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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
10 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,664 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.

1998 Ford Escort seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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1998 Ford Escort Owner Comments

problem #14

Nov 011998

Escort 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


- the contact stated horn has not worked properly since she purchased the vehicle. The vehicle currently has 31,000 miles. The contact took the vehicle to dealer for repairs, and was told that the airbag was defective, and that itwas causing the horn not to work. The horn has been replaced, but it still did not work. The contact stated the horn would just come on and would not stop. The contact removed the circuit breaker a few weeks ago, but now the service engine light will not turn off. The dealer checked the computer system and found nothing wrong with the vehicle. The driver's side front had a leak in the firewall. The contact had the leak repaired four times.

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #13

Aug 032004

Escort 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The consumer states that the 1998 Ford Escort crashed into a light pole. The driver hit the pole and the air bag deployed and broke. The inside of the air bag sprayed the chemicals on the driver, the chemicals burnt her hands and arm. She said that she could not find a lawyer in her town to take case. The lawyers and the insurance company were working together against her. She said that she had a boil on her hand and a bruise on her chest. The consumer has pictures of the air bag. She wanted someone to reimburse her for the car because she lived in low income housing. She said vehicle was totaled and the junk dealer came and got it. And she did not get paid for it. A police report was taken.

- Mankato, MN, USA

problem #12

Mar 102005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving approximately 20 mph consumer's vehicle rear ended another vehicle. Upon impact, seat belts did not lock, and air bags did not deploy.

- Defiance, OH, USA

problem #11

Oct 302004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


Vehicle is experiencing problems with the air bags. Owner was driving about 45 mph on the highway and hit a parked vehicle. Upon impact, the air bags failed to deploy.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #10

Dec 172003

Escort 4-cyl

  • 104,300 miles
On December, 17th, in the evening, my husband was on route 20, in marlborough, MA. He had made a wrong turn and was going 2 mph, doing a K-turn, when both the airbags in his 1998 Ford Escort inflated. He has a standard shift car. At the time of the faulty inflation, as he was struck by the airbag in the head, his feet came off the pedals and the car stalled, rolling to the side of the road and hitting a curb. We are very lucky that he was not on the highway when these airbags deployed. Had he not made the wrong turn, he would have been on the highway. At a speed of 65 mph on route 495, I don't believe his outcome would have been so good, after the airbag deployment. He suffers still from neck and back pain from the incident. The important point to note here is that he did not hit anything. The airbags just deployed on their own, while he was driving. We called Ford the next day to report this. They said that someone would contact us within 7-10 days. Two and a half weeks went by, and no one called. My husband called Ford again. They said there was nothing they could do. My husband then called our local Ford dealer. A regional rep. Was going to be at that location the following day. He called us, stating that within a few days Ford would be in contact with us. A few days went by, and he told us that there was nothing he could do, we had to file certain paperwork first before Ford would talk to us. The paperwork arrived the next day. It requests such things as "complete history of oil changes and any work performed on the car". it is a generic form, not applicable to faulty airbag deployment. I am writing to you because I have a problem with their lack of caring about consumer protection. What Ford should have done, was to immediately take possession of the car for as long as they needed to find out why the airbags deployed. Ford apparently has no interest in assessing the reason for the faulty airbag deployment.

- Lunenburg, MA, USA

problem #9

Nov 292003


  • 55,000 miles
While swerving to avoid hitting an animal rear end failed. As a result, vehicle collided into a tree, then flipped, and landed on all four tires. Upon impact, dual airbags did not deploy.

- Gilbertsville, KY, USA

problem #8

Jan 152001


  • Manual transmission
  • miles


While driving horn kept going off which might startle occupant and cause a crash. Dealer said it was due to airbag system which needed to be replaced at 59,000 miles. Airbag light did not come on. Common problem.

- Altanta, GA, USA

problem #7

Mar 182000


  • miles
The air bags did not deploy at the point of impact. Front end collision

- Pine Bluff, AR, USA

problem #6

Nov 191998


  • miles
No deployment of air bag, and shut off valve failed during accident resulting in headaches from hitting head on mirror, neckaches and upper back problems. Nlm

- Rolla, MO, USA

problem #5

Sep 261998


  • miles
Brief summary of defective safety gear: 09/26/98 this vehicle was traveling 35-40mph and rear-ended a truck, neither air-bag deployed. Now, 9/17/99, atruck traveling 35-40mph rear-ended this vehicle causing about a 20mph smash to the vehicle in front and again, no air bag deployment and the fuel pump cut-off switch failed to function. This time however, the driver of this vehicle received double the whip-lash effect that could have been kept to the single inflictrd in a rear-end collision involving only two vehicles. A needless neck injury has been suffered this time and I feel that if the air-bags were deployed, the elimination of the forward whip would not have been a factor of the neck injury.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #4

Dec 311997


  • miles


In two frontal impact the driver and passenger airbag did not deploy which did not protect the occupant in the crashes. Dlr cannot determine the problem. Please provide further information and VIN#.

- Keytesville, MO, USA

problem #3

May 261998


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
No deployment of airbags caused injury (neck & back) to driver during vehicle collision.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 021997

Escort 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Steering wheel locked causing loss of control due to a defective air bag.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 151998

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Violent deployment of air bag during collision, causing burns/neck injury.

- Frederick, CO, USA

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