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:
81,677 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Oct 082013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 80,032 miles


- Millbury, MA, USA

problem #2

Dec 112011

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
While sitting in my driveway in a parked position, the upper tailgate panel, directly to the right and running right next to the oval Ford emblem, a 1/4" wide crack that runs vertically on the back panel appeared. This upper panel of the tailgate also opens up just the window part of the tailgate. The tailgate on this Explorer can open up two ways. One way being the entire tailgate is lifted so that it is open like for a dog to jump in and is then level with the interior back part (with the seats down), and it also opens up with just the window part which is where the crack is. This crack is so wide that it allows moisture, snow, water, rain, salt, etc. To seep into the components which house the electrical and tail light, stop lamps and turn signals. It also compromises the body structure and safety features. There are thousands of complaints of this happening as I did a google search. This is clearly a defect in manufacturing and/or parts or components and because of the large number of complaints, the manufacturer should issue a recall notice. At the time of this occurrence, my back tailgate was facing West with the sun shining on it. Could it have something to do with the components shrinking and expanding? I have pictures of this issue that I can E-mail to you. Updated 9/13/12 updated 09/20/12

- Neillsville, WI, USA

problem #1

Feb 022011


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated the back tailgate was cracked. The dealer was contacted and advised the contact to call the nhsta hotline since there were no recalls or valid warranty for the failure. The manufacturer confirmed that there were no recalls or warranties related to the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 78,000.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

Not what you are looking for?