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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
125,917 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #6

Jul 212016


  • 135,004 miles


In April 2016, I purchased a used 2004 Ford Escape with approximately 130,000 miles on it. The vehicle had a recent state inspection sticker verifying that it passed all state safety standards. However, after driving the Escape for only a few days, the check engine light would come on intermittently and the vehicle would quit running properly and stall. This would occur intermittingly while the vehicle was in park and other times while driving in traffic. I brought the vehicle into two different mechanics and they could not properly diagnose the problem due to the complexity of the stalling issue. The check engine light no longer comes on, but the stalling problem keeps getting worse. My spouse no longer drives the vehicle because of the safety issues of stalling on the highways and it store parking lots. On July 21, 2016, I drove the Escape for a 200 mile round-trip. During the first 100 miles, going to the destination, the vehicle ran great without a single problem. Unfortunately, during the return trip home, I became scared as the vehicle began intermittently stalling in 4 lanes of interstate traffic that was traveling at 55+ miles per hour¿and I had to try restarting my vehicle several times, while traveling in neutral in the middle of 4 lanes of interstate traffic. I plan to bring our vehicle back to another mechanic, so they can try to properly address this safety issue¿hopefully before someone gets hurt accidentally with the vehicle intermittently stalling in heavy traffic or in a dangerous situation. Unfortunately, diagnosing the problem seems to be an issue. I have read several articles online about this intermittent stalling problem with Escapes and realize that the stalling problem is quite prevalent. Personally, I believe this is a serious safety issue that needs to be addressed by Ford, with a safety recall done to fix the problem.

- Ruckersville, VA, USA

problem #5

Jun 102016


  • 144,500 miles
Airbag light blinks or continuously stays on...also rear passenger shock has broken away from wheel well causing unsafe driving conditions. I just had this vehicle financed back in February 2016.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #4

Nov 172015


  • miles
Right, rear back window hinge bolt rusted off and broke

- Middletown, NY, USA

problem #3

Nov 282014


  • 140,000 miles


Vehicle airbag light goes on and off intermittently. This happens whether parked or driving, whether there is a passenger or not. Vehicle will "rev" in park, if the steering wheel is turned slightly, bumped or move. Twice vehicle has "jumped" while in parked when this has happened. Major issue: Door locks will not open. There is no manual lock on the doors, only electronic. No place for a key. Passengers have been locked inside with no way to exit vehicle except to climb over seat. Will happen to various doors, most often the front passenger door, but not all doors at the same time (we believe this may happen, ) door lock will click 3 times but will not unlock.

- Warren, OH, USA

problem #2

Mar 282015


  • 188,000 miles
Passenger (right) rear wheel well rusted through, causing the strut to detach.

- Ridley Park, PA, USA

problem #1

Mar 092015


  • 148,000 miles
Was driving 25 miles an hour down small hill, the car in front of me stopped. I hit the brakes and the car didn't stop it felt as if I was pushing the accelerator like when pushing button! to speed up cruise control and it slowly increases speed. I slammed both feet to the brake and went to reach for emergency brake but never made it. I hit the other car. Last thing I remember is hearing metal crunch, the next thing I remember is smoke, top of my head on left side hairline ached looked in mirror and saw blood. Started looking for my phone on the dash but it was broken.could hear someone talking, then people were walking up to car. When the officer got there he asked what I hit my head on I didn't know, he asked if I had my seatbelt on I said yes. I told him my car wouldn't stop. Realized when E.M.T asked same question I knee I had it on but couldn't remember taking it off, and I told him that. He looked at chest didn't see marks or bruising, he asked again if I was sure, I was sure I put it on. After crash, when got to tow yard next day saw my seat belt broke, I cracked the windshield with my head and broke all under steering wheel with my knees...but the airbags deployed must have been after I hit everything because it hit me in the arm only based on that stinging red raised rash that later bruised on my forearm, no airbag to face injuries, just hit top of head on windshield and knees on lower dash under steering wheel, bruising on stomach lower abdomen near pelvic bone may have been steering wheel. My car kept going faster brakes didn't slow me at all witness said and my seatbelt latch is in pieces, my airbag went of late. My bumper is folded like a flat piece of metal about one inch wide hit it pushing it into my radiator. My SUV was going 25 miles an hour, my SUV bumper hit a small car bumper, that car was stopped. What went wrong?

- Vancouver, WA, USA

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