definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,048 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2012 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Dec 092016


  • 70,000 miles


About a year ago I bought 2012 Ford Explorer XLT with a 2.0 four cylinder eco boost engine from a dealer in akron Ohio. I live in rochester, NY. During the first winter months I had the car, when I had the heat on I noticed a strong exhaust smell in the cabin. At first I thought I was crazy because the car was in such great shape, but the more passengers would say the same thing I started to realize it was a real issue. I did some searching online and see that other people have the same issue. When I have the heat on and I put the circulation in recycle mode, it seems to subside the problem a little, but then the recycle mode shuts off and goes into fresh air mode automatically again I get blasted again with these horrible fumes. This happens about every 5 minutes while I am driving and I have to keep hitting recycle and opening up the windows while I am driving to air out the fumes. When I am moving at 50 or more it does not seem to be an issue, I don't know why, but when I come to a stop it is bad, exhaust fumes spew into the cabin. I get headaches all the time while driving. I am afraid to take my kids in the car because of this issue. If I start the car first thing in the morning and I forgot to turn the heat off the night before, the heater kicks in when I start it and it is bad. This morning it snowed here in rochester so I went out and started the car and let it warm up for 5 minutes, when I came out it smelled so bad I couldn't even get in. I had to rolls down the windows and let it air out, and even then when I came to work today I have had a headache all day and I smell like an exhaust stack. Please help me. I love the car, except for the fumes issue.

- Fairport, NY, USA

problem #25

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 #24

Jun 202016


  • miles
Strong exhaust smell inside cabin when accelerating. Vehicle had about 65000 miles. My speed was from 0mph to 65 mph.

- Canyon Lake, TX, USA

problem #23

Oct 012015


  • 95,000 miles


Strong exhaust (burning oil smell) coming into cabin under medium to high acceleration through ventilation ( ac on). The smell permeates the car and burns your nostrils. I could smell it for quite some time even after existing the vehicle (as the smell remains in my nose). Even felt a bit lightheaded after existing the vehicle. I have had passengers notice this smell on several occasions also.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #22

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 #21

Sep 202011


  • miles
Exhaust leaking into passenger cabin on acceleration, normal highway speed and when A/C is on. Strong smell of exhaust daily. Purchased battery powered co detector and it has gone off several times in the cabin of the vehicle. We have taken the car to the Ford dealer in cumming, ga several times, but each time have been told there are no issues. It is my daily driver and I have been diagnosed with several health problems since purchasing this car. My husband suffers headaches when he drives it. We noticed the problem a few days after the purchase of the 2012 model in September of 2011. We have still not been able to get a resolution.

- Dawsonville, GA, USA

problem #20

Jul 302016


  • 27,000 miles


Exhaust is getting into the cabin of the car through the A/C. on several occasions, including 7/30, I will start the car and immediately there are fumes coming from the A/C. while driving on 7/30 we experienced this smell and experienced headaches while driving. Also, the smell is overpowering when standing outside of the running vehicle. More than any other car I have owned.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #19

Jul 112016


  • 77,000 miles
Driving at 60 mph orange light of death came on and completely lost power steering and speed. Car entered a limp home mode I let it come to a stop on side of road and it was shaking. I restarted and drove on to work, it worked fine.. luckily noone was around me..this is extremely dangerous for me and my kids. This is 3rd time it happened... reading posts its definitely the electronic throttle body that is cheaply made..the Fusion, escape, etc have had an recall for this...but not the Explorer..please pray for my family.

- Pascagoula, MS, USA

problem #18

May 012016


  • 36,000 miles
When excelerating on open road smelling fumes coming through air condition vents, ac on! more rpms than slow speed!

- Harrisville, WV, USA

problem #17

Dec 152014


  • 85,000 miles
Exhaust fumes in cab upon excelleration, been to dealer multiple times, still have problem. Have bought carbon monoxide tester to alarm us if level gets to high. Ford seems to think all's well. Not!!!!!!!!!!!! 2012 Ford Explorer.

- Crowville, LA, USA

problem #16

Jun 012016


  • 53,000 miles


When accelerating to gain access to a highway or just speeding up on a local street, there is a gas or burnt oil smell that permeates the cabin of the vehicle. This happens every time I accelerate, every day.

- Trenton, NJ, USA

problem #15

Apr 252015


  • 28,000 miles
Smell of exhaust gas inside the vehicle while in motion or acceleration.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #14

Jan 102012


  • miles
Soy de panama Y tengo el mismo problema que dice los otros propietario, ya me realizaron dos cambio Y aun asi el olor ES fuerte. Tengo tambien amigos que tiene lo mismo problema desde que la compro

- David, FL, USA

problem #13

Apr 012015


  • 50,000 miles
Exhaust smell entering cabin during mild acceleration, many times, easily repeatable. Dealer instructed me to not to complete the most recent up to date tsb, as it was not guaranteed to work in 2015. So we wait to see if there is a better repair.

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #12

Oct 142015


  • miles
Exhaust odors in the occupant compartment and oil in the air filter

- Manadan, ND, USA

problem #11

Jun 142016


  • 70,000 miles
I own a 2012 Ford Explorer XLT ecoboost was functioning fine till one day driving my family back from the airport my check engine light came on and began to flash. Then all of a sudden the car SUV began to shake horribly and would not in acceleration. After having the Explorer towed to the Ford dealer it was determined that the ecoboost system failed.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #10

Oct 052015


  • 57,000 miles
While driving to work, exhaust fumes in my car nearly put me to sleep. I took it to my Ford dealership to find the problem, and learned that Ford has a service bulletin to correct this issue, so they have been aware of this problem. This should have been a safety related recall, but instead I must pay $885 to repair this known safety issue.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #9

Sep 082015


  • 10,000 miles
Burning smell under acceleration.

- Bellingham, MA, USA

problem #8

Oct 162014


  • miles
I was driving my 2012 Ford Explorer at a reduced speed, approaching an unprotected left turn on green when my car suddenly jerked and sputtered and lost speed triggering the wrench icon to light up on my panel. I was applying gas to complete the intersection with no acceleration. I crawled through the intersection as my car continued to lose power and idle loudly and sputter. I was barely able to get off the road and had this been a busier time of the morning could have been in a side impact crash. The service center cleaned the throttle body and the problem appeared to be solved until almost a year later 9/25/2015, as I had just shifted from reverse to drive and as I accelerated and began driving, my car suddenly sputtered and went into the same stall described above. I applied gas and tried to accelerate with no success. The wrench light came on again. I was told to turn it off and then back on which allowed me to drive it with caution, to the service center. After diagnosis at my local service center, it was determined that the electronic throttle body is worn out and needs replaced. My vehicle isn't even 5 years old. This is very perplexing. The incidents are unsettling and should it happen on a busy roadway or while accelerating to make turns or pass a person is at a great risk of being injured or killed.

- Kathleen, GA, USA

problem #7

Aug 122015


  • 47,000 miles
Paint on hood is blistering - Ford knows about this issue and issued a tsb in 2004 to fix this issue in 2004 why are we still having this issue on a 2012 vehicle - dealer says Ford hq denied repair to hood paint since vehicle is out of 3 year 36,000 mile warranty - why is paint corroding on 3+ year old $34,000 vehicle? Ford should take care of this issue since it is known and devalues the vehicle by many $K.

- Rockville, MD, USA

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