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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Ford Escape:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 3 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #85

Jun 052015


  • 195,000 miles


The right rear passenger wheel well rusted out, causing the sudden dislocation/breaking of the shock mount which in turned caused damage to my tire, and wore through the interior of the car. The damage is extensive and upon researching the issue, it appears that this exact thing has happened (only on the right rear side of the vehicle) to thousands of 2004/2005/2006 Escapes. This has been a known issue since at least 20011/2012 and is a dangerous defect that is usually not cost effective to fix, based on the mileage of the cars at the time of the problem. Because the left rear does not experience this issue, it must be a defect in manufacturing and Ford really needs to step up and offer a recall to fix it as well as reimbursing owners who've experienced the problem and chosen to do repairs to a vehicle in otherwise great running order.

- Taylor, MI, USA

problem #84

May 012015


  • 89,000 miles
Right rear wheel well completely rusted out and shock mount which was bolted to it fell and is hanging next to and on the wheel along with a ball of sharp twisted metal from the wheel well. Heard noises from back of car past month or so but thought it was something in the cargo compartment. Then went over pothole and loud bang like the exhaust pipe fell and was dragging. Then a burning rubber smell. The metal piece is about to pierce the tire and the shock itself is hanging and banging against tire. Car is undrivable and may be unfixable in that the fix would be worth more than the car. I of course can not get another car right now due to financial reasons so without a car now because of this. The other wheel wells seem fine, no rust. Though there is a few rust spots on the bottom of the running boards and one of the doors (which there should not be in this day and age any rust) to have this immense amount of rust only in one well tells me something is wrong with the design or the paint job at the factory. If a tire blows out it could kill someone traveling at highway speeds in an SUV. This is a defect, not aging. Needs to be a recall. Though the car is 11 I have less than 90,000 on it. I should not have to trash the car due to body rot at 90,000. If this was due to aging or weather all the wheel wells would be like this.

- Dorchester, MA, USA

problem #83

May 152015


  • 130,000 miles
Rear passenger wheel well where the shock mounts to the body is completely rusted out and detached from the upper body of the vehicle. I was traveling on the interstate at about 65mph when this piece broke loose from the rest of the body. This is very dangerous, and almost caused me a serious accident on a busy highway. There are hundreds of other complaints filed just in this database alone with the same exact issue, rust/corrosion of the rear passenger wheel well where the shock mounts to the body. The Ford dealership that I had my vehicle towed to told us that they have recently seen 4 or 5 other Escapes that have the same exact issue. Please investigate, this is a serious safety concern.

- Milan, IN, USA

problem #82

May 072015


  • 52,400 miles


The right rear wheel well rusted out and separated from vehicle body. Created suspension problem and hazardous driving condition. This is apparently a known issue with several Ford products according to the repair shop that has not been addressed by Ford.

- Novi, MI, USA

problem #81

Apr 302015


  • 175,000 miles
Clunking noise and rough ride. Found passenger side rear wheel well extremely rusted out and shock essentially detached from vehicle. The rest of the vehicle has no rust aside from small surface rust on non-painted pieces. Searched online to find this problem is extremely common with these Escapes, yet no recall has been issued despite the obvious defect and safety concerns.

- Woodbury, MN, USA

problem #80

Apr 272015


  • 180,000 miles
The rear passenger side wheel housing where the shock mount is located rusted and there is a big hole. Looking online there are multiple complaints about the exact same issue. Thank god I brought it into my mechanic before it tore my tire apart.

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #79

Dec 042014


  • 98,565 miles


Problem with right passenger side wheel well rusted out. Vehicle is unsafe to drive and pictures can be provided. When discussing with mechanic said this is a problem with all Escapes. Just had the vehicle over a year and was never seen when purchasing. Who would of thought of checking wheel wells. Shock is barely hanging on and was told if driven can flip over.

- Chesterfield, MI, USA

problem #78

Mar 162015


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 35 mph, the steering wheel turned independently with a loud abnormal noise. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who stated that the passenger side control arm separated and the entire frame would need to be replaced. The failure occurred after the vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 14V165000 (structure). The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 128,000.

- Ashtabula, OH, USA

problem #77

Feb 122015


  • 131,633 miles
I was driving my 2004 Escape when I heard a rattling on the rear passenger side of vehicle. A mechanic told me that the entire shock tower has rusted out and there is a whole in the wheel well. I just got off the phone with Ford on 2/23/15 and told them of this problem and they never heard of such a thing. I told them it amazing that I can find alot of complaints about this and you know thing. Also told them that the left side shock tower looks good. So why is the right side rusted out. She couldn't explain it. She says she will take the complaint and it will also go to NHTSA. Well it seem there should be a recall on this. Your complaints seem to be very similar. I don't have money to get this fixed. Because the brake lines went in my vehicle and the master cylinder cost me $860. To get fixed. Which I think was in a recall that you had but Ford company doesn't have that recall. So keep receipts Ford says to get reimbursed if stuff gets recalled. Please recall the shock tower on passenger side for rusting out and driver side is ok. Something is very wrong. Ford company needs to deal with this even though the claim they never heard of this problem.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #76

Mar 102015


  • 118,400 miles
While driving on a rough road I noticed a rattling in the rear compartment that I had never heard before. When I investigated I found the right rear wheel well had disintegrated from rust damage and the shock is now floating basically freely which is causing the noise. I am concerned for the safety and handling of the vehicle at this point. This seems to be a very common issue with Escapes and always the right rear wheel well. Why has Ford not issued a recall? this is clearly a systematic failure.

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #75

Mar 132015

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 118,222 miles


The car started to ride rough over small bumps and a thumping sound could be heard from the right rear wheel well. Thinking I needed new shocks I inspected the wheel well and was horrified to see that the wheel well holding the shock was completely rusted away. There is a hole where the steel used to be. This is only on the right rear wheel well as far as I can see. A local auto body shop will not fix it because of the safety liability and warned me not to drive the car. The car is unsafe and I am at a loss as to what to do with it. After doing some searching I have found many Ford Escapes with the same exact problem. Apparently this is a design defect that Ford knows about and should be responsible for. Had I driven the car a little longer I could have been in a catastrophic crash! Ford needs to fix this or replace my car.

- Matawan, NJ, USA

problem #74

Feb 012015


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the rear passenger side shock detached from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the sub frame was rusted and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Williamsburb, OH, USA

problem #73

Dec 152014


  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the rear shock detached from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle could not be repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 180,000. Updated 6/3/15

- York Springs, PA, USA

problem #72

Feb 092015


  • 103,000 miles
2nd Escape I've owned that has had the rear right wheel well rust out, shock breaks loose. Ford saying it has never heard of it, and yet every dealer and body shop I've talked to knows all about it. This should be a recall, faulty part.

- Highland, MI, USA

problem #71

Dec 172014


  • 160,000 miles
While driving to my home went over a small dip in road and SUV made a very load clunking noise in right rear section of vehicle and started handling poorly got it to my parents home which is only few minutes from incident, father looked at and found right rear strut mount and wheel tub rusted out under a thick layer of sound deadening material applied at factory making it nearly impossible to see until it breaks free, father has been a mechanic all his life and tried to get pieces at local salvage yards to repair but found all in a 50 mile radius at salvage yards from years 2001-2007 to be in as bad or worse condition and is currently looking for parts on line out of the rustbelt, I believe if it had happened on a twisty road it could have been a bigger problem fortunately it was a fairly level straight road I can only assume there isn't an investigation on these is that most people don't now where to go to file a complaint I only new to go here because my father told me too, as he believes it to be a major design flaw that may or could lead to injuries

- Frewsburg, NY, USA

problem #70

Jan 162015


  • 185,420 miles
Hit a bump and vehicle started making a rattling noise on every little bump.found passenger side rear shock mount had broken through body-rust all around wheel well.checked drivers side-ok. Have always washed on regular basis.has to be some manufacturing defect.

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #69

Dec 302013

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
When driving home on 12/30/14, I heard a loud rattle coming from the right rear of the vehicle. I looked in the rear passenger wheel well and noticed that there was a lot of rust. I did not drive it again until I took it to my mechanic to have it inspected on 1/6/15. He informed me that the wheel well was rusted and the strut could break loose. He also informed me that he had never seen a vehicle do this. I was also informed that it is a safety issue and I should not drive the vehicle until it is fixed. He also checked to see if anyone in the area would be able to fix it since he is not equipped to do so. No luck with that. After seeing how many people are having this same issue with their Ford Escape, I would expect that the Ford company would do the right thing, take responsibility for the defect and make it right. I am prepared to follow through to have this matter taken care of, even if I have to take it to lansing and Washington.

- Jones, MI, USA

problem #68

Dec 302014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
Another case of a 2004 Ford Escape with extensive right rear wheel well rust putting the strut in danger of coming through the body. I'm currently trying to figure out how and where to get it repaired. This seems to be a flaw in the design of the product. While one would hope Ford would step up I'm not seeing anything on their part so far.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #67

Jul 012014


  • 123,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at a unknown speed, there was an abnormal noise coming from the passenger side of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who determined that the rear passenger and the driver side sub frame and the suspension was rusted and corroded. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 123,000.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #66

Dec 242014


  • 78,879 miles
I heard a loud thump in right rear of my vehicle. Upon inspection the entire right rear wheel is rotted out and is not safe to drive.

- Scranton, PA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?