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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,447 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.

2009 Ford Escape steering problems

steering problem

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2009 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 9 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Jun 232013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 54,000 miles


My wife was driving in our neighbor at 25 mph when the steering went out. She was able to get home and park since she was close by. The steering was very hard to turn left or right. This morning when we started the car to take it to the dealer the steering was working. The car is currently at the dealer for testing. The temperature was 80 degrees so clearly cold was not a factor. Thank goodness this did not happen on the freeway in traffic.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #22

May 032013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
After backing out of a parking space without incident, then putting vehicle into drive, the vehicle lost power steering. The wheel was extremely difficult to turn, almost to the point of feeling locked up. After pulling over and checking the engine, the vehicle was shut off, then turned back on in a moment and the wheel freed up and normal turning resumed. The vehicle was driven home, a few miles away, without further incident. This problem has been reported about the 2008 and 2009 Escape on the following website with each report having almost the exact same symptoms and "solution", of turning the vehicle off and then back on again. See website: this problem could easily cause an accident, and according to the statements of a few on that site, accidents have occurred. Numerous posts state the dealer indicated the solution is to replace entire steering column at a cost of $1200-$1800.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #21

Mar 012013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
At highway speed, powersteering locked up. After shutting vehicle off and restarting, pump re-engaged. This has happened frequently since, and causes the vehicle to be uncontrollable. Steering becomes so tight that any adjustment is nearly impossible and driver is at the mercy of speed until able to stop. Dealership reports this to be "common" but a major repair, and not the result of excessive use or abuse. Clearly, this is a design and safety issue.

- Gowen, MI, USA

problem #20

Mar 222013


  • 77,000 miles


While operating my vehicle, a 2009 Ford Escape, the steering wheel locked and I was not able to steer the vehicle. Because of this I had to stop in the middle of the road, in the midst of traffic, and turn the car off. Upon starting the car back up the steering wheel was back to normal. While driving approximately two minutes later the wheel locked up again. Upon further inspection I was informed that the steering column was defective. I was also informed that there was nothing that could be done to fix it, it had to be replaced. This cost me approximately $1,400 to replace. I have done a substantial amount of research and have that found that this is a fairly common issue. Why has there been no recall in response to this ongoing issue? this is a safety issue that can not continue to go unnoticed.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #19

Feb 272013

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the power steering failed. The steering wheel became extremely difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they advised her that the steering sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages was approximately 74,000......updated 05/09/13 updated 05/24/2013

- Commiskey, IN, USA

problem #18

Jan 152013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
At the time of the first incident I was driving my 2009 Ford Escape down a two lane road when the steering locked up. After shutting off the vehicle and restarting the problem stopped. After a few weeks it started doing it more frequent immediately followed by a intense shaking in the steering wheel the vehicle can't even be drove now due to the safety issues it poses.

- Marion, KY, USA

problem #17

Feb 252013


  • 127,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 39 mph, the power steering assist failed. The vehicle was shut off and once restarted, the power steering assist then operated as designed. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was not diagnosed by a mechanic or repaired. The failure and current mileage was 127,000.

- Monroe, MI, USA

problem #16

Dec 312012


  • 78,686 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph, the steering became jumpy and the vehicle was difficult to steer. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis but no cause for the failure was found. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 78,686.

- Auburn, PA, USA

problem #15

Feb 092013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 128,600 miles
On 2/9/2013 I was driving on a city street at 25mph when I lost my power steering. Took car to dealer and they couldn't find anything wrong they said it corrected itself. I took the car and the same thing happened on 2/18/2013. I returned it to the dealer and they did a diagnostic test and told me the sensor in the steering control assembly was only operating intermittently. They replaced the entire module and had to align the vehicle. This cost $1256.22. I had to wait for the part as it was on national backorder. I checked with another garage in another town and was told that he had just got the same complaint on another 2009 Ford Escape. He said that the national backorder indicated this was a prevalent problem and he felt there should be a recall as this is a serious safety issue, especially if someone were driving at highway speed. I am a pretty rugged guy and it took all I could do to keep the vehicle on the road. I keep my vehicle extremely well maintained and have the records to show all the service I have had done since it was bought. Also I am a professional driver.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #14

Feb 062013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
The electric power assisted steering system failed. The vehicle was unsafe to drive since the system was working intermittently. When the steering system wasn't working, it was extremely difficult to turn the steering wheel. The vehicle was diagnosed by a Ford dealership in cleveland, oh. The Ford dealer replaced the steering column module at a cost of $1500.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #13

Feb 032013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 72,197 miles


On the first incident date my wife started the car and the steering wouldn't move. She turned off the car and re-started and the steering was working again. Then two days later I was driving and the steering wheel was jerking around a little, feeling like it was sticking then releasing.the movement was occurring in both directions. I then stopped and turned off the car for a period of time. When I restarted the steering was very, very hard to move. I turned off the vehicle and restarted, the steering was easier, but there was noticeable movement in the wheel while still parked. I took the vehicle to my local Ford dealer and they were well aware of the problem. The service rep stated that it would require a steering column replacement to fix for approx $1500. I was quit surprised that the service rep was so familiar with the problem until in talking with the rep. They stated that they had another Escape in their service dept. And that vehicle the electronic power steering had failed and it requires a new steering column also. The rep. Also eluded to it as being a fairly common problem. (not that you care but it's not even covered by the extended warranty I paid so dearly for).

- Alamogordo, NM, USA

problem #12

Dec 172012

Escape 4-cyl

  • 171,352 miles
When I'm driving, the power steering suddenly shuts down and it becomes very difficult to steer. Re-staring the vehicle fixes the problem.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #11

Feb 012013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Power steering failed while driving, restarting car temporarily fixes problem. Has happened multiple times in the past week. Doesn't matter if car is cold or warm, and doesn't matter if it is shut off for a few seconds or longer for the problem to correct itself. Effect is as if there's no power steering, difficult to maneuver. (I understand that it's not actually power steering, there's no fluid, but I don't know what else to call it.) steering wheel has started to rattle and vibrate while idling. Dealership said computer sensor was out of calibration, re-calibrated, but it did not fix the problem. They say needs whole new steering column, a $1500 fix. Got a second opinion from other repair shop, same conclusion. I keep up on all maintenance and have never had a repair on this vehicle before. I'm surprised there's not a recall on this problem as I've read numerous report of the same problem online.

- Sainte Genevieve, MO, USA

problem #10

Jan 192013


  • 111,128 miles
First occurance was while at idle the wheel wouldn't turn without extreme pressure. Now, 1/24/2013 the power assist goes in and out with no warning. The vehicle steering comes close to locking up but doesn't actually get there.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #9

Jan 232013


  • 120,000 miles
The vehicle is having intermittent power steering loss. Power steering is failing during transit. Sterring wheel is vibrating and making loud noises.

- Newaygo, MI, USA

problem #8

Oct 132012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Shortly after entering highway on dark rainy evening, with no fore warning, car began to shake and lose power. Was able to pull to side of highway. Even though I was pressing on the gas, car would not go forward. Wrench light was illuminated on the dashboard. Called for assistance. When help arrived they suggested I turn off vehicle. When I turned back on, car was fine. The next day, with no warning, same thing occurs on neighborhood road. When we took to Ford dealer today, the problem did not repeat so they have no repair code. This is a very dangerous situation....could lead to accident on highway...I have to drive 17 miles to work on highway and I am scared.

- Westlake, OH, USA

problem #7

May 262012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 28,967 miles
This past winter the drivers side exit shaft seal failed. The transmission was serviced by our local Ford dealer. Upon return my wife noted the steering cocked to the left slightly but no other issues, I told her that they probable were off a tooth on the pitman arm and that she needed to take it back, she had not. The day in question was the first time that I had witnessed the malfunction. I had made a turn off a secondary street to enter the highway. It was about a 90 degree turn, and when I exited the turn, the steering wheel was still at a 45 degree angle off neutral. It stayed this way for a few seconds as I accelerated down the on ramp, then violently returned to neutral. I pulled off to the shoulder and checked to see what happened. This happened two more times that day and the following day. I made several 90 degree turns to see if I could duplicate the issue. My wife let me know that this had happened to her, usually when she was parking the car at school. When she started the vehicle, the wheel would return to normal. It is currently at the dealership for this issue. I was told this morning that there are parts on order for the steering gear and steering position sensor. When we returned home, we were in ft worth Texas for the weekend in question, I called the dealer and was told they had seen this a few times but that it was okay to drive the vehicle until it was taken in for service. I wanted to make sure and notify the NHTSA.

- Clovis, NM, USA

problem #6

Nov 202010


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. The contact stated that when driving, the steering wheel locked. The contact replaced the steering column twice but the failure persisted. The vehicle was not repaired a third time and the manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The current mileage was approximately 176,000 and the failure mileage was approximately 30,000.

- Elmherst, NY, USA

problem #5

Mar 032011

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
On Saturday, March 26, 2011 I noticed the steering wheel shaking as my 2009 Ford Escape idled. This 'shaking' is random; it doesn't occur all the time. Since around the beginning of March, there have been times that, when I start the vehicle, the power steering freezes. To rectify it, I shut off the vehicle, waited a few moments, re-started it and power steering was restored. One time however, the 'freezing' occurred when I turned a corner. On March 29 the power steering 'froze' again. I turned the vehicle off and then on again a couple of times to restore power steering but it was still absent. I drove about 60 miles with no power steering. I took the vehicle in to the local Ford dealership March 30 and was told I need a new steering column, at a cost of $1200 for parts alone. I was also told in the interim, between now and when it is repaired it is safe to drive. My 2009 Ford Escape has been well-driven for the two and a half years I've had it, with no collisions, etc. That may have compromised it's quality and performance.

- Manning, 00, USA

problem #4

Jul 302010

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,850 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. The vehicle was parked in a gravel driveway, the contact exited the vehicle with the engine running and the gear selector shifted in the neutral position. Unexpectedly, the vehicle rolled 50 feet approximately between 10 -15 mph and struck a wooden fence post causing the vehicle to stop. The contact then entered the vehicle and observed that the steering wheel was spinning 360 degrees. The engine was turned off. A mechanic stated that the steering column detached from the base and the steering wheel clock spring emerged through the driver side windshield. In addition, the airbags failed to deploy. The front bumper sustained minor damage. There was no police report filed. The vehicle was taken to an auto body repiar shop and repaired for the damages. A field engineer investigated the vehicle and the contact was waiting on the outcome of the investigation. The failure mileage was 27,850. Updated 01/24/11 updated 04.18.11

- Aroda, VA, USA

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