2019 Ford Explorer Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Fuel system, engine, structure, electrical and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

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The 2019 Ford Explorer continues the long-standing SUV tradition for the automaker. It’s been around forever, but this particular model claims to be “built for the next adventure.” However, owners are experiencing some adventures they didn’t sign up for. Between the defective electrical system and malfunctioning engine to the dangerous fuel system and poorly-made structure, many people wish they had chosen a different vehicle.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Ford Explorer

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Fuel/propulsion System
Power Train
Electrical System:horn

Problems with the Electrical System

From starting the car to running all of the electronics, the electrical system needs to be in tip-top shape. Yet, this is one of the largest complaints about the Explorer.

One NHTSA comment states, “The car will not start after being turned off and left for a certain time, the car cranks but will not start. The battery has been checked and is functioning. The car was taken to Ford dealer and found the gas module bad. After 4 months, the issue has occurred and the car will not start.”

When a vehicle is repaired, owners assume the failure will not recur, but that’s not the case for this customer. It turns out that the Explorer suffers from many electrical system malfunctions. Service Bulletin #SSM 48070 states that some even have an intermittent or inoperative HVAC blower motor when running at various speeds. It turns out that this problem is caused by a poor electrical connection. In the meantime, owners might have trouble getting the air circulation needed during that next adventure.

Problems with the Engine

It’s difficult to have any sort of adventure unless the vehicle has a powerful engine under the hood. While the Explorer appears to be equipped well, the integrity of this motor is questioned.

Here is an important NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2019 Ford Explorer. While driving 70 mph, the contact smelled fumes coming from the ignition. The vehicle was taken to [dealership] to be diagnosed, but the failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 1,100. Since the initial failure report to NHTSA on June 6, 2019, the vehicle has been taken to the dealer in three separate occasions to date, but the failure could not be duplicated. To this date, the vehicle has not been repaired and the problem persists. Excessive fumes in the cabin, mainly while accelerating and/or driving long distances; the smell is so strong that we keep the sunroof tilt open to ensure good air flow and remove fumes from cabin.”

Aside from this scary incident, there are other engine-related concerns. Service Bulletin #SSM 48001 talks about a squealing noise coming from the accessory drive belt. Ford released a new design to eliminate the noise and prevent alternator pulley damage, but many customers don’t find out about it until it’s too late. What Ford forgets to tell people who buy the Explorer is that it comes with free noises and smells – no extra charge.

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

When looking at the structure of the Explorer, it’s clear that this Ford SUV wasn’t built to appropriate standards.

Read this Edmunds review. “2 weeks into the lease a roof rail flew off while driving. Had it replaced only for it to happen again a few months later. They replaced the entire rail and all the parts. It’s already loose! My locks cycle and won’t stay locked so I had the keypad replaced. The dashboard is so squeaky even with music up very loud you can still hear it. Needless to say it’s the last chance I give Ford and am glad I leased this almost $60k vehicle rather than purchased but in the meantime I’m spending way too much money on a lease payment for this type of quality.”

While all of those problems are important, they pale in comparison to the safety issue discussed in NHTSA Campaign Number 19V633000. This recall affects more than 630,000 vehicles and states that the front seat back recliner mechanisms weren’t built correctly. Because of this defect, the seats have reduced strength and might not restrain the occupants during an accident. Driving the Explorer is a lot like playing Russian Roulette, wondering how and when death could occur.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Ford pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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