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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,326 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

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Dec 232003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,653 miles


Went to apply brakes and the vehicle started to accelarate. I thought I had hit the gas pedal with the side of my foot, but after getting the vehicle stopped I tried to put my foot on the brake pedal and the gas pedal at the same time since that upset me. I could not do it because they are too far apart for that to happen. This could have been very bad because I could have gone into the store in front of the parking space.

- Ruffin, NC, USA

problem #1

Oct 092002


  • miles
Consumer states that when trying to apply the brakes they will simultaneously hit the accelerator pedal and it will be hard for the consumer to control the vehicle. Dealer notified.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

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