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 2004 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 2002-2005 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.

6.4

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$453.00
Average Mileage:
75,168 miles
Total Complaints:
749 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. waiting for Ford to recall (292 reports)
  2. not sure (200 reports)
  3. replace panel (111 reports)
  4. possible class action lawsuit (62 reports)
  5. call Ford motor company 1-800-241-3673 (27 reports)
  6. do not buy Ford again (25 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 14 of 38)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #489

Sep 012011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

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

From what I see on the computer lots of people have the same problem. I think

Ford should stand behind their cars better than this. We went to a body shop

and they say it would cost 700.00 to 800.00 to replace the whole back window

and that was the only way it could be fixed.

- , Conchas Dam, NM, Uruguay

problem #488

Jun 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

My back window panel also cracked. My vehicle is garage kept both at home and work so it's not a sun or weather related issue.

It's annoying that so many people are having this problem and Ford is not addressing it.

- , St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #487

Sep 152011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I thought I was one of the lucky ones. A crack in the paint yesterday turned into a full blown broken panel today. Dealer & Ford both said sorry 'bout your luck pal.My 1st car was an '85 Thunderbird & have owned/leased 10 brand new Fords since '95 with very few problems. I am just amazed at the total lack of customer service at all levels.

- , Roch, NY, USA

problem #486

May 012008

Explorer Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

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

very ugly defect on back panel went too dealer said not their problem

- , Hot Springs, ARK, USA

problem #485

Jan 012009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I went to my local dealership about my cracked panel, they said they've had other owners come in with the same problem. This was a design flaw. Dealership suggested I contact the Ford Motor Co. via email. Ford Motor Co said they will not fix the panel, because there's no recall. I've seen at least 5-6 other Ford Explorer's with the same crack on the back panel, slightly different locations on the panel around the Ford emblem. So there must be thousands nation wide. We've purchased other Ford's before and would have purchased again. But because of this, I informed them they have lost a loyal customer. I suggest that others do the same, if Ford can't stand by their product.

Bye, bye Ford.

- , San Lorenzo, CA, USA

problem #484

Jun 302011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

I was so excited when I purchased my beautiful mint condition 2004 ford explorer! Then the rear plastic panel under the window cracked!!!! I am so frustrated because every time I open and close the rear door it gets worse no matter how gentle I am. I feel that ford should definitely repair this problem because it is a faulty design and very expensive to repair and pointless because my ford mechanic has informed me that it would just crack again. The mileage is low and I intend to drive this car until it dies but I would not buy a ford again and would not recommend one to a friend. Stand up and take personal responsibility Ford! It may be cosmetic but when you spend thousands of dollars on a car that you love and are proud of you don't want a big crack down the back of your car!!!!!

- , Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #483

Sep 072010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

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

Crack just appeared. Sometimes the back hatch opens on its own due to the crack. Has done this several times whether driving or parked. Have seen several other vehicles on the road with this same crack. My dad was a die-hard Ford believer and wouldn't buy anything else. Hence, I bought one. Now reqretting it due to Fords obvious (so far) refusal to recall and fix.

Update from Mar 15, 2012: I went to Ford and inquired about the crack in the rear hatch. I was told it was a stress fracture. I disagree as there are to many vehicles with this problem. I refuse to pay to fix it as I feel Ford should. I am looking to trade it in and get something else. I've always bought Ford but unless Ford honors this issue I won't be buying another Ford.

- , Lebanon, TN, USA

problem #482

Aug 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

OUR 2004 FORD EXPLORER XLT IS A BEAUTIFUL VEHICLE. I LOVE THE COLOR IT STILL LOOKS GREAT WHEN IT'S WASHED AND CLEANED UP UNTIL YOU WALK AROUND TO THE BACK AND SEE THE FIRST CRACKED AND NOW BROKEN WITH ABOUT A 2 IN PIECE MISSING OFF THE PANEL BELOW THE BACK GLASS. I KNOW IT'S NOT JUST US BECAUSE I SEE MORE EXPLORERS AROUND OUR YEAR MODEL WITH BROKEN BACK PANELS THAN NOT ON THE ROAD.

COME ON FORD! IF YOU WANT US TO BUY AMERICAN AND CONTINUE TO BUY FORD THEN STAND BEHIND YOUR PRODUCT! OBVIOUSLY 9 OUT OF 10 PEOPLE WHO OWN THIS YEAR RANGE/BODY STYLE AREN'T SLAMMING THE HECK OUT OF THE BACK DOOR.. RECALL AND FIX IT ALREADY!!

- , Roopville, GA, USA

problem #481

Sep 072010

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,154 miles

One day I noticed a large crack right next to the Ford logo on the rear hatch. When driving around I have been looking for Ford Explorers with the same problem. I would say at least 50% of similar year Explorers have this problem. Is Ford doing anything about this?

- , Venice, FL, USA

problem #480

Jan 022009

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

The rear panel in my Ford, which I bought brand new, has cracked. I'm noticing it on tons of other Ford Explorers and I feel the company needs to step up and fix this problem.

- , Oregon City, OR, USA

problem #479

Aug 102009

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

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

Since this is the #1 Ford complaint, I think there should be a recall, which is what I have been waiting for.

- , Linn Creek, MO, USA

problem #478

Apr 062011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

2004 Ford Explorer - cracked rear back panel was replaced in 2008. New panel cracked in April of 2011. Dealership wants $640 for new defective panel and stated new panel would probably have to be replaced in a few years. So why doesn't Ford change the design? Ford Corp. said a recall would go into effect if there were enough complaints. Apparently not enough of us are complaining. Please contact Ford Corp @ 800/392-3673 and register a complaint so this defective part can be recalled. I really don't want to pay for a new panel knowing it's going to crack again.

- , Hayward, CA, USA

problem #477

Jun 132008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

I was in Atlanta with my car parked in a garage. I walked out to see a huge crack in the back panel under my back window by the ford sign. I thought someone hit my car, but didn't see any other damage. A few months later there was another crack. I started seeing all the same model explorers with the cracks in the same spots and became more annoyed, that after talking to several people there was still not a recall to have this fixed.

- , Margate, FL, USA

problem #476

Jul 012011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

WELL I'M A SINGLE MOTHER ALWAYS HAD A CAR I THOUGHT A TRUCK/SUV WOULD SUIT US BETTER FOR ALL THE MOVING AROUND I DO... I JUST BOUGHT THIS TRUCK JUNE 26, 2011 EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT!! HAD HIGH MILES BUT I TAKE CARE OF MY CARS/ TRUCKS LIKE IF THEY WHERE A 2ND CHILD.... YESTERDAY I WALK OUT TO THE TRUCK AND I NOTICE THIS HUGE CRACK IN THE BACK PANEL STRAIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE WHERE THE FORD EMBLEM IS!!! WHAT!! I JUST BOUGHT IT AND NOW THIS HAPPENS!! I SEE ITS BEEN HAPPENING TO EVERYBODY I KEEP SEEING ALL THESE 04 EXPLORERS WITH THE SAME CRACK WTF?? WHY HAS THIS PROBLEM NOT BEEN FIXED!!!!

- , Nipomo, CA, USA

problem #475

May 032011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I'm not sure how this happen, but I'm sure its something with with the body, I did nothing to it, it just showed up out of no where. I see a lot of owners has this same problem and i think its something that Ford should know about. I take great care of my truck and I am upset about problem.

- , Glenwood, IL, USA

problem #474

Feb 152011

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,009 miles

As everyone is experiencing, my hatch panel below the rear window is cracked. I see just about every other explorer with the same problem- a definite defect in the design. I call my dealer and they said that Ford knows about the problem but is not paying for the repair. Ford must recall and repair this problem. I'm very disappointed in Ford's ignorance in customer satisfaction. Will not buy Ford again.

- , Magnolia, NJ, USA

problem #473

Feb 092011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

now that I have seen my plastic crack under the rear window..I see hundreds of explorers with the same problem...ford needs to knuckle up and fix this for free

- , Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #472

Feb 082011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,360 miles

Like the rest of my fellow Explorer owners think this is a ridiculous imitation of work quality put into a vehicle that had a MSRP of $41,000.......This problem is an eyesore and should be recalled and fixed by the Ford Motor Co........This is just one of many poor quality items that were put into these vehicles when they left the plant.......I serious doubt if I'll ever buy a Ford again. Every time I drive this car I get irritated by the various problems I've had.......NEVER AGAIN........

- , Burlington, KY, USA

problem #471

Sep 082010

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,200 miles

A vertical crack has developed on the rear hatch panel just to the left of the Ford insignia.

- , Monroe Township, NJ, USA

problem #470

Dec 012009

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

I did not realize how widespread this issue was until I started noticing other explorers with the same problem. I cannot believe that ford won't step up to the plate to correct this problem as it appears to be a design flaw, not wear and tear of the car.

- , Merritt Island, FL, USA

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