fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
76,019 miles
Total Complaints:
532 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. Ford should recall (222 reports)
  2. repair or replace tailgate (141 reports)
  3. not sure (99 reports)
  4. replace the panel (26 reports)
  5. need a redesigned tailgate (22 reports)
  6. ford needs to pay for being fixed (13 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #492

Mar 192014

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

Almost every explorer from 2001-2005 has this problem. It is obviously a manufacturer defect that Ford should address.

- , Brookline, MA, USA

problem #491

Oct 102007

Explorer XL V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Worse vehicle I ever owned, continually replacing the wheel bearings along with the cracked panel. I eventually had the panel replaced, because water was going into the back of the vehicle.

- , Evansville, IN, USA

problem #490

Nov 152013

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

My Ford SUV has been my baby since 2003. Tough as nails and very dependable. I used to see all those other Ford SUV's with the crack under the rear window by the emblem and wondered why so many people had an anger management problem. Then I found out why first hand. I took my Ford through the car wash in November. I recall it was very cold out that day. I drove through the wash and the last cycle came on...Heated blowers. Next thing I heard was the crack of a gunshot. I thought the rear window had shattered. When I checked I had the symbolic Ford crack under the rear window like everyone else - I had just joined the p.o. Ford owners club.

- , Sanatoga, PA, USA

problem #489

Jun 112005

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,500 miles

I have seen the crack under the rear window on many Explorers and have talked to the dealerships about it and their response is that Ford is unwilling to fix the problem.

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #488

Jun 012012

Explorer XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,528 miles

Whenever since my back cracked panel underneath my window has been broken, I can't set my alarm on my SUV because it won't quit going off, so therefore I can't lock my SUV. I want this problem fixed.

- , Piketon, OH, USA

problem #487

Oct 082009

Explorer XL 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

This problem is annoying and should be fixed at Ford's expense.

- , broken bow, OK - Oklahoma, USA

problem #486

Jun 152014

Explorer Exployer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


- , Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #485

Nov 272013

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

Ford needs to fix the problem, like how my transmission went at 85000 miles and they know of the problem but ate not doing anyhting about this is is a joke.

- , New Britain, CT, USA

problem #484

Jan 152013

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Ford needs to do a recall since there are so many cars with the same problem.

- , Santee, CA, USA

problem #483

Apr 052008

Explorer ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I have seen several Ford Explorer's with the crack on the rear panel. This should be a defect and Ford should recall. Mine has been cracked for several years. I was trying to figure out what I did to make it crack and then I started seeing more cracked rear panels on Ford Explorer's than I could count. And I live in a remote area.

- , Red River, NM, USA

problem #482

May 012005

Explorer LX 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

As much as Ford is proud of their name, you would think a crack on pretty much every Explorer on the road, right next to their logo, would get their attention. They should be ashamed! I will never buy another Ford if they don't recall it and I've always bought Fords!

- , Plant City, FL, USA

problem #481

Dec 082009

Explorer XLT 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

Every time I see an Explorer, I see the same crack.

- , Bedford Hills, NY, USA

problem #480

Nov 082014

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

They need to recall and fix the cracked back door panels. I have no heat and a cracked back door panel because they were trying to save money and used plastic instead of metal. I wonder if Ford Executives would drive around with no heat, cracked back door panels, paint peeling off hood? Oh, but they would not be able to drive the 2003 Ford Explorer until they bought a new motor and rebuilt the transmission because they blew up also before hitting the 100,000!!!!!!!

- , Freeland, PA, USA

problem #479

Jan 012006

Explorer XLT

  • 111,847 miles

I found out long ago that I was not the only one having this issue of the rear tailgate up panel having a crack in the plastic. I took it to Ford and they looked at me like I had two heads, and said you were the first complaint with this problem. I had the car for several years when I took it in with this problem. Hmmmm, no recalls no mention. How weird, I'm the only one in the world with this problem?

I asked further and they said $300 for a new panel plus paint and labor to finish it. $500 to $600.

Ya, ok, I'll get right on top of that. I bought some narrow stick on plastic molding and created my own "cover up"

Why do dealerships lie to our faces, yet when we go to buy our new cars or trucks, they agree with everything we say and the BS continues. Do dealership sales and service people grow up to be politicians?

- , Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

problem #478

Mar 242010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

When I talked to a Ford service person, he said he'd seen numerous cracked back panels, but Ford would not pay to fix them. Not acceptable!

- , Burgin, KY, USA

problem #477

Nov 202010

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

The cracks in the rear panel are bad and getting worse. The large crack is separating and I'm afraid the window is going to come out. The rear panel rattles when I'm driving. I can't understand why Ford will not fix this problem. If you walk through a parking lot you can see all the Explorer's that have cracked rear panels. I would think Ford would be embarrassed by this problem. After all, Ford used to be proud of their products.

- , Rio Vista, CA, USA

problem #476

Oct 172014

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

click to see larger images

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

I am very unhappy that Ford has decided not to institute a fix for this well-know issue.

- , Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #475

Jul 142004

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,735 miles

It's ugly to look at, it's annoying and every other one other I see has the same problem. Are the Ford people stupid or what? Maybe they just don't give a sh*t!!!

- , Box Elder, SD, USA

problem #474

Nov 012012

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

3 cracks on the lift gate below the window, haven't seen a 2003 Ford Explorer without this problem yet.

- , Lompoc, CA, USA

problem #473

Aug 082009

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Shows how much Ford cares about their product after it leaves the dealership. Should be a warning to all potential Ford buyers.

- , St. Augustine, FL, USA

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