really awful
Crashes / Fires:
24 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
18 / 2
Average Mileage:
71,979 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #49

Oct 032012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 135,320 miles


Vehicle has begun to accelerate unexpectedly since early September. There has been at least four incidents involving vehicle suddenly accelerating when its was at low speed or stopped (with foot on the brake). The accelerations last a few seconds and lurch the car forward. The vehicle has been taken to Ford for the recall notices involving the cruise control cable (11S24B on 30 June 12 and 12S37B on 20 Sep 12). This vehicle did not experience this problem prior to the recall repairs.

- Gainesville, VA, USA

problem #48

Apr 202012


  • 173,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that as the vehicle was shifted into reverse, the vehicle abnormally accelerated and crashed into the contact's home, a nearby fence and finally a tree. The failure ceased once the vehicle crashed into the tree. The contact sustained injuries to the face, neck and the right foot. The passenger sustained minor lacerations to the face and shoulder. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who inspected the vehicle and located the failure at the cable throttle stick. The contact later received notification of NHTSA campaign id number 12V353000 (vehicle speed control cables) in August 2012. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and denied assistance with the repair. The failure and current mileage was 173,000.

- Orange Park , FL, USA

problem #47

Oct 042010

Escape 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
My daughter ( a teacher) was driving the vehicle on I94 to work in 2010 with the speed control set. The vehicle speed increased and she hit the brake, but the accelerator was stuck and she could not slow the vehicle down as it over-powered the brake. She did not know what to do and called 911. The police officer told her to put the vehicle in neutral and turn the key off after she got the vehicle under control. She was extremely lucky no one was ahead of her on the expressway. The accelerator remained stuck after she had pulled off the road with the motor off. I went to get her and the vehicle. I was able to release the accelerator by hitting it hard with my foot. I carefully drove the vehicle home. I was able to recreate the accelerator sticking on the expressway several times. I reported this to Ford (dearborn) and told them they had a problem, however, they did not seem interested in investigating the issue, and suggested I pay a dealer to fix it. I have driven the vehicle, without using the speed control and being very careful to accelerate slowly (as my daughter still has my vehicle). But, now I will take it a dealer and Ford (thanks to the government and the vehicle safety law) will pay to fix it!

- Marblehead, OH, USA

problem #46

Jan 272012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 119,483 miles


[xxx] was driving her 2002 Ford Escape when, while accelerating up a hill, the speed control throttle guide rotated up into the appearance cover and became latched in a rib. This resulted in a wide open throttle, and [xxx] was unable to slow or stop the car. The brakes then overheated and failed, and she sped through town until she swerved to avoid another car and crashed. Her car rolled several times, and [xxx]was killed. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #45

Dec 112011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while attempting to enter the highway, the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The contact was unable to stop the acceleration and shifted into neutral, applied the brakes and activated the emergency brakes but to no avail. The vehicle would not respond and the contact crashed into a vehicle, followed by a pole. The vehicle then ignited in flames. The contact was injured as a result. There was a police report filed of the incident. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #44

Dec 102011


  • 68,500 miles
While driving at normal speeds on ice-glazed winter roads in fairbanks, ak, I approached an intersection and took my foot off the accelerator to prepare to slow down. Instead of dropping to idle speeds, the engine accelerated up to 3500-4000 RPM. I shifted the automatic transmission to neutral and was able to stop the car with the brakes, but the engine continued to race at high-throttle until I shut off the engine. When I restarted the engine it behaved normally for several days; but the problem came back intermittently several times over the next several weeks; and every time, shutting off the engine was the only way to stop it. Ford's database showed my car had undergone a recall in 2005 to fix a similar problem. In January 2012, stanley Ford in kenai, ak 'supposedly' replaced the throttle cable and throttle body assembly for $572, but it didn't solve the problem. The uncontrolled acceleration occurred several more times, as before, until a second repair in February 2012 by seekins Ford in fairbanks, which replaced a PCV and tubing, and did a complete tune-up for $992. Since then, there have been no more issues with the accelerator.

- Kasilof, AK, USA

problem #43

Apr 072012


  • 110,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 70 mph, the accelerator became stuck in open throttle and caused the vehicle to accelerate. The contact also mentioned that the accelerator pedal would become stuck sporadically and would not allow the contact to accelerate. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The vehicle was not taken for diagnosis or repair. The failure was mileage was 110,000 and the current mileage was 114,000.

- Spring Lake, MI, USA

problem #42

Jul 012008


  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while parking at less than 5 mph, the vehicle accelerated abnormally to 15 mph. The contact had removed his foot from the accelerator pedal when vehicle accelerated. The vehicle crashed against the foundation of the garage in the contact's home. The contact sustained neck injuries as a result. The vehicle was taken to the mechanic for inspection and there were no failures found. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The current mileage was 104,000. The failure mileage was 77,000.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #41

Jan 272012

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles
Attorney for driver's family and media reports indicate that the vehicle was being driven immediately after purchase in the phoenix / mesa area along Arizona state route 87 towards payson. The final approach to payson involves a prolonged upward grade, which would have required heavy accelerator use by the driver. Along the way, the driver was unable to disengage the accelerator or otherwise bring the vehicle to a safe stop. The vehicle struck other vehicles as it traversed an intersection, and rolled, ejecting the driver, who suffered fatal injuries. A subsequent inspection of the vehicle documented that the cruise control cable connector was lodged against the underside of the engine cover and that the throttle was open to 84%. the vehicle had received the accelerator cable replacement for recall 04V574 in January of 2005. (note: This record was received via telephone interview between ODI investigators and counsel for the driver's family in late June of this year. It has been added to our complaint file to document the incident for an investigation opening. It will be updated as appropriate as more information is received)

- Payson, AZ, USA

problem #40

Sep 202011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
The problem began with the rpms dropping to under 300 when idling at a stop sign or stop light. Vehicle would also die with no warning. Problem progressed to revving up to over 4000 rpms when in park either at first start or after driving and shifting into park. Problem has progressed to surging and revving from normal driving speed of 65 mph and 1500 rpms to 2500 rpms forcing me to brake to keep the vehicle under control or at the posted speed limit. Problem has also progressed that when attempting to idle at a stop sign or stop light, rpms will remain elevated at 1500 forcing me to brake very hard to keep the vehicle stopped. When shifting into park the rpms will rev up to 4200 rpms.

- Paradise, CA, USA

problem #39

Nov 192011

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving or passing approximately 55 mph, the accelerator pedal jammed. The contact depressed the brake pedal to the floor, but the vehicle continued to accelerate. The contact was then able to turn the ignition off and stop the vehicle. The vehicle was later towed to an independent mechanic and they informed the contact that the cruise control cable was the cause of the failure. The cruise control cable was disconnected to remedy the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 147,000. Updated 04/19/2012 the consumer stated the cruise control cable was disconnected after the 4th occurrence.updated 04/30/12

- Croton, OH, USA

problem #38

Dec 232005


  • 58,448 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitated to accelerate from a stop and would not accelerate beyond 2 mph. The vehicle eventually began to accelerate at normal rates of speed. The failure recurred whenever the contact accelerated from a stop. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was informed that a computer chip within the vehicle needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure continued. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 58,448.

- Ferguson, MO, USA

problem #37

May 052011


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape XLT. The contact stated that as the accelerator was released, the vehicle maintained speed and did not slow down and the rpms maintained an abnormally high reading. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer, but the manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 79,000 and the current mileage was 80,000. Updated 11/23/11

- Hornsboro, KY, USA

problem #36

Jul 072011

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 94,700 miles
On rt. 59, just South of northwest hwy (rt. 14) in barrington, my 2002 Ford Escape XLT was involved in a bizarre incident or accident. While sitting static on level road in a line of traffic with a train-crossing barrier arm keeping traffic safely waiting for the train to pass, my vehicle lurched forward in an unintended acceleration while my foot was firmly pressing on the brake pedal. The engine raced at >= 4000 RPM. With continued braking action on my part with no vehicle response, the passenger-side front end of my vehicle hit the 1988 Ford F150 truck immediately in front of me. As a side note, I had the 2005 Ford recall work performed on the defective accelerator cable, with the cable replacement at packey webb Ford dealership service center in wheaton, Illinois. There is a safety-hazard risk associated with the vehicle, and I refuse to drive this vehicle even if the approximately $4000 damages are repaired, which I have not authorized. I am an experience computer it software/hardware professional, as well as an engineering design controls expert in the health care industry, working for a major product manufacturer (software and hardware). There is a definite safety risk associated with this vehicle make/model, and I want to report this incident to the proper Agency. The insurance company, Ford dealership, and the authorized service center have done nothing to identify the root cause for the vehicle malfunction on design defect; they only treat this as a loss and did not perform initial computer diagnostics prior to compromising the vehicle in their actions to appraise damages to the vehicle. I need this incident properly investigated and reported to the public if a safety risk is confirmed.

- Glen Ellyn, IL, USA

problem #35

Oct 052002


  • 10,000 miles
My 2002 Ford Escape was bought new in March of 2002. The problem with it accelerating at low speeds started about 6-7 months later. Returned to the dealership many times to have it checked but was told every time there was nothing wrong. I've had one accident as a result of this problem. I still own the same Escape and still have the problem with it. I was told that there were no complaints of this nature with these models but have since learned that there have been many. I also as have many people had the problem with the air-bag light on.again many trips to the dealer and was told nothing was wrong about $300 later for labor costs. Finally on one more attempt to find out what was wrong I returned to the dealer again and was told that a sensor in the seat-belt was the problem and it would cost approximately $300-$400 to repair it and that the air bags may or may not be working because of this sensor. I have personally lost all faith in Ford Canada and their products and some of the employees at the dealerships I've dealt with. I am in the process I buying a new car but it's not a Ford. Never again will I buy a Ford

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #34

Aug 102009


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that when starting the vehicle, it would stall without warning. He was able to restart the vehicle and drive in reverse at speeds as low as 5 mph; yet, the vehicle would accelerate while driving in reverse. When the contact previously experienced the failure he was able to stop the vehicle by depressing the brake pedal. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility where it was diagnosed with defective idle control valves. The mechanic replaced the idle control valves and jumper harness and reprogrammed the central computer. The failure did not persist after the vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 104,946.

- Northville, MI, USA

problem #33

Jul 062010


  • 70,000 miles
The accelerator on my 2002 Ford Escape V6 stuck and would not release. Upon trying to manually "pull" the accelerator free, the vehicle continued to accelerate faster. Speeds reached 70 mph and the brakes would not slow the vehicle. I shifted the vehicle into neutral, and slowly applied the parking brake to slow the vehicle. The engine kept racing at 6000 RPM's. upon finding a safe place to pull off the side of the road, I turned off the ignition and drifted to the side road. I had the vehicle towed to the local Ford dealership. They are not admitting to any problems/issues. I called Ford Motor Co. As well to no avail, even though there are numerous reports of this occurring on the internet. I am convinced that if my wife was driving with the children, she would have crashed the vehicle.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

problem #32

Jun 102010

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,111 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. While driving at 55 mph, the vehicle independently accelerated. The contact moved switched to neutral gear and moved the vehicle off the roadway. He was able to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the contact was awaiting a diagnosis of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 64,111. Updated 07/29/10 the consumer stated the cruise control cable became stuck. The consumer has since traded the vehicle. Updated 09/07/10

- Auroa, CO, USA

problem #31

Apr 302010


  • miles
2002 Ford Escape was recalled for several reasons. Something with the power train, the cruise control, the ABS system..... finally it caught on fire. The engine was melted. Fire and police department got there. Contacted Ford and they just said we will record your call on your profile. Don't understand how lives and property have been lost and Ford doesn't do anything about it.

- Sam Antonio, TX, USA

problem #30

Jun 072009


  • 88,000 miles
While driving on a highway at normal speed with small kids in their carseats the accelerator pedal went limp and the engine revved up to full acceleration. After moments of terror and temporary loss of control, the car was brought to the side of the road and shut down by fighting the engine power with the foot brakes and hand emergency brake. It's a miracle there was no crash. At my expense the Ford dealership replaced the cruise control cable and/or cruise control cable housing. The service manager said, "looking at the part, I can see why it goes to full acceleration when that part fails" to me, that is a major safety concern and design failure. I noticed other similar incidents (oid id # 10199728 and 10128545). I lodged a complaint with the Ford Motor Company and, not surprisingly, was told there's nothing they can or will do to compensate me. Now I'm trapped owning an unsafe car. Please investigate and remedy this problem before someone gets hurt.

- Arlington, VA, USA

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