really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
118,820 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Ford Escape:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #142

Mar 132019


  • 165,000 miles
As with all other postings the rear passenger wheel well has completely rusted out.and the car started making very loud clunking noises. I do not know the exact moment the wheel well completely degraded. The repair shop said it is not repairable. So we are just now out a car. I just spent way too long chatting with someone from Ford who gave me a postal address to send a complaint to. I think everyone who has had the issue should send a complaint. Mail: Ford Motor Company customer relationship center, P.O. Box 6248, dearborn, mi 48126, I am also considering hiring a lawyer. I think this is just wrong. My son is a college student and left without a car when this is obviously an inferior product and I can not believe this is the service that Ford wants to provide. If you would like to be a part of the lawsuit please contact me at susieamacmillan@gmail.com. This is insane that they have admitted the issue, recalled the front end, came up with an inferior solution and now are going to just say there is no recall. This is a dangerous issue. They at the very least should buy peoples Escapes for the value they would be worth.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #141

Mar 042019


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving 65 mph on the highway, the rear drive axle fractured causing the rear drivers side wheel to detach. As a result, the vehicle spun out of control and became difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was unable to be driven. A police officer assisted with moving the vehicle off the road and towing the vehicle to a facility. An appointment was made with quick lane at apple Ford Lincoln (8800 stanford blvd, columbia, md 21045, (410) 290-1100) for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #140

Mar 102018


  • 140,000 miles
Vehicle was U able to control, constant issues with transmission and idle kept getting stuck, speed up on its own and was unable stop without throwing car in park while driving

- Saginaw, MI, USA

problem #139

Jan 182019


  • 95,000 miles
Recently purchased car, check engine light came on. Diagnostics scan shows 2nd cylinder misfire, ignition coil faulty. Went online to check common issues with this model..it is a common issue with most 04 Escapes. Lots of complaints for wheel well rust..upon inspection, mine too is corroded and the shock is coming through the floor board in the hatch. I heard noises while driving but hadn't inspected it until now, as I just bought this vehicle. The corroded spots were concealed under the carpet. Unsafe to drive. My photos are too large to upload.

- Fort Atkinson, WI, USA

problem #138

Sep 192018


  • 128,000 miles
When hitting a bump in the road, car pulls sidewavs. Got checked out. They found excessive corrosion on engine cradle and steering components were loose and affected by excessive corrosion on engine cradle. Stabilizer rod is almost ready to fall off. They advised us not to drive the car until all components are repaired. Steering is erratic and tires squeal when turned left or right.there is a recall for 386,000 of these vehicles in road salt states. We live in one of them, Michigan. When Ford put the car on the rack, they said something is seriously wrong: That the wheels were bowed out.bought car from Ford after a 3-year lease was over. No problems til now. The car is now 14 years old, mileage is apprx. 128,000.

- Scottville, MI, USA

problem #137

May 212018


  • 200,000 miles
I am a mother of three children whom I use my Ford to drive to school, I also depend on it to get me to work three weeks ago I was on my way to work my children present in car when we heard a loud bang from the back of my SUV I pulled off to the side of the road immediately to check out the vehicle nothing seemed to be wrong so I resumed driving from that day when I drove the car there was a clanking sound in the cabin it sounded like one of my doors wasn┐T shut all the way when they were all shut. I had my father inspect my Ford and he discovered the problem. The SUVS right rear shock had popped threw the plastic casing in the rear of my SUV due to the entire mount and wheel well has completely rusted away. I can┐T aford to get it fixed and it is not safe to drive. I need help. Thank you.

- Riverview, FL, USA

problem #136

Oct 262017


  • 95,000 miles
I was driving on a city street, began having trouble steering and heard a loud noise from the front passenger side. Almost like a flat tire. Took the car to the dealer and was told the right front sub frame was rusted through. Was told that the recall had already been closed and there was nothing they could do. Mileage is at 95000. Wrote to customer care for further assistance and was told again that there was nothing they will do. NHTSA safety recall 14V-165.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #135

Oct 012017


  • 160,000 miles
Rear passenger inner fender well rusted out, causing the shock mount and shock to come disconnected. The shock now has nothing to connect to.

- Deland, FL, USA

problem #134

Aug 252017


  • 80,000 miles
The rear passenger side suspension has completely broken off and hangs freely. Had it inspected at a local garage and was informed this was an extremely common problem for this type of vehicle, and that a safety recall should've been put in place due to the routine failures of this part. I'm now forced to drive a dangerous vehicle to get to work and respond to emergencies.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #133

Aug 072017


  • 173,200 miles
NHTSA campaign number 14V16500. Lower control arm on the front passenger side lose, resulting in loss of steering control and increased risk of accident when driving. It may be due to rust and corrosion for the lose bolt that holds the underneath bracket.

- Oakdale, MN, USA

problem #132

Aug 202017


  • 150,000 miles
The rear suspension mount is completely rusted out and the vehicle is undriveable and not safe to put 2 children in and drive around as the suspension mount is just dangling around underneath and I can see the back speaker! why has Ford not included all Escape vehicles from 2004 in their recall? this is a clear safety issue !

- St Joseph, MO, USA

problem #131

May 032017


  • miles
Driver's side rear lower control arm broke causing left rear wheel to collapse. This occurred while backing out of garage. Just an hour before we had been on the freeway. Fortunately due to the low speed no major damage occurred and lower control arm was replace at a local Firestone store.

- Antelope, CA, USA

problem #130

Apr 112017


  • miles
We had noticed we was getting water inside our Escape bad it was standing water in floor board so we looked at the inner and outer wheel housing and it was rusted very bad the mechanic said it was not safe for us to drive. The passenger side was the worst. They had to weld in pieces to truck and floor boards now mind you we have an 11 year old that rides right where this was rusted the worst :( when we noticed this we was in Kansas City Missouri and had to drive home to carrollton. Missouri.I will have a repair invoice this week cause it is in the shop now getting fixed and they told us at the shop they have had to redo a lot of these but has never been this bad please help someone is gonna get hurt bad.also this is a very expensive repair so please help with this.if you send me somewhere to send pics I will get them from the shop because they took some.thank you for taking time to read this

- Carrollton, MO, USA

problem #129

Jun 302017


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving various speeds, the contact heard a rattling noise from the rear of the vehicle. The contact noticed that the rear passenger side strut detached from the vehicle. The contact called howell motors (located on 6488 ridge road lockport 14094) and was informed that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15E045000 (suspension). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and did not offer any assistance. The manufacturer stated that NHTSA issued recalls. The VIN and failure mileage were not available.

- Lockport, NY, USA

problem #128

Apr 112017


  • 155,000 miles
Structure: Frame and members. My lower control arm rear right rusted out separating entirely from the body of my Escape. I live in Michigan and noticed a Ford recall 14V165000 but when I called the Ford dealership they informed me that my vehicle is not affected by it. I quit driving my Ford for risk of crashing. Please inform me why my vehicle is not affected but it is exactly what happend to my Ford. Pamela edwards pedwards@foxmotors.com

- Hopkins, MI, USA

problem #127

Nov 162016


  • miles
My 2004 Ford Escape has major rust issues that has affected the structural integrity of the vehicle. The vehicle is not driveable unless the rust is repaired. I just filed a complaint with Ford (case #cas12002459). Currently there are no recalls on the vehicle and as a consumer I am turning to the NHTSA for support in having Ford make the ncessary repairs yo my vehicle.

- New Freedom, PA, USA

problem #126

Jan 232017

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 209,000 miles
I was driving to work on a smooth roadway and all of a sudden my rear end started to clunk and bang. I was so startled that I had to pull over in heavy morning traffic and had to miss work and take it to a mechanic where I was told the rear shock assemblies had snapped from the vehicle. After due diligence I found there was a recall issued for the front end for the same make and model because of mounts separating from the auto due to salt and corrosion. When I contacted Ford I was told there was no recall for that situation, but I did find a large amount of complaints from individuals with the same issue in their same year and model Escapes. The mechanic told me at the least it will be 1800 to fix, but since there is no metal to weld to it will require a full rebuild of the body, mounts, and frame in that area. The following site is a representation of the issuewww.fordforums.com/F59/2005-Escape-shock-mount-rusted-out-177762/index4.html.

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #125

Oct 172016


  • 116,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving over a bump in the road at any speed, a thumping noise emitted from the vehicle. The contact pulled the vehicle over to the side of the road and noticed that the rear passenger side wheel well was rusted and the shock absorber had loosened. The contact notified the manufacturer. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 116,000.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #124

Sep 242016


  • miles
Strut mount passenger side rear rusted right out

- East China, MI, USA

problem #123

Sep 092016


  • miles
My vehicle was serviced for recall that was issued. The recall was for the subframe rusting through where it meets the control arm resulting in steering failure. My vehicle had this problem under way and was rusted through to the point of separation. The dealership performed the recall and installed a "brace" on the subframe but advised that the vehicle was not safe to drive because of the separation, which is exactly what the recall is designed to prevent. The dealer stated that since the failure/separation had already begun they could not repair it and gave me the vehicle back in a condition which is "unsafe to drive", according to the word of the dealership. My concern is that my vehicle is experiencing the safety issue for which the recall was issued and the vehicle manufacturer will not resolve the recall issue.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »