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 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

Sep 172007

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Leaving a traffic light the vehicle idle increased to over 4000 rpms after I took my foot off the accelerator pedal. I shut off the engine but the idle did not return to normal. I've been told that was an unusual case of the "idle speed control" failure. This "racing" had happened once before at 48,000 miles but after I restarted the vehicle idle speed returned to normal.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #6

Aug 082007

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving 65 mph, the vehicle began to accelerate without warning. On August 8, 2007, the contact was involved in a crash that was related to a previous recall repair for the vehicle speed control (NHTSA campaign number 04V574000). A police report was filed. The contact was injured and the vehicle was destroyed. The recall was performed by Ford and Chevrolet. In may of 2007, the vehicle accelerated past 100 mph and began shaking as if it would flip over. The accelerator pedal became stuck to the floor and the vehicle continued to accelerate on its own. The contact was forced to stop the vehicle by placing it in park and removing the key from the ignition. When the failure occurred, no sound or warning lights were present. The contact has photos. The failure mileage was 60,000 and current mileage was 66,000.

- Raytown , MO, USA

problem #5

Dec 152006

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,423 miles
- the contact was accelerating onto the interstate when the throttle became stuck. The vehicle was a 2004 Ford Escape with 47,000 miles. The contact had both feet on the brakes and the vehicle would not stop. The vehicle reached 100 mph. There were no warning signs or noises prior to the incident. The vehicle traveled at this speed for approximately 1 mile. The contact kept applying the brakes and was able to slow the vehicle to 45 mph. The contact pulled over to the shoulder and was able to stop the vehicle. The contact called the police, and the vehicle was towed to a Ford dealer. The dealer replaced the throttle cable. The contact has the repair order. A police report was not filed. The weather conditions were dry. There were no injuries. Ak updated 01/29/07.

- Eureka, MO, USA

problem #4

Jun 012006

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,700 miles


: the contact stated while driving on a highway at 70 mph the cruise control would not deactivate. Depressing the brake pedal did not slow the vehicle or turning off the cruise control. To stop the vehicle, it was placed in neutral and pulled to the side of the road. The vehicle was driven to the service dealer where they determined the cables were defective. The cruise control cable was disconnected until the ordered parts are received by the dealer.

- Hockessin, DE, USA

problem #3

Feb 142006

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was driving to work on the highway and all of the sudden my 2004 Ford Escape began to accelerate even with my foot off the gas pedal and the floor mat was not stuck against pedal. Car continued to do so. Brought to dealer, they said it was the accelerator cable bracket broke causing the throttle to stick open.

- Hutchinson, MN, USA

problem #2

Feb 192005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,600 miles
I was in a grocery store parking lot, looking for a parking place, went down one aisle, turned left to and started up the next aisle. Right after I made the turn I pulled into the aisles second parking spot on my left side. I never picked up speed after turning into the aisle. Just after I started into the parking spot my car literally lunged forward and "took off" all on its own. (I did not have my foot on the gas pedal)....I rushed to push down on the brake but by that time my car had already run up on the hood of the car facing me from the other aisle. I had no control over the car. I was to stunned at the time to know now if my brake stopped the car or if the car's acceleration stopped on it's own once it was on the hood of the other car. I am so thankful no one was injured and how bad this could have been if I was stopping to let a pedestrian cross and this happened at that time.

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #1

Feb 052005

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180 miles
Within 2 hours of buying a new 2004 Ford Escape and at 180 miles the throttle stuck on the highway accelerating me to nearly 90 mph before I could shift it into neutral, get it off the side of the road, and turn off the engine. Had there been any cars next to me on the highway I would have been involved in a horrible accident. The car is at the dealer to be fixed, but I read on the Ford Motor Co. Web page there is a recall for accelerator problems. How/why can a dealer sell a car with a known defect? I very easily could have been seriously injured or killed.

- Idaho Falls, ID, USA

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