really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,200 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.

2003 Ford Escape drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #2

Apr 302004

Escape 4WD

  • 7,000 miles


I have never trusted the 4 wheel drive. After first winter usage, the sounds it made when engaged and when turning the wheel sounded like a rubbing bushing or something within the gearbox. 2 dealers said you couldn't really test it in the summer, as you needed the snow for it to activate properly, but it still bucks when turning the wheel, so much so, that I do not trust it to use. I've owned Jeep 4wheel and all- wheel versions, so that is why I don't trust it. I know Ford has over the years upgraded this system, but it was still a $1600 option when I bought it, and expect it to work. Have there been similar complaints, as I have never received a recall notice for this problem, but have had 2 other recall fixes made. After the Toyota braking problem, I feel this is of equal consequence. It always seemed to be worse when going in reverse.

- Defiance, OH, USA

problem #1

Aug 192004

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,400 miles
Cable on vehicle accelerator pedal broke and car accelerator unchecked. I needed to"stand" hard on my brakes to get any contol of the speed. I was on the freeway and transitioning to another freeway when this occurred. The only way I could stop the car was to turn off the motor once I got near the shoulder and use the brakes and the emergency brakes to come to a stop. The power Ford valencia Ford dealer, where I purchased the car, found the broken cable and now tells me that Ford does not cover this type of failure.

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

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