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
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
64,378 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 182008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,756 miles


Recently my wife was in an accident. She hit a tree and the airbags did not deploy. She was wearing her seatbelt and the seatbelt let loose on impact. She hit the steering wheel and windshield. She has multiple injuries, mostly to the face and back. These injuries could have been avoided if the seatbelt worked properly and the airbag deployed. Now she is to undergo treatment for injuries and we are unsure what damage she has sustained till some of the swelling goes down. This is unacceptable and Ford should realize that this is a problem. I didn't like seeing the other complaint saying they don't care. I am a soldier deployed to Iraq. I am the one who should worry about getting hurt not my family members

- , Hinesville, GA, USA

problem #1

Dec 172004

(reported on)


  • 30,000 miles

With this issue you are not to drive the car, because the airbags will not inflate if an accident occurs. I have contacted Ford directly and frankly they don't care if they have an unsafe vehicle on the road.

- , Oviedo, FL, US

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