Notes: The 2005 Escape has problems where the engine shuts down while driving. Ford finally issued a September 2014 recall. Time will tell if the recall fix really solves the problem.

However the 2005 Escape also has a defect where the PCM (Power Control Module) fries at around 100k miles. Ford extended the PCM warranty to 80,000 miles, but only after most owners were past the mileage limit. Now owners are on the hook for the average repair cost of over $2,000 (!!)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
115,473 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.

2005 Ford Escape body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2005 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 11 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #97

Apr 242014


  • 110,000 miles


I was driving my vehicle down a rural road at about 35 mph and hit a pot hole in the road. Upon inspection after the incident, my husband noticed the rear strut mount for the shock on the passenger side had become detached. There was some rust present in that wheel well around the strut housing. The supporting metal cracked the entire way around the strut housing, detaching it from the rest of the vehicle. The opposite wheel well and strut mount are in perfect condition with the factory undercoating still in tact. There is no undercoating present on the passenger side in the same area. We were told by a mechanic and auto body specialist that the car is unsafe to drive and is only cosmetically repairable, not structurally repairable.

- Brockway, PA, USA

problem #96

Apr 262014


  • 172,000 miles
I happened to notice rust through while checking my tires. It is located at the right (passenger side) rear wheelhouse panel where the strut assembly attaches to the body of the vehicle. The rust has disintegrated in the area leaving a barely attached wheel assembly with massive cracking and holes in the metal. It is the only area on the vehicle with rust. I was told it cannot be repaired and that I have less than 6 months of driving before it will break completely, thus disabling my vehicle or causing it to crash while being driven. I am afraid to drive it further, especially with my 3 year old son in the vehicle. I am disturbed with the amount of people who own this wonderful SUV from a fine company like Ford and the only thing stopping them from driving it is a single panel with such a severe defect. I am fully prepared to join or lead a class action lawsuit against Ford for this problem.

- Dewitt, MI, USA

problem #95

Mar 012014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
Rear passenger side inner wheel liner completely rusted out. Upper end of shock no longer attached to body of vehicle.

- Bethel Park, PA, USA

problem #94

Apr 072014


  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated that she entered the vehicle and noticed a puddle of water on the floorboard. The contact examined the vehicle and noticed that the rear passenger side wheel well was corroded. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The manufacturer was contacted regarding the failure. The approximate failure millage was 84,000.

- Frackville, PA, USA

problem #93

Apr 212014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 95,780 miles
The rear wheelhouse side panel and the strut assembly at the passenger side rusted totally and broke. It needs to be replaced and it seems that the wheelhouse was on back order until recently it became available again. The vehicle has mostly been used in the great lakes area where snow is heavy and salt could have worsened the problem, but so many cases of rusted wheelhouse at the same place indicate that this could be a design flaw.

- Houghton, MI, USA

problem #92

Apr 212014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated that upon inspection, it was found that the passenger's side rear shock mount became detached from the vehicle due to rust. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure was confirmed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage and VIN was not available.

- Bonfield, IL, USA

problem #91

Apr 212014


  • 130,000 miles


Right rear inner fender well rusted completely though allowing the shock mount to tear away from the vehicle.

- Dix, IL, USA

problem #90

Apr 182014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Rear wheel house/ strut mount totally rusted off. I work at a dealership and I have noticed a lot of Escapes with the same issue. We see approx 5 of these a year over the past 3 years. That isn't counting the ones we can't visually inspect die to the thick tar Ford sprayed on the wheel well to deaden sound and prevent corrosion.

- Monticello, IA, USA

problem #89

Apr 092014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated the passenger rear wheel well was completely corroded. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for a diagnostic. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was unknown.

- Loveland, OH, USA

problem #88

Mar 312014

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
We were driving the car and noticed a banging noise in the right rear wheel. We took it to an auto body shop and they discovered that the metal in the wheel well is rotting away. The shock mount came loose and upon further review the entire wheel well is bad. The shop tells me they've seen many similar issues in the 04-06 Escapes. Ours is in bad shape and not worth the $5000 it would take to repair. There is very little surface rust anywhere else on the vehicle and the other wheel wells are in good shape. In looking around I've seen many similar complaints regarding the same issue with the right rear wheel well. Why hasn't there been a recall. It's criminal that these vehicles all have the same issue and instead of stepping up and doing the right thing, Ford ignores it and all of us owner's are out a lot of money through no fault of our own.

- Chardon, OH, USA

problem #87

Mar 202014

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 122,900 miles


My 2005 Escape is now junk, according to 2 different mechanics and one body shop. When I hit a bump there would be a loud noise from the right rear of the vehicle.the right rear inner fender has rusted through beyond repair. The shock tower is adjacent to this. I was told not to drive it because it is unsafe. The left rear is showing signs of the same problem. I believe this is made from inferior metal and/or a serious design flaw. I have complained to Ford. I have heard that this is a widespread problem. I heard that Mazda made the Escape for Ford. The Mazda tribute has the same problem.

- Ridgway, PA, USA

problem #86

Mar 032014


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the sub frame was rusted and detached from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that a new sub frame was needed to repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Revere, MA, USA

problem #85

Feb 102014

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
My right rear fender has rotted out and my vehicle is undriveable. I contacted a dealer and he informed me the right inner fender is not available and on back order by Ford with no eta. I have been waiting now 7 weeks and have to get rides to work. In this state my vehicle will not pass inspection and I have no transportation. I can't even sell it with the issue it has. It is parked in my garage. Please assist me in contacting Ford to resolve the problem. I have read several online complaints about Ford Escape drivers having this issue. There should be a recall!!!!

- Getzville, NY, USA

problem #84

Apr 082014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 82,103 miles
The vehicle is a 2005 Ford Escape. While driving the vehicle a loud clunking sound was heard coming from the rear passenger side. A rattling noise could then be heard with every slight bump in the road. Vehicle was taken to a garage where they found that the whole right rear passenger side wheel well was completely rusted through exposing the shocks and struts, the carpeting can also be seen through the hole, and water in the taillight compartment because of a hole there also - thus leaving the vehicle unsafe and undrivable. Took vehicle to an auto body shop and the estimate to fix the car was $3200. Called Ford motors who informed me that there is a recall for this exact same problem, but only for 2001-2004 models. Apparently from all of the complaints that can be found on the internet in regards to the 2005 models with the exact same problem, the 2005 models should be included in the recall. I will definitely not be buying another Ford motors vehicle anytime soon!

- Johnstown, PA, USA

problem #83

Mar 032014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
My 2005 Escape passenger side rear wheel well is rusted to the point of disintegration and the shock is close to collapsing which will allow the wheel to collapse into the rear wheel well. If that happens on the interstate I feel sure it will cause a terrible accident. I am the only owner of this vehicle, it has never been in an accident, it has less than 90,000 miles and is garage kept.I looked on the internet and saw hundreds if not thousands of 05 Escapes with the same problem. My local dealer has seen multiple instances of this exact same problem. Both the local Ford body shop and independent body shops agree that this a manufacturing defect. The local dealership says they cannot address this problem as Ford refuses to address the issue. I guess it will take someone getting killed before Ford Motor Company admits the defect.

- Davenport, IA, USA

problem #82

Mar 202014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
My wife had been complaining about a loud slapping coming from the right rear of the vehicle. I took it for a drive. I discovered that the passenger side rear wheel well is completely rusted out and the shock absorber was just bouncing loose creating a horrible noise and also noticed shock breaking thru the interior of the vehicle. Noticed on line that others have similar or exact problem. Years 2001 thru 2004 just recalled. What about 2005's. there's nothing else wrong with the vehicle and only 82,000 miles. Very disappointed and puts my family at risk and in a bind for a safe vehicle to drive.

- Bolingbrook, IL, USA

problem #81

Mar 272014


  • 83,000 miles
Right rear shock mount came apart and damaged wheel well. Upon further inspection dealer said entire assembly had rusted apart from the inside out with no visible corrosion from the outside of vehicle. Ford Motor Company was contacted and offered no recourse or repair.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #80

Jan 062014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
The right rear shock tower rusted through the wheel well into the rear compartment breaking a hole through the interior compartment. There is currently no parts in stock to repair this as we are told they are on nationwide backorder and this is a huge safety issue. The other rear shock area has a significant amount of rust also. Approximately 1 week later both break lines broke from severe corrosion while moving at approximately 10 mph (pulling in my driveway). I was fortunate this happened there and not on the highway as I could have been in a very serious accident along with my 3 year old son. These two things should not be happening with the age of this vehicle. The body should be holding up better than this. I just saw there was a recall for model years 2001-2004 for severe rust issues one resulting in a crash. The manufacturing date of my vehicle is 09/2004.

- Escanaba, MI, USA

problem #79

Apr 032014


  • 120,000 miles
While driving at 35 mph on uneven pavement, I noticed banging in the right rear area of the vehicle. All doors and hatch were secure and the jack wasnt loose. After a day or two of searching I took the Escape to a local auto repair shop I trust. They found the whole inner quarter wheel house snapped off the rail. The banging was the shock hitting inside the passenger cabin. He immediately took my keys and said the car is undrivable. Online if you google this same issue it is a common problem with the 2005 Escape model rusting please Ford do the right thing and recall and repair my 2005 Ford Escape.

- Milford, OH, USA

problem #78

Dec 022013

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles
I noticed the smell of exhaust fumes in the vehicle and a few weeks later heard load banging noise coming from rear cargo area. I look and saw the rear wheel well was rusted threw into the cargo area and the rear shock mounts were rusted off.

- Franklin, WI, USA

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