fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
74,031 miles
Total Complaints:
493 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. Ford should recall (208 reports)
  2. repair or replace tailgate (136 reports)
  3. not sure (93 reports)
  4. need a redesigned tailgate (21 reports)
  5. replace the panel (18 reports)
  6. ford needs to pay for being fixed (9 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #453

Nov 022012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

Ford needs to take care of this. Period! I came out of the store Nov 2 2012 and it was cracked. I did nothing to cause it.

- , Mishawaka, IN, USA

problem #452

Feb 012013

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

joined the club of cracked hatch panel. Truly annoying as seeing this is not an isolated problem.

- , Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #451

Feb 152013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

For shame Ford!!! This is a part quality problem that should be repaired at FMC expense.

- , York Beach, Maine, USA

problem #450

May 012006

Explorer LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

every other ford explorer has cracked rear hatch window just above the license plate.

- , Seal Beach, CA, USA

problem #449

Feb 012011

Explorer LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Obviously, this is a wide spread problem and Ford should not simply walk away from it. They should pay to have it fixed or fix it themselves.

- , Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #448

Aug 272012

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

We have loved this vehicle...until this crack appeared this summer. It has been one of the most reliable vehicles we have owned, so it is hard to accept that it is falling apart in this manner. Ford had a tailgate recall about 2006, which we participated in and had the necessary work done. Now this. Knowing that tailgates on this model have had problems, I would expect Ford to come forward with a solution.

- , Rensselaer, IN, USA

problem #447

Mar 062012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,274 miles

This has been a problem since the Explorer was built. Window was changed later but, owners were left high and dry on this problem.

- , Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #446

Jul 102012

Explorer Limited 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,523 miles

Let designers repair the vehicles so they can see the problems they create.

- , Miami, FL, USA

problem #445

Jul 272012

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,565 miles

I have had some VERY EXPENSIVE repairs ($1700.00, $2400.00) at Ford Dealerships. No wonder they didn't need a bail out! I have come to the conclusion a dealership (after warranty) is the most expensive place for repairs.

Now the lift gate is cracked below the window. Going to make it difficult to trade in or sell. Not that I'm likely to trade it in for another Ford.

Update from Jul 30, 2012: Kia - here we come.

- , Fort Nelson, BC, Canada

problem #444

Oct 012008

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Ever since our back panel cracked, I started looking around at all the Ford's and a LOT of the older models like ours have a cracked panel!! So annoying! I really feel like it's their issue and they should have to fix it!

- , Boise, ID, USA

problem #443

Feb 162012

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,790 miles

I have always been a satisfied Ford customer and never have I had any problems with the exterior finish. As this crack is obviously a manufacturing problem, it would only be right for Ford to fix it for me. This vehicle has always been well maintained and kept in a garage when not out on the road.

- , Rapid City, South Dakota, USA

problem #442

Oct 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,300 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

This is something that I see on all Ford Explorers and it is something that I think that Ford needs to fix. It will cost all of us Ford drivers to much to fix but it has to have some type of defect to see this on all ford vehicles. When I took my ford to the Ford Dealer in my hometown they said that all ford or mountaineers that came in on a daily basis had this issue and I think that it needs to be resolved.

Thank you for your time

A dissatisfied customer of Ford Explorer

- , Bowling Green, Kentucky (KY), USA

problem #441

Mar 012012

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,778 miles

click to see larger images

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

I recently noticed the crack in back panel . It frustrated me but I had not thought to much of it till I was going through the border into the states a couple days ago. The US Customs officer asked me the usual questions and then walked around the back of my vehicle and looked at it for some time. I had no idea what was up until he came back and we talked about the cracked upper lift gate door. He had the same vehicle and he told me it was a common problem and he had registered his online. Looking online at the numbers of vehicles with the same problem, logic tells me that there was some sort of design or manufacturing defect. Ford clearly needs to prove that Ford Quality is Job 1 and recognize their mistake and fix this problem.

- , Surrey, British Columbia, canada

problem #440

Jul 022010

Explorer Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

I am ashamed to be driving a ford vehicle with cracked panel and if I was ford motors I would be ashamed for anyone to see something I have made that looks like this. The first crack wasn't noticeable until the weather got hot then it started to gap really bad, complained to ford, they said not enough complaints for recall, now I have a second crack about 6 inches across from the first crack. Whats next? Maybe if the whole thing cracks I will send them the pieces one by one. This is a shame and disgrace to pay money out the ying yang and it look like this. I am even ashamed to trade it off, but they will not allow you anything for it because it cost so much to get it fixed. Everyone needs to boycott FORD MOTOR COMPANYuntil they can man up and fix their mistake.

- , Lawrenceburg, TN, USA

problem #439

Jan 102005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

The problem has been there for 10 years,with Ford still not taking ownership of the problem.They are doing nothing to resolve this issue.Of course magically they did redesign the tailgate to alleviate that problem on later vehicles.Last Ford I'm buying.....

- , MORENO VALLEY, CA - California, USA

problem #438

Jun 012012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I am worried as I have heard that this can cause the rear glass to shatter in many small pieces.

- , Cheraw, SC, USA

problem #437

Nov 022011

Explorer Limited 4 V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Have the same issue, cracked rear hatch panel by logo.

- , Ro, IL, USA

problem #436

Nov 232011

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Rear panel beneath hatch window cracked on cold day. Looks terrible, Ford refuses to fix it though it's a known issue. I also have the side window black trim panel fade issue, and the rear window motor (LR). Add this to the IAC valve (Idle air control) which caused the explorer to try and push me in to an intersection with the brakes applied (multiple times), and now the transmission is acting up at speed (feels like it's jumping gin and out of a gear), I've about had it with this truck. I'm poor at the moment and these repairs are getting to be too much for my limited budget. As many others have stated, I think this is my last American car. It will definitely be my last Explorer.

Update from Jun 22, 2012: I combined a lot of issues in this one message so I'll update here. Windows: I mentioned my right rear window stopped working completely (up position lucky for me). Within a two week period, the passenger front window now only works from the drivers master control switch (no response from the local switch at all), and the passenger rear window staggers and stutters on the way up - so I stopped using it. The odds against this type of cascade of window failures in such a short period of time are pretty high. I also have an odd and progressively worse stutter in the engine when driving between about 40 - 50 mph. I'm wondering if I have an electrical issue causing all symptoms. Maybe a low voltage or current issue making one window freeze, another barely move due to lack of energy, and the other only working from the driver switch. I'm really disappointed with all of these recent issues.

Update from Jun 24, 2012: Window update - Fixed them all. After testing the passenger switch and finding it good, I opened the drivers master panel and found the master window lock out switch connection nearly falling out of the connector. Makes sense, as it came apart, each window lost connection in sequence. Re-connected, all windows are fine. Odd symptoms, (see above), but all from the connection issue.

- , Aloha, OR, USA

problem #435

Jan 202008

Explorer UT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Have been waiting for a recall for several years. Tons of complaints

with the same problem found on the internet. Cracked hatch panel

below rear door window. ... no recall ... will NEVER buy another ford


- , Estill Springs, TN, USA

problem #434

Apr 022012

Explorer Limited 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

another 2003 ford explorer with a cracked lift gate panel. I wish Ford would step up and fix all these broken panels or else this might be the last Ford I would ever buy. It seems that Ford knew about the problem, but chooses to ignore it. When I call my Ford dealer for a replacement panel, they quoted $169 for an unpainted panel, not including the installation charge and the paint. This would add up close to $1000 to get it fix. At this cost to fix the panel, I might just trade in my Ford and say goodbye to the Ford Company forever.

- , Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

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