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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
12,739 miles
Total Complaints:
28 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (22 reports)
  2. transmission replaced (3 reports)
  3. changed the valve body (1 reports)
  4. replaced pcm (1 reports)
  5. transmission rebuilt (1 reports)
2011 Ford Escape transmission problems

transmission problem

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2011 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Dec 022014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


The transmission of my 2011 Ford Escape with only 72,000 miles, is GONE!!! Had the jerking, transmission fluid leaks, etc, etc and now needs replacing. I was asked for $6100 (new) or $4100 (used)!!!

Called Ford customer service and Ford dealers. Both acted surprised like I am the first one complaining. However, this one dealer can only take my car a month from now because they are busy fixing similar problems. GOTCH YOU!

Previously owned a Mercury Sable and a Ford Windstar and had to get rid of them due to transmission failures.

Ford issue a recall and fix these transmissions NOW!

- , Grosse Pointe, MI, USA

problem #27

Dec 012011

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles

2011 Ford Escape. Into the Service Department numerous times for lurching, and skipping and banging. The Service Department never reproduced the problem, yet I read of numerous same issue complaints. Got all the excuses. "It had to get used to me ". etc. I told them there would come a day when my Transmission would be laying on the road. I'm glad I documented this over and over. Just seems to be a problem they know of but do not want to address. Seriously poor service on this particular issue. The issue is easy to find so I'm quite sure they are aware. It is in the shop today. I'll update more later.. Stay away from this vehicle. 36.5 K miles.

Update from May 22, 2014: Well at least they are giving me a loaner car as they replace my Transmission. I hate the fact that this is what they have been forced to do, rather than make a transmission that doesn't have the traits listed in all the complaints here. It seems they put a re-manufactured Transmission in. So where is the fix?

- , Daytona Beach, FL, USA

problem #26

Feb 012012

Escape 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

I am very disappointed with my Ford Escape. Although it gets me around well in the winter, the constant jerking/ downshifting whenever it wants to is completely ridiculous. I took it to the dealership after I purchased the vehicle in 2012, and they told me there was nothing wrong with it and there's nothing they can do to fix it, except to reprogram the computer. Well, 2 reprograms still didn't fix it and so I have lived with it. NOW, 2 years late, lo and behold there is a leak from the all wheel drive system on the car. Coincidence??? I think not. I am a road warrior and have put 70,000 miles on this car in 2 1/2 years without any major issue. But it is very disheartening to know that the problem I complained about and was assured that nothing was wrong by the staff at the Ford dealership, seems to now be a real and costly problem to the tune of about a $1000 repair... I'm not a mechanic, I don't know if they are related problems, but it seems when a car is not working properly there is something wrong with it!!!!! It should've never been jerking and downshifting like someone was pulling us with a tow rope from behind! And now, a coincidence that I have a transmission issue to fix??? I don't think so.

- , Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #25

Jan 012014

Escape XL 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


Just when I take off it hesitate and the last month my air condition went out. Cost $168 but that didn't fix it, and I only have 40000 miles, something like that, I know it's not more the 45000.

- , Weirton, WV, USA

problem #24

Mar 122014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

I have had the same issue with the car jerking. It's a real safety issue. Looks like there may be a possible class action investigation:


- , Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #23

Jul 152013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

All the dealership has ever done to it was reprogram the PCM and drive it around for a little while. They said that the jerking is normal if you change speeds too quickly.

In Dec 2013 I was backing out of my driveway and it felt like I hit a brick wall. I took it immediately to the Ford dealership where I bought the vehicle, but they could find nothing wrong. I though that possibly there was a burr on a gear and it finally broke off. As the transmission seemed to be ok for the last couple of months.

However, I took a trip to southern Indiana this pass week. After driving 500 miles and going up and down hills, it was back to jerking and it even gave a couple of good bangs.

The warranty on the vehicle ended Dec 31, 2013, now I'm stuck with it. Anybody want to buy a lemon?

- , La Porte, IN, USA

problem #22

Nov 302010

Escape LS 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,300 miles


I have 2011 Ford Escape. We purchased it in Nov 2010. It ran good at first. Although I thought it didn’t seem to shift right, it was jerky and rough, especially like in a parking lot slowing down and then quickly speeding up. Sometimes when I stepped on the accelerator it didn’t seem to want to go. But the service center at the dealer kept telling me that it had to get use to me and to try to not drive in stop and go traffic (nice, I live in the Dallas area!) . Well here we are almost 3 years later at 40000 miles or more and it still hasn’t gotten totally used to me. The jerking is A LOT less significant, but at times, out of the blue....JERK.

- , Decatur, TX, USA

problem #21

Jun 122012

Escape XLT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,300 miles

The saga continues... Received the call last night that our 2011 Escape was ready. We were reminded that the Adaptive Learn-err-uhh Dyslexia would need to be done again - I asked that they do this at the dealership.

After three 30 plus mile sessions (each with a warm-up and cool-down time) the Service adviser calls me up this morning and states that the problem is still there... and another call to the For Tech Hotline will occur - resulting in Ford will install a brand new transmission.

I asked this question - "At 13k miles the transmission burns out including the drive and overdrive clutches. All had been replaced along with the valve body assembly... then 251 miles later we did it again... Now I never even got it back from the dealer and within 90 miles - they are ready to install a new transmission.

My question to them this time is - Has this valve body issue (reported in numerous forums online) in which Ford outsourced the manufacture of this part in Asia been resolved? Am I getting a re-designed transmission? the Service Adviser responded back - "I wouldn't call it a re-design - I'd call it a completely new part!

Stay tuned - How am I supposed to take that??

- , Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #20

Aug 062013

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,703 miles

As reported by another owner of a 2011 Escape, I had an issue with the transmission. All of a sudden when going in reverse or park the transmission would jerk with some grinding noise then stopped. There was also very little power when starting from a stop. It took a while to get up to speed. The engine maintenance light was on all the time.

I was lucky because it happened near the dealer and I was able to get there without a major problem. I was told the same day that it was a PCM problem and they would order a new part. Picked up the car the next day and everything was fine.

The repairs were covered by the standard warranty. I read that owners of 2005 Escape have had similar PCM problems. You would think that Ford would have fixed that problem by now.

I may not keep that car after the warranty is over.

- , Ottawa, ON, canada

problem #19

Aug 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

My car has been real jittery when shifting gears. Today it did not want to go to the next gear and started slowing down rapidly. I turned my car off and then back on and the car would start and even drive until it needs to go into the next gear and it does the same thing again.

- , Apo, AE, USA

problem #18

Jun 032013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles


I have 2011 Ford Escape. We purchased it in Sept 2010. It ran good at first. Although I thought it didn’t seem to shift right, it was jerky and rough. Sometimes when I stepped on the accelerator it didn’t seem to want to go. But they kept telling me that it had to get use to me . A year ago, it started racing when I started it. But again they said nothing to worry about. Well here we are almost 3 years later at 40000 miles or more and it still hasn’t gotten use to me. To make matters worse, yesterday while on the highway doing 70 mph, it stopped accelerating and started to disaccelerating rapidly. I pulled to the side and the little wrench light was on. It sounded horrible like it was going to stall. I shut it off and restarted it was fine. Then it started again this morning on the way to work as I was driving down the road. Again, I pulled over and restarted it then it is fine. Taking it to the garage tonight. But after almost getting creamed twice, I feel VERY UNEASY and I am not a happy car owner right now after seeing all the similar complaints.

- , Clarkston, MI, USA

problem #17

Jun 012011

Escape LXT 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles

I have had my 2011 4-cyl Ford Escape in service three times for this transmission issue. At lower speeds the transmission gives a feeling of hesitation, and the car shudders as it drops into gear. It feels as if its not sure what gear to shift to.

The first two times I brought the car in, the service tech installed a software update and reset the predictive shift aspect of the software. The third time I brought it in, the tech said there were no new software updates from Ford, so he just reset the software again. All three times, the car was fine for about a week or so, then the problem occurred again.

The service people at my local Ford shop tell me that there have been numerous complaints from customers on this issue and that they have been on the phone with Ford for a year or two on this issue, but it has not been solved yet. I've been told from the service techs that the issue is the predictive shift algorithm in the transmission. Basically, the transmission tries to be "smart" and fuel-efficient by shifting into appropriate gears based on your driving habits. So after the technician resets the algorithm, it spends about two weeks (or perhaps a certain number of miles) learning your driving habits, then starts applying that algorithm when it things its got you figured out.

I've asked them to completely disable this feature. Saving a few bucks on gas isn't worth having a vehicle that feels like its going to shake to pieces, or cause an accident if I'm trying to move out of the way in the event of an emergency. I'm also concerned about the wear and tear on the transmission that this may be causing, although the service tech says this shouldn't be a concern (which I don't completely buy). However, the techs tell me it is not possible to disable. They have asked Ford the same question, and Ford does not allow for it to be disabled.

The bottom line is that I've paid $30,000 for a vehicle that has issues that have not been resolved in going on two years. I've also wasted time with my vehicle in and out of the shop.

Also, the guy at the service desk was a little unhappy with that fact that I didn't answer "Completely Satisfied" on my recent Ford survey, which triggered Ford to call them and investigate the issue. I told him I'm always satisfied with the customer service that I receive at their service department, but not happy with Ford in general. He said the survey is only for "how did we treat you during your last service visit?" and not for general vehicle complaints. How am I supposed to express my dissatisfaction with my expensive vehicle? He also agreed that the survey can be misleading. Ford requested my local service shop to call me and have me bring my Escape in for an extended test drive of 100-200 miles for them to rule out any other issues. The service tech agreed with me that this is a waste of time since we both knew the outcome was going to be the same.

At this point I'm just dealing with the issue. I'm sick of taking it to the shop. As someone else suggested, I could dump the car before my warranty is up and try and trade it in for a different make altogether - disappointing, because I love my Escape otherwise. I'm underwater with the vehicle though, as I rolled in some debt from my trade-in for it. I'm considering contacting a lemon law attorney to help me get out of this car. With the number of complaints on this issue, we should consider a class action lawsuit.

- , Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #16

Aug 082012

Escape Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles

Issue: steering column made creaking noise when moved, transmission slips, rear suspension was making a creaking noise at slow speeds

Picked up my car from the dealership and only the rear suspension was fixed. The transmission was making a horrible noise when you accelerated and the steering column was still making a creaking noise. The bill stated that the transmission was rebuilt. The bill also said that the customer said that I heard a noise from the belt so they replaced the tensioner under warrantee. I never stated that. It was done by the service department because when they fixed the transmission they heard this noise and could not diagnose it correctly and replaced the tensioner. The noise was still present but they gave me the car back. Steering noise and the transmission issues/noise remained so I called a day later to get the car back into the shop.

Car has been back 2 more times for the transmission. Rebuilt a second time. I picked up the car and I don’t make it out of the parking lot before I hear the same noises from the tranny. Steering has been replaced and fixed. I returned to the service department and told the service advisor that I wanted to speak to the service manager. The service manager comes out of his office and service advisor stops him and asks that he look at the car. Manager curses at the advisor in front of me and walks away. I walk out.

Now the wrench drivetrain light goes on and off but it does not kick a code. Great diagnostic light to put in the car if it doesn't help anyone. The manual says call your service department right away. Service says it goes away after you shut the car off. The transmission bucks while you drive it on the highway while you try and make a pass. I bring the car to a different dealership and since they cannot replicate the issue the will not look at the transmission. Really disappointed in Ford...they should know they cannot afford to treat customers poorly during this tough time with competiton.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #15

Mar 012011

Escape ELT 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6 miles

Like other 2011 Ford Escape owners I am dissapointed in this vehicle. I brought it back to the dealership the day after I took delivery for transmission problems. I have been hurt starting it, it jerked forward so hard that my knee hit the dashboard, my head hit the windshield, and I jammed my index finger. Another time while starting the car it bucked backwards, and still another time it jerked forward and then stalled. It also revs but does not accelerate. I have experienced hesitation, bucking, and it sounds and feels like the transmission is going to drop out of the vehicle. So far, I have brought this vehicle back to the dealership for service five times and have not yet been satisfied with the results. The last time I was there the Service Manager said that "the transmission was reset and the computer will begin a relearn process which may reseult in firmer shifts for several days'. The service department also tried to blame these problems on my small floor mat, or that is was too cold, too hot...the moon was not aligned correctly...Like many other Escape owners, I paid too much for a vehicle that is clearly a lemon. I plan to do whatever I can to get rid of this vehicle.

- , Coats, NC, USA

problem #14

May 312011

Escape LX 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,787 miles

I bought a new car for reliability and a Ford to help economy but now I have a piece sh*t machine.

Update from Jan 25, 2012: i bought my escape on march 2011. two month after I bought i was going on the HWY at 70 MPH when suddenly the car wouldn't accelerate over 20 MPH I was almost rear ended when changing lanes to exit the HWY. this happenned at 3700 miles. i took to dealership and they showed me pieces of metal inside trans. So they replaced de transmission. So picked it up on a friday drove it home and the same problem started again! it would hesitate upon acceleration. so i took it back again and they said that the transmission cooler had low flow. so it was replaced whatever they replaced. At 5500 miles both air bag light would stay on. took it back again and they replaced OCSM kit that failed internaly dont know what it is. it is now January at 9000 miles that i started having the same problems with the transmission. It revs up all the way 5500 RPM and would go over 20 MPH very dangerous cauze it just happens, i would pull up to the side of the road, turn it off wait for a couple of minutes and turn it back on and it'll drive fine. It has happened twice in less than 75 miles. I really dont feel safe in this car so i am doing my homework regarding Lemon Law in Arkansas where I live. I know how owners of this piece of sh*t feel, paying over 400.00 a month for something that you cannot enjoy driving for a long trip. i will do everything i can to get rid of IT. I will stay with Toyota. This is my firs Ford what a piece of crap!

Update from Apr 14, 2012: Well I send a letter to Ford giving them the last chance to fix the problem under Lemon Law of Arkansas since it was very dangerous to drive on the highway. they scheduled an appointment for me to take the escape to the Ford in Springdale Arkansas. So I did and the following day they called me and explained to me that it was my fault that I was pressing the brakes and accelerator at the same time, that pissed me off and I left work for the day and drove to the dealership. Once I got there he was trying to tell me that it was the driver doing this. So I asked him to take me for a spin and show me. so we drove for a couple of miles and started pressing the brakes and accelerator at the same time, of course the car is going to jerk. I couldn't believe what he was trying to show me so i got pissed off again and told him that i wasn't stupid to do that while driving. so anyways that was ther explanation and I took the car back home. Just the other day it did again the problem is, that it doesn't do it all the time. if I take it to the dealership the car won't do it. so iam stuck with it until for now I just hope it doesn't do it on the highway. any advices on this would be appreciated.

- , Springdale, AR, USA

problem #13

Sep 292011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,600 miles

I've always liked Fords, but this is a brand new vehicle and it is lurching and rough on the transition from gear to gear. Definitely doesn't seem like anything that should be happening with a new vehicle and seems like a design flaw. Concerned that it could lead to further problems after the warranty expires.

- , Springville, NY, USA

problem #12

Jun 012011

Escape I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62 miles

From the day I picked it up from the dealership the problem started. It would do a hard/delay shift between gears. I brought it to the dealership and they reset the program. They also told me I need to drive more and let it heat up. I work all day and its the middle of summer. Needless to say after I left the dealership the problem was still there.

Made another appt and they could only find the transmission fluid was low. So again I left the dealersip and again its still doing it. The third time my husband brought it and drove with a mechanic. Apparently the mechanic couldn't feel what my husband was feeling and seeing on the rpm's. So they wouldn't even look at it.

The next week I made another appt. Dropped it off the night before so they could have it on a cold start. They have found a problem. The transmission fluid was low again. My question to that was why would the transmission fluid be low if it isn't leaking and they had just filled it the week before. There was also a problem between the 2nd and 3rd shift. Had to wait a couple days for parts. Problem so called "fixed". So I picked it up.

As soon as I left the dealership, it was worse than it was before. I thought the bloody transmission fell out. My mistake was driving it home instead of turning around and bringing it right back. I called the next morning cuz the dealership was closed when I picked it up. I asked if it takes time for the transmission to break in. I knew it didn't but I could not wrap my head around this. They told me to give it till after the week end. Which I did to no evail. Issue still happening. The 5th time I called the service manager directly. He set me up with a rental and kept it till it was so called fixed. After the service manager driving it for a couple days and it almost stalling on him, he seen that the problem hadn't been fixed. The problem was between the 4 and 5th gear. I told them this time I don't want it back until they fix it or give me a new one. I don't have time for this crap. I expect a brand new vehicle to be in great shape. I even called ford of canada about this. So after they said it was all fixed and the service manager test drove it I picked it up.

I have had it back for a couple months now and the car still drives like crap. Its loud and the way it shifts is still not quite right. I am a ford girl and have owned 5 escapes. This is the only one I have ever had any problems with and now I regret ever purchasing this piece of crap. No one should have to bring a car in 4 times for the same problem and still not feel safe in their brand new vehicle.

- , Windsor, Ontario, canada

problem #11

Mar 152011

Escape 4 Cyclinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,021 miles

This car actually gave me whiplash one day it bucked so bad. The dealership says they can't get it to do what I am saying. They reprogram it and say it takes 1000 miles for it to get use to me. Ok well its 7000 miles later and the car is still doing it off and on I have brought it back to the dealership and other than drive the thing through their window. Today I emailed a lemon law attorney to look into my case because I am really upset to make a payment on a car that is such a piece of crap. Herb Chambers will never get business form me or anyone I know. I will never buy a Ford as long as I live. People can like them, I would rather walk.

- , Pembroke, MA, USA

problem #10

Sep 162011

Escape XLS 2,4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,840 miles

This vehicle is really nice, rides great, looks great and the fuel efficiency is awesome but man oh man, just 4 days ago the tranny started to slip ( i think).

Upon acceleration it just reved up to 5k and nothing. Almost got rear ended when changing lanes on the highway. I went to pass a slow moving car and when i floored it to pass the car the car i had already commited to move over to the middle lane and all of the sudden i hear a screached behind me, the SUV behind me was cursing at me becuz he thought i did not accelerate but in fact I did. The damn escape did not MOVE..

That shizzle was for fizzle scary!

Took it to dealer on Monday 9/19/2011 ( by tow truck) and they said, well it could be the PCM needs adjusting cuz the new electric throttle in this SUV are shitzle bad shitzle..Also mentioned to me that maybe the trannies valve are bad....Had the vechile for only 3 weeks, my first real new car and this is what I get. The bad thing for us here in Puerto Rico is that we DO NOT HAVE ANY LEMON LAWS. They can try to fix the car for as many times as necessary within the WARRANTY period...uffff.......I love american cars, had a Camaro for years....Never one problem, except for rust,,,heheheheh..It was 76er.....Help anyone...

Update from Oct 5, 2011: Well here is my update...Got my Ford back the same day on 9/19 @ dealer closing time 5PM. They checked it and adjusted the PCM...Took it home, drove 20 miles to my residence and it did the very same thing. The tranny felt like it was slipping as I accelerated to pick up speed. RPM's would glide up towards 5500 and come back down quickly all within 1 to 2 seconds...Took it back the next day, Tuesday 9/20 and left it there until 9/23 when they called me and said that they changed the battery becuz it only measured 12.69 volts and it was not stable. The said the battery voltage fluctuations can cause erratic throttle signal and cause the problem I was having. I took it for a ride with the Supervisor and the vehicle perform the same if not worse. We took it back, they reset the PCM, took for a road test and this time it was a bit better.They ask me to drive it for 2 weeks to see if the adaptive system would get used to my driving habits......

When they changed the Battery they seem to have burned the Radio Display board on top of the dashboard (that really sucks, I'm still waiting for the replacement part, almost 2 weeks now). The Cruise Control indicator on the Dashboard does not work either....

After 2 weeks of driving it around to see if the so called adaptive driving BS the mechanic told me about would get used to my driving habits I have called the dealer and they ask me to bring it in tomorrow 10/6/2011. It is performing really bad. RPM's revving to high, not getting enough speed, gas mileage is about 24 highway, that really sucks.

I will update once i get this lemon back, hopefully repaired...

- , San Juan, PR, Puerto Rico

problem #9

Feb 012011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 3 miles

D on't bother with the warranty as I toook in in 3 times now and they say it's ok. The RPM go to 4.5 on acceleration, way to much on gas, transmission rev's very high before it kicks into gear.....I complained the 2day I had it...I want to return it and get a new one but the say ford stands by their warranty...doesn't help if they say nothing is wrong with it....Still going to complain and maybe even get a Laywer on it...a shame to pay this much for somthing that is not right.

- , Windsor, Ontario, canada

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