Notes: The 2005 Ford Explorer one of our worst vehicles 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.

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:
41,000 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.

2005 Ford Explorer accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Feb 012008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles


Locking mechanism on the inside of the driver door stopped working after only 41 thousand miles. When vehicle was taken to the dealer for the problem to be addressed, they advised that the wires for the lock mechanism were caught inside the door jam, and had to be replaced. The locking and unlocking button on the inside drivers door would not unlock or lock the car. This is obviously a safety hazard as if there is an accident the button would not work to unlock the door and allow the passenger to get out of the car. I contacted Ford Motor Company and they advised this is not currently a recall, therefore I am submitting this request for review and follow-up for potential safety defects. No accidents led up to this event, it was just a sudden onset where the locking mechanism failed after very little use. Thank you very much for your time and assistance.

- Bristow, VA, USA

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