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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,748 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #81

Aug 252014

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • 56,000 miles


The plastic bracket that holds up the overhead control console between the drive and passenger and right next to the rear view mirror broke and the entire console fell while the car was off and parked with no one in the car. The console dropped and blocked the rear view mirror. Had I been driving it would have been a shock and caused me not to use my rear view mirror. When I went to remove the bracket to get a replacement I found it was super brittle and falling apart. It broke into a few pieces while just holding it. It clearly was not structurally sound. If this interior and hidden plastic part that was not subject to any passenger interaction or sun exposure is disintegrating what about other parts of the car. I see lots of plastic parts failure complaints for Ford Explorer. Is the plastic they used defective or are car parts like this bracket in Ford products supposed to self destruct?

- Great Falls, VA, USA

problem #80

Jun 072013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2005 Explorer XLT and I also have a large crack down the panel below the back window. Which has led to water seeping into my back wiper motor causing me to replace it frequently. Which replacing this is not cheap.this is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed due to there are many of the exact same complaints. Also the brackets that hold on my back window came off/broke. We were leaving for vacation and the whole window was in my hand when I went to close it. I am a Ford lover through and through and would just like these problems that numerous people are having corrected. Thank you for your time!

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #79

Apr 202014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 100,835 miles
I am another very annoyed owner of a 2002-2005 Ford Explorer with a cracked rear panel. From what I can tell, this affects nearly 100% of all Explorer of those model years and it is ridiculous that Ford has not issued a recall notice for this defect.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #78

Jul 012014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 86,960 miles


I went out to my 2005 Ford eddie bauer Explorer to remove items inside back cargo area and noticed that the plastic tailgate panel below the rear window had vertically cracked all the way down and through the whole piece. There was no physical evidence to show cause for the spontaneous wide crack. The car has been well cared for. Parked daily in garage and not even driven daily. I am extremely concerned that the glass window panel might be compromised and could cause deadly damage to passengers in my car or others on the road behind me should it come loose or shatter, including the chance that the back windshield wiper could come unattached and also fly off into the window of a vehicle behind me. I have just researched this problem and have found hundreds of other owners who have had the same spontaneous cracking and have filed complaints. Something must be done. This is an extreme safety issue.

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #77

Dec 152012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 120,300 miles
Paint is bubbling/flaking along front edge of hood.

- Dublin, OH, USA

problem #76

Mar 032014


  • miles
Body issues: I have a 2005 Ford Explorer and have never been in a car accident. My tailgate somehow develop a crack that goes through where the Ford logo is. Nothing happened to the SUV to cause the crack. It just somehow happened on it's own. I believe the vehicle is defective or at least the materials used to make the vehicle. Electrical issues: Another issue I have is with the electrical. My turn signals (most times) do not work. I have to manually move it up and down when turning. When it does work, it goes really fast. My reverse notification no longer works for some strange reason. Also, my radio goes louder when I turn it down. I have to turn it off for a little while, turn it back on then try to lower the volume.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #75

May 012013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


Hinges on the rear glass hatch are broken. Eventually will brake off and possibly cause an injury because that supports the glass. Many other Explorer have this same issue.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #74

Feb 012012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 80,200 miles
The rear hatch has cracked next to the emblem. I'm certain that water gets inside when washed or it rains. Now that I'm paying attn many Explorer have one or more cracks.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #73

Apr 152009


  • 45,000 miles
The paint bubbled and peeled on the roof of my 2005 Ford Explorer eddie bauer edition. Dealer says it is a paint defect but Ford does not have a recall. Had my roof repainted at my expense. Now, anytime it rains, I am getting water leaking from the rear ac unit controls and my front driver's side carpeting is soaking wet.

- Autaugaville, AL, USA

problem #72

Feb 242014


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the rear panel near the hatch was fractured. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and indicated that no recalls were associated with the vehicle. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- Greer, SC, USA

problem #71

Oct 242012


  • miles


There's an obvious defect in the 2005 Ford Explorer, the 7 X 55 panel, the one with the Ford logo in it. It cracks. It did it twice on ours, we replaced it once costing us $500. Our repairman said he's seen this exact problem on many Ford'. we looked into it, and numerous other experts agree on the defect. The first time we tried to bring attention to Ford for this problem, they blew us off, not even having the courtesy to get our letter to the person it was addressed. As human nature, Ford tried to manipulate the problem, at the end of the conversation actually convincing themselves and trying to convince me that there was no problem. We like to keep all our stuff nice but currently our vehicle doesn"T look nice. We cannot afford to throw away our money on a defective product. Again, it is defective, anyone related to the vehicle industry and bodywork, with any sense, can realize the problem. On our first attempt to propose Ford?S resolution of this problem we didn?T draw attention to the problem. This time we"re ready to go at it in full force (attorney general, BBB, local & national news outlets, and the federal trade commission) if Ford doesn"T find a fair way to compensate us. The issue being the first panel being defective and cracked allowing us to drive around in a junky looking vehicle; replacing the product for $500 which still had the issue and once again we"re driving around with a junky looking vehicle; resale value has been compromised. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration in hopefully resolving this issue.

- Fayetteville, AR, USA

problem #70

Oct 012013


  • 275,000 miles
I am the 1 and only owner of 2005 Ford Explorer limited, and the rear upper tailgate has a vertical crack right next to the Ford logo that spans from window to base 2cm in width.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #69

Feb 012014


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the rear lift gate was fractured. The vehicle was not taken for inspection or diagnosis. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Lincolnton, NC, USA

problem #68

Dec 152013


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that he approached the vehicle and noticed that the tail sill plate on the lift gate was fractured. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Altamonte Spring, FL, USA

problem #67

Nov 042013


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that there was a fracture on the lift gate under the window. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Port Chester, NY, USA

problem #66

Nov 012012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Crack under rear window on rear hatch door.

- Gladwin, MI, USA

problem #65

Oct 102011


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that there was rust on the rear passenger's side fender. The contact was unaware of what caused the rust so the contact took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer did not state what caused the rust but stated that the rear passenger's side fender needed to be replaced with new metal. The contact did not have the rear passenger side fender replaced. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Nashotah, WI, USA

problem #64

Oct 182013


  • 70,000 miles
2005 Ford Explorer: I am worrying about the integrity of my 2005 Ford Explorer rear end and what would happen if I were to be rear ended. The following occurred: I shut the tailgate and the area above and below the Explorer emblem cracked vertically. My friend has the same car and hers cracked exactly like mine a year ago. Now I just saw an Explorer parked at the store and it was cracked too!!!

- Lake Placid, , FL, USA

problem #63

Sep 192013


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the rear liftgate panel became fractured. The vehicle was not taken to a local mechanic or a dealer for diagnosis. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 67,000.

- Covington, KY, USA

problem #62

Sep 082011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2005 Ford Explorer and there is a crack in the back on the hatch this is not only on my vehicle there are many out there from the year 2000 and up that have the same crack in the back this should have been recalled I call Ford about this and they are telling me that I have to contact the nhsm I feel that I am getting the run around there are so many Ford Explorer out there with this same thing I feel that Ford should fix this.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

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