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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,006 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.

2003 Ford Escape engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #57

Aug 022016

Escape

  • 182,060 miles

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

I began merging onto I 820 when my vehicle (by itself) floored the accelerator. I tried pressing the brake (it wouldnt press down, it was hard as a rock). I used both feet to no avail. At 75-80 mph I jammed it into neutral. The RPM's were still at max. By this time it had slowed (I was on the shoulder of the hiway) to about 20 mph, then jammed it in park. I looked at the instrument panel and all the instruments were on 0. I hesitated then gave the car some gas, it was still running! I couldnt even hear the engine until I revved it. I proceeded to turn off the ignition. The car did turn off. I noticed a 17 yr old boy dying back in 2012 -13 from the same act my car did. Its bad enough to lose a child but to lose a child because of a malfunction from a vehicle and the company stating they will have to look into it further, is nothing short of total negligence and refusal to accept responsibility for ones error and we want to know what has happened to our youth? look who's raising them and giving them excuses.

- Ft Worth, TX, USA

problem #56

Sep 272012

Escape

  • 131,496 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. While driving at 65 mph, the cruise control failed to engage without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle speed control cable needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V353000 (engine and engine cooling, vehicle speed control). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 131,496. Updated 11/23/15

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #55

Sep 262009

Escape

  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 30 mph, the engine began to rev unexpectedly and the throttle became stuck even though the accelerator pedal was not depressed. The brake pedal was engaged and the vehicle resumed normal operation. In 2012, the vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 12V353000 (engine and engine cooling, vehicle speed control); however, the failure recurred twice after the remedy was performed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the idle air control was replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 52,000. Updated 6/3/15

- North Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #54

Mar 242015

Escape

  • 160,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at 67 mph, the cruise control failed to disengage. As a result, the contact crashed into an embankment and the vehicle rolled over multiple times. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained minor scrapes and bruises and the two passengers in the rear of the vehicle sustained bumps, bruises and scrapes that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V353000 (engine and engine cooling, vehicle speed control). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- Sand Point, ID, USA

problem #53

Jan 192015

Escape 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
On 1/19/1993, I experienced uncontrolled acceleration in my 2003 Ford Escape. I turned off the engine and coasted to a stop. Fortunately, I was on a low traffic road. After towing the Escape to my mechanic, he identified that the acceleration cable was binding against the engine cover. After further identifying a recall related to this (NHTSA campaign number:12V-353), the car was taken to my Ford service center, who performed the modification. Upon picking up the car after repair and leaving the lot of the Ford service center, I immediately experienced uncontrolled acceleration a second time. Quickly hitting the breaks and performing a U-turn back into the Ford lot, I again turned off the engine and coasted to the garage area. This time I was on a multi-lane road in a high traffic area during 5:00 traffic and suffered near collision with multiple other cars. Upon investigating the cause with the service personnel, we observed that the cruise control cable had come loose and bound with the acceleration cable, resulting in the unintended acceleration. On multiple attempts to reconnect the cruise control cable, it became apparent that it would easily come loose and bind again with the acceleration cable. The cruise control cable was disconnected and fixed into location away from the acceleration cable. The dealer did not know or recommend any other method to fix the problem. My observation is that there was significant wear on the cruise control cable connection, possibly as a result of the interference condition with the throttle cover. The current Ford recall does not appear to adequately correct the problem or look for this additional problem.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #52

Nov 042014

Escape

  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. While driving 55 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently and no indicator lights illuminated. The engine rpms went from 800 to 4,000 in one day. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 160,000.

- Natrona Heights, PA, USA

problem #51

Aug 102014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 124,826 miles

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

As I was driving, I pressed the accelerator approximately 3/4 of the way to pass a vehicle. When I released the pedal- the vehicle continued to accelerate. I was eventually able to get the vehicle to stop after placing the transmission in neutral and firmly applying the brakes. As I came to a stop, the vehicle was beginning to smoke, and I feared it was going to catch on fire. I immediately exited the vehicle, and the engine was still running at full throttle. After several minutes, the vehicle began to smoke worse and then I heard a loud bang. The vehicle motor stopped and a large puddle of oil and metal was on the ground under the vehicle. I have since learned that there is an active recall for this exact problem from Ford due to a throttle cable sticking. Ford has refused to repair the additional damage caused to my vehicle caused by an active recall.

- Bonham, TX, USA

problem #50

Jun 302014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 186,890 miles
While driving to and from work, I have used my speed control at speeds of 75 to 80 and have the speed increase with no input from me. The speeds have gotten up to 90 before I could get it to disengage and this is only after numerous hard inputs on brake pedal and this has happened several times, this problem is after I had the repair done per recall12V-353. The repair was done on 8/17/13, mileage at repair was167,183. This vehicle did not have any problem with speed control before recall work was done. As of now 7/10/14 it is in repair shop to investigate this problem. Appr. 186890 miles on vehicle at this time.

- Casa Grande, AZ, USA

problem #49

Jan 082014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 108,860 miles
Accelerator stuck causing driver to lose control and go off road into a building.

- Lisbon, OH, USA

problem #48

Mar 042014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle abnormally accelerated without warning. The vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number 12V353000 (engine and engine cooling vehicle speed control) however, the failure was not corrected. The vehicle later stalled while traveling 60 mph and the contact was able to stop the acceleration failure by forcefully applying the brakes. The manufacture was made aware of the failure. The dealer inspected the vehicle and advised that the throttle needed to be cleaned or replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileage was 140,000.

- Hartland , MI, USA

problem #47

Dec 112013

Escape

  • 76,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated while driving approximately 65 mph he tried to accelerate and the rpms increased. The brake failed to engage until he put the gear shift into neutral. The contact was able to maneuver the vehicle to the side of the road, where the vehicle was able to be restarted. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The mechanic diagnosed that there was to much air going into the throttle body, and the cold air was freezing the throttle body and prevented it from functioning properly. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 76,000. Updated 3/5/14

- Dyersville, IA, USA

problem #46

Jan 072014

Escape

  • 145,000 miles
I took my vehicle in for the recall due to involuntary acceleration and had the recall completed about 1-1.5 years ago. Today, when I was leaving work for lunch, the vehicle automatically began accelerating when it was taken out of park. When I would try to stop, the vehicle would stop for a second, then begin to try to accelerate again. I was able to make it home safely only because I thought to put the vehicle into neutral at any stop signs or stop lights, then back into drive when the lights turned green again. I only knew to do this because I had had the same type of issues prior to the recall. In this incident, I never once used the cruise control though. It accelerated all on its own. I had one other situation similar to this about a year ago, but that was when I was using my cruise control and it wouldn't disengage. My local Ford dealership will not look at it unless I pay the $80 diagnostic fee, which is ridiculous because this issue was supposed to have been fixed.

- Marysville, OH, USA

problem #45

Dec 272012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph with the cruise control activated, the vehicle began to accelerate independently. The contact shifted into neutral and the engine revved. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the they could not diagnose the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 107,000....updated 03-12-14 the consumer stated over the course of 2 years, the vehicle has accelerated on its own. The consumer took the vehicle to 2 garages and 3 Ford dealerships, and no one could find anything wrong. Updated 04/01/14

- White Pigeon, MI, USA

problem #44

Dec 072013

Escape

  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while riving 45 mph, the vehicle accelerated and continued to accelerate as the contact applied the brakes. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence and had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 136,000.

- Mound , MN, USA

problem #43

Aug 152013

Escape

  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle would independently accelerate. The vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 12V353000 (engine, speed control) however, the speed acceleration failure persisted. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 36,000.

- Staten Island , NY, USA

problem #42

Jun 082013

Escape

  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle was included in and repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 04V574000 (vehicle speed control). The contact stated that there were no failures prior to the recall service. After the recall service while the contact was driving approximately 40 mph, the driver released the accelerator pedal but the vehicle would not decelerate. The accelerator pedal released after the brakes were continually depressed. The failure recurred three times. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 104,000.

- Romeoville, IL, USA

problem #41

Jun 172013

Escape

  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while in after shifting into drive from reverse, the contact depressed the brake pedal and the vehicle erroneously accelerated and the contact crashed into a fence and a tree before coming to a stop. The contact sustained cuts to the arms and face as well as bruises to the knee, shoulders, and back. The contact also mentioned that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number 04V574000 (vehicle speed control) and NHTSA campaign number 12V353000 (engine and engine cooling, vehicle speed control). A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure and current mileage was 68,000.

- Sandiego , CA, USA

problem #40

Jul 192012

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the RPM increased excessively and the vehicle suddenly accelerated which caused the contact to crash into a building. The contact was rushed to the hospital where he sustained back and neck injuries. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic where it was not diagnosed for the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number : 12V353000 (engine and engine cooling, vehicle speed control). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 150,000...updated 06/24/13 updated 06/28/2013

- Tamplin, VA, USA

problem #39

Apr 142013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 112 miles
Back in Oct 2012 took the car to malcolm cunningham Ford dealership in camblee ga B/C of the recall of the cruise control cable which causes the throttle to get stuck-gas peddle. They claimed they fixed it. Sunday morning @11:30 am on April 14th while on my way to church on I-285 my gas peddle got stuck & I could not stop the car. For 6 miles I tried everything to stop the car emergency brake was all the way up, pump the brake. Shift the gear to one but car kept on going fast. The car speed was between 60 & 80mph. Finally called 911 & they advise me to put the car in neutral. The car finally stopped and back tire blew. I had my friend and her daughter in the car. If the car did not stop I was going to crash it into the guard rail. I had the car towed back to malcolm cunnigham Ford and yesterday the provide me with a rental and also called me today to advise that in fact what they claimed they fixed in October was never fixed all they did was disconnect cruise control cable. Which I already knew when I looked under the hood Sunday with the police officer. I want others to be warn about this recall in there car because there has already been one death because of this recall issue. Sunday for me could have turned out bad because of the negligence of this dealership.

- Dunwoody , GA, USA

problem #38

Apr 112013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Upon start-up the engine immediately revved to 4000 to 5000 RPM & would not return to idle. Gas pedal was not depressed. This happened multiple times. Moving the gas pedal had no effect. Car was shut off. Reaching by hand to the end of the pedal assembly where the throttle cable is attached, it was determined that the cable did not return to the idle position. By pushing the end of the cable the throttle returned to idle. The car was started & ran at normal idle speed.

- Crestview, FL, USA

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