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 previous generation of Explorer was so awful that the redesign in 2006 was greeted with much optimism. That didn't last long.

The transmission continues to be the Explorer's worst reliability problem. Owners report shifting hard & lunging, typically starting as low as 40k miles with a $1,600 average repair bill. On top of that, the radiator is prone to failure around 60k miles. Repairs for the radiator run $500 to $1,000 & many owners report they've had to replace the radiator multiple times for leaks, indicating a possible design defect in the OEM replacement parts.

Ford did make some significant changes to improve handling and safety. Electronic stability control was added in addition to side impact air bags, but beyond that this is a vehicle that should be avoided at all costs.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,200 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.

2006 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #6

Jun 032016

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. When the vehicle was started, the passenger side air bag warning light illuminated. The contact stated that the front passenger seat was occupied; however, the warning light remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed. The mechanic was unable to retrieve a fault code. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 103,000. Updated 11/29/16

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #5

Sep 162007


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the vehicle was in park and when attempting to shift into reverse, the vehicle exhibited an unusual dropping noise and began to jerk violently. In addition, when starting the engine the vehicle would often lunge forward abnormally. When braking, the vehicle would also jerk violently as if someone had crashed into the rear of the vehicle. The contact also stated that she was unable to see out of the passenger rearview mirror when the second row seat was upright because the headrest was obstructing her view. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer several times who was unable to duplicate the failure. The contact called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was approximately 109,000 and the failure mileage was approximately 38,000.

- Cabot, AR, USA

problem #4

Jan 012006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,200 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that there is not enough padding on the front driver side seat of the vehicle. The dealer recommended taking the vehicle to an upholster shop. The upholsterer added more padding to the front seat and the contact stated that this made the seat more comfortable. The current mileage is 55,000 and failure mileage was 1,200. The consumer stated this is a company car and uses the vehicle for transportation to and from sales locations. The consumer provided copy of letters to Ford pertaining to the defect, copy of registration, and insurance card. The consumer stated the discomfort of the seat caused his leg to become swollen and upon seeking medical treatment, it was discovered he suffered a deep vein thrombosis and a blood clot had broken loose and caused a pulmonary embolism. The vehicle is a company owned. Updated 08/07/07

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #3

Nov 252006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The head rest on the rear seats of the 2006 for Explorer pose a serious vision obstruction. You cannot see when backing up or changing lanes. If you have a car seat in the back seat you cannot let the head rest down. You also cannot move the head rest up or down, only tilt the head rest forward.

- Whitman, MA, USA

problem #2

Oct 102006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Under the front driver and passenger seat, there is surface rust on the metal frame and components. Rust is not likely serious, but can stain anything it touches, and may progress to more serious rust, causing parts to break down, or malfunction. Dealer I bought vehicle from called Ford service center, and Ford is aware of the problem, and as they deem it "normal wear and tear" it is not covered by any sort of warranty. Normal wear and tear"?? rust inside a new vehicle??" checked other Explorer on the lot and they also have the same problem.

- Chatham, 00, USA

problem #1

Oct 092006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The headrest on the rear seats of the 2006 for Explorer pose a serious vision obstruction. You cannot see out of the side of the vehicle for passing or changing lanes. If you have a car seat in the back seat you cannot let the headrest down. You also cannot move the headrest up or down, only tilt the headrest forward.

- Ripley, TN, USA

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