hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,654 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.

1998 Ford Explorer accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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1998 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #13

Nov 262009


  • 203,000 miles


I drive a 1998 Ford Explorer Sport. Over the past two years, the locks on both the driver and passenger door have jammed, preventing the occupant from opening the door. The repairs have been very costly (around $800 total), and the faulty/jammed locks have posed significant safety concerns, since the driver or passenger had to climb over the arm rest to get in and out of the vehicle. I would strongly suggest that you address this safety issue with Ford Motor Co. Asap. It may be too late for me. However, it will be a help to others who might have an accident and not be able to escape a fire or worse. If this had happened with my mother in the car, it would have been extremely difficult. The friend who had to climb in and out of the vehicle over the arm rest ended up with a sore back. We were out of town when the second incident occurred.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #12

May 012009


  • 135,000 miles
Door locks are stuck on passenger side of 1998 Ford Explorer. The door will not open at all.

- Aragon, GA, USA

problem #11

Sep 242009


  • 116,500 miles
I own a 1998 Ford Explorer XLT with electric door locks. Both the front driver and passenger door locks do not operate using any of the three available methods for unlocking. The remote key fob operation, the exterior driver door entry pad or the interior locking mechanism do not unlock the doors. This vehicle has the doors set to automatically lock when put in to any other gear than 'park' and the doors can only be opened using the interior handle which is only accessible from the rear door of my 4-door vehicle. This vehicle was purchased today to replace a similar vehicle (1999 Ford Explorer XLT) that had the exact same issue. Thankfully when I totaled the vehicle in an unfortunate accident the door did not stick close with the lock being the culprit.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #10

Nov 192005


  • miles


Doors and locks on my 1998 Ford has been out of order they work when they want to!! I saw that it had a recall in 1999 I guess the last owner didn't get it fixed im sometimes locked out of my car 10-15 min at a time!! I was wondering can you do something or is it too late!! I really need to get this taken care of because when I leave work it's dark!!

- Great Falls, SC, USA

problem #9

Jan 022009


  • 125,000 miles
One day when I attempted to enter my 1998 Ford Explorer, parked in my garage, the drivers side door would not unlock. Whenever the automatic feature locks the doors when I am driving or I lock the door using my key fob, it will not open from the exterior. I have to reach in from the rear door (or if I am in the drivers seat) and open the door with a very strong pull on the door handle. I have not taken the vehicle in for repair as yet. I have been aware of this situation for about 2 weeks as of today. Tedwards

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #8

Dec 102008


  • 76,000 miles
1998 Ford Explorer driver side door lock won't open. It won't open if you use the key, remote, or manually try to pull up on it while inside. However, the other doors and tailgate unlock ok. I am forced to enter the car on the passenger side and climb over a console in the middle to get into driver seat. I believe this is a serious safety issue as there is no way to get in or out of the car on the driver side. I am 76 years old and this is extremely difficult to get in over the console on passenger side. There are numerous complaints on internet for this exact problem.

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #7

Mar 252008


  • miles


Drivers side door is permanantly locked....a small spring fell out of door. It started about 7 months when the handle was getting a little difficult to pull. You could feel the pressure between the door and handle...about 3 weeks later the panel around the handle fell out and I found a small spring on the trucks floor....for a while after that I was able to open the door from the outside but not the inside. Very scary thought to know that if you were in accident you wouldn't be able to get out from the inside however, 2 weeks after that the door wont open at all (from the outside or inside!). its such a pain to have to crawl through the vehicle to get in and out and im pretty sure this very unsafe in case of an emergency. I know it cant be something I did to the vehicle because it was perfectly fine when I drove off the lot 2 years ago. I've researched this situation online and have found that there are tons of other people with the same problem, yet no solutions has been made...any ideas on this matter would be greatly appreciated, seeing how im still making payments on this vehicle and am literally "stuck" in it till its paid off.

- Lakewood, WA, USA

problem #6

Aug 162006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
: the contact stated the keyless entry was intermittently inoperable, then completely failed. Afterwards, the locks on the driver side door failed, and the driver side door no longer unlocks and cannot be opened. An independent repair shop determined the entire lock assembly on the driver side door needed to be replaced. Updated 09/15/06.

- Woodstock, NY, USA

problem #5

Mar 032005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 75,000 miles
The driver side door of my 1998 Ford Explorer Sport will not unlock. A spring broke, and the lock will not open without numerous attempts. This problem is well documented and the cause is well known (the spring design is poor).

- Forest, VA, USA

problem #4

Sep 102003


  • 50,000 miles
Took vehicle to have recall (03S04) performed for broken drivers seat bolts. (drivers seat is broken and leans way back ). I also asked them to fix the defective drivers door lock. The electric lock stays down I can not open the door I have to crawl out passengers side or out the drivers window. As I have been overcharged for repairs in the past I said I wanted to know how much it would cost to fix the door. They estimated that it would cost me $68 just to have them tell me how much it would cost to fix the defective door lock. I hit the roof, as they have cheated me in the past. (this dealership previously tried to sell me a new clutch for F150 pickup, it turned out that Ford had already created a $20 kit that fixed the clutch. ) service manager said they were not going to do the recall and told me to leave. I asked to speak with the dealership owner they told me that he was not in. I called the dealership10 minutes later and the owner was there. I highly suspect I was lied to. I told mike pallata the owner I wanted the recall performed. He told me that his dealership was not going to do the recall. My Explorer is on the road with defective seat and a drivers door that will not open. Ford has replaced two sets of defective tires and replaced a hood latch with all these defects why am I to think the door latch is not also a safety defect. I previously leased a 97 Ford Explorer the passengerrs seat broke on this one just like on the 98. They wanted me to pay to fix that seat at the end of the lease.

- Wooster , OH, USA

problem #3

Mar 212003

(reported on)


  • miles


The consumer was unable to unlock the power door from the inside and had to crawl out of the window, it was determined that the solenoid failed in the driver door.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #2

Feb 282003

(reported on)

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
The brake sensors were faulty, the driver seat bolt had broken and fell while driving, the driver door lock was defective, and the brake warning lights system was inoperative. Scc

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #1

Nov 152002


  • miles
The drivers side door lock failed to unlock.

- Norwalk, CA, USA

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