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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,086 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2011 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

Sep 052015


  • 29,280 miles


When attempting to put the vehicle does not recognize the gear is in park. I needed to put back in to drive and park again several times and move shifter for it to finally recognize the vehicle is in park. The vehicle was purchased new in 2011. The first time this occurred and was in July of 2013. It was taken to the dealer and they replaced the gear shifter and box. The same incident occurred in September of 2015. I had to take it back to the dealer and they installed another shifter and gear box on the vehicle. This was the 3rd overall gear box on this car in 4 years of ownership. Ford does not recognize as an issue, however, there is a major safety concern when someone thinks they put the car in park, however, the vehicle still reads it as in gear.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #9

Aug 062015


  • 42,000 miles
Under hard acceleration I get a sting odor in the cabin. It is like an exhaust smell inside the car. It always does it above 3500 RPM.

- Kennewixk, WA, USA

problem #8

Feb 222012


  • 8,700 miles
The navigation system does not sync with the actual location of the vehicle.....sometimes off by a few blocks and sometimes off by a couple of miles. This poses a safety concern while driving due to distraction of trying to find your location. This used to be sporadic and now occurs daily. Corporate and Ford dealership says no warranty. There are thousands of this same complaint all over the web and Ford corporate told me that the internet is not reliable....really? the complaints you can find are in Ford forums, google, youtube to name a few. Vehicles affected are Ford/Lincoln with navigation. Ford needs to own up to their navigation system failure. This definitely falls under a safety recall with high priority. Other car companies are trying to fix a potential vulnerability for hacking into navigation to purposely mis-navigate someone.....Ford problem is the navigation itself...own up and fix it. This type of problem while driving may produce fatalities.

- Mount Prospect, IL, USA

problem #7

Jul 092015


  • 57,000 miles


Riding down the road at 60mph the truck lost all abilty to move. Wrench indicator came on and lights on the traction knob went out. Coasted to the slow lane and then the car of and back on and it worked. Later that night in my neighbor hood it did the a same thing again. Sluggish to restart.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #6

Jun 012015


  • 55,000 miles
While idling and while getting car up to speed the ac cooling makes a weak sound and does not produce cool air. While idling the car overheats when the ac is on and blows hot air. Due to the effect this is a car with less than 60,000 miles on it the ac should still be in operational condition given it's only used 2-3 months a year since ownership. Car will also overheat while it's blowing heat during winter months. Engine coolant is at optimum levels and car will smoke while exhaust is on. This needs to be addressed and an investigation should be done as reading numbers reviews on-line this is an ongoing issue with all Ford model vehicles, average costs to repair are over $2,000 to replace what should be a new ac system, we should not be having to replace the entire system due to known failure by Ford.

- Oak Harbor, WA, USA

problem #5

May 012012


  • 25,000 miles
Once the car is in park position message will apear in dashboard "shift in park " also while driving message apears "no key detected"

- Rutherford, NJ, USA

problem #4

Apr 062015


  • 40,000 miles


Vehicle SRS warning light illuminated and extinguished sporadically for several days before staying illuminated permanently. The diagnostic codes indicate failure of the supplemental restraint system. Troubleshooting, research, and diagnostics have revealed poor electrical connections at various connectors throughout the vehicle for the SRS system. Dealer service has indicated potential failure of the entire safety system to perform its function (pre-tensioners, airbag deployment, etc) if this light is illuminated.

- Rogersville, AL, USA

problem #3

Oct 242014


  • 55,200 miles
I was driving my 2011 Ford Explorer on the causeway- heavy traffic moving at about 50 - 55 mph. Approaching first bridge incline, speed dropped to approx 1 mph creeping along, accelerator pressed to floorboard. Orange wrench icon appeared on instrument panel. Put on hazards to notify traffic. Cars pulling around trying to avoid hitting my vehicle. Not enough room on emergency lane of bridge to pull completely out of traffic lane - made it to top of bridge - coasted down half way in emergency lane and left lane until reached bottom of bridge and could pull over to grassy side of road. Turned vehicle off. Waited, then restarted vehicle. Drove directly to Ford dealer who hooked it up to computer and found nothing wrong. They test drove it, then called to say they could find nothing. I asked them to service the car as it was time. They kept the car over the weekend to service it on Monday 10/27/14 and tested the system one more time- still found nothing wrong. I picked the car up 10/27/14 and left dealership at about 1230 and by about 1245 the same thing happened again- no acceleration - just about 1 mile an hour and vehicle running slightly rough- wrench appeared again. I pulled over in to a parking lot, turned the engine off; restarted and drove back to the dealership. This time they ran a different computer check and got a code that suggested brakes and accelerator depressed at same time. No, I do not try to brake and accelerate at the same time. The service department drove my car for about 30 miles trying to recreate the incident. They still can find nothing wrong with the vehicle. I pick up my vehicle after work today. My car receives regular service at the dealership and is not driven roughly. I am concerned that this could happen again. Wrench icon indicates power train issue.

- St. Simons Island, GA, USA

problem #2

Sep 142011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
I agree about the microphone on the my touch system. It picks up wind noise, air conditioning/heating fan noise & when it rains, driver can not be heard. It seems that the roof does not have insulation to allow the driver to speak to the microphone without shouting. I did mention this to the Ford service department at our local Ford dealer and was told that this is the way it comes from the factory.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #1

Feb 282011


  • 60 miles
TL - the contact owns a 2011 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that when he tried to pressed the brake his foot rest on a bar thats next to the brake pedal instead of the brake pad. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that was the way the vehicle was design and they could not alter it. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 60.

- Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, USA

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