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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,250 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 suspension problems

suspension 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 #2

Feb 012008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While driving 40 mph, the right wheel turned outwards and the vehicle rolled in a ditch. The contact stated that the stabilizer bar failed. He sustained injuries. The current and failure mileages were 160,000.

- Bloomfield, IA, USA

problem #1

Apr 152002

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,500 miles
Defective 2002 Ford Explorer front stabilizer bar - since I have purchased this vehicle, the front stabilizer bar has been replaced twice, first on 4/15/02, and again on 5/6/03. I have noticed that NHTSA has asked Ford to recall earlier models of this vehicle for this same defect, and I am concerned this could be a safety issue, although the servicing dealer has not indicated it could be.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

Not what you are looking for?