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:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,500 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 292006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


: the contact stated the rear hatchback door windshield fell off while the door was open breaking glass over the concrete which deflected back up causing injuries to the contact. The vehicle has not been to a service dealer to determine the caused of the problem.

- Marana, AZ, USA

problem #3

Mar 072004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Went to wash my 2002 Ford Explorer and when the water hit the windshield it started to crack from the top of the windshield to about 3/4 the way down. It would seem to me that a windshield should be able to with stand this type of thing.

- Laguna Hills, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 142002


  • miles
Window frame does not have a protective shield, it cracked about 5 inches, with smallest hit of a pebble.

- Kyle, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 012001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
We are having alot of turbulance problems with the vehical with having the back windows down!it's so bad that the whole roof shakes as well as the sound is so ear piercing that it feels like your ear drums are going to break!we have taken it to Ford to the service manager as well as having it looked at by the Ford service rep, we are told to keep the windows up and locked!when we purshased the vehical we wanted a four door with windows to open not just myself and my family my concern is health related as well, we have young children and if the windows are put down by them, my concern is it could brak their ear drums.Ford shows no concern in this matter, being we are the only ones to complain.this is a defect with the manufacture, and are not willing to fix the problem! we could use your help. Thank you, Mr. Anthony magee & family.

- Yorkville, NY, USA

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