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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,959 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #5

Apr 112012

Explorer 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the heater failed to blow hot air which prevented the windows from defrosting. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 167. Updated 6/11/15 also, the thermostat was replaced, the vehicle had to be jump started. Updated 01/26/16.

- Rosemont, MN, USA

problem #4

Jan 012015

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
On December 27th 2014 I purchased a used 2012 Ford Explorer with 42,990 miles on it. Since then we have noticed under accelerating, you can smell the exhaust fumes in the cabin. Any harder than 50% acceleration and with the rear ac on, it is an almost instant smell. After a few roads trips it is predictable and we try to avoid repeating the issue. It has not been to our lcal dealer because they "haven't heard" of this issue before (called 2 different dealers). I can not afford to be without the car, pay for a rental car, my $100 extended warranty deductible, and get the, "we don't know what the issue can be from." I have heard and read allot of semi fixes, but wish I could get a strait answer before taking to the dealer first.

- Defuniak Springs, FL, USA

problem #3

Oct 182014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Investigation of intermittent "service engine" light eventually led to a determination of a faulty evap purge valve pulling fuel into the evap canister. Technician said he would not drive the car, as this is a fuel leak and unsafe condition. Dealer acknowledged safety issue, cites 1st time this has been seen, and not covered by any extended warranty or maintenance program. Paperwork provided cites "a faulty evap purge valve can cause excessive engine vacuum to be placed on fuel tank, drawing fuel/air from the fuel tank through the evap system and into engine. This can cause drivability concerns as well as rich/lean concern."

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #2

Sep 102013


  • miles
In September 2013, I was driving down a neighborhood road at about 15-20 mph when a wrench symbol appeared on the screen and the vehicle began slowing to a stop. The gas would not work during this time and I turned off the engine. It did restart without problems, but did it again a little later. I took it in to my local Ford dealership, where I leased the car from. They looked at it and said they couldn't find anything wrong, but could not get codes because the engine had been turned off. I was told to bring it back if it happened again. It happened 2 more times in October. Both times were at night over a weekend when the dealership was closed. Again, they looked at it and said they couldn't find anything wrong, but reset the "system" and I was told to bring it in if it happened again. No problems until the night of May 3, 2013. I was driving outside of mckinney, tx, with my cruise set at 74 when it happened again. This really scared me because I had just come off of I-75 where they are doing construction and there are concrete walls on either side of two lanes with no shoulder! since you cannot control the speed, and the only way to make the car work is to turn the engine off, wait a few minutes, then restart it, I have no doubt that we (myself and 2 children) would have been in an accident. It is a very busy area with speeds up to 75 mph and lots of semi-trucks. I spoke to the service manager and GM of paris Ford who both agreed to a loaner car until mine could be fixed, and took it in for the third time. Apparently, the only loaner car they had was unavailable, so I could take my car back and drive it until they had a loaner. We decided that was enough. I didn't feel safe driving it and did not want to take a chance of anything happening to myself or our children. We turned it in the dealership and after paying $251, it is now back with them. This car is dangerous!

- Paris, TX, USA

problem #1

May 022013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 47,627 miles
I was driving when the steering wheel jerked. The steering immediately became very hard to operate and the engine appeared to lose power. Indicator lights came on about the same time the steering jerked. The lights said "service advance trac" and "terrain management system fault". I had to pull of the road and just trying to make to left turns to pull into a parking lot took all the strength I had in both arms. My turn signals would also not work. I even tried turning the 4 wheel drive knob, as I noticed that the lights were not working on that as well and nothing would light up or show up on the dash screen. I turned off the car while I pulled out my owners manual to look up information on these indicators. After letting the car sit for a while, I restarted the car and the indicator lights were still there. I called Ford road side assistance and had the car towed. I also was put in a rental car. Then today the Ford dealer told me that since my car had 47, 627 miles on it that this problem wasn't covered under warranty. They told me only if it happened in first 36,000 miles. They also said I would have to pay $1865 for a new rack and pinion steering or they would clear the code and I could chance it to see if it happens again. They said it was common and most times you just need to let the car cool down and restart it. This is very upsetting- they knew this was a common problem and then I investigated this further online and found many other people reporting the same issues. Some in just the first month of owning the vehicle. This is the same thing that happened to me with this vehicle and the engine fan not working causing the car to overheat in the first 6 months of owning it. Later I got a recall on it. This is very frustrating- I have a car that is 18 months old and I have to put $1865 into it to fix a common problem/defect. This is a serious defect!

- Ashburn, VA, USA

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