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. Notes: The 2004 Ford Escape looks pretty good compared to other Ford Escape model years, but still has a trend of transmission problems, and engine problems from the NHTSA complaint data — so it's not a model year we can recommend.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
19 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
10 / 1
Average Mileage:
83,836 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.

2004 Ford Escape engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Ford Escape:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #47

May 112005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while entering a residential garage, the accelerator pedal became stuck. The contact mentioned that she engaged the brakes in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 106,000. Updated 11/15/13

- Markleysburg, PA, USA

problem #46

Aug 292013

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the steering wheel seized and the brake and accelerator pedals would not respond to pressure. The contact was able to move the steering wheel after much effort but shortly after, crashed into a utility box. The contact was not injured. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure and current mileage was 90,000. Updated 04/22/14 MA when the consumers daughter crashed into the electrical box, it caught on fire, and spread to the vehicle. Updated 04/24/14

- Del Mar, CA, USA

problem #45

Aug 012013

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 192,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated while driving approximately 50 mph, the accelerator pedal became stuck and the vehicle failed to slow down. The accelerator pedal was applied repeatedly and the front end of the vehicle began to vibrate. The vehicle veered off the road to avoid crashing into another vehicle into a ditch. The vehicle continued to travel and crashed into a concrete barrier and then a fence. There were no injuries. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number was 12V353000 (engine and engine cooling, vehicle speed control). The manufacturer was notified and informed him that the VIN was included. The exterior damages had not been determined. The approximate failure mileage was 192,000. Updated 9/5/13 updated 09/11/2013

- Callahan, FL, USA

problem #44

Jul 262013


  • 176,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the engine rpms increased excessively as the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The contact mentioned that the throttle cable was stuck. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for a diagnostic and the manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V574000 (vehicle speed control). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 176,000.

- Quinlan, TX, USA

problem #43

May 172013


  • 72,450 miles
It was last Friday when I almost rear ended someone. The speed control recall is not fixed. I went to keith hawthorn Ford on South blvd, here in charlotte, last year, and was told that they had to order a part. I waited a few weeks, then I called them again, and was told that the part was in, I took my car in, and it did not take 40 minutes the car was ready. I don't know what they did but I am still having issues with speed. It is very scary. This is all the time, not just last Friday.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #42

Jan 142009

Escape 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Going up a hill on snow covered roads so was going slow when car started accelerating on its own. Kept stepping on the brake, but continued to accelerate. Got off the road and stopped the RPM was up to 7. the acceleration continued to happen a few times every winter for the next few years and I would take it to a Ford dealership to have it checked each time it happened. They tried a few different repairs and nothing worked. Jan. 21,2011 called Ford and reported the problem and they said this is the first they heard of this problem. In Sept. Of 2011 the recall #12S37 came and I took it in to have the recall taken care of. Since Jan. Of 2013 it has done it to me twice - this recall obviously did not fix the hazardous problem! I again called Ford, got a case number, and [xxx] - the Ford regional customer service manager called me and said he investigated my case and with the vehicle being out of warranty and there are no current recalls there is nothing Ford can do. I told him that I felt this is a safety issue and the vehicle needs to be off the road and I can't ethically trade it because I don't want to put anybody else in harm's way and I hoped Ford would make it right by me and he said there is no trade assistance available from Ford. I asked him if Ford would pay me what it was worth since the vehicle should be off the road and he repeated it is out of warranty and Ford would not be able to pay me. Obviously the spokesperson for Ford doesn't have the same ethics I have.[xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Shullsburg, WI, USA

problem #41

Dec 022012


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the vehicle erroneously accelerated and crashed into another vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The police were notified and a report was filed. The vehicle was not taken to a mechanic and was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and informed the contact that the parts needed to service the vehicle under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V353000 (vehicle speed control:cables) were not available. The contact stated that the failure recurred several times. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Rockledge, FL, USA

problem #40

Nov 272012


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the accelerator pedal became jammed. The contact depressed the brakes but the vehicle would not decelerate. The contact veered in and out of traffic and crashed into two guard rails, forcing the vehicle onto two wheels until the vehicle finally came to a stop. The contact sustained injuries to the head, neck and back. The police were contacted and a report was filed. The vehicle was later towed to an independent mechanic and was pending an investigation. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were approximately 110,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Gloucester, MA, USA

problem #39

Jul 302012


  • 167,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph with the cruise control engaged, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and crashed into a tree. The contact sustained a bruised leg and kidney. The vehicle was destroyed. A police report was filed. The manufacturer was not notified of the incident. The failure mileage was 167,000. Pmb

- Theodoisa, MO, USA

problem #38

Sep 162012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 137,000 miles
I was on I-30 westbound approaching the mixmaster in downtown dallas. When I attempted to pass a slow moving vehicle the throttle cable stuck. My vehicle continued to accelerate. I tried pulling the gas pedal up, but it continued to gain speed. Reaching 80 mph in a 60 mph zone I braked but could only get down to 50 mph. I was having to weave through traffic to avoid hitting other cars. This continued for about 5 miles. I decided to try to put the car in neutral to stop it. Then car then slowed down to about 30 mph. I was in the far left lane in heavy traffic. I needed to try to get off the freeway, so I put it back in drive. The car started accelerating out control again. I made it to the right lane and put it in neutral again. The car came to a stop. The engine was severely damaged by this. I am out around $1,500. So far, Ford is not being very helpful, they are giving me the runaround when I call. They act like they are not responsible. I could have been killed or killed someone.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #37

Aug 012009


  • 121,120 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately from 5 to 50 mph and then coming to stop, the vehicle would surge forward. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis. After diagnosis they advised her that the vehicle was covered under the NHTSA camapign id number 04V574000 (vehicle speed control:cables). The vehicle was repaired under the recall. Approximately 2 weeks later the failure recurred. The vehicle was not taken back to the dealer. The manufacturer has not been contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 121,120. The current mileage was approximately 146,298.

- Tifton, GA, USA

problem #36

Aug 272012


  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape limited. The contact stated that while traveling 70 mph with the cruise control activated, the vehicle failed to stop after engaging the brakes. As a result, the contact crashed into another vehicle and the air bags deployed. The police was contacted. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The contact received a recall notice about repairs under NHTSA campaign id number:12V353000 (vehicle speed control:cables). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 145,000.

- Ware Town , NJ, USA

problem #35

Aug 272012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
My daughter was about a mile from home after taking a friend home. It was August 27, 2012 around 9:30pm. Her car went off the road crashed into a tree and caught fire. She was killed in the accident. What is puzzling is there were no skid marks, no signs of braking. It has been brought to our attention just yesterday that there was a recall on her automobile that we were never aware of. We were told that if there was a throttle problem then that would maybe explain the absent skid marks and no signs of braking. She was only 19 years old. I was told to contact you and that maybe you could help. Thank you for all you can do. [xxx] heartsick mother information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Jessieville, AR, USA

problem #34

Jun 292012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
I made a left turn from eastbound stewart road onto the inside lane of northbound M125 (N. monroe street), monroe, mi at approximately 09:00. When approaching frenchtown mall area on the left, cars ahead were stopped for others making left turns into the mall. I took my right foot off of the gas pedal to coast so as not to have to brake. Suddenly my car accelerated (sped up); my right foot was still off of the gas pedal and on the floor. I hit the brake hard with my right foot and the vehicle did stop. (I never use my left foot to brake. I always use the right foot to drive and to brake.) I thought of all of the incidents of sudden acceleration; now knew how it felt. Researched, found info as to recall issued. We never received recall notice. Put VIN # in Ford site. Our vehicle, 2004 Escape 3.0L V6 not recalled. The cruise control quit working may, 2011. We had the Escape in for regular service recently and we told the service advisor, who is also the assistant service manager at the dealer, that the cruise control no longer worked. He said it could be checked but it would be expensive to fix. We chose not to incur additional expense given the age of the vehicle. This vehicle has consistently had all service, oil changes, repairs done at the Ford dealer. We did not know about the recall, nor of the technical service bulletin issued to all dealers by Ford. Interesting note: We own and drive a 1989 Ford F150 and the cruise control works fine!

- Flat Rock, MI, USA

problem #33

May 062012

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles
As I was accelerating to get on the freeway I felt my car accelerate beyond the speed in which I was applying pressure. I immediately removed my foot from the pedal but the pedal remained all the way on the floor board. I tried braking but the brake pedal applied no stopping force. I exited the freeway not knowing what was ahead in terms of innocent bystanders and traffic. Not knowing how to proceed I began standing on the brake with both feet and lifting the emergency brake. My car continued to gain speed and showed no signs of slowing down. I drove the right side of my vehicle down some concrete construction barriers on the feeder in hopes that it would slow the vehicle but our speed was so great at this point we were bouncing off and I was afraid we would cause a more horrific accident by being thrown back on to the freeway. I made it through an intersection narrowly missing a truck driving through. I got on to the other side of the concrete barriers at the intersection and began driving on the dirt road under construction. Searching for something to crashed into to stop my vehicle as each passing second our speed increased, I located a telephone pole and crashed into it with my two small children, my mother and myself in the vehicle. I am unsure if the vehicle caught fire but there were bystanders would came with a fire extinguisher and sprayed my engine. I am also unsure of the speed of the vehicle at the point of impact. The last time I looked it was around 60 miles per hour when I was entering the freeway.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #32

Jul 022012


  • 97,769 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that upon starting, there was an increase in the engine rpms and the vehicle accelerated forward once shifted into gear. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop. The repair shop stated that the throttle body gasket and sensor needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 97,769 and the current mileage was 98,000.

- Bennington, NE, USA

problem #31

Feb 072011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle would sporadically exhibit sudden acceleration. The contact had to use the emergency brakes on each occasion, but the wheels continued spinning. The contact's mechanic cleaned the accelerator pedal but stated that they did not find a problem with the vehicle. The failure recurred after the cleaning of the accelerator pedal. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 146,000. Updated 08/28/12 the consumer stated that the vehicle was put into reverse and then accelerated on its own. The consumer depressed the brake but, the vehicle did not stop until the emergency brake was pulled. The front wheels continued to spin. The second time shifting from reverse to park, then to drive the vehicle accelerated again. The emergency brake was pulled and the front wheels continued to spin. Updated 09/05/2012

- Lincoln University, PA, USA

problem #30

May 032012


  • 157,100 miles
As I was accelerating to pass a slow moving vehicle, I pressed on the gas petal and after I was back in my proper lane, my vehicle kept speeding and not backing off on the gas. I then put the car in neural and the engine continued to keep racing. I tried to stomp lightly on the gas petal to see if it would come back up but it didn't. I then shut off the engine and called the tow truck company.

- Allendale, MI, USA

problem #29

Jul 182012


  • 100,000 miles
I do not own a Ford Escape but rather I'm a mechanic that has ran into this problem 2 or 3 times over the last couple years. The throttle sticks on these vehicles due to the speed control actuator to throttle cable. There is a plastic sleeve around the steel cable that allows the cable to retract freely. The plastic degrades and brakes up over time allowing the speed control throttle cable to bind and wedge its self under the engine cover causing a stuck wide open throttle condition. There should be a recall on this cable. It runs from the speed control (cruise control) actuator to the throttle body butterfly. Removal of the engine cover is the simple fix for this issue, but the speed control cable is indeed at fault.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #28

May 152012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
I would like to add my complaint to the acceleration problems of the 2001-2004 Ford Escapes which my 2004 has also experienced. There have been a few situations over the last 2-3 years where my cars engine would suddenly start racing while parked at idle. When the issue first began I was able to tap the gas pedal with my foot and the car would return to a standard idle. The more recent instances now require turning the vehicle off and it would idle normal again after being restarted. I believe this problem is connected to a current investigation and the letter dated 7/10/12 written to Ford from the center for auto safety. This may also be connected to a prior recall 04V-574 that I was recently made aware of. Please keep me advised of your efforts or anything I can do to help. Thank you

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?