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CarComplaints.com Notes: 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.

6.5

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$450
Average Mileage:
82,400 miles
Total Complaints:
267 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. Ford should recall based on 2002-2005 complaints (124 reports)
  2. Ford should fix it if reported,being it's a known defect!!! (74 reports)
  3. not sure (36 reports)
  4. part needs to be replaced (14 reports)
  5. replace (10 reports)
  6. re-initiate the charity repair solution (4 reports)
2005 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 14)

problem #267

May 242018

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,934 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

If this happens to all these, it should be made a recall by Ford.

- Robert P., Earl Grey, SK, Canada

problem #266

Apr 172019

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,601 miles

ON 4/17/2019 WENT TO GET CAR WASHED, NO CRACK, GET HOME THERE IS THE CRACK ON REAR TAIL GATE PANEL.

- meadow113, Buffalo, US

problem #265

May 192018

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,920 miles

After this amount of time it should not happen. Something went wrong with the manufacturing of the panel. Should be replaced at Ford's expense.

- Peter O., Castlegar, BC, Canada

problem #264

Dec 262017

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The rear panel cracked and now we are worried, that this will do further damage to our car.

- Simon H., Houston, US

problem #263

Oct 302017

Explorer AWS V64.8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 221,000 miles

After this amount of time it should not happen. Something went wrong with the manufacturing of the panel. Should be replaced at Ford's expense.

- shattgto, Milford, US

problem #262

Aug 262017

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,000 miles

We have a 2005 Ford Explorer and the back lift gate panel had a crack right by the Ford Symbol. The crack in the back panel finally gave out and when we opened the lift gate the panel cracked in half and shattered the whole back window and injured my husband by cutting his fingers and arms. Ford told me that I would have to pay $140 just for them to look at it which is complete BS!! Ford you should stand up and do what's right and fix our car! We are a family of 4 who has one car! and now we have no back window to our car!

- Michelle S., Arvada, US

problem #261

Aug 132017

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,225 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Was driving normal when suddenly after hitting a bump my back window glass blew out! I thought someone shot the window out. Upon checking window the cracks on each side of Ford emblem was cracked all the way down the panel, cut my hand bad cleaning glass.

Worth mentioning is the fact I also replaced two hinges on the back glass last year due to corrosion on the screw that goes through glass.

- Duncan C., Coleman, AB, Canada

problem #260

May 152013

Explorer XLT 4.0L, V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

In June 2013 I went out to put something in the cargo space of my Explorer and saw that the gate had a crack down the side of it from the top of the ledge for the glass piece to latch into and down to past the Ford emblem pressed into the tailgate. I thought someone had vandalized my car until I began to notice other Explorer's with the same problem. In 2014 the other side appeared cracked. I just found this site today, so I thought I should post something so one more person can tell everyone that there is another car out here that had the same problem. I am not too worried about it right now, a dumpster rolled into the back of my car in a parking lot on Feb of 2016 so the whole back end had to be repaired and replaced so the crack is no longer there, but for how long?

- alp2, Sacramento, US

problem #259

Apr 012017

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Seems recall worthy; but does Ford care? No. Will they lose future sales? Probably not enough to matter.

- P P., North Charleston, SC, US

problem #258

Jul 162015

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

ONE DAY WHILE WASHING MY CAR, I NOTICE A CRACK IN THE PANEL RIGHT THOUGT THE FORD EMBLEM ON THE HATCH BACK. I WAS TOLD THAT IT WAS A RECALL BUT DIDN'T CHECK UP ON IT. HOWEVER, I DID NOTICE WHILE DRIVING AROUND A FEW FORDS WITH THE SAME PROBLEM IN THE SAME LOCATION. MY QUESTION IS WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT. COMPLAINING IS DEFINITELY NOT DOING ANYTHING AS IT APPEARS.WE NEED ACTION. AGAIN NO MORE FORD PURCHASES OF ANY KIND FOR ME. THEY NEED TO STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT ESPECIALLY WHIT SO MANY COMPLAINTS OF THE SAME KIND

- smitty65, Chesapeake, VA, US

problem #257

Oct 012016

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,385 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was happy with this truck, Now I am not, body damage such as a HUGE CRACK is NOT suppose to happen from normal wear and tear.

- Terrence C., Seattle, WA, US

problem #256

Aug 022016

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 213,000 miles

2005 ford explorer cracked tailgate. not only cracked but half is missing

- Amy B., Summerfield, FL, US

problem #255

Mar 202016

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

115,000 miles on our 2005 Ford Explorer and the plastic panel underneath the back glass cracks. Definitely annoying. On road trips we count how many cracked back panels we can find.

- Chris D., Huntsville, AL, US

problem #254

Sep 052016

Explorer XLT 4.0L Flex Fuel V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

Called Ford and they acted like they didn't know what I was talking about. What liers they are! After reading all the complaints on the internet and video's on YouTube. They know its a MFG. defect. There are numerous TSB reports since 2002. Ford was fixing these crack under "goodwill repair" until they figured the the problem was bigger than they thought and shut the program down. I just want my hatch fixed. The sad part is they are still using the same defective parts. So another crack could happen tomorrow or a few years down the road. Another win for Ford and another finger in the ass from Ford to its customers. Ford never again!!!

- Richard L., Independence, KY, US

problem #253

Feb 152016

Explorer EXP 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

In today's world it is beyond belief that ford won't admit to fault. Only thing I can hope for is a rearender!

- Gary S., Waynesville, NC, US

problem #252

Sep 122016

Explorer ES 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,458 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

This is ridiculous. The panel didn't even have a crack and all of a sudden it comes off! Ford needs to step up and make good on this!!!

- Stephen M., Riverview, FL, US

problem #251

Jun 212016

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

WELL! THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FROM 2002 !

It looks link [ FORD} F,Fix-O or R,repair, D daily has not changed in 30 years+ My last FORD was 1960 Sunliner. This 2005 XLT has been a money pit. never ending

- kehl, Muskegon, MI, US

problem #250

Dec 012009

Explorer XS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

First let me say, I have always had Fords. We also have a F350. That being said, This 2005 Explorer is a piece of crap! One thing after another. I am driving around with a cracked panel right now!

The first time it cracked in 2009, I called Ford (Corporate) they acted like they had never heard of the back panel cracking. Liars! I asked why if that was the case, how come every one I see has a crack? and why if it wasn't a problem, why the whole hatch door was redesigned in 2006? At any rate, they refused to make it good and fix it. My local dealer fixed it at a reduced rate, but I still had to pay out my nose for a repair that didn't remedy the the fact that the replacement part was the same defective part.

This panel piece is this really thin piece of plastic with stress points at the emblem. It is GLUED on, so with heat and cold weather, shrinks and expands and with time, will crack. I actually was outside at the back of my SUV when the damn second one cracked before my eyes. If they won't fix the actual design of the panel, by putting in rivets or something, they could at least retro fit the edges of the door with end clips so that the panel couldn't expand and crack. Idiots.

- tmsnowflk, Ocala, FL, US

problem #249

Apr 072016

Explorer XLT 4.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 216,000 miles

Ford should be held accountable for this problem. Defect in materials,workmanship or original design and engineering. It all falls on Ford to fix. I noticed this problem on other explorers years before it happened to mine,I figured closing the liftgate from one side or the other put uneven stress on the panel, so I always closed the liftgate by pushing on the Ford logo directly in the center. I'll never purchase another Ford unless they make this right.

- Joseph S., Somers Point, NJ, US

problem #248

Nov 012015

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

The broken back panel is just one of the few issues with the 05 Ford Explorer. All the sudden one day it just cracked. This vehicle has been a horrible experience owning.

- Tabbetha A., Miles City, MT, US

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