Notes: The NHTSA's complaint data shows potentially scary power steering problems with the 2011 Ford Explorer.

The NHTSA complaints are pretty serious - owners report the power steering cuts out while driving. The NHTSA opened an investigation in June 2012 but hasn't reached a decision about a recall yet. In the meantime, buyers beware.

It's too bad because the 2009 & 2010 Ford Explorer are solid, trouble-free model years.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
25 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.

2011 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2011 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 032012


  • miles


2011 Ford Explorer. Consumer writes in regards to issues with a "my Ford touch" voice activated system. The consumer stated the "my Ford touch" is a voice or touch screen activated system that controlled entertainment, climate, navigation and hands free cell phone functions. When the system stopped working, there was no control over any of the aforementioned devices. The consumer had to take the vehicle to the dealer three times, because of the malfunctioning system. A typical problem was the system locking up, the screen would freeze and there was no control over the heater/air conditioner or radio volume. Usually after 10-12 minutes the screen would go blank and a message appeared that read performing schedule maintenance. When the system was finally restored, everything worked again. Sometimes when using the navigation to find an address, the car icon would wander off the prescribed route even though the consumer was driving the prescribed route. When that happened, the screen would often display a large yellow question mark. The first time the consumer visited the dealer, they flashed the memory. It helped, but it still failed, at times. The second time, he returned to the dealer, they installed an updated program from Ford that was supposed to correct the problems. But, as time went on, the new program started to fail in a similar way as the old program. The last time, the consumer visited the dealer, they did a master reset by disconnecting the battery, thereby removing all power from the system and rebooting it when the battery was reconnected. The dealer informed the consumer, he could also pull fuse 29 and put it back in again. However, the consumer stated he was not able to reach the fuse, as it was tucked way up under the dashboard, but even if he could reach it, it wouldn't fix the defective software provided by Ford and microsoft. Disconnecting the battery didn't fix the problem, it only rebooted the computer and eventually, the problem would return.

- Huntington Station, NY, USA

problem #3

Dec 032012


  • miles
2011 Ford Explorer. Consumer writes in regards to sync malfunction in vehicle. The consumer stated when the system failed, the screen went black and the radio and temperature control stopped working, as well as other components. The sync has been worked on by the dealership 13 times.

- Stewartstown, PA, USA

problem #2

Sep 012011

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
Letter from re few defects in my 2011 Ford Explorer remain after the dealers repeated repair attempts. These issues distract me while driving and it is a concern to my safety as well the consumer stated the main issue was the steering; the steering wheel was not straight and when driving, the vehicle pulled in the opposite direction. The shift increased when increasing speed. Also, the A/C unit changed temperatures by itself. The brake warning light illuminated and the touch and sync did not work. The consumer believed the software needed to be updated as his phone and or MP3 player kept getting disconnected. When using the sync service to request directions it kept misinterpreting the commands, as well as disconnecting when downloading a route. On one occasions, the entire system failed and the screen went blank.

- North Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #1

Jul 302011


  • 100 miles
We have purchased a 2011 Explorer, with the bluetooth activated, the person driving cannot be heard because of background noise. From my investigation, I found that the roof area above the windshield seems to not have any insulation, the wind noise is being picked up by the speaker above the drivers head. This is not the only problem, when it is raining the noise from the rain sounds like a tin roof of an old house. I reported this to the dealership and they said that there is not anything they can do without Ford having more complaints.

- Killen, AL, USA

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