hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,971 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.

2008 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Apr 042016


  • 61,000 miles


In my 2008 Ford Explorer eddie bauer, while driving, stopped or backing at any time if the keys in the ignition get jiggled, if by bump in road or by knee, the power driver seat moves backwards. There is a feature called easy entry where the seat moves completely back to allow you to exit the vehicle easier, the problem is with the ignition area the area where the key is inserted to start the vehicle it becomes loose over time and as a result the sensor in there for the easy entry is compromised. When the keys get jiggled, on accident or on purpose the seats move, it is very dangerous for it to happen while driving. The seat moves back so far that no one can reach the petals to operate the vehicle. This should be on recall it is very dangerous for short or tall people. It could cause many many accidents and many many injuries. If needed I can provide video of this happening.

- Morgantown, PA, USA

problem #25

Oct 152015


  • 63,090 miles
While in operation, vehicle seat goes back and forth, interior lights come on and go off and pedal heights move. Upon some trial and error investigation, trying to replicate the problem, I found that it was directly related to key chain movement. Any bumps, moderate braking or hard braking resulted in the seat being thrown back and the interior lights coming on. ( this is a huge safety hazard, and could easily cause a crash, especially at night ) the ignition tumbler is faulty. Once the ignition tumbler was replaced at the dealer, the problems have not reoccurred. I waited a number of months to report this so that I would be sure the solution worked and did not re-ocur. I contacted Ford Motor Company, who refused to assist. This repair cost approximately $300

- Gansevoort, NY, USA

problem #24

May 052014


  • 76,194 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Explorer. While driving approximately 55 mph, a strong burning odor emitted inside the cabin. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road. The contact inspected underneath the hood and noticed that coolant leaked continuously onto the ground. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the thermostat housing was replaced. In 2014, the thermostat and thermostat housing were both replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 76,194.

- Adamsville, AL, USA

problem #23

Apr 302015


  • 80,416 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Explorer. While driving approximately 70 mph over a bump, the brake pedal was applied and the front driver side power seat independently moved backwards. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road with caution. The failure recurred when driving over a bump or an uneven road surface. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, who stated that the ignition switch would need to be replaced. In addition, the exhaust manifold would also needed to be replaced. The vehicle was schedule to be repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 80,416.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #22

Nov 012014


  • 56,000 miles
I purchased this truck in Sept 2014 about 2 months after I purchased it, as I was driving the dome lights go on and the seat moves back as it does when it lets you out. It will do this more so with one set of our keys then the other. It's continually getting worse. It will sometimes happen 1-15 times in a car trip.I have almost gotten into an accident a number of times because of this. I have visited my dealer who has estimated about $500 in repairs and was amazed when he seen this going on. He stated he never seen anything like this and probably wouldn't have believed me if he didn't see it with his own eyes.it also happens every time you hit a bump and now I fear my car shutting off because it thinks I'm getting out by moving my seat back and turning the lights on which my dealer says is a good possibility.I drive with 2 small children in this vehicle daily. I've researched online a seen a good amount of the same complaints, how can this not be a safety recall"? are you going to wait for someone to die to recall it?" and if you need to see it for yourself my truck will do this without fail for any technician. It's a lot of money for a repair that I don't feel we should have to make. When you purchase a vehicle for that amount of money it should be safe to drive! wear and tare is one thing safety should be at the expense of the manufacture. I think I can speak for most people that the number one quality you look for when purchasing a vehicle is safety & reliability.

- Depew, NY, USA

problem #21

Sep 012014

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I was driving my 2008 Explorer at about 30-40 mph. All of a sudden the interior lights pop on, the drivers seat goes all the way back, and this all happened when I was driving. How can this not be a recall"?" this has obviously happened to a ton of other people and is probably one of the most unsafe things to ever happen inside a running vehicle. If my wife was to drive my truck, and this happens, she would have lost control of the truck and possibly injured herself or one of my kids. Something must be done. Calling Ford and rectifying this.

- West Warwick, RI, USA

problem #20

Jul 162014


  • 116,000 miles


Driving at night and all of the sudden...all the interior lights came on...then went back off shortly after they came on...caused a glare in the rear view mirror... it's now happened multiple times and I have read about hundreds of complaints for the same issue...some of them worse due to the automatic seats that move back when the ignition switched off...which means people's seats are moving backward while the vehicle is in motion...to temporary fix this issue costs $200....I feel that it's a safety concern and a recall needs to be issued.

- Reisterstown , MD, USA

problem #19

Mar 122015

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
The passenger seat in our 2008 Ford Explorer started on fire, likely from the seat heater. This resulted in massive fire damage to the car, and fortunately there was no one in the vehicle and it was parked in the driveway. Please look into faulty seat heating elements.

- Bartlett, IL, USA

problem #18

Mar 172014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
While driving along at any speed, all of a sudden the interior lights come on, seat moves all the way back, I assume the problem is in the ignition switch area as I push the ignition in and the seat resets and light goes off, the problem will come and go. Why is there no recall ? I'm looking for the dealership to fix problem at no cost due to ignition problem not caused by operator or owner. I have contacted Ford but they just blew me off.. Ford Motor Company [xxx] looked online and several hundred people have same problem this is my wife vehicle. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Rockland, MA, USA

problem #17

Jan 222015

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
When moving the interior lights come on. Went to Ford dealer where purchased recently to see if there was recall for ignition switch problems. Test drove with a tech to show problem of ignition switch causing the interior lights to come on while car is being driven. While test driving and moving the ignition switch, the interior lights did come on. On the third example, the car cut off. The car did not lock up, but the car had to be shifted into neutral and restarted. The lights coming on is a problem when driving at night and all of a sudden the interior is lighted and exterior and roads are dark. My brother had a 2008 Explorer that he had recently traded in on a new car. When talking with him, he said he had a similar problem with the lights, but only had 80,000 miles on his 2008 Explorer. Before someone gets hurt as in other car types recently, I think this should be investigated. The dealership did not take the problem seriously and recommended I get the switch changed as it had not happened to any of their other customers. I will get the switch changed, but it does not sound like the switches last that long.

- Coppell, TX, USA

problem #16

Jan 082015

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 54,287 miles


The eddie bauer edition of this vehicle is equipped with a moving seat to allow you to enter and exit. In either 2012 or 2013 I reported it to the dana motors Ford dealer that while driving the drivers seat moves back while on the expressways that are slightly bumpy and while on major streets within the city. The last occurrence was this past weekend in front of my home while exiting my driveway, again during a right hand turn, and again on the interstate 278 headed West bound toward brooklyn, NY. It does reset when you tap on the key while it is in the ignition but recurs after driving over slightly rough roadway and changing lanes.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #15

Oct 062014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 63,256 miles
While after going over a bump or uneven ground, key fob will rock back and forth slightly, which is normal, but the ignition on this vehicle is malfunctioning. This fob motion triggers the courtesy features of the seat, which flies back and lowers at the same time( because it senses the ignition is being turned off). The interior lights also come on, because it senses the ignition is being turned off. This is a huge hazard to the driver and occupants and either action ca cause a loss of control. As a former Ford technician, I was able to pinpoint the source of the problem, and promptly called Ford Motor Company and reported the issue. I let them know I was a former Ford technician as well. The woman on the other end of the line said shes " never heard of that problem being reported " this issue is all oer the internet in the Ford forums......not impressed with Ford response to this obvious and serious safety issue.

- Gansevoort, NY, USA

problem #14

Jun 162014

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 69,500 miles
Vehicle was dropped off repair on 6/16/2014 for electrical driver seat moving forward and backwards during travel, dome light operating on and off randomly? driver seat movement during travel is hazardous.. colonial Ford 126 federal road danbury ct 06811 was the location of drop off-- 203-748-3503.

- Ridgefield, CT, USA

problem #13

Jan 112014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
When driving over a bump in the road my seats go back, the lights come on and the key comes partly out of the ignition. This has been going on for months now and luckily I haven't had an accident. I have to push the key back into the ignition while trying to keep my foot on the pedal because of the seat going back I am too far from the pedal.

- Randolph, MA, USA

problem #12

Jun 012009


  • 8,000 miles
The exterior and interior dome lights turn on and off while driving. Driving over bumps, dips in road, etc. Triggers the event.

- Berkley, MI, USA

problem #11

Apr 012014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
4/1- a couple days before 4/1, the check engine light came on. On 4/1, I was driving the car on a side street and it shut off on me, without warning. I got it towed to a dealer near by and was told it was a faulty alternator. Dealer changed it... 4/10 - the wrench and the check engine lights came on the dashboard. I took it back to the dealer to have it checked. The dealer was very passive of the situation - but ultimately, he said they were old codes that needed to be cleared from the computer. He cleared them and all was suppose to be well. 4/17 - my husband and I were out running errands, when again the wrench and the check engine light came on at the same time. Moments later, the car shut off on us while we were driving in the middle on the street. Luckily we were able to get it out of the middle of the road. We called the dealer and arranged to have them check it out. We managed to get the car started and drove it to the dealer. 4/24 - the dealer told us that the PCM was busted - and that alot of 2008 Explorer were having this issue. Unfortunately, Ford did not have the part available anywhere and we would have to wait until August 2014 in order to get the part fixed. Right now, our car is sitting at the dealer - not working. Ford has done nothing to compensate or to alleviate the mental and financial stress of not having car has done.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #10

Dec 012012


  • 40,000 miles
The exterior and interior dome lights turn on and off while driving. First few incidents were spread apart however the problem has progressed now to almost every other minute while driving. Driving over bumps, dips in road, etc. Triggers the event. I have narrowed it down to any "jiggle" of the key causes the lights to go on and off. Ford wants $250-$500 to fix. Google the problem and you will find hundreds of others with this same problem, ignition switch is faulty. This is extremely unsafe especially when the lights come on at night, it can be startling and prevents me from seeing out of my mirrors because the light reflects off of it. Also I have seen cars swerve on occasion when they are beside my car as the exterior lights under the mirrors turn on and I assume catching them off guard. I am always afraid I might get pulled over as it looks like I am sending out an S.O.S. distress call with my lights flashing on an off constantly. I have never had more than just the key and fob on the key ring same as it was the day I bought it new, I cannot stand a ring full of keys so to say that excessive weight caused the problem is not true in my case and of course this problem surfaced only a couple thousand miles out of the warranty. Ford also has a tsb out on this issue as it is a common complaint.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #9

Aug 142013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
When in drive and moving and going over a bump, the power seat goes into the position it would be as if no key in ignition (goes all the way back) and the overhead light goes on. Situation is exacerbated if there are items on the ignition key chain. Situation can be initiated by simply jiggling the key in the ignition. My wife cannot drive the vehicle, because if occurs, moves her so that she does not reach gas or brake pedal while vehicle in motion. Informed tasca Ford in cranston, ri of situation and they said no recall or tsb. Many reports of exactly the same on the internet, and problem appears to be faulty ignition switch.

- Barrington, PR, USA

problem #8

Mar 152013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
While driving along at a medium speed in March 2013, the dashboard lit up like a christmas tree with all the warning lights blinking from the low gas to the check engine and everything in between. Luckily I was not in heavy traffic or bad weather because this scared the heck out of me when it occurred. The engine was not laboring and appeared to be operating correctly except for the light show and audible alarms going off in the dashboard. The alarms continued going off as I tried to get the car back home. When I started the car the next morning to take it to my mechanic, no alarms were active. The mechanic took a couple of hours before they finally were able to replicate the problem. In the end, they replaced my alternator and battery at a cost of about $700. Everything has been find until yesterday when then warning light show/alarms recurred. It's only been 3 months since the first incident. It will go back to my mechanic tomorrow. Luckily its still under their warranty.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #7

Nov 262009

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Explorer. While driving approximately 55 mph, the front driver's side seat moved backward independently as the interior dome light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the key cylinder would have to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but did not remedy the failure. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 28,000. Updated 3/1/13 updated 3/29/2013

- Hewitt, NJ, USA

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