fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
73,579 miles
Total Complaints:
470 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. Ford should recall (200 reports)
  2. repair or replace tailgate (134 reports)
  3. not sure (88 reports)
  4. need a redesigned tailgate (20 reports)
  5. replace the panel (13 reports)
  6. ford needs to pay for being fixed (7 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #430

Nov 302011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

With all the vehicle owners reporting this problem, how can Ford just sit there and do nothing...but replace the clips and anchors that hold the glass above this area and ignore the other issue, a huge crack in the exterior panel below it. You know why they're ignoring it.... because they know eventually the tranny or exhaust manifold, 2 of Ford's most idiotic engineered parts on their crap vehicles will go out. This typically will result in the vehicle being sold, traded in or salvaged and then SHAZAMMM...problem resets right FORD! I hope your new TAURUS takes a crap like every other model of vehicle you have come out with. DEATH TO FORD!

- , Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #429

Dec 242011

Explorer XLT V6 4.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 117,000 miles

Well yet another new member to the cracked crew, Just bought the Explorer and it was a hair line crack then and now a week later the crack is 1/8-1/4 inch wide.. the dealership I bought it from told me that they see alot of these that way. Ford should with out a doubt do a recall on this problem...

- , Ponsford, Minnesota, USA

problem #428

Jul 012005

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

I have seen many Ford Explorer on the road with the same crack on the panel under the rear window. Ford should be accountable to fix this problem. There has to be a reason for so many to have the same problem and it had to happen during production. Ford wake up and do what is right, I'm sure you would like folks to keep buying your product!!!

- , East Palatka, FL, USA

problem #427

Nov 302011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

Cracked panel under the rear view window due to a defect and safety issue by Ford Motor Company. I've noticed it on Many Ford Explorers, Eddie Bauer SUV's etc. The rear view window could fall out, or fly out when driving. This is a safety issue and defect issue that FORD MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR. PLEASE REPORT THIS TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY & SAFETY ADMINISTRATION AT 1888-327-4236 AND FILE A COMPLAINT NOW. ALSO AFTER YOU GET YOUR ODI NUMBER FROM THEM FOLLOW UP WITH A LETTER AND EVIDENCE TO:






- , La, CA, USA

problem #426

Jan 152012

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

This is the second time this same panel split down the middle. First instance denied by Ford as their responsibility. Initial estimate was $400, negotiated down to #75 with Ford in Detroit. Have seen lots of Explorers with the same damaged applique. Ford does not accept responsibility for this obviously poor design or materials. This is my second Ford Explorer, shame on me.

- , Middletown, New Jersey, USA

problem #425

Jul 012011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I'm joining the club with gripes...cracked panel below rear window at 65k...cracked rear coils springs on struts 80k...faded front door panels inside at top completely faded (not because of sun I'm in Northeast)...paint bubbling up all around perimeter of front hood...front wheel bearings at 60k then passenger front again 10k later (got fixed under warranty)...all for a vehicle maintained and spotless...engine runs great...afraid to touch sealed tranny, don't want to open a can of worms

- , Fishkill, NY, USA

problem #424

Feb 132012

Explorer LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

Just a SUDDEN Crack in the rear back hatch plastic to the left of the Ford or better known as FixOrRepairDaily ! And there is NO recall or reinburstment for the fix to this.

My family have ALWAYS owned Fords but my next purchease WILL NOT be a Ford for Sure! Nothing but problems outta muy 2003 explorer. Ranging from transmission, drive tram, windows. Everything!

- , Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #423

Feb 062012

Explorer SE

  • 82,000 miles

The crack appeared on my 2003 Ford Explorer that ran from the glass to the bottom and was about a quarter of a inch wide. I called Ford and was told to take it to ford dealer to look at it.I think the only thing that will happen is that they will try to get me to trade,not fix it. I had a engine lock up at 72000 that was replaced so I think I will look at another company

- , Providence, NC, USA

problem #422

May 202006

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

Hello, I currently own a 2003 Ford Explorer XLT. I'm reaching out to you regarding the cracked rear trunk hatch on my vehicle. I have reported this issue to FORD years ago but again recently last week 1/24/12. I spoke with FORD'S relationship dept they are aware of the issue but currently theres NO RECALL. There are over a 100 complaints online. What you need to know and report. Not sure if you remember but FORD did issue a recall in 2005 when they fixed the rear trunk latch as customers rear windows were shattering when the rear hatch was closing. I believe this is affecting model years of 2002 thru 2005. After my vehicle was returned to me I then noticed the rear panel cracked months later. Per my conversation with FORD this time I was given a CASE #.

I would suggest that everyone call FORD at 800-392-3673 and report your issue. I hope that if all Ford Owners call to report and complain they will issue another RECALL. We need to put pressure on FORD. Make sure you ask for a case # for your records.

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #421

Dec 132011

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

I don't know how many Ford Explorer that have the Crack down the Middle of the Back Door Panel But Somethings Not right with It Ford Should Recall That BUll Crap!!!!

- , Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #420

Jan 092012

Explorer Centennial Pkg 4.6L Romeo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,000 miles

I HATE THIS STUPID TRUCK! The back cracks, and all those "Sick Awesome" guys at Ford don't got your back. Sealed trannies that last less than 100,000 miles and you cant check the fluid on? Come on. This truck was 45 g's new! Im sure these "Exploders" are a contributing factor to what kept Ford in the game when GM and Chrysler and other major car companies were going bankrupt! People droppin' their hard earned cash for stupid s**t that shouldn't happen. Im never buying a ford again, the only car they make that's any good is a Crown Vic PI. Other than that i'm going foregin!

- , Rochester, MN, USA

problem #419

Jan 192012

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,500 miles

Somebody congratulate me quick! I just joined the crack in the rear panel club on my 2003 Ford Explorer XLT! I was working on the explorer for my daughter last week(replacing hubs, shocks, ball joints and cv shafts) when she came home from school and said "dad!-what did you do to the explorer?" I said, "what are you talking about?-I'm fixing it for you!" She showed me the crack that extends just to the left side of the emblem all the way down from the glass to the bottom of the panel. Apparently, while I had the explorer jacked up on one side, it was tweaked enough to cause stress on the rear panel and cracked it! After finding this web site though, I am not taking all the blame! I never had a problem before doing repairs to it in the past and never noticed a hairline crack before now.

We just gave the explorer to our daughter for her 16th birthday and she is livid to say the least! We bought this explorer brand new in 03 and don't have any complaints until now. We had the rear seal replaced before it became a problem and the temperature control door flap replaced when it started to stick and wouldn't switch over to defrost, but that's it! It has been a super good vehicle for us. We just went out and leased a new Ford Edge, but had this problem arose sooner on the explorer, I would of gave Ford a second glance. There are too many quality automobiles to choose from now a days and my Ford blue runs deep, but I agree with all of the previous people that have posted on this problem-this was a definite manufacturers flaw and Ford should stand behind the Ford tough name! Fix it!!!! Stop pretending like it is no big deal!

I talked to a body shop and the cost to repair the crack is around $300-400 dollars! I found a silver replacement panel with glass for $268.00. I don't want to have two different colors on the back of my explorer!! This is ridiculous that after all this time a crack would now appear. P.S. Just saw a Mercury Moutaineer with same crack.

- , Ankeny, IA, USA

problem #418

Oct 282011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,931 miles

click to see larger images

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

This panel is obviously defective.......Please Ford, make this right!! Ive seen ton of these on the road with cracks in the same place.

- , Chestertown, MD, USA

problem #417

Dec 172011

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,963 miles



- , Kelowna, B.C, canada

problem #416

Nov 152011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,200 miles

A couple of years ago, Ford recalled this vehicle because the rear window was shattering and blowing out in the direction of the person closing the hatch. Now there is a vertical crack from the base of the window.....down past the logo to the end of the window hatch. It just showed up one day......it's bad.....it's not covered by a recall or fix by Ford and I'm totally pissed. My Explorer has low mileage and is well taken care of and now, devalued............FORD - unless you guys are going to fix this crap you delivered, I will NEVER buy or recommend anyone to buy a FORD again.....All Electrical systems in this car are effed up! Windshield wipers non functioning, windows don't go up and down, the paint is faded on the side panels between the doors and now this huge crack. FORD doesn't care - they've already been paid and on to ....Next....

- , Irvine, CA, USA

problem #415

Dec 152011

Explorer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

My wife told me she discovered the same exact problem WHY DOESN'T FORD RECALL THIS VEHICLE BECAUSE OF THIS ISSUE? The crack is getting bigger when the temperature drops. As far as the hinges go, I'm afraid they are going to fall off because they seem to work slowly, then the tailgate slams hard. The more we complain, the sooner they will fix the problem.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #414

Feb 102011

Explorer LX 4.0V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I think that ford should have to pay for this ,just about every ford I see like mine is cracked. it does not matter if it is an older model it is a defect in the panel, and I have taken good care of my ford , and this has really made it look bad. I do not have many miles on it,and I keep the oil changed every 3,000 miles.if every body would complain about thi problem ,maybe we could get ford co. to pay

- , Poplarville, MS, USA

problem #413

Aug 032005

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

It is an inconvenience because I always must use the tailgate. The hinges are also broken so if anyone opens the window on the tailgate it falls apart. I had to disengage the window strut because it was worsening the problem. I must admit that other than that I have not had much trouble with the SUV. Just the same thing every ford owner has to deal with... like the plastic water outlet/inlet housing, air conditioning issues, etc. I actually like the thing; I have taken good care of it and it still looks and runs good.

- , Caguas, PR, Puerto Rico

problem #412

Aug 012011

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

This is the SECOND time this rear panel under the back window has cracked. Yes, the first time it was STILL covered under warranty and they repaired it at no charge. This time they WILL NOT REPAIR IT AT NO CHARGE. I was told that it would be approximately $300.00 TO repair and that it would happen again. They also added that FORD "is not doing anything" with it. They need to recall it. So, since they are not recalling it why get it repaired if it will just happen again in a year or so?

I cannot tell you how many Ford Explorers I see on the road that have the same crack, I am so aggravated and disgusted with the whole problem that I WILL NOT buy another FORD.

- , Harahan, LA, USA

problem #411

Dec 202010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

I have called the Ford Co. they say it is not covered. They use to help with repair & now stopped that. It is a problem I have seen 10 Fords in 1 weeks time. Come on Ford fix this problem. It is happening on the newer models also. Ford built like a truck stand behind your name. We really like the vehicle or we wouldn't still have it.

- , Macungie, PA, USA

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