Well, to start with the biggest concern, there was an issue with the safety of the Mercury Mountaineer. In May 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contacted Ford and Firestone about the high rate of tire failure on the Mercury Mountaineers, the Ford Explorers and the Mazda Navajos that were fitted with Firestone tires. Ford investigated and did find that several models of 15 inch Firestone tires had very high failure rates, especially those made at Firestone’s Decatur, Illinois plant. All of the failures involved tread separation, in which the tread peeled off followed often by tire disintegration. If that happened, and the vehicle was running at speed, there was a very high chance that the vehicle would leave the road and roll over. Many of these rollovers caused serious injury and even death. In fact, it has been estimated that over 250 deaths and more than 3,000 serious injuries resulted from these failures. This was obviously a huge mark on the brand and an even larger mark on the model.
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This luxury SUV shared many features with the Ford Explorer besides the failing tires. In terms of hardware, the vehicles are virtually identical, however externally, they are styled somewhat differently, and the Mountaineer is positioned with a more upscale interior. Given that, the Mountaineer’s cost is increased $1,000 to$6,000 over the Explorer. Also, the Mountaineer came standard with a 5.0 L 210 hp Windsor V8. First year sales for the Mountaineer did not meet Mercury’s expectations though. For 1998, so customers could tell the difference between the Mountaineer and the Explorer, the front fascia was flipped upside down, and the headlights were made smaller. It also got a new rear hatch and unique wheels. A new engine was installed which caused sales to speed up, but they still lagged behind the Explorer. Auto shipping quotes for the Mercury Mountaineer are available here using our original shipping quote calculator. Also learn more about the Mercury Mountaineer by going here.