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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,189 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 7 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #78

Apr 242008

Explorer

  • 20,000 miles

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

2004 Ford Explorer cracked rear panel.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #77

Mar 012010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I am so angry., I own a 2003 and a 2004 Explorer. The 2004 has a crack that suddenly appeared in the rear panel. Ford knows this is and has been a problem with a defect in their product and talk condescendingly to their customers on the phone if you try to discuss it with them. They are not capable of doing anything but reading a response from a card, they are unable to have any type of conversation other than reading their canned response. This is the last time that I will buy a Ford.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #76

Dec 282009

Explorer

  • 102,000 miles
Rear glass on Explorer became disconnected from brackets. This matches prior complaint number RQ08003.

- Walcott, IA, USA

problem #75

Aug 172008

Explorer

  • 75,000 miles

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

My complaint isn't safety related but I have saw this on so very may Ford Explorer. The rear plastic below the rear hatch window cracks on either side of the Ford emblem. I thought maybe it was just mine.. but I have seen this on so many of Ford Explorer. To me this is a defect and from what I read Ford says its not a recall issue. But to me it is, its a defect that all though it is not safety related is still a defect none the less..

- Edgewater, FL, USA

problem #74

Jul 042009

Explorer

  • 94,000 miles
2004 Ford Explorer cracked rear panel.

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #73

Feb 112010

Explorer

  • miles
Went to load something in the back of my Explorer and noticed a black line running down between the window and tailgate and could not believe it was cracked, ,did nothing to cause it to crack. I got online and found that many other owners have had the exact same thing to happen. I suppose it will be treated like the transmission issues that I and many many other owners have had also, just ignored but never recalled although case after case after case have been reported.

- Cave City, KY, USA

problem #72

Jan 282010

Explorer

  • 53,000 miles

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

Crack in rear panel on lift gate below window at the Ford emblem.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #71

Dec 152009

Explorer

  • 59 miles
On December 15, I went shopping and when I went to place items in the back of my vehicle, I noticed a crack all the way from the back window to the bottom of the panel. I take very good care of my vehicle. There was no indication that the vehicle had been hit as there were no damages.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #70

Dec 152009

Explorer

  • 80,000 miles
Plastic under back glass around Ford logo cracked after a cool morning. (maybe 35 degrees) now the crack stretches open and closed various amounts each day.

- Thomasville, NC, USA

problem #69

Dec 012009

Explorer

  • 93,000 miles
Cracked tailgate frame under the window, from top to bottom.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #68

Jan 182010

Explorer

  • 81,000 miles

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

My 2004 Ford Explorer back hatch has a big crack on the left side of the Ford emblem. This happened overnight with the weather change. I have researched the internet to see thousands od similar stories with the same issue.

- Hickory Creek, TX, USA

problem #67

Oct 272009

Explorer

  • 86,000 miles
The rear panel under the back window of my 2004 Ford Explorer is crack, there were no events leading to this failure, like so many others it just cracked.

- Maynardville, TN, USA

problem #66

Jan 102010

Explorer

  • miles
A crack on my 2004 Explorer under the back window. There are 1000's of others on the road also have see all the complaints on the internet. This has to be recalled before the back window falls out.

- Centerville, IA, USA

problem #65

Jan 032009

Explorer

  • 66,452 miles
My back gate to my 2004 Ford Explorer has cracked and I have read where this is a severe problem as my window could fall out. This is a very serious problem and by reading online there are hundreds of thousands of these that have done this. Which means there needs to be a recall.

- Jonesboro, AR, USA

problem #64

Aug 142007

Explorer

  • miles
Months after purchasing this car the rear lift gate panel cracked due poor design.

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #63

Dec 232009

Explorer

  • 60,456 miles
2004 Ford Explorer XLT V6 rear panel under window on tailgate cracking and falling off also transmission failure at 60,000 miles was outraged by Ford when they stated that after the car leaves the factory its not their problem.

- Depew, NY, USA

problem #62

Feb 102008

Explorer

  • 75,000 miles
A crack formed below the rear glass panel on our 2004 Ford Explorer. The crack formed due to a flaw in the rear door panel. I have noticed the same crack on the same spot on either side of the Ford emblem on nearly 80% of the Ford Explorer's we see on the highway 's in the atlanta area.

- Locust Grove, GA, USA

problem #61

Aug 182009

Explorer

  • 74,636 miles
2004 Explorer/eddie bauer - the plastic trim below the rear widow cracked. As stated in many of the other complaints, the Ford dealer says there is nothing they can do, it's a Ford problem. Current mileage is 76,000.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #60

Dec 082009

Explorer

  • 56,000 miles
Cracks appeared below the rear window of my Ford Explorer. There was no accident.

- Owensboro, KY, USA

problem #59

Dec 052009

Explorer

  • 88,000 miles
2005 Ford Explorer has a crack in the rear hatch. Our friends had the same issue and the rear window eventually shattered while they were driving. This seems to be dangerous but Ford has not issued a recall.

- Easley, SC, USA

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