definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,319 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.

2012 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2012 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 102016


  • miles


Vehicle has been driving perfectly fine and out of no where it shows 2 warnings. One indicting to service power steering, and the other indictating to service advance trac system. The steering fluid is full and there are no damaged to the hose or power steering system. This is showing the same signs of the recalled Explorer yet this one has not been recalled.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #9

Sep 102016


  • 66,000 miles
Vehicle has 66,000 miles. The service power steering now and advancetrac warning lights came on Saturday evening (9/10/16). Vehicle drove with no issues that evening. Sunday morning (9/11/16) the same indicator lights came on and the power steering did not work. Checked for leaks, fuses, etc. And no apparent issues. As dealerships were closed on Sunday, autozone ran diagnostics and showed zero error codes, even with warning lights on. This vehicle is not covered under the existing 2012 Ford Explorer recall regarding the same issue that seems to be occurring in the same year, make and model of car.

- Ankeny, IA, USA

problem #8

Aug 032015


  • 40,523 miles
Check charging system light comes on daily. While driving the car on a city street, radio shut off, lights dimmed and car cut off in the middle of traffic, steering also became difficult before shutting off.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #7

Aug 062015


  • 53,958 miles


I am reaching out to you on an open issue with my 2012 Ford Explorer. Case #cas7740243 with Ford customer service. Last month my wife was driving the vehicle on a well-traveled road with our 2 children. The vehicle went limp in traffic. Fortunately she was able to forcefully steer the car to the side of the road before it went completely dead. This was an extremely dangerous situation given that the vehicle malfunctioned on a major road and there were multiple passengers involved. The local Ford dealer, cross roads Ford in springfield, il, identified that the vehicle's electronic throttle body ("etb") system failed and needed replaced. My first thought was that a 2012 Ford Explorer with less than 54,000 miles should not need a major repair like this. I conducted research and discovered that Ford had previously admitted liability to etb system failures on multiple Ford/Mercury models of the similar time period. Ford issued a special customer satisfaction program extending the etb warranty coverage and instructing franchised dealers to update the powertrain calibration to improve vehicle performance in the event that intermittent electrical connectivity of the throttle body motor contacts occurs. (see NHTSA action number PE13003). I was provided no explanation from cross roads or Ford customer service as to why the etb system failures in those situations are different than the etb system failure here. Ford's customer service told me that Ford will do nothing to reimburse the costs it took us to fix this issue and that Ford has no responsibility on this. Not only do I feel Ford owes reimbursement for the replacement costs, but this is a major safety issue that Ford needs to review in light of Ford's preexisting admission to faulty etb systems. I am bringing this to your attention.

- Rochester, IL, USA

problem #6

Aug 022014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
Safety recall notice 14S06/NHTSA recall 14V-286 we received this recall notice in the mail from fmc. Knowing we had a trip coming up, I immediately took the vehicle in to ken garff Ford in Utah for servicing and to have the recall corrected. They supposedly fixed the issue so I went on my way. I drove a single gas tanks worth (appx 400 miles) and then everything went to hell. Power steering failed, traction control failed, terrain management failed. This is the exact problem for which Ford issued the recall in the first place. The Ford dealership is now telling me that they completely fixed the problem and it is my fault that these systems failed. They want me to believe an elaborate tale about how I have driven my Explorer 72000 miles without a problem and suddenly, after the recall gets fixed, I then have that exact problem? that is a sneaky lie that might work on someone more passive. When the vehicle failed we were driving with our family on a vacation and this incident stranded us in meridian, Idaho, where our vehicle currently sits 6 weeks later. It seems to me that when a safety recall is issued and "fixed" it shouldn't create a safety issue for the consumer anymore, which is exactly what this problem caused. It also seems to me that it is awfully convenient for fmc that my car broke immediately after it was "fixed". so now I am liable for the repairs. How nice for fmc. Meanwhile, it took fmc 6 weeks to get the part to the dealership in Idaho so they could "fix" the issue. We'll see how long it holds up this time. I am still waiting to get my car back.

- West Jordan, UT, USA

problem #5

Apr 182014

Explorer 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
On Friday April 18, 2014 my wife an I prestarted the car to go to dinner, after only 2 minutes the car shut of. Upon review of the issue the low oil pressure light came on, the stability control light came on, as well as he service engine soon light. The mileage at the incident was approx 45,500 but the complaint says 44,000 because this is the second time it has done this, and the first time for the stability control light to illuminate. After dinner we came home and attempted to restart the vehicle, everything seemed normal, it started it drove, but subsequently we had it towed to Ford, so they could address the problem.

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #4

Sep 152012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 18,000 miles


Driving on rt 495 when the warning lights activated and a warning came on in the message center saying "service advance track." I started to pull over to the side of the road and discovered my power steering wasn't working. After I pulled over I stopped the car I looked in the message center I saw that the advance track wasn't selected. I tried to select it but wasn't able to. I turned the car off and back on a couple times and the problem cleared. Called Ford dealership and they didn't seem to want to help because "turning the car off and back on fixed the problem." I pushed them to get an appointment, they called me saying that the power steering module was bad and needed to be replaced.

- Charlotte Hall, MD, USA

problem #3

Aug 022012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
Power steering fault while returning from short supermarket trip, lost all power steering, dash board lit up, then terrain sensor fault, causing a feeling of reduced gear, turn signals failed as well. Very difficult to drive, and unable to reset by shutting vehicle off. Dealership stated a fault in power steering rack, requiring replacement, they also stated it is a different part number then original part meaning it may have been remodeled due to "issues". very dangerous situation!!!!

- Huntingdon Valley, PA, USA

problem #2

Jul 252012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 10,905 miles
From a stop-zero mph, conducted a right turn from surface street to freeway on-ramp. Mid-turn, power steering assist failed, resulting in near accident/running off-roadway surface. Additionally, elec stability control (Ford 'advancetrac') warning light indicators illuminated indicating service required immediately.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 192012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 11,800 miles
I live in ecuador (South America) and bought a 2012 Explorer base model, on October 2011. A few days ago, after a long trip, I got the "advance trac" error message, and 3 days ago, I got the power steering failure, and the steering wheel got locked, traveling at around 20 mph, the two messages were on the screen, advance track and power steering. I turned the car off and then back on, and everything was normal. Yesterday I turned on the car and had no power steering, I had to turn it off and on again, to have it back.

- Guayaquil, Ecuador, FL, USA

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