Ford Is Responsible for the 'Worst Vehicle' of All Time

Jane Lu
· 3 min read
They say that there's no such thing as bad publicity. But as with any rule, there are exceptions.
would likely rather avoid one of its models being listed as the worst vehicle of all time.
Consumer reviews
give potential buyers a good understanding of what to expect from a car they’re interested in. In this case, after reading reviews from
, most consumers might want to avoid this Ford vehicle.
The 2002 Ford Explorer has a long list of consumer complaints.

The 2002 Ford Explorer takes the title of ‘Worst Vehicle’

The 2002
Ford Explorer
topped the list of "Worst Vehicles" from The list includes other notorious vehicle fails, such as the 2003
Honda Accord
, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, and 2011 Jeep Cherokee.
The rankings are based on the site’s PainRank algorithm. This factors in average mileage at failure, the cost to fix and repair, relative complaints analysis, and owners' ranking.
The 2002 Explorer has such an extensive list of problems that recommends that consumers "avoid like the plague."
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Consumers found many issues with the Explorer

The most common complaints about the 2002 Explorer are
transmission problems
. According to, 2002-2005 models are known for their tendency to suffer transmission failure at under 100,000 miles. Explorer transmissions are expensive to replace. They have an enclosed transmission, which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission that costs nearly $3,000.
There have also been numerous reports of the overdrive light unexpectedly blinking. Repairs related to this problem can easily cost over $2,000.
There are hundreds of complaints about a cracked panel below the rear window. said that "While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo." This defect seems symbolic of the challenges that Ford has faced with the 2002 Explorer.
Another common complaint is wheel bearing failure at around 90,000 miles. This can be extremely dangerous. If you don’t replace wheel bearings when needed, it can cause the steering wheel to seize up. A typical repair bill for this problem can run anywhere from $500 to $1,000.
Over 100 people reported that the gear shift lever in their 2002 Explorer fell off, and the typical repair cost reported was $1,050.

The Explorer also has its strengths

Of course, you should take these kinds of lists with a grain of salt. No vehicle is immune to complaints. It's important to keep in mind that while the problems mentioned above shouldn't be ignored, they also aren't the entire story.
Consumer Reports
gives high marks to the 2002 Explorer’s transmission when it comes to shifting smoothness, response, and shifter action. The vehicle also has good ratings for seat comfort, cargo area, and interior fit and finish.
If you're in the market for a used car, whether or not it’s an older Ford Explorer, you'll want to make sure your car insurance needs are covered.
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