Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA

2020 ford explorer problems


As vehicles become more and more technologically complex, it is unsurprising to see consumers complain more about defects they are experiencing with their vehicle.

Though manufacturing has progressed as technology has, no process is perfect, and defective vehicles still make their way onto the roads.

The 2020 Ford Explorer is no different, and consumers have made hundreds of complaints about various different elements of the vehicle being defective or lacking in some way.

In this article, we will be going through the most common complaints and categorizing them based on what part of the vehicle they impact. After going through these problems, we will explain how you can use the lemon law in your state to receive compensation for your defective vehicle.

Common 2020 Ford Explorer Problems

  • Transmission Problems: Abnormal jerking while switching gears, transmission bucking, gear slippage, loud banging, sudden acceleration, total transmission failure
  • Electrical System Issues: All-wheel drive control failures, backup camera blank or flickering, tailgate latches opening unintentionally, false warning lights
  • Engine Problems: Faulty welding, overheating, oil leaks, engine stalling, failures to accelerate, total engine failure
  • Structural Integrity Issues: Center console detaching, doors detaching, windows shattering, vibrations

2020 Ford Explorer Transmission Problems

Transmission problems typically manifest as acceleration and deceleration problems, because the transmission controls how much power goes to the wheels from the engine. For this reason, transmission issues can be extremely dangerous and should be taken very seriously by vehicle owners.

About a third of the problems reported by 2020 Ford Explorer owners on the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website are transmission related. They mention odd jerking of the acceleration, loud banging noises, and difficulty changing gears.

Consumers who think they may have a transmission problem should take their vehicle to be inspected and repaired as soon as possible because of how dangerous these issues can be.

Ford has issued five different recalls relating to the transmissions of 2020 Ford Explorers, including rollaway problems and drive shaft fractures. These recalls began in August 2019 and continued on through October 2023. The NHTSA Recall IDs for these recalls are 19V575000, 20V693000, 23V069000, 23V199000, and 23V675000.

2020 Ford Explorer Electrical System Problems

Electrical problems can be any number of things because of the large quantity of different electrical systems present in modern vehicles. In the case of the 2020 Ford Explorer, these issues made up just over 100 complaints of the total 619 on the NHTSA’s website. The most reported issue by far involved the backup camera screen going black or flickering.

It should be no surprise, then, that Ford has issued six recalls for that one issue as of June 2024. Other issues reported by consumers include all-wheel drive control failures and false report warning lights. The recalls for the faulty backup camera began in September 2023 and have continued through March 2024. The NHTSA Recall IDs for these recalls are 20V575000, 21V735000, 23V022000, 23V305000, 23V342000, and 24V188000.

2020 Ford Explorer Structural Integrity Problems

Though far less numerous than other problems reported by 2020 Ford Explorer owners, structural problems pose a unique threat to other drivers on the road because they often involve the detachment of pieces from a car. These pieces then land on the road and create debris, which other drivers can run into and get in an accident because of.

Consumers reported their windows spontaneously shattering, the rearview window and sunroof especially. Though these problems were generally described as sudden, consumers who identify a crack in any of the glass on their car should take it in to be inspected and replaced if necessary.

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    Consumer Concerns with the 2020 Ford Explorer

    “Transmission cooler is leaking, hairline crack in cooler line on external cooler on transmission we looked online and it said 2020 ford explorers 2.3 engine that was a recall but says my specific vehicle isn’t recalled but i believe it should be.”

    “When working properly it is fun to drive and simply gorgeous outside. However with less than 4000 miles the rear camera fails more often than it works (known issue backorder), has lost power at freeway speeds, has an airbag malfunction, has a clunk under driver seat or front left suspension, has chrome peeling off interior switches and has a defective windshield. Did I mention at under 4000 miles? Very poor build for a $60,000 suv.”

    “Transmission broke at 17000 took 3 months to get parts for rebuild, defrost strips coming off rear glass, replaced , fix rear camera twice, cracked catalytic converter left side, be nice car if I could keep it out of shop. So warranty has covered everything. Fun to drive, impressed with performance.”

    ford 2020 explorer problems

    Why the Lemon Law Could Prove Beneficial for Your 2020 Ford Explorer Problems

    If you believe you have identified a defect in your 2020 Ford Explorer, don’t fear! Most states in America have a lemon law that consumers can use to hold manufacturers accountable for selling or leasing them defective vehicles. In California, consumers who prevail against manufacturers with a lemon law claim also have their reasonable attorney’s fees and costs paid for, meaning the legal representation comes at no cost to them.

    Every lemon law claim starts with the consumer finding a defect present in their warrantied vehicle and presenting it to be repaired by an authorized manufacturer dealer.

    That dealer will attempt to repair the defect. If the issue with the vehicle persists, the consumer should attempt to have the defect repaired again.

    In California, a vehicle must have undergone a reasonable number of repair attempts to be considered a lemon. Most commonly, this is somewhere between two and four attempts, depending on the nature of the defect.

    After the vehicle is most likely a lemon based on the number of repeat repairs, the consumer should consider moving forward with a lemon law claim. Having good documentation and records of the repair attempts will be very important during this step, as all of it acts as evidence to bolster your claim that the vehicle is a lemon.

    If the vehicle is deemed to be a lemon in California, the consumer may receive either a replacement or refund. A replacement will see the consumer receive a replacement vehicle that is of a similar make and model as the defective one.

    If a refund takes place, the consumer will receive all money spent towards the purchase of the vehicle, including the down payment, monthly payment taxes and interest. In some situations, incidental costs like rental car expenses and registration renewal fees will also be reimbursed.

    Pursuing a lemon law claim against the manufacturer is best done with the assistance of a skilled lemon law attorney to help the consumer navigate their claim.

    Attorneys can organize the claim as a whole, pay attention to deadlines, gather documentation, communicate with the manufacturer, and eventually argue for you in court to get you compensated.

    In fact, a consumer can and often should contact an attorney as soon as they plan on going down the lemon claim route. Having a source of legal knowledge and advocacy is invaluable in reducing stress and increasing the efficiency of your claim.

    Unlock Your Lemon Law Rights with the Experts

    As discussed, consumers do not need to worry about going through the lemon law process alone. The Lemon Law Experts are here to assist you in bringing your claim and promise to work passionately to get you the compensation you deserve for your defective vehicle.

    We have been working with clients and their lemons since 2009 and have successfully argued for thousands of them, getting them substantial and favorable monetary settlements.

    If you believe your 2020 Ford Explorer may be a lemon, contact us today by calling (877) 885-5366 or by filling out our form online for a free case evaluation!