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:
12 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
20 / 0
Average Mileage:
101,814 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Sep 202016

Explorer

  • 85,000 miles

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

Significant front end impact with no airbag deployment. Vehicle was moving forward at the time of the accident on a city street.

- University Place, WA, USA

problem #22

Sep 202016

Explorer

  • 80,000 miles
The airbag on the drivers side did not deploy during the crash. The vehicle was traveling at 50 mph as indicated on the speedometer. Vehicle was on the highway at the time of impact. This failure resulted in multiple injuries to the driver.

- University Place, WA, USA

problem #21

Mar 202016

Explorer

  • 65,000 miles
The car was involved in an accident on 3/20/2016 - the air bags did not deploy on impact.

- Glendale, CA, USA

problem #20

Jan 282016

Explorer

  • 124,000 miles

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

Takata recall I was traveling home on a local city street. I was coming to an intersection with cars stopped at the traffic light. I had to have been going no more than 35 mph at the most when the "side" airbags deployed. The drivers and dash airbags did not deploy. Only the four side airbags deploy. The road was smooth and not bumpy. I did not hit the brakes hard. I did not hit anything nor did anything hit me. I do not know what caused them to deploy. No accident happened because of the deployment because I was not traveling at a speed that would cause an accident. I have made calls to Ford and my VIN number is not one listed for the recall at this time.

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #19

Aug 072015

Explorer

  • 195,000 miles
On Friday, August 7th at 1:00 pm I was going North on highway 52 out of rochester when the side airbags in my 2004 Ford Explorer spontaneously deployed. It sounded like a bomb went off in my vehicle and the driver side airbag struck the side of my face. After realizing what happened I could not see out the passenger windows of my truck (safety hazard as the airbags are now blocking vision of the highway), so I was forced to pull off on the left side of the highway (very dangerous). Because I was so shaken up I had to stand outside of my vehicle as I was so scared that the front airbag was next. I had someone come pick me up. I left the vehicle there and went to the Ford dealership to let them know about what happened. I was told that there is probably nothing they can do because my truck is out of warranty…what"?" on Monday I called the Ford Motor Company and explained the situation. I was told that the case was being escalated to the regional level and that they would contact me within 24 hours. I called again on Tuesday afternoon and was told they would send an E-mail to have the rep call me as soon as possible. Wednesday I called again and was told they would send an email and they also connected me to a voicemail so I left a message. I finally received a call at 5:00 on Thursday and was told that Ford will pay for the cost to download the data I am responsible for any repairs because the vehicle is out of warranty. I want compensation and I want answers! I could have been killed, I could have killed others if I had lost control, this could have been a very bad and dangerous situation and something needs to be done.

- Lake City, MN, USA

problem #18

Jul 092009

Explorer

  • 67,000 miles
I've had two (2) accidents (rear-ended and front accident), in which the air bags did not deploy. I didn't think of it at the time, but both accidents sustained extensive damage to my vehicle, yet the air bags didn't deploy. I hit the wheel hard and went to the hospital for X-ray, but it wasn't an injury that required anything further. My concern is that the air bags don't work. What should I do? I'm the original owner.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #17

Jan 052015

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • 140,000 miles

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

My daughter was driving our Ford Explorer, had come to a complete stop and was waiting to exit the freeway, traffic in front of her had also stopped. She got hit from behind by a car who failed to stop and was going at unsafe speed, according to police report, and pushed our Explorer onto a truck. The front passenger airbag deployed but there was no other passenger in the car. The driver side airbag did not deploy and my daughter hit her face against the steering wheel. We have been the only owners of the vehicle.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #16

Mar 122013

Explorer

  • 160,000 miles
The morning of the incident my wife turn the car on to warm it up before taking the kids to school and she was sitting in the driver's side when the airbag pop by it self she hurt her left arm and right arm called Ford the same day of the incident and they told me to wait a couple of days for they could send a letter to me for I could take it to a dealer waited and took it they took a look at it and pulled the restraints control module and installed a new one and waited for Ford to look at the module they pulled they send me a letter saying nothing was wrong with the module and they could not tell me why airbag pop.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #15

Mar 122013

Explorer

  • 160,000 miles
The morning of the incident my wife turn the car on to warm it up before taking the kids to school and she was sitting in the driver's side when the airbag pop by it self she hurt her left arm and right arm called Ford the same day of the incident and they told me to wait a couple of days for they could send a letter to me for I could take it to a dealer waited and took it they took a look at it and pulled the restraints control module and installed a new one and waited for Ford to look at the module they pulled they send me a letter saying nothing was wrong with the module and they could not tell me why airbag pop.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #14

Mar 122013

Explorer

  • 160,000 miles
The morning of the incident my wife turn the car on to warm it up before taking the kids to school and she was sitting in the driver's side when the airbag pop by it self she hurt her left arm and right arm called Ford the same day of the incident and they told me to wait a couple of days for they could send a letter to me for I could take it to a dealer waited and took it they took a look at it and pulled the restraints control module and installed a new one and waited for Ford to look at the module they pulled they send me a letter saying nothing was wrong with the module and they could not tell me why airbag pop.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #13

Mar 122013

Explorer

  • 160,000 miles

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

The morning of the incident my wife turn the car on to warm it up before taking the kids to school and she was sitting in the driver's side when the airbag pop by it self she hurt her left arm and right arm called Ford the same day of the incident and they told me to wait a couple of days for they could send a letter to me for I could take it to a dealer waited and took it they took a look at it and pulled the restraints control module and installed a new one and waited for Ford to look at the module they pulled they send me a letter saying nothing was wrong with the module and they could not tell me why airbag pop.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #12

Mar 122013

Explorer

  • 160,000 miles
The morning of the incident my wife turn the car on to warm it up before taking the kids to school and she was sitting in the driver's side when the airbag pop by it self she hurt her left arm and right arm called Ford the same day of the incident and they told me to wait a couple of days for they could send a letter to me for I could take it to a dealer waited and took it they took a look at it and pulled the restraints control module and installed a new one and waited for Ford to look at the module they pulled they send me a letter saying nothing was wrong with the module and they could not tell me why airbag pop.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #11

Mar 122013

Explorer

  • 160,000 miles
The morning of the incident my wife turn the car on to warm it up before taking the kids to school and she was sitting in the driver's side when the airbag pop by it self she hurt her left arm and right arm called Ford the same day of the incident and they told me to wait a couple of days for they could send a letter to me for I could take it to a dealer waited and took it they took a look at it and pulled the restraints control module and installed a new one and waited for Ford to look at the module they pulled they send me a letter saying nothing was wrong with the module and they could not tell me why airbag pop.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #10

Mar 122013

Explorer

  • 160,000 miles
The morning of the incident my wife turn the car on to warm it up before taking the kids to school and she was sitting in the driver's side when the airbag pop by it self she hurt her left arm and right arm called Ford the same day of the incident and they told me to wait a couple of days for they could send a letter to me for I could take it to a dealer waited and took it they took a look at it and pulled the restraints control module and installed a new one and waited for Ford to look at the module they pulled they send me a letter saying nothing was wrong with the module and they could not tell me why airbag pop.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #9

Jul 072014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
Driver #1(me) was traveling South on statesville rd. Driver #1 stated that she was initially a few car lengths behind vehicle #2. driver #1 stated that vehicle #2 made a sudden stop. Driver #1 stated that she could not stop in time and struck vehicle #2 in the rear. Driver #2 stated that he stopped to turn into center and was rear ended by vehicle #1. witnesses, stated that the driver of the Honda (vehicle #2) appeared to have over shot his turn, and slammed on his brakes to make a right turn into the pva.

- Concord, NC, USA

problem #8

Nov 152011

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
With no warning or abnormal instrument indications, both side air bags inadvertently deployed during vehicle operation. Vehicle was on a level paved state highway, between intersections, operating between 30-35mph.

- Peachtree City, GA, USA

problem #7

Jul 112011

Explorer

  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact was driving 65 mph when a crash occurred. The air bags failed to deploy and both the driver and passenger were injured. The passenger was ejected through the windshield and injured. The vehicle was destroyed. Prior to the crash, the brakes, rotors and wheel bearings were repaired. The VIN was not available. The police were notified and a report was filed. The failure mileage was 85,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- East Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #6

Nov 032010

Explorer

  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. While driving 45 mph she hit a deer. The air bag only opened in the column of the steering wheel. Powder residue came out of the air bag but the air bag did not come out at all. No one was injured; yet, there was damage to the front end of the vehicle. The vehicle was drivable to her residence. The dealer was contacted and informed her to bring the vehicle in for inspection. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 109,000.

- Rockport, ME, USA

problem #5

Jan 172010

Explorer

  • 72,000 miles
On 1-17-2010 @ approx 5:30 am I was enroute to work, it was raining heavily, I hit a puddle of water in the road, hydroplaned and hit head-on with a large tree. My 2004 Ford Explorer received over $12000 in damages and was totaled. I received chest/breast injuries. No air bags ever deployed. I contacted Ford motors who stated they would respond to me within 15 days regarding this defect. To this date I have not received any response.

- Kinston, NC, USA

problem #4

Jan 312007

(reported on)

Explorer

  • miles
2004 Ford Explorer had brake problems* the ABS locked up and caused the vehicle to overturn. The air bags failed to deploy during the accident.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

Read the next 3 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?