really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,806 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.

1996 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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1996 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

May 142007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,000 miles


The contact owns a 1996 Ford Explorer. On May 14, 2007, the vehicle's accelerator pedal detached without warning and the vehicle was towed off the road. The contact was driving 50 mph at the time of failure. She stated that the vehicle hood release also failed and the tow driver could not open the hood. The VIN, purchase date, and engine size were unknown. The current and failure mileages were 163,000.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #38

Jul 042005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles
Driving on the garden state parkway with husband, myself and 21 month baby in car, passing vehicle, when put foot on brake slowed down then when let off brake, car accelerated to a high speed, applied brake 2 more times, both times, slowed down but when took foot off brake the vehicle accelerated to high speeds without ever touching the gas pedal, resulted in a spin-out on the garden state parkway stopping short of crashing into another vehichle. Thank god no one was hurt. Called Ford consumer relations, was told to take to a dealer for diagnostic test. Took car the next day to a Ford dealer in cape may court house New Jersey, said nothing was wrong with car.

- Woodlyn, PA, USA

problem #37

May 252005

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When going down the road the accelerator fell off the firewall of the vehicle. When having it repaired by the dealership they had made a comment saying they had seen that before. They drilled bolted the firewall and attached it with bolts instead of spot welding it.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #36

Dec 292004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


On Wednesday December 29th, 2004, at approximately 3:30pm I was traveling South on rt. 9W in my 1996 Ford Explorer XLT. The weather was clear, approximately 35-40F, and the roads were clear of snow and ice. I passed a car going 35mph in a 55 mph area, and my Explorer stuck going at 3000R pms and accelerating. I tried to brake but my Explorer would not decelerate. I put on my hazards, put both of my feet on the brake pedals pushing as hard as I could and still could not control the vehicle. I ended up trying to pull into an empty parking lot, it still would not slow down so I turned the ignition off and ended up going through the parking lot and crashing down a 10 feet. Embankment. Both air bags deployed, vehicle was totaled. Transported to hospital by ambulance for observation and released.

- Port Ewen, NY, USA

problem #35

Oct 192004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Traveling home on highway 509 around 3:00 pm in my 1996 Ford Explorer, conditions were clear and dry, passed a car going 40 mph in a 55mph zone, upon passing the accelerator went straight to the floor and stuck there. Tried to place my foot under the pedal to lift up, could'nt. SUV steadilygaining speed, las time I glanced down I was going approx. 95mph, tried to apply brakes to slow down enough so I could get on the shoulder of the road safley, SUV went off the road did a flip in mid air rolled hitting on the passenger side and came to rest on drivers side. Air bags did not deploy, engine was still running wide open, managed to somehow reach the ignition key to turn engine off, it took fire rescue 35 minuters to cut me out of the SUV, I was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, as of 12/10/04 I am still going through therapy with my neck and shoulders, SUV was a total loss.had to purchase a new automobile.

- Mansfield, LA, USA

problem #34

Sep 052004

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,544 miles
The bracket holding the foot accelerator pedal on my 1996 Ford Explorer broke off while driving the vehile. As a result of this failure I lost complete control of the ability to add fuel to the engine and accelerate or hold speed. The bracket appeared to have been welded to the firewall as part of the manufacturing process. All 3 welds broke. At the time I was not doing anything out of the ordinary and had not put any abnormal strain or pressure on the foot feed pedal or the bracket. There is no appearance of corrosion so I suspect the welds failed farily recently. If this failure had occured as I was pulling into or accross traffic a serious accident could have resulted.

- Lincoln, CA, USA

problem #33

Jul 162003

(reported on)


  • 153,000 miles


While driving vehicle suddenly hesitated to accelerate, transmission had gone bad, per dealership.

- Athens, GA, USA

problem #32

Apr 292003


  • miles
While driving 55 mph the gas pedal fell off.

- Allison, PA, USA

problem #31

Mar 052003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,891 miles
Upon accelerating past a vehicle to change lanes, accelerator pedal became stuck against floor. Brakes were able to slow vehicle down but problem still existed. Engine had to be shut off to prevent fatal damage due to engine over revving after being put into neutral. New problem was posed as power brakes were not functional once engine was off. Able to finally get vehicle to a safe stop due to light traffic. Contacted nearby dealership and they suggested hitting the pedal to break loose. After several tries vehicle returned to normal. Drove very cautiously home.

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #30

Jun 162002


  • miles
While driving throttle pedal will stick and vehicle will accelerate. Could have caused an accident. Cause unknown. Dealer notified.

- Ludlow, MA, USA

problem #29

Dec 022001


  • miles


While accelerating on interstate 17 to pass a truck, the entire gas pedal assembly separated from the firewall of vehicle, causing a sudden loss of power and a near-collision.

- Holbrook, AZ, USA

problem #28

Dec 012001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
Accelerator sticks while driving requires placing vehicle in neutral and pulling accelerator pedal to correct - can be very dangerous in traffic with inexperienced driver.

- Rogers, AK, USA

problem #27

Jul 122001


  • miles
Consumer was traveling 65mph on highway and accelerated into another lane. Accelerator pedal was stuck all the way to the bottom of floor. There was a loud streaking noise, and both feet were on the brake. She was able to pull over to the shoulders, and vehicle had to be towed.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #26

Jul 032001


  • miles
The accelerator stuck, causing the vehicle to accelerate uncontrollably.

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #25

Apr 042001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
Sticking throttle body, causes gas pedal to stick after park. Identical to Ford recall of SOHC engine, however Ford recall does not cover this engine (4.0L push rod V6). Sticking pedal cured by replacing defective throttle body. Ford will not recall throttle body for this engine. Sticking pedal caused "sudden acceleration" from stop, resulting in close call backing into shopping center store front. Ford should recall this defective throttle body, all services have been performed since new at Ford dealer. Throttle body was cleaned by dealer in December 2000.

- Glen Mills, PA, USA

problem #24

Mar 212001


  • miles
Accelerator pedal got stuck for 4th time. Problem stated a year in a half ago. Consumer was traveling 60mph and accelerator pedal got stuck. Consumer tried brakes, almost standing with both feet on them, and they wouldn't work. Consumer pressed down on accelerator pedal to see if she could get it unstuck and accelerator pedal lifted and became normal. Consumer is currently insisting that Ford take a look at problem. Dealer is telling consumer that she needs to buy a new vehicle. Office of chairman of board is who the consumer is dealing with it currently.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #23

Jan 011997


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle will accelerate on its own, accelerator sticks, please add additional information.

- Elisabeth Town, PA, USA

problem #22

Nov 052000


  • miles
Accelerator pedal is too close to brake pedal one inch away. The master cylinder developed a leak allowing the brake peddle to travel past the accelerator pedal, because the accelerator pedal is so close the incidence of hitting both pedals becomes greater as it was with my vehicle. We had come to an almost complete stop then the 1996 Explorer accelerated into the vehicle in front of us. Simple fix bend the accelerator arm away from the brake peddle. On 98 Explorer's the accelerator pedal is three inches away indicating Ford discovered the problem, fixed in later models, but failed to notify 96 Explorer owners or their dealers.

- West Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #21

Dec 201999

(reported on)


  • miles
Accelerator pedals sticks on occasion when attempting to pass a car or accelerate to a higher speed, when the occurs the consumer has to kick the pedal, pull it loose with foot or hit the brake to dislodge the pedal.

- Unknown, UN, USA

problem #20

Jun 212000


  • miles
Gas pedal pivot frame became detached from floorboard/firewall while driving at 55 mph. Pedal was held with 3 flimsy spot welds. Repaired by dealer by bolting through bracket and truck body. Contacted Ford, and they refused to do anything. I noted a couple of instances of same problem in your database. Very fortunate that this did not happen on the beltway, where results would have been disastrous, if not deadly.

- California, MD, USA

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