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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
134,593 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #14

Oct 072014


  • 189,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that there was extensive rust and corrosion on the underbody framing and the cross member. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V165000 (structure). The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who installed a newly designed reinforcement; however, the frame and the cross member were rusted and not covered under the recall repairs. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 189,000. The VIN was not available.

- Newton Falls, OH, USA

problem #13

Aug 112014


  • 184,022 miles
Received notice in mail my Ford was recalled due to corrosion related separation of forward attachment of lower control arm from subframe. This was fix with just reinforced independent mechanic just recently check my veh due to steering and front end issue I have been having and discovered the area where the crossbar hold on to is rusted off..I can not drive vehicle...this rust they tell me was/or would have been notice of time cross bar was install and should have notified me that more work should have been done. Perhaps correct/replace the whole thing...I would like to have it repaired at Ford request, ,,the dealership denied due to recall fixed according to Ford. Had I been aware if this rust issue at time of repair I would have been able to deal with it and not be at risk driving all these past months....

- Gardner, MA, USA

problem #12

Aug 102014


  • 110,500 miles
Vehicle sub-frame failed due to corrosion causing separation of the lower control arm resulting in diminished steering control. This issue appears to be covered by Ford safety recall 14S02 and NHTSA recall 14V-166 that provided a reinforcement of the sub-frame. Unfortunately the reinforcing parts necessary for the recall action were not immediately available before the frame failed.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #11

Aug 082014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 156,000 miles


Took my Escape in to local Ford dealership for repair of safety recall 14V-165. The dealership told me that the corrosion on the subframe and engine cradle was more extensive than what the recall has ever dealt with and that the installation of just the reinforcement crossbrace on the subframe will not fix the problem only "bandaid" it. The corrosion is so bad the part is going to break under any driving conditions and can therefore cause a crash. So now I have called the Ford Motor Company to dispute the problem to be fixed properly but they denied my claim and I am therefore still without a vehicle to drive because mine is unsafe to drive.

- Connersville, IN, USA

problem #10

Jul 072014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 190,000 miles
Corrosion-related separation lower control arm from subframe. Car start pulling instantly to the right. Have to call towing to get to dealer for repair, Ford company refuse to repair under safety recall notice 14S02. Dealer quote me around $2000 for repair.

- Fridley, MN, USA

problem #9

May 142014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 202,286 miles
Car was making creaking sounds. Going around a corner the car basically had no steering or control. Got car to Ford dealership and based on taking photo of the car I was told that Ford decided to put a cross brace on as opposed to replacing sub frame. I told dealership I did not agree with decision that subframe should be replaced car was returned to me with cross brace installed.aprox 4 weeks later car was undriveable. Contacted Ford told me to tow car back to dealership. After inspection of vehicle was told now that sub- frame was broken dealership contacted Ford and was told that their request to replace sub frame was denied. The sub frame holds engine, trans, all steering and brake components. This is a very dangerous. My family could have been killed. I was told by fordsupv that because they put on brace instead of making the correct repair that was actually part of sub frame recall they would not replace sub frame. This is how Ford treats their customers and puts them in harms way. If you look at the history of Ford vehicles Ford Windstar Ford Escape etc. You will see they are using defective steel on under body components causing excessive rust resulting in critical component failures. In my 48 years of driving I have never had a vehicle with a broken frame when I asked Ford for phone number or address to [xxx]. fields I was told that is not given out and that the Ford supervisors denial was final decision. I feel Ford is 100% wrong in this issue and is not making safe cars, and when there is a recall will not even fix the recalled parts. Once again this is an extremely dangerous situation that could have resulted in death to my family if I was driving on the X-way shame shame on you Ford motor. I will be looking into filing law suit or class action law suit against you. Please do the right thing for the unlucky individuals who own these cars. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #8

Apr 242014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles


While driving her 2002 Ford Escape to work my daughter noticed the steering was not right. In order for her to keep driving straight she had to turn the steering wheel. She went over a pair of rough railroad tracks & lost control of the vehicle. Her front passenger tire control bar had completely separated from the frame. It was rusted through. Luckily she was driving in a 30mph zone & there were no other cars around. Thankfully she was not hurt but quite shaken up. We were unaware of a vehicle recall on this model until a friend of hers recalled seeing an article in the news about control bars rusting through causing steering problems. Her front tire was completely bald after this incident. (tread was good before). I called Ford as soon as I was able & reported the incident. The rep told me that in order for a repair the vehicle had to be towed to a Ford dealer & to keep the tow bill as they would cover it. Right now the SUV is at the dealer. It has been 2 days since they've had it & I've heard nothing. I am getting very impatient. Because it's a recall I have a hunch they put it on the back burner. This vehicle is her only way to school & work. I asked about a loaner & they explained that because of the huge volume of recalls, a loaner would be difficult to come by. What has happened to customer service? I am expecting not only the vehicle to be fixed but I feel we should be compensated for the 1 tire - maybe 2 depending on the condition of the other side. I don't need a set of new ones - just something to pass inspection. If anyone has experienced the same issues please post something back. Thank you ! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Leroy, NY, USA

problem #7

Oct 142013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
I was driving my 2002 Ford Escape at 25 mph on a Suburban side street. Suddenly there was a loud clunk sound on the right front of the car with the front dropping and the car grinding to a stop. Inspection revealed the right front wheel was basically broken off with that side of the car sitting on the ground. Further inspection revealed that the lower front suspension A-frame pulled loose from the engine cradle due to rust on the crossmember.

- Grosse Ile, MI, USA

problem #6

Oct 012013


  • 119,000 miles
My vehicle began to make unknown noises when driving, and steering control became very loose. I promptly took the car to my mechanic. I was told the subframe was so badly rotted that the passenger wheel control arm had separated from the subframe and can not be reattached without replacing the subframe. The vehicle is now no longer safe to drive.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #5

May 132013


  • 150,000 miles
The subframe was so badly rusted that the control arm separated from the subframe. I found several complaints of the same thing happening to other people with Ford Escapes. And it always seems to happen at the right front passenger area. This is a very dangerous flaw, and one that could cause serious injury or death if the failure happens at high speed. I think the Ford Ranger frames were recalled for a similar rusting issue, perhaps the two are related. Thank you for your time and prompt attention.

- Williamsville, NY, USA

problem #4

Jan 232013


  • 56,000 miles


Was approaching a stop sign and the tire fell sideways. Called for a tow truck and the garage called and said the subframe was so badly rusted that the control arm separated from the subframe. I find this hard to believe that a vehicle with such little mileage could rust so bad. Ford should seriously look into this issue because if your traveling @ a high speed and the control arm separates you can have a major accident and cause injuries or even death.

- Milford, PA, USA

problem #3

Jan 182013


  • 153,000 miles
While driving through a parking lot my 2002 Ford Escape suddenly made a clunking sound then suddenly stopped. I could not steer the car to the side or move it forward or backward. I exited the car and looked at the drivers side tire and it seemed fine. I then went over to the passenger side and saw that my wheel was completely turned in the opposite direction. I figured that I probably broke a tie rod. I called aaa to have the auto towed to a local service station. When the tow driver arrived he took a look at my Escape and said that my subframe was rusted so bad that it had separated in two. By doing that my wheel axle had completely separated from the transmission. His opinion was that if I was driving on a highway and this had happened it probably would have caused a major auto collision and maybe even causing my Escape to roll over. This to me seems to be a very dangerous flaw in the design and construction of the subframe and I am very fortunate this did not happen on the highway. It could have caused major damage and even death to innocent people.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #2

Sep 272012


  • 49,500 miles
Driving 15mph down home street and heard a clunk. Put in reverse to get back to driveway and right front wheel was sideways and dragging. After calling local garage was informed it was the subframe that holds the control arm that was rusted through. Able to maneuver car onto front lawn where it still sits.

- Larksville, PA, USA

problem #1

Jul 302012


  • 79,000 miles
My car had a loud squeak and creak while driving that continually got louder over the past week... I took it to my mechanic and he discovered the sub frame assembly on the front passenger side has completely rotted away. This attaches to the control arm, and Ford has no recall. He is a certified mechanic and says this part should never have rotted. He advised to check with Ford for recall, however Ford denies any recall with this part.. so no action from Ford about a rotted frame! vehicle is now unable to be driven due to safety concerns of control arm becoming unattached.

- Stoneham, MA, USA

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