really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
124,370 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

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problem #17

Jun 012012


  • 100,000 miles
Brake failure, front wheel brake hose (burst/failed), 3X in one year including failure of new parts installed by Ford. This resulted in total lack of brakes, in once case while traveling on I287 at high speed! this was in 20011/2012 before we traded car in. Ford insisted there was no problem with the part. The car had about 100,000 miles on it, was 6-7 years old. I have never experienced this type of failure on any other car I owned including many that were much older and had many more miles... let alone 3X on the same vehicle! this really must be a defective part!!! an the problem seems to be ongoing with newer models of the Ford Explorer as well?

- Sparta, NJ, USA

problem #16

Nov 022016


  • 170,000 miles
Transmission failure with overdrive light blinking.no first gear, shifts hard, sometime it wont shift without letting off gas.with codespo731, PO733, PO734, PO745 needs total rebuild this happened while driving down the road at 40 miles a hour, ABS light is on. Codes show wrong line pressure.engine knocking, timming chain issues.

- Corydon, IN, USA

problem #15

Oct 032016


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. While driving 55 mph with the cruise control activated, the vehicle lost power steering and braking, which resulted in a crash. All the warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence and then towed to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. A police report was filed. There was one injury that required medical attention. The contact was treated for second degree burns. The failure mileage was approximately 100,000.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #14

Jul 142016


  • 172,472 miles
When driving my 2004 Ford Explorer started making a grinding and humming noise on the left front of driver side tire area. ABS and 4X4 high lights came on instrument panel. Truck felt like it was going into 4X4 mode on its own and braking felt like ABS system failed. Took it to a Ford dealership and I was told that both front wheel bearings needed to be replaced at a cost of $1053. Since this truck uses sensors and traction control the sensor on the left driver side had gone out causing this feature no longer to work. It is a good thing this did not result in an accident since the vehicle was going into 4X4 mode on it's own and the brakes ABS no longer functioned. Just a quick search online will result in many found issues regarding this that Ford has not done a recall on yet. What is it going to take to get Ford to stand behind the safety of trucks they sell?

- Delta, CO, USA

problem #13

Oct 012014


  • 140,000 miles
Car starts but will go forward when shifted in reverse. Turned the car off then back on, but when I would put the car back in reverse or drive, it stalled out. Had it towed and then it was fine after that. Now its about 6 months later, now my orange wrench light pops up and cruise control shuts off at 65mph. Then it jerks a couple times. Have had it checked and came back with 14 codes mainly for transmission.

- Whitehall, OH, USA

problem #12

Oct 172014


  • 140,817 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the service engine and the battery warning lights illuminated. The contact also stated that the vehicle jerked and made a loud noise. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who replaced the front driver side hub and wheel bearing, the rear springs, the three passenger gear calipers, four rear driver side calipers, the battery, five rear brake pads, and six rear rotors plus an oil change. Three weeks after the repairs, the vehicle stalled without warning. In addition, the brake pedal hesitated to respond. The vehicle was towed back to the dealer, who diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,817.

- Hornell, NY, USA

problem #11

Jan 182015

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The oem steel brake line that connects the left and right rear brakes was apparently rubbing against some components over the right frame rail which abraded the plastic coating resulting in corrosion of the brake line and failure of the braking system.

- Middleton, MA, USA

problem #10

Jul 182007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
Exact dates are various, vehicle has 39000 miles on it presently, have multiple vehicles, drive over the road truck driver... changed brakes and rotors twice, emergency brake not working, had fixed, had to have ekg replaced and some exhaust sensor, tires wore out at 29000, exhaust system replaced, both ball joints replaced, pinion gear gasket leaking from rear end, both cv joints leaking, appears right cv joint needs replacing, gets 14 mpg ( 4.0 liter ) paint peeling from roof for quite awhile now, rusting around fuel tank door, as all are...... vehicle has been a nightmare, getting rid of this at 39000 miles, Ford has a better idea, buy another one !

- Cheektowaga , NY, USA

problem #9

Apr 162014


  • 280,000 miles
Stopping at red light stepping on brake vehicle speed up instead of stopping. Causing me to side swipe four vehicles and go through an intersection

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

Nov 032013


  • 187,600 miles
The brake pedal went to the floor as I was about to pull out of a parking space. I shut the vehicle down and called for a tow. I had the vehicle towed to a service station. The mechanic found that the rubber hose component of the brake line had sprung a leak, leading to the complete lack of braking. My concern is that if it had happened on the highway or in traffic, or just about any other moving situation, I would likely have crashed, with dire results to me and potentially to others. There was no warning. There were no lights. I have never experienced a situation like this in over 30 years of driving approximately 1 million miles.very disconcerting. Very disappointing. I would like for Ford engineers to explain themselves.

- Fair Lawn, NJ, USA

problem #7

Aug 252013


  • 124,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the brakes failed. The vehicle did not stop until after repeated attempts to apply the brakes. The vehicle was restarted after several minutes and operated normally for five miles. The vehicle then accelerated independently, reaching speeds of up to 65 mph before the contact was able to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic and the contact was awaiting diagnosis. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 124,000.

- Catawba, NC, USA

problem #6

May 302013


  • 88,902 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the ABS system would independently activate without warning. The failure caused the brakes to seize and the vehicle would sway 180 degrees to the side before stopping. The vehicle was taken to dealer for inspection. The failure was located at the brake hydro lock system. The contact was advised that the ABS electronic unit needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 88,902.

- Salisbury , MD, USA

problem #5

Jan 252013


  • 82,500 miles
While driving, the vehicle just shut off. I had no control of the vehicle once it shut off, except to utilize the emergency brake to get me stopped. Once stopped, I put it in park and it started up first try. No check engine light came on. Same thing happens on a regular bases. Usually happens while braking or turning at speeds lower than 30mph, then engine just stalls and everything turns off. This to me is a major safety concern, because without total control of the vehicle and vehicle lighting at night, it could seriously injure or kill someone. I highly recommend investigating this further so we can all continue to be safe. Thanks!

- Barstow, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 222012


  • 88,000 miles
While driving, the cruise control stopped working and car stalled. At the same time the ABS light comes off and on.

- Independence, KY, USA

problem #3

Apr 062012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
On April 6th of this year I purchased a 2004 Ford Explorer. The next day I took the car for city inspection...it passed. The very next day (Sunday) the check engine light came on. The ABS light would also illuminate. I took the car to autozone to have it diagnosed (egr valve). Only the check engine light could be diagnosed because the ABS light came on at random while I was driving. The car was still under the 1000 mile warranty so the egr valve was replaced and a speed sensor believed to be the problem with the ABS light. I purchased an independent extended warranty so I would be covered for any surprise expenses. I had my chance to use it in just a few months later when the car ran hot. The repair was not covered. This happened in July, just a few months after buying the car. Earlier this month (November 2012) the service engine light came on again but it didn't stay on so I couldn't get it diagnosed. No need to have it diagnosed because the battery light came on too. I took it to autozone once again and the battery tested bad. It wouldn't start at the store. I bought the battery, it was installed and checked again. The alternator showed it wasn't charging. I had to have the alternator replaced. With the cold weather, I discovered the defrost vents don't work. Air only blows from front vents. On the morning of November 19th, I was taking my son to school and the overdrive light started flashing. It happened again while on my way home from work on November 21st. So now I suppose I have transmission problems. Ford needs to answer for their horrible engineering.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #2

Jul 272012


  • 84,000 miles
Transmission shifts very hard so bad that it jerks me and my children's heads forward when it happens. This occurs the worst when going into reverse and into 2nd and 3rd gears. Brakes lock up/stick after being pressed for 3 seconds.

- Tell City, IN, USA

problem #1

Feb 212012


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while going 45 mph, the brakes were applied but failed. The contact tried to pump the brake pedal and it would only depress partially. She tried again a few moments later and the brake pedal was depressed completely into the floorboard. The contact had to use the parking brake in order to slow down. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection where they informed the contact that there was a failure in the brake line, which needed to be repaired. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred several times later. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 115000.

- Austin, TX, USA