CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2002 Ford Explorer is hands-down our worst vehicle 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 2002-2003 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.

6.5

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$449.00
Average Mileage:
79,256 miles
Total Complaints:
622 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. Ford should pay for it (396 reports)
  2. not sure (86 reports)
  3. paid to have rear panel replaced (48 reports)
  4. file complaint with NHTSA to get a recall issued (26 reports)
  5. start a class action suit and get damages reimbursed (17 reports)
  6. dealership replaced the entire panel (10 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 14 of 32)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #362

Sep 182008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I called the dealership and was told that it has happened before to other vehicles of the same year, make and model and that to fix the problem it would be around $473.00. I have seen two other explorers of same color (red) that had the same problem. The split I have is about 2 inches from the ford oval on the right. It extends from the window to the bottom of the panel.

- , Orange, TX, USA

problem #361

Sep 072007

Explorer EB 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Same thing. Started as one crack vertically, now it is traveling horizontally the length of the window and getting longer, wider and uglier. I am surprised Ford is not acknowledging this as THEIR issue. This is my 4th explorer and this clearly happened after a cold snap we had here but now the start of summer has made it worse. If someone has any info of were I can complain to Ford let me know.

- , Seattle, WA, USA

problem #360

Jun 102009

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

MY PANEL ALSO CRACKED. EVERYONE I SEE ON THE ROAD IS CRACKED

VERY POOR ON FORD

SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME.

- , Lebanon, NJ, USA

problem #359

Jan 182009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 185,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

OUrs has 2 cracks, 1 running horizontally & 1 vertically. It happened a few months ago, and I think it was caused by the cold. I'm worried it'll get worse as the summer heats up, so I'm going to get it repaired. Nice to know Ford is so responsive to customers. No wonder the US car industry is in such trouble. I'll update once i settle on a COA.

- , Lexington Park, MD, USA

problem #358

Sep 012008

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Panel cracked, Hatch does not latch properly. Ford couldn't care less.

- , Park Ridge, IL, USA

problem #357

Dec 142008

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

I am afraid to open the back as I don't want to loosen the seal on the window for fear it will fall out!!!

- , New Kensington, PA, US

problem #356

Apr 092009

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,450 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FORD PEOPLE, WE HAVE OWNED A TOTAL OF 13 FORDS OF WHICH WE STILL HAVE 5. WE HAVE NEVER HAD PROBLEMS WITH, UNTIL NOW I WAS SO HAPPY TO GET MY DREAM CAR MY 2002 EXPLORER LIMITED. I TAKE VERY GOOD CARE OF MY CARS INSIDE AND OUT SERVICING EVERY 3000 MILES IT HURTS TO SEE NOT ONLY THE CRACK PANEL UNDER THE BACK WINDOW BUT PART OF IT FALL OF. I CALLED FORD LIKE MANY OF YOU I WAS TOLD PRETTY MUCH THAT I SOL THE REPAIR WAS ON ME. I LIKE MANY OF YOU DON'T HAVE THE MONEY FOR THE REPAIR. THIS IS MAKING ME RETHINK BUYING ANY MORE FORD CARS

- , Las Vegas, NM, USA

problem #355

Oct 172006

Explorer XL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,125 miles

This is obviously a factor defect with seeing so many complaints as well as seeing it on so many other explores

- , Yorba Linda, ca, USA

problem #354

Feb 082007

(reported on)

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,100 miles

I OWN A FORD 2002 EXPLORER, AFTER HAVING PROBLEMS WITH USED CARS I MADE THE CHOOSE TO BUY A NEW CAR. I LOVE MY CAR UNTIL THE PEOPLE WHICH BUILT IT WILL NOT FIX A CRACK PANEL. I HAVE HAD NO CRASH, REALLY DON'T OPEN IT. MY HOBBY IS MUSIC AND PLANNED TO KEEP MY EXPLORER AND AID SPEAKER, IPOD, STEREO AND SUB WOOFERS. THEN I NOTICE A CRACK IN THE PANEL AND CALLED FOR HELP. I CALLED 1-800-392-3673 AND WAS TOLD IT COULD HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY A RECALL ON 2002 FORD EXPLORERS. I WAS SENT TO THE DEALER SHIP AND DEALERSHIP SAYS THAT THEY HAVE 2 OF THESE PROBLEMS A WEEK. I WENT HOME AND CALLED THE NUMBER AND WAS TOLD I WOULD BE CALLED BACK IN A COUPLE OF DAYS. I WAS LEFT A MESSAGE AND CALLED THEM BACK THAT NEXT MONDAY AND WAS SPOKEN VERY BAD AND TOLD WHERE NOT FIXING THIS BECAUSE ITS NOT CAUSED BY THE RECALL, DEFECT AND OVER 75,000 OR NO EXTEND WARRANTY. I THOUGHT THERE WAS A DIFFERENCE IN ENGINE AND BODY WARRANTY. NOW I KNOW NOW HOW A TENNIS BALL FELLS AND FORD WILL NEVER HAVE ME AS A CUSTOMER FOR 5 YEARS AGAIN.

- , Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #353

Feb 082007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

cracked panel below rear window, same as everyone else. called ford customer service, they said get estimate ($302.89)at local ford dealer and call customer service back. I did so. but, like 99% of you I'm sol. Not sure if i would buy another ford again. too bad. By the way FORD, your customers are not made of $. It's a real eye sore, not what I would consider good advertising for FORD. Extremely unhappy in Schenectady NY

- , Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #352

Dec 222006

(reported on)

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I'm so relieved to have discovered this website! I just noticed this problem on my Explorer and, because it is one of many, I'm fed up! I have two cracks under the rear window on either side of the Ford logo. Haven't had it checked out with the dealer yet but I will. I felt so much better when I discovered that others have had this problem too. My Explorer overall has been one thing after another. But this issue in particular needs to be fixed by Ford. I wonder if anyone from the Ford Motor Co. monitors sites like these. I figure the more people who enter complaints the better!

- , El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #351

Dec 222006

(reported on)

Explorer LX 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

2002 ford explorer 40,000 miles just noticed large crack under rear window. My son works at a body shop and says there has been many complaints of this defect.

- , Pipersville, PA, USA

problem #350

Dec 242006

(reported on)

Explorer Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

After reading all complaints already logged for this problem I feel this will be my 4th and last Ford explorer, if Ford doesn't step up to the plate. Dealer says $600.00 to replace, so it will happen again---I don, t think so!

- , Swansea, IL, USA

problem #349

Mar 222007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I started developing a crack on the rear panel beneath the window about a year after purchase. It started slow, but was progressive and has now gone through the entire panel. I guess the stress has been relieved by the crack. This was poor workmanship on Ford's part. Ford should go ahead and recall the panel, just make a bunch up in the most popular colors (others available for something like a dollar). I would tolerate a slight variance in paint color vs. the stupid crack. I always figured it was my own car until I started seeing them. This will probably be as common as the sagging rear bumper on prior models.

- , Sykesville, MD, USA

problem #348

Apr 032007

(reported on)

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I like many others have a large crack in the back of my 2002 Ford Explorer. It is next to the right of the emblem and spans all the way through the shell from glass to top hatch opening. This happened a couple weeks ago and I have been watching for other explorers and am starting to see more of this.

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #347

Apr 042007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

About a month ago my wife thought something hit the roof. It was actually the sound of the panel splitting from top to bottom.

I sent an email to Ford, but they pretended not to know what the problem was. They want me to send pictures. Judging from previous complaints, Ford will probably reply with "the out of warranty defense".

I have notice since, several Explorers and Mountaineers with the same damage. There is no doubt this is a Ford flaw and they should be responsible.

- , Allen, TX, USA

problem #346

Mar 222007

(reported on)

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Crack in the plastic panel below the lift window cracked during cold weather. I first noticed the crack while the vehicle was parked in our attached garage. Have taken the vehicle to a Ford dealer and will check on wararnty coverage and repair costs.

- , Amboy, IN, USA

problem #345

Feb 292008

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I love my Explorer. I rolled my last one and, YES I GOT ANOTHER ONE.. It has a crack under the back window on the back hatch. I am very disappointed. I can't afford to have it fixed and it is very noticeable. I have seen several just in my home town that have the same crack. I think Ford should recall this problem.

- , Jackson, TN, US

problem #344

Apr 022009

Explorer XLT V6 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

I can't believe this isn't a recall. I have seen this so many times, I almost thought that Ford Intentionally had them split like that. But no.... it's a crack, they all have it in the same rough area. Sadly, mine isn't centered properly, its about 2/3 inches off center, so it looks pretty harsh.

- , Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #343

Sep 012006

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I too thought the damage was caused by being hit by something. All you have to do is look around, same crack in all explorers.

- , Wilmington, MA, US

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