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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
1,926 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

problem #1

Aug 212006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,926 miles


: the contact stated while driving various speeds, the lift gate ajar light illuminated and seconds later the lift gate opened. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who realigned the lift gate glass strut. Afterwards, while driving low speed, the entire lift gate opened without warning. The dealer instructed the contact to use a bungee cord to lock the door as a temporary repair. The vehicle was returned to the dealer who installed a lift gate dual lock assembly. There was a NHTSA recall, # 04V442000, regarding the structure. The vehicle was not included due to the VIN. The manufacturer was alerted.

- Belmont, MA, USA

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