2021 Ford Explorer Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

2021 Ford Explorer

When customers purchase a 2021 Ford Explorer, they expect to find the reliability they received with older models. After all, Ford dubs this Explorer the “ultimate exploration vehicle.” Yet, customers are left scratching their heads as they deal with faulty engines and defective powertrains.


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Problems with the Engine

If an SUV doesn’t have a powerful and reliable engine, it’s not worth the expense. Right out of the gate, the 2021 Ford Explorer arrived with engine troubles.

One Edmunds user states, “Brand new 2021 limited explorer out of commission with less than 200 miles, car says overheating won’t drive… take it to Ford dealer they tell the tow truck they have no space, so they sell the vehicles but don’t want to service them… they blamed COVID.”

One wouldn’t expect a vehicle that’s been in production so long to have major engine issues. After all, shouldn’t Ford have perfected engine manufacturing by now? Yet, NHTSA Campaign Number 20V788000 shows otherwise. This recall illustrates that the right-hand motor mount fasteners weren’t tightened correctly in some vehicles. This poor design can cause the mount to loosen over time, which leads to motor vibration. The excessive vibration then causes the axle to disconnect from the engine, which ceases power. If this occurs while someone is driving, they are at a higher risk for creating an accident. Clearly, this vehicle isn’t meant for exploring, especially if it can’t even be driven out of the driveway.

Problems with the Powertrain

The transmission is just as important, creating a smooth-shifting experience that provides a seamless drive. But, owners state that the powertrain is just as defective as the engine.

Here’s another Edmunds review to consider. “This 2021 model is not a productive and the previous years. The truck fails to perform in the snow, and intelligent 4wd is terrible. I was stuck 2, where my 2018 would power through.”

Getting stuck in an SUV with four-wheel-drive is just not acceptable. Yet, this is only the start of the transmission problems. Service Bulletin #SSM 49329 states that the transmission creates faults leading to diagnostic trouble codes, an illuminated wrench light and intermittent crank issues. At this point, it would be safe to say that the 2021 Explorer is the “ultimate exploration vehicle” of the dealership’s service department. It likely spends more time there than on the roads.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Cadillac 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.

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Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.

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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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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