definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,691 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2012 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #16

Nov 202016


  • miles


Fumes entering the cabin making the passengers nauseous and resulting in headaches. We noticed that only when we are in my husband's car that my children and I become sick with headaches and nausea. My husband drives to work in this vehicle and usually arrives to work with a headache. He didn't realize that the car was making him sick. He trusted the service people when they told him the car was fine. He typically dives on highways. The fumes are coming through the vents.

- Newtown, PA, USA

problem #15

Oct 242016


  • 55,128 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. While driving 35 mph, the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the purge valve was leaking and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 53,128.

- Stevenson, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 202016


  • 40,000 miles
For about the last year, I would smell something burning inside my vehicle when entering the freeway. I was never able to identify the source of the smell, even after repeatedly stopping to sniff the engine compartment and around the tires and exhaust. I could not detect the smell outside of the car, nor did I find any evidence of anything burning (no smoke, charred areas, stuck brakes, melted rubber, etc). There didn't appear to be any pattern, as I would smell something burning at different points in my commute, with the only time I consistently experienced it being merging onto the freeway. On June 20, 2016 at 1:38 pm central time, I sent my husband the following text: "is the fire extinguisher still in the car?" due to the overpowering smell of smoke in the passenger compartment shortly after getting on the freeway. I rolled down the windows and exited the freeway, stopping at the far end of a parking lot. There was no smoke nor odor emanating from the exterior of the vehicle. Due to the heat, we drive with the air recirculating most of the year. Much of our driving is in the city, with light acceleration. Typically, the only time we rapidly accelerate is when entering the freeway. On this occasion, I accelerated more than normal due to a semi's position in the right lane. At times, my 7 year old has complained about not being able to breathe with the windows rolled up.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #13

Aug 092016


  • 51,000 miles


AWD off error and wrench symbol - issue has occurred multiple times, under different conditions. Without warning, the vehicle loses acceleration and the wrench icon and AWD errors display. The throttle becomes unresponsive, but all other systems remain functioning. If you leave it in gear without the brakes engaged, it will move at idle speed on flat ground, but is unable to navigate inclines. When slowing to a stop, the whole vehicle shudders. Stopping and restarting normally returns the vehicle to normal operation. This has accured over a dozen times. Dealer has said that there are no codes reporting the problem. Recommended we replace tires. Replaced tires and issue is still present. Have filed a complaint with Ford to bring in other resources to triage/diagnose issue without success. This is a very dangerous issue as when to issue presents itself, the car stops unexpectedly and must be shifted into park in order to clear the problem. On roads without shoulders or multiple lanes, this is a very dangerous as the car is sometimes not able to make it to the side of the road and must be put into park where it stops. The car is to dangerous to drive and there are no know fixes right now.

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #12

Aug 162016


  • 51,426 miles
I/we have had multiple occasions of the engine failure to accelerate while in a regular driving mode. The engine will not continue to respond to the accelerator. The vehicle was driven to the local Ford dealer and they were unable to duplicate the problem. Today I was able to pull a code P2111 and took that in. I was told it was a malfunctioning throttle body. This appears to be a problem that is occurring in this and similar vehicles. Ford has said they will not correct the problem. The vehicle was being driven on a local road at the time of the condition occurred. We pulled into a parking lot to get it off the street. After pulling the code the vehicle still would not respond to acceleration attempts. The vehicle was turned off and restarted. Upon restart it ran correctly.

- Melissa, TX, USA

problem #11

Jul 202016


  • 61,500 miles
While driving down the highway my Explorer made a loud clunk sound and then the wrench symbol appeared on my dashboard. Then the gas pedal quit working, and we had to roll off the highway avoiding being hit by other traffic. I had to stop and restart my car 5-6 times before the gas pedal would work again. This has happened 5 times in the past two months, and when I called to have it serviced they told me the wrench light had to be on for them to identify the problem. But I cant go anywhere when the wrench light comes on and a tow truck will not tow a car with it running for me to get it to the dealership to be tested. This is a safety issue that other people are having. The throttle body is going out on many Explorer after 55,000 miles. Is it going to take deaths before this is a recall?

- Ochelata, OK, USA

problem #10

Apr 252015


  • 28,000 miles


Smell of exhaust gas inside the vehicle while in motion or acceleration.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #9

Jun 192016


  • 35,000 miles
Throttle body electronics, vehicle will suddenly stop. I was driving in traffic at 55mph and suddenly stopped moving when failure occurred. Dashboard indicated a 4 wheel drive or engine check. I was slowed to 2mph luckily no other vehicles were behind me. This is very dangerous in traffic, no warning. Ford knows about this problem and is not recalling vehicles why, the parts are in short supply my SUV was in the garage for 10 days waiting for part, this issue should be a recall. Ford repaired my Explorer but many drivers are on the road and have no idea this could happen to them. Safety first please

- Buke, VA, USA

problem #8

Oct 122015


  • 50,000 miles
This happened three times at speeds of 40, 50 and 60 mph, on highway, veh. Engine light comes on and veh. Comes to a stop. The engine is still idling but the gas petal does not work. There is no warning, the veh. Just comes to a stop.I was lucky to have been on rural two lane roads so I could pull of road. If you were on a multi lane highway you would be in big trouble, because veh. Comes to a stop and you have no control of the speed. The first problem, switched off veh. Restated, no engine light and everything worked, took veh. To Ford, they check it out, could not find any problem. The veh. Worked fine for about 6000 more thousand miles, then at 60 mph it cut off again, I got off road, restarted veh. Engine light stayed on but gas petal worked. I drove about two more miles and veh. Cut of again, engine idling gas petal not working. Restarted veh. Engine light stayed on but gas petal was working. I drove veh. To Ford dealer, they now said the problem was the throttle module. Ford said there was no recall on this module, so I paid over $600 for the repair work. This is a very serious safety problem there should be a recall or something to warn Ford Explorer owners this could happen to them. I would think, I am not the only Explorer owners to have had this problem.

- Hartford, AL, USA

problem #7

Aug 012015


  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. The contact noticed the vehicle would delay to start and stalled when the meter measured over a quarter tank of fuel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The dealer determined a fuel pump would need to be replaced; however, the part needed was on back order until October of 2015. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 69,000.

- Tampa , FL, USA

problem #6

Jul 202015


  • 53,000 miles


Power cut off. (golden wrench of I dont know what's wrong came on) on 4 lane had to pull over to shoulder of road. Cut off engine, restart, no light drove to Ford shop Monday and left car. Shop to check out and get back with me. Friday had to call and see if any news of whats wrong. Told after 3 hr runaround, needs battery and throttle body $ $900 +- out of warranty consumer satisfaction program 13N03

- Converse, LA, USA

problem #5

Apr 192015


  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the fuel pump failed. The dealer stated that the fuel pump was on national back order. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 77,000.

- N Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #4

Apr 012015


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the sender and pump assembly needed to be replaced; however, the vehicle was not repaired since the parts were not available anywhere in the country. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Lathrup Village, MI, USA

problem #3

Jan 062012


  • miles
After a month of owning the 2012 Ford Explorer we noticed a very foul exhaust smell from inside the cabin of the Explorer. We would smell the odor under acceleration, especially when rpms reached 3,000 plus. This particular odor smell under the above conditions have been observed ever since. We did not think anything of the smell until we began researching it recently and came across several sources indicating this could be harmful to our health.

- Derby, KS, USA

problem #2

Sep 272014


  • 47,000 miles
The throttle box has gone bad. The car stalls randomly when taking off from a start and requires a new throttle body at only 47K miles. This is part of the powertrain, but not covered by the warranty. Ford had lots of problems with throttle bodies in earlier models and it seems they haven't fixed it yet.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #1

Sep 012014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
We have a 2012 Ford Explorer with 46,000 miles at this time. On August 30, 2014, we were driving about 35 mph when the car lost all power, and the powertrain/wrench light came on in the display. The check engine light did not come on. I pulled to the side of the road where the car was shaking like it wanted to stall. I turned the car off and back on, and it started up fine, and the wrench light went off. We drove another 100 miles when it did the same thing again on September 1 going about 50 mph. I took it to the local shop who noticed that the voltage was dropping from 14 volts down to 12volts and shutting down the computers (so they said). They changed out the alternator- $560. Everything was fine until September 20 when the car did the same thing twice again, about 10 minutes apart, going 70 mph (car lost power, wrench light on, had to pull over and restart). I took it to the closest Ford dealer within 2 days; they drove the car 55 miles and could not duplicate the problem because it is intermittent. There were no error codes present. The check engine light never came on. They said to come get the car and keep driving it. Internet research indicates that this is likely a throttle body (etb) malfunction. I called the Ford dealer where we bought the car (not where it was now) and described the problem to a service manager with 19 years experience. He said it was likely the throttle body since the car would restart. He said only 2 things trigger the wrench light- the transmission and the throttle body. Since my wife and daughter ride in this car, I decided to have the throttle body replaced at my expense on September 24 - $470. Continuing to drive the car as Ford suggested, with an intermittent cut-off problem, was not an option for me so I decided to make an educated guess/diagnosis and throw parts at it and see.

- Clayton, NC, USA

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