really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,302 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.

2013 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #18

Jul 172013

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 2,600 miles


Soon after the purchase, there was a burnt metal/exhaust smell in the interior of the Explorer when the driver accelerated to pass a car, get onto the interstate, or something similar and then let off the accelerator. The first time it happened, we thought the vehicle was on fire and pulled off onto the side of the interstate and got out of the vehicle. We have to open windows to flush out the smell. At first, it seemed that "recirculate" would have to be on, but in time it did not matter whether it was on or off. When driving in traffic, we detect exhaust smell at all times. Turning on "recirculate" has no effect. I have asthma, and it has been worsening since we bought the Explorer. I am not a smoker. I now refuse to ride in the Explorer and am demanding that we get rid of it.

- Stem, NC, USA

problem #17

Apr 102016

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 57,897 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Explorer. When the accelerator pedal was depressed, exhaust fumes emitted inside the vehicle without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the grill assembly/vent air, molding, valve assembly, and auto drain needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 57,897...updated 10/13/16 updated 10/18/16.

- West Point, UT, USA

problem #16

Dec 182013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed as a strong fuel odor emitted inside of the vehicle. The failure occurred at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The failure was unable to be diagnosed. The front driver's and passenger's side weather door stripping was replaced however, the failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000. Updated 06/29/16 the consumer stated fumes from the exhaust entered the vehicle. The vehicle was repaired. Updated 07/13/16.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #15

Nov 302012


  • miles


My car continues to have stinky exhaust fumes coming into the cabin. We have the recycle switch on, but it does nothing to stop the fumes from coming in. I have taken this car to the dealer on number occasions, but they never would admit that there was a problem. In fact, they claimed that this was how it worked. I then contacted Ford Motor Company on other occasions, but was told each time, that there was no problem with the system. It seems to me that if fumes are coming into the cabin of the car, it is not healthy. It's as if Ford doesn't want to admit they have a problem, or their noses are so stopped up that they can't smell. Ford and their dealers are dismissing the problem when I know there is a problem. Ford needs to admit that this problem is not good for those of us that have to live with the rotten egg smell in our vehicles.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #14

Mar 162015

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Gas/exhaust smell while driving. This smell is coming out of the heating and air condition vents while driving. Make you nauseous.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #13

Jan 162015


  • 55,000 miles
Strong exhaust smell in the cabin of the vehicle. Smells bad and gives me a headache. I drive with my daughter in the car and am very worried about the effects it is having on her (as well as myself). This should be a recall issue!!

- Sykesville, MD, USA

problem #12

Oct 062014


  • 32,123 miles


Upon acceleration, the 2013 Ford Explorer releases exhaust into the cabin.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #11

Sep 292014


  • 39,000 miles
On more than one occasion, I have smelled exhaust fumes inside my vehicle upon acceleration. It has gave me a headache and has made me feel nauseous. My children has experienced the same symptoms as I have.

- Celina, TX, USA

problem #10

Apr 172013


  • 15,000 miles
Exhaust smell coming through ac vents while driving. All speeds.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #9

Aug 122014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 12,500 miles
My air conditioner just stops working will driving. I have taken to the Ford dealership over 5 times. They say it works fine each time I go. Finally one day when it was out I drove up to Ford and made the service manager go for a ride with me. He agreed the ac was not working. It is currently at the service department and being fixed, hopefully!

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #8

Jul 102012

Explorer 4-cyl

  • 300 miles


Exhaust smell, or acrid burning smell in cabin off and on since new, and especially during higher speed acceleration... suspect exhaust fumes entering cabin...

- Waterloo, IA, USA

problem #7

Apr 152014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
Upon moderate or hard acceleration, a strong burnt or exhaust smell enters the cabin.

- Hoover, AL, USA

problem #6

Sep 012013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
Every time I give an 'open throttle', or hard acceleration on my vehicle there is a foul smell that enters the cabin via the air condition vents. I had the issue looked into by my Ford dealer after the problem started. The dealer acted like they have never heard of the complaint but after reading various threads on the internet it appears a lot of other people have had the same issue. After some research I've learned that the smell is actually exhaust fumes entering the cabin. Ford acknowledges the issue but states the amount of exhaust fumes are not enough to become toxic. I am very concerned of this issue and Ford needs to fix the problem.

- Canton, MS, USA

problem #5

Jun 212014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
This happens virtually every time I enter a highway. Exhaust smell leaks into the cabin from what seems to be the rear exhaust. I have taken my truck in many times but Ford dealers cannot seem to resolve the issue. The only way for me to clear the smell and fumes is roll the windows down and air out the truck. Please see the Ford forums for other owners with the same issue: www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?T=323597.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #4

Apr 012013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
After all the new car smells began to wear off we began to notice what seemed to be exhaust fumes when we were driving up hills. We soon noticed that it happened anytime upon hard acceleration. The smell is enough to make your eyes burn and water from up in the driver seat. We thought maybe it was coming from the rear but tried in all positions and off and still have it. The Ford fix with the new vent, sealant, etc. Was done and had no effect on it. It was brought back into the dealership a second time and the opposite vent was replaced, still no change. We brought it back into the dealership a third time and it was checked for improper body seals and weather strips with nothing found. We are now told we have to just wait and see if Ford comes up with a fix.

- Frostburg, MD, USA

problem #3

Jul 242013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 200 miles
Purchased vehicle in early 2013. While driving at various speeds noticed exhaust fumes coming from air vents. Called my local Ford dealership and they advised that it was normal to smell fumes because it was a new engine. Now six months later, I continue to smell exhaust fumes through air vents while driving but it seems to be while at high RPM's over 3000. I researched the NHTSA website just to make sure I wasn't the only one and noticed that the following NHTSA id complaint numbers are also associated with exhaust fumes coming through air vents. They are #10522939, 10521718, 10511749, 10503135, 10472937, 10497684 and 10493493. It seems that there definitely is a problem with exhaust fumes entering the cabin while driving. I just received safety recall notice 13S04 for a possible fuel leak but I don't think that will stop smell from coming through the air vents. Seems to be that some kind of seal or gasket is not operating as required to keep fumes from entering the cabin. I hope that Ford gets serious about conducting some testing for a possible fix or recall. As others have complained, I try not to use my vehicle when transporting my family as they could be exposed to harmful exhaust fumes. This vehicle is not safe.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #2

Mar 302012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 12 miles
A foul exhaust like smell enters the cabin upon acceleration. The dealer attempted to identify and correct the problem, however, the condition continues.

- North Kingstown, RI, USA

problem #1

Dec 122012

Explorer 4-cyl

  • 2,800 miles
At any speed exhaust fumes get into passenger compartment. With vehicle idling and climate control to off position, I let it idle 5 min. Then turned climate control to on position and nothing but fumes come out thru air vents. I bought this Explorer 10/23/12 and it has been in the shop since 12/12/12. Ford sent a fix for this Explorer and it didn't work. Fmc needs to call me asap. This is looking more and more like a buy back.

- Midland, TX, USA

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