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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,314 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Nov 092005

Escape 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,545 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Wife parked vehicle on steep uphill driveway. Placed in park and turned ignition off. Exited drivers side and walked behind vehicle to passenger side continuing to mailbox. While at mailbox observed vehicle abruptly roll backward crossing the path where she had just walked behind the vehicle, across street and over curb hitting tree. Neighbor in their front yard also observed this. Vehicle sustained significant damage. Called Ford Corp offices to ask for review of this by their safety engineers. A cursory review by the dealer indicated no obvious transmission linkage or other adjustment problem. Ford refuses any further review and shows little interest in finding any potential safety issue. I see similar reports of this in numbers 10031648, 568244, 10073682 and 10026175. There are also many reports of loss of control in other scenarios such as 10073741, 10087902, 10091048, 10092635 and 10108659. Did not review complaints on similar models such as Mazda tribute nor other year Escapes which may have similar issues. I find it hard to believe that Ford engineered the car to back down a hill, while unoccupied, in park, with the ignition off. But apparently they consider this normal and of no consequence. Unfortunately, someone will have to be hurt and the economics turn against Ford before they will get involved. Reminds me of their safety issues with Ford Crown Victoria's that continue to explode in flames when hit from the rear.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #23

Nov 122005

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,857 miles
The contact stated while driving at 50 mph the vehicle felt as though it shifted into neutral. He turned on the hazard lights and pulled the vehicle over to the side of the road. The vehicle was then towed to the dealership. They replaced numerous parts in the transmission. The vehicle is operating correctly at this time. Updated 12/7/2005.

- Leesburg, FL, USA

problem #22

Jul 102005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles
Trans has had to be repaired replaced rebuilt over 14 times in less than 100,000 miles and less than 2 years. The overdrive light starts blinking and the car jerks when the car shifts up or down, except the time I could only go in reverse and had to let the car roll into a parking lot off of a busy street.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #21

Jun 032005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The vehicle was being driven at roughly 35 miles per hour when the tachometer suddenly surged and the vehicle began to loose speed. The transmission had obviously failed to engage. Putting the transmission into 2nd gear allowed the transmission to re-engage and the vehcile began to surge forward. An attempt was made to drive the vehicle to a dealership about 7 or 8 miles away. The transmission continued to to engage and disengage for the next several miles. Finally, it disengaged one last time and did not engage again. Since it was on a main street, the vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road of a side street. The vehicle was towed to kreiger Ford in columbus Ohio. This took place a Friday. The dealership was informed that a complaint was made about the transmission slipping and then thudding into gear on 1st to 2nd gear shifts on a service call prior to the experation of the warranty. At that time the dealership assured the owner that there was nothing wrong with the transmission. On this incident, not only did the car have to be towed in, but the dealership was also informed that the motor on the rear window wiper had failed and the cd player would no longer eject the cds. On Monday the dealership called to inform the owner that the transmission had totally failed and would have to be replaced at a cost of $3500. Within an hour the dealership called back and said the Ford was willing to put a rebuilt transmission into the vehicle, repair the wiper motor, do the 60,000 mile maintnenace, extend the drivetrain warranty to 100,000 miles, and repair the cd player for $1500. This is preposterous. No transmission should fail at 61,000 miles. And after reading the incidents reported here, it is becoming apparent that there is a problem with the transmission on the Escape.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #20

May 122005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
Just after the warranty period on my 2002 Ford Escape expired, I started having trouble with the transmission, specifically, the transmission would not engage in reverse without revving the engine and having the gears jump into place, causing the vehicle to lurch backwards. When I contacted my local Ford dealership where I had purchased the SUV, I expressed to them my displeasure in having transmission trouble at only 35,000+ miles and was informed that it was not unusual to need a new transmission at that odometer reading, and, indeed, they had replaced transmissions as early as 12,000 miles. I contacted my regional Ford corporate headquarters about the problem without any success. On Thursday, May 12, while traveling 55 miles per hour on the highway, the transmission failed, with the car sounding like I was revving the engine in neutral, and I was losing power quickly. I had to get off the road quickly and was unable to engage the transmission in any gear. After having the car towed to a transmission facility in indianapolis, I was told that the problem did not originate in the transmission, but was the result of a ground circuit problem. Ford constructed the car with the ground running through the transmission, which means that every time the car is started the high voltage running through the transmission melts the gears together. Additionally, the transmission was leaking onto the front suspension, which meant the ball joints needed to be replaced as well. The transmission company rebuilt the transmission, replaced the ball joints, and added an additional ground so that the problem would not happen again, which resulted in a total cost of $3655.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #19

May 272005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
Intermitten engine idle/stalling during engine start and driving conditions even after PCM recall work. Dealership test drove and broke down on side of road, verdict is said to be transmission related. Vehicle has 48,000 miles.

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #18

Apr 242005

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My 2002 Ford Escape caught on fire. The transmission failed to shift the vehicle. Flames came out from under the vehicle then the vehicle did finally shut off and it was able to come to a stop. It continued to burn, tires exploded, etc. In the end most of the engine was on the ground. The transmission basically fell out of the vehicle. It left a trail of fluid before coming to a stop on the side of the highway. I feel brandon Ford body shop is at fault and did not prpperly repair the vehicle after an August 2004 collision. I believe there are also bad parts on the vehicle and I have heard of others having this same fire problem with Ford Escape and Focus. The vehicle was totaled.

- Dade City, FL, USA

problem #17

Jan 132005

Escape

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle is experiencing a problem with the transmission. When putting the vehicle in reverse, the vehicle will shut down. Owner has contacted the dealer who offered little to the solution. Provide further details.

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #16

Dec 032004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
3 years old, 60,000 miles - transmission has completely blown. Its in the shop currently. The oil pan is leaking. The rack and pinion steering is leaking fluid.

- Broadview Hts, OH, USA

problem #15

Sep 142004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
2002 Ford Escape XLT, 51000 miles. Automatic transmission cd4E. Owner's manual and information from Ford states that only mercon transmission fluid is to be used, and that use of mercon V transmission fluid will damage transmission. However, cover on transmission dip stick says "use mercon V." dealer flushed transmission at 32000 miles and replaced with mercon V fluid. Transmission failed at 51000 miles, requiring complete replacement of transmission. Failure happened during freeway driving, but fortunately traffic was light and we were able to coast out of traffic safely. He dealer should have know what kind of transmission fluid to use, regardless of incorrect statement on dip stick cap. However, the misleading dip stick could cause the owner or others to use incorrect type of fluid, with potential to cause complete tranmission failure while driving.

- Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #14

Sep 142004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2002 Ford Escape XLT, 51,000 miles. During freeway driving, O/D lockout indicator light came on and started flashing. Transmission briefly acted as if it was shifting between neutral and drive, then it failed completely. Towed to Ford dealer for diagnosis. Ford dealer says transmission needs to be replaced, but has not diagnosed cause of failure. From researching user forums on the internet, I've learned that Ford issued a service bulletin (oasis #16717) in March 2003 advising that the PCM be reprogramed to correct a transmission shudder problem which seems to be a precursor to total transmission failure. PCM reprograming is also required by safety recall 04S13, issued April 2004. I was scheduled to have this recall work done by the dealer, but the transmission failed before recall work was done. From reading user reports on the internet, it seems that tansmission failure at 50-60,000 miles is not unusual for 2001-2003 Escapes with a cd4E automatic transmission, at least for ones which have not had the PCM reprogramed as called for in the 2003 service bulletin or the 2004 safety recall.

- Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #13

Nov 162003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles
2002 Ford Escape XLT has stalled without warning twice. Once at approximately 40 mph and the other at 10 mph. I have complained to the dealership (cowles Ford, woodbridge, va) since my first maintenance check about my Escape hesitating/skipping. Does not seems to be getting the proper gas. First couple of maintenance check mechanic said he could not find anything wrong. Now, 2 1/2 years later, they keep replacing small parts that do absolutely nothing to remedy the problem. I have now been told by the service manager that this problem does not show up on dianostics test nor on the vehicle computer. I have complained since the first engine stall (40 mph) that my Escape is a safety hazard. Again I have told the dealership my SUV is a safety hazard because I have no advanced warning when the motor will cut off. I have emailed numerous complaints to high management at Ford in michegan but have yet to even get an acknowledgement of my complaint. Ford seems to be so willing to let customers be injured or killed in their products. On felt like a "valuable Ford customer" before I signed on the dotted line and after that I feel like a "victim". shame on Ford.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #12

Jun 082004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Power train slipping. This will be the second transmittion for this 3 year old car. The first went out at 30,000 and now the other one is going. The vehicle is high mileage, but it is one owner and 90% of the miles are highway miles.

- Newark, NJ, USA

problem #11

May 142004

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,100 miles
Driver put the vehicle into park and without warning vehicle surged forward. This caused consumer to lose control of the vehicle, and hit some objects head on inside of the garage before stopping. The driver and passenger sustained minor injuries. Consumer will have the vehicle towed to the dealership. The driver was in the process of placing gear from drive to park when vehicle lurched forward. Upon impact, the shifter is between park and drive.

- Moline, IL, USA

problem #10

Feb 222004

Escape 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 39,933 miles
Two transmission failures. The transmission was replaced @ 18,118 miles and then again @ 39,933 miles.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #9

Jul 302003

Escape 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The vehicle stalled. Once while the vehicle was in the drive, the horn began to blow, and the lights started to blink. No one was in the vehicle or had touched the vehicle. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealership to be repaired, however they were unable to repair it because they could not duplicate the problems. The vehicle also rolled away with the ignition locked, keys removed and vehicle in park. Also the accelerator became stuck on four occasions. A representative from told the consumer the reason why the vehicle rolled away, was because the emergency brake had not been applied.

- Alkol, WV, USA

problem #8

Jun 032002

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Ford Escape has a transmission slip problem that they didn't want to cover under warranty. This is a dangerous situation when this happens if passing another vehicle causing the vehicle to stall. Also, if turning in front of another vehicle oncoming and it stalls you could get hit from the side.

- Cornelius, NC, USA

problem #7

Apr 022003

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 265,000 miles
The vehicle stalled without warning which made the vehicle difficult to control. The engine would rev when the accelerator was pressed but the vehicle would not move. The dealer reprogrammed the computer but the problem re-occurred.

- Garfield Heights, OH, USA

problem #6

Jan 102003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,500 miles
I have now had my Escape for 9 months. I took it to the dealership on 01/10/03 because the transmission would not shift past 2nd gear (no matter how fast I was going). The dealer replaced the transmission and when they test drove it even the new transmission did not want to shift. Needless to say I have not had my vehicle forever and the dealership refuses to contact me about my vehicle or return my calls.

- Oxon Hill, MD, USA

problem #5

Oct 242002

Escape 4WD

  • miles
Power steering leaked in Oct 2001, problem caused by failed rack and pinion steering system. Dealer replaced after having vehicle in shop for a month. In Nov 2002, the vehicle suffered a transmission failure while crossing a major intersection. Barely managed to get through the intersection without an accident. The nearest Ford dealer happened to be across the street. Took into service dept and they found that the transmission had failed and was welded together. The only service performed was rack/pinion replacement by original dealer in Oct 2001. Experts tell us that transmissions are not welded. They are bolted. Either vehicle came from factory with welded transmission (poss. Other vehicles with same problem) or original dealer damaged transmission when installing new rack/pinion system and welded the damage without reporting it to the consumer. Not happy about 2 major problems in just over a year.

- Cross Junction, VA, USA

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