2000 FORD: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opens an investigation into faulty Firestone tires fitted to several Ford models, including the Explorer. In the case of the Explorer, many instances of tire blowouts lead to vehicle rollovers and ultimately more than 100 deaths. The investigation results in a huge recall of more than six million tires. Even so, 2000 was the Explorer's best sales year, with 445,157 sold.
2001 FORD: Ford drops the two-door Explorer.
2002 FORD: An all-new Explorer debuts, sharing only the 4.0-liter V-6 with the previous model. A revised rear suspension improves ride quality while hardly diminishing the Explorer's off-road ability.
2003 FORD: A Lincoln variant of the Explorer, dubbed the Aviator, joins the ranks to fight new luxury competition from Lexus, Mercedes, and Acura, but it's canceled after two years of slow sales.
2005 JEEP: The third-generation Grand Cherokee brings a 3.7-liter V-6 (210 hp). An independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering are used for the first time.
2006 FORD: The Explorer is updated with the latest Mustang 4.6-liter V-8, now producing 292 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, and is equipped with a six-speed automatic.
2006 JEEP: The SRT8 joins the lineup. It features a 6.1-liter Hemi V-8, 420 hp, and 420 lb-ft of torque. Jeep claims it will reach 60 mph in less than five seconds.
2007 JEEP: Mercedes-Benz lends the Grand Cherokee a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine (215 hp, 376 lb-ft) with EPA fuel economy ratings of 18/23 mpg (RWD) and 17/22 mpg (4WD). Daimler sells Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management.
2008 FORD: The Explorer America concept previews a new era for Ford's iconic SUV with its unibody construction.
2009 JEEP: The Grand Cherokee's diesel engine is dropped. Chrysler files for bankruptcy.
2010 JEEP: Chrysler emerges from bankruptcy with Italian automaker Fiat holding a twenty percent stake in the company.