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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 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.

2002 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #5

May 232003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


1. engine stalls erratically when under acceleration ie: When entering freeway, etc. Ford acknowledges the problem, states does not know how to fix it. 2. brake failure in stop and go traffic. Vehicles currently has less than 10,000 miles on them. Both have same problems.

- Arnold, MO, USA

problem #4

Jul 282002


  • miles
The consumer stated that the brakes failed.

- Altadena, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 272002


  • miles
Brakes failed!!. the brake pedal moved over and on top of the gas pedal. The pressure from the brake pedal caused the Explorer to move on it own, towards a group of people in the dallas convention center parking lot.S. I pressed on the brakes, fast and hard, and then the Explorer stopped. Moreover, the Explorer picked up speed until I stepped on the brakes. The 2002 Explorer was repaired under warranty by prestige Ford in garland Texas. I asked a reason for the brake to fail in a new Explorer. I stated that my family are afraid for lives and no longer want the SUV. Rick baker at pasadena Ford offered safety inspection, I in turn took to SUV in for an safety inspection, now safe.per Ford, I also stated my family I are afraid of Explorer, and want other Explorer drivers warned before lives are lost. Pasadena Ford dealer, brad wilson said that he will submit my complaint to Ford motors Corp. And mail a copy to me. To date not a no copy of the letter, or remibursment for out of pocket expense. The trip caused extreme financial hardship unable to pay leaseing company. To the leasing company is taking the Explorer for none payment. Please help. I mailed NHTSA a certified letter Aug.28, 2002, no response to as Oct. 14, 2002

- Altadena, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 272002


  • miles
The brakes failed and the vehicle started moving on its own. Consumer pressed on the brakes fast and it was hard to stop vehicle. When consumer checked the brakes, it was noticed that the brake pedal moved over on top of the accelerator pedal. The pressure form the brake pedal caused the vehicle to move on its own. The brake lights remained on and in turn damaged the battery. Consumer would like for Ford to buy back the vehicle.

- Altadena, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 202002


  • miles
Inside of the parking lot while traveling the pedal went all the way down to the floor. The dealership is aware of the problem corrective measure had been met. Nlm

- San Pedro, CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?