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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,800 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #5

Jun 052012

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles


I first noticed a surging and squeal type noise while coming to a stop. Spouse had repaired 3 times yet it continues. During this time I also heard a clanking noise from rear end as if hatch (window/door) was not securely closed but then assumed it may be related to the aforementioned issue. I mentioned noise increased, loud, frightening (steering difficulties). He contacted Ford by phone (X3) and emailed however their reply was no fatalities or incidents had been reported therefore we have 2 options. 1) take it to a Ford dealer for repair at our expense, 2) trade in for a new Ford vehicle. Both school/city/govt employed and cannot afford $2000 to repair. Yesterday my husband removed the entire right shock when I returned home from work after a 12 hr day & told him I felt as if the back end was going to fall off & clanking sound intensified. At 8pm he was laying under car on garage floor and found the shock hanging! he was forced to remove as I had to work the next day at 6am. I am driving without one shock, new tires, rusted rear frame and surge continues. I would appreciate any suggestions as to other avenues for reporting. I have 2 coworkers with similar issues, both Escapes. The removed shock is rusted, near crumbling of sort but saved along with several photos. Thank you in advance for reviewing my lengthy email and look forward to any input and recommendations. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6). Updated 1/21/15

- Crown Point, IN, USA

problem #4

Feb 072014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles
While driving, the throttle stuck. Applied the brakes, but vehicle was difficult to slow and tachometer indicated high engine speed. Shifting to neutral, the engine rpms put the needle in the red beyond the gauge. After shutting off the vehicle, and opening the hood the problem did not persist, but returned after driving again.

- Avoca, NY, USA

problem #3

Jun 082009


  • 82,000 miles
While body work was being conduced at a dealer for a scraped fender, dealer employee started vehicle after paint operations. The intake manifold instantly and violently exploded into several pieces. The vehicle has approximately 80,000 mile, was driven into the dealer for the body work, and has had no similar problems. The dealer reports that the vehicle still starts and will hold an rough idle. The timing belt is intact. This vehicle uses direct fuel injection and a dry intake system. The dealer stated that all procedures including painting process were properly followed leading up to the explosion. Cause is unknown. The vehicle is still at the body shop finishing body work. No resolution has been reached concerning the mechanical failure.

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #2

Nov 012004

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles
In November of '03 I bought the Escape. No problems all winter. Last winter of '04-'05 I was having problems where the truck would not start up right away. The dealership told me it was the winter gas and they could not duplicate the problem. After bringing it back to the dealer several times, they finally got it to duplicate. They replaced the oxygen cellinode. Unfortunetly the problem just came back

- Mchenry, IL, USA

problem #1

Oct 082004

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On five (5) occasions of filling up my 2004 Ford Escape gas tank there has been gas spillage. Gas will come flying back out of the tank after the pump cuts off. I took the Escape back to the dealership and was told nothing was clogging or impeding the flow of gas. I was told not to use the automatic pump because the flow of gas might be too fast. I do not use the automatic pump anymore and the problem still occurs. When the pump sits in the opening for the tank the pump is at an uneven level and even when I pump slowly spillage still occurs. (it takes 5 minutes for me to get 8 gallons of gas. I've timed it.) the problem has occurred at several different gas stations. I have also talked with another owner of a Ford Escape and he/she does not have this problem. I have to keep a full bottle of water in my car to rinse off the spilled gas before it dries on the side of my car. This is an annoying problem and I'm tired of dealing with it.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

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