Notes: The 2004 Ford Escape looks pretty good compared to other Ford Escape model years, but still has a trend of transmission problems, and engine problems from the NHTSA complaint data — so it's not a model year we can recommend.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
35,675 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. take to ford dealer, demand Ford correct paint problem (1 reports)
2004 Ford Escape body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 292012

Escape XLT 3.2lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,350 miles


bought brand new after warranty expired seven years later started having problems with the paint peeling and chipping!

- , Lindenhurst, NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 232007

(reported on)

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

I bought my Escape new in 2004. For the record, I come from a Ford family. Father worked and died at Ford. And all my vehicles have been new Fords. They have obtained lots of my money and loyalty... which is beginning to fade!

In 2006, I noticed the top of the rear lift gate of my Escape had paint flaking off down to the primer. It began as a thin edge approximately 1/8 of an inch. It has continued flaking to the point that it is now flaking off well over an inch. I have began dealing with Ford over the past week (Sept 2007). Today after washing... I noticed the edge of my hood is doing the same thing now. Oh and the doors - all four including the lift gate are corroding from the inside out at the bottoms where the door seams are.

Regarding paint.... One local Ford dealer said it was out of warranty, tough luck. I called Ford directly and the stonewalling tactics began. The Customer Relationship Center's response was the same. I demanded a supervisor. I was told no one was available and "they will just tell you the same thing". Two days later a supervisor called... and she did tell me the same thing.

I contacted the BBB. I filled out my complaint forms against Ford. In the meantime.... I went to the dealer who sold me the Escape. The warranty administrator saw my problems. Corrosion should be covered under the five year corrosion warranty. Fine. But the peeling paint.... another issue. The issue is that they cover paint in the bumper to bumper factory 3/36 whichever comes first warranty. However they are willing to take my issue to Ford and tell them that they need to make this crappy paint job right! Especially with my Ford loyalty in the past. I obtained estimates on both the paint peeling and the doors corroding.

They determined that the peeling paint is most likely due to poor application at the factory where the robotic arms doing the clearcoat are not getting the clearcoat wrapped around the edges correctly , and then the paint breaks down and flakes away. The doors corroding are from the way the doors are crimped allowing moisture to get in from the inside out. It was recommended replacing the doors because a quick fix of a sand and paint job on that corrosion issue is only a band aid. They will just continue the corroding.

Estimates to repaint the lift gate are around $700. (But now I have a hood problem to look into since my discovery today as well). Replacing corroded doors is like $6500. But the band aid treatment is approximately $1000.

Ford needs to be made aware of any other problems anyone else has like this. There is a definite problem with paint application from the factory. And regardless of how many miles my Escape has (61,000) this paint issue needs to be corrected! I paid for my vehicle and spent lots of money and it should not be in this shape! Ford should be wanting to fix this.... as vehicles that have paint problems in this short amount of time are an advertisement and testament of the quality of vehicle Ford puts out!

Another Ford dealer nearby told me that two Explorers both 06's had paint peel issues and needed re-painting on their roofs already this past summer! Research has indicated Ford has fixed faulty paint jobs in the past at their expense. However customers/owners must push hard. I will pursue every legal avenue, including the attorney general if necessary. This type of issue should not even exist on a newer vehicle! Do not accept no for an answer from Ford if you have a similar problem!

- , Wapakoneta, OH, USA

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