really awful
Crashes / Fires:
13 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,082 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2002 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Jan 242016


  • 177,000 miles


The contact owned a 2002 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 5 mph and attempting to make a left turn, another vehicle struck the front end of the contact's vehicle. The contact's vehicle spun around and struck the other vehicle again. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact received chest injuries that needed medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed and towed. The approximate failure mileage was 177,000. The VIN was invalid. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #43

Oct 122015


  • 119,000 miles
I bought my car on Sept 28, 2015. The airbag light came on about 2 weeks ago. At first it would come on when I start the car and shut off. Now it blinks then stays on. I am worried that if I get into an accident my airbags will not deploy. I have read a lot of reviews about this and it seems to be a very big issue. I have searched this website with my VIN # and there are no recall. I bought this as a family car but now I am in fear of putting my children in it.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #42

Jul 012014


  • 190,000 miles
For the past year and a half the ABS warning light has been illuminated. I took it to the Ford dealership to have the latest recall fixed regarding the reservoir cap. Ford couldn't get the ABS warning light to turn off...so, hence the light still intermidantly comes on and off. Also, the oil pressure light keeps coming on when I start my car and when I am slowing down. I just had my mechanic change the oil a week ago and and still having the problem. One last thing, the air bag illumination light has been on for the past two years. I took it to my dealer and they couldn't get it to turn off. Am I safe in thinking that my air bag won't deploy just for the heck of it" not sure what to do" but it scares me.

- Post Falls, ID, USA

problem #41

Jun 032015


  • 135,000 miles


The air bag readiness system on the car is troubling. The red light indicator on the dash either flashes, or remains on. The manual says the system should be serviced immediately. I called a local Ford dealer in my town and they say they won't pay for it. Have there been problems with this vehicle make/model/ year" since it is a serious safety issue, wouldn't the manufacturer be required to fix it"

- Wausau, WI, USA

problem #40

Feb 262015


  • 131,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. While driving at 45 mph, the contact's vehicle crashed into another vehicle due to ice and gravel on the highway. The air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was destroyed. A police report was filed. The contact sustained a bruised head and fractured thumb that required medical attention. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 131,000. The VIN was not available.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #39

Sep 032012


  • miles
The cable connections for the passenger side front airbag is faulty causing the airbag sensor light to come on occasionally indicating that the connections are lose. This happens especially in cold weather. I did some research on this issue. This issue has been reported by many Ford owners. The dealership wants to charge $300 to replace the cabling, but the issue is with a $30 connector under the seat.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #38

Jan 032014


  • 110,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the air bag and ABS warning lights illunimated on the instrument panel. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 110,000 and the current mileage was 166,000.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #37

May 022014


  • 181,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle was traveling approximately 45 mph before crashing into the rear of a utility truck. The contact indicated that during the crash, the air bags did not deploy. The driver suffered head, chest, and leg injuries and was transported to the hospital. A police report was taken at the scene. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 181,000.

- Jemison, AL, USA

problem #36

Nov 282009


  • miles
Escape was hit on front left bumper by another vehicle, causing Escape to exit highway and crashing into and sliding down a concrete overpass pillar; damaging the front bumper, light, and complete left side of Escape. The airbag did not deploy!

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #35

Jan 112013


  • miles
I have had my 2002 Ford Escape since June 2002. I bought it brand new and I have never had any problems with my airbags before and have never been in any accidents that would cause the airbags to deploy. All of a sudden in early January 2013, I started to notice my check airbag light on my dashboard illuminate. I thought this was odd since it had never done so before and I had never been in any accidents so I didn't really think anything of it and thought the light would just go off. The light continued to go on and so I finally brought it to the dealership on February 15, 2003. The dealership performed a diagnostic test on the airbag system only to find out that both of the pre-tensioner connectors that clip to the wire harness that makes the airbag system work had high resistance and needed to be replaced. Without a fix, the airbag system no longer worked. They claimed that over time with the wear and tear of the vehicle, this will happen and the clips will no longer clip as they said. I find that hard to believe that a major safety feature of a vehicle such as airbags would all of a sudden stop working creating a potentially hazardous situation if there was an accident and the airbags did not deploy. I just wanted to share my story with you in case there have been other similar situations with this make and model of vehicle that might warrant a model recall in the future.

- Stratford, CT, USA

problem #34

Jul 012006


  • 80,060 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving the air bag light erroneously illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to a mechanic. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 80,060 and the current mileage was 130,000.

- Richland, SC, USA

problem #33

Oct 082012


  • 108,500 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the air bag warning lamp illuminated intermittently. The dealer was contacted who did not offer any assistance since her vehicle was not included in any recalls. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 108,500 and the current mileage was 108,600.

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #32

Dec 192002

Escape 6-cyl

  • 69 miles
The airbag light keeps coming on. I took it in for service for regular maintenance and then the light was off. I've had the car now for 10 years this December. I can't recall a time my airbag light has not been on. Just recently I started researching and found their is a short wire under the drivers seat and it has a little gray prong on it. The gray prong needs to be grounded and it should be attached the bars the seat slides back and forth on. I stuck the gray plug in and the airbag light went out. The only problem is every time you move the seat it pushes the gray plug down and eventually it will come back on and I will have to fix it again. Ford needs to correct this problem. The problem is an easy fix and I don't understand why they don't change the plug or make a longer cord. Ford needs to fix the problem. I love my car but hate the frustration.

- Senoia, GA, USA

problem #31

May 232005


  • 20,000 miles
I purchased my Escape in 2004, with 15,000. Miles. Shortly after that I received an noticed that it had been recalled for something with the safety belt which they replaced/repaired frr of charge. Now the airbag light came on and the dealer told me it was some type of senor, and it would cost about $250 to fix. Now the airbag light is off but the chime remains. I have been observing that this issue one of safety, and it isn't the first complaint. When will Ford get off their corporate behind and get this fixed before someone gets killed?

- Accokeek, MD, USA

problem #30

Sep 162009

Escape 6-cyl

  • 25 miles
In March 2004 while driving at a low rate of speed, I clipped the corner of a parked vehicle which caused my Ford Escape to overturn. No airbags deployed. In September 2009 while entering a freeway during a heavy rainstorm, driving at a low rate of speed, the Escape hydro planed, slammed into the cement barrier rendering the vehicle useless. Despite the vehicle having spun multiple times and being slammed into the barrier at such an impact the transmission dropped several inches, no airbags deployed. This vehicle was purchased new from butterfield Ford in salt lake, at a cost of $22, 200. In the 5+ years of owning this vehicle, I spent more than $10,000 in repairs - for a brand new vehicle. Despite my pleas to the dealer ship, I was never provided any remedy. Despite a dpf sensor going out 3 times and only being covered once by warranty, calipers going out and then brakes shortly after the vehicles warranty expires which Ford will not cover despite the calipers having just been replaced. The exhaust manifold, the latch to the tail gate did not work. This vehicle was a lemon and Ford never even tried to provide a remedy. My primary concern, the air bags did not deploy despite the vehicle turning over during the first accident nor when I hit a cement barrier with such force the transmission dropped several inches.

- Ruverton, UT, USA

problem #29

Jul 152010

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 0 miles
My airbag light keeps coming on every time I start my Ford Escape. Upon review of this it's been on complaint websites several times by hundreds of people. How many of these people need to die due to malfunction of the air bags before we have a recall. This light has been on since I've owned the vehicle. Also my window stopped going up. The dipstick can't give a clear reading of the oil amount. These things lead to death, constant and costly repair, and constant problems.

- Marion, IN, USA

problem #28

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 #27

Jul 302009


  • 94,959 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the air bag light stayed illuminated and would not shut off. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they stated that they repaired the vehicle but the light continued to illuminate. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 94,959.

- Peabody, MA, USA

problem #26

Aug 262005


  • 50,000 miles
Air bag light came on I was told it was several different problems on several different occasions all resulting in the dealer replacing my safety harness which was oh by the way not covered under the electrical wiring extended warranty. They replaced the safety harness and guess what the air bag light is back on. I was told it would happen every time I adjust the seat. ( a defect in design).

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #25

Jul 132008


  • 32,000 miles
Air bag lights go on and off.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

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