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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
5,512 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2011 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #5

Jul 152011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 6,059 miles


I pulled into my driveway at a slow rate of speed, as I was braking the car was not stopping, as I pressed on the brake pedal it collapsed all the way to the floor but the brakes did not engage, just before the car hit the garage door which was directly in front of me the right front brake engaged, fully, stopping the right front tire only, the car pulled to the right and instead of hitting the garage door it struck a concrete column to the immediate right of the garage door. The air bags did not deploy and the seat belts automatic locking retractor did not engage so I was thrown forward into the steering wheel. The vehicle was towed to the dealership it was purchased from. We contacted Ford, filled out and returned the paperwork they requested, after almost four months of the vehicle sitting at the dealership waiting on Ford they decided that the problem was not caused by a manufacturer's defect. I am not sure how they could come up with that assumption as the vehicle was not in drivable condition and according to the dealership Ford never checked it. We have pictures showing the one skid mark from the right front tire and none from the other three tires.

- Marathon, FL, USA

problem #4

Oct 172011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 7,500 miles
I pulled into a parking stall and applied the brakes. They failed and I only stopped after hitting the glass doors of a closed business. I did not hit the gas pedal and was stopped due to the business' glass front doors. I have been driving for over 37 years and never encountered a problem like this. No one was hurt thankfully, but the problem is still unresolved. Internet search revealed other Explorer from other years (2005, 2007 & 2009) also had similar brake failures and Ford could not find a problem with the brake systems on those cars, but something is definitely not right. See & type in "Explorer brake failure". check out posts #12, 37, 38, 39, 40 and 42. Ford dealership found no problems with the brakes, but they clearly failed. I don't want some innocent person hurt due to brake failure down the road. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #3

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 #2

Sep 012011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
The ABS system is commanding inputs to the brakes without driver input at various speeds and causing steering wheel torque. This happens regardless of road conditions. The computer has been replaced once and the car is still unsafe to drive.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #1

Jul 272011


  • 3,000 miles
My new Ford Explorer in engaging the brakes without driver input. It applies one brake at a time at all speeds. It torques the steering wheel to the point of losing control.

- Greenville, NC, USA

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