really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
108,735 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Jun 202014


  • 74,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while approaching a stop sign, there was a loud abnormal noise coming from the vehicle. The contact discovered that the sub frame was on the tire and fractured. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where the diagnosis results was not yet determined. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign id number: 14V165000 (suspension). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 74,000.

- Sydney, NY, USA

problem #24

Aug 102014


  • 110,500 miles
Vehicle sub-frame failed due to corrosion causing separation of the lower control arm resulting in diminished steering control. This issue appears to be covered by Ford safety recall 14S02 and NHTSA recall 14V-166 that provided a reinforcement of the sub-frame. Unfortunately the reinforcing parts necessary for the recall action were not immediately available before the frame failed.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #23

Jul 072014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 190,000 miles
Corrosion-related separation lower control arm from subframe. Car start pulling instantly to the right. Have to call towing to get to dealer for repair, Ford company refuse to repair under safety recall notice 14S02. Dealer quote me around $2000 for repair.

- Fridley, MN, USA

problem #22

May 142014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 202,286 miles


Car was making creaking sounds. Going around a corner the car basically had no steering or control. Got car to Ford dealership and based on taking photo of the car I was told that Ford decided to put a cross brace on as opposed to replacing sub frame. I told dealership I did not agree with decision that subframe should be replaced car was returned to me with cross brace installed.aprox 4 weeks later car was undriveable. Contacted Ford told me to tow car back to dealership. After inspection of vehicle was told now that sub- frame was broken dealership contacted Ford and was told that their request to replace sub frame was denied. The sub frame holds engine, trans, all steering and brake components. This is a very dangerous. My family could have been killed. I was told by fordsupv that because they put on brace instead of making the correct repair that was actually part of sub frame recall they would not replace sub frame. This is how Ford treats their customers and puts them in harms way. If you look at the history of Ford vehicles Ford Windstar Ford Escape etc. You will see they are using defective steel on under body components causing excessive rust resulting in critical component failures. In my 48 years of driving I have never had a vehicle with a broken frame when I asked Ford for phone number or address to [xxx]. fields I was told that is not given out and that the Ford supervisors denial was final decision. I feel Ford is 100% wrong in this issue and is not making safe cars, and when there is a recall will not even fix the recalled parts. Once again this is an extremely dangerous situation that could have resulted in death to my family if I was driving on the X-way shame shame on you Ford motor. I will be looking into filing law suit or class action law suit against you. Please do the right thing for the unlucky individuals who own these cars. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #21

May 232014


  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while traveling 70 mph, the vehicle erroneously veered off road. Upon inspection, it was found that the passenger's front control arm fractured. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the failure was confirmed. The dealer declined to repair the vehicle under NHTSA campaign number: 14V165000 (suspension) due to the excessive corrosion. The failure mileage was 180,000.

- Madison, OH, USA

problem #20

Mar 042014

Escape 6-cyl Diesel

  • 90,971 miles
While driving on a rural city street at 30 mph I decelerated to prepare to turn right. When I began to make my right hand turn I heard a loud pop and the car began to rattle the car came to a stop within 10 feet of the pop. I applied a small amount of power to the engine to try and get completely out of the road, but the car would not move. Upon inspection of the front passenger tire it was facing 90 degrees in the opposite direction of the car, and pushed to the back of the wheel well. The cv shaft had come completely detached from the drive shaft. The vehicle had to be towed to a local shop that did sub-frame work. Upon inspection at the auto body shop it was revealed that the engine cradle had also become detached due to the proximity to the exhaust from the engine heating it up constantly. Along with the following parts needing replacement: Right front cv shaft, front engine cradle, front control arm bolts, control arm bushing, cv drive axle, heavy duty exhaust clamps. The shop had to remove and replace the engine cradle and the right front sub-frame. If I had been on a high speed interstate, and this happened I would have probable flipped, because the front right tire was unable to move, and was pulling towards the inside of the car. The total cost to get this repaired to a safe driving condition was $1352.69.

- Corning, NY, USA

problem #19

Apr 102014


  • 188,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while having the vehicle inspected under a manufacture's recall pertaining to the crossbar, he was advised that the front sub frame was defective and would need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacture was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 188,000.

- Morrice, MI, USA

problem #18

Apr 242014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
While driving her 2002 Ford Escape to work my daughter noticed the steering was not right. In order for her to keep driving straight she had to turn the steering wheel. She went over a pair of rough railroad tracks & lost control of the vehicle. Her front passenger tire control bar had completely separated from the frame. It was rusted through. Luckily she was driving in a 30mph zone & there were no other cars around. Thankfully she was not hurt but quite shaken up. We were unaware of a vehicle recall on this model until a friend of hers recalled seeing an article in the news about control bars rusting through causing steering problems. Her front tire was completely bald after this incident. (tread was good before). I called Ford as soon as I was able & reported the incident. The rep told me that in order for a repair the vehicle had to be towed to a Ford dealer & to keep the tow bill as they would cover it. Right now the SUV is at the dealer. It has been 2 days since they've had it & I've heard nothing. I am getting very impatient. Because it's a recall I have a hunch they put it on the back burner. This vehicle is her only way to school & work. I asked about a loaner & they explained that because of the huge volume of recalls, a loaner would be difficult to come by. What has happened to customer service? I am expecting not only the vehicle to be fixed but I feel we should be compensated for the 1 tire - maybe 2 depending on the condition of the other side. I don't need a set of new ones - just something to pass inspection. If anyone has experienced the same issues please post something back. Thank you ! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Leroy, NY, USA

problem #17

Mar 052014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
While traveling out my drievway the subframe broke on the passenger side on the front. This let the wheel go 90 degrees th the car and pulled out my front axle making the car inoperable.Ford says my car is not included in the subframe recall.can you get my car added to the recall so they will pay for the repairs.

- Haysi, VA, USA

problem #16

Oct 222013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 185,000 miles
Clicking noise while making a right hand turn. Steering wheel no longer in the straight up position when vehicle is traveling in a straight line. Approximately turned 20-25 degrees clockwise. Inspection of the front end revealed that the front suspension crossmember has rusted through at the passenger side lower control arm front mount area.

- Carmel, NY, USA

problem #15

Oct 142013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 121,000 miles


I was driving my 2002 Ford Escape at 25 mph on a Suburban side street. Suddenly there was a loud clunk sound on the right front of the car with the front dropping and the car grinding to a stop. Inspection revealed the right front wheel was basically broken off with that side of the car sitting on the ground. Further inspection revealed that the lower front suspension A-frame pulled loose from the engine cradle due to rust on the crossmember.

- Grosse Ile, MI, USA

problem #14

Oct 012013


  • 119,000 miles
My vehicle began to make unknown noises when driving, and steering control became very loose. I promptly took the car to my mechanic. I was told the subframe was so badly rotted that the passenger wheel control arm had separated from the subframe and can not be reattached without replacing the subframe. The vehicle is now no longer safe to drive.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #13

May 292012


  • 86,036 miles
Lower control arm ripped off under cradle & ripped passenger side drive shaft off the transmission - the wheel fell off the car. It appears under cradle rusted from inside. I shudder at the thought of that happening when my wife was on the freeway, instead of coming to a stop. This vehicle was always kept in the garage.

- Chardon, OH, USA

problem #12

May 132013


  • 150,000 miles
The subframe was so badly rusted that the control arm separated from the subframe. I found several complaints of the same thing happening to other people with Ford Escapes. And it always seems to happen at the right front passenger area. This is a very dangerous flaw, and one that could cause serious injury or death if the failure happens at high speed. I think the Ford Ranger frames were recalled for a similar rusting issue, perhaps the two are related. Thank you for your time and prompt attention.

- Williamsville, NY, USA

problem #11

Aug 102012


  • 109,000 miles
To start off the idle control valve needed to be replaced because when you push the clutch in it dies and you loose all power, another is the bushing in the control arm slipped out of the arm mount so I had to replace it and another that just happened is the gas tank strap and support pan broke and plastic gas tank hit the ground on one end and the other is grinding on the drive shaft. And the Ford dealership wont fix anything cause it ain't considered powertrain.

- Marion, NC, USA

problem #10

Jan 232013


  • 56,000 miles
Was approaching a stop sign and the tire fell sideways. Called for a tow truck and the garage called and said the subframe was so badly rusted that the control arm separated from the subframe. I find this hard to believe that a vehicle with such little mileage could rust so bad. Ford should seriously look into this issue because if your traveling @ a high speed and the control arm separates you can have a major accident and cause injuries or even death.

- Milford, PA, USA

problem #9

Jan 182013


  • 153,000 miles
While driving through a parking lot my 2002 Ford Escape suddenly made a clunking sound then suddenly stopped. I could not steer the car to the side or move it forward or backward. I exited the car and looked at the drivers side tire and it seemed fine. I then went over to the passenger side and saw that my wheel was completely turned in the opposite direction. I figured that I probably broke a tie rod. I called aaa to have the auto towed to a local service station. When the tow driver arrived he took a look at my Escape and said that my subframe was rusted so bad that it had separated in two. By doing that my wheel axle had completely separated from the transmission. His opinion was that if I was driving on a highway and this had happened it probably would have caused a major auto collision and maybe even causing my Escape to roll over. This to me seems to be a very dangerous flaw in the design and construction of the subframe and I am very fortunate this did not happen on the highway. It could have caused major damage and even death to innocent people.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #8

Jul 302012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 154,131 miles
I was driving my 2002 Ford Escape and coming to a stop at an intersection when I heard a loud popping sound. After I stopped, I released the brake and rolled forward a few feet before re-applying the brakes and the sound repeated. I was able to drive it across the highway to a Ford dealership for repairs. Upon inspection the following morning it was determined that the subframe assembly had rusted out completely on the passenger side and had caused the lower control arm to become loose thus bending it and making it unusable. I am thankful that this happened at a very slow speed and fear that if other folks have this happen at highway speed it could be a very bad outcome ! this allowed my passenger side tire to pull outward hence pulling the control arm loose. It was a very expensive fix and the warranty I had purchased at the time of buying the vehicle was no avail. I contacted Ford and was told that if there is no recall then there is no problem !! sorry but it was a very expensive fix and I believe Ford should make good on this. How many injuries are required before someone takes notice "? the repair bill was $ $1160.96. I had only owned the vehicle for 7 months at that time. It still has many payments to be made before it is paid off. It would appear that the air conditioning drain runs down this area causing it perhaps " just an observation from a running vehicle identical to mine. Any help would be appreciated on this matter and hopefully it gets resolved before any fatalities happen if they haven't already !! thank you !

- New Holland, OH, USA

problem #7

Sep 272012


  • 49,500 miles
Driving 15mph down home street and heard a clunk. Put in reverse to get back to driveway and right front wheel was sideways and dragging. After calling local garage was informed it was the subframe that holds the control arm that was rusted through. Able to maneuver car onto front lawn where it still sits.

- Larksville, PA, USA

problem #6

Sep 072012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
Ford Escape was making sharp jerking motions like the front wheels were going to fall off. It happend right after I took the Escape in to Ford dealer to get the ABS and engine cover recalls. They said they did not casue the problem. I took to local mech in town and he said issue is the control arm bolt is seperated from the subframe and is rusted away so it is making the wheel wobble out of alignment causing the jerking motion. Wondering if recall is on Ford Escape for subframe issue where control arm bolt is attached. Seen many same issues when searching the internet.

- Grove City, OH, USA

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