10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 13
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,998 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #88

Jun 122014

Explorer 8-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer and it has not been wrecked and I had the light that come on in my dash and they said that my seat belt pretentioner was gone in my seat belt.

- Staley, NC, USA

problem #87

Feb 202014

Explorer

  • 166,000 miles
It is having trouble shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear. Engine revs up to and over 4,000rpms and slams into the gears.

- Ringwood , NJ, USA

problem #86

Nov 012011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I can not drive with all the alarms and locks and overhead light going off and on the whole time I'm driving. It is torture, loud and scary!!!

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #85

Jan 012012

Explorer

  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated the overdrive light illuminated, the rear passenger window cannot be opened and the alarm system engaged on its owns. The contact replaced the drivers door electrical sensor; however, the electrical system failure was not corrected. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000 and the approximate current mileage was 180,000.

- Taylorsville, NC, USA

problem #84

Oct 172013

Explorer

  • 107,315 miles
The 2002 Ford Explorer has a design flaw such that the rear panel cracks. When moisture gets in it causes electrical problems. The six problems experiences on this Explorer are as follows: 1) false "door ajar" indicator 2) rear window wiper no longer worked 3) dead battery 4) back-up warning signals no longer work 5) rear window can no longer open 6) brake lights won't turn off even after the engine is turned off. We had to disconnect the battery and take it to the dealership the next day.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #83

Sep 052013

Explorer

  • 189,294 miles
I bought a used 2002 Ford Explorer in April of this year at a used car lot. It was a beautiful blue SUV in remarkable good condition. I had it four months, and it caught on fire while at a stop sight on my way home from a shopping strip twenty miles from my home. It started smoking and while I was fumbling for my purse to get my cell phone to call for help, it caught fire and bystanders on the thoroughfare pulled me forcefully from the car, and then called the fire department. It was a total loss when the entire hood caught fire and melted. My garage mechanic, who had just seen the car, told me that he could see no reason why it would have caught fire. Can you help me?

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #82

Jul 142013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 140 miles
At approximately 12:30 pm, a brief rain shower began and the windshield wipers failed to operate. After replacement of the wiper motor, and significant troubleshooting, it is likely that the GEM module is defective. There had been several days of light, moderate, and heavy rain preceding this issue, during which the automobile was not driven. After this incident, the door-ajar light stays on, the automatic door locks do not work, and there are other electrical issues.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #81

Aug 152012

Explorer

  • 137,500 miles
The interior lights occasionally flicker when all doors are shut securely. Also the door ajar light will flicker at times as well. The alarm goes off for no reason and usually it is in the middle of the night and I am pretty sure it is related to the door ajar malfunction. There is no way to disable the factory alarm so I have had to leave my car unlocked at night just to keep it from going off and waking up the neighbors. Also we have a crack on the lift gate just below the rear window. You can see this is a common issue by looking at other Explorer around town. I have really enjoyed the Explorer up until now but it does bother me that these two issues are very common yet Ford won't issue a recall to fix these issues.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #80

Jan 152013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 157,000 miles
My Ford Explorer has had so many ridiculous problems. This one is extremely inconvenient. The car has trouble shifting gears, it spins from 1st to 2nd gear and then I have to let go of the accelerator for it to shift again, it skips 3rd gear altogether and jerks into fourth after pressing and depressing the accelerator a series of times. Once it's in 4th gear, it doesn't go past 50 mph. My mechanic says his monitor detected a faulty solender and the entire pack has to be replaced, but that may not be the only problem. If that doesn't do the trick (even though it needs to be replaced regardless) he will have to open the transmission and possibly rebuild or replace some of the parts. I have encountered hundreds of other 2002 Ford Explorer owners with the same problem. Aside from this, I have a list of other dangerous issues that this car has had and that has endangered my family's and my life numerous times: - gear shift breaking off the steering column as I shifted from reverse to drive in the middle of a busy intersection. - ignition cylinder/switch breaking - possible spontaneous explosion recall related to the cruise control - rear latch breaking and inability to use the rear latch. - electrical system failure - doors not closing properly & draining the battery - faulty alarm system - faulty temperature gauge and radiator - Ford not allowing customers to buy just the parts needed for replacement and repair and forcing their customers to purchase entire packages only in order to get the necessary parts at extremely high prices. Ford should be incriminated for selling these vehicles knowing full well that they are flooded with life threatening issues to their customers.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #79

Mar 012012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Alarm goes off when set and no one is around, cruise control does not always work, light inside do not turn off and sometimes do not turn on, radio does not turn off when opening the front doors, but will turn off when back doors are opened.

- Longview, WA, USA

problem #78

Nov 242012

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 150,169 miles
While driving down the road my airbag light comes on. On occasion I am just thankful that my air bag has not gone off yet. Also while driving my door ajar light & dome lights come on.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #77

Jun 092012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 193,261 miles
Fords taillight/stop switch illuminates the brake lights, is used to disengage the cruise control and is used to enable the operator to be able to put the vehicle into gear once the brake pedal is depressed. Roughly a year ago I had some intermittent issues with trying to disengage the cruise when using the brakes plus I had trouble taking the vehicle out of park without having to step on the brake multiple times. Lastly having a friend follow me home I was told my brakes lights did not always illuminate when I was slowing down or at a complete stop! going back to my local Ford dealer I bought a replacement switch that had instructions to cut the oe's plug off of their harness and to hard wire the new switch in it's place as Ford had experienced some "issues" with those original components. Just 13 mo's later I had the same problem but this time it failed completely so the vehicle was locked in park in my driveway. Having seen recalls on several other Ford and Mercury products for a similar problem and expected Ford to give me a free replacement. However, after entering my VIN # they said there were no recalls but they would reduce their normal price from $93.44 to $76 as their compensation. Contacting my local Napa supplier I bought another switch from them for just $44.49 which resolved my problem for even less money. I returned to the dealer to report my finding and strongly suggested that they contact their Ford rep. As I believe this brake switch issue is a bigger problem then Ford is aware of or has owner up to knowing about. I was actually lucky to have the switch fail at my home as had I been on the road I could very well have been rear-ended due to my brakes lights not coming on. I question if Ford will ever take my warning seriously so I felt obligated to pass this information along to an independent source.

- Lumberton , NJ, USA

problem #76

Feb 012012

Explorer

  • 130,000 miles
Door ajar light and beeping sensor is always going off, causing the doors to unlock while driving and also causing the inside dome light to turn on and off. Must drive at night without instrument lights, including speedometer, as dome light stays on.

- Brandwyine, MD, USA

problem #75

Mar 202012

Explorer

  • 160,000 miles
The contact owned a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked at an independent repair shop when it caught on fire. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact was informed that the fire originated due to a wire under the dashboard. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 160,000.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #74

Mar 122012

Explorer 8-cyl

  • miles
Due to a defect, we had to have the transmission replaced (thank god it was still under warranty)...then had to have the door ajar sensor fixed because alarm kept going off for no reason. About two years ago we were abut to go out of town for thanksgiving. I stop at a red light, and then we try to pull off when the light changes and hear the loudest popping noises...we're wondering how in the world did the spark plug pop out with so much force that it also rips the ignition coil...(fast forward to 1yr later, same thing happens while leaving home to go to work). Once again, on March 12, while on my way to work, sitting at a traffic light. Light turns green...I start to pull off and begin hearing a popping noise...wth...not again!!! (this is the third time this has happened in 2 years). Come on Ford...fix the lemons!!!!

- Salisbury, MD, USA

problem #73

Jan 212011

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
The factory alarm will go off randomly during the night. Have not been able to get this issue worked out with Ford. We have tried several times to get it resolved and each time it is fixed, the issue returns within a few weeks.

- Pembroke Pines , FL, USA

problem #72

Feb 212012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
None of the windows will work, they were operating properly and just quit. This vehicle is unsafe to drive, in an emergency, (such as a crash). The occupants of the vehicle could become trapped in the vehicle because the windows would not operate. If a fire occurred the results could be tragic. Ford is aware of this problem along with several other problems on this vehicle. Yet they choose not to repair or replace any of the known defective components. My vehicle has a lot of miles on it, but this problem along with other problems on this vehicle happens on lower mileage vehicles also.

- Channahon, IL, USA

problem #71

Oct 102011

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
At a stop, began accelerating to enter highway, accelerator pedal became stuck and car continued to accelerate up to 90 mph at full throttle before I shut vehicle off and put it in neutral. Has happened on several occasions, all exactly the same. Vehicle accelerates at full throttle and has to be shut off before an accident occurs. Only way to correct problem is to exit vehicle and push gas pedal several times; start vehicle and see if engine is still at full throttle.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #70

Jan 022012

Explorer

  • 122,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer that is in the shop right now with a torn down engine. I went out to start it one morning and it had a hard start then it started ticking. Come to find out it the timing chain. From what I have read online it is a very common complaint and I am really surprised that this truck has not been recalled again for this problem. I am having to pay for something that Ford made a mistake on. The pulley on the truck is plastic, and it is failing. I also have problems with my electrical parts on it. The lights inside will stay on after I turn it off and get out and if I turn on my rear defrost my truck dings and says door ajar..... this truck is awful.

- Locust Grove, GA, USA

problem #69

Dec 022011

Explorer

  • 120,000 miles
Rear spring cracked at 100,000 mil transmission failed at 120,000 mil body electrical not sealed well and keeps shorting in different places cruise gets stubborn and scared to use it, im afraid of it getting stuck in cruise.

- Woodmere, NY, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »