Notes: How can we give the 2001 model year a "seal of pretty good" when it has some problems with a slipping transmission and a known problem with the speed activation control switch? Because it's not the 2002. That's how.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,796 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.

2001 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Jan 092009


  • 135,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Explorer. The contact heard rattling noises in the engine and the vehicle shut off. The vehicle was taken to a body shop and the mechanic stated that she needed a new transmission. The contact got a second opinion and was informed that a new engine was needed. A third repair shop stated that the timing chain and camshaft were the causes of the failure. The contact was informed that the parts were modified and were defective; therefore, entirely new parts were needed. The vehicle has not been repaired. The dealer diagnosed the issue as having engine failure. The failure and current mileages were 135,000.

- Plamcoast, FL, USA

problem #3

Nov 012006

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,184 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Explorer. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle began to ride roughly and backfired when the contact attempted to accelerate. The contact attempted to replace the spark plugs, however, the hex nut snapped when it was removed. Approximately one week later, the dealer inspected the vehicle and stated that the threaded part of the spark plug had failed inside the head. The dealer recommended that a machine shop remove the spark plug. As of July 3, 2007, the vehicle has not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 54,184.

- Freehold, NJ, USA

problem #2

Dec 042005

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,500 miles
After having my 2001 lmtd edition Explorer parked for over 45 minutes, the vehicle caught on fire and was consumed. It was a total loss, melted down to the frame of the vehicle. The fire marshal was unable to determine the cause of the fire as the damage was so severe, but I was referred to several articles regarding similar Ford Explorer fires.

- Marysville, WA, USA

problem #1

Oct 272003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 35,502 miles
While driving at any speed, the vehicle lost total power. When the new motor was placed in the vehicle, it would just die while in motion at any speed. It had taken the dealer three attempts when they told the consumer that there wasn't a running code, so it could not be fixed.

- Columbia, IL, USA

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