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 1 of 7)

problem #125

Oct 172016


  • 116,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving over a bump in the road at any speed, a thumping noise emitted from the vehicle. The contact pulled the vehicle over to the side of the road and noticed that the rear passenger side wheel well was rusted and the shock absorber had loosened. The contact notified the manufacturer. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 116,000.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #124

Sep 242016


  • miles
Strut mount passenger side rear rusted right out

- East China, MI, USA

problem #123

Sep 092016


  • miles
My vehicle was serviced for recall that was issued. The recall was for the subframe rusting through where it meets the control arm resulting in steering failure. My vehicle had this problem under way and was rusted through to the point of separation. The dealership performed the recall and installed a "brace" on the subframe but advised that the vehicle was not safe to drive because of the separation, which is exactly what the recall is designed to prevent. The dealer stated that since the failure/separation had already begun they could not repair it and gave me the vehicle back in a condition which is "unsafe to drive", according to the word of the dealership. My concern is that my vehicle is experiencing the safety issue for which the recall was issued and the vehicle manufacturer will not resolve the recall issue.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #122

Aug 262016


  • 111,140 miles


Passenger rear wheel well has completely rusted out and shock and mount have rusted and broken off of frame. While driving the vehicle on a village street, hit a rough patch of road by a manhole and heard a terrifying noise, then it sounded like the back of the car was going to fall off. Upon parking and inspecting the vehicle, the broken piece was pressed against the rear tire, and had rubbed some of the rubber off in the short time it was driven afterward. Research shows that frame corrosion seems to be a common problem with the vehicle, and there was a recall for corrosion on the front end. It seems that it should be for the entire frame, and rectified before accidents and injuries occur. My vehicle falls under those date and state parameters, yet the VIN # is not included for some unknown reason. Front recall: Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2001-2004 Escape vehicles manufactured October 22, 1999, through January 23, 2004, originally sold, or currently registered in, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. These vehicles may experience excessive corrosion at the forward attachment of the lower control arm. Consequence: A separation of the lower control arm can result in a significant loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash. Remedy: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will install a newly designed reinforcement cross-brace, free of charge. The recall began on May 30, 2014. Owners may contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673. Ford's number for this recall is 14S02.

- Round Lake, IL, USA

problem #121

Mar 302015


  • 85,000 miles
End of March 2015 owner of service station declared my vehicle unsafe to drive. Underneath bar that goes between the front tires was rusted and snapped. Fortunately the vehicle was in the drive way when the bar snapped. The vehicle was in forward motion in the driveway when bar snapped. Driving the vehicle you felt unsafe.

- North Olmsted, OH, USA

problem #120

Aug 182016


  • 188,000 miles
Rear structural body, joints, massive rust and corrosion.

- Mound, MN, USA

problem #119

Aug 172016


  • 180,000 miles


Structural excessive rust and corrosion rear wheels

- Crescent City, CA, USA

problem #118

Aug 022016


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 50 mph, the shock absorber entered the rear passenger side of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the shock mount needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 103,000.

- Clyde, OH, USA

problem #117

Jul 012016


  • 99,987 miles
Had a recall from Ford shortly after buyiny car in 2014 about subframe rust.Ford said they fixed problem.about a year later the subframe broke complexly making frone wheel wobble and pull to right I went off the road into some brush before I got control of car!!I made it home and saw the (fix)a piece of flat steel holding left frame to right not a repair at need to replace complete sub frame.Ford blamed it on will not speak to me about it.I also had promlem with right rear shock coming up through floor no recall on that.lucky no injury or death.

- Centerville, MA, USA

problem #116

Jun 012016


  • 120,000 miles
The right rear suspension system disintegrated requiring $1,300 for body shop repair. This apparently occurs regularly on this type of vehicle.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #115

Apr 292016


  • miles


Vehicle steering has become unstable and wobbly. Took it to the shop to check on the alignment, and was told the entire subframe has corroded. I found a recall for this issue, but apparently my VIN was not included in the recall, even though it has the same issue.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #114

Mar 112016


  • 109,250 miles
Right rear wheel well is totally rusted through, left side slightly started rusting, causing shocks to break free from frame

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #113

Mar 112016


  • 200,000 miles
The wheel well on the right rear side of car completely rusted out causing my shock to be free in my car. Ford will not fix it and it is a serious issue. A quick search will reveal at least 96 other complaints of the exact same issue in the exact same area of the vehicle

- Kalispell, MT, USA

problem #112

Feb 162016


  • 87,000 miles
My rear shock mount tower is rusted out and baning it is ready to come up through the interior.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #111

Jan 012016


  • 165,000 miles
The frame around the rear suspension is rusted out (through) the rear shock is not connected to anything. Is there a recall on this ? I know the vehicle is old but I have never heard of this on even older vehicles.

- Evans City, PA, USA

problem #110

Feb 102016


  • 143,000 miles
Engine cradle, part of the frame is under recall, is broke. Dealer applied "band-aid" manufacturer declines to replace broken cross-member, even though it is under recall. Recall #14V165000

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #109

Jan 292016


  • 47,900 miles
I just purchased a used 2004 Ford Escape XLT with only 45,000 miles on it (12 years old, 45,000¿what I thought was a diamond in the rough). It had undercoating to protect from rust when it was new. Very well taken care of, like new inside! so imagine my surprise after driving it 2 months when the passenger side rear wheel well started falling apart (wasn't like that when I bought it). Within a 3 week span it was almost completely destroyed. Again it was protected with undercoating and still rusted out all those years in a garage being barely driven!!! I asked about getting both sides done while it's in the shop and mechanic said the driver side rear well was fine and in good shape, almost no rust at all. Ford stocks only the passenger wheel well, not the driver side. This is obviously a known manufacturing failure/substandard part that Ford doesn't want to own beyond selling you the replacement part. I'm losing appreciation for "american made" values. This one is especially upsetting because it's a brand I previously held in high regard. This easily could have been dangerous at high speeds on my trips.

- Brunswick, OH, USA

problem #108

Nov 232015


  • 150,415 miles
Right rear fender well rusted away showing inside of trunk liner and making loud banging noises

- Lisbon, IA, USA

problem #107

Dec 022015


  • miles
Shock frame support on right rear side completely rusted out making vehicle unsafe to drive along with entire area rusting out prematurely. I can see the outside thru my speaker grill. How could this not be a safety recall when it is clearly a Ford defect? repair quotes in the $2000- $2500 range.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #106

Oct 122015


  • 125,715 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving at an unknown speed over a bump in the road, the vehicle emitted a clucking noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing, which indicated that the front suspension bar was fractured. The front suspension bar was replaced. The contact also stated that the brake lines also failed due to corrosion. The brake lines were replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 125,715...updated 02/01/16

- Sears, MI, USA

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