hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,676 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 #14

Aug 152014


  • 18,000 miles
I went to take my vehicle for emissions test and oil change and when I went to move the gear shift from park to drive, it just dangled in the air. I found this totally unbelievable!!!!!, needless to say, my key was stuck in the ignition due to it being stuck in park. I had to have it towed and steering column replaced. Then yesterday while having the brakes fixed and trying to have it test driven, the key was stuck in the ignition again and not able to move to the engine start position. This is ridiculous, it needs to be something done about this situation since this is at some point, cause an injury. Fortunately, both times my vehicle was parked. But what if someone else isn't? please help us out. These are nice vehicles and this is giving them a bad rep. Thank you.

- Gwynn Oak, MD, USA

problem #13

Jul 132014

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • 84,880 miles
Vehicle was parked. After starting the vehicle, with foot on brake pedal and parking brake released, I attempted to shift from park into drive and the gearshift broke off in my hand. Vehicle had to be towed to dealership and I am awaiting the estimate for repair costs. This is my second Ford SUV to do this after 80K miles. The repair have been going for around $1300 or more.

- Quakertown, PA, USA

problem #12

Jan 022013


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. The contact stated that the steering column gear shifter became fractured while attempting to switch the transmission from park to reverse. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic were it was diagnosed and repaired. The contacted indicated that the entire steering column was replaced. The contact stated that the vehicle recently experienced the same defect but the vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Pawtucket, RI, USA

problem #11

May 202012

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
I went to go pick up my son from school, when I went to put it on drive the shifting handle broke off. I didnt even do it hard. I had to get my car towed to my house and had to pay to get it fixed. I looked it up and theres alot more people that have complaints about this and that it should go to recall its just not safe, what if were driving and changing gears on the road and someone gets hurt even death.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #10

Feb 052012


  • 110,585 miles
While attempting to put the vehicle in park, the gear shifter snapped in half. It is currently attached by just a wire. The vehicle is currently stuck in reverse, and the key is stuck in the ignition. It snapped off from the housing unit, part of the bolt is left in the gear shifter and the rest is inside the steering column. The battery had to be disconnected, since unable to take the key out.

- South Elgin, IL, USA

problem #9

Sep 062011


  • miles
I just finished getting gas. I turned on the ignition and put the car in reverse and the gear shift snapped off in my hand. It is just dangling. I had to put the emergency brake on and turn the car off immediately so that it would roll back and crash into someone else car or just a pedestrian. I paid to have the car towed to my home for $59. Upon going home, I called several Ford dealerships who clearly were familiar with the problem because I was given a quote for the part and labor immediately after I told them about the issue. I took it one step further and went online to check for recalls. There weren't any recalls however, I have read several forums online and this seems to be an ongoing issue with the 2002 Mercury Mountaineer and 2002 Ford Explorer. This is ridiculous and I am outraged and I feel Ford needs to take ownership regarding this issue.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #8

Sep 062010


  • miles
My husband has a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer & we were dropping his niece off at home, pulled into the driveway, put the car in park & she got out. When he tried to put the car into reverse, we heard a snap, & the gear shifter was hanging down. He pulled the rubber covering off & found that a metal piece right inside the gears shift assembly completely broke off. We had no way of putting the car in gear so we had to call a tow truck to tow us home & the car has been sitting for the past 3 days. We have had to rent a car while we are trying to get it repaired & just found out today that Ford wants us to buy a whole new steering column assembly for $1,300! so on top of the rental car fee we are paying, we need to find another $1,300 to fix his car. I have been looking online to see if anyone else has had the same problem, & the forums I've come across have all had the exact same problem, & the pictures are exactly what happened to our car also! I think this is a defect for the Ford/Mercury vehicles that need to be inspected. Seems the metal used in that particular part is either too weak or maybe has been compromised in some way. I don't know!

- Lihue, HI, USA

problem #7

Jun 022010


  • 132,000 miles
I had driven my 2002 Mountaineer to work, I gently pulled back on the gear shift, to put it into park, and it broke off in my hand. I had to leave it in drive and also had to leave my keys in the car. I didn't really worry about it being stolen because it won't go anywhere. I feel that Ford should have put a recall on this model of Mountaineer, do to so many problems. Transmissions, auto windows, gear shifts, wheel welds, and now a fire may start in the car even if it's not running. Really, I guess we will have to wait till one of them blows up, killing someone, before Ford will listen.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #6

May 202010


  • 170,000 miles
Gear shift lever broke out of steering column. Totally broken metal piece.

- Bellevue, ID, USA

problem #5

Feb 182010


  • miles
Gear stuck in park. Upon release gear shift broke from steering column. $2000 in repair/damage. Unable to find used part as it is sells quickly due to this being a common problem.

- Bastrop, TX, USA

problem #4

Jun 012007


  • 90,000 miles
2002 Mercury Mountaineer - gear shift mechanism failed when trying to shift out of park. Vehicle repaired by billy-howel Ford Lincoln Mercury, cumming, Georgia.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #3

Aug 252008


  • 99,000 miles
I went to shift my car into reverse and the stick shift located next to steering wheel came off in my hand, went to dealer and the part was $800 for the whole steering column, the part that broke was a small piece holding the stick, but dealer said it had to replace all of it. Since I could not afford that amount I searched for a used part and everyone said it was very common on these cars and I finally found one for $200 but have not had it installed due to costs. And to add to my problems I was driving on the freeway and the od light starts to flicker and after numerous calls and researching the problem was told that it is the transmission and would probably need to repair/replace and that it is a common problem with these cars.

- Cerritos, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 072002

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumer called complaining about been in colision and losing total control of the vehicle before impact. Dealer was not contacted at this time.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #1

Nov 012001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Three sets of Goodyear, Eagle ls tires, size P24570R16 (no dot # mentioned) with less than one hundred miles had to be replaced because knots were found on sidewall and tread. Dealer has been contacted. Engine light illuminated due to faulty dpfe sensor; air bag light on, air bag module replaced; loose rear center console; vibration and popping noise over bumps, replaced and balanced all four tires, replaced stabilizer bar links, rims were out of round; scrunching noise while turning, rack and pinion replaced; experiencing whistling noise; hard jerk and popping noise when shifting, gear selector slippage; A/C vent squeaking, A/C vent readjusted.

- Deltli, LA, USA