really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,055 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 wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2003 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #10

Dec 012014


  • 107,317 miles


The front passenger side lower control arm failed while my son was driving the vehicle. He was going straight, and the right front side just buckled under while he was in motion. Luckily he wasn't on a heavily-travelled road when it happened, because there would have been a serious accident. The vehicle, although it is a 2003 Ford Escape, is not part of recall #14S02. Why, I don't know? no one at Ford can explain this to me, as it is exactly what has been happening with this make and model/year. We had it repaired at great cost to us, with exactly the parts/labor that Ford had been describing in the recall. Our mechanic even got the replacement crossmember from Ford! Ford themselves wanted nothing to do with the repair. In addition to the lower control arm, and crossmember, the tire had to be replaced, along with the right front axle assembly, as they were severely damaged from the frame failure. I would really like an answer as to why my vehicle is not included in the recall, when the recall describes exactly what has happened to my vehicle.

- Barker, NY, USA

problem #9

Sep 232016


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 33 mph and attempting to turn, the front passenger side wheel failed and the vehicle became difficult to control. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The contact was able to pull the vehicle over to the shoulder and discovered that the front passenger wheel was rusted and twisted outward. The failure caused the rear control arm to almost fall off. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #8

Feb 172016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 20 mph and turning right, the vehicle made a clunking sound. The contact had to turn the wheel to the left in order to drive straight. When slowing down to approximately 5 mph, the vehicle made a clunking noise from the front passenger side. The contact exited the vehicle and discovered that the passenger side wheel was slightly detached from the vehicle. The vehicle was towed, but was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Cape Elizabeth, ME, USA

problem #7

Feb 072016


  • 145,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle had a recall on the frame and was repaired. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle shook and the steering wheel wobbled. The front driver side wheel was straight while the front passenger side wheel faced outward. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the subframe was completely fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 145,000.

- Dekalb, IL, USA

problem #6

Jul 052015


  • 75,000 miles
My daughter was driving at a slow rate of speed and the front wheel fell off the truck. There had been a recall on this part and we had the service completed. Ford added a cross member to the part as the parts were rusting. This was done within the year. The truck is now at a Ford dealership and the Ford Motor Company refuses to pay for the repair. I am grateful that my daughter was not hurt however this is the second time this wheel has fallen off. A year earlier during a service visit a Ford certified mechanic forgot to put a bolt back on. That dealership did pay to have the truck repaired and apologized. Again it was fortunate that my daughter was not hurt.

- New Hartford, NY, USA

problem #5

Mar 072015

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 91,500 miles
Had my 2003 Escape in to the dealer for a wheel bearing problem, while it was in the shop they did the open recall 14S02 sub frame brace installation. Drove the car 2 times. The wife decided to drive to the store on a 3rd time and called me to say car was pulling hard to the passenger side. After getting the car home I remove the passenger front tire thinking that we had a sticking brake caliper and could see right away that the sub frame had ripped apart right where the lower control arm bolts up. After more investigation and many photos it appears to me that the bolt that was used to install the brace per the recall has cause the upper part of the frame to rip apart from the lower part (split it open) there is significant rust on the frame but this really looks like the bandaid caused a bigger problem. I called the dealer, they said to call Ford, I called Ford they said take it back to the dealer and they would evaluate it. But after reading comments here I decided against that and will probably just haul it to scrap yard. What a waste.

- Austinburg, OH, USA

problem #4

Jul 172014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 104,407 miles


The enclosed form with the things fixed should help. I was turning and the wheel almost fell off. I was in the parking lot so nothing was hit or hurt.

- Cato, NY, USA

problem #3

May 162013


  • 97,325 miles
While that vehicle was being operated; decelerating from about 35 mph, a very loud pop noise was heard and the front passenger side became unstable and steering became unreliable. Vehicle was stopped immediately. Upon initial inspection is appears that the wheel became partially detached from vehicle. After a thorough inspection is appears that the rear mounting bolt of the front passenger side control arm had detached from the sub-frame. This part of the sub-frame show excessive corrosion which led to the failure of the control arm mounting point. As a result of the failure the vehicle lost all ability to maintain effective stability. Luckily the vehicle was already decelerating and being operated on a roadway that had sufficient room to make corrective measure otherwise the outcome of this failure easily could have been catastrophic and fatal. The vehicle has less than 100,000 miles. The body and other parts of the frame do not have significant amounts of rust.

- Northport, NY, USA

problem #2

Feb 182013


  • 70,000 miles
Left work and driving on a back road at 15 mph and was approaching a stop sign, applied the brakes and heard a loud snap/pop. The right side of the vehicle instantly slammed down/dropped to the road; steering locked; I had no control over the vehicle; slid a few feet and stopped. The passenger tire was pinned between the ground and the vehicle. The axle was hanging and the sub frame was visible. It was clear that the subframe had literally snapped at a weld joint without warning. Weld joint snapped on subframe. This vehicle is only 9yrs w/70K miles and mostly garaged; a major safety concern. This would have worse at high rate of speed, if not fatal. Vehicle then towed to a Ford dealership. I requested to have a Ford rep review the case. The dealership told me I had to call Ford. After calling, they then told me I had to request this through the dealership, but gave me a case number. The dealership then informed me that Ford were not interested in reviewing the vehicle and wouldn't do anything and that I had call Ford. I called Ford back who escalated my case and an acct mgr called me back who explained there was nothing they could do at this time. Over 1100 in repairs are required due to a faulty frame. I asked repeatedly that this particular subframe failure be investigated as a quality/mfg problem and I requested an investigation and informed the company of several other cases that log the same "?exact?" description and failure of the subframe. The company told me "keep my receipt". I stressed my dissatisfaction with how this was handled, but nothing could be done at this time. Ford should at a min. Issue a service bulletin to have the sub frame inspected to all of the Escape owners, so failures can be avoided before they happen. This is from a very dissatisfied customer and will choose no longer to purchase any Ford products, based on this experience.

- Warren, OH, USA

problem #1

Dec 092011


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the vehicle started to jerk violently and exhibited an abnormally loud noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised that that the front driver side wheel bolts were sliding or breaking off and as a result, they would need to replaced the entire wheel assembly. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 120,000 and the current mileage was 120,045.

- Aitkin, MN, USA

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