Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The 2013 Ford Escape has been in the news quite a bit and for all the wrong reasons. Within a few months of its release the SUV was recalled three times, twice because of engine fires.

In July 2012, due to a fuel line that could split and leak, Ford told owners to park their cars because even driving to the dealership for repairs was deemed too dangerous. Instead, in a somewhat unprecedented move, Ford sent tow trucks to pick up the affected vehicles and handed out rental cars while the owners waited for repairs.

A few months later the Escape was recalled again because antifreeze could leak out onto the engine due to a freeze plug becoming dislodged. As the coolant hit the hot engine there was, once again, a threat for fire.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,231 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.

2013 Ford Escape steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Sep 232016


  • 71,656 miles


As I was exiting my garage, the power steering failed, making it virtually impossible to turn the steering wheel. Fortunately, this happened before I was on the road. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and diagnosed as an internal failure of the power steering control module. Dealer replaced steering gear. Not covered under new car warranty or any previous Ford recall.

- Sewell, NJ, USA

problem #29

Sep 052016


  • 52,000 miles
I was driving when my power steering went out. It keeps saying "power steering assist default / service engine now". my dashboard is dead but it's still drivable.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #28

Sep 202016


  • 106,500 miles
I just bought this car off the lot on Saturday 9/17/2016. On Tuesday evening of the 20th my family and I went to dinner car ran fine no warning signals. Parked the car went in to eat and came out started the car and went to drive and couldn't steer I then noticed the message behind the steering wheel that read steering assist fault service needed. I then shut the car off and tried turning it back on still same message. We literally drove home with no steering which is beyond dangerous. It is in the shop right now trying to figure out what is wrong with it. At this point I am scared to even drive it again.

- Bangor, MI, USA

problem #27

Sep 202016


  • 40,000 miles


Turned on vehicle and power steering fault message came on. Had no steering assistance and turning wheel extremely difficult. Turned car on/off and it went away. It did it again a few days later but while driving residential at 25 mph in a neighborhood. Stopped in the middle of the road and turned off/on vehicle, fault went away and steering returned. Took to Ford for diagnostics and repair. Was told no faults store in the power steering module therefore warranty will not pay for diagnostics and repair. Was told if it happens again, drive vehicle to dealer and do not turn off. I told the dealer this is a safety concern and they should never recommend to drive a vehicle with no power steering assistance. The dealer refused to do any further diagnostics and could not recommend safe future steps. Refusing to pay for warranty on a system with no faults that does not store fault codes is unreasonable. The car is unsafe for my wife to operate yet they took no steps to correct concern. The module programming was updated but advisor described the update and it does not address my issue.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #26

Sep 172016


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving 35 mph, the power steering failed without warning. It was diagnosed that the eps gear assembly had an internal failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was 51,000.

- Red Bluff, CA, USA

problem #25

Sep 122016


  • 38,000 miles
2013 Ford Escape lost power steering twice on 9/12/16 with the "steering assist fault" message in the middle of driving. 1st time happened 2 minutes after start while turning out of the driveway. 2nd one happened 10 minutes after start while driving. If this happens during driving it is extremely dangerous!! you lose control of the vehicle. My wife would have crashed for sure. They say it has a manual reversion to drive without power steering but it is not the same. I have driven cars without power steering and this is way harder. The rack and pinion had problems and was replaced on 8/5/15 at 23972 miles. It has gone out again on 9/12/16 at 38000 miles. Now Ford is saying it is not covered under warranty even though it was replaced under warranty once and has not gone out again in 1 year! this is clearly a faulty system to have gone out twice in less than 3 years and 38000 miles. This is a safety issue for sure and I have no doubt will lead to a recall or lawsuit.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #24

Aug 232016


  • 90,565 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving 20 mph, the steering wheel seized without warning. The contact loss control of the power steering. The contact could not regain control and the vehicle was towed. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 90,565.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #23

Aug 162016


  • 28,230 miles
On 8/16/2016, in a driveway on a busy street, I started the vehicle and saw "steering assist fault - service required" on display. The car had lost power steering. Turning off and restarting car did not help.

- Brockton, MA, USA

problem #22

Aug 152016


  • 45,200 miles
Power steering fails without warning and displays the fault message "steering assist fault: Service required". failure makes steering very difficult and can result in loss of control. Dealership identified the cause as a internal failure of the pscm (power steering control module) and replaced the pscm and rack and pinion assembly to repair. Please note that earlier model year Ford Escapes have a similar problem and have been recalled under NHTSA campaign number: 14V284000 and Ford recall number 14S05. As this issue is identical to the prior recall, I strongly suggest adding the 2013 model year Ford Escape vehicles to the recall. The most common time for the power steering to fail was right after startup and maneuvering out of a parking spot on a city street or garage. At this low speed manual steering is difficult and aggressive braking is required to avoid an accident once the inability to setter is apparent to the driver. Once the steering fails and the fault message appears, it could be occasionally reset by shutting down the engine and restarting the car. Turning off a car on a public road to regain steering control is undesirable and unsafe. I spoke with both Ford customer service and the Ford dealership and both claimed that there are no tsbs or recalls describing the loss of power steering for the 2013 Ford Escape. The repair invoice (attached) shows that the dealership verified the failure of the power steering control module (as in prior recalls of earlier model years) and the need to replace the pscm and entire pscm/rack and pinion assembly. The mileage at the time of repair was 45281. The fault occurred intermittently at earlier mileages and became more frequent with increasing mileage up until the time of repair to to safety concerns.

- Gainesville, GA, USA

problem #21

Jul 252016


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving 15 mph, the steering gear assembly malfunctioned and caused the vehicle to make loud noises within the steering column. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 94,000. Updated 10/07/16

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #20

Mar 162016


  • 34,100 miles


Loss of power steering occurs and "steering assist fault-service required" warning appears on instrument panel. Steering the vehicle without power assist is extremely difficult.

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #19

Jan 112016


  • 69,100 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving 30 mph, the steering assist fault service warning light illuminated and the power steering failed. The vehicle was taken to be diagnosed. The contact was not informed as to what caused the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 69,100.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #18

Nov 162015


  • 24,975 miles
On 10-10-2015, our 2013 Ford Escape 4WD started displaying an ABS error code, along with a traction control system error and a "hill start assist not available" error message, simultaneously. The ABS brakes would engage at low travel speed. We took it to the dealer, who determined that a rear wheel sensor had failed. They kept the car for two weeks and returned it on 10-21-2015. It had 24,273 miles on it. Now, 3 weeks later, on 10-16-2015, the very same problem has reoccurred, with the dash lights displaying for the ABS system failure, the traction control system failure and the "hill start assist not available". the ABS system engages at low speeds causing the brakes to grab, rendering the car unsafe to drive. This car is a 'lemon' in our opinion, as it has had 5 major breakdowns, including a major engine problem at 720 miles, a failure of the air bag controller, two problems with the ABS system, as documented herein, and two recalls related to the engine potentially catching on fire due to a fuel leak (a recall, followed by a recall to fix the recall). I sincerely believe that this vehicle is dangerous and have asked the Ford Motor Company to buy back this vehicle several times, but they have refused to do so. I fear that my wife and I are not safe while driving this car due to the high number of defects on this one particular vehicle. I am reporting this ABS/traction control problem since it has now happened twice, as I believe it likely impacts other Ford Escapes made at the same time, and likely indicates a bad batch of wheel sensors that are failing prematurely in the field. Since the failure of the wheel sensor disables the ABS and tcs systems, this is a dangerous defect, as it can happen completely at random. My wife was 100 miles from home last time and had to drive back with the ABS & tcs not functioning.) this car is "unsafe at any speed"!

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #17

Nov 062015


  • 49,500 miles
Power steering quit instantly making steering impossible. Restarted engine 15 minutes later and was able to drive. Took to dealer where same error code showed and power steering quit again. Had repairs done for $1600 at 49,500 miles. Fortunately, vehicle sitting still when steering went out.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #16

Aug 222015


  • 47,400 miles
After traveling on a 5 hour round trip I stopped to fuel. After fueling I started my engine and begin to pull away. No steering!! received message 'steering assist fault'. I was just traveling on the highway at 75 mph. If I had been traveling at that rate with my 3 grandchildren riding....well, god only knows what the outcome would have been. It was totally in god's hands that I stopped before it shut down without warning.

- Richton, MS, USA

problem #15

Jul 072015


  • 43,000 miles
Driving on freeway at 70mph and lost all power steering and code popped up on screen that said "power assist failure" this will get someon killed or hurt if a recall is not issued.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #14

Apr 082014


  • 12,000 miles
Starting in April of 2014 when the car was only 9 months old the warning light came on "get to safety" overheating engine. It went to pleasantville Ford where they replaced the engine. 1 month later all the transmission fluid fell out of the care. Back to pleasantville Ford where they replaced a part. Over the next 8 months the warning over heating "get to safety" would happen another 7 times. Ford would tow the car to pleasantville Ford they would fix (a sensor, fill fluid, and give me the run around) the final time I filled a complaint with BBB. They got a Ford mechanic from deer born, mi to look at the car. He replaced the radiator and right axial. Only for two weeks later the same "get to safety" and the car dies again.

- Ossining, NY, USA

problem #13

Apr 302015


  • 61,000 miles
I got into my vehicle on April 30, 2015, started the vehicle and a warning message came on the control panel-I don't recall the exact verbiage but it was something like "immediate maintenance required-power assist steering fault failure". I tried to turn my steering wheel, but it would not move. I shut off the vehicle, went back into the building I had just left. When I came back out about 5 minutes later and started the car there was no warning light and I could steer the vehicle. I looked online that night and saw there are thousands of Ford customers with 2008-2013 vehicles that have/are experiencing the same exact issue. Ford stated they are aware of the issue but have not yet issued a recall. I took the vehicle to the dealership the next morning. I was told the steering box had failed. The cost is $1800. I called Ford directly and let them know I feel I should have not have to pay for the repair, even though my vehicle is out of warranty. I let them know I would be happy to pay for any repairs due to normal wear and tear, but this issue is not normal wear and tear and Ford is aware of a problem. Ford offered to pay $600 of the $1800. They keep telling me to keep my receipt and they will reimburse me the rest, if a recall is issued. I drive 100 miles per day to and from work. If my steering had frozen 2 hours earlier on that day, I quite possibly could have been killed. How do you control an SUV going 70 mph without any steering? this is a very dangerous default that I feel Ford is not taking seriously and charging their customers to fix.

- Canfield, OH, USA

problem #12

Mar 062015


  • 45,396 miles
Steering wheel was hard to steer for a couple of days. I thought it was just from the cold weather. I could hear a grinding sound when I backed the car out of my garage. Took my car to the dealer and they have to replace 3 different parts in the steering. It is going to cost me $2000 I don't think a car that is only 3 years old should have this problem and I am not very happy.

- Beaver Falls, PA, USA

problem #11

Dec 122014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
After running 15 miles, vehicle was shut off 10 mins, on restart a chime sounded and the information center indicated service steering assist, attempted to turn wheel and had no power steering. Turned off and restarted car, information center was clear, power steering worked fine. Loss of power steering is of course an unsafe vehicle condition. Contacted Ford dealer that sold me the car used, to see if there was a software update of other related issue, he checked and said there was none at this time for power steering. It would seem I have no recourse, and would only spend money at the dealer for no trouble found. I plan to check for stored codes, and contact Ford consumer complaints.

- Farmington, MI, USA

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