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
Crashes / Fires:
19 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
10 / 1
Average Mileage:
83,836 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.

2004 Ford Escape engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Mar 152008


  • 52,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that at engine start up, air bag warning light illuminated. On a seperate occassion, the accelerator pedal detached from the vehicle while attempting a turn. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and a private mechanic to diagnose both failures. The dealer confirmed that a computer chip failed and the private mechanic replaced the throttle cable for the detached accelerator pedal. The manufacturer was contacted. The failure mileage was 52,000 and the current mileage was 78,116.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #26

Jan 012011


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact was driving approximately 55 mph when the vehicle abnormally accelerated at a rapid speed. The vehicle failed to decelerate when the brakes were applied. The contact immediately shifted into neutral and the vehicle came to a complete stop with the engine exhibiting an unusually high increase in rpms. The failure recurred intermittently. The dealer was notified and they advised the contact that there were no recalls related to the failure for his vehicle. The vehicle was neither repaired nor diagnosed for the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 85,000. Updated 03/22/11 updated 12/20/11

- Rogers, MN, USA

problem #25

Dec 102010


  • 141,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that when she depressed the accelerator pedal, it stuck to the floorboard and accelerated up to 80 mph although the brake pedal was also depressed. The contact had to turn the vehicle off to stop the vehicle. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The current and failure mileages were approximately 141,000.

- Norwood , NC, USA

problem #24

Oct 242010


  • 107,394 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving 65 mph with the cruise control on as he depressed the accelerator pedal to past another vehicle there was sudden acceleration and the vehicle speed increased more than it should. He had to depress the brake pedal with extreme force in order to get to move onto the side of the road and turn the engine off. The vehicle was towed to the closest dealer and after inspection he was told that the vehicle speed control cable broke and caused the vehicle to accelerate. The vehicle speed control was disconnected; yet, the vehicle was driven to his residence. He then took the vehicle to another dealer where they replaced the cable at his expense for $160. The manufacturer was notified and also offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 107,394.

- Waynesburg, PA, USA

problem #23

Jul 182010


  • 164,000 miles
On Sunday, July 18th, 2010, while driving on 280 S. in the afternoon, I passed a vehicle that was traveling approximately 50 mph on the highway. As I pressed the accelerator, the vehicle continued to accelerate. As this was the 2nd occurrence, I did not panic but tried a couple of remedies. I ensured the cruise control was off, it was. I tried to "pop" the gas pedal off the floor but it was limp. I tapped the accelerator to no avail. I put the vehicle in neutral as the RPM's were hitting over 4500 RPM and the mph were hitting over 70+ and not slowing. I coasted to the side and waited for a tow truck. The car was taken to the dealer. They found the throttle cable was indeed slack and the throttle body was in the wide open position. They called the Ford hotline who said they have never heard of the problem occurring or had a record of the occurrence. The dealer charged me for the inspection and suggested I replace the throttle body and pvc valve? they weren't sure if that was the cause of the problem but they suggested it. The throttle body, they said was on back order because of increased demand. The vehicle had 164,000 miles on it.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #22

Oct 182009


  • 140,000 miles
I was the owner of a 2004 Ford Escape that was recalled because the engine would suddenly accelerate uncontrollable. I had to call my insurance co. Geico because of this they sent out a tow truck to check the situation. The tow operator got the engine to run normally. I put in a claim against Ford and was told that they did not think they were liable. My Escape accelerated again and was involved in a accident that totaled the vehicle. I need help to present my case to Ford Motor Co.

- Forestville, MD, USA

problem #21

Apr 142010


  • 73,272 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at speeds of 35 mph with her foot steady on the accelerator pedal, the vehicle accelerated up to speeds of 70 mph without warning. She shifted into neutral gear and had to use both feet to apply extreme pressure to the brake pedal, in order to bring the vehicle to a stop. She stated that there was a burning odor throughout the failure. The dealer performed a diagnostic test which revealed that the vehicle cruise control cable had broken and caused a shard of metal to become lodged in the accelerator mechanism. The vehicle had not been repaired when the complaint was filed. The approximate failure and current mileages were 73,272.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #20

Mar 152010


  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 60 mph with the accelerator pedal depressed more than of the way, the contact noticed that the pedal would not release causing the vehicle to accelerate. He applied the brake pedal which slowed the vehicle down. The failure occurred on three occasions. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer and the contact had not spoken with the manufacturer when the complaint was filed. The current mileage was approximately 104,000. The failure mileage was approximately 100,000.

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #19

Mar 232010

Escape 6-cyl

  • 72,667 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at unknown speeds and removing his foot from the accelerator pedal, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. He was able to bring the vehicle to a stop without incident. In addition, the contact stated that the engine would exhibit unusual increases in rpms of up to 4500 while in any gear. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 04V574000: Vehicle speed control: Cables, however the dealer stated that the failure was contributed to the idle air control valve malfunctioning. He proceeded to explain the idle air control valve was not closing correctly, therefore causing the vehicle to accelerate without depressing the accelerator pedal. The failure mileage was 77,000 and the current mileage was 72667. The idle air control valve failed which caused the vehicle to accelerate at an excessive speed. Updated 05/03/10. Updated 06/03/10 updated 06/10/10.

- Niceville , FL, USA

problem #18

May 132009


  • 90,000 miles
Ford Escapes were recalled for sticking accelerators while this vehicle was under warranty. At ~90K miles, accelerator began sticking (three separate occasions). Fortunately all occurred on the highway where there was enough time to pull over and 'unstick' the accelerator. Mats were not the issue since I removed the mats after the first incident. Ford claimed there was nothing wrong yet replaced several components (at my expense). No incidents since then - about 20K miles later. Obviously they still have a problem.

- Hoffman Estates, IL, USA

problem #17

Mar 012010


  • 62,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The vehicle failed to accelerate and decelerate and he had to turn the vehicle off to avoid a collision. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was repaired under recall 04V5740000 vehicle speed control, cables in 2005; therefore they will not offer any assistance. The vehicle will be repaired. The failure mileage was 62,000. The current mileage was 112,000.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #16

Jan 152010


  • 36,000 miles
While moving my 2004 Ford Escape in my driveway the vehicle suddenly accelerated without my foot on the pedal. I struck a bush in my yard and was able to stop. The bush was destroyed and there was approx. $500 damage to my vehicle. A recall repair on the accelerator cable was performed by Ford in March of 2005. I brought the vehicle to a Ford dealer who would not even look at the vehicle without charging me. I reported the incident to Ford Motor Co. Who stated that they repaired the accelerator cable when it was recalled and would not repair it again. I have since had the bumper damage repaired and will have the accelerator cable inspected by an independent garage. I am lucky that no one was hurt during this incident. I am hesitant to drive this car again and I am very careful when I have to. I am a retired police officer and have seen what M/V crashes can do.

- Wilmington, MA, USA

problem #15

Oct 122007


  • miles
Ford 2004 Escape - slowly making ascent up a driveway - suddenly accelerator pedal sticks, engine racing, car begins rapid acceleration - driver able to slam on brakes with extreme pressure to stop car - engine continues to race - driver able to put car in park with engine still racing - turns off car. He then turns car back on, only to have engine still racing - immediately turns off again. Dealership called to come pick up car.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #14

Jan 082010


  • 38,000 miles
The engine revs in below zero weather ever since I bought the Escape in 2003. I'll be driving on the freeway at 60 mph and the only way I can slow the speed of the car is by applying the brakes and the engine continues revving as if it were still going 60. Then when I get off the freeway the car continues to rev like that and I stop at stop signs and it revs and only by pushing down hard on the brake can I control the car as it continues to rev as if going about 60mph. Often when I start it in the morning it revs (when below zero) and continues to rev as I drive a mile or so to have coffee. This has been the case since I got the car. I initially took it in to tousley Ford in white bear, Minnesota. They said it was fixed and charged something like $186 and it did the same thing on driving it home (about 12 miles). I took it back then and there as it was dangerous and they tried to fix it again and it still revved. Attempted fixes: Feb 18, 08 replaced iac, replaced 1L8Z*9F715 X-valve. Then Feb. 19, '08 replaced iac again per invoice. I just gave up and due to finances decided to take my chances driving it as is (still revs). What do I do now? the date of incident instead of Jan. 8, 2010 should be stated as "every winter since 2003". never has been fixed.

- St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #13

Oct 182009


  • miles
On 10/18/09 my son was in control of the vehicle when the accelerator stuck the vehicle would not respond to braking and eventually ran into a parked vehicle one person injured and the vehicle parked received damage my 2004ford Escape total loss.

- District Heights, MD, USA

problem #12

Dec 152007


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle accelerated unexpectedly. As a result, the stopping distance increased. The VIN was excluded from NHTSA campaign id number 04V574000 (vehicle speed control:cables). The manufacturer would not assume responsibility for the repair. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 65,000 and current mileage was 82,000.

- Henning, MN, USA

problem #11

Apr 132009


  • 40,000 miles
Accelerating up hill to posted 50mph when accelerator pedal punched to the floor on it's own. Vehicle reached 85mph and slowed to approx 55mph when downshifted to 1st while simultaneously pressing brake pedal and pulling up on emergency brake. Accelerator pedal wouldn't come up despite attempts with foot. Ultimately crashed, vehicle totaled, property damage to a house and neighbor's yard, personal injuries sustained by driver only; no passengers.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #10

Dec 202008


  • 95,000 miles
While driving home last winter my accelerator pedal stuck open and would not release. I approached the exit at approximately 55 mph and had to push the brakes to the floor to stop the vehicle. After letting the car set for approximately 10 minutes everything worked fine again until the morning when I started the engine and it stayed at 3000 RPM until the car warmed completely up.

- Ithaca, MI, USA

problem #9

Jan 012009

Escape 6-cyl

  • 7,620 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving less than 40 mph, the contact placed the vehicle into drive and proceeded to depress the accelerator pedal. The pedal became stuck and the vehicle proceeded forward. She attempted to depress the brake pedal, but there was no response. The vehicle crashed into a plowed area of snow. There were no injuries. The roads were not icy at the time of the crash. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 04V574000 (vehicle speed control:cables), although the failures were identical. Updated 02-23-09 updated 02/24/09.

- Bowling Green, OH, USA

problem #8

Dec 222008


  • 60,000 miles
Throttle cable would not return to idle position while at highway speed. Have had numerous problems with throttle and related components recently vehicle has been towed 3 times in two weeks because throttle becomes stuck wide open and is hazardous to drive. Recall on throttle cable was completed 3 years prior. Bottom line is $1,000 plus dollars later on a four year old vehicle with 60,000 miles on it.

- Ambridge, PA, USA

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