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Door panel issue / separation

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2018 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by Heavens1st, August 24, 2014.

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    1. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the Forum.:wave:
      Since you are no longer under warranty, Ford is in their rights to refuse a 'warranty repair'. Having said that, Ford has at times offered what can be called 'Good Will' coverage. The tricky thing with warranties in general is how far out of warranty should a warranty repair be extended? I agree this is an issue of questionable quality but even if they actioned a TSB, that also is only in affect while the vehicle is under warranty. No recall since it is not considered a 'Safety' issue. Even if you had taken out the Ford ESP, you'd be in the same predicament since it doesn't cover trim.

      Peter
       
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    3. esotericaqua

      esotericaqua New Member

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      Thanks Peter!

      I figured, if nothing else, it is good to report a similar issue so that my complaint doesn't just live in a Ford database somewhere. It was comforting to find that I was not alone in my issue and about potential resolves. Glad I stumbled along this forum!
       
    4. BMan5150

      BMan5150 Active Member

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      So I finally decided I'd get my separated drivers side armrest repaired at a local reputable Auto upholstery shop here in Central Ohio. You know what he said? "We see tons of late model explorers with this issue. We don't recommend repairing a split door arm rest because of where and how it's splitting. The repair could last a while but will likely split again. If you really want it fixed, get a ford dealer to replace the panel. But you won't like the cost-around $450 for the panel before labor. They just were not made well and we continue to see this issue on even relatively new explorers."

      Well that's a real bummer. And super disappointing as far as my opinion of Ford. We've bought 5 new Fords in the last 17 years. I remember when I was looking at the Ex Sport right before I bought it going, "man, the door panels and even the rear lift gate are not aligned well. But I ignored it since I was in love with the way the car drove and of course the ecoboost. Well, there is no way I'm shelling out $50k again and having door panels split. I will likely move on to a V8 equipped Durango, Tahoe or Grand Cherokee.

      I'd almost consider just getting a new panel installed, but it seems like I'd just have the same problem again. How ridiculous is that? Anyone know if they've ever PI updated this part?
       
    5. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I don't think it was updated but the design changed on the 2016/17 models. Here is what the one on my Platinum looks like. Unlike my 2011 armrest, that is real stitching.

      armrest2.JPG
       
    6. bstride

      bstride New Member

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      I had my first driver side panel replaced when my 2011 XLT was under the "new car warranty". The same panel has split again and they will not replace it now (I have an extended warranty that, I guess, doesn't cover this).

      I was quoted a price of over $700 for the panel (I'm in the Kitchener, Ontario area). They suggested I try a local car upholstery place but they refused saying it was a molded panel and pointed me to some vinyl place.

      At this point, I about ready to pull the panel off and try to fix it myself. I've seen the "stitching" video (with the wax thread) and I don't want to try that. It looks like if I can get the panel off and remove the padding, I should be able to glue some sort of fabric support along the seam to fix it.

      This is so frustrating because it's clearly a manufacturer defect. I don't even use the arm rest because it's too low for my arm.

      /rant over

      Bill
       
    7. Matt Jones

      Matt Jones New Member

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      I am having the same problem with my driver side door. 6 months out of warranty and dealer quoted me $500 today. They must see this a lot because the person helping me knew immediately to suggest an auto upholsterer instead of the $500 dealer replacement of the panel.
       
    8. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the Forum bstride and Matt.:wave:
      I agree that this is an issue that seems to be far to common and Ford should step up and offer with some kind of assistance. The ESP does not cover anything considered to be trim. It is stated in the ESP coverage document under items that are not covered.

      Peter
       
    9. bstride

      bstride New Member

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      I can accept that the ESP doesn't cover the trim but as I said, this is frustrating because it's obviously a manufacturer defect. The panel was replaced under warranty and the replaced panel has split again.

      I freaking love my explorer and I just hate seeing this issue every time I open the door. I wish Ford had a better solution for such a defect.

      I'll keep looking for a solution.

      Cheers

      Bill
       
    10. Goran Popovic

      Goran Popovic New Member

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      This seems like a common first post/problem for new members.. well it is for me too.

      Bought a 2015 XLT, 26k miles at Carmax yesterday and noticed the door panel issue right after driving it off the lot. Fortunately I am still in warranty. I will update later with what my resolution was.

      Side note... I have untill Friday for a no questions asked return. Do I dare take that option? Let me know current owners of other common problems. I've read about the leaking sunroof drains... I dont have one. Generally, have "fixes" to common problems been easy like this one? Even though door panel seems hard to pull off, reading through this thread, plenty of folks have paid <1 hr labor to have it done.
       
      Last edited: October 1, 2017
    11. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the Forum Goran.:wave:
      There are several issues that have been identified in this Forum. Exhaust smell, water leak, PTU issues, hood paint bubble.
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums...ell-in-cabin-during-hard-acceleration.323597/
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/index.php?threads/water-leak.327803/
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/index.php?threads/ptu-problems.379087/
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/index.php?threads/hood-paint-bubble-issue-only.326943/
      You can use the Forum's handy 'Search' feature (upper right) to see if there are any other ones specific to your concerns.

      Peter
       
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    12. bstride

      bstride New Member

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      I bought a 2011 XLT Explorer new and have never had any major issues over the past 6 years.

      Every time I brought the car in for service I would tell them that there was a bump from the transmission when accelerating from low coasting speed. It wasn't until last year that a service tech recognizes the issue and a simple reprogramming handled the problem.

      Other than this incredibly stupid door panel issue, I don't have any major complaints about the car.

      Cheers

      Bill
       
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    13. new to ford

      new to ford Active Member

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      We bought the 2011 explorer new back in March 2011, so we were early adopters of that new platform
      The arm rest split around 30K-40K miles, I don't remember exactly, panel was replaced under warranty and that second panel split again around 70k-80k miles.
      At 96,000 miles the split is about 3" long, one of these days I will try stitching it together with thin fishing line.

      Do we like our explorer? Yes, after six and a half years it's still looks like a new/modern vehicle.

      The arm rest split is a design issue.

      Would we buy another one? Probably not....
       
      Last edited: October 4, 2017
    14. Charles K

      Charles K New Member

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      I own a '14 Explorer Limited.
      About 10k miles ago, the trim on the interior of the front passenger door started to lift up.
      Where you would rest your arm on the door, there is now a large lifted area that just keeps getting larger/worse over time.

      Different online forums suggest that this is a known problem, with many owners experiencing this problem.
      When I approached my dealer, I was told that Ford would not help and that I would have to pay for the repair ($600+) out of pocket.

      This does not seem right. If many owners are experiencing the same issue, that suggests there is a defect of some kind, not a problem created by owners.

      What help if any are you able to provide?

      Thank you,

      Charles Keller
       

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    15. smcnair

      smcnair New Member

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      Exact same problem with my '14 limited. I had it fixed and it doesn't look very good. In comparison my 10 year old BMW X5 has zero issues with any of the trim. Extremely poor quality on the Explorer. For a $40,000 vehicle I have been very disappointed.
       
    16. smcnair

      smcnair New Member

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      We have a 14 Limited. Door panels are garbage, Already had to fix one of them. AC is awful and stays smelly. It will probably be replaced with a Highlander or something soon. Incredibly poor quality on these vehicles.
       
    17. Charles K

      Charles K New Member

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      Agreed. Sad. I really wanted to like it, and it's my first American made car.

      Where did you go to have it repaired, and what did they do to repair?
       
    18. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      I haven't dug into all the different trim levels, but I presume there are several different door panels that vary by trim level. Do the several problems mentioned affect specific trim levels or do they affect all door panels regardless of trim level?
       
    19. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Scrolling through this thread and checking the profiles in the margin, it seems the majority are in the years 2014 and 2015 with the following trims, XLT, Limited and Sport.

      Peter
       
    20. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the Forum.:wave:
      Are referring to the actual armrest or the top of the door near the window?

      Peter
       
    21. Charles K

      Charles K New Member

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    22. reserved50

      reserved50 Well-Known Member

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      I would get an estimate from an upholstery shop if the dealer said no.
       
    23. reserved50

      reserved50 Well-Known Member

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      Most of the ones that I've seen split people use them to boost themselves in and out of the vehicle and the actual plastic "crumple zone" has been crushed under the cover and foam from weight put on them. Once the plastic is crushed the covering tears and splits open,when the dealer sees that I guess they know its not a defect if they are refusing to cover it.
       
      Last edited: October 13, 2017 at 3:22 AM
    24. TwinExes

      TwinExes Elite Explorer

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      If you’re handy, get a tube of super glue, and an extra set of hands if available. Hold the vinyl covering up while you apply a generous bead of glue the full length of the section that’s separating, near the edge of the plastic panel frame. Quickly roll the vinyl underneath the plastic where it belongs. Even steady pressure along the area you glued for a minute or so. I’ve had good results with the 20 or so I’ve fixed this way.
       
    25. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Thanks. There was an existing thread on that issue I found using the handy 'Search' feature at the top right of the page. Your thread has been moved here.
      There isn't much that hasn't already been discussed.:)

      Peter
       
    26. Griff76

      Griff76 New Member

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      Ok. So I’m having the lifting up near the window issue. 2014 Sport. And this also happens with interceptors. Who’s the Ford rep on here I can escalate this to and plead my case? 47000 miles and a ESP. $50k car shouldn’t happen like this
       

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