hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,145 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 #13

Jul 092016


  • 136,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. While driving 60 mph, the transmission failed. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 136,000.

- Bladenboro, NC, USA

problem #12

Oct 302015


  • miles
I own a 03 Ford Escape and when driving at about 30mph my tire started rubbing the fenderwell and pulling hard to the right I had to fight to keep my car from hitting things and about 5 seconds after all of a sudden there is a very loud clunk sound from my passenger front tire. And my front end dropped and wheel locked up. Causing me to lose control of my vehicle. Nearly missing parked cars. I was told my lower control arm separated from subframe. Which has a corrosion issue (this is a know problem with this model, recall reference number --- 14S02).. I was advised by a private mechanic that my subframe needed replaced. I googled and found out about this recall and had it taken to my local Ford dealership and so far have heard nothing.. this is ridiculous. And because of this safety recall, it damaged my car even further, broke my C/V joint. Probably messed up the axel

- Wellsville, OH, USA

problem #11

Jun 022015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle failed to restart and was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The ignition coils, spark plugs, and manifold gasket were replaced. One month later, the failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to two different independent mechanics where the ignition coils, spark plugs, and manifold gasket were replaced again. The failure persisted. The technician stated that the power train control module would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Richmond, UT, USA

problem #10

Sep 022013


  • 195,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle began to jerk and lunge. In addition, there was a burning odor. The contact shut off the engine but after restarting, he was unable to shift into any gear. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 195,000.

- Newaygo, MI, USA

problem #9

Apr 222011


  • 63,085 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that an unknown fluid was leaking from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the torque converter became cracked and would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 63,085 and the current mileage was 80,000.

- Channahon, IL, USA

problem #8

Sep 102012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
My car is misfiring and stalling on de-acceleration (when we slow down). It started recently. First it had the engine light come on. We had it tested by a mechanic with the electrical reader and it said we needed a new coil. We replaced the coil, did a full tune up and it still is not working. After many hours of research we see that the Ford Escape PCM has been a consistent manufacturing problem and the 2003 Ford Escape had this problem. I call Ford and they tell me my car was not covered under that particular recall. However, it is clear that this is a serious problem with Ford Escape. What I am to do" drive the car like this and risk it stalling in an intersection or on a hill and have the possibility of a crash" Ford should be held responsible for this manufacturing problem that they have documented over the years.

- Ketchikan, AK, USA

problem #7

May 022012


  • 118,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle would stall without warning. The vehicle would also accelerate suddenly. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the power train control module needed to be replaced, but that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA recall campaign id number:04V165000(power train: Automatic transmission: Control module(tcm.PCM). The failure mileage was 118,000 and the current mileage was 119,000.

- Cottage Grove, MN, USA

problem #6

Oct 012007


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while decelerating at various speeds, the vehicle would stall. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on several occasions, but they were unable to duplicate or diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and the contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 04V165000 (power train:automatic transmission:control module (tcm, PCM)). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #5

Aug 112009

Escape 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The vehicle stalls (loses all power and comes to a halt) at low speeds even sometimes in reverse gear. It has happened at parking lots at low speeds or when I am just about to take off at traffic lights. Only happens at low speeds. Have taken it to the dealership multiple times, have gotten the computer module reprogrammed, changed battery, alternator, idler controller valve and relay so far. None of these have fixed the problem, the car is back with the mechanic for other checks. The problem has been very intermittent, it sometimes happens and sometimes does not!. taking the key out and putting it back and starting the engine again gets me moving again!. so far I have been lucky not to be hit by anyone from behind!.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #4

Dec 222009


  • 63,500 miles
Ford is not allowing my car to be included in the safety recall: 04S13 for powertrain control module re-calibration. I have notified Ford and they are saying they never miss a vehicle that gets recalled. My vehicle has stalled more than 7 times when decelerating under 40pmh. I have brought my car into a mechanic two times for the same problem. Everytime it was determined that there was no reason for the vehicle to stall.

- Green Bay Wi , WI, USA

problem #3

Feb 192009


  • 24,000 miles


I purchased a 2003 Ford Escape with 24,000 miles on it. I should have known better, as vehicle stalled when I test drove it, but was assured the PCM just needed to be reflashed. 3 days after purchasing the car it stalled out on me when turning a corner, foot not on the accelerator. Was only able to get the car restarted after really revving engine hard. Took it back, assured me it was my "anti-theft device" two days after getting vehicle back, stalled yet again when pulling into my driveway. Symptoms are much like the recall listed for 2003 Escapes but of course my VIN number is not included. So I took it back to dealer and they "can't get it to stall" but replaced this time the idle air control valve. Picked it up, next day stalled out as I turned corner into parking lot. This car is unsafe.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #2

Apr 012006

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
Submission regarding long outstanding issue with his 2003 Ford Escape purchased on December 30, 2002. ***** the vehicle has exhibited transmission since the date of purchase. The vehicle has been taken to the dealer 15 times but they have been unable to correct the problem. The transmission stopped shifting at 35 mph, lost power then overheated after driving distances of about 10 miles (city driving). But when the vehicle was driven through puddles of water the problem would diminish and the transmission would shift normally and power would be restored. During the consumers last visit to the dealer he was told that there was nothing else they could do.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #1

Nov 092004


  • 12,300 miles
When accelerating, the vehicle jerked forward.

- Marcus Hook, PA, USA

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