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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,130 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.

2008 Ford Escape drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 6 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #66

Nov 122013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


While driving on the highway 595 speed of 65 mph the car just lost power causing to reduce speed fast with no prior warning. Had to move from the far left lane to the right lane on rush hour almost causing an accident.

- Weston, FL, USA

problem #65

Nov 062013


  • 66,000 miles
I put it in reverse and it would stall and then punch in and take off. Then I would put it into drive and the same thing would happen. It was kind of scary. If someone was in front of me I could have hit them. That happened a few times and finally it wouldn't move at all. My transmission just quit on me. With only 66,000 miles on it and I still owe $15,600 on it now as a single mother of two I have to try to come up with $3700 to fix this"???? this vehicle just got broken in with 60,000 miles on it. I'm so upset. This should never happen and after doing research it happens all the time with this vehicle! where is the recall on it" I should not have to pay for this!

- Winneconne, WI, USA

problem #64

Nov 022013


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated while driving 55 mph, the vehicle decelerated and shifted out of gear. The contact mentioned that the wrench warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and the technician diagnosed that the second and fourth gears malfunctioned. As a result, the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 75,000.

- Weirton, WV, USA

problem #63

Sep 232013


  • 112,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while parked, the contact attempted to shift into reverse and failed to engage without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the mechanic stated that the cooling pump system in the transmission had to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure and current mileage was 112,000. The VIN was not available.

- Twin Valley, MN, USA

problem #62

Sep 022013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Vehicle will not shift gears until 3250-3750 RPM. Wrench warning light turns on.

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #61

Sep 132013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
As I was accelerating onto the interstate my 2008 Ford Escape surged and speed decelerated. The wrench warning symbol came on which is the "throttle/powertrain" warning light. The RPM's go as high as 4,000 RPM's before it changes gears. I took it into aamco to find out what the problem was, they said the transmission has to be replaced $3,000 so I brought it to the Ford dealership which is looking into the problem now. As I read all the complaints about this same issue a recall should be issued, not just a service bulletin. Ford needs to stand by its product and correct there mistakes. I feel this is a strong safety issue as it makes the vehicle very unsafe to drive.

- Antioch, TN, USA

problem #60

Jun 112013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles


My vehicle has less that 55,000 miles on it and I am having tons of problems with the transmission slipping. I should not be having these issues. I am very strict when it comes to changing my oil and having things serviced on this vehicle. I should not be having transmission issues, especially at under 60,000 miles. I feel Ford should step up to the plate. They know there is issues with this models transmissions. Please help, any advise welcome.

- Stanford, KY, USA

problem #59

Aug 152013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 48,885 miles
Just had the transmission on my 2008 Ford Escape give out on me. After reading multiple articles on the web, I saw it was a common issue with Ford. Apparently there was a service notice for a Ford car with the same transmission as my Escape. I find it ridiculous that I have less than 50K miles on my vehicle and now am having to fix the transmission. I feel like Ford should fix this issue at no cost to me because they are using faulty transmissions. That they know are defective.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #58

Jul 302013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 57,509 miles
I was accelerating up a hill, when I noticed that it did not have any power. The car would rev up but not change gears. When I got it to the dealer they said an intermediate band broke on the transmission. Apparently the Escape is known for transmission problems. The 2nd and 4th gears go out on them. Ford would not pay for any of the repair which was $1358.41. This is the second Escape I had with transmission problems. Needless to say I will never buy a Ford SUV again.

- Red Lion, PA, USA

problem #57

Jul 192013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Driving home, came to a stop (red light) when it was time to go I pressed on the gas pedal and my truck wouldn't moved, then I let go of pedal and did it again and my truck jolted and started moving. As I was driving and trying to increase speed my truck would shift..if I tried to pass 30 mph it felt like it was decreasing. Every time I came to a full stop it kept repeating the same situation, press gas pedal and no movement. It was pretty scary because here in California there are fast drivers and I was afraid that if my car wouldn't go any faster I would be hit, and I had my son and nephew in the car. This is very disappointing, never did I ever have issues with Ford til now and what makes it worse there are no warnings it just happens. Now its costing more then $300 dollars to fix this. But who is to say that after I spend all that money this wont happen again. I should be driving a vehicle that hasn't been recalled and the dealer should have contacted me about this and fixed it.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #56

Jul 132013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


Vehicle fails to accelerate properly after a complete stop. RPM's are raised to high before the transmission shifts into 2nd gear.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #55

Jul 062013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 52,412 miles
Vehicle startup is very slow and after 35 mph changeup makes a very strong and when I stop at traffic lights come back again the same problem.

- Bayamon, PR, USA

problem #54

May 212013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 59,391 miles
Addendum: Original NHTSA#10283836 (Sept 2009) bought certified used 2008 Ford Escape in 2009. Before the first payment, the transmission cooling assembly blew, dumping the transmission fluid onto my driveway (part #8L8Z-19712-J, tsb 09 09 04). Mileage: 21,775. Cost of $1000+ repair was covered under warranty. Fast forward, May 2013 (mileage: 59,391). As predicted back in 2009 by many here on this website: Complete transmission failure. It died in 2 lanes of traffic, as I blocked vehicles, no forward or reverse gears. My transmission fluid was flushed: 2009, 2011, 2012, and topped off otherwise; measures I took to protect against this exact failure. Yet it completely failed, <60,000 odometer miles. This $3000 repair was covered under the extended powertrain warranty. Current warranty: Now 12 months/12,000 miles. Minus tow truck, 2 missed work days, and loss of use of my vehicle for 3 weeks. It is entirely possible this dangerously flawed design (sharing an ac/transmission condenser) will fail yet again, even as soon as 6 months. There is no manufacturer recall. The condenser assembly allows the fluid to remain chronically low for long periods. I topped my fluids regularly & proactively flushed 3 times in 4 years, yet the transmission still burned up and failed. Note the repetition of the word "burnt" in the technician notes, even though the transmission fluid levels were listed as ok. The condenser assembly (w/ ac & transmission sharing a condenser w/ a flawed weld that bursts), and the chronic problem w/ the electronic power steering that completely freezes the steering column in place on failure are huge safety issues. Tragedy is predicted. Followed w/ class action lawsuit. Memos will reveal discussions all along regarding the epic fail of the 2008 Ford Escape. Our safety and major inconvenience are minor collateral damage.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #53

Jun 032013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
My 2008 Ford Escape's transmission started slipping while in overdrive. It then went out and revved up to 5,000 RPM's and would not move while in over drive or drive on the interstate causing me to almost get rear ended. I had to shift to second gear and limp it home.

- Marietta, OH, USA

problem #52

May 262013


  • 66,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated while driving 10 mph, the vehicle revved but failed to accelerate. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the contact was informed that the second and fourth gears would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 66,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #51

Mar 272013


  • 27,400 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while the vehicle was having routine maintenance performed, the technician found that transmission fluid was leaking from the condenser at an alarming rate. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 27,400.

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #50

Feb 202012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
On, or about the date listed above, and several incidents later, our 208 Ford Escape continues to stall unexpectedly at various speeds. The car was brought to the mechanic who was unable to reproduce the stalling. Computer diagnostics yielded no codes. After almost two weeks in the shop, we needed our car back, so I have decided to drive it and let my wife and daughter drive my Honda because of safety issues. I would like to say, and document on this official website, that the stalling problem is known by NHTSA and an investigation to this problem was started in February 2013 by your Agency. This problem, as noted by so many others, is a serious safety issue and people have been injured in mvas as a result. Not sure if anyone has been killed yet, but that is inevitable due to the nature of the stalling incidents. Someone needs to initiate legislature or a mandate, or whatever it is you do, so that Ford is forced to recall and repair this problem. I am personally holding Ford, and the NHTSA responsible if something is not done about this problem in an expeditious manner. God forbid that there should be anymore injuries, or anyone killed as a result of this defect that is already documented and being investigated. Remember: Once you start an investigation, you have acknowledged that there is significant evidence of a problem.

- West Monroe, LA, USA

problem #49

Jan 042013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 67,446 miles
Driving along and the wrench icon comes on while the vehicle stalls and decelerates. This issue reoccurs consistently and appears to be that the vehicle is unable to smoothly transition automatically into 2nd/3rd gear. Vehicle diagnosed by authorized dealer who advised the transmission needs to be replaced. Vehicle has not yet been repaired since dealer claims it is not under recall and is no longer under warranty.

- Mississauga, NY, USA

problem #48

Feb 082013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the wrench warning icon illuminated as the vehicle lost acceleration power. The vehicle was diagnosed by both an authorized dealer and an independent mechanic, who both advised that the transmission gear shifter failed and the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 73,000. Updated 03/01/13 updated 03/07/13

- Bristow , OK, USA

problem #47

Feb 052013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
After driving 10 miles with the vehicle functioning correctly and then coming to a complete stop at a red light, upon starting back up the automatic transmission would not switch gears until the engine got up to 5000rpm. When it did switch it seemed to change into 3rd gear instead of 2nd because I had almost no power and had to very slowly accelerate from there. Further, it remained in 3rd gear and would never switch to 4th. This created a very dangerous situation on an open highway at night where the cars behind me expected a continuous acceleration to 50mph. I came very close to being rear-ended. My mechanic has determined that 2nd gear and 4th gear are gone. This appears to be a very, very common problem amongst 2008 Ford Escapes and a $2500 repair. This is a manufacturer's defect should be the subject of a recall before this causes a serious accident or fatality.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

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