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:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,152 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2002 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #14

Jan 112011


  • 220,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. When the contact applied the brakes at a traffic light, the brake pedal extended to floor causing the contact to crash into a light pole at 25 mph. The air bags failed to deploy. The vehicle was towed to the contacts home. The vehicle had not been inspected, but the contact was certain that the vehicle was destroyed. The contact referenced NHTSA recall campaign 07V156000, service brakes unit control module; however, the recall repair was performed two years prior to the crash and the repair caused the crash to occur. The failure and current mileages were 220,000. Updated 3/8/11 updated 12/14/11

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #13

Sep 162010


  • 50,000 miles
My wife's 02 Ford Escape (with less than 50K miles) just had one of the gas tank straps break due to corrosion. Major fire/safety hazard if the gas tank hits the ground. Very similar issue known with F150. The dealer is charging us $1K to fix!!! this same car is also in the shop every other month for a faulty airbag switch/relay that we've spent hundreds of dollars to fix. The Ford Motor Company makes me sick! why is it so hard for these guys to do the right thing? it blows my mind.

- Natick, MA, USA

problem #12

Oct 102008


  • 57,542 miles
My 2002 Ford Escape is experiencing its second major airbag problem. The wiring under the seat has now "burnt up" for the second time and I can't afford to have them replaced again to the tune of $450 so I drive without active airbags. The wiring has been replaced once already just 4 months ago but I live in a different state than I did 4 months ago so I'm stuck. In researching this problem online I see that it is a common problem. Shouldn't there be a recall when it involves a safety issue like this?

- Ft. Myers Beach, FL, USA

problem #11

Oct 172006

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Recently, I was involved in an accident where the front end of my 2002 Ford Escape was totaled. The airbags never released. Luckily, I had been wearing my seat belt, and did not suffer from an injury. Summary: 1. event(s) leading to failure: Collision with another vehicle 2. failure: Air bags did not release; consequences: None 3. correction: N/a.

- Oak Creek, WI, USA

problem #10

Nov 042005

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,231 miles
Bumped the bumper of the car in front of me at a traffic light, no visual damage to the front of my vehicle. Both airbags deployed. Speed at the point of impact near 5 miles per hour or less. Airbag deployment broke the windshield and caused slight injury to left arm.

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #9

Apr 052004

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer noticed that the SRS light appeared on the dashboard and remained on. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that the air bag sensor needed to be replaced, and replaced it. A few months later the SRS light appeared on the dashboard, and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer for inspection. Mechanic informed determined that the clock spring needed to be replaced.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #8

Oct 052004

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles


Driving westbound approximately 35 miles per hour, another vehicle turned left in front of me resulting in front end damage to my car. Sustained whiplash, treated at hospital and released. Continuing care with primary care physician. Airbags did not deploy. Contacted Ford Motor Company directly to report airbag non-deployment and was told that the airbag system needed to be checked after vehicle repairs are made and results sent directly to Ford at my cost. Ford then referred the complaint to their legal department. Situation currently ongoing.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #7

Apr 282004

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving consumer noticed that the air bag light appeared on the dashboard and remained on. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that the sensor needed to be replaced, and replaced it. However, the problem recurred.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #6

Mar 052004

Escape 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
While driving air bag light illuminated. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem. The illumination of air bag light happened in an intermittent basis. Consumer was also involved in an accident where his air bags failed to deploy. In addition, consumer experienced noise in steering wheel and rattling noise in exhaust.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #5

Nov 142003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
I was driving on the interstate at 65 mph and a deer came out in the road and I hit it. The car sustained engine damaged and pushed the hood up. It pushed the engine back and the air bags did not deploy.

- Choctaw, OK, USA

problem #4

Oct 302003

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles


While driving at 45 mph consumer was involved in a head on collision. Upon impact, neither of the front air bags deployed. Consumer's wife was traveling eastbound at 45-50 mph when another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction crossed over into her lane. The vehicles struck head on and both went down a 15' bank into a ditch. The other vehicle was a older Chrysler and the air bags deployed. Consumer's wife was still going to therapy for X-rays.

- Summerfield, FL, USA

problem #3

Aug 112003

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,200 miles
While driving 40/45 mph, the vehicle was involved in a frontal collision. None of the airbags deployed upon impact.

- Saint Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #2

Jun 142003

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,155 miles
I was pulling into a parking space at a shopping center. As I took my foot off the accelerator preparing to stop, the vehicle suddenly lunged forward, hopping the curb and continuing forward into the patio area. I applied the brakes, but the car did not stop. It hit a trash can and tables and finally crashed into a pillar. In applying the brake, I had managed to slow the vehicle down so the impact was not severe and the airbags did not deploy. I was not injured but two people lunching in the patio area received minor injuries (a scratched/swollen leg and sore elbow). The vehicle has since been repaired and the cause of accident is being investigated by the insurance company. Since I am paranoid about driving the vehicle, I am planning to have a diagnostic test conducted.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 252003


  • miles
While driving 10 mph the vehicle was involved in a head on collision. Neither front air bag deployed.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

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