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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
17 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,104 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 24 of 29)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #115

Mar 042013


  • 109,006 miles


Power steering goes out for no reason. It clicks in the housing under the steering wheel, in the steering column. Needed to add that we have had several injuries and more than one accident where a vehicle sustained damage as a result of this defect.

- Hendersonville, AA, USA

problem #114

Oct 172012

Escape 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
As I was backing up, I lost power steering. I was unable to turn the wheel without great force, and backed into the porch. After turning the car off and turning it back on, this resolved. It happened again the next day going forward at 40 mph. I could hear something in the steering column click and then lost power steering. Now the power steering has completely gone out. When I start the car, I can turn the steering wheel all the way one direction and "trick" it into having power steering for a moment before it clicks off again. I have sustained a neck and shoulder injury from having to use my entire body to turn the wheel, and slamming into the porch when the wheel got "stuck" in a turned position and I was unable to turn it back. It is unbelievable that no one has died as a result of Ford's defect. Will the NHTSA wait until then to force Ford into a recall?

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #113

Jan 032013

Escape 4WD 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the power steering assist failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the steering column needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 90,000 and the current mileage was 102,359....updated 05/22/13 updated 06/05/2013

- El Paso , TX, USA

problem #112

Feb 242013

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that when he started the vehicle, the steering wheel pulsated and there was no power steering assist. After restarting the vehicle several times, the power steering would activate. The failure recurred numerous times. A dealer was notified and an appointment was secured for diagnosis of the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 102,000. Updated 4/24/13 the consumer stated the steering column assembly was replaced on March 15, 2013 at a cost of $ 1366.50

- Sarnac, MI, USA

problem #111

Jan 282013


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while entering into a parking space, the steering wheel began vibrating and could not be turned. The failure occurred without warning. The engine was turned off and restarted, as the power steering assist reset independently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who stated that the power steering module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Elkhart, IN, USA

problem #110

Jan 012013


  • 90,000 miles
While driving my 2008 Ford Escape going 45mph my power steering failed. Luckily I was able to pull off the road without causing an accident. I stopped the vehicle and shut it off. Once I restarted the vehicle the power steering started working again. As I continued to drive my steering wheel began to shake and the power steering went out again. I looked up on line about this and found numerous complaints concerning this issue. This is an extremely unsafe condition that is directly related to this vehicle across the country. I'm surprised no one has been killed yet but it will happen if something is not done about it. I contacted my Ford dealer and there is currently no recall on this vehicle for this problem. I also contacted the Ford Motor Company and registered a complaint with them but got no response. Based on the number of complaints and the safety issue with this I feel something needs to be done about it.

- Columbiaville, MI, USA

problem #109

Feb 222013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 58,381 miles


Car involved is a 2008 Ford Escape XLT. While on a 250 mile trip, I had exited I-20 and was driving approx 40mph on a 5 lane highway when I heard a click and the steering became totally unresponsive. It took my entire body weight against the steering wheel to guide the car to the side of the road. After turning the car off and restarting, the steering capability returned to normal. Have been told the power steering motor will have to be replaced. Considering the number of complaints and severe crashes, there should be at least a "soft recall" on the steering sensors, column and power steering motor.

- North Augusta, SC, USA

problem #108

Feb 012013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The vehicle's power steering is failing on a regular basis. It is equipped with electrical power steering system so is not attributed to low fluid levels, hoses, or lines. This is a popular problem among owners of the same car with similar mileage.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #107

Dec 112012

Escape 4-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
I was driving my kids to school when the steering wheel began to shutter rapidly. The shuttering made the vehicle difficult to control. I shut the vehicle off and the problem went away until the next time I went to drive the vehicle. Later that week the power steering went completely out while I was driving in a parking lot. I almost hit another vehicle as I was manuevering through the parking lot. After stopping and restarting the vehicle the power steering returned.

- Bluffton, OH, USA

problem #106

Feb 172013


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was moved to the shoulder where the it was shut down and restarted. The vehicle functioned normally then the failure recurred shortly after. The contact also stated that the failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 92,000.

- Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA

problem #105

Feb 142013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 103,000 miles


While backing up at a gas station, I turned the steering wheel to the right and it jerked the wheel back straight. Power steering quit working, I did manage to get the vehicle backed up and went into next parking lot. Wasn't sure what to do, so I turned the truck off, then started it back up and my power steering was back. Now after reading all the complaints it has me scared to drive my truck. This problem hasn't happen since 02-14-13 but I never know when the power steering will go out. This is a major safety issue and it's sad that Ford and the recall department hasn't taken the right action on this problem. How many deaths must happen before you to decide to recall this problem. It's not a cheap fix for the owner of these trucks. And Ford has been notified plenty of times about the steering issue and have decided to ignore this major safety issue.

- Smiths Grove, KY, USA

problem #104

Feb 162013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
I was driving with my two year old daughter going 40 mph down the road, I went to go take a turn and my power steering suddenly just went, I almost hit a telephone pole and the guy behind me turning luckily swerved around me. I had to shut off the car then turn it back on for it to work again. I was told the eps system electrical power steering) is the issue. This is a huge safety problem and from what I see this is a very common issue with the Escapes, but yet it hasn't been recalled. It needs to be fixed before people get seriously injured!

- Dover, NH, USA

problem #103

Dec 152012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
I was driving down the 5 freeway. I had been driving for about 45 minuets. I changed lanes to the right and the steering got extremely hard to move. I pulled of the freeway at the next off ramp. The entire time the wheel was very hard to maneuver. I came to a stop turned off the car, checked all my fluids, and googled the issue on my phone. All results lead to electrical power steering. I turned the car back on and all function returned.

- Arvin, CA, USA

problem #102

Feb 052013


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was moved to the shoulder and restarted and the system independently reset but the failure recurred. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and they stated that the vehicle needed to be taken to a dealer. The failure mileage was 102,000.

- Tustin, CA, USA

problem #101

Feb 042013


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle was started however, the steering wheel seized without warning. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileages were 62,000.

- Alberquerque, NM, USA

problem #100

Jan 242013


  • 44,000 miles
Power steering will not work. After shutting the vehicle off and restarting, it works. Same problem every other day. Must be an ongoing problem with this model and year Ford. Afraid it may shut down while driving on the freeway.

- Council, ID, USA

problem #99

Jan 302013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
The first incident occurred when I was backing out of a parking spot and the steering wheel locked up and I was unable turn it in either direction. I turned the car off and on a few times before I was able to drive it. Upon returning home and pulling in my driveway, the steering wheel started to vibrate and move on it's own. I parked the car, turned it off and waited a couple of minutes before starting it up again. At that time, the steering wheel completely locked up and I was unable to turn it even after turning the car off and on a few times. So as of this morning (Feb 1, 2013) the steering wheel vibrates and is locked when I start the car.

- Milford, NJ, USA

problem #98

Jan 192013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 84,652 miles
While driving the vehicle the steering locked up. I managed to pull into a gas station and asked a gentleman for assistance. He happened to own a 2008 Ford Escape. He said to turn it off and start it again and it will work. It did. Now while idling the steering wheel moves left and right erratically. I researched the problem and it is happening to a lot of people with this vehicle, in some cases with serious accidents. I researched the steering system used. I uses a stepper motor for power assistance. I work with cnc equipment with stepper motors. Generally when a stepper motor acts erratically or locks in position it is a problem with software having been corrupted or an incidence that causes the encoder to lose position. ( both cases can be caused by shock, power surge or loss of communication) when a stepper motor is under power it is locked in position until it receives communication to move, in steps, very small increments. (you cannot move them by hand) this is ok on a cnc machine. You just ruin what ever you are fabricating. On a vehicle steering system, its catastrophic failure (you cannot turn the steering wheel) and a very serious issue. Stopping and restarting the vehicle and having it work again sounds like the system reboots. The re occurrence makes it sound like the firmware is corrupt. The system is apparently not isolated enough to avoid being corrupted. It may also be just a bad batch of encoders at any rate it is a serious issue Ford needs to address before someone gets killed. It isn't just the owners of these vehicle that need it fixed. Everyone on the road is endangered. I looked at nhtsas test protocol and found no tests for electric power steering systems. In the past this wasn't an issue with hydraulic systems, you had manual over-ride. You can't turn these systems manually. You go whatever direction it is pointed when it locks.

- Mancos, CO, USA

problem #97

Jan 282013


  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph and attempting a left turn, the power steering assist failed. The contact mentioned that the vehicle became hard to steer. The contact shut off and restarted the vehicle, as it resumed normal operation. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician advised that the power steering sensor was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 69,000.

- German Town, WI, USA

problem #96

Jan 232013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
2008 Ford Escape with serious steering wheel shaking during driving. Feels like column is going to lock up or make vehicle swerve off course. When the car was stopped and turned off, and back on symptoms went away. However, upon driving vehicle again, same conditions came back- very strong and very difficult to keep vehicle on drive path. When googled- many reports show up about serious and expensive replacements of the entire steering column are out there. there are many other site with complaints about this issue. How can Ford not issue a recall about power steering column failures? this should be considered a serious risk issue.

- Medfield, MA, USA

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