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 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 (!!)


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
113,401 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.

2005 Ford Escape body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2005 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #19

May 032015


  • 211,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. While driving at various speeds, the contact heard an abnormal noise. The contact maneuvered the vehicle to the side of the road and observed that the rear passenger side undercarriage was corroded. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the rear passenger wheel bearing needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 211,000.

- De Soto, IA, USA

problem #18

Feb 142015


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the subframe rusted causing the control arm and the ball joint to detach. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the subframe needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Covington, KY, USA

problem #17

Dec 162014


  • 87,000 miles
While driving a loud thud was heard from the rear of the vehicle, while driving a continued banging was heard, upon inspection we noticed the inner wheelhousing or inner fender had a large diameter hole where the shock mounted to it, the hole is large roughly 10 inches across and upon searching I have noticed this is a design flaw and road salt combined to cause this, numerous complaints online but no action from anyone on this issue, it seems a possible loss of control while loaded could result in a crash.

- Lancaster, NY, USA

problem #16

Jan 292012

Escape 4WD 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


Our 2005 Ford Escape has a safety issue so bad that it's unsafe to drive. The right rear fender well has rusted out around the shock mount, ready to break free. [xxx] has a co-worker who drives a 2005 Ford Escape and when they took a look in his fender, they found the same problem. [xxx] has a co-worker that has a 2005 Ford Escape and it has the start of the hole. We have talked to Ford, there is no recall or repair campaign for it. They offered us an X plan to trade it in or they would fix it at full price. We have sent pictures to the Ford factory rep. He told us that Ford knows of this problem and that they have installed two new processes on the product line to fix it. He showed the picture to the Escape engineers and they agreed that it is a design fault and Ford is responsible for the unsafe state that it's in. Unfortunately none of them will put it in writing, in fear of losing their jobs. We also wrote an email to the national highway transportation safety department in Washington DC and still have not heard anything from them. We got quotes from different body shops in the area, both at $1200. And they have repaired other Ford Escapes with the same defect. The repair has to be done from the inside to replace the fender well. Thus all the interior trim has to be removed and welding blanket used so they don't burn your vehicle up. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Belleville, MI, USA

problem #15

Aug 222014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 156,000 miles
Noticed a loud banging coming from passenger side rear wheel well. Looked from outside and saw a large crack in the framework of wheel well. Removed the interior panel and found the entire wheel well had rusted through and around the strut. Strut is only held by lower section of metal but flexes enough going down the road that it bangs on the interior panel which is the only way I knew I had an issue. If I did not stop and look I may have been driving and the strut could have broke completely free which is a huge safety concern.

- New Prague, MN, USA

problem #14

Apr 192014

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
2005 Ford Escape. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle wheel well and shock housing deteriorated. The consumer stated over the past few years, he had to replace many parts associated with the undercarriage. On April 19, 2014, while exiting the highway, a loud bang was heard from the rear of the vehicle and the vehicle shifted to the right. Upon inspection of the vehicle, he noticed the right-rear passenger wheel well and shock housing had deteriorated. The consumer dropped the vehicle off at the local Ford dealer. The next day, the dealer informed the consumer, the vehicle should be scrapped. After doing some online research, the consumer discovered it was a common problem with his model.

- Liberty, NY, USA

problem #13

May 152014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles


I recently noticed a thumping noise coming from the rear when traveling down the road, I had my mechanic look into it and they noticed extreme corrosion on the rear passenger side wheel well. My mechanic indicated that he had never seen extreme corrosion of this magnitude on a vehicle of this age. The other 3 wheel wells are in good shape, but the rear passenger side one is rusted out. The shock mount is corroded and is unable to adequately support my shock. They advised that I take it into a collision shop which I did. The collision shop took pictures and quoted me a price on the repairs, I was told that they have recently seen this same issue with the Ford Escape from there customer base. I also researched and found that Ford has issued recalls on the 2001-2004 Ford Escapes for a rust issue stemming from the front of the vehicle. There is a recent trend of consumer complaints that have spiked over the past year in regards to the same issue in the same spot for 2005 Ford Escapes.

- Saint Clair, MI, USA

problem #12

Mar 132014


  • 106,000 miles
Driving along over minor bump in road when loud bang occurred on right rear side of vehicle. Looked and found right rear wheel well rusted out completely near shock tower. Noise is so loud sounds like it is coming into the interior of vehicle. Took to collision shop and they told me to fix it will be approximately $1000 to start but may be higher when actually investigated. Parts at Ford are on back order so collision shop can't do work until available which they say requires welding. Not sure when or if parts are coming in to fix. There seems to be excessive rusting on the vehicle which should not have occurred. This vehicle was purchased new and taken care of. It was undercoated as well. Had another make/model that a friend has and it is 19 years old with better rust protection that this car. Not sure how much longer it will take for this to occur on left rear as it is showing rust signs too but not as extensive as the right. I use this vehicle to tow a camper in summer and not so sure this will be safe to do so even if fixed. I did not take car in to Ford's service department and would be waiting for parts there too! I don't feel safe driving this vehicle and wonder if fixed if it will be safe to drive. I had planned on driving this car till the motor stopped...looks like the frame is going to rust out before that.

- Dearborn Heights, MI, USA

problem #11

Oct 012012


  • 130,000 miles
Severe rust...had to have the undercarriage completely modified. Shortly after that the brake lines rusted out and had to have them replaced. Now I have an issue with brakes again (2 months later). I saw the recall up to 2004 for rust issues but my car is severely rusted and a 2005.

- Lapeer, MI, USA

problem #10

Apr 082014


  • 90,000 miles
While performing brake and wheel inspection for noise we see severe sub-frame rust issue on our 2005 Ford Escape XLT. Please advise.

- Greenwood Lake, NY, USA

problem #9

Mar 152014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 216,500 miles


Severe rust out of right rear wheel well, top of shock absorber mount rusted free from the car. Appears to be a major safety issue that the rear suspension could come down onto the tire or loose control of the rear of car while driving. After checking online to see if anyone else may have a similar issue I find hundreds of same problems. We have maintained this car with service and cleaning above and beyond normal and this has happened. I feel this is a manufacture flaw and should be taken care of by Ford Motor Company.

- Pioneer, OH, USA

problem #8

Mar 032014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Driving to/from work, I started noticing a slight creaking noise coming from the rear passenger side of my 2005 Ford Escape. After a day or so, it became a loud thumping. Upon inspection, I discovered the wheel well & shock mount were disintegrating and the shock was no longer connected to the vehicle. There are holes so large you can see into the trunk. After doing a little research, I learned this is a common problem yet Ford has not issued a recall nor are they offering any kind of reimbursement for the repair. Needless to say, this is very disappointing. This is my first - and most definitely last - Ford.

- Rocky River, OH, USA

problem #7

Feb 262014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
I have an 05 Escape that has severe rust damage to the right rear wheel well. There is so much damage from the rust that the shocks are no longer attached and continually Ram into the interior panels. All other wheel wells are in great condition. From what I have read this is an extremely common problem (so much so that there is a facebook group and a message board on Ford forums) the models effected Ford models 2004-2006. Serious consideration should be put into recalling them.

- Tinely Park, IL, USA

problem #6

Feb 282013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
I had been hearing rattling from the rear passenger side for about 3 weeks. On around January 28th I was driving home from work and heard a loud noise. I later discovered a large crack and hole on the inside passenger panel. After further inspection I discovered the passenger side rear wheel well had a whole section missing and the shock I can move with my hand. After doing some research online I have discovered that several 2004/2005 Escapes have had the same issue. This is clearly a defect. It needs to be addressed and a recall needs to be done.

- Milford, MI, USA

problem #5

Jan 172014


  • 110,124 miles
Rear passenger side shock tower disconnected to frame. Rusted out fenderwell.

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #4

May 302013


  • miles
The rear wheel well where the shock is located the whole frame panel is cracked, it was covered up from a previous owner or company. The car dealership I'm purchasing from would not take responsibility for it and I explained the hazard in me driving or keeping the vehicle and I took it to several body shops and was told it happens with these vehicles frequently and one shop had already done 3 of the same areas. There is no recall or information about the vehicles issues but this is a danger to drive.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #3

Dec 052012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Took Escape to mechanic after loud banging heard. Right wheel well has large hole in it and the shock mount has rusted through, source of the banging. Mechanic stated that this problem most likely began prior to purchase of car. Ford failed to inform us of this problem after multi-point inspection 5 months ago. Car has had two owners within same family. Ford quoted $2500 repair will not reimburse and stated that the repairs would not even be covered by factory warranty, because it is not the "body" of the car.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #2

Oct 082012


  • 109,000 miles
Hi- I have a 2005 Ford Escape. I bought it used. Just recently I started to hear a banging in the back rear of the cab part of the car. I found out the shock mounts are rusted out, and I feel like this is a safety issue due to the fact that the car could fall apart while driving or catch fire. I researched this and found it a common problem.

- Lancaster, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 262011

Escape 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
2005 Ford Escape with a rusted out right rear wheel well around the upper shock mount. I checked with a Ford dealer about any recalls, none. Ford manager said they have never seen such an issue at lasco Ford fenton mi. (Ford est. To repair was 3400.00) I stopped at a couple bodyshops in the area and they (knew) of this problem and could quote me the parts needed, along with the 25 hours to replace/repair it. My Escape is 7 years old and has 115,000 miles, however I don't think that the body structure (in wheel well) should have rusted completely away (right side only?), leaving the top shock mount flapping back and forth, making the vehicle unsafe and (not) drivable. This problem ended up costing $2005 to repair. This is a safety issue that should be addressed. I called Ford customer service and this was there response: I understand that you are experiencing rust issues on the right rear fender and shock mounts of your vehicle. I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused. I can also see why you feel this is a might be a common issue with the research you made. Please understand, we share all of our vehicle concern documentation with national highway traffic and safety administration (NHTSA) and Ford engineering. Together, we work to further determine if a recall or customer satisfaction programs (csp) is needed for component failures. If a recall or csp becomes available for your vehicle, you will be notified by U.S. mail to the current address we have on file. Please keep in mind that NHTSA, which is the federal Agency responsible for motor vehicle safety is the only organization with the authority to order a recall or csp. In addition, I found there are no warranties, field service actions (recalls) / csps on your vehicle that would provide assistance for your current concern. Ford Motor Company.

- Holly, MI, USA

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