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:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
120,018 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #105

Sep 012015


  • 145,000 miles


Right side rear shock absorber tower rusted out

- Hanover Park, IL, USA

problem #104

Aug 122015


  • 138,000 miles
Right rear wheel well rusted through and the shock and spring punched through the body of the car. Highly dangerous, as our children and my wife drive the car, but the only indication that this occurred was an occasional loud noise (mimicking a shock absorber bottoming out). Until I inspected the vehicle, nothing else, such as handling or other factors warned of the dire situation. For instance, my wife travels back and fourth to her parents via a busy highway covering about 50-60 miles multiple times a week and this could have caused a fatal crash. My guess if we have been driving on this based on the occasional noise for 2 months.

- Pepper Pike, OH, USA

problem #103

Sep 052015


  • 59,000 miles
Ford's 14S02 recall was to deal with excessive rust on a subframe unit. If the recall inspection of the subframe did not result in characteristics warranting replacement, Ford instructed dealers to install a cross brace. Approximately 13 months after our 2004 Ford Escape had the cross brace installed the subframe unit failed while we were driving. The car violently jerked to the side and if there had been another car or any obstacle on that side of our vehicle we would have hit it. I contacted Ford several times and on each occasion was told Ford would not cover the cost of the repairs because they had already installed the cross brace - which was not the part that failed and was not the part for which the recall was initiated. The repair cost over $800. At the time of the incident the Escape had fewer than 60,000 miles. During each on my calls to Ford, and after being told Ford would not cover the repair costs, I asked to speak with a supervisor. Each time I was told they could have a supervisor call me 1 business day later, but they would not give me a time when I could expect the call so I had to be available at any time throughout the day. To summarize, the band-aid Ford put on to deal with the subframe problem (the cross brace) did not fail. The part for which the recall was initiated did fail even with the cross brace. Ford is denying coverage for the repair costs.

- Chagrin Falls, OH, USA

problem #102

Aug 122015


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact noticed that the front passenger side subframe was separated from the lower control arm. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced the failure listed in NHTSA campaign number: 14V165000 (structure); however, the VIN was not included. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Warsdw, NY, USA

problem #101

Aug 052015


  • miles
I was driving down the road and the shock and wheel detached due to the corrosion of the back of the frame.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #99

Aug 072015


  • 111,200 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the rear passenger side shock tower completely rusted. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 111,200.

- Taylor, MI, USA

problem #98

Aug 062015


  • 120,000 miles
While driving home, I heard a loud bang coming from the passenger-side rear wheel. When I got home and looked at it, I noticed the strut had completely rusted away from the frame. I researched this issued on the internet and have found it to be very common to the year and make of this vehicle.

- Williamstown, PA, USA

problem #97

Aug 082015


  • 112,000 miles
I have 2004 Ford Escape the rear shock towers rusted out I think Ford shoud recall for fix at there cost others have that issue to I think it a safety issue and it needs to be fixed.

- Taylor, MI, USA

problem #96

Jul 222015

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 101,689 miles
Right rear shock breaking free due to rusted out inner fender well. Called Ford. They wont back the problem even though thousands of owners have complained and there are currently no replacement parts for repair. This is an unsafe situation and causes a swerve in stability. It is also causing repairs to be made unsafely with cob job fixes. It needs to be addressed with Ford to do something about it...updated 08/27/15 updated 12/3/15

- Latham, NY, USA

problem #95

May 012014


  • 100,450 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the recall notice for NHTSA campaign number: 14V165000 (structure) was received in may of 2014. In June of 2014, the vehicle was taken to the dealer who inspected the subframe and the lower control arm. The remedy included installation of a newly designed reinforcement cross-brace. The recall remedy was not performed on the vehicle. In July of 2015, while driving at various speeds an abnormal pumping sound was heard coming from the front of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the lower control arm failed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,450.

- Warwick, RI, USA

problem #94

Jun 172014


  • 153,000 miles
My Escape has completely rusted out on the rear passenger wheel well. The strut is just hanging there. I can not believe this is not a safety issue. Does someone have to die to get a recall. Come on Ford stand up and do something.

- Mora, MN, USA

problem #93

Jul 082015


  • 97,911 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 20 mph over a speed bump, an abnormal noise came from the rear of the vehicle without warning. The failure recurred on several occasions while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the rear passenger shock tower had excessive rust and fractures, and had begun to detach from the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 97,911.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #92

Jul 092015


  • 134,000 miles
The car began making a loud creaking that I suspected was the back window or something inside. It got worse after a couple of days. I pulled over and checked those and then the wheel wells, and the back right wheel well was rusted so badly that the shock mount was nearly completely detached. It detached the rest of the way over the course of the 2 mile drive to my home. This is apparently a common problem with this make and model, especially in the 201-2004 range, and can affect handling. It has been referred to as a factory defect and a recall was issued for this in some vehicles, but not mine. The local Ford dealership will not look at it because any repair would require alteration to the body, so they've referred me to a body shop.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #91

Jun 262015


  • 79,279 miles
My wife was going to the store and hit a small bump in the road at approx. 35mph. When she returned home she said there was a rattle in the rear of her car/truck. I took a look and the top of the shock and the shock housing was completely broken away from the suspension of the car/truck. The entire wheel well broke away from the car/truck. Can not drive our car/truck in this condition. Glad she was not hurt. Could have got caught in rear wheel. I see a lot of these cars/trucks with same problem. Ford needs to repair my ride!!!!

- Norton, OH, USA

problem #90

Jul 052015


  • 205,000 miles
Changed the rear shocks after a week with the new shocks in I noticed a noise when going over bumps the shock mount is rusted out and the car is now unable to be driven until it is fixed and from what I have been reading most shops will not touch it because of a liability issue, not to mention if I find a garage that will fix it the cost is going to be more than the value of the vehicle! why has this not been recalled yet? very very dangerous!

- Moscow, PA, USA

problem #89

Jul 012015


  • 260,000 miles
Driving down the road when I heard a loud bang. Maybe hit a small pothole. Upon investigation, the entire sheet metal section where the rear strut mounts to the body was rusted through. All other wheel wells do not have this problem. Clearly a production problem with the underbody coating. Many other formal safety complaints talk about this particular wheel well. This vehicle was manufactured in Kansas City assembly in 10/03. This should be investigated as a safety recall item as it can impact stability in cornering.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #88

Jun 192015


  • 130,000 miles
The right rear (passenger rear) wheel well has corroded so bad that the strut mounts are beginning to fail. All other wheel wells have not corroded at all.

- Monticello, IL, USA

problem #87

May 142015


  • 175,000 miles
Going 20 mph down side road and hit pot hole. The part that you mount the rear shock to came apart do to rust and knocked a hole in rear wheel housing. Car is unrivalled and insurance will not cover do to it being a time related thing. There was no rust in wheel well or holes before. Very very disappointed. I insurance said it's a flaw in the design of Ford. They have no recalls in past or present.

- Sandoval , IL, USA

problem #86

May 052015


  • 93,000 miles
Rear passenger wheel well rusted shock came off. Ford won't fix it. Driving with one rear shock.

- Commerce Twp, MI, USA

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