really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,155 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.

2002 Mercury Mountaineer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Mercury Mountaineer Owner Comments

problem #13

Apr 042011

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • miles


The car would have a warning display that a door was ajar and we would check all the doors and re-close them all and the warning would still appear. Then we would check the lift gate window on the back and re-close it and the display would go away, but the lift gate was closed the whole time before. It constantly does this and now the lift gate has a crack in it.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #12

Sep 012009


  • 119,000 miles
Hello and good day, when I 1st purchased my Mountaineer (purchased used with approx 119,000 miles) I took it to get it washed. When I was getting it washed the rear hatch panel (the rectangular panel under the glass with the make and model name) cracked and broke apart. I tried to contact Ford and Mercury concerning this to explain what happened and how part of the car literally fell off. They informed me that they would not recall this but that I could take it to my local dealer and they could fix it for $750! I did research to find, literally, thousands of complaints about the same exact problem. People's rear hatch panels are falling off while driving all the time, I see it on the road alot. Since the panel fell off, the retaining metal piece that holds the reatch hatch clasp in place to the door, it rusting off. This is because the panel is broken off and water/ice has rusted the area, where usually water and ice could not reach it. This small problem is not causing multiple problems. I am concerned that more of my rear panel will fly off while driving and cause an accident I am concerned that my rear hatch panel will come open while driving (the clasp could rust off anytime) and cause an accident or it will fly open and stuff will fly out of my car and then cause an accident I am concerned that my panel will open while parked and my car /possessions will be stolen I am concerned that the door clasp will cause my car alarm (factory) to go off and run my batter down and/or short out my electrical system. Below is a link to one forum with over #450 people complaining about the same problem www.topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/1223-Ford-cracked-tailgate-class-action-lawsuit thank you for your time.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #11

Aug 022010


  • 100,000 miles
My mother was at her parents' house and opened the rear glass portion of the lift gate. Upon doing so, one of the lift gate cylinders detached from the glass. She went inside to get her father to come outside and see if he could fix the issue. When he attempted to lift the glass, it shattered instantly leaving cuts all over his body. I called Ford about this issue and was told that there was nothing that they could do about this because the recall that addresses this issue had already been performed on the vehicle (NHTSA campaign id number: 01I010000).

- Newport, NC, USA

problem #10

Oct 262011

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • 71,000 miles


The rear hatch hinge broke as I attempted to close the hatch. The hatch then slammed down on my head. Fortunately, I was not injured - a little dazed. My local dealer replaced the hinge for $230. I contacted Ford hq service but they refused any concession. I had a similar incident in January 2005, and Ford replaced the hinge at no cost under recall 04S20. Obviously, the original replacement was not a permanent fix.

- Wauwatosa, WI, USA

problem #9

Oct 232011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. The contact stated the rear lift gate on the vehicle was cracked from the top to the bottom of the lift gate. The crack extended from the emblem and began to get bigger depending on the weather. The lift gate was repaired four years ago and should be repaired again. The contact stated the crack was a manufacturer's defect. The current mileage was 95,000.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

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problem #8

Jun 232009

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • miles
My complaint is on the rear back panel. When I bought this car my back panel cracked at 76,000 miles. Out of pocket cost to me to replace this panel $500. Now 2 months ago I noticed a crack in that panel and days later the entire panel flew off my car as I am driving down the road! I can only imagine the shock of the driver in the vehicle behind me. Ford/Mercury should man up and recall these. Find a permanent solution for an obvious design flaw on their part. Everywhere I go I see Mountaineer and Explorer with cracked, half gone or completely gone rear back panels. Ridiculous.

- Chapel Hill, TN, USA

problem #7

Jun 012010

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


I own a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. The tailgate developed a crack between the emblem and the rear glass lift. It was fixed once already and has since cracked again. Since this crack has developed, the door ajar light has come on. I have noticed the same crack in almost every Ford Explorer and Mountaineer that I see. I contacted the dealer to have it repaired again and was told that they only cover the repair once. I don't feel I should have to pay out of pocket for an obvious manufacturing defect. I then contacted Ford and was told there is nothing they can do for me. Keep in mind, I have also had numerous visits for my transmission having issues from the beginning and I have also had issues with the cruise control where it suddenly "takes off" and goes really fast. Ford needs to stand by it's vehicles and fix them when there are obvious manufacturer defects!

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #6

Dec 282009


  • 90,000 miles
On cold mornings, the front windshield fogs/frosts up. Turning heat on and selecting defrost provides little to no air to windshield. Dealership identified it as a broken vent select door, requiring dashboard to be removed and part replaced, $1100 fix. In doing research on the vent select door - cars are designed that if the selector breaks that the air should default to the front defrost so that windshield would not fog/frost and cause a life threatening situation. Multiple times this has occurred while driving, all along believing that the fogging up was due to snow build up on outside vents. The fact that the vent broke and did not push air to the windshield is why I'm logging this complaint as it could have resulted in a life threatening situation. In reading the other entries, noting that I've had to have the rear coil springs replaced and had back liftgate replaced after cracking.

- Lakeville, MN, USA

problem #5

Oct 072008


  • 108,000 miles
I own a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. The tailgate developed a crack between the emblem and the rear glass lift. Since this crack has developed, the door ajar light has stayed on consistently, causing the interior light to stay on, draining the battery, which had to be replaced. I have noticed the same crack in almost every Ford Explorer that I see. I have not yet attempted a repair because I don't feel I should have to pay out of pocket for an obvious manufacturing defect.

- Aragon, GA, USA

problem #4

Jan 282008


  • 65,000 miles
Upper rear lift gate below the rear glass window was found with several cracks on a cold winter morning. No recent impacts other than normal rear hatch closings. Have noticed many other similar make/models of Ford/Mercury with the same damage in exact same location.

- Meriden, CT, USA

problem #3

Jan 152009


  • miles


Just under the rear window the back panel cracked in the cold weather the vehicle is kept in a garage when exiting the garage into the weather it just cracked just under the Mountaineer emblem all the way down the length of the panel and now the back rear window rattles.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #2

Dec 052008


  • 61,010 miles
When approaching my vehicle (2002 Mercury Mountaineer) from behind, I noticed a crack in the center of the liftgate panel, beginning at the bottom of the window and extending to the handle. I researched this on the internet and found that it is a problem which has occurred in Ford-manufactured SUVS, including the Mountaineer and Explorer. I called the service manager of the dealership where I purchased the vehicle. He was familiar with the problem and stated that the panel will need to be replaced. Since there is no recall issued, there was nothing he could do. I then called Ford customer service and spoke to a person who told me that Ford could not provide assistance since my vehicle was out of warranty. Since this is an obvious defect in the product, I believe that Ford should issue a recall and cover the repair cost. Ford should stand behind the quality of its vehicles and if there is a problem, then it should provide the customer with a satisfactory remedy.

- Oakmont, PA, USA

problem #1

Jan 012005

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • miles
The back door of my 2002 Mercury Mountaineer has cracked around the Mercury emblem, which is located just under the glass portion of the door that you can open separately from the remainder of the door. I have now seen three other Mercury Mountaineer with the same crack around the emblem. I don't believe this is a coincidence. I believe it is a defect and that the manufacturer should put out a recall to fix the defect.

- Montague, CA, USA

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