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 7 of 38)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #629

Jan 202014

Explorer XLS V6 4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,627 miles

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

So sickened to discover the crack today on my 2004 Explorer, after reading this site it sounds like there have been many. I feel that Ford knows of this problem and it should be repaired, that is a very sorry part to put on what was a nice looking car. Mine is always garage kept and only has 8600 miles on it. It was my pride and joy and still looked brand new, now I have an ugly crack on the back and understand that it will continue to crack more.

We can only hope that Ford will be made to do what is right. All of our cars are Ford, but that will not be the brand of choice in the future.

- , Lawton, OK, USA

problem #628

May 162008

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Crack in the middle of the panel that goes around the Ford Logo.

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #627

Oct 012013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,500 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

It developed the crack in early fall as soon as we got a little colder weather. I think this is a defect that Ford should cover.

- , Madison, WI, USA

problem #626

Nov 032012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

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

this is the 3rd ford explorer that i have had this problem with, i think ford should replace.

may not buy another because of this

- , Dennison, OH, USA

problem #625

Dec 172011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

Bought the car in October 2010 used with 94,000 miles and 1 year later the rear panel cracks out of the blue. I drive all highway miles to work daily, but my once "like new" car now appears marred and it seems Ford is doing very little to help with the issue. I mentioned I drive highway miles and since the rear panel cracked, I have began to notice almost every Ford Explorer I see on the highway, also has cracked rear panels as well. This is complete BS that Ford is not stepping up to the plate and replacing this obviously defective part.

- , Greenfield, IN, USA

problem #624

Mar 162012

Explorer SU 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,200 miles

I went shopping and when I left my car there was no crack, when I came back to my car about an hour later, the back part of the lift gate was cracked from the top down to the FORD emblem, around the edge of it and then to the bottom of the panel.

When I got home, my husband called Ford asking about it and was told that they were aware of the problem and they had replaced them free for a couple of years but then discontinued because of the cost to repair them. He then told him it would cost between $300 - $500 to replace it. The last time he asked about it they told him they would replace it for $300 including painting it. Forget it! too expensive and not worth it. As long as it doesn't rain inside the car, I won't worry about it.

- , Loganville, GA, USA

problem #623

Sep 152013

Explorer XLT 4/4 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,940 miles

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

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window cracked panel below the rear window

I believe this problem should have been a recall by Ford, and Ford should have Ford away to solve this problem with the back panel.

- , Maywood, IL, USA

problem #622

Sep 202013

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Happens to all of them. should have been a recall.

- , Miamisburg, OH, USA

problem #621

Oct 312012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

I like having my vehicles look like new. With this problem, I think it looks awful and make it look bad for me and the manufacturer. Since I have been reading online and seeing other vehicles like mine on the road with the same issue. I wish Ford would recall this issue.

- , Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #620

Apr 012012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

Add me to the cracked panel club

Came out of nowhere- just noticed it yesterday

- , Danvers, MA, USA

problem #619

Jan 152011

Explorer XL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

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

I'd like ford to recall since it is a model wide problem.

- , Morehead City, NC, USA

problem #618

Dec 042011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Too bad Ford made such a piece of @!%$# SUV . I loved my F150 - it was good to me for many years. As for the Explorer... Never Again!

- , Warwick, RI, USA

problem #617

Feb 292012

Explorer LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,700 miles

I own a 2004 Explorer and a few months ago I noticed the crack in the back panel of it. I am not happy at all about this. I believe Ford should recall this & fix the issue. Driving around I know look at other Explorers and notice the same crack. FIX THIS FORD. I KNOW I WILL NEVER buy a Ford again !!!

- , Mobile, AL, USA

problem #616

Jan 102012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

As I can see how many people have filed this complaint about the back cracked panel by the Ford Emblem - I also have the cracked window hinge and waiting for the back window to fall off!

Two other people at my company have the same '04 Ford Exp and have the same issue - we all showed up at our local Ford dealer when we ALL purchased and got the same thing - we will replace - but we have to pay!

Been a Ford driver my whole life and will rethink my next purchase unless Ford steps up on this! Was proud of them for not taking the bail out..but now this - UNACCEPTABLE!

- , Bowdion, ME, USA

problem #615

Sep 012012

Explorer LXT V6, 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Ford needs to recall this problem. Back panels crack below the rear window. I have spoken with many people with this same problem!!!

- , Torrance, CA, USA

problem #614

Oct 012011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

One day when I was putting groceries into the back I noticed this big crack below the back window. I first thought someone hit it with something then I noticed a line that was apparently there from the factory that had opened up. I began noticing other cars with the same problems. I started taking pictures of them but then hesitated thinking it might make others suspicious of me taking pictures of their cars and the tags associated with them to show this was not on one car but on a multiplicity of them. Now my friends have even started noticing other cars with this problem and tell me they have seen lots. This needs to be recalled by the factory. We have owned Ford Motor products all our lives and have 3 in our possession now. We have bragged on Ford to everyone and made the statement "we would never have anything but a Ford". That's not the case now. There is a multiplicity of major problems with this explorer who is owned by 2 older people and who has never been used by children which sometimes explains abuse to autos. The interior is falling apart in about 6 different and major ways and areas. I am furious!

- , Pass Christian, MS, USA

problem #613

Feb 172012

Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,934 miles

This panel is plastic, and subject to jarring every time the rear window or lift gate gets shut. It should have been metal.

- , Abbotsford, BC, canada

problem #612

Dec 242012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

I paid 34K for this Explorer. This is not my problem to fix. My problem was to pay for the car, not pay for defects in the car. It looks like other years have had the same problem. My insurance company has turned me down for repairs, due to a defect in materials. Now I am expected to to pay for something that was not caused by me. This is truly unfair. I have bought Fords for years. I had 2 Ford trucks that had defects in the engine and have pay for 2 engine replacements for both of our 1997 pick ups, but if I have to pay for this defect, than I will no longer be a Ford customers. If I have to pay for this fix, this is the last Ford defect I will pay for, it is completely unfair.

- , Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #611

Dec 192012

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

I bought my with the crack-figured someone had done something to it beforehand. After reading up on it....apparently this is an ongoing issue. It's only a minor issue, but for so many of them to be doing it-it must be a design flaw. If I had bought it new-I would be mad as a hatter.

It's so, so, so wrong of car companies to know of an issue and not fix it. It happens over and over with cars. You get a car. Something goes wrong. You look for information on it. Find out millions of others have the same problem. Then you find out the manufacture isn't acknowledging the problem or doing anything to fix it.

RIDICULOUS

- , Jonesville, KY, USA

problem #610

Mar 102009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles

Spoke to Ford Rep. they stated that if it cracked with less then 12,000 miles they would fix it. They basically said they know there is a problem but won't do anything untill ordered to.

- , Brooklyn, NY, USA

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