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 37 of 38)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #29

Nov 172007

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles

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

I was closing the upper half of tailgate (window portion) and did not slam or press hard on back and the plastic panel which runs the length under rear window and just to right of Ford Emblem cracked all the way thru and full length from window to latch. I am concerned that this problem seems prevalent for so many years (2002 had 271 complaints in this website alone)...god only knows how many were repaired and not reported. Ford needs to step up and help owners this is obviously a weak point in their manufacturing process.

- , Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #28

Nov 142007

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Ford needs to own up for their defective parts. How is it that I am being put out of 400-500 dollars, when I can see now that it is pretty common. The SUV is 3 years old, there is absolutely no reason as to why this panel should be split down the middle. It is ironic that it split right down the middle of the ford symbol. I just want to be treated fairly.

- , Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #27

Oct 012007

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,423 miles

I just returned from my Ford Dealership and one person told me he has seen some of these cracks. When the service manager came by he (probably thinking I was just a woman) told me it was my problem, I was to repair it and the only other ones he has seen were due to baseballs or some other trauma to the vehicle. My crack started small and then spread all the way around the Ford emblem in the back. I WILL NOT pay for this! This is definitely a problem Ford has to deal with or they should lose lots of customers. Lets all keep hounding Ford and get them to do something and be accountable for their product. IF not I will buy foreign next.

- , Spring, TX, USA

problem #26

Oct 312007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,721 miles

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

My wife came home from work this last Monday, and told me that there was a crack in the back hatch. When she told me this, I immediately thought about our annoying neighbors. So, I went to look at the damage, and I notice that it was in the actual plastic molding below the window, past the Ford emblem to the bottom of the panel. The next thing I thought to look for was any physical strike, there was none. So I decided to do some looking online and I discovered that I am not the first one to have this happen. So if any one has any suggestions, or solutions please let me know.

- , Haysville, KS, USA

problem #25

Oct 222007

(reported on)

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

FOLLOW UP * I just called FORD, they said that customers have to initiate complaint into FORD @ 1-800-392-3673 -- then, take it to a dealership (FORD) to make complaint & quote in the computer, then-- call FORD back and they will start the process. Now what they said it they are aware of the issue, that more people need to call directly into FORD, then go to the dealer and get an estimate, then follow through back to FORD. They said when they recieve enough official complaints through FORD, they will initate a actual RECALL.

Today, I spoke to TARA, badge # 723---at FORD -1-800-392-3673. Please, please, please call and go to FORD to get an estimate so we ALL can get our Explorers fixed!!!

- , Fort Bragg, NC, USA

problem #24

Sep 292007

(reported on)

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

And we wonder why Americans are alienating the Big Three and choosing imports. Here we have an American staple Ford Motor Company and one of their top of the line products, Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer, with a crack on the body panel, extending from the back window, through the Ford logo, and extending to the end of the lift gate. This is an embarassment to Ford and to me as a driver of the vehicle. Also, why should I, the faithful consumer of your products, fork out additional money to correct defects in Ford products? They should be more than willing to offer compensation for such repairs.

I checked with the local Ford bodyshop, "not covered since warranty is out", checked with my insurance company..."not covered since this is a factory defect".

Rest assured..... this is the last Ford that I plan to own. I used to show offense when someone would state what the acronym F. O. R. D. meant(fix or repair daily), but seemingly I have been on the wrong team.

Time to check out the imports since Ford is not willing to stand behind their products and product defects.

- , Winston-salem, NC, USA

problem #23

Sep 272007

(reported on)

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

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

I noticed a crack in the rear panel of my explorer on the 23rd of september; the wife thought she did it. Today I saw another ford with the same problem in the same location; so I got online and found this site. I have not called it in yet; however, I am going to call this in tomorrow and ask about fixes. I have an extended warranty so I am curious to see how this will affect the outcome. I did not realize this was such a huge issue with so many year models. You think they would have recalled or used better parts.

UGGGGGGH

- , New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #22

Sep 192007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,800 miles

we got our explorer back from having the transmission replaced when we saw the crack in the panel. we took it back to be fixed and three days later get the call saying they wont fix it but that it happens in 2 out of 5 explorers and to call the 1800 number to report it and they will fix it. well they tell us that they have no reports of the problem and will not fix it and to take it up with the dealer. so we call the dealer back and tell them this and they tell us to call back the 1800 number. we dont have time for this run around we have to work so we can actually pay to fix the problem if that is what it comes down to. so now we have owned the explorer for almost five months, put 3000 miles on it because we went on vacation and we have had to spend an extra 2500 dollars on it and who knows how much more to get the panel fixed. for being such a new car with low miles it sure has had a lot of issues for us already. WE WILL NEVER BUY A FORD AGAIN.

- , Winchester, VA, USA

problem #21

Sep 012007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

Came out to get in my 2004 Eddie Bauer Explorer today and found a crack in my rear liftgate starting at the window and going all the way to the bottom of the panel. It wasn't there yesterday, but saw it today when I came out from shopping. Thought it might be just a fluke, but realized when I came to this site I'm not the only one who has experienced this same annoyance. Sure, it's not a major thing, but it sure isn't something I was expecting to see. Of course my car's warranty just ended in March of 2007, so unless there's a recall I guess I'll be paying for the repair out of my pocket if I decide to have it fixed. What a pain!

- , Evansville, IN, USA

problem #20

Aug 192007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,551 miles

I live in Southern California... the weather extremes are very limited. I thought someone had taken something and physically split the car... Took it to the dealer thinking it should be covered under warranty. HA! I was 322 miles over the warranty and I had just had the car into the dealer at 35550 for service so in less than 1000 miles and the weather is sunny and 72-75 degrees the back hatch has completely separated and the dealership says "sorry it is past warranty". I am so fed up with the car and all of the little things that have gone wrong with it I could go on and on and on and on and on.

- , Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #19

Jun 032007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V-8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

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

Came out this morning to find the infamous crack running from below my rear hatch window around the Ford logo, what a pain in the butt! I cannot believe that I have found so many complaints about this and that Ford is denying responsibility on this issue.

- , Indian Trail, NC, USA

problem #18

Aug 122007

(reported on)

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,603 miles

Like the other registered complaint on this site regarding the cracked ford dressing under the rear window I walked out to find this one morning on my 2004 Ford Explorer Limited. The vehicle is garaged and is meticulously well looked after. This definitely appears to be a design fault in the vehicle. I just received a quote by Ford Australia (Blacktown dealership) to have this item replaced and was told it will cost $1100 (Australian Dollar). An absolute joke and rip off for what clearly is a design problem with this model.

- , Quakers Hill, NSW, Australia

problem #17

May 022007

(reported on)

Explorer LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,600 miles

My 2004 Explorer (bought in Nov. 2004) has the same problem with the crack in the panel below the liftgate window. The crack just miraculously appeared about three weeks ago. The crack starts right below the window then curves around the right side of the FORD logo before traveling straight down again for another 3-4 inches. At the base is a secondary crack, meeting the first at about 2 inches. I have not contacted my dealer yet, or the Ford Motor Company.

- , Edmond, OK, USA

problem #16

Apr 302007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

ONE MORNING A FEW MONTHS AGO, AS I WAS LEAVING TO GO TO WORK, I OPENED MY GARAGE DOOR AND NOTICED I HAD A CRACK BELOW MY BACK GLASS ON THE TAILGATE, I DID NOT KNOW WHY, I HAD NOT HIT ANYTHING AND IT WAS PARKED IN THE GARAGE ALL NIGHT. THE NEXT MORNING AS I WAS LEAVING FOR WORK AGAIN, THE BOTTOM HAD CRACKED OVER NIGHT. IT IS A STRAIGHT LINE UNDER MY WINDOW ABOVE AND BELOW THE FORD EMBLEM ON THE BACK. THIS PAST WEEKEND MY HUSBAND AND I WENT TO THE BEACH FOR THE WEEKEND AND WE WENT THROUGH A CAR WASH AND THE GUY THAT WAS DRYING OUR CAR OFF SAID SOMETHING ABOUT IT, HE SAID HE SEES THEM ALL OF THE TIME. ITS PRETTY SAD WHEN YOU PAY $30,000.00+ FOR A VEHICLE AND SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS AND FORD KNOWS IT AND OF COURSE THEY ARE NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I WILL NOT BE BUYING ANOTHER FORD IN THE FUTURE, THIS WILL BE THE LAST. I HAVE HAD ALOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS HAPPEN SINCE I HAVE HAD THIS VEHICLE. RIGHT AFTER I GOT IT ONE OF THE WINDOW MOTORS WENT OUT AND HAD TO BE REPLACED, THE MOTOR WAS BAD. I HAVE TROUBLE NOW WITH ONE OF THE OTHER WINDOWS SOMETIMES IT WANTS TO WORK AND SOMETIMES NOT. I HAVE ALSO HAD PROBLEMS WITH MY TRANSMISSION AND HAD PROBLEMS WITH IT GOING DEAD WHEN YOU TURN A CORNER. ALSO PROBLEMS WITH THE COLD START SENSOR.

- , Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #15

Apr 232007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

We own a 2003 and a 2004 Explorer XLT. The panel below the rear window recently cracked on both vehicles. The dealer said that Ford was not responsible for the problem and that maybe we were closing the hatch incorrectly. We have seen similar cracks on other Explorers around town.

- , Boise, ID, USA

problem #14

Apr 152007

(reported on)

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,256 miles

Panel below rear tailgate window in center is cracked. Dealer said I was SOL. Looking for any info re a class action suit. Please email me at sname9@earthlink.net

Thanks, Cal. T

- , San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #13

Mar 312007

(reported on)

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,500 miles

CRACKED THE APPLIQUE PANEL RIGHT AFTER THE WARRANTY IS OVER. HAD A EXTENDED WARRANTY AND IT WONT COVER THE APPLIQUE PANEL. FORD SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEFECTED AND SHOULD BE RECALLED FOR THIS.

- , Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #12

Mar 202007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

It seems that I have the dreaded cracked liftgate as everyone else. Came out from shopping one day to see it waiting for me. Have not even been to the dealer yet because it wont be covered by them and my warranty has run out. I am really not sure if I even want to fix it or possibly wait for a recall. Looks like I will probably do something about it before Ford does. I definitely will not own another one.

- , Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #11

Mar 192007

(reported on)

Explorer EDB V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

I noticed a stress crack on the liftgate of my Explorer and took it in and the dealer says to me that this problem is very common in Explorers and Mountaineers. It is due to the type of glue they used. Apparently they'll pay for it if it's under warranty but I'm just over my 36,000 miles so I have to pay for it. The dealership indicated it is a Ford defect but won't pay for it until it's a recall.... what kind of crap is that? This is a $40K vehicle!!! Then the guy tells me that if I don't fix this, there could be significant problems later with my liftgate. PLEASE DO NOT BUY ANY FORDS ANYMORE!!!!! I am looking to trade it in soon.

- , Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #10

Mar 152007

(reported on)

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I bought this SUV and a month later the back door cracked below the window. I contacted Ford and they told be that they could not do a thing until the NHTSA orders them to! Yeah right! They can order a recall on there own per the NHTSA web page. I called NHTSA and filled a complaint and I would suggest that everyone does that as well so we can get our Explorers fix! Their number is 1-888-327-4236 or you can report it to the NHTSA at http://www.safercar.gov. That will be the best way to get this done I think. If anyone has any other ideas on how to have Ford step up let me know. They said that it was not a safety issue at Ford.. It will be if the glass falls out on one of my children or when I am driving.

- , Port Charlotte, FL, USA

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