Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,417 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Ford Escape accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2002 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #11

Mar 102006

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles


Left rear door is jammed closed. Will not unlock either electrically or manually. Door cannot be opened from inside or outside handle. Dealer is very helpful but unable to repair. Ntsb lists several of same complaint but Ford has no solution. Only one remaining exit from rear and likely to fail from same design and trap passengers.

- Kaneohe, HI, USA

problem #10

Dec 302005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,500 miles
Rear driver side passenger door latch failed and door will not open.

- North Aurora, IL, USA

problem #9

Apr 012004


  • 37,000 miles
Rear passenger door will not open from inside or outside. Spoke with Ford numerous times, they will not pay the $400 to be fixed. I am only 1,000 miles over warranty.

- Lake Grove, NY, USA

problem #8

Feb 262005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles


Twice in the past year door latches and/or electric locks have failed such that the door could not be opened from inside or outside the vehicle. First the rear passenger door failed and was repaired at a cost of $400 now the front passenger door is experiencing the same symptoms. This could be a considerable safety risk in the event of an emergency.

- Boonsboro, MD, USA

problem #7

Jun 182004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
Passenger rear door was locked shut. Would not open manually or otherwise. I had problem repaired (still under warranty), but now I think the other rear door and the passenger front door are having the same problem. It is starting to not open on the first try and this is very frusterating and unsettling.

- West Orange, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jul 162004

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,085 miles
(1) ce light on again (2) vehicle not idling normally (3) vehicle not advancing from stop (4) smell burning oil from engine when shut off, no visible oil leak found on driveway (5) rattling from lf of the vehicle; speed of rattling directly related to speed of vehicle; starts around 25 mph. (6) driver's seat lurches forward on seat track when braking; only occurs with lighter weight drivers. Took vehicle to dealer for the 30K mile check & to have them address the issues. Dealer did the following - issues 1-4: engine covered in oil upon inspection (second oil leak); leak coming from the front cover & oil pan; dealer replaced the front cover gasket, oil pan gasket, valve cover gaskets, upper intake gaskets, & oil filter; dealer replaced the catalytic converter monitor sensor again (third time). Issue 5: dealer did not hear noise coming from lf of vehicle; heard a noise from rear of vehicle; rear lift door latch loose; adjusted/oiled it. Issue 6: dealer compared problem with other Escapes; found to be a normal condition of power driver's seat to have some play in it (this is very unsafe; seat lurches forward 1-2in when braking; I'm a short female who struggles to sit a min of 10in from the sw for the ab; moving me forward another 1-2in in a crash is not safe). Dealer found front brake pads/rotors below specs; stated that this is normal for 30K miles; seems too soon. Several complaints filed to NHTSA regarding excessive brake/rotor wear. Vehicle was in the shop 7/16-7/23. Dealer paid for a rental car (third time). Picked up vehicle & drove it off lot; heard rattling from the lf of vehicle. Took it back & a mechanic went on test drive with me, heard noise. Took it back & inspected vehicle together. I noticed the weather stripping on the left side of the windshield was cracked & detaching from vehicle. Had been slapping outside of apillar when driving, making noise. Dealer stated they would order new part & I'd have to bring vehicle back again to have it installed.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #5

May 082001

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles


Failure of passenger door to open on a 2002 Ford Escape XLT SUV preventing passenger from being able to exit vehicle. No keylock exists and there is no way to open the door from the inside or from the outside.

- Severna Park, MD, USA

problem #4

Apr 282004


  • miles
Consumer took vehicle to dealer' 4-5 times for the same problem. When she turned on heat or air conditioner there was a mildew smell. Each time that consumer took vehicle dealer she was told to come back if the light came on. Dealer could not reproduce the foul smell. Also, while driving a wind came into vehicle even though the doors were closed. In addition, consumer complained about the steering wheel making noise. Dealer will not look at vehicle again. However, consume complained vehicle was falling apart, and the dealers will not help.

- Wilmington, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 282004

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles
The doors on the Escape will lock themselves closed. They will not open from the inside or outside. This has happened 2 times to this car on 2 different doors. What if they locked in an emergency situation and we could not get out?

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #2

Apr 232002


  • miles
Passenger's side door cannot be opened manually.

- Ashburg, VA, USA

problem #1

Jan 152002


  • miles
Rear door is jammed closed. Will not unlock either electrically or manually. Door cannot be opened from inside or outside handle. Dealer advises "no known fix" and was unable to repair. Dealer also advises that other rear door may fail at any time, potentially trapping rear seat passengers in vehicle. Dealer reports "Ford knows there is a problem and is working on a fix" but cannot provide a timeline for when a repair can be made.

- Livonia, MI, USA

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