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. 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,427 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #18

Feb 092015


  • 135,000 miles


While closing the rear window glass hatch the driver side hinge broke allowing the window to fall out on that side. The rear glass hatch window is heavy and could have easily broken the hinge side allowing the glass to fall off the vehicle. A previous Ford recall on the very same component covered vehicles up to 2003. The exact same problem is occurring to this 2004 vehicle. Contacted Ford and they are not willing to help owners out. Had the vehicle been traveling at highway speeds and the hinge let go, there would be a very high probability of property damage and a very high probability of personal injury to others on the road.

- Ketchum, ID, USA

problem #17

Dec 172014

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • 105,900 miles
Leaving work at end of day, pulled out of parking space and rear glass shattered. The edges of the back hatch pulled away from the truck and curled up causing the glass to blow into the truck. A crack in the plastic of the hatch (which I have seen on many of this year model) has not been recalled and I have emailed Ford many times about this problem for fear of water getting in behind the panel. My belief is that water did get behind the panel and that is what caused the plastic panel to pull away and blow in the glass. Luckily my children were not sitting in the 2nd or 3rd row seating or this would have been a much larger problem. I believe Ford should have this problem addressed and recalled before someone gets seriously hurt from that flying glass.

- Duryea, PA, USA

problem #16

Aug 022014


  • 141,500 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that after opening the rear glass lift gate window, the two plastic hinges attached to the window fractured causing the window to fall and separate from the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 141,500.

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #15

Jul 042014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 108,800 miles


Upon opening the rear glass hatch, the passenger side of the hinge broke when fully open and the window fell down, hitting me in the head. The panel below on this same window to the left of the Ford logo plate had also cracked about 6 months ago.

- Union Grove, WI, USA

problem #14

Mar 202014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the rear liftgate glass unexpectedly shattered without accessing the door. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 69,000....updated 04-10-14 updated 04/22/14

- Coatesville, PA, USA

problem #13

Mar 072013

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that none of the windows were able to be opened when engaged. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection and they stated that the fuse needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was unknown....updated 05/29/13

- Michigan City, IN, USA

problem #12

Sep 102010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. While examining the vehicle the contact noticed a crack on the panel below the rear window. The vehicle has not been diagnosed and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 89000. Updated 01/03/11

- Pompton Planes, NJ, USA

problem #11

Sep 042010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 110,375 miles
1. panel below rear window cracked Nov 2009; crack is located to the left of Ford emblem and is the length of the panel. Ford refused to repair free of charge; we did not repair it. 2. this morning tailgate glass blew out while car was parked in our garage and thankfully no one was near it when it happened as glass flew everywhere. Car had not been driven for over 24 hrs.

- Crane Hill, AL, USA

problem #10

Aug 012010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the rear window panel was fractured. The vehicle was taken to three repair facilities where the contact was advised that the rear window panel would need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 28,000 and the current mileage was 28,990. Updated 12/01/10. Updated 12/07/10

- Stoney Point, NY, USA

problem #9

Apr 012010


  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the fiber glass fitting under the window next to the tailgate began cracking and was becoming progressively worse. The owner had not contacted the dealer. The current and failure mileages were approximately 57,000.

- Oceanside, NY, USA

problem #8

Apr 122009


  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The glass for the rear lift gate has developed cracks in it. The rear defroster was also inoperative. He notified the dealer, and a technician stated that it would cost $500 to replace the component. The technician also added that they were aware of the failure. No repairs were made. The manufacturer was notified, but no assistance was provided. He has pictures of multiple vehicles with the same model type, including his vehicle, with identical failures. The failure mileage was 55,000. The current mileage was 65,000.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #7

Apr 282008


  • 52,800 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. Directly below the rear window, near the rear trunk door, the fiberglass window was cracked. The vehicle has not been inspected, but the contact believes that the failure was something that the manufacturer should recall and repair. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 52,800.

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #6

Apr 282008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 87,432 miles
The operator of the sport utility vehicle opened the rear window to obtain materials in the back of the SUV. Once the rear window was lifted open. The bolt that attaches the hinge to the window sheared off, causing the window to fall down and striking the operator in the head and neck. The part will be replaced (hinge and bolt). The failed parts will be kept.

- Henderson, CO, USA

problem #5

Apr 112008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,985 miles
My 2004 back rear window panel cracked- defective panel from Ford, approx every Ford Explorer has the same problem and Ford will not recall as a mfg defect you can find hundreds of complaints for the same problems on all Ford Explorer 2002 to 2005.

- Lakeside, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 142007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,500 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. While using the remote to open the rear window, the glass hinge failed and caused the window to fall from the window frame. The contact notified the dealer and manufacturer and they stated that his vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 01I010000 (visibility:glass, side/rear). The window has yet to be repaired. The current and failure mileages were 33,500 updated 01/02/08. Updated 01/02/08.

- Felton, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 082007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
The hinges on the lift gate window on my 2004 Ford Explorer broke causing the rear window to fall out of the window frame. Ford Motor Company told me that there is a recall for the problem on the 2002 and 2003 models but were not "aware" of any similar problems with the 2004 model.

- Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #2

Mar 162007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,400 miles
- the contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The rear hatch lift near the rear window cracked. The dealer would not repair the window because the vehicle was out of warranty. The failure mileage was 56,400. The door ajar light flickered on and off until the hatch was pushed and then the light would stop flickering.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #1

Oct 112004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Car was parked in a driveway with rear window towards garage door. The back window of the car along with a piece of the actual door exploded off. The piece of the door flew up into the air and came crashing back down onto the car. Their was glass everywhere. Had anyone been facing the car it could have caused some serious bodily injury. Or had the car been in motion anyone inside the car could have been hurt or anyone driving behind could have been hurt.

- Spotswood, NJ, USA

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