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:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
5,852 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2011 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 312011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 1,200 miles


When merging into lane and passing a car about 3500 RPM exhaust gas enters passengers cabin and everyone inside will complain of very strong odor, breathing problem and headache. Had this problem since car was new and dealing with uncomfortable smell with the rest of the family. Wife had numerous times having problem concentrating driving because the exhaust fumes or odor is causing her to have headaches and almost passing out on long trips. It is a hazardous/dangerous issue. If Ford can have a fix on this and it has to be soon. I think it is thousand or hundred of thousand of Ford vehicles out there that has this problem. Pls. Don't wait for something like GM did.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #2

Aug 302012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 12,852 miles
Upon medium to heavy acceleration, such as accelerating onto a freeway, the vehicle cabin is filled with exhaust fumes from the engine. This injures the respiratory system of the passengers. They are working on a fix (after my family has been breathing polluted air for almost two and a half years). Ford has finally admitted that there is a problem, and send me a letter that said. [xxx] Ford customer service division March 7, 2014 [xxx] [xxx] subject: Customer concern - exhaust odor on 2011-2014 Explorer, edge or mkx we thank you for taking the time to discuss the concern of exhaust odor in your vehicle. To address your concern about exhaust odor, we have performed several inspections and sealing actions where applicable on your vehicle to help minimize the amount of odor coming into the passenger compartment. With these changes you may still experience odor under certain driving conditions such as, when performing wide open throttle (wot) accelerations with the climate control system in recirculation mode. Ford Motor Company engineers have evaluated the air entering the cabin during worst case driving conditions (several wot accelerations with the climate system in recirculation mode). Test results indicate cabin air quality levels are well within the ambient air quality standards established by various global environmental protection agencies such as the U.S. epa, osha, the kingdom of saudi arabia presidency of meteorology & environment and the government of dubai environment health and safety division. Again, thank you for your time. [xxx] customer relations analyst please help me, Ford don't want to help [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Carolina, PR, USA

problem #1

Nov 262011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 3,503 miles
The check engine light went on my 2011 Ford Explorer on 11/21/11 and took it to the dealer at which time I was told it was a leak in the gas cap (but this car has a cap-less gas tank) check engine light went off and back on within 1 week, took it back on 11/26/11 and at that time they said they got the same reading with the gas cap issue and they changed a solenoid. Check engine light went off only to go back on 3 days later. Dropped my car off at dealer on 12/3/11 for 3rd time and now they told me they keep getting same error code and they sent issue to tech's in detroit for assistance. I will be dropping my car off today (12/7/11) again to see if they can fix it. Check engine light remains on.

- South Gate, CA, USA

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