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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
17 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
97,712 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 27 of 29)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #43

Jan 022012


  • 132,000 miles


The steering wheel started occasionally jittering while the vehicle was stopped. Then when I went to leave a parking lot the power steering was completely non functioning. It has since been spotty.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #42

Dec 182011


  • 92,250 miles
I was merging onto a highway from an entrance. As I was getting onto the highway, I was about to pull on, when my steering locked up. I was able to pull over, shut the engine off, I started the car and the steering was fine. I researched this problem and found that there were many of the same complaints. I could not find any recalls for this problem. Will there have to be a death before something is done. I will pursue this further, thru the media, social media, and legally.

- Wallingford, CT, USA

problem #41

Dec 182011

Escape 4-cyl

  • 92,250 miles
As I was getting onto the highway from an entrance, my steering failed. I could not turn the steering wheel to control the car. Thank god I was going slow and was able to pull over. I shut the engine off, turned it back on, and was able to drive. I have researched this complaint and there are many Ford Escapes, with this same complaint. I hope that something will be done before a death occurs. I plan on pursuing this further even up to involving media and legal action.

- Wallingford, CT, USA

problem #40

Dec 132011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 52,709 miles


On 12-13-2011, the power steering failed on this vehicle. Fortunately I was in a parking lot when this happened. I was able to drive home by exerting great force on the then manual steering. If this had happened while actually in motion I doubt that I could have controlled the vehicle to a safe stop. The next morning I started the car to take it to the Ford dealer and the steering worked. The dealer was unable to find a problem. I then telephoned the manufacture and was told they could not help me unless the dealer was able to find a problem. I told the person the car was unsafe to drive and was told unless the dealer can find the problem we can't help. I told the person I would report this incident to the ntsb and was told that is your right.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #39

Dec 102011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 43,700 miles
Our Escape has less than 44,000 miles on it and this past Saturday the power steering just failed! and I had 3 children with me!! thank god we weren't doing 70mph on the interstate...or in a to an 18-wheeler...or where I had to make a quick avoidance maneuver! I learned (from internet postings...'cause it sure isn't in the owner's manual...) that it usually works properly again after turning the engine off and restarting...I guess the computer 'reboots'"??, but, who knew"! well, it just happened again less than a week later to my wife and daughter and since this is absolutely a safety issue, we've taken it to a dealership. I live in tn and if anyone recalls (no pun intended), this is also the place where a local investigative news reporter broke the infamous Toyota acceleration story. Hmmm...maybe I'll contact him and see if he can find out if Ford is bent on ignoring all these complaints... just do the right thing, Ford! remember the Explorer!!!

- Greenbrier, TN, USA

problem #38

Dec 092011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
My vehicle has been experiencing a jerking movement in the steering wheel (feels like force feedback from a driving simulator), most noticeable at a stop. It appeared to be a malfunction of the electronic power steering system. I had the vehicle inspected and was told the steering column needed to be replaced to correct the issue. This is because the electronic power steering is located in the column. I was told that the parts are not available at this time and are on national back order pushing their availability out 5 months or so. I have been forced to drive the vehicle for several weeks in a worsening condition until a few days ago the power steering completely failed at highway speed. Power steering will come back after restarting the vehicle, but now the steering goes out 3 or more times on my 30 mile highway commute. I have also noticed that there is a tendency for the vehicle to "auto-steer" or veer in either direction with no driver input. Needless to say, I have lost all confidence in the safety of the vehicle. I have contacted Ford customer service directly and am awaiting a response.

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

problem #37

Dec 122011


  • miles


I was about to leave work and when I started the car to pull out of my parking spot I was unable to turn the steering wheel. I know enough about cars to know that this was related to the power steering...not knowing at the time that my car had an electric power steering, I looked under the hood to check the fluid then I went to get my warehouse mgr to come take a look at it for me. When he started the car the steering was fine. I was able to drive home but was very cautious about it. My husband and I have noticed over the past week that my steering wheel will vibrate or shake when stopped and then this occurs. From what I am reading this seems to be a common occurrence. I have 2 small children and don't want to be in an accident with them in the car if this occurs out the of the blue again! we now consider this car to be a dangerous hazard and undriveable...we will be getting rid of it.

- Crosby, TX, USA

problem #36

Dec 112011

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
Was making a turn after stopping at a light. In the middle of my turn I felt the power steering fail. I was able to drive home with great effort made to steer. I got home and turned my vehicle off. My husband started my 2008 Ford Escape and had no problems with steering. After popping the hood, he found nothing wrong. After researching the internet, there seem to be numerous complaints of this same exact thing happening and restarting the car seems to reset the power steering. The problem seems to be the steering column. I am wondering why nothing is being done by Ford to fix this problem? I am also very afraid of it happening again and causing an accident!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Plainwell, MI, USA

problem #35

Nov 282011

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles
I own a 2008 Ford Escape. I was driving down my street, started to turn into my driveway and had a hard time turning the steering wheel. The power steering totally shut down. I turned off the car and restarted it and everything was ok. It has happened 3 times in the last week. Checked online and this seems to be a common problem. Interested to see how Ford handles this.

- Oak Lawn, IL, USA

problem #34

Dec 012011

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles
Was driving down the highway and the power steering failed. Looked on internet seems to be common.

- Guymon, OK, USA

problem #33

Dec 012011


  • 129,000 miles


I was driving down the highway when my power steering failed - it didn't lock up but became extremely hard to maneuver. I have taken it to the Ford dealership & the man I spoke with said he's never heard of this being a problem.

- Dodd City, TX, USA

problem #32

Nov 172011


  • 38,732 miles
The power steering in this vehicle failed twice. Both times were at low speed, and I was able to recover. A search on the internet reveals this to be a somewhat common problem with Escapes, but has yet to be acknowledged by Ford. I will take it to the dealer but am afraid that I'll have the same experience as others, in that the problem will not be present when the dealer looks at it. At this point I no longer consider the vehicle safe.

- Paterson, NJ, USA

problem #31

Oct 092011


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact was driving 35 mph when the steering wheel seized. The contact was able to pull over to the side of the road where the vehicle was towed to the dealer. The dealer stated that the entire steering column needed to be replaced. The contact did not replace the steering column due to the part being on back order. The failure mileage was 81,000.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #30

Jul 152011


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact was driving at idle speeds when a clunking noise was heard from the steering column. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they confirmed that the universal joint for the steering column needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted and the vehicle was repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileages were 58,000.

- Narvon, PA, USA

problem #29

Oct 252011


  • 136,500 miles
Noticed steering wheel vibrating while driving on highway at posted speed 70 mph. Continued to vibrate and move while stopped at stop lights. On 10-25-11 my wife drove across the university campus and lost power steering while in parking lot. Turning vehilce off and restarting appeared to solve loss of power assist steering. Steering wheel continued to move slightly side to side while driving to dealership. Currently under inspection and we are waiting for price estimate at the time of this complaint.

- Vermontville, MI, USA

problem #28

Oct 182011


  • 71,000 miles
While my wife was driving our 2008 Ford Escape with 70K miles, the steering suddenly locked up. I was told by Ford that this problem was rare, but I have found dozens of complaints with the exact same issue. The electronic power steering (eps) module has failed. Ford had modified this module 8 times since 2008 when it was first used. The repair estimate is $1300. Ford is unwilling to do anything about the problem. The reason the problem is rare is due to the fact that it appears to happen around 45K miles or above. Most 2008 model cars are just now coming into that mileage. This is a life and death defect as the driver loses control of the vehicle. I happen to be in the field of broadcast. I intent to launch a nationwide campaign to alert 2008 Escape owners of the ticking timebomb they are driving and to determine how many failures have already occurred. If you own a 2008 Ford Escape, please be aware that you are likely to experience this issue. First indication may be a slight vibration in the steering wheel. At this point, failure is imminent.

- Trussville, AL, USA

problem #27

Oct 082011


  • 81,000 miles
The 2008 Escape I own has been the most dangerous vehicle that hit the road. The most recent failure has been the steering shaft and a joint which caused the vehicle to be unable to steer. It happened in a parking lot and I just slammed on the brakes so I did not hit anything but it could have been much worse. The car was clunking and my mechanic said most likely it's a ball joint or tie rod and to get it in soon, but I have been trying to catch up as this vehicle was just in due to the failure of the transmission cooler which was almost a $1000 repair. The car again is undriveable, and from what I researched this problem is another $1500 to repair. Ford is making money hand over fist with these vehicles and will not repair anything. Second major issue where I was told out of warranty not our problem! people are going to get killed, if I wasn't 1 year from paying this junk box off I would dump it. The first issue almost caused a major accident because the part that failed dumped all my transmission fluid out and I went to merge onto the highway and my vehicle almost stood still and would not move. This steering problem would have been much worse as 95% of my 55 mile commute is highway and I am thanking god it happened in a parking lot and not on the highway. Someone needs to help us not only to get Ford to fix and pay for their faulty product but to recall these items before someone gets killed!!!! don't buy a Ford Escape they are dangerous and a huge money pit!

- Cairo, NY, USA

problem #26

Oct 062011


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 5 mph, the contact was unable to maneuver the steering wheel. The contact shut the engine off and regained power steering after restarting the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 85,000.

- Florence, AL, USA

problem #25

Sep 262011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 102,500 miles
I have experienced a serious safety concern, and it appears that there is no current recall or acknowledgement of this issue. While driving, the steering locked up. Luckily, the car was only traveling out of the driveway at low speeds. This happened a few moments later, again, at a low speed of driving. The only remedy initially was to turn off and turn the car back on. We have taken the vehicle immediately to the dealership for fear of serious injury/death and was provided information that there is an electrical short in the steering column, causing the functionality of the steering to fail. After research, there appears to be quite a few complaints from other owners online with this exact same situation, all in the 2008 Ford Escape, which is the vehicle I drive. Additional research shows that this model year was the first year that Ford equipped a vehicle with electronic power steering vs traditional power steering. After filing a complaint with Ford seeing that there are no recalls and urging a voluntary recall, I was denied any assistance or reassurance that they are concerned for safety of others that may be driving at higher speeds when the steering fails.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #24

May 202011

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 61,529 miles
I own a 2008 Escape with the eps system. I love the vehicle in general, but over the past year I have had 3 incidents where the power steering fails completely while driving, rendering the vehicle unsteerable. In all three episodes, I had to stop the vehicle (on the roadway), shut off the engine, then restart it, and the power steering again functioned. I did contact my local dealer who searched the Ford service bulletins, and found nothing, however, had serviced a few vehicles having the exact same intermittent-type problem, by replacing the steering column. (they said this would cost me $972.77). I also researched the issue with the NHTSA and found many owners of Ford vehicles with the eps system having exactly the same problem. Since this is (obviously) a significant safety concern, it surprises me that Ford has not yet addressed the issue via a recall or at the very least a service bulletin. I do not want to trade in or sell this vehicle, but I currently do not feel confident about its safety reliability. Any information that can be provided regarding this significant issue would be helpful.

- New Cumberland, WV, USA

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