really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
117,685 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.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Aug 202014

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Noticed loud rattle, knocking in rear of truck. Stopped to have mechanic look at it. Discovered severe erosion in rear wheel well and shock mechanism completely separated from vehicle. Appears to be very common for 2004-05 Escapes.

- Lynbrook, NY, USA

problem #12

Sep 012014

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 123,481 miles
On a trip to upper peninsula, Michigan this past week we experienced a failure of the front subframe crossbrace, a near catastrophic event as the piece broke. We were in grayling, Michigan and were stopped near an independent service provider who showed us the damage and attempted to find a used part. The one he found had the exact same rust and break as ours and thus he ordered a new one from Ford. In the meantime we were forced to rent a car and continue on to our vacation destination. After we returned home I learned that there had been a recall of these vehicles for just such a failure. I took the car and the broken crossbrace to mike castrucci Ford in alexandria, ky where the warranty officer informed me that our Escape was not part of the factory recall. She was able to tell me why and was very helpful although clear that nothing could be done. The argument was presented that the failed part in the recall was made by a particular manufacturer and used in certain plants or vehicles. I get the point but I have a car that failed in exactly the same way due to excessive rust and presented the same risk of catastrophic failure that we narrowly avoided by luck. The repair replacement cost over $1000 plus labor. I believe vehicles like mine should be part of the recall. Our front wheel could have totally collapsed while we were traveling at high speed.

- Newport, KY, USA

problem #11

Aug 302013


  • 98,954 miles
I was driving home from the store and started hearing a loud banging noise coming from the rear of the truck. Upon investigation I discovered what I believe to be a major safety concern in my 2004 Ford Escape. The rear passenger side wheel well over the shock tower completely rusted out and separated over the shock. I have been told and seen that this seems to be a common problem with my vehicle and other years of Escapes. After speaking with an independent body shop in my area they informed me this was a common problem they have seen several times before. But when I contacted 3 local Ford dealers they all claimed to have never seen it before. And wanted to charge me a hundred dollars just to look at it. I am told the vehicle is undriveable in this condition. And that in most cases can not be repaired. After doing much research online I found hundreds of other people with the same exact problem. I have also contacted Ford and am awaiting a response. I would like to see a recall made on this as I can see this being a major problem that could have caused an accident. And is going to be a very expensive repair job if it is even repairable. I have photos but am not sure how to attach them.

- Hilbert, WI, USA

problem #10

Jul 232014


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated while driving various speeds he heard an abnormal sound coming from the right rear passenger side of the vehicle. The contact discovered that right rear wheel well was covered with rust causing the shocks to fail. An independent mechanic discovered that the shock absorber needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #9

Jul 012014


  • 220,000 miles
Driving down the road wirht my 2 young kids and all sudden go over the train tracks and the rear strut broke from the shock mount and came right up thru the vehicle I have found thousands of complaints on this issue, Ford needs to step up luck I gained control of vehicle with a 1 mont old baby and a 3 year old this is searious matter! someone is going to die because of this it needs to be fixed!

- Monteagle, NH, USA

problem #8

Jul 052014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 190,000 miles
The shock tower in the passenger side rear wheel has broken, due to rust and corrosion, and punctured through the interior of the trunk and the back seat. The interior of the car body has separated from the exterior body so that the wheel and road can be seen from inside the back seat through a large (inch or more wide) gap. There is no corrosion or damage in any other wheel well. There is a corrosion related recall on this car which the dealership says is unrelated to this particular area of the car (safety recall 14S02). Ford's customer "care" center acknowledged multiple complaints yet has no investigation or activity aimed at a remedy for this common problem. Due to Ford's apparent negligence which has caused hundreds of Ford owners identical damage, my car is unsafe and Ford is unwilling to act.

- Forest, OH, USA

problem #7

Jun 152014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 100,740 miles
Rusted out right wheel well with structural collapse. We bought this car used from a local Ford dealer in April of 2013. This car was being driven on a freeway on June 15, 2014 when a loud thumping started in the right rear wheel on. On inspection the right rear wheel well is rusted out. The support that the shock absorber is attached to was completely eroded and a part of it punched through the wall into the interior of the trunk area. We felt it was not safe to drive. We had it towed to another Ford dealer who diagnosed the problem. The estimated cost of repair is $2259. Review of the NHTSA complaint web site reveals many other owners with exactly the same problem.

- Petoskey, MI, USA

problem #6

Aug 112011


  • 165,000 miles
Driving on the interstate, the car was making a loud grinding noise. Pulled into rest area, and let car sit a few minutes. Started it up again, and no noise. Started back on the interstate, and noise started again. Pulled off again, and noticed right wheel was wobbling. Looked at wheel and lug nuts were loose, and wheel was now deformed. Had it towed to a repair facility and had to purchase a new wheel. Facility installed it and tightened all lug nuts. This problem has continued, with the lug nuts requiring tightening monthly. Accompanying rust in the wheel well is a problem. Hub is not holding wheel correctly.

- Harrison Township, MI, USA

problem #5

May 262014


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the front passenger side wheel. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the wheel house strut mount was entirely rusted and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem, the approximate failure mileage 105,000.

- North Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #4

Apr 212014


  • 57,460 miles
We just purchased this vehicle. W E knew about a paint issue beneath the hatch window. Took the vehicle to a very reputable glass and body shop. The shop owner immediately went to the right rear wheel well and told us to look at it. The area behind the tire is very eaten with rust. A good sized hole exists extending to the shock and strut. The shop owner said that he has seen many of them. Always the same wheel well and nowhere else. Assuredly the strut and shock are compromised. He said that he almost always sees this on the Escapes. The previous owner was extremely meticulous about servicing and upkeep with the vehicle.

- Chassell, MI, USA

problem #3

Feb 272014


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the rear wheel weld became fractured. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician diagnosed that the rear wheel weld needed to be replaced. No repairs were done to the vehicle. The manufacture was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current was 110,000.

- Roseville, MI, USA

problem #2

Feb 032014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 192,000 miles
Passenger rear wheel well has completely rusted out and shock and mount have rusted off of frame.

- Westminster, MD, USA

problem #1

Jul 152010


  • 96,000 miles
Two axles on the car have broken. Both times, the car was used for regular use (no "off-roading", no accidents). The car was driving fine, then suddenly, when braking, a grinding noise was heard. When I brought the car in to be repaired, they found a cracked boot, cracked ABS ring, and cracked axel. First time this happened was in 2007 (rear axel), and now in 2010 (front axel).

- Yardley, PA, USA