really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,483 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.

2002 Ford Escape brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

May 172002

Escape 4WD

  • miles


All functions suddenly locked up. I had no functionality in steering, brakes, and acceleration. I had no control of the car and car slowly died. After a few minutes I was able to restart car with no problems. But this could potentially have caused a fatal accident if environment, speed, etc., were just slightly different.

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #6

May 012002

(reported on)

Escape 4WD

  • miles
When I test drove the 2002 Ford Escape on Saturday, April 20, 2002, the brakes were spongy but I was told that new brakes have to "wear in" before they get solid. I bought the vehicle. The brakes seemed to get more spongy after we had driven it home, so I called northstar Ford on Monday, April 22, to have them check the brakes and correct a vibration on Tuesday morning at 8:00. At that appointment they worked on correcting the vibration but they didn't do anything about the brakes. That afternoon when I drove the Escape downtown duluth, when I stopped at a red light on a hill, I noticed that with moderate pressure I could push the brake pedal nearly to the floor. I made another appointment for Thursday, April 25, to have them wash off some tire dressing that had spattered on the vehicle. When I asked them to check the brakes, they said the brakes were normal and they wouldn't do anything about the brakes. So I gave them a paper to sign that states "the brakes on our Ford Escape are functioning normally even though they are very 'spongy.' Furthermore, when moderate pressure is applied to the brake pedal, the pedal goes nearly to the floor. This type of brake response is not considered a safety hazard. " the service people at northstar told me the brakes were normal, but they wouldn't sign the paper. I'm really worried that if I ever have to make a panic stop the brakes are going to fail. I don't trust a brake pedal that goes nearly to the floor. When it became clear that they were not going to do anything about the brakes, I tried to get my trade in back and leave the Escape at the dealership, but they wouldn't let me out of the contract. Please check into this to see if these brakes are indeed normal.

- Gilbert, MN, USA

problem #5

Jan 292002

Escape 4WD

  • miles
On first occasion vehicle shut down, dash lights came on, power steering and brakes failed. Needed to coast into a parking lot. Vehicle restarted and was able to get home. Only had vehicle 1 month. Took vehicle to dealership, (not point of sale) and had vehicle inspected. Was told that they were unable to duplicate the problem and that it was due to excessive amount of other keys on primary key ring, to remove the keys due to they were interfering with the path and shutting down vehicle. Removed the keys and continued to drive. On 4/9/02 was driving in exact location as previous incident, going about 35-40 mph and same thing happened. Had put a file cabinet key on key ring, thought was same issue, didnt' report again. On 4/11/02 while traveling on much busier and much more dangerous road, vehicle again stalled. No safe shoulder to pull off onto and unable to restart while in process. Was luckily able to coast onto side street, breaks and steering were not functioning properly, had to roll to stop. Able to restart and get to work. Will notify dealership asap.

- Middlefield, OH, USA

problem #4

Mar 062002

Escape 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2002 Ford Escape XLT, vehicle would not start, engine turned over but soounded like it was going to blow up. After several attempts it finally started. It does this 2 or 3 times a day. Dealer says no problem, it will fix itself. Vehicles engine smoked on two occasions, thought the car was on fire. Dealer says there is nothing wrong. Vehicle will surge on its own, even with the brake depressed, almost as if I had floored it. I cannot drive 20 mph, it surges forward! last incident I had with the vehicle, I lost complete use of the brakes, no hydraulics, no nothing. Pedal depressed right to the floor. Almost got into a head on collision, used E-brake to stop. Happened a second time later that day. Took car to dealership, nothing is wrong. Contacted Ford rep. And they will not do anything to help me. I do not feel safe driving this vehicle. I do not wish to keep the vehicle.

- Kodiak, AK, USA

problem #3

Feb 052002


  • miles
Brakes and steering failed once while driving down a curvy mountain road, speed approx. 25 mph, second failure at approx 45 mph on a straight and level city road. Both times two feet had to be used on the brake pedal and with heavy steering and the vehicle was just stopped before crashing into obstacles. No warning preceeded the incidents. Three dash warning lights came on after. The dealer took the vehicle back to the dealership both times and the first time said perhaps we had more than one key on the key ring in the ignition key hole. This was noted as a potential cause of turning off the engine. This was not the case in either incident, only the ignition key was on the ring. First incident they said Ford noted the heavy key posibility and Ford engineering also recommended reprogramming the computer and a new mass air flow sensor was installed. This did not help as a few days later the same failure occurred again, almost resulting in a crash. Currently (Feb. 23, 2002) the Escape is at the dealer now after the second near crash incident as we will not drive it anymore. They say they are asking their engineering staff again what to do. This is the same source that originally said to tell us we probably had too many keys hanging from the ignition key. None has any firm answer and sources on the internet confirm this problem and Ford has no solution at this time. We would like to terminate the purchase which was done about a month ago as the vehicle is not save to drive. Both my wife, first incident, and daughter, second incident will not drive the vehicle they were so frightened and barely were able to avoid crashes. Date Feb. 23, 2002 signed eugene lally.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 112001


  • miles
Engine stalled while driving downhill. Was either braking or decelerating by letting up on gas. Check engine, airbag, and possibly oil lights came on. Power steering and brakes failed. Was able to pull off the road and stop vehicle with hand brake. Shifted vehicle into park and restarted. Had been driving for approx. 1/2 hour (15 miles). Weather was cool and clear.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 092001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle was going 45mph and stalled without warning. Consumer had only owned vehicle for 4 days. Dealer couldn't find a cause, but kept it to inspect further and gave consumer a loaner vehicle.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

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