hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,790 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 #7

Dec 032016


  • 151,000 miles


There is a regional recall #14S02 ref# 14V165000. The recall is for the structure and members. The lower control arm corrosion. The frame is rusted out where the lower control arm bushing is connected. I cannot drive my vehicle at this time. I was doing a complete repair myself of the lower control arm, ball joints, tie rod ends to remedy the steering issue and irregular tire wear, I repaired the drivers side but did not notice any issues but when I took the wheel off the passenger side I saw the frame is rusting out at the point I mentioned earlier. I have never seen a vehicle rust out like this and I have been working on vehicles my whole life. When I called the Ford recall hotline, they told me my vehicle is not part of the recall. But the recall goes from Oct. 1999 to Jan 2004 and I have a 2003. The only thing I can figure is that the vehicle may have been originally sold in a state that is not part of the recall? but I purchased it off someone who lives in Ohio and they definately had it up here due to the rust that has formed. Please help me!! the attached pic shows the rusted area, pic #3 shows with a new lower control arm held in place to give an idea of the area affected. Very dangerous to drive. The auto pulls sharply to the right if turned a little bit or sharply to left turning left easily. My new tires are also worn from this issue.

- Grafton, OH, USA

problem #6

Sep 152016


  • 140,000 miles
I pulled into work at 7:00 am 9/15/16 and at 9:00 am a fellow working told be my window was blown out. It look like it blew from the inside out.

- Lapeer, MI, USA

problem #5

Feb 012013


  • 80,000 miles
The ash gold paint is bubbling all over the outside roof rear door sides (all over) the car to include the interior. The roof has rusted and Ford won't do anything. I went to two Ford dealers in san diego and called Ford direct. The passed me over to the highway safety admin hotline that told me to call Ford, they will handle the complaint. Everyday more paint peels off.

- Spring Valley, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 202012


  • 130,000 miles


I entered my car to see the dash board lights were illuminated even with car in off poistion and key removed. Tried starting car and there was no response. Tried several times and eventually got car to start. Drove several blocks, parked and the car and even after removing key, could not get car to turn off. After several attempts, the car turned off. I could hear what sounded like a fan running in the area near my break fluid. After letting the car sit for about 2 hours, I needed to drive home. I drove serveral hundred yards before I started to smell burning rubber. When I saw black smoke coming from under my hood I pulled off the road. The flames started to get bigger. I call 911 but they did not arrive in time to save the car. The car was engulfed in flames. The engine and interitor were torched. Cause of fire has yet to be determined.

- Venice, CA, USA

problem #3

Dec 202006

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. Three months after the vehicle was purchased, the contact noticed a block of paint chipping off of the hood. Weeks later, the condition became progressively worse. The paint began bubbling and chipping excessively. When the contact attempts to wash the vehicle the paint will come off. She is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 74,000 and current mileage is 100,000. Update 06/10/08 updated 06/10/08

- Millbrook, AL, USA

problem #2

Jun 012004

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I am not sure if this is a defect, but seems to me with a 2003 SUV should not have paint chipping off (very small ), so I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem. 2003 Ford Escape.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #1

Oct 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,530 miles
When the temperature is warmer, the Escape intermittedly will not start. Takes anywhere from 4 to 7 times of cranking before SUV starts. Occured first in Aug., the Ford shop reprogrammed the computer. One month later doesn't start again. Ford shop left ticket open because they can't find problem. In October, happens again. Now they have installed a piece of equipment that I have to push a button as I'm cranking if the car doesn't start. The piece of equipment is only good for 1 week, have to keep going in to have it reset.

- Dubuque, IA, USA

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