really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,036 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.

2015 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2015 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #9

Jan 202016


  • 17,727 miles


2015 Explorer Sport 3.5L V6 ecoboost, car shudders while trying to maintain highway speeds while barely touch the gas. Engine misfires, hesitates when trying to accelerate quickly. Ford nor dealer will do anything about it saying its "normal". purchased the extended warranty but still no resolution. Has been on going for about a year. At one point the car went into "limp mode" and would only allow me to drive 20 mph on the highway while the rpms' where maxed out. Thankfully I was close to a dealership to have it looked at. Said "pipe hose clamp came lose". something is wrong with this ecoboost engine. There have been lawsuites over it. I have taken it to the dealer several times, had several techs, supervisors drive it and nothing.

- Canton, GA, USA

problem #8

Oct 262016


  • 32,000 miles
Sport model front end has had a loud popping/ creak noise when going over bumps at a angle and also sharp low speed manuevers ( pulling into tight parking space) since it was basicly brand new. Loud ticking noise from front hubs at low speeds first visit to Ford was at 9,000 miles they could not duplicate it. Vehicle now has 32,000 miles roughly, the popping and creaking has gotten worse my wife was leaving work and was backing out of her parking spot and the rack and pinion locked up on her. Mulltiple wanring lights came on and she was unable to steer the vehicle. She called me and I told her to cycle the key multiple times and see if it will reset to be able to drive to my work so I could scan it and see what codes it has. She took surface streets to my work. It had codes P0022: Cam timing over retarted P052D: Cold start cam timing over retarted P193E: A/C clutch request signal U0121: Lost communication with ABS control module C1B00: Steering angle sensor this is the second time cam phaser codes came up. They replaced cam phaser this last visit and vehicle still stumbles/misfire feel at idle. They were "unable to duplicate" rack and pinion/ suspension noise. My wife does not feel safe driving vehicle. It has been getting random hard spots while driving. I took it to another local Ford dealer and they want to charge me for diagnostic if they cant "duplicate" I just got done paying for 3 weeks of rental and cant risk several hundred more dollars to have them, say they cant duplicate it. So I will be picking up the Explorer and I am now stuck with a unsafe vehicle as the steering could "lock up" again at any point. There are multiple cases just like mine that I found and I am not willing to risk having my wife and child have the rack and pinion fail while she is going down the freeway we got lucky with it locking up while at low speed the first time.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #7

Oct 052016


  • 5,000 miles
Our Explorer limited unit has less than 21,000 miles on it. While accelerating to pass another vehicle, climbing a hill / mountain or similar situation exhaust fumes enter the cabin. The A/C unit is on and in the recirculation mode with the rear A/C unit operating. The noxious fumes smell like rotten eggs / sulfuric acid. The only way to clear the dangerous exhaust gases is to open windows allowing for a change in the cabin's atmosphere. This is a recurring issue that can be replicated. Working with the dealership we purchased from as well as Ford corporate to resolve this dangerous situation. Many units are experiencing this same issue. No proven repair / fix to date. How long will it take Ford's engineering team to isolate the reason this occurs and provide a proven repair / recall" could it be the units experiencing this recurring problem could be coming out of the same manufacturing facility"

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #6

Jun 122016


  • 21,000 miles


3.5L ecoboost, 24K miles. Upon attempted acceleration, engine does not produce full power. Engine lags significantly then surges in both RPM and acceleration. Issues has persisted for approximately 3K miles. Issue occurs during all environmental conditions. Check engine light has not come on. No codes have been found. Vehicle has been examined by hudson Ford in Wisconsin. No resolution provided, issue continues to exhibit itself.

- Apple Valley, MN, USA

problem #5

Aug 082016


  • 12,000 miles
My wife and I park our 2015 Ford Explorer XLT in the parking area in front of our house. In order to go anywhere, we need to back it out of its parking spot, reverse-turn to the right, apply the brakes, put the vehicle in drive, and finally drive forward on the driveway until reaching the street. This morning, my wife planned to go to the store. She entered the vehicle, started it, put it in reverse, and proceeded to back out of the parking spot. As usual, she applied the brakes to stop the car and put it in drive, but unfortunately, this morning the brakes did not respond. She applied the brakes a few more times to no avail. After that did not work, she applied the emergency brake, which did not do anything either. Finally, she turned off the engine and put the car in park, which didn't do anything either. She ended up doing a U-turn in reverse. My other truck was parked to the right of where the Ford Explorer was parked, so once the Ford Explorer reached my parked truck and collided with it, the Ford Explorer finally stopped. In addition to my wife, our two sons aged 6 and 8, were inside the vehicle with her when this happened. We have attached a photo of the Ford Explorer collided onto my parked truck (a Ford F150), which it had to do in order to stop and not collide into anything or anyone else. The main reason we got a Ford Explorer is because we believed it would be a sturdy SUV that would keep my wife and kids safe, so this incident is extremely concerning. The car is almost new with approximately 12,000 miles and we have had already had to take it into the repair shop approximately eight times. We have asked Ford to replace it, but they have not been willing to do so, which is why we are escalating this matter to regulating agencies for resolution as well as out of concern for other families who may have had a similar experience.

- Sylmar, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 012016


  • 4,400 miles
When my 2015 Ford Explorer is under heavy acceleration such as towing or passsing, I can smell a very strong odor of sulpher or convertor fumes in the cabin. It is worse with the fresh air vent and is less with the recirculation. The rear A/C is off and I have 4400 miles on the vehicle. I called my local Ford dealer and they have no past complaints of this nature and do not know what it may be. I also had a problem when I was making the high acceleration to duplicate the problem and noticed the steering wheel jerking under torque. I drive front wheel drive police vehicles for a living and never had this happen where you better be hanging on with both hands.

- Porter, TX, USA

problem #3

Jan 142016


  • 5,000 miles


I bought the car in September of 2015 and noticed upon hard acceleration such as entering the interstate or passing a car there is a smell of exhaust that comes into the cabin area and in order to relieve the smell the windows need to be cracked a little bit and this only happens upon hard acceleration.I have not had this experience with any other vehicle. I have also had problems with the transmission but they cannot seem to figure out when accelerating between 20 and 40 miles per hour you feel a shift in the transmission which for a new vehicle is a bit odd. At 10,000 miles I had to have a stabilizer bar in the front and replaced I notice a lot of heavy clunking as I drove my car around and this seems to be the problem. I I have also had issues with the headliner coming out on the driver side front door this is been pushed in and replaced 3 times and it's working on its fourth time. The issues with the transmission and the exhaust fumes in the cab and have yet to be resolved.

- Dixon, IL, USA

problem #2

Sep 022014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 100 miles
Exhaust smell in car every time you enter a freeway or pass another vehicle. In other words; acceleration. Also, has a "drone" type sound at speeds over 71 mph. The vehicle has been to the dealership three times with the latest time being two weeks so far (it's still there on 9-30-15) for the two issues noted above..

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #1

Jun 142015


  • 2,100 miles
During and after acceleration at any speed there is a very strong sulphur smell in the cabin of the vehicle. It appears to enter from the rear of the vehicle and it must be exhausted by opening the windows every single time. The fumes contain CO2 and are very dangerous to all within the vehicle. All passengers complain of a light headache and nausea.

- Garland, TX, USA

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