Notes: The previous generation of Explorer was so awful that the redesign in 2006 was greeted with much optimism. That didn't last long.

The transmission continues to be the Explorer's worst reliability problem. Owners report shifting hard & lunging, typically starting as low as 40k miles with a $1,600 average repair bill. On top of that, the radiator is prone to failure around 60k miles. Repairs for the radiator run $500 to $1,000 & many owners report they've had to replace the radiator multiple times for leaks, indicating a possible design defect in the OEM replacement parts.

Ford did make some significant changes to improve handling and safety. Electronic stability control was added in addition to side impact air bags, but beyond that this is a vehicle that should be avoided at all costs.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,475 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.

2006 Ford Explorer seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jun 192010


  • miles


I have a 2006 Ford Explorer bought for the amount of seats. After purchased realized one seat buckle was broken and just today another broke. I buckled my child's car seat, got on the road and it was unbuckled. Tried to rebuckle it and the buckle would not hold. Total safety issue!!

- Belfair, WA, USA

problem #1

May 052008

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 36,950 miles
My daughter got tangled in the seatbelt. Normally that would not be a problem but she had pulled the seat belt all the way out and activated the locking mechanism. It was very tight around her waist and I could not get her free from the seat belt. I had to cut it in order to free her. I have had to take her to the doctor because of some injury to her. I feel there should be some kind of release on the seatbelt lock. I am so thankful she was not hurt any worse than she was. I cannot believe it is going to cost me so much to replace a seat belt that I had no choice but to cut. I hope to see something done about seatbelts so no one has to go through this.

- Rougemont, NC, USA

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