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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
121,027 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 5 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #43

Jul 012014


  • 220,000 miles


Driving down the road wirht my 2 young kids and all sudden go over the train tracks and the rear strut broke from the shock mount and came right up thru the vehicle I have found thousands of complaints on this issue, Ford needs to step up luck I gained control of vehicle with a 1 mont old baby and a 3 year old this is searious matter! someone is going to die because of this it needs to be fixed!

- Monteagle, NH, USA

problem #42

Oct 042012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 40,423 miles
July 26,2014 in October 2013, I could not get my car inspected ( Ford Escape 2004 ) because the sub frame in the front was so badly rusted the steering rods was falling off and would not pass inspection. This was before the recall notice. 14502/NHTSA recall 14V-165, so I had a new subframe installed. Reference # 10547199. [xxx] at clarion Ford would do nothing because there was no recall at the time. I have sent all the information, and cost, to Ford in June 2014 and have not heard nothing from Ford. Is there anything that you could do that would have Ford contact me? thank you information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lamartine, PA, USA

problem #41

Oct 142013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Right side shock tower rusted out. Car is unsafe to drive.

- Belleville, MI, USA

problem #40

Jun 302014


  • 109,000 miles


I bought my 04 Escape brand new, and am the original owner car garage kept, this is a severe safety issue!! rusted out wheel well and shock mount went right through the frame while driving at only 15 mph out of a parking lot.

- Hawthorn Woods, IL, USA

problem #39

Jun 022014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 205,000 miles
The right rear shock tower mount completely broke away from the vehicle subframe due to corrosion/rust. This caused the shock to lean outward toward the tire. This could not be seen by the undercoating as a problem previous and apparently allowed it to corrode to the point that it broke free. This exact same issue occurred in my insurance lady's Ford Escape, which I believe was only one model year different. Also only on the right rear shock tower. In speaking with the body shop on the repair, they have also heard of this issue and state that Ford has not recognized it as a recall issue. This is a costly repair, and time consuming repair as the vehicle is gone for almost a week. This is also a very dangerous issue due to how it falls apart. We are lucky we were within the city limits and only traveling about 30 mph when it occurred.

- Elkhorn, WI, USA

problem #38

Jun 022014

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles
2004 Ford Escape. Consumer writes in regards to lower control arm rust recall notice. The consumer stated while driving on the interstate, he heard a loud noise from the rear wheel well on the passenger side. He pulled over, and discovered the shock was hanging down. He was unable to pull it of. So he drove back home, and upon further examination, he discovered there was no fender left on the shock. Also, the trunk lid was rusting. The consumer he was able to remove the key from the ignition while the gear was in drive. The consumer stated he pulled into the driveway, shut the engine off and placed the keys in the console. He exited the vehicle to remove items from the back seat. Soon after, the vehicle started to roll backwards. Updated 06/01/16.

- Deerfield, OH, USA

problem #37

Jun 152014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 100,740 miles


Rusted out right wheel well with structural collapse. We bought this car used from a local Ford dealer in April of 2013. This car was being driven on a freeway on June 15, 2014 when a loud thumping started in the right rear wheel on. On inspection the right rear wheel well is rusted out. The support that the shock absorber is attached to was completely eroded and a part of it punched through the wall into the interior of the trunk area. We felt it was not safe to drive. We had it towed to another Ford dealer who diagnosed the problem. The estimated cost of repair is $2259. Review of the NHTSA complaint web site reveals many other owners with exactly the same problem.

- Petoskey, MI, USA

problem #36

Apr 182014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 117,586 miles
I have a hole and rust forming in the passenger side rear wheel. This is beginning to expose the shock area. I live in a high salt area.

- Glenshaw, PA, USA

problem #35

Jun 012014


  • miles
TL -the contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that in June 2014, she received NHTSA recall campaign number: 14V165000(suspension). She attempted to have the vehicle repaired but the parts were unavailable; however, Ford on numerous occasions could not provide a solid answer on when the parts would be available or how long it would take to repair the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact had not experienced the failure.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #34

Jun 032014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
Rear passenger shock mount rusting out.

- Arden Hills, MN, USA

problem #33

Jun 022014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles


On a family vacation, the rear passenger side upper shock mount experienced complete failure, breaking away from the rear wheel well entirely. Imagine my outrage when I come to find out that rusted out passenger rear wheel wells are a common problem on the Ford Escapes for this year. The well-being of my family was put in jeopardy because Ford has failed to issue a recall on this flawed engineering. That is shameful. This is a serious safety issue that could've ended poorly for me and my family! please address this issue.

- Manhattan, KS, USA

problem #32

Jun 022014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
Recall notice arrived in the mail on Saturday May 31st. Called local Ford dealership on Monday morning June 2nd at 8 am< to make an appointment and was told the earliest opening they had was December 22nd 2014- this is way too far away if there is a safety concern with my vehicle - dealership is romano Ford on burdick street, fayetteville NY 13066 - (315) 637-4668 is there any way to get faster repairs"?"

- Cazenovia, NY, USA

problem #31

May 172014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 167,000 miles
We were driving out of our subdivision and heard a loud banging noise that continued from that point. We pulled over an investigated and found the right rear shock had come loose at the top mount. Upon further review by a repair shop, the wheel/fender well has corroded including the integral shock mount. The vehicle is unsafe to drive.

- White Lake, MI, USA

problem #30

May 082014


  • 111,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while the vehicle being serviced, it was advised that the sub frame was extremely corroded. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who advised that the vehicle was not worth repairing. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign id number: 14V165000 (suspension front) however, the contact no longer owned the vehicle. The approximate failure mileage was 111,000.

- Cooperstown, MD, USA

problem #29

May 262014


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the front passenger side wheel. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the wheel house strut mount was entirely rusted and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem, the approximate failure mileage 105,000.

- North Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #28

Apr 152014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 108,496 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Escape (6 cyl., front wheel drive) that now has over 110,000 miles. At 108,465 miles, the #2 catalytic converter blew and was replaced (along with all 6 ignition coils). A second mechanic found debris in the #3 catalytic converter, cleaned it and the exhaust system. (the engine was not getting enough air passing through the exhaust system and would barely make it up a hill.) then he discovered the right rear wheel well was rusting out posing a severe threat that the shock absorber will punch through into the body of the car making the Escape totally inoperable. A recall is already out for Ford minivans for the same issue but apparently not for the Escapes. Why not? this can be repaired at a cost of nearly $2,000. With the catalytic converter and ignition coils, I've already spent over $2500 and don't have the $2,000 for this necessary repair due to poor materials used to make this vehicle.

- Bolingbrook, IL, USA

problem #27

May 062014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
I was driving down the road and hit a pothole, after hitting the pothole there was a loud clunking noise coming from the rear. After inspection the entire shock mount had rusted away from the body and became separated. It was free to jolt around and cause further damage. Not safe to be driving this vehicle now.

- Hopkins, MN, USA

problem #26

May 042014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 100,800 miles
I'm driving on a newly paved street when I heard a large noise, like a bomb going off, near the right rear of my vehicle. Then I heard something hitting against the right rear tire. I pulled over and looked at the vehicle when I looked under the vehicle to the right rear wheel well the well was rusted out and the shock and mount was now detached from the frame. The Ford Escape is not drivable. The rear wheel well is so rusted out there is a hole into the storage compartment in the rear of the vehicle. When I look from inside the storage compartment/hatch area of the Escape I can see the outside through the hole.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #25

Apr 082014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 194,000 miles
My wife noticed a clunking coming from the right rear of the vehicle. I was able to identify that the issue is a separation in the wheelhouse where the strut attaches to the wheel well. The factory-applied undercoating failed and caused the metal area beneath it to rust out. There is a visible hole in the structure, and we are able to see into the trunk area. Our body shop advises that the vehicle is no longer safe to drive, and that full detachment of the top strut mount is imminent. After investigation, he also advises us that he found online nearly 100 similar incidents on similar vehicles ranging from 2004-2006, all with varying mileage. In fact, he has two vehicles on his property that share the same concern: One lost full integrity, and the strut blew through the body into the cargo space; the other shares a similar level of failure as our car. It is also his professional opinion that this sort of rust-out is not common nor expected of a vehicle this age. After extensive local research and personal investigation, I have found in my city alone a half dozen Ford Escape-style vehicles of the same years-range with similar issues at various stages of concern. I also have recorded over 200 complaints from several bulletin boards across the internet noting similar concerns. We have yet to personally contact Ford, yet we see from the postings that the response is the same: Ford does not consider this an issue. Ford, however, has slated later this month to issue a recall related to a similar suspension-rust issue in the vehicle's right front wheelhouse. As the loss of an effective strut can cause serious handling, braking and suspension safety issues at any corner of the automobile, this concern from the rear of the vehicle should be no different.

- Rutland, VT, USA

problem #24

May 032014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 163,309 miles
Right rear suspension shock absorber mount detached and pushed through body of vehicle. Vehicle now is unstable and dangerous.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

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