fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
73,804 miles
Total Complaints:
485 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. Ford should recall (205 reports)
  2. repair or replace tailgate (135 reports)
  3. not sure (91 reports)
  4. need a redesigned tailgate (21 reports)
  5. replace the panel (18 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 #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

problem #433

May 042012


  • Manual transmission
  • 66,000 miles

Wow found out this month that my vehicle has a known design defect which results in year 2002 to 2003 through the lift gate hatch cracks by the logo and is was advised this is a problem that because its not deemed a safety issue that there is no recall for this design defect and customers of Ford will have to repair this problem.

Its been established by dealerships and they're aware of this defect. why hasn't Ford made the effort to offer resolve by repairing this???? Its unfortunate that when I contacted Ford the resolve I was given was to replacing my vehicle?? And of course profuse apologies and I would have to repair myself and then save the receipts and possibly they may have a recall on this issue and I would be reimbursed. Hmmmm interesting!!!

- , Miami Gardens, FL, USA

problem #432

Apr 092012

Explorer Limited 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,800 miles

Ford knew about the defect in 2002 but never corrected the problem with this type of vehicle. Ford should repair/replace the cracked tailgate with no charge to the customer. This brings the value of the vehicle down and is cosmetically ugly to look at. To continue working with defected parts and technique should not be the consumers money being used to repair a broken situation.

- , Golden, CO, USA

problem #431

May 122009

Explorer XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,763 miles


- , graham, NC, USA

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

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