really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,400 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 2009 Ford Escape:

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

problem #22

Nov 232011

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 31,500 miles
Transmission is loud. Shifts are harsh. Significant hesitation when accelerating. Transmission hunts for gears. Upshifts and downshifts are frequent. When passing vehicles on the highway, acceleration is delayed as transmission shifts up through gears, then drops to a low gear. Powertrain light comes on the dash. To dealer for service. They say they cannot locate problem.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #21

Sep 112011

Escape 4-cyl

  • 36,200 miles
I was driving at 60 mph up the hill and was trying to pass a vehicle. I tried to increase the speed to 70 mph and there was sudden shift of gears; it went from high to low and then high again. I felt sudden jerk and the powertrain light came on. This thing happened once more after that incident. I took my vehicle to the dealer and it has been there for last 4 days. The latest I was informed is that, they will replace it. The reason I am writing this is that, this is not one sporadic issue. I know at least 2 persons who had the same issue with 2009 Escapes. Fortunately for me, the transmission did not die, but for them, it died on the freeways. Not a very safe situation to be in. Thanks for reading.

- Inkster, MI, USA

problem #20

Oct 262010

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while towing the vehicle with an rv, smoke was seen from the engine compartment. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the automatic transmission was defective and needed to be replaced. The contact mentioned that the transmission had been replaced a total of three times. The manufacturer was notified of the failure who advised the contact to have the vehicle towed to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 14,000 the current mileage was 23,000. Updated 10/18/11 updated 3/29/12 on April 3, 2012 the vehicle was taken to the dealer, because the transmission was slipping while shifting. The transmission was reprogrammed for the slipping issues. Updated 05/18/12

- Englewood, FL, USA

problem #19

Jan 202011


  • 14,000 miles
I was accelerating from a stoplight on a two lane road without a shoulder. A vehicle in my lane suddenly slammed on the brakes, so I let my foot off the accelerator to check the next lane to see if I could swerve over at which point I pressed on the accelerator to get in front of the car in the other lane but my vehicle was unresponsive. The rpms didn't change, after a couple seconds and the accelerator to the floor, it finally engaged into gear and jolted forward. I narrowly missed the stopped car. I have experienced these dead spots in acceleration after the mandatory tsb Ford released. There have been five times in which it almost caused an accident and I try to avoid making any left handed turns against traffic. My vehicle has also been plagued with other transmission issues, such as slamming into gear, slipping gears, shift flares, harsh shifting and even the transmission being unresponsive and resulting in the vehicle jolting forward when off the accelerator.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #18

Oct 152010


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape XLT. The contact was driving 20 mph up a steep hill and attempting to accelerate when the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact immediately engaged the emergency brake to prevent the vehicle from rolling backward. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the technician stated that the transmission oil had burned out and that the transmission would need replacing. The vehicle was repaired. The contact stated that the vehicle would jerk when accelerating at high speeds but had not stalled since repairs. The approximate failure mileage was 24,000.

- Lowpoint, IL, USA

problem #17

May 182010


  • 16,339 miles
This 2009 Ford Escape was purchased August 1, 2009. I can¿T say how disappointed I am in the performance of this vehicle. Beginning May 19th, 2010 with a recall, the above-mentioned vehicle began sputtering, stalling and jerking upon acceleration. On August 16th, the vehicle was taken to gene steffy Ford in columbus for repair. Again, after driving the vehicle for two weeks, the check engine light came on and it started to stall and sputter when driven over 20 miles. Three times in September, I took the vehicle to steffy Ford in columbus for work. They failed to find what was wrong with the vehicle. I ended up taking the vehicle back to baxter Ford in omaha, Nebraska. On October 12th, 2010 an intake hose assembly was replaced on the vehicle, after the service department drove the said vehicle over 100 miles. Again, the vehicle has still not performed to customer satisfaction. On December 1, 2010 the vehicle was taken to baxter Ford for service work. This time the LH trans axle assembly was replaced, the transmission fluid was drained and a case bushing was found to be worn. The vehicle still jerks on acceleration and now the steering wheel is crooked. Definitely a safety hazard to drive if the axle was worn at only 31,000 miles.

- Shelby, NE, USA

problem #16

Sep 302010

Escape 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
2009 Ford Escape XLT V6 with automatic transmission. While driving the vehicle at highway speeds (50-70 mph) the transmission slips into neutral. This first occurred when the vehicle was 7 months old (Jan 2010) it was taken to the dealership and the transmission was replaced, according to the service department at the dealership, with a brand new transmission. A couple of months later the same problem resurfaced and the vehicle was again taken to the dealership where it stayed for over a week. The service advisor informed us that there was a bad module in the transmission and that once it was replaced the problem would be solved. The vehicle came out of the dealership supposedly "repaired", however, two days later the same exact problem happened with the transmission slipping into neutral when driving on the interstate. We live in Washington DC and have to take the Washington beltway and interstate 95 every day to get to work and this issue with the transmission is just a serious accident waiting to happen. This vehicle is not safe to operate!

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #15

Oct 032010


  • 4,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. While driving 60 mph, the transmission exhibited an unusually loud noise just as the vehicle independently decelerated from 60 mph to 50 mph. The contact was able to drive to his residence where the vehicle was parked. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the vehicle has had a history of transmission issues. The transmission was leaked shortly after purchase and the vehicle was previously recalled under an unknown manufacturer's recall for the transmission. The failure mileage was 4,000 and the current mileage was 7,000.

- Miami , FL, USA

problem #14

Aug 252009

Escape 6-cyl

  • 16,500 miles
2009 Ford Escape XLT V6. Transmission failure. Merging into interstate traffic. Speedometer read 60mph yet no rpms. Could have proven fatal. Vehicle was serviced for 1 recall regarding this problem. Transmission failed anyhow. Alot of other 2009 Escapes with the same problem.

- Drums, PA, USA

problem #13

Aug 152010


  • 22,000 miles
After a recall that reprogrammed the powertrain control module my 2009 Ford Escape began to experience acceleration with out the gas pedal being pressed. The first incident occurred on August 15th. The vehicle was brought in for service on August 20th. No issues or repairable items were found. The car continues to accelerate without the gas pedal being pressed. The vehicle will be brought back in for service. The vehicle did not experience this problem prior to the reprogramming. When the acceleration occurs it feels like the cruise control is engaging even though the system was not on prior to acceleration.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #12

Aug 072010


  • 22,000 miles
Vehicle accelerated while on cruise control and cruise had to be disengaged to stop acceleration. Vehicle failed on 2 occasions to accelerate to highway speed after entering merge lane.

- Sault Ste Marie, 00, USA

problem #11

Jul 022010


  • 24,064 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. The contact was towing the vehicle with his 2009 fleetwood bounder 35 ft. Triton V10 engine with a Ford chassis. While driving 55 mph the transmission in his Ford escaped caught fire. He stated that he followed the instructions in the users manual which indicated to place the vehicle in neutral, the key in the acc position and turn the vehicle on for five minutes before he began towing a vehicle. The tow bar was installed on the vehicle and the rv. He observed smoke in between the rv and the Ford Escape. The contact had to drive two miles before he could pull over. When he inspected the vehicles, he observed smoke coming from underneath the hood of the Ford Escape. He called the manufacturer and was advised that the vehicle had to be towed to the dealer. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer. The dealer advised him that the manufacturer would decide whether to replace or rebuild the transmission. The manufacturer was unable to locate the parts was unable to confirm when the parts would be available. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 24,064.

- Pulaski, VA, USA

problem #10

Apr 182009


  • 2 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. The contact stated while attempting to accelerate from a complete stop, the vehicle was hesitant to accelerate and began to accelerate abnormally. The transmission warning light then illuminated on the dashboard. The dealer replaced the transmission however, the failure persisted. The failure mileage was 2 and the current mileage was 7,000.

- Ocean Side, NY, USA

problem #9

Jul 132010


  • 14,000 miles
Ford scape transmission no respond, I was driving and to pass another car no respond and I had got out the road. Almost crash. I inform this incident.

- San Luis Potosi, 00, USA

problem #8

Oct 122009


  • 5,184 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 70 mph, the transmission shifted gears and the rpms suddenly increased up to 6000. When the vehicle shifted back in gear, the contact heard a banging noise. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer several times. The dealer stated that the vehicle needed a valve body which was replaced; however, the failure continued to occur. On March 30, 2010, all of the gears in the transmission were replaced but the failure recurred. On April 19, 2010, the vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it remained for nine days. The dealer stated that the vehicle had to adapt to the contacts style of driving. The dealer stated that they were waiting for a response from the manufacturer who confirmed that they would send a field engineer to inspect the vehicle. The contact no longer wanted the vehicle but the manufacturer refused to accept it. The failure mileage was approximately 5,184. The current mileage was 15,835.

- Chesterfield , VA, USA

problem #7

Mar 052010


  • 14,516 miles
Left front axle shaft broke and seal to transmission was leaking fluid car had 14,516 mileage replaced shaft and seal and bushing.

- Kenmore, WA, USA

problem #6

Mar 222010


  • 8,700 miles
While travelling at highway speed, transmission slips to neutral (or low gear) and rpms shoot up to near 6000. Forward momentum slows dramatically which is quite hazardous on highway. Got to dealership right away and within day they "fixed" it by replacing a seal (diagnosis was low fluid). Expressed concerns for safety and was told it is fixed and it is safe. Next day the exact same thing occurs! in addition to that same problem occuring, also now shifting is occassionally very hard especially when acceleration is harder like merging onto highway or passing another car. Bringing vehicle back in but don't have my hopes up right now.

- Ajax, 00, USA

problem #5

Apr 292009


  • 10,000 miles
2009 Ford Escape purchased April 2009. Noticed transmission was slipping out of gear when shifting into reverse to back out of driving. Thought this may have been my error for not stepping on brake pedal completely. March 2010, mileage about 20,000 started having problems with transmission when I accelerate at highway speeds. While pressing on the gas at highway speeds the transmission slips into neutral or starts jerking and will not accelerate and the engine revs up with no error lights coming on. Called dealer to schedule an appointment, soonest they could get me in is March 22, 2010. When I was making the appointment the service representative told me that the problem was probably low on tranny fluid. Checked the tranny fluid when I had my oil changed on March 13, 2010 and it was low, service tech added more transmission fluid but the problem reappeared the same and is getting worse. The potential for an accident at highway speeds is quite possible if you are unable to accelerate when entering the on ramp and a semi truck is in the same lane. I've noticed other complaints addressing the same issue. Definitely there seems to be a problem with the 2009 Ford Escape transmissions. I'll see what the dealer says and if they can fix the problem. More importantly, the service rep told me that there is no recall on this issue but she has been having alot of Escapes coming in for the same problem. Will update this complaint after my vehicle is looked at and diagnosed. I'll also do some research online to see if there is any other information available to me.

- Riverview, MI, USA

problem #4

Feb 282010


  • 18,000 miles
2009 Ford Escape transmission is slipping out of gear under acceleration at highway speeds. While pressing on the gas at highway speeds the transmission slips into neutral and the engine revs up to 5,000 to 6,000 rpms with no error lights coming on. Dealer was advised of the problem and stated that it was low on tranny fluid. However, the problem reappeared two days later and is not fixed yet. The potential for an accident at highway speeds is quite possible.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #3

Sep 012009


  • 400 miles
At the shift level of 40 to 45 mph the gas pedal vibrates. It is most pronounced during the first shift of the day.

- Lincoln, ME, USA

Read the next 2 complaints »