pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
72,186 miles
Total Complaints:
53 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. entire vehicle needs repainting (24 reports)
  2. not sure (11 reports)
  3. paint the top of the vehicle (9 reports)
  4. rear tailgate needs to be repainted (5 reports)
  5. repaint (4 reports)
2003 Ford Escape body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

Mar 202010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


i just bought a used 2003 ford escape last week i thought it was perfect. i even had my father double check everything. it seemed to be in very good shape unfortunately it wasn't until 2 days after i bought it i that i saw paint peeling on the roof. my heart sank, bamboozled.i forgot to check the top of the truck. im now seeing to get that repainted is going to cost me more than i spent on the vehicle altogether. what should i do any suggestions?

- , Rochester, NY, USA

problem #32

Jul 012009

Escape LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I first noticed the paint peeling by the rear window on the hatchback. I now have two huge spots on the roof, one right at the top of the windshield and one further back. has anyone been able to get Ford to help with this? My car is Gold Ash, as it looks like a lot of the other ones are on this website.

- , Eastport, MI, USA

problem #31

Sep 012006

Escape Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,720 miles

I bought my 2003 escape limited brand new. In 2006 I started to notice what looked like rock damage on the front of the hood. So, I ordered a pen of touch up paint from the dealership. Then, I noticed the problem getting worse and over the last year it has spread to the front of the roof and slightly beneath the rear window on the tailgate. After google searching, I found this site and figured why bother. I have had an estimate of $3000-$4000 form a local body shop. I don't know if my insurance company will cover something that is clearly a defective paint job. However, I don't have that kind of money. Mechanically, this car runs great. I have just over 119000 miles and have performed all necessary maintenance to the vehicle. The painter at the body shop suggested I take a can of rustoleum paint and spray it on to prevent further damage. Of course, no one makes gold ash so I went with white. I guess we'll see how that goes.

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #30

Mar 012006

Escape 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,641 miles


click to see larger images

paint is peeling off paint is peeling off paint is peeling off

We purchased our 2003 Escape Limited (Golden Ash) SUV brand new Dec 2003 for my wife, she absolutely loves it. We also purchased paint protection and rust proofing $600.00, because we intended to keep this vehicle for a long time. We have not had any mechanical issues what so ever. In 2006 (30K km), we noticed a small peice of paint peeling on the left hand corner of the rear hatch.

Took it to the dealer to have it repaired, but because we missed our paint inspection for 2005, it wasn't covered and it was past the ford warranty period. So basically we were screwed and it was written off as being our problem.

Two weeks ago, Oct 10, 2009, a 2003 Ford Escape XLT with the exact same colour (Golden Ash) had the exact same paint peeling in the exact same corner on the rear hatch. That's when I became really upset and discovered we weren't the only victims.

I decided to check the internet to see if there were other people that have experienced the same problem with paint peeling off their 2003 Escape models with (Golden Ash) paint. Low and behold, they are numerous. I am a retired Ford of Canada engineer, loyal to our company. I will now write my company and clearly point out to them this is a Ford manufacturing problem within their paint and or preing process.

I will reply back to this forum once I receive a response from Ford.

- , Windsor, Ontario, Canada

problem #29

Aug 122009

Escape XLT 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,150 miles

I have only owed this escape for 3 months. when i noticed the paint peeling off the roof. igot with my salesman and i heard the same old sh*t ! it,s out of warranty. there's no recall on paint so your just going to have to fixe it yourself.

- , Eldridge, IA, USA

problem #28

Sep 022009

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

Bought my vehicle new in 03 and have loved it ever since. Except for the whole paint deal! I started having a problem in 06 with paint blistering and peeling on on the roof. Withing a matter of days it went from several dime-sized spots to numerous dollar-sized or larger spots all over the roof and the back hatch. This garage is vehicle kept!! Notified my dealership and like all other complaints listed on this forum, they said that they had not heard of any problems or recalls with the paint, that it was not covered by the warranty...blah blah blah. Ended up having the roof and hatch repainted at an expense of about $300-400. NOW as of yesterday (9-2-09) it is PEELING UP AGAIN!! I am awaiting yet another phone call from Ford. I can guarantee you that I will not be paying for the repainting this time, they will.

I like many others have not had any mechanical problems with vehicle and plan on driving it until it can no longer be driven. But when it comes time to purchase a new vehicle, I am sad to say that it will most likely not be Ford; not only for the paint defect problem but our local dealership who "prides themselves on their service" has been nothing but troublesome from the day that this vehicle was purchased. They titled me to another vehicle on the lot and then were deceptive about it when they realized the mistake 4 months later. Their mistake cost me more in taxes as well as the loan, then they tried to get to hand over the keys and just take the other vehicle (which was a lesser model, different color); it also screwed up all the paperwork to the extended warranty I purchased (7yrs/70k miles)...I am still fighting this mistake and is has especially made the paint concerns an even bigger hassle. Let's just say that I am finding it very difficult to stay calm, composed and tactful while addressing my concerns when I all really want to do is knock somebody out.

Wish me luck everyone! Oh, and I have printed out all the complaints listed on the forum and I WILL take it with me when I take my truck back in this afternoon!!

- , Frankfort, KY, USA

problem #27

Aug 012008

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


same problem as others on here with a 2003 Escape with Gold Ash paint. Last year the paint on the back started bubbling, then spread and kept peeling off. Same thing on the front hood. Just yesterday found a new bubble on the side near the back window. Looks like these spots will keep popping up over the years in different areas of the car. I can't afford to get a whole new paint job, so I'm going to attempt to paint the spots myself although I know it wont look great. Wanted to drive this car for 10+ years, but now because of a cosmetic problem I don't think I can. Not many other significant problems with the vehicle that I have owned for almost 7 years. Anyone that has had luck dealing with Ford customer service let me know.

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #26

Sep 202005

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

My Ford started to loose paint in the rear on the hatch door after i had it for a few months, even though I had an extended warranty the ford dealership refused to do anything about it!!! I have meet 3 other people with the same car, same year and color(GOLD ASH) with the same problems. the too had no luck with ford! This is outrageous! I feel like a piece of white trash driving around in my car!! Can't wait til the payments are done...so long ford!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Cottonwood, CA, USA

problem #25

Jul 082009

Escape XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,512 miles

I was very happy with my Ford Escape. When I bought it, the paint was perfect, no scratches, dents, nothing -- mint condition. At the beginning of this summer the paint (yellow-gold color) started to peel off the hood and the trunk. Now the affected areas are around a 16 inches diameter. I talked to a body shop and they asked me $2500 to fix it. I was planning on selling it to buy a newer one and now the car depreciated so much and I don't know what to do. I wrote to Ford and I am waiting for their answer.

- , Alameda, CA, USA

problem #24

Apr 192008

Escape XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

This is typical for all automobile manufacturer's refusal to fix anything when the vehicle is out of warranty. Good luck to all of you attempting to get any satisfaction from Ford. There was definitley something wrong with the paint process on these vehicles. This is the first time I've ever had any problems with paint on a Ford and I'm wondering if other models have the same problem.

- , Newnan, GA, USA

problem #23

May 272009

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


Paint is peeling off the back hatch. Everyone who sees my car asks me if I've said anything to Ford about having it fixed. I tell them that Ford won't do anything about it, the dealer won't do anything about it. They all tell me they thought the paint warranty was for 10 years. I tell them that since the original warranty is out, so are my chances of getting it fixed by them.

Apparently, I'm not the only person to have this as I see there are hundreds of complaints out on the internet.

Guess Ford doesn't care. Guess I don't care to buy a Ford ever again. And since I'm not buying a government car, I guess this will be my last American car I will own.

Thanks Ford.

Buy the way...the FTC and all consumer groups I could find are aware of it now. Great way to run a business.

- , Rosenberg, TX, USA

problem #22

Nov 052008

Escape LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Paint is peeling off all over the place...FORD HAS TO RECOGNIZE THIS PROBLEM

- , Ottawa, ON, Canada

problem #21

Aug 282007

(reported on)

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

I recently discovered the paint peeling off the roof of my car in two spots: a huge spot above the windshield and a smaller spot on the top of my back hatch. When I contacted Ford Motor company, they said it wasn't their problem because the 3 year warranty was up. I am fighting this. Ford won't acknowledge the problem. I have started a petition. If you want on it, please contact me. Ford is going to pay for my paint!

- , Olive Branch, MS, US

problem #20

Aug 052007

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Same as others here, happy with the Escape...no mechanical issues. The appearance of the vehicle due to the paint coming off, starting with the panel between the windshield and sunroof is a different story. Mine started here and now it's coming off on the back hatch below the window on the passenger side, it is coming off underneath the rear passenger side door and also on the top of the rear hatch. The spots in front of the sunroof began to rust badly. The entire car needs to be repainted or it will just keep on coming off. My first contact with the dealership was a phone call when it initially started happening, I had an extended warranty, but the person who answered the phone told me that wouldn't cover it and basically 'good luck, bud'. It got worse and the rust started and I then went to the stealership where they took photos and made an official entry to Ford corporate. I finally got a reply and they basically said 'out of warranty, too bad'. This made me real mad because it eluded to the possibility that if that previous dude had told me to bring it in, I might have gotten my car back in good condition.

Oh well, my currently plan is to take it to the paint shop at my county's high school shop and have them do it where it will only cost about $1000.

- , Richmond, VA, USA

problem #19

Nov 032008

Escape XLT 3.0L Dohc V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,213 miles

First i have to say, that I love my Escape. It is a vehicle I have wanted ever since I saw it being towed on the highway in the Fall of 1999, since it had no markings I assumed it was a new vehicle going to an area Ford dealership for testing. With that said, it is quite disheartening to to see the list of complaints that have been dismissed and/or ignored by the Ford Corp. Currently my problem is at the back window, a relatively small swatch size area of paint has been peeling off. Though the paint is also bubbling up in the groove area of the back window. I am hoping that it goes no further but based on everyone else's e-mail I fear it is a waste of time and energy.

- , Waukegan, IL, US

problem #18

Jun 012006

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

My Escape started to flake about a month after my lease was up and I decided to buy it. I went back to my Ford dealer who told me that the warranty was up and that there was nothing that they could do for me!!! I called Ford corporate office and asked for help--they told me the same thing and that there were NO other reports of paint problems !!! Now my car is starting to RUST all over and it looks horrible!!! I have gotten an estimate to have it fixed and it will cost over $3000!!!! If anyone out there has any suggestions I would really appreciate them!! Thanks!

- , Frenchtown, NJ, USA

problem #17

Dec 052007

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

My vehicle looks like crap! (Or is going to very soon.) Paint flaking away from the roof, the back of the vehicle, the side... I regret buying Ford and now I can't even sell it to get my money back because it needs a whole new paint job! God forbid I wash it and take off more chunks of paint.

Totally disgusted by this!

- , Gassville, AR, USA

problem #16

Sep 222007

Escape LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,691 miles

Based on other complaints, I feel Ford had problems with the paint on the 2003 Escapes and they are choosing to ignore the issue.

- , Windsor, Ontario, Canada

problem #15

Mar 232008

Escape XLT 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Now there is another quarter size blister on the roof. The original blister is now open and the bare metal is showing and getting bigger. Is there a solution to at least keep it from spreading? Thanks for any advice....JOHN

- , Phoenixville, PA, USA

problem #14

Jul 012008

Escape XLT 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Another new blister on the passenger side of the hood close to the leading edge. This is nuts. I am really going to have a hard time justifying buying another Ford product.

The other blisters, now gaping holes, are just getting worse.

Looking at the other complaints, it is hard to believe that Ford isn't willing to do anything.

Thanks for any advice....JOHN

- , Phoenixville, PA, USA

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