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:
96,894 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #8

Nov 022016


  • 98,000 miles


Both rear hatch glass hinges broke. Window fell out when I tried opening the hatch. Thank god I was there to catch it. Big problem with these hinges.

- Tecumseh, MI, USA

problem #7

May 242016


  • 103,597 miles
While parked in the driveway, we found that the back window of the hatch was completely broken and the body in the back was lifted off the car. It looks as if the hydraulic arm malfunctioned overnight.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #6

Oct 222015


  • 157,220 miles
While driving down the road yesterday 10/22/2015 the back glass shattered out of the truck taking the support under it with it.inwas driving in the city with a speed limit of 25 mph

- Gregory, MI, USA

problem #5

Sep 032015


  • 130,250 miles


I parked in my driveway, returning from the supermarket in the 2005 Explorer in a 90 degree day. I opened the top of my lift gate and stuck my head in to grab my bags when the right hinge attached to the rear window dehisced and the lift gate came down on the back of my head. The torque was too much for the left hinge and it bent, shattering the glass of the rear window all over and breaking the bottom door frame in 1/2. the vehicle is not drivable as what is left is hanging by thin hydraulic attachment and could drop at any moment.

- St. Anne, IL, USA

problem #4

Oct 222011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 88,081 miles
Cracked rear door panel just below the window, in the middle of the Ford emblem. May cause rear window to fall out unexpectedly. Ford is aware of the defect but refuses to recall and fix it.

- Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA

problem #3

Apr 132011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
The car stalls while driving at various speeds from 25 mph to 55 mph without warning. The loss of power brakes and steering at these higher speeds is extremely dangerous especially in close traffic. After coasting to a stop the car restarts easily. This stalling occurs with the cruise control on and off and does not appear to be a factor. Weather in all cases was dry and warm. The stalling has occurred several times, weeks and months apart. Two Ford dealers have looked at the car but cannot find a computer code problem, they also haven't been able to recreate the problem thus they say they cannot fix the problem. A web search divulges that others have reported this similar problem to Ford for the 2002,2004 and 2005 Explorer. Please look into this before someone gets injured or killed!

- Taylorsville, KY, USA

problem #2

Mar 042005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
Cracked panel under rear window 2005 Ford Explorer.

- Woodbridge, NJ, USA

problem #1

Feb 262011


  • 70,000 miles
The Ford Explorer from the mid-2000S is starting to show multiple defects. Ford co. Advised owners to report these problems through this complaint form because as of now they are not doing anything to recall the defects. The back panel below the back window cracks vertically right near the Ford emblem. Some cars have multiple cracks. The majority of this type of Ford Explorer body type are showing the crack. It happens around the 5 year mark. I believe it is due to freeze/thaw happening at the back window, which then cracks the body. It is an expensive repair job and owners are advised to not even bother because it will happen again. It appears abruptly and is disconcerting to see this suddenly and for no personal reason happen to your car due to bad design. Newer Explorer have been redesigned so it doesn't happen. The second defect which is happening now to many Explorer owners at the 5 year mark is the failure of the heating system. The damper flap starts clicking non-stop and there is no heat. Again the repair is expensive because the entire dashboard has to be taken off to repair. These defects are widely discussed on the internet and this is the only real formal way to document them. The Ford Explorer has proven to be a real lemon, full of design defects and a real disappointment.

- Alsip, IL, USA

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