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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2005 Escape has problems where the engine shuts down while driving. Ford finally issued a September 2014 recall. Time will tell if the recall fix really solves the problem.

However the 2005 Escape also has a defect where the PCM (Power Control Module) fries at around 100k miles. Ford extended the PCM warranty to 80,000 miles, but only after most owners were past the mileage limit. Now owners are on the hook for the average repair cost of over $2,000 (!!)


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
122,869 miles
Total Complaints:
58 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (32 reports)
  2. replace wheel well (20 reports)
  3. repaired effected areas (6 reports)
2005 Ford Escape body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2005 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #58

Oct 142015

Escape Limited 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles


I bought this escape and didn't see any wheel well rust, until I washed the wheel wells out and started to remove the under coating and put my hand though the wheel well into the inside of the back area. I then looked at the other side that to had the starts of rusting out like the other side. Now this escape had an inspection done on 12/14. Its lucky that I checked the under the under coating to see the issue if I didn't do that it would have been to late I my wife, the shock and mount would have ripped though and most likely had an accident. It cost $950.00 to fix. I have checked other escape's in that year range and the owners couldn't believe what I showed them, because you have to remove the under coating to see all the issue. Its an hidden issue and need's to be addressed by Ford. this escape only had 121,000 on it and always garaged. Its a major flaw.

- , Ellsworth, ME, USA

problem #57

Sep 012015

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,954 miles

I have the car regularly checked, especially the brakes which were recently serviced, and the rear tires were replaced at the same time. Weeks later, I noticed a strange noise from the rear of the car and when I had it checked I was told that excessive rust in the wheel wells has occurred and the car is not safe to drive. The cost to repair it far exceeds the value of the car. I don't want to sell it because if it's not safe for me, it's not safe for anyone to drive. I haven't decided what to do yet, but I am disappointed that this apparent defect hasn't been addressed by Ford. At this point I believe my only option is to donate the car to a charity in the hopes that it will only be used for parts. I hope that by posting this complaint, somehow Ford will be put on notice that they are putting the safety of its customers at risk.

- , Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #56

Sep 142015

Escape LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,914 miles

I have had Chevrolet's for most of my life and never had anything like this happen....I was hoping to get at least 250,000 miles out of this vehicle....

- , Peebles, OH, USA

problem #55

Aug 252015

Escape 4X2 XLS 4-2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,835 miles


click to see larger images

excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust

I have always bought Ford Vehicles we bought this in mid July, 0 miles, 2005 Ford Escape, brand new. Never had any problems with this vehicle, just maintenance and tires replaced 3 times, oil changes. Was hit in the front end on the passenger side on August 31 when I took it to the repair shop, I told my insurance company that I think something happened to the back because right after I was hit I keep hearing this banging on the passenger side.When the mechanic went to look he told me this is all rusted out and told me $2000 to fix it. My jaw dropped. He also told me this is an issues with Ford Escapes rusting out on the passenger rear wheel well.

This vehicle was well taken care of I have a attached to pictures One pic is the driver side and the second pic is of the passenger side, driver side is fine some rust. This vehicle washed and waxed every weekend all year until it got cold then power washed each time the weather broke. Very disappointed this was a good reliable Vehicle for my family. If anyone knows what I can do besides trade it in please tell me.

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #54

Sep 292015

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

click to see larger images

excessive wheel well rust

Same complaint as everyone else rearding this problem. It's a safety issue due to a defect and Ford refuses to acknowledge. Next step a Class Action Lawsuit. Anyone who wants to join in this contact me via e-mail hartzog115@aol.com I am in the process of speaking to an attorney regarding this lawsuit.

If you are on Facebook sign up to discuss this problem and join the lawsuit


- , Carbondale, PA, USA

problem #53

Aug 222015

Escape Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

click to see larger images

excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust

Ford definitely has a problem by not recalling the Ford Escape for rust on the passenger rear wheel area. Last year my right rear shock broke. This year the whole area rusted out!

- , Urbana, OH, USA

problem #52

Sep 022015

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles


I bought this 2005 Ford Escape Limited for my 16 year old in December of 2014. Was told by dealer there was surface rust that would not cause any problems. After a few months we noticed the there was no shock on the passenger side and the wheel was completely rusted out with no upper shock mount. Then my 16 year old came home and said that the alignment went out so we took it to our mechanic. He started looking into why the alignment went out and found that the engine cradle was 75% rusted through all the way down to where the control arm bolts on. The tire could fall off at any time. After doing some research online I see the 2001-2004 recall for this same issue. FORD, this is not acceptable. You are putting our children and us at risk of injury and possible death is a wheel was to come off while driving. I have been a Ford guy for a long time, but they need to show that they care about the customers before I EVER buy another Ford.

- , Elizabethtown, USA

problem #51

Aug 032015

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

To have the right rear wheel well fall apart so suddenly when the rest of the vehicle does not have that level of corrosion indicates a design flaw or manufacturing defect. I am going to take it to the Dealer and ask Ford to repair it. From other posts regarding this complaint this is unlikely to be successful. If they won't fix it, I would join a class action.

- , Fort Frances, ON, Canada

problem #50

Jun 012015

Escape LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

Wish I had known about this issue when I bought the Escape 2 years ago. The Escape has been a great car and I love it, but now I don't know if it is safe or not to drive.

- , Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #49

Sep 052015

Escape 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

click to see larger images

excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust

Exact same problem as everyone described in the right rear wheel well. Called local Ford dealership, they ran my VIN, but said there was no recall. The car is 10 years old, what do you expect? - mentality. The car only has 120K on it, so I expect to get another 3-4 years out of it, minimum. That's what I expect. Very disappointed in Ford.

I took it to a local body shop in North Attleboro, MA - Keilen's Auto Restoration. They custom fabricated and welded a new rear right wheel well in place. Replaced both rear shocks (the right one had completely rusted through at the top, near where the wheel well had deteriorated). They told me that the rear left wheel well was in the early stages of deteriorating as well. Had them patch that well and seal both of them up. They did the whole job in about 3 days from when I dropped off the car for $1045. Hoping that this is the end of the body rust issue in the rear!

- , Sharon, MA, USA

problem #48

Sep 122015

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles


click to see larger images

excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust


- , Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #47

May 202015

Escape Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,944 miles

My wheel well rusted out and the shock punched through. I was devasted. I came on this site and found others like me and I wanted to cry, the prognosis was horrible. But I have a great mechanic who fixed it all and undercoated for $350 total!! God Bless my mechanic!! I love my Escape and I look good in it so I am not giving her up any time soon, not even to rust!

- , Peterborough, ON, Canada

problem #46

Aug 022015

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

click to see larger images

excessive wheel well rust

Absolutely shocked to read all these complaints, as we are experiencing the same issue with our 2005 Ford Escape. Our mechanics too said they have never seen such a condition like ours, and crazy that it was only on the right side, the left side is perfectly fine. We loved everything about this vehicle and Ford in general and are extremely disappointed to hear they are not acknowledging this known issue. Very sad.

- , Dane, WI, USA

problem #45

Nov 032014

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 203,000 miles

I am original owner of this Escape, bought it new and it has been well maintained. Driving down the highway we hit a small pothole and heard lots of noise. The strut broke free of the wheel housing. Several body shops told us they had never seen so much corrosion. One told us the only case like this they have experienced the car manufacturer bought back the vehicle because it was unsafe. Not the case with Ford, although they agreed it shouldn't have happened, it is out of warranty and not recalled. They originally quoted $745 dollars and put us off for months, then when I brought it in they kept it for several weeks and then re-quoted a price at $2,200. This car is not worth much more than that and nothing if I don't fix it... not sure what I will do, but I don't want Ford to touch it at this point.

- , Olathe, USA

problem #44

Apr 132015

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

click to see larger images

excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust

Right Rear Wheel Well completely rusted through and shock mount is about to break off! This has been a terrific vehicle, for the 6 months I've owned it, until this problem showed up- unexpectedly and fiercely! It went from a small noise in the back to me pulling over thinking the backseat wasn't properly latched down, in 2 days!

I have been to 3 different repair places and one won't touch it, and the other 2 are scared to give me a solid estimate at all, all agree it probably isn't worth fixing. There are 130,000 miles on it and I love it, but it's totally unsafe to drive at this point, I had no idea until I looked up this website that there were so many others with the same, and I mean EXACTLY the same, complaint. I will be following up with both the dealer I purchased it from (only 6 months ago) and Ford and will report back any findings. All I can say is, unreal.

- , Pepperell, MA, USA

problem #43

Dec 092013

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

My 2005 truck, as of April 2015, only has 68,000 miles. It has rust in the wheel wells, the bottom trim on the back hatchback door and in the gas cap area. I have also, just recently, developed a leak at the rear main seal.

So the question is....do I buy another truck due to all of the above problems or do I keep it and fix all the problems because the mileage is so low. The truck runs great.

- , Riverview, MI, USA

problem #42

Apr 022015

Escape Limited 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,875 miles

I heard a noise when I drove my son's car two weeks ago. Took it to the tire shop thinking it was a bearing. They showed me the rust! Took it to my auto body shop and that is where I learned about Ford Escapes having this issue. They want $3000 to fix which is not worth it! What a drag as the car engine is great and the interior is perfect. So angry to find out that this is a problem and Ford will do nothing!

- , Wayzata, USA

problem #41

Feb 072015

Escape XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

click to see larger images

excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust

I bought the 2005 Ford Escape from a Nissan dealership in February. I didn't even get home and the ABS light came on, which meant my AWD didn't work. Since I bought the SUV about an hour and a half from home, I had it repaired at a local dealer, which cost me $300 to replace the half driveshaft with speed ring gear on it. And annoyance was a constant clunk in the rear. It seemed to be bad when on rough roads. I thought I needed to replace the shocks, so I delayed doing anything until warmer weather.

That is, until recently, when the noise in the back became terrible. I looked at the back end and discovered the right rear wheel well completed rusted out - so much that the upper shock mount was barely hanging on. I contacted the dealer, since I had the vehicle only a month. Since the vehicle was sold "as is," we are still in discussion what to do about it. I stopped driving it because of safety concerns, meanwhile the dealership doesn't know if they will do anything at all.

After reading considerable information about right rear shock mounts on Escapes rusting out, I have drawn the conclusion that there must be a defect in materials and workmanship. Ford should be ordered to conduct a recall. So many right rear wheel wells rusted out on Escapes is not a mere coincidence. The left side is perfectly fine, which tells me Ford did something wrong on the right side. I was quoted by a local body shop that it would cost between $2,500 and $3,000 to fix it. That amount is unbearable, since I already spent $5,600 to but the vehicle only a month ago. That would mean I would have about $8,900 into a 10-year-old vehicle with 136,000 mile on it. Seriously, someone needs to order Ford to perform a recall on all affected models. This is just not right!

- , Melrose, WI, USA

problem #40

Dec 012014

Escape XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,992 miles

I was shocked to find exact descriptions of my vehicles problem, posted as common for this model.

Initially in December, some rust was found that we thought would be a quick fix once the weather was a bit warmer, to let the materials set better. The sudden banging in February surprised us, and upon investigation, we discovered the wheel well had nearly shredded, with the shock held in place by bits of rust. The vehicle now shimmies when we go over bumps, since the shock isn't stabilizing anything other than the tiny bit of rust.

Strange that this is the second time I have discovered that I have a problem that Ford lists as common for this model, and yet it was never dealt with by the company. I had to replace the computer less than two years ago, as well as 3 damaged coils at a cost of $3500. Now I have scrap metal with a good computer. It is no longer safe to drive, as I am expecting the pieces of rust to give way at any time, and the shock to shift, with the potential of causing an accident as the shock bounces against the tire.

- , Simcoe, Ontario, canada

problem #39

Mar 072015

Escape LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,900 miles

We purchased the SUV new in 2005 and had just replaced the shocks and other suspension components with new parts in January 2015. We are a Ford family. The Escape has been great for us and we use it almost everyday so we maintain excellent maintenance on it.

On Mar 7, 2025 we started hearing a rattling/thunking sound and took it back to shop as we thought it was an issue with the new shocks. The mechanic showed us the completely rusted out rear passenger wheel well and the shock is attached nothing and is broken away from the car. This is now undriveable unless I want to play with death! The thud noice is apparently coming from the shock coming in contact with the radio speakers. The lower rear passenger door area had been rusting as well. This is a huge expense of $1000-$3,000 estimates. I contacted Ford customer service and basically got the brush off. They have to know about this issue because it's too common. I am ready for a class-action lawsuit here. Anyone with me?

- , Palos Heights, IL, USA

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