate looked as if a bomb went off in the inside my SUV! Yep, there was body damage too! I called the dealer...was told "we did have a recall on some liftgate hinges" after checking my VIN number, was then told "oh well, no recalls with your VIN number....you gotta call your insurance company" WTF! Does Ford not have some sort of protocol on handling reports on serious defects on their vehicles. Don't you think the response should have been "Ms N, bring your vehicle over to the shop so we can investigate this problem" and "this is no fault of yours, we will repair this for you because this is an obvious defect" BUT NO....I got..."OH WELL....." This is serious business, the next person may loose control of the SUV when stunned by such a loud noise then look in the rear view mirror to see the glass shattered and glass fragments flying everywhere! I am so disappointed. I have been driving Ford Vehicles for 15 years!

- , Mitchellville,, MD, USA

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