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 30 of 32)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

Dec 072006

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

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

1st of all cold or heat if the car can't take it, it has been design wrong. There are minimum standards that a vehicle must be designed. After they found out about this defect they still only sold the replacement in black, when they should of had in every color they manufacture. The real cost is in the body and paint shop, not the 40$ part. This plastic piece below the back window may only be for aesthetics but it also shows that even the simplest part is lackadaisically designed. Fix Or Repair Daily.

- , Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #41

Dec 112006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,245 miles

This just happened and the fact that it currently is the #1 complaint on this site indicates that ford definitely has a quality problem with this piece.

- , Kamloops, BC, Canada

problem #40

Dec 082006

(reported on)

Explorer Limited 4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

total BS. Known defect... Ford should fix this problem.... we will never buy ford vehicles again... too many other problems as well

- , Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #39

Nov 062006

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,200 miles

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

A Ford dealership decided to fix the hinge on the rear tailgate without my authorization. The day after I got it back, I noticed the large crack in the back panel below the window. I was told that it was a "warm/cold" crack. I didn't believe it, it hasn't been warm or cold here in any single day or days! Now I find out it is common. The Ford dealership wants to charge me $100, but the rest is under warranty. Why do I want to pay ANYTHING for something that is clearly a manufacturing flaw??? I would like to have a large sign made "FORD P.O.S! FAULTY CAR, WORSE SERVICE. INQUIRE WITHIN FOR TRUTH! What a scam. I will NEVER buy another Ford. Hope they go broke! They don't deserve to stay in business.

- , Burnsville, MN, USA

problem #38

Nov 062006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

My panel cracked in February 2005 on my 2002 Ford Explorer. The dealership fixed it free of charge. However, the replacement panel cracked again this week 11/4/06. I called Ford Company and the dealership and I am waiting to hear how they will handle this. The same panel cracking in the same place is not coincidental. I also feel the part should be recalled and refitted with a durable piece. My feeling on this is "Built Ford Flimsy", certainly not "Built Ford Tough."

- , Evergreen, NY, USA

problem #37

Dec 012006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

I purchased this 2002 Explorer 2 weeks ago after having owned a 1993 Explorer that was excellent for a number of years. I just noticed the crack yesterday. Needless to say I am very disappointed.

- , Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #36

Dec 012006

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6 V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

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

Another 2002 with a cracked liftgate glass applique (plastic panel below rear window). I agree with a lot of others, the quality and service of Ford has forced me to never buy another Ford.

- , Ephrata, WA, USA

problem #35

Nov 302006

(reported on)

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

The panel below the rear window of my 4 year old FORD EXPLORER cracked all the way through. The dealership said it was because of the cold weather .... HELLO its been averaging 50 degrees this November!! I heard it crack will I was driving, thought a window cracked.

This is just plain wrong ... Fault design or material.

Bottom line is a panel on a 4 year old car should not be cracking. Dealership said they have seen several of these. How do you get this investigated and a RECALL ISSUED?

If Ford refuses to pay for this I'm selling my Explorer and never buying Ford again. Oh and look for me on YOUTUBE.COM under Ford Explorer Cracked Rear Panel ...... They may make pay for the repair but I'll make them pay $1,000 over with negative publicity!

FORD IT'S YOUR MOVE.

- , Goshen, IN, USA

problem #34

Nov 302006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,380 miles

My Explorer have also cracked at the rear, between the glass and the Ford Logo, I found this out after reading all the complaints on this cracked. I went and check my explorer, yes inded it has cracked. This is a serious problem and Ford should have a recall on this and they should shoulder the cost for repair.

- , American Canyon, CA, USA

problem #33

Nov 272006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

After Paying $35000 for a 2002 Ford Explorer the fact that it is now cracked under the rear window really ticks me off!! Ford should stand behind their products. My vehicle has been garage kept since it was brand new. I have been the only owner, and I can tell you exactly why the problem is occurring. FORD in it's infinite wisdom tried to correct a defect with the shocks on the rear window lift panel (they had to make sure they would stop failing - recall) so they made them stronger which has now caused STRESS CRACKS from closing the panel and having to use more force to do it. I can figure this much out and I am NOT a FORD ENGINEER. I know of another person with a 2003 Ford explorer which had the same problem... lucky for them they were under a lease at the time and did not have to pay for it. I plan to feature FORD MOTOR COMPANY on EVERY CONSUMER SITE I CAN FIND, and report them to any other consumer organization I can until they stand up and do the right thing!!!!! KEEP the complaints coming, we need to be able to show them the pattern here!

- , Littleton, CO, US

problem #32

Nov 292006

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,800 miles

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

Mine cracked too! Dealership told me that Ford set up an assistance program. I pay $100 and they pay the rest. No warranty on new part. If it cracks again, I pay again. Its a bad design and Ford should fix it for free!!!! I'm all in for Class action! I still like my Ford (sad isn't it!)

- , Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #31

Nov 212006

(reported on)

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I've already filed a complaint about the rear differential leaking and Ford not doing anything about it. Now I've discovered a crack in the rear panel and see many other complaints for that too!!! What else will go wrong with this vehicle!!!! Ford needs to do something about this.

- , Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #30

Nov 272006

(reported on)

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,500 miles

My Ford Explorer had this on it when I bought it. The Salesman told us it was just a scratch and I wasn't going to get a perfect used vehicle. I was only 19 at the time so I just bought it. I called back and talked to the guy after it was obviously not a scratch and he told me i couldnt do anything. The car looks like sh*t! I was never even notified about the glass in the back being a recall. I have 3 small babies all 3 and under and I am afraid that something might happen when they are in the car, its really sad that I don"t want to take my babies in my vehicle because of problems that should be taken care of. How am I supposed to trade a car in with a huge crack in it and get what out of it?? NOT WHAT I OWE. I will be contacting Ford and they arent going to like me when i am finished with them. I feel it is a safety hazard because if the glass would fall out it could cause an accident or hurt someone really badly and with the back panel it could just as well fall off like the sh*tty window, This is the first vehicle I have ever purchased from the dealership and when i came home with it a friend of mine works at walmart in the car area and told me it was a mistake,,, they all call the explores THE FORD EXPLODERS and now i feel that way. If it doesn't get taken care of then i will never buy another ford ever in my life.

- , Gibsonburg, OH, USA

problem #29

Nov 272006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,590 miles

Crack appears to be either a material or design defect.

- , Goose Creek, SC, USA

problem #28

Nov 232006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Cracked panel under rear window... Ford would not cover it. They said it would be about $450 to replace it.

- , Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #27

Nov 142006

(reported on)

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

i THINK THERE ARE ENOUGH COMPLAINTS TO WARRANT REPLACEMENT BY FORD

- , Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #26

Oct 212006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I discovered this large crack in the rear gate under window out of know where. Went to ford and they say there are no recalls for this problem. I don't feel responsible for this . I think it is a defect and ford should pay. I take personal pride in the vechicle that I drive and this bothers me alot . I think Ford has a big problem for which they are ignoring.

- , King City, CA, USA

problem #25

Nov 062006

(reported on)

Explorer Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I bought this truck used with 65,000 miles on it, it was in excellent condition too. I have only had the truck for about a year now and have had no problems so far, until recently. I use my back window pretty regularly and one day out of nowhere I noticed a four inch crack to the left of the Ford emblem. I saw no evidence of anything striking the truck so I figured it might be a defect, I thought about purchasing some type of epoxy fill and body paint to correct the problem until I noticed the same problem on two other Explorers in my area. I definitely feel that Ford should correct this problem for free.

- , Glen Burnie, MD, US

problem #24

Oct 032006

(reported on)

Explorer LE

  • 40,000 miles

The crack below the rear window appeared while the vehicle was parked in our driveway. It occured last winter. The width of the crack is definitely wider in cold weather than during warm or hot days. I believe it is a contraction and expansion problem and it will continue to occur after it is fixed. That leads me to believe why Ford is not recalling this defect. The replacement of the panel is not the solution, the replacement of the rear hatch is. That is why FORD re-designed the rear hatch in the newer Explorer models. A recall is to correct a defect. FORD doesn't want to admit that the panel cracking is a result of a flimsy door design. I have seen two other vehicles around where I live with the same problem. I refuse to spend a dime to get it fixed. I know that it will re-occur due to the poor design of the door. I believe there will be a recall as long as we stand together and make our complaints heard. I've bought four FORD vehicles at Fred Beans FORD in Doylestown PA. I plan on going to them and telling them that FORD is paying the whole amount to get this panel fixed or I will NOT buy another vehicle form Fred Beans FORD or any other FORD for that matter. FORD needs to step up on this one and make good on it. Just like a lot of you out there, I'm tired of getting the run around!!!

- , Pipersville, PA, USA

problem #23

Oct 012006

(reported on)

Explorer XLS

  • 52,000 miles

I bought this car used, but in impeccable condition, about four months ago when it had 47000 miles. Now, about 5000 miles later, it suddenly developed a vertical crack running from the rear window to the center of the Ford emblem. About a week later, the crack continued from the bottom of the emblem to the bottom of the panel. This is obviously a defect that Ford should take care of.

- , Petersburg, IL, USA

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