Cracked Panel Below The Rear Window


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
70,900 miles
Total Complaints:
18 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (9 reports)
  2. replace hatch piece (9 reports)
2005 Mercury Mountaineer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2005 Mercury Mountaineer Owner Comments

problem #18

May 032015

Mountaineer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


This is a clear problem with all of these cars. Ford even got sued for it. They should fix this.

- Douglas E., Minneapolis, MN, US

problem #17

Jun 012015

Mountaineer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

The cracked back panel is not only an eyesore, it is letting moisture inside the back panel. This was a significantly priced auto and was purchased new. It has been taken care of very well and garage kept.

I have seen three others with the same problem just this week. It is not right that FORD will not do anything to fix this problem. Do they actually think consumers will get in line to purchase another FORD? They want to sell cars, but they do not want to stand behind them when there is a known defect and there is proof that they knew that the material was not holding up and they continued to produce and sell these vehicles.

I think every FORD executive should be made to drive one of these vehicles with a crack in it, every single day. If they are proud of the vehicles FORD produces, I don't see what the problem would be? WE are being forced to.

- Jan K., Vincennes, IN, US

problem #16

Dec 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

It is leaking water. Not sure where it is coming from. My guess is that when we got our car washed the water was just sitting in there and now that the crack has grown, it is now coming out. If water is in there with the wiring, I hate to think how many washes we have until the system shorts out.

- serafin54, Youngtown, AZ, US

problem #15

Dec 182015

Mountaineer Premier 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 159,000 miles


click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window cracked panel below the rear window

I am very disappointed to read so many complaints about the same problem with the lift gate! I was sitting still in a driveway, opened the back liftgate and then upon closing it, the whole window blew out into a million pieces. I did find that Ford recalled 02-03 models but continued to build the same model with no recalls out there for the vehicle they are still building with the same problem. How can they get away with that?

I purchased this vehicle from a used car lot, and the owners who run it said there is nothing they can do for me. I have owned the vehicle just a bit over a month now and several things have gone bad. I called my insurance company and they said they will have to have my insurance adjuster evaluate what has happened and they will get back in touch with me tomorrow to let me know what they are going to pay out, and if they are going to pay out. They said that since I was not involved in an accident, that what has happened is my fault!! I am very angry about this. I know this was an expensive vehicle when it was new and even though I am buying used, I feel that the problem with this lift gate is truly a defect in the build and materials and should be covered by Ford!

- Cheryl M., Caro, MI, US

problem #14

Jul 012014

Mountaineer Premire V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,200 miles

I find it ridicules that The Ford Motor Company claims to care about its customers but lets this clear defect go on into production year after year and then will not make the repairs free to the customers. I will never purchase another vehicle from The Ford Motor Company again and will discourage anyone I know from doing the same.

- Phil C., Kansas City, MO, US

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problem #13

Aug 072010

Mountaineer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Vehicle is garage kept and hardly driven. One day I noticed a crack under the back door window close to the mercury logo. I had several vehicles before this one but I never experienced this kind of problem with my other vehicles. Also while driving on a highway, the vehicle suddenly lost power, almost had an accident.

- Lisa A., Gravette, AR, US

problem #12

Dec 232013

Mountaineer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


Ok I wasn't that stupid after buying 2 piece of craps being 2003 Mercury Mountaineers I bought a 2005 Mountaineer. I thought, well they had to have improved on a newer model..BUT NOOOOO! Same issues.

1. Back panel cracked while closing window

Ya gotta be kidding me, again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


- barber.stylist, Vinton, IA, US

problem #11

Aug 152013

Mountaineer LX 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

We purchased a vehicle and paid a nice penny. We expected that the manufacturer would at the least be honest and not money grabbing! If this was a foreign manufacturer the court and country would be demanding quality for money.

If a customer pays a price for a quality vehicle then the manufacturer should be held accountable for selling and delivering a quality item. When a clear defect shows up --I expect that it should not be the the customer that is the losing part: we are at the mercy of the manufacturer when we buy vehicles -- we do not know what "slimy" deal they make to make a shiny dollar. Ford and Mercury need to attend to customer service, quality merchandise, and for God's sake stop ripping the customer off! Man up and fix the problem...

- Anne C., Islip Terrace, NY, US

problem #10

Sep 122012

Mountaineer AWD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

I was told by an Allstate Adjuster that this problem was very common on the lift gates of Fords and Mercury products. Water was getting into the vehicle because the crack had gotten so big. It formed right along the Mercury symbol that is located on the tailgate. The solution was to replace the entire rear panel and repaint. $400! After this happened I found tons of people talking about this problem online with absolutely no support from Ford or Mercury (who no longer exist).

- docgrant, Ashland, VA, US

problem #9

Jun 032011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

my sister and i each have a mountaineer....her's is a 2004, mine is a 2005.....the back hatch on both cracked the whole length of the back panel......we had an estimate of $500.oo to fix it........

- LeRoy G., Holland, OH, US

problem #8

Apr 092011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


I got this suv brand new off the lot, it was one that somebody had ordered and didn't or couldn't take it. I have had some major surgeries and couldn't drive it for awhile. I was checking it out before I took it to the Ford dealer and noticed the crack. I asked guy at Ford dealer and he said "oh it's just plastic they all do that. I had a ford explorer that didn't do that. now every tine I use the tailgate and close it the crack is getting longer. It cost too much for such a flaw in the body and the material. They hardly consider any thing under the extended warranty so I'm pretty sure they wouldn't agree to fix it. That's not right.I hope it doesn't leak, since the crack starts right under the glass and goes by the emblem now. PatriciaP

- Patricia P., Decatur, GA, US

problem #7

Mar 152008

Mountaineer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,250 miles

Okay, so it happened a year earlier on my '04, which was fixed under warranty. During the coming year, however, the '04 had an unfortunate demise (totaled-not our fault), but my local dealer, when I called him, had just gotten an '05 in. Hey the '04 saved our lives, so let's go with the '05. Killer deal. (This is late '07). Well a few months later in these northern Indiana winters, it happened again. Roughly 500 bucks to fix......Ford took care of this problem on the '06--totally redesigned hatch where the piece no longer exists. Duhh!!! Note: At this time I was working at a Ford dealership and saw a fair number of Explorers/Mountaineers come in with this same problem. Just stopped using the hatch in winter weather, and always use the liftgate, making sure not to slam it.

- Gordon G., South Bend, IN, US

problem #6

May 112010

Mountaineer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

I see others have had this problem. If you look at the pic you can see that it has never been hit or damaged. It just happened. I have seen several like this. It is a material issue that ford should repair. Other than my vehicle being covered in pollen and the crack you can see, it is otherwise flawless. I definitely would like the company to show pride in its vehicles as I do and back up their products and fix this issue! It doesn't keep me from Fords but it is a pain in the butt to look at and I don't think the end users should foot the bill on this one!!

- Ron B., Newport, RI, US

problem #5

Nov 102010

Mountaineer Luxury 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I have 2005 Mountaineer that I attempt to keep very nice and noticed a few months ago a crack in the plastic panel below the rear window. It was a small crack at first and in a month or so goes all the way across the panel beneath the Mercury logo. As I am thinking of selling I thought I would look into getting it fixed. The dealer said $459 dollars. I did a little research and found this to be a very pervasive problem that includes Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer and Lincoln Aviator over at least a 5 year span. Also the people that have replaced these parts have had the problem recur. Ford has issued a Technical Service Bulletin, (TSB) so are aware that the problem is large-scale.

I believe that at the very minimum Ford should provide at least the replacement part at no cost as the original is obviously defective.

- Kelly W., Indianola, IA, US

problem #4

Jun 162010

Mountaineer V8 5.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

A crack in the rear hatchback window frame suddenly appeared during a series of hot weeks (90*F and above). The cracks appeared originally around the Mercury symbol, but have extended from top to bottom on the entire fiberglass window panel -- following the grains of the fiberglass. Consistent with a manufacturing defect -- will take to dealer, but given responses from previous complaints here, not at all optimistic.

Update from Jun 23, 2011: After some research, I have isolated the source of the problem: there is an attached support brace under the panel that has a high thermal expansion coefficient -- this means when the temperature increases it pulls on the panel, which over time causes it to crack. (note: it has almost nothing to do with the Mercury emblem -- that's jut a weak point in the plastic). It also means that if you replace your panel -- without replacing the supporting metal piece with a lower expansion metal (or redesign to not stress the plastic), the replacement will eventually crack too. This is clearly a design flaw on the part of Ford/Mercury -- any lawyers out there that want to take up a class action suit? Every Mercury Mountaineer in my town (and some Ford Explorers) have this exact problem.

- plasma, Los Alamos, NM, US

problem #3

Mar 052009

Mountaineer AWD V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,245 miles

I have seen other Ford/Mercury SUV's with the same issues. Why is this not a recall? It is clearly related to the Mercury emblem since the cracks are all on the right side of the of it. The area seems somehow weakened. We all need to report this and get it addressed.

- diamond1, Herndon, VA, US

problem #2

Oct 152008

Mountaineer AWD V8 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

I think that Ford is hoping that this will go away, When you call and talk to a rep, they act like they have no idea what you are talking about. They have never heard of this problem before. I contacted the Att. Generals office in the state of Iowa, they were no help, I just can't believe that some Lawyer somewhere has not decided to run with this and file a class action suit. As many people as there seems to be out there, they would have no problem getting people to come forward.

- mjcourt, Burlington, IA, US

problem #1

Jan 062008

Mountaineer AWD V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

We were on vacation for a week ~ vehicle was parked on driveway ~ temperature variations were between the mid 30's to 60's ~ you would think that materials used would be sufficiently durable enough for mild weather...

- barooze, San Antonio, TX, US

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