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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
23 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
17 / 2
Average Mileage:
65,085 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #63

Feb 112015

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles


2002 Ford Escape. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle unintended acceleration. The consumer stated while sitting at a traffic light, the vehicle spontaneously accelerated, hitting the vehicle in front of hi, because his foot was on the brake, the crash was not as violent as it could have been. Two of the passengers in the other vehicle went to the hospital with shoulder injuries. The consumers vehicle was declared totaled.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #62

Dec 082014

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
Vehicle was driven towards a crossing and the light was red. I tried to stop, but instead it accelerated on applying the brakes and T-boned a car on the crossing. The brakes on this car were serviced a few times in the past and the complete history is available at the dealer....updated 04/02/15

- Surrey Bc, DC, USA

problem #61

Feb 192015


  • 296,000 miles
I was driving my Ford Escape 2002 out of town, I noticed my car pulling away from me. I took my foot off the throttle and noticed the the car was accelerating. I knew a stop sign and a highway was up ahead, after blowing threw the stop sign only being able to slow the car down to 20 with the breaks, I pulled the E-brake and still did not stop, afraid and scared I put the car in park, the car then snapped and went into reverse and the only thing I could do was aim for a pole and hit it. I got out of the car and it was still going with the engine smoking, fearing of a fire I shut the engine down.

- Connersville, IN, USA

problem #60

Jul 072014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 222,000 miles


Backed out of driveway, put into drive and the car throttled and accelerated unexpectedly and caused me to run into a tree. The vehicle has been totaled.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #59

Jun 112014


  • 155,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that immediately after the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V165000 and NHTSA campaign number: 12V353000 (engine and engine cooling, vehicle speed control) the vehicle started to surge back and forward. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer. The techician stated that the front vacuum tube was leaking and would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. However, the failure persisted. The manufacturer was made aware of the defect. The vehicle was not re repaired. The failure mileage was 155,000.

- Harrison Township, MI, USA

problem #58

Apr 012014


  • 174,390 miles
I was approaching a traffic light to turn. As I applied the brake instead of stopping the truck accelerated. Hitting the back of a vehicle.

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #57

Mar 202014


  • 67,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving into his driveway at a low speed, with the brake pedal depressed, the vehicle unexpectedly accelerated and crashed into his shad and side wiped his neighbor's house. The vehicle continued to accelerate with force when the contact applied to the brake pedal. The vehicle finally came to a stop when the vehicle crashed into an area of bushes. However, the engine continued to rev and the wheels continued to spin. The contact was the able to turn off the engine. Upon inspection, the insurance company totalled the vehicle. The contact suffered injuries to the neck and body. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure and current mileage was 67,000.

- Middlesboro , KY, USA

problem #56

Mar 062014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 87,858 miles
While driving my 2002 Ford Focus V6 I have experienced several instances of sudden unintended vehicle acceleration. I took my car to parks Ford in wesley chapel, fl who said they suspect it is from my throttle cable sticking but they would not fix it for me even though many Escapes have had the same problem and resulted in numerous deaths. It would cost me over $400 to fix and just because my particular VIN number is not part of the recall for they would not help me. I even spoke to someone at the main Ford office who said the same thing. This is blatantly refusing to stand by their product, even though they realize this could result in a very serious safety problem. I told the man at Ford that I guess they want to wait until someone else dies of this problem and he said if he was me and knew what I know he just wouldn't drive that car, which proves that they realize the seriousness and yet refuse to make it a recall on my car even though the same issue resulted in several deaths for Escape owners in the past.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #55

Dec 282013


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 75 mph, he attempted disengage the cruise control but the vehicle maintained 75 mph. The contact stated that he depressed that brake pedal but the engine continued to rev. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the throttle cable needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Valdosta, GA, USA

problem #54

Dec 122013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 190,179 miles
I was driving at 70mph on a highway. I went to take my exit and pushed the button to turn the cruise control off, but that did not slow the vehicle down at all. It kept accelerating all the way up to 90mph. I tapped the brakes but it did not slow the car down. I was afraid to keep my foot on the brakes due to heating the brakes up so much that it would catch my car on fire. I put it in neutral but the rpms revved between 5000-6000 so I switched back in to drive. When I finally had an area where there were no other cars around me I slammed on the brake pedal to slow it down as much as I possibly could before putting it into park. When it was in park the rpms jumped all the way up to 5000 and sounded as though the car was going to blow up so I turned the car off. Then I opened the hood and removed the cruise control cable. I have had the recall done on this vehicle and never had a problem with this til now. My car is no leaking oil and smells like something is burning. I have contacted Ford and they seemed as though this was an unimportant issue. They stated that they were not responsible for repairs. This should be an issue for them since they are the ones who fixed it in the first place with the last recall they had on this issue.

- Owensboro, KY, USA

problem #53

Sep 292013


  • 172,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 70 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently to speeds of 88 mph. The contact applied immense pressure to the brakes but to no avail. He then maneuvered the vehicle to the side of the highway and turned off the ignition. Upon further inspection, he found that the accelerator cable was the cause of the failure. The vehicle had been recalled six years earlier under NHTSA campaign number: 04V574000 (vehicle speed control). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 172,000.

- Ottawa, IL, USA

problem #52

Aug 112013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated while driving 55 mph the vehicle accelerated independently. The contact applied immense pressure to the brakes to no avail. The contact crashed into five vehicles. The contact suffered bruises to her legs. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 135,000. Updated 12/5/13

- Pauldon, AZ, USA

problem #51

Jul 012012


  • 156,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle emitted a burning odor and the vehicle stalled several times without warning. The contact mentioned that sometimes the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for inspection, but the mechanic was unable to locate or duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 156,000 and the current mileage 162,000.

- Buffalo , NY, USA

problem #50

Aug 082012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated there was a recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 12V353000 (vehicle speed control: Cables). The manufacturer was notified who informed the remedy part was unavailable and the expected date was mid August 2012. The dealer and manufacturer were unable to provide an arrival date. The contact had not experienced failure with the throttle.

- Vidor, TX, USA

problem #49

Oct 032012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 135,320 miles
Vehicle has begun to accelerate unexpectedly since early September. There has been at least four incidents involving vehicle suddenly accelerating when its was at low speed or stopped (with foot on the brake). The accelerations last a few seconds and lurch the car forward. The vehicle has been taken to Ford for the recall notices involving the cruise control cable (11S24B on 30 June 12 and 12S37B on 20 Sep 12). This vehicle did not experience this problem prior to the recall repairs.

- Gainesville, VA, USA

problem #48

Apr 202012


  • 173,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that as the vehicle was shifted into reverse, the vehicle abnormally accelerated and crashed into the contact's home, a nearby fence and finally a tree. The failure ceased once the vehicle crashed into the tree. The contact sustained injuries to the face, neck and the right foot. The passenger sustained minor lacerations to the face and shoulder. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who inspected the vehicle and located the failure at the cable throttle stick. The contact later received notification of NHTSA campaign id number 12V353000 (vehicle speed control cables) in August 2012. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and denied assistance with the repair. The failure and current mileage was 173,000.

- Orange Park , FL, USA

problem #47

Oct 042010

Escape 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
My daughter ( a teacher) was driving the vehicle on I94 to work in 2010 with the speed control set. The vehicle speed increased and she hit the brake, but the accelerator was stuck and she could not slow the vehicle down as it over-powered the brake. She did not know what to do and called 911. The police officer told her to put the vehicle in neutral and turn the key off after she got the vehicle under control. She was extremely lucky no one was ahead of her on the expressway. The accelerator remained stuck after she had pulled off the road with the motor off. I went to get her and the vehicle. I was able to release the accelerator by hitting it hard with my foot. I carefully drove the vehicle home. I was able to recreate the accelerator sticking on the expressway several times. I reported this to Ford (dearborn) and told them they had a problem, however, they did not seem interested in investigating the issue, and suggested I pay a dealer to fix it. I have driven the vehicle, without using the speed control and being very careful to accelerate slowly (as my daughter still has my vehicle). But, now I will take it a dealer and Ford (thanks to the government and the vehicle safety law) will pay to fix it!

- Marblehead, OH, USA

problem #46

Jan 272012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 119,483 miles
[xxx] was driving her 2002 Ford Escape when, while accelerating up a hill, the speed control throttle guide rotated up into the appearance cover and became latched in a rib. This resulted in a wide open throttle, and [xxx] was unable to slow or stop the car. The brakes then overheated and failed, and she sped through town until she swerved to avoid another car and crashed. Her car rolled several times, and [xxx]was killed. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #45

Dec 112011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while attempting to enter the highway, the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The contact was unable to stop the acceleration and shifted into neutral, applied the brakes and activated the emergency brakes but to no avail. The vehicle would not respond and the contact crashed into a vehicle, followed by a pole. The vehicle then ignited in flames. The contact was injured as a result. There was a police report filed of the incident. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #44

Dec 102011


  • 68,500 miles
While driving at normal speeds on ice-glazed winter roads in fairbanks, ak, I approached an intersection and took my foot off the accelerator to prepare to slow down. Instead of dropping to idle speeds, the engine accelerated up to 3500-4000 RPM. I shifted the automatic transmission to neutral and was able to stop the car with the brakes, but the engine continued to race at high-throttle until I shut off the engine. When I restarted the engine it behaved normally for several days; but the problem came back intermittently several times over the next several weeks; and every time, shutting off the engine was the only way to stop it. Ford's database showed my car had undergone a recall in 2005 to fix a similar problem. In January 2012, stanley Ford in kenai, ak 'supposedly' replaced the throttle cable and throttle body assembly for $572, but it didn't solve the problem. The uncontrolled acceleration occurred several more times, as before, until a second repair in February 2012 by seekins Ford in fairbanks, which replaced a PCV and tubing, and did a complete tune-up for $992. Since then, there have been no more issues with the accelerator.

- Kasilof, AK, USA

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