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
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
145,862 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
2004 Ford Escape suspension problems

suspension problem

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2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #3

Apr 042016

Escape XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles


What a joke-Ford should pay for this- right rear shock tower completely rusted. Cheap crap!

- , Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #2

Mar 092016

Escape Lmtd V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

click to see larger images

shock tower rusted

Very upsetting. I have this vehicle and I absolutely loved it.. roomy for my special need daughter in the back seat to sit comfortably.. with room in the truck/back for her wheel chair or special medical stroller. Started hearing a loud bang thought, okay we just have to get shocks or struts whatever no big deal... go to have an estimate done and was told it would be a few + thousands of dollars.. passenger side back wheel well.. was told the shock mount is rusted off. Even if we did get shocks it would not make a difference... so now at a loss of wtf to do as far as a vehicle... sadly my lil girl loves to as she says "GO" for rides and now can't even take rides... FORD U NEED TO FIX THIS!!! SINCERELY... PISSED OFF MAMI OF SPECIAL NEED CHILD :/

- , Demotte, IN, USA

problem #1

Feb 212015

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 176,587 miles

click to see larger images

shock tower rusted shock tower rusted shock tower rusted

In February of 2015 my wife was driving her 04 Ford Escape on the highway while returning from Chicago. While traveling on a 4 lane road she was cut off by another vehicle causing her to swerve and take the gravel. When she did, the left rear shock broke away from the tower causing a loss of control and sending her back across the lanes and into the gravel on the other side. Though the timing of the break can not be determined exactly it is clear that it broke during this accident.

I personally have hand washed and cleaned the vehicle during 3/4's of the years (I don't do it during winter do to the extreme colds in Illinois) since we owned the vehicle, which was 8 years. During those times it was never clear that we had a rust issue at this point do to it being under the rust/under coating. This seems to be a common issue on 05's and her's was a late 04. Though we did not contact the Ford dealer about covering any part of the repair (do to all the problems that have been shown here and reported to Ford with them doing nothing about it and acting like the problem doesn't exist). We contacted our insurance company and took it in the behind for value because of this problem. The vehicle was deemed a total loss by our insurance company and we received about 1/2 of what we would have had this rust issue not been present, there was no other rust or serious issues with the vehicle.

I believe that Ford should stand behind this issue or at least accept some of the responsibility and share the costs. Though it's to late for my wife's beloved Escape I believe that a very serious accident could have occurred had she not been the experienced driver that she is. I could have been without a wife and son in the blink of an eye with this issue. Needless to say since we have been shopping for a different vehicle we have run across numerous 05's and 04's with this problem. If this something that Ford is not willing to acknowledge and stand behind then I believe a class action lawsuit should be brought against them. I would be more than willing to be the first defendant to step forward on a lawsuit of this nature.

Hopefully somewhere, someone knows a mass tort attorney that would be willing to take a look into this. With an estimate of almost 4000 dollars to repair it and Ford no longer making the parts avalaible to do it with OEM parts, it will be a long, long time before I will look at a Ford again. We have owned numerous Fords over the years but we will be a GM family soon.

Good luck to everyone with your Escapes. If I were you I would trade it ASAP and Escape the problem.

Update from Jun 19, 2015: I aplogize to those that have read the post above. I miss stated that it was left rear and it was actually the right (passengers side) rear where the problem occured.

- , Fulton, IL, USA

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