really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,007 miles

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problem #207

Nov 062009


  • 61,000 miles
I have cracks in the plastic on the outside of my lift gate. Each time I use the handle to lift the cracks become worse. There are several posts online asking about the same problem. Every one I see in a parking lot or on the road has the same problem. Ford reports that it affects 1997-2007 Explorer. I don┐T understand why this hasn┐T been addressed. I called Ford and they referred me to your organization. Some of these cracks I have seen reach to the back window which I believe would be a safety hazard.

- Chesterfield, SC, USA

problem #206

Jan 102017


  • 143,000 miles
I get a strong smell of rotten eggs when driving. It only happens when I drive for a long time. My back hatch is cracking in 3 or more spots I am afraid that it will probably fall off and cause damage to someone driving behind me.

- Hephzibah, GA, USA

problem #205

Jan 132018


  • 156,867 miles
Rear glass liftgate hinge broke causing glass to fall out of position. Vehicle was stationary and liftgate glass was being opened when the hinge failed. This is the second Ford Explorer this happened to. The first one was a 2006 Ford Explorer.

- Glenville, NY, USA

problem #204

Jul 282017


  • 123,400 miles
When the Explorer was bought used in 2015 the cracks that are common in the glass lift gate cover panel did not exist. We purposely did not open the glass part of the lift gate to avoid cracking it. Eventually it cracked on its own just from opening the full tailgate. Then recently the lift gate latch keeper bolts/studs rusted to the point of failure behind the cracked panel and the glass lift gate released on its own. Luckily the Explorer was parked. However, the interior lights came on as a result. This drained my battery in this summer's heat. I had to purchase a new battery. To avoid this battery issue from happening again, I rigged the lift gate latch with zip ties through the holes to temporarily hold the lift gate shut. It won't hold long like this so I need to fix the attachment parts that rusted behind the glass and then the colored cover panel that is now badly cracked, the cracking of this very poorly designed and poor choice of material body part let water get behind it and hold there after it cracked like virtually all those on other Explorer. This trapped water caused rust of the latch attachment studs behind it. Ford's issuance of vsb's about this issue are proof they were fully aware of there bad material choice for this panel and I feel they should still be on the hook to repair and replace parts despite failure occurring after the vehicles warranty expiration, based on such a poorly designed and widespread tailgate issue that is later in the vehicle's life a safety issue, since the glass lift gate can open upon latch attachment bolt failure, due to rust.

- Fenton, MO, USA

problem #203

Jul 092017


  • 105,000 miles
Bought a 2004 Ford Explorer in March 22, 2017 from lbsi automotive. Seen a crack in rear panel, didn't think much of it. On July 9 2017 went to open lift gate at walmart and hinge busted and window shattered on me and my husband hit my face glass all over me, cut my husband in few places, . looking online to replace it and seen that the crack in rear panel was causing problems. I had a 3 month old son in back seat and thank god it didn't get on him. My opinion the dealer should have been aware of this and told us.

- Dunbar, PA, USA

problem #202

Dec 282016


  • 141,760 miles
The lift gate on my truck is cracking and getting worse. Two of my seatbelts are hard to get out of the retractor and they are so tight that they are uncomfortable to the wearer.

- Hephzibah, GA, USA

problem #201

May 172017


  • miles
I was in my driveway and I popped my back window, so I could get some items out of my back part of my vehicle. When I went to close the back window, my window fell sideways, almost busting me upside my head. I've read a few things saying that this was a recall on the year, make and model of my vehicle. I'm not sure how to go about finding out if that is correct or not. If it wasn't recalled, it should of been.

- Indep, MO, USA

problem #200

Dec 272014


  • 70,000 miles
There is a crack running vertically through the entire rear panel just below the window. It runs right along side the Ford emblem. This happened in Dec. 2014. I do not know/recall if the vehicle was moving or not. I just discovered the crack. I thought that it had happened because we were visiting bend, or and it was extremely cold. This isn't a safety issue I don't believe. But, given I see at least one Explorer every 2-3 days with the same crack it seems to me that Ford should fix the problem.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #199

Oct 112016

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
I looked at the back of my 2004 Ford Explorer, ltd one morning (10/11/2016) and there was a crack straight down the back panel. The vehicle was parked in my driveway. After discovering the split in the panel I started to notice that there are several Explorer with this same problem. I asked my dealer and they said there was no recall and the only suggestion would be to get it repaired myself. This is clearly a Ford issue. Now while driving a hear rattling and hope the entire panel doesn't fall off. I did call the Ford customer service today to register my concerns. They also told me there were no recalls at this time but he would file my concern and gave me a case # [xxx] for future reference. I am on a retired income and this is something I can't afford to have repaired then keep receipts in hope that Ford will do the right thing and recall and/or assist me with the repair expenses. In reading on-line after several owners had the panel replaced, it cracked again later. Please advise me and help me get assistance with this issue with my 2004 Ford Explorer, ltd back panel splitting for no obvious reason. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Palmetto, GA, USA

problem #198

Sep 202016


  • 85,000 miles
Significant front end impact with no airbag deployment. Vehicle was moving forward at the time of the accident on a city street.

- University Place, WA, USA

problem #197

Aug 012016


  • 157,000 miles
Cracks on rear panel happened a few years ago. I was told it's a common known problem with Ford, but they won't repair it and it's not needed. Now the hatch won't fully close or lock shut due to the parts behind the Ford emblem rusting out due td the cracks. Water has gotten behind it, also the rear wiper will not work due to the water getting through from the cracks. I can now not drive my only truck that fits my family. We were leaving to go out to a family advent, and I noticed the back hatch was open, that is when I found out how damaged it was due to the panel being cracked. I called Ford, they told me I would have to repair it out of my own pocket at a Ford dealership. This could cause a huge issue if I drove and the back widow fully came off while driving, it could have severally hurt someone or damaged another vehicle and or person, or persons. This common issue needs to be corrected and recalled. I'm not the only one!

- Jefferson, WI, USA

problem #196

May 192016


  • 65,000 miles
The panel under the rear lift gate window has cracked 3 times now. This panel cracks near the Ford emblem on either the right or left side. I called Ford and filed a complaint and was told that they have no information on this being an issue. My panel has cracked for the 4th time and Ford is refusing to do anything about it. I have had the vehicle since 2005. I can submit photos if needed to support this matter. The panel appears to crack due to the lift gate flexing when it is opened and closed. In the past 3 years, I have observed "all" the Ford around that year have busted panels and they're telling me there is no problem.....another cover-up in the making!

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #195

May 032016


  • 145,000 miles
Paint peeling roof hood differential replaced twice bearings wear out repaired twice back of tailgate panel cracked replaced 3 times

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #194

Oct 012015


  • 175,000 miles
I have replaced the panel under the rear lift gate window 3 times at a cost of over $ 400 per time. This panel cracks near the Ford emblem on either the right or left side. I called Ford and filed a complaint and was told that they have no information on this being an issue. I am an auto insurance claims adjuster and I see this problem daily on my insured's vehicle. My panel has cracked for the 4th time and Ford is refusing to do anything about it. I have had the vehicle since 2006. I can submit the invoices for my repairs and photos if needed to support this matter. The panel appears to crack due to the lift gate flexing when it is opened and closed. The local Ford dealership said they try to put something behind the panel when they replace it to help reinforce it.

- Moore, SC, USA

problem #193

Oct 072015


  • 163,225 miles
My car was parked in front of my residence on the street, it had not been driven that day. The back window in the tailgate exploded, causing damage to the tailgate. No one was driving it, it had not been touched that day. There was a prior crack in the tailgate which I have seen on other Explorer's, and since learned that it is a defect in the care.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #192

Aug 232015


  • 164,000 miles
The rear hatch hinge holding the rear window broke. It happened in a parking lot but the hatch window fell on me.

- Bridgewater, NJ, USA

problem #191

Aug 012014


  • 130,000 miles
Sun visor bracket cracked and disintegrated leaving sun visor blocking my view. Had to pull over and disconnect the wire and remove visor. 2nd incident, pressed button to open rear glass and the hinges snapped ejecting the heavy glass panel at me. Had a child been opening it, they could have been killed. As it was, I caught the glass panel.

- Haymarket, VA, USA

problem #190

Jul 102015


  • 150,000 miles
Went to open rear window hatch and right hinge snapped off causing whole rear window panel to fall on me. The left hinge managed to stay in place and was able to get center latch reattached to keep the window panel from completely falling off. Only a matter of time until left hinge snaps. Taking it in for repair but both hinges could have easily snapped and potentially fallen into the roadway. This is a heavy load bearing hinge and if broken when a child opened it could have caused serious injury. I notice this is not uncommon with this particular vehicle and is a danger not only to the owner but potentially to those on the road behind this model.

- Jackson, CA, USA

problem #189

Jul 012015


  • miles
2 vertical cracks in upper rear hatch below window

- Wynnewood, PA, USA

problem #188

Jun 072014


  • 154,000 miles
I went to open small window type rear gate and the left hinge broke. I caught the gate before it hit the ground and had to drive very slow to get car home safely.

- Detroit, MI, USA

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