hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,672 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.

2003 Mercury Mountaineer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Mercury Mountaineer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Jan 012005


  • 50,000 miles


Just like every other Mountaineer or Explorer of this era the lift gate has cracked around the vehicle logo. This has caused problems including corrosion, rust, and locking mechanism failure on the liftgate. This problem can be seen on every single Mountaineer or Explorer of this era. It's pretty ridiculous that Ford has not been forced to remedy the issue or done it voluntarily. It is clearly an engineering failure.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #23

Nov 012007


  • 55,000 miles
See where several people are experiencing the same issues that I am having with my 2003 Mountaineer. The rear gate is cracking around the emblem. I've have reported this to Ford and they tell me I can pay to fix it and if there is recall they will reimburse me. In addition I am also experiencing the door ajar light coming on when all are shut and secure. I have contact Ford and several local dealerships. The dealership all tell me their hands are tied until Ford makes a decision and that I am not alone. Ford refuses to do anything. It's almost like they don't care. With all these complaints why isn't this Agency doing something?

- Iselin, NJ, USA

problem #22

Oct 022015


  • 78,784 miles
Not in an accident. A 1 1/2 inch vertical crack has appeared in the body between the middle of the back lift door under the window extending to the round Mercury symbol between the letters, R and the C. did not notice until taking it through a car wash where I was warned it had to be covered.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #21

Jan 012009

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


I want Ford to recall there Mercury Mountaineer as it has a major safety issue. All of there Mercury from 2002 onward have a crack on there rear lift gate. I done google and almost net is full of complaints on this. Crack starts right below Mercury logo and keep increasing and increasing. My car logo not came off, but few cars, this logo blown off. Also now I learnt that car hinges holding this very rear hood came off.. I thought its mine, but again, almost web is full of complaints on this and knowing how risky this is, trying best to go to every look and corner so to ensure that Ford does repair asap

- Iselin, NJ, USA

problem #20

Nov 162012

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • miles
The hasn't been an accident. I wanted to report that I have a cracked tailgate on my vehicle. The crack appeared one morning - I wasn't even driving the vehicle. The cracked begins at the top of the tailgate, around the emblem part of the lift gate, then down towards the tailgate lift handle. I called my local Ford dealer, citrus Ford, Ontario, ca, but was informed there wasn't a recall and the issue had to deal with water leaking into the locking mechanism and cracking because its plastic and not metal. At least the dealership didn't accuse me of being in an accident, but no efforts were made to repair the cracked tailgate at no cost to me, the customer. Can NHTSA push Ford to recall this matter?

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

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problem #19

Dec 172009

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
The back lift gate is cracked from the bottom of the window, around the side of the Mercury emblem, all the way down. I've noticed the same cracking on almost every other Mountaineer on the roads, and I see a huge number of the same complaint on the NHTSA website. Obviously this is a defect and needs to be recalled.

- Brooklyn Park , MN, USA

problem #18

Sep 192012

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • 167,000 miles


Back hinges broke allowing the glass to fall.

- Brooklyn Park , MN, USA

problem #17

Sep 192012

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
When lifting up rear window section (top half of rear door) the hinges broke causing the window and it's frame to fall down. Window frame was barely hanging by piston supports.

- Brooklyn Park , MN, USA

problem #16

May 042012

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • miles
Ford has a tsb on their website for the problems I am having with my vehicle. I contacted tyem and I was told that I have to pay for the repairs. What I do not understand is if there are sooo many complaint from consumers on this vehicle for the same issues is that not the responsibility of the manufacture being it considered a defective product? I have to children and this is of extreme concern to me that these issues on my car can cause an accident. -back trunk door is cracked down the latch. -the car doesn't shift correctly and tires seem loose -the overdrive light is blinking all the time and the transmission is signaling.. I have found so many websites with complaints about the same issues on 2003-2004 Mercury Mountaineer.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #15

Aug 022010


  • 65,000 miles
There is a crack from the bottom of the rear window right by the Mercury emblem, all the way down. I've seen nearly identical cracking on many other Mountaineer and Explorer. I see a rather large number of the same complaints on several websites. Obviously this is a defect that could result in injuries and needs to be recalled for safety reasons. Mercury/Ford needs to stand behind their product.

- Indian Trail, NC, USA

problem #14

Sep 022011

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • 134,600 miles


We have experienced two well known issues with the Explorer/Mountaineer. The body panel on the back hatch is cracked in the middle and Friday we had the spark plug blow out of the head/socket stripping the threads out to the point that the common repair kit used for these instances won't work and the only solution is a replacement head which is quoted at a $3500 job and the vehicle is only worth about $5700. I understand Ford accepts no responsibility for this engine/head defect despite the fact that it has occurred on factory tightened plugs.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #13

Feb 172011


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mercury Mountaineer. The contact stated that the rear decklid panel was cracked due to the colder weather temperatures. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who advised that they were aware of the issue but the contact would be liable for the repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact called the manufacturer who took a complaint but offered no further assistance. The current mileage was 92,489 and the failure mileage was approximately 92,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #12

May 022005

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
The back lift gate is cracked from the bottom of the window, "thru" the Mercury emblem, and all the way down. I've seen nearly identical cracking on many other Mountaineer. I see a rather large number of the same complaints on the NHTSA website. Obviously this is a defect that could result in injuries and needs to be recalled.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #11

Jan 152007

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
2003 Mercury Mountaineer cracked panel on back lift gate from window around right side of round emblem to bottom. Second time this has happened. First time vehicle was under warranty. 90% of these vehicles I see on road are cracked. Ford /Mercury needs to recall & fix.

- Wylie, TX, USA

problem #10

Aug 012010

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
The back lift gate is cracked from the bottom of the window, around the left side of the Mercury emblem, and all the way down. I've noticed the same cracking on almost every other Mountaineer on the roads, and I see a huge number of the same complaint on the NHTSA website. Obviously this is a defect and needs to be recalled.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

problem #9

Jun 052008


  • 88,000 miles
Rear back hatch cracked when purchased, promised to be fixed by dealership, but they never honored their promise. I have since seen several Mercury Mountaineer with the rear back hatch cracked as well, wondering why their wasn't a recall?? also transmission problems, already replaced transfer case and now power steering is leaking.

- Crown Point, IN, USA

problem #8

Apr 192006


  • 36,000 miles
I am having an issue with my hatchback. The emblem has a long and large crack on the left side of the emblem. I have noticed that there are several 2003 Mountaineer with the same issue. I am afraid that the crack will cause the glass to break. I noticed when I bought the vehicle the dealership tried to repair the issue once therefore I felt that I should advise/complain about the failure to see if a recall or a bulletin would be placed on the vehicle to repair the issue with no recourse or recurring issue. I am not sure why this issue is occurring but I would like for this issue to be repaired at not cost to me because again I have found many Mountaineer with the same issue and all have been 2003 so far. Please investigate and assist Ford/Mercury to produce a solution to the issue.

- Spring Hill, TN, USA

problem #7

Jun 042009

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • miles
Most 2003 Mercury Mountaineer and Ford Explorer are experiencing cracked lift gates around the emblem. Sometimes my lift gate opens on its own...don't know if this is happening due to the crack but this is a defect in manufacturing our vehicles. Dealers know about it but won't repair it without charging the consumers. Drive thru car wash personnel advise drivers before they drive through that the crack is preexisting (so they all know about it?) but the owners of these cars can't get this defective manufacturing issue repaired at no charge to all of us?

- Fort Benning, GA, USA

problem #6

Dec 082009

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • 78,898 miles
Purchased the 2003 Mercury Mountaineer in 2007. We only drive the car locally for school and work and within 30 days of purchase, the car would not go into reverse. Was told the transmission was slipping and made the dealership/warranty pay for $1600 repair. Since then the check engine light comes on every 3 months. We get check fuel cap message, replaced that twice (last one from actual Ford dealership) because they told us it wasn't the original from the car. Car leaks water through the rear window/roof seal and now my light stays on when I lock the car and it tells me every time we get in the car that there is a door ajar no matter if we get out and reclose all 4 doors and back door. R&R wheel speed sensor and ball joints had to be replaced 8/29/08 for $555. Just recently had my transmission go out again (12/8/09) and had to have complete rebuild of a Mercury transmission which cost us another $4000. It still slightly vibrates going between 30 and 40 miles per hour. Also the back hatch has cracked completely down through the logo. Our Ford dealer charges $200 just to look at the vehicle!

- Biloxi, MS, USA

problem #5

Jan 032010


  • 60,000 miles
I have 2003 Mercury Mountaineer and I have had it since February 2007. I have had numerous problems with it and the last problems was the breaking point. I have three more years to pay for this vehicle and I want something to be done about the problems with this vehcile. Ford should be held responsible for this vehicle and fixing the problems associated with it. I purchased this vehicle from community Ford in new albany, ms in February 2007 with 45,000 miles on it. I couldn't get an extended warranty or any warranty with the vehicle I was told. After a year, I had to replace the front end and it was $500 at george's tire services. I took it in due to this noise coming from the front and I was advised that if I didn't have the work did it would lock up on me while I am driving and cause and accident. I noticed that my structure body:hatchback/tailgate has cracked completely. My seat belt on the driver side in the back don't work. My engine cooling system aircompressor has went out and I have electrical problems where my oil gauge is constantly saying it's low. I have my oil change every 3000 miles. I am hearing this noise in the rear of the vehicle and I don't know what it is and can't afford to get going to Ford to see what it is. I have been smelling this burning coming from the under the hood and I don't know what it is either. My lastest problem is my transmission is going out and I have had this vehicle for two years and I have three more years of payment on this vehicle. My transmission cost me around $3500 and I don't have any warranty on it. This is a lemon I have purchased and I think something should be done about it.

- Artesia, MS, USA

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