definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,100 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2003 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #5

Oct 242007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,500 miles


I recently noticed that the paint on my 2003 Ford Escape was peeling and flaking at an alarming rate, both on the roof and on the rear panel. The paint was so loose that a strong wind was able to pick up the edges and strip it off the car. On October 24, 2007 I took it to my local Ford dealership, napleton's northwestern Ford in Chicago, for an appointment with the zone district manager. He declined my request for financial help in repairing this problem, citing that the warranty period had expired. My estimate for repair from napleton's recommended body shop said, in writing, that the peeling paint was caused by delamination of paint and a bad priming prep job. I sent a copy of the estimate, pictures of the damage and a letter of explanation to both the Ford customer relations center in detroit and my dealership owner - and received back a short form letter from detroit stating that they would not help me financially as the warranty period had expired. Although I realize that the warranty period has expired, I believe that my paint problem was caused by substandard work at the factory, a belief substantiated by the body shop. Recalls are done all the time for parts that are faulty, regardless of warranty. My paint job was faulty, and therefore I believe Ford should help me fix it. According to the center for auto safety and other web sites, paint should not be peeling off cars that are only 4 or 5 years old. I got the damage fixed, which cost me nearly $1,200. Prior to owning my Escape, I owned a Ford escort for 10 years, which never had a paint problem. Up until now I have been a loyal Ford customer, but since it appears that cutting corners and doing substandard work is their mode of operation, I will never buy another new Ford.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #4

Apr 012006

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
I've a 2003 Ford Escape that I purchased from a dealer in 2004. About a year ago, I noticed the paint chipping and peeling from the hood which I attributed to stone chips from highway driving but now, the paint is coming off on the right rear of the car where the roof section meets the main body.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #3

Nov 072006

(reported on)


  • miles
Complaint concerning 2003 Ford Escape.

- Alum Creek, WV, USA

problem #2

Aug 312005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles
Periodically and unpredictably, the key will not turn. Sometimes, it can be forced, if you are strong enough. Other times it cannot even be forced. But then it will work the next day. Moving the stearing wheel does not allow the key to turn even when trying to turn the wheel with force. My car has been towed once because 3 people tried and could not turn either key I have for the vehicle. I've been told by mechanics that this is a common Ford problem. I believe it is a safety concern because you never know where/when you will be stranded, whether or not you will have access to a phone. One mechanic said he could rebuild the stearing column and that had worked for other people with the same problem - however, that dealership would not provide a loaner car so I would be without any transportation for 1-2 days. The dealership where I bought my car has refused to do anything because the problem is sporatic and they say they cannot duplicate it. The ignition has locked 4 times in the past month. Additonally - the ABS brakes only work intermitently which makes it difficult when making the split second decision of whether to slam on the brakes or pump the brake.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #1

Aug 012004

Escape 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The present is in reference to an ongoing problem with my vehicle 2003 Ford Escape. I purchased this said vehicle on May 05, 2004, which was sold to me as a demo. Since then I've had problems with my car. There is a problem that yet hasn't been resolved due to the fact, that they can't find its source. Since August 2004 I've been reporting that when my car sits for a while either in the morning or in the afternoon it gives me a hard time to start up, this is not a sequence like problem. I understand that without finding the problem it can't be diagnosed, but on the other hand I can't afford being in the dealer all the time missing hours of work without pay and also staying without transportation. Not to mention that I'm having extra expenses with the vehicle that I really can't afford and also manage to pay for the car monthly. Being that all my efforts have been fruitless I resort to file a complaint with the department of licensing and Consumer Affairs. On Friday April 22, 2005, I spoke to Mr. Escobar which is a technician from puerto rico and he arranged that on Wednesday April 27, 2005 I leave my vehicle on the premises of metro motors overnight and they would provide me with a loner for the time being. Management changed the dates and my car stayed on the dealers premises on Wednesday, May 4, 2005 til Monday, April 9, 2005. Yet still no problem can be found. Thanks god I haven't had no accidents but I would really want to find out whats the source of the problem for my own safety.

- St. Croix, VI, USA

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