definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,018 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 #14

Nov 022016


  • 40,000 miles


While driving the vehicle suddenly power would be lost. When applying more pressure to the accelerator, no usable power was present and the vehicle could not exceed 30 mph. After this occurred on the 4th time on a subsequent day, the "engine" symbol was displayed. Currently the vehicle is at a Ford dealership to troubleshoot the problem. On two occasions this discrepancy with acceleration and functionality of available power nearly caused an accident with small children in the vehicle. This should cause a major concern to other owners and Ford Motor Company as a whole due to the potential damage, injury, or death that could occur due to completely losing acceleration and/or power while driving.

- Daphne, AL, USA

problem #13

Nov 092015


  • 36,666 miles
On 6/29/15 while driving to work at about 40 mph the AWD off light came on with a wrench on my 2012 Ford Explorer, the vehicle suddenly decreased in speed to less than 5 mph. Pulled over turned the vehicle off & then turned back on. Computer seemed to reset itself. Took vehicle to Ford & said they could not replicate the problem. Then again tonight (11/9/15) on my way home from work, again going about 40 mph, the AWD off light with the wrench came on again. Speed immediately dropped to less than 5 mph & vehicle made grinding noises. Pulled over, turned the vehicle off & turned back on. Computer reset itself again & immediately drove it to Ford. The only message they could find was a code for loss of communication to BCM. Was told there was nothing they could do and if it happened again to leave the vehicle running, call roadside assistance & have them tow it in while still running. I live in a rural area that does not have many places to pull over when your vehicle breaks down and I do not understand why the computer systems memory does not track these messages. I guess it will take a fatality before Ford rectifies the problem.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #12

Jul 112015


  • 31,000 miles
While driving on a 2-lane highway about 50 mhp, my 2012 Ford Explorer suddenly lost all speed and the gas pedal had no effect. After drifting over to the shoulder out of harms way, the power remained on and the dashboard said "check manual" with a wrench lit up. What happened was that it just lost all speed and the gas pedal had no effect until I turned off the power and re-started. This was the first incident. This happened twice more in the following month for a total of three times when the exact same thing happened, just lost all speed. Finally Ford service was able to diagnose it and said it was the throttle body. After doing research, it appears that other Ford models have the same throttle body problem, loss of speed. This should have been a recall but someone dropped the ball, making it a part of the customer satisfaction program (csp 13N03) instead. This is obviously a very dangerous situation. Ford service has been extremely difficult work with as they will not honor csp 13N03 for my Explorer.

- Morristown, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jul 222015


  • 34,500 miles


I was on a residential street driving 35 miles an hour when the car suddenly went less than 5 miles an hour immediately. I drove it off to a safe spot and parked it. Luckily no one was behind med and I was not on an interstate or highway. No warning. It would not go over 5 miles an hour, even with the accelerator push all the way to the floor. I took it back to the dealer, where it was evaluated and I was told it needed an "update". now, I received a letter in the mail from Ford and was told there is a recall on this car's power steering unit. I am afraid of now driving the car till the electrical /computer system is fully tested. How do I get an answer?

- Tahlequah, OK, USA

problem #10

Jun 182015

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
Driving to work at the normal speed limit 6:30 am in light traffic. Ambient temperature was 65 degrees in dry conditions. Suddenly felt like the transmission had been placed in neutral. Engine continued to run but no power to the transmission. Was able to let the car coast until I could turn on to a side street and stop. An error condition displayed "AWD off" and then a wrench icon appeared. I placed the transmission in park and turned off the engine. Restarted the engine and the car resumed normal driving conditions. Took the car the next day to the Ford dealership. Was told that no error code was captured so they could not do anything. I asked how it was that the computer could display the "AWD off" message and the wrench icon without a code being stored. No response. Was told to leave car running next time, call a tow truck and then they could get the code. Of course, I am not always close to the dealership, it could happen after they closed or on a weekend. Noted that in March 2014 Ford settled a complaint on "throttle body" problems in escape, Fusion, etc, that had a similar description. Explorer was not included in that settlement.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #9

Dec 152014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
I was driving back from the mall on a single lane highway at 55 mph with the whole family. All of the sudden the vehicle just quit. I tried to restart the vehicle while it was gliding without power, but it would not start. I had to pull over to the side of the road until the car stopped by itself. While the car was gliding to a stop, there was no steering brakes or anything available, since the engine had cut off automatically. Luckily I did not get hit by anyone. I finally pulled over, restarted the car and drove again. In a couple of minutes the car stalled again with no controls. This happened about 4 times within a space of 15 miles. I took it to the Ford dealership the next day and had to spend $1000 fixing it, which they blamed on the throttle activation or body. This could have resulted in a fatal situation, especially because the vehicle had no controls when it stalled. I believe there has been the same issue with other Ford and Lincoln vehicles on the web. This should be considered a serious safety issue, which should be fixed as soon as possible. This could happen again to someone and result in serious injury. I feel like Ford should be responsible for the fix to ensure public safety.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #8

Oct 032014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 34,000 miles


I was driving approx. 35mph and all of a sudden the wrench light on the engine came on I lost all power to the accelerator. I had to coast to stop, turn off the vehicle, start it back up and proceed. It has happened 4 more times since the original date. One of those times was when I was crossing an intersection and was almost broadsided. This is very dangerous and is happening with no warning or pattern. I have looked online and it seems to have happened with many Ford Explorer owners. I am reading it has to do with the powertrain control module.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Sep 172014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
Electronic throttle body has failed and vehicle will stall. Throttle will not work. You are stranded until you turn the vehicle off and back on.

- Hampton, AR, USA

problem #6

Aug 212014


  • 45,322 miles
While driving at a constant speed of aprox. 35 mph on a city street, the vehicle suddenly and dramatically lost speed. The accelerator pedal / motor speed ceased responding and the engine started to run very roughly. The car went into "idle" and I was forced to stop in the middle of the road. The event was completely unexpected. I had no warning and not enough power to get off the road. An orange "wrench" warning light appeared on the dashboard. I turned off the vehicle and was able to restart with normal operation. I immediately had the car towed to the dealership service department where they replaced the left valve cover. I drove the car with no problems until 14 days later when the same problem re-occurred. This sudden and unexpected loss of vehicle control seems to be a significant safety concern. God help me if this happens while I'm on the freeway...

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #5

Aug 062014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
Dash reports tms fault, then AWD off successively. Then car becomes unresponsive to the accelerator and slows down rapidly. The dash also displays a service indicator "wrench." Dealer reports vehicle throws code P2112, throttle body stuck closed. I believe the scope of Ford csp 13N03 in response to NHTSA action number PE13003 needs to be expanded or many more drivers will be stuck in Ford vehicles that all but shut down on the interstate during a throttle body failure.

- O Fallon, IL, USA

problem #4

Sep 172013


  • 42,000 miles


The throttle body on the Ford Explorer failed and caused the vehicle to stall several times at various speeds from 15 mph to 60 mph on local streets and highways. The dealership service unit identified it as a failed throttle body.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #3

Jul 272012


  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. While stopped at a stop sign, the contact depressed the accelerator pedal and noticed that the pedal became stuck in a depressed position. The vehicle then accelerated on its own. The contact depressed the brake pedal and was able to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 6,000.

- Winnsboro, TX, USA

problem #2

Sep 152011

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 692 miles
Two extremely frightening experiences happened this day. (1) I was driving on interstate 95 and the Explorer braked extremely hard from a speed of 65 mph to zero. There was nothing around and I could not determine any reason for this. I proceeded on to my destination and the vehicle accelerated inexplicably to 95 mph. I tried to turn off the cruise control manually and by tapping the brake (I was fearful of the vehicle rolling). Thank god, I was able to maneuver around traffic in northern New Jersey and then the vehicle reduced speed. It was a very terrifying experience and one the Ford dealer told me he has no explanation for. I have had many, failures of the myfordtouch system which I will detail in a separate incident report.

- Pataskala, OH, USA

problem #1

Oct 242011

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 78 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. The contact stated the speedometer design does not show you the lower range while driving and that caused the contact to exceed the speed limit. The higher numbers were on the top of the speedometer which were shaped like a "C" and the numbers should be at the bottom to avoid speeding. The vehicle was not taken back to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The Ford manufacturer was notified, a claim was filed and they informed her to contact NHTSA. The failure mileage was 78. Updated 12/28/11 the consumer also stated it was extremely difficult to see out of the rear window, as the window was too small. Updated 12/28/11

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

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