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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
17 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,339 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 29 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #23

Apr 022011

Escape 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
"we own a 2008 Ford Escape XLS with approximately 76, xxx miles on it. ?4/2: within 2 hours of being on the road in the early morning, we went to pull off the road into a gas station and it took great effort to turn the car. This was sudden and very dangerous as there were other cars at the entry/exit point and we were not expecting the need to apply such pressure to turn the wheel. If there had been a car at the entrance, we would have hit them due to the wide turn we made. Owe were able to engage power steering after moving the steering wheel back and forth several times. Successfully pulled out of parking lot, but power steering went out again within 5 minutes of being on the road. Subsequently stops had similar results. Sometimes the power steering engaged immediately, and sometimes it took several turn off/turn on attempts for it to re-engage. Owe have also noticed that the steering column began to pulsate upon ignition when power steering was engaged. There is also a low-level vibration noise associated with this. However, when power steering goes out, the vibration and noise is eliminated. ?we contacted both our local Ford dealer as well as another dealer near our destination. Both service departments were unaware of any service bulletins of this being a common occurrence in Ford Escape?S. ?while the car is still drivable with manual steering, not knowing when the power steering will disengage makes for very hazardous driving conditions, especially when making turns or sudden maneuvers. "upon searching the internet, it would appear that this is becoming a more common occurrence in Ford vehicles that possess the eps technology and have similar mileage. *additionally, customers are reporting many different attempts to fix this problem, including the replacement of wiring harnesses, steering columns, and other costly repairs that may or may not fix the issue.

- Columbia, MO, USA

problem #22

Apr 092011

Escape 4WD 4-cyl

  • 76,613 miles
I have a 2008 Ford Escape and experienced vibration and loss of power steering while driving my daughter to school last week. I was told through Ford that I needed a new steering column and because I did not buy the extended warranty they said that I had to pay $1363.10 for the repair! I was so upset! I called Ford manufacture number spoke to one of their lawyers and still I was turned down for a malfunction that could have turned into a very bad accident. I lost all power to my steering wheel as I was on the highway taking my daughter to school. I feel at 76,000 miles a vehicle should not have issues with the steering column at that young age of the vehicle and that Ford should stand behind its product even though a customer did not buy the extended warranty at the time we could not afford the warranty.. it has not been documented yet but I had an issue of my accelerator freezing up on me 3 weeks ago and I had to get off the road to try to get the peddle to unstick and after trying a minute or so I was able to get startedagainbut was so very nervous that I would lose the flexiabilityof the peddle again! Ford told me that they have had no other complaints with this issue. I am wondering if there are any other people experiencing these issues as well and if there is any way I can get Ford to pay for these malfunctions of my Ford Escape" I have to say I feel like my life has been in a very stressful place lately with a vehicle that should be backing their customers patronage! even if an extended warranty was not purchasedthese electrical problems that Ford has seen on my vehicle should be documented so that they understand the concerns of there customers! is there anyone else that have had any of these same experiences as myself"

- New Boston, NH, USA

problem #21

Apr 152011

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles
I was driving home from work when all of a sudden my steering became very stiff and I noticed my traction control light come on, it was raining so I didn't think anything about it, but when I started to make a left hand turn the steering was very very stiff, no power steering. I had my vehicle towed to my dealership and they said the electronic power steering control module was 'fried' and they have never seen this before. Approx $1100. Unbelievable!! I have had my veh for 3 yrs to almost the day and approx 43,000 miles. This is unacceptable.

- Waunakee, WI, USA

problem #20

Mar 252011


  • 108,952 miles
I have a 2008 Ford Escape and the power steering is going in and out. The steering will lock up while driving. 3-27-11, steering locked up while driving and I had almost ran over a child riding her bike. I could not control the steering. When the car is shut off and then turned back on the problem stops.have seen many complaints on this issue and Ford has not had a recall yet. Hey Ford, what is it going to take, a fatality before you recall this on going problem. I would hope that a huge company as yourself would get to this matter immediately, before the unthinkable happens and then what?

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #19

Mar 012011


  • 79,400 miles
On the morning of 3/1/11 I got into my Ford Escape to drive to work. I started the car, and backed out of my parking space, I noticed that the steering was very stiff, which I attributed in my mind to the ice storm from the night before. That evening when I returned home from work the steering was fine. However, the next day, again the steering was stiff as if there were no power steering. I shut off the engine and restarted the car and the steering was fine. Again that evening all was fine, but the next morning no power steering. Repeating my steps from the day before, I restarted the engine and all was fine, however that evening again there was no power steering. I referred to my owners manual and found that there is no power steering reservoir to check or fill. I contacted a mechanic and he wasn't sure with no reservoir, so he and I both began researching on the internet and found several websites which listed my very same problem, and stated that the steering column would need to be replaced with estimates ranging from $1100 to $1700. There were several entries which mentioned accidents which could have been avoided had the power steering been working. This is apparently an electrical problem within the steering column which leads me to wonder about the air bags working during an accident. I had my mechanic look at it, he contacted Ford and they gave him a couple of things to check, but doubted any of them would be the cause. He took the Escape to his local Ford dealer to get a reading from the cars computer, and they confirmed that a steering column was necessary. My concern is that Ford is not acknowledging that there is a problem with the power steering. I would hate to think that someone has to die before this problem gets the attention it requires to start a recall.

- Sycamore, IL, USA

problem #18

Mar 052011

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
Have a 2008 Ford Escape. This car is having issues where the power steering will go out in the middle of driving and turning. This has been going on for a couple of months. I took it to a Ford dealer and they said they have never heard of this problem before. Although you can go on Ford Escape customer forums and see countless instances where this has happened to other people some resulting in accidents. I have asked Ford several times to help me with this issue and they say that we need to replace the whole steering column $1700 charge. This is happening with most of the postings I saw and with my own vehicle at relatively low mileage. It seems that this would not be a normal wear and tear on the vehicle with low mileage. Continuously people I have seen and also for myself have gotten the answer from Ford that they haven't heard of this issue before. I am not happy because I have to expend the money to fix this but more so I want to have this issue corrected before someone really gets hurt. If an elderly person were driving this vehicle with that problem they would wreck because of not having the strength to keep the wheel in motion correctly. Same may be with a younger driver. Please please take a look at this problem for me.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #17

Mar 032011

Escape 4-cyl

  • 61,023 miles
We bought our 2008 Ford Escape in June of 2011. It was a certified used vehicle with about 48,000 miles on it. Over the last few days my husband and I have noticed that the steering wheel on our 2008 Ford Escape suddenly begins vibrating at stop lights. On three occasions now, the steering has become extremely hard, almost as if the power steering just quick working. The problem seems to happen for a few seconds and then it stops. This morning when we started the vehicle the power steering was almost completely locked. My husband turned the car off, then on, then off, then on and the power steering returned to normal. We are extremely worried that the steering may fail while we are driving the vehicle. My husband contacted the dealer this morning to tell them that we are bringing the vehicle back to be fixed.

- Olathe, KS, USA

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