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 (!!)


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
97,002 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Dec 192010

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. While driving 45 to 50 mph the vehicle started to hesitate and then it stalled. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer replaced the computer due to the computer since it burned out and the ignition keys were also replaced. The contact was responsible for the repair cost of $1000. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance because the warranty was not valid. The failure mileage was 61,000. Updated 04/07/11 the mechanic stated the problem because the low voltage spark plugs were the original equipment installed. Updated 04/25/11

- Massapequa, NY, USA

problem #20

Feb 012011


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph the computer shut down causing the vehicle to stall. The vehicle would not restart and was towed to an authorized mechanic who stated that the computer burned itself out and should be replaced. The repair will include replacing the computer, six coil packs and six spark plugs at a cost to the contact of $2000. There were no recalls or warranties for the repair. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 110,000.

- Louisa, VA, USA

problem #19

Dec 212010

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 53,972 miles
1st time(2008)53,972 miles, still under warranty, check engine light came on, was running rough took in diagnosed as faulty coil, replaced coil & spark plug for $741 2nd time check engine light on, running rough, missing, parked car for little bit then car started up & ran fine, took into service & they couldn't find anything wrong but suggested we replace all coils & spark plugs this time for $1500 w, charged us $70 we chose to have our mechanic check it @$40 & he couldn't get any readings regarding replacing coils, - 3rd time check engine light came on auto misfiring, running rough, engine quit while driving at 50mph, was able to coast car off of highway & park it on side of road. Called our mechanic & he came over and diagnosed car as faulty PCM $200 had car towed at our expense back to Ford where their techs confirmed it was a faulty PCM & not faulty coils after many calls with Ford, Ford agreed to replace PCM cause they said it was indeed under warranty which I at first was told it wasn't covered under warranty.

- Carmel, CA, USA

problem #18

Jan 032011

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 45,173 miles


While driving on us highway in the evening, 2005 Ford Escape XLT suddenly started vibrating, check engine light lit and then all other lights on the dash flashed as vehicle lost power but was able coast to a stop on the shoulder of the road. This was a dangerous situation as vehicle suddenly stopped while traveling at highway speeds without any indication to the vehicles following this vehicle that it was going to suddenly decrease speed and stop. Fortunately vehicle following was able to pass safely. Vehicle would not start and was towed to dealership. Code P0353 was indicated and tsb 10-18-10 was used to service vehicle. All 6 cops were replaced along with PCM. Vehicle still did not operate properly and on inspection by tech, catalytic converter was found to be plugged and was replaced. Prior to this incident, vehicle was operating normally and had approx. 45,000 miles on it.

- Janesville, WI, USA

problem #17

Dec 172009

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
2005 for Escape limited edition was passing another car on a two lane road when the engine completely shut down and check engine light came one. Had to almost stop going the wrong way on a two lane road so the cars going the same direction as me could pas so I could get back in the correct lane and pull over to the side of the road. Had the codes checked and two of the 6 coils were showing up as having issues. Code were P0352 PO354 there is a tsb from Ford tsb 10-18-10. I have replaced the coils and the issue still is through the codes for the coils. According the tsb there could be interference with the PCM from the coils and plugs. The consequences of this issue is that if I had not been observant and caught this before another car coming at me was closer there would have been a head on collision because of loss of power from this situation. I have not replaced the PCM or had an oscilloscope to check the PCM at this point.

- Miamisburg, OH, USA

problem #16

Oct 012010

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
Smart junction box failure. Part# 5L8Z15604ga this part controls many of the electronic elements of the vehicle; directional signals, hazard lights instrument panel, horn, locks, windows, security system. Various electrical elements fail intermittently because of this defective part. The part is on back-order and continues to be pushed to a later date. As of 11/16, the part is on back-order until Jan 17, 2011. I have seen other complaints about this issue, and see that the part has been on back-order since (at least) August 2010. There is obviously a high demand for this part, or it is being redesigned and Ford is trying to avoid a recall.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #15

Aug 232010


  • 82,400 miles


I am writing in concerns to a serious safety issue that Ford Motor Company has failed to address. I am an owner of a 2005 Ford Escape which I purchased new in November of 2004. I have been waiting two months to have a faulty electrical part, the smart junction box, replaced. Since August 23rd my vehicle has been unsafe to operate without this part as my turn signals, head lights, and hazard lights are inoperable, as well as power windows, interior and dash lights, power locks, radio and clock display and my ability to unlatch the rear door. After researching the information myself I was forced to wait another week to be scheduled to have my vehicle scheduled for repair. On Sept. 7th the Ford mechanic confirmed the part I told him I needed was correct and said part was on back order and should be available in two weeks. On Sept.21st, I called to ask if the part was available. It was then that the mechanic said that he neglected to mention the part would not be ordered unless I paid in advance. I paid for the part on sept23. On Sept. 29th the general manager at worden-martin called to say there was nothing he could do. I asked if it were possible to have a used part put in temporarily while I wait. I received a reply that I would have to pay $350 to have that part put in with no guarantee that the part would function properly and no compensation if the replacement part were to fail. Not wanting to throw away $350 for a faulty part, I felt I had no choice but to wait another week for the part to arrive. After waiting two weeks I never received a call, so I called the dealer to inquire on the part. I was told the part may not be available until Oct. 25th. I called Ford Motor Company's customer service who told me it was their distributor and not Ford's responsibility and the part should be available be available Oct. 15th because the part, ordered by many, was being redesigned. On Oct. 19th I called again and was told the part may not be available until November.

- Champaign, IL, USA

problem #14

Oct 082010

Escape 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
I own a 2005 Ford Escape and have numerous issues since I purchased the vehicle in November 2004. The transmission has been replaced and one coil pack. Throughout the time I have owned the vehicle the theft light comes on and tried to shut the vehicle down while I was driving (40+mph). It cleared for a little while after the transmission was replaced, then it returned. Ford changed one ignition coil and said that if we changed the spark plugs it would probably fix the theft shut down problem. Well we changed the spark plugs and the vehicle continued trying to shut down the vehicle while I was driving(40+mph). Now the vehicle will not start at all. There is juice from the battery, all the lights and radio come on, but the car refuses to turn over. We have checked everything possible, including: The battery, fuses, and having it tested by a certified mechanic. The anti-theft system or Ford pats II system seems to be defective which also be connected to the PCM. There are thousands of complaints regarding the 2005 Ford Escape pats II system and PCM. I do not understand why a recall has not been forced. The 2005 Ford Escape were initially released with the wrong spark plugs which causes damage and they did not recall the spark plugs. With these very evident manufacturer defects, and tsbs that have been distributed through Ford - there needs to be a recall and items repaired. Consumers should not have to pay to fix the problems that Ford caused and will not take responsibility for. My vehicle is a 2005 Ford Escape XLT V6 3.0L purchased at ukiah Ford Lincoln Mercury in ukiah, California.

- Fort Bragg, CA, USA

problem #13

Sep 152010

Escape 6-cyl

  • 39,150 miles
My wife was going to the bank in our 2005 Ford Escape with 39150 miles. She heard a noise and stopped to see if she had a flat. Everything seemed ok so she continued on. Before going one block the dash warning lights came on so she drove around the block and parked the car in the garage. Upon exiting she noticed smoke coming from the hood area. While she was trying to call me at work, more smoke began pouring out, she heard a pop and flames and smoke began coming out. A neighbor saw what was going on and called 911. Thankfully the prompt response of the fire dept. Limited the damage to the vehicle and the home only suffered smoke damage. We are currently living in a motel while the house gets cleaned. The Escape was a total loss. Updated 11/03/10

- Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

problem #12

May 122010


  • 118,000 miles
While driving 50 mph without warning the vehicle shut off by itself. If it were not 5:30 in the morning I may have caused an accident or been killed. I was able to restart it, but the engine light came on and it ran very hard. It then gave me a service emissions warning. The mechanic states that all 6 spark plugs and 6 coils need replaced and that the computer system was fried (smv).furthermore, he stated that it was an error in manufacturing in regards to the spark plug installation. I now find that this is a common problem with the 2005 Ford Escapes but no recalls or notices have been made.

- Howard, OH, USA

problem #11

Mar 232010

Escape 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles


Vehicle fire on 2005 Ford Escape (VIN [xxx]) on 3/23/2010, I noticed the vehicle suddenly (when driving) began to run rough. (like a spark plug had failed). We immediately pulled into a gas station and inspected the engine compartment (for broken belts and the like) no obvious issue was observed. When I started the vehicle again, I noticed the check engine light was on. Immediately I drove the vehicle home and contacted a service garage. I was on my way to take the vehicle into service when I noticed an electrical smell. I pulled into the next gas station, opened the hood, and noticed a small fire located at the #1 cylinder coil pack. I used the gas station fire extinguisher to put out the fire. Car was towed the rest of the way to the garage. Car had been driven no more than 10 miles after first sign of failure. Fire was small enough to not involve police or fire departments, so no fire or police report is available. No one was injured and no property damage occurred outside the vehicle. Garage said that if I had limited the damage by extinguishing the fire when I did. Garage replaced coil pack, wire pigtail (melted), and intake manifold (also melted by fire). Old parts are available for inspection. Car was repaired but check engine light came back on after 50 miles. Care was immediately shut off and will be towed back to garage. Failure code is P0351. (same coil that was replaced is showing bad again) car had approx 117,000 miles on it when fire took place. No other major service events in its lifetime. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #10

Mar 052010


  • 63,000 miles
Car was driving fine, parked for several hours and then it would not start. Towed to a shop and all coils were out. After more diagnosis, the spark plugs, the coils (pocs) and the powertrain computer module had to be replaced for a total cost of $2600 on a 5 year old car with 63,000 miles on it. Most likely the spark plug rf caused the PCM to crash. Had to replace the plugs, coils and PCM including software and programming. I have read on several complaint blogs that Ford knows of the problems (defective plugs) and has issued 2 tsb, 05111 and 0926. Problem should be under the emission warranty, but Ford says it is a ignition problem. I think it is Ford's problem and they should be compelled to repair the problem. I have read numerous complaints on blogs for this problem where the car just stops regardless if you are on the freeway or in your driveway.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #9

Oct 232009


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. While driving 65 mph the vehicle stalled without and prior warnings. The vehicle was towed to a local repair facility. The mechanic replaced the PCM, ignition coil, and the spark plugs. Two weeks after the repair, all of the electrical components, including the parts that were replaced had melted. The current and failure mileages were 110,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

Oct 162009


  • 81,000 miles
I was driving on the New York state thruway at about 65mph. My car rapidly decelerated and all the panel lights lit up. There was no crash, but that was just luck- had I been in heavy traffic at the time of the incident I probably would have been rear ended. What ultimately failed is my power train control module ( PCM) on my 2005 Ford Escape. Turns out there is a technical service bulletin describing the failure I experienced; refer to Ford's bulletin 09-2-6, which supercedes 05-11-1. I got lucky, as I said, because I just happened to be in a break in traffic, which up to that point had been bumper to bumper. The rapid deceleration was the result of losing 3 cylinders, so it occurred without the benefit of brake lights coming on. Rapid deceleration, without brake lights, in heavy traffic, due a problem which Ford knew about since 2005 (the year I bought the car) sure seem like a severe accident waiting to happen. No notice was provided of the failure prone spark plugs which initiate the failures.

- Phoenix, NY, USA

problem #7

Dec 242008


  • 38,711 miles
I was on my way to Connecticut from Maine on 12/24/08. I noticed that while we were traveling on the highway the car started running rough and skipping. I immediately pulled over to the breakdown lane where the car stalled. The car would start but not keep running. Called aaa and had to have the car towed to the nearest Ford dealership in plainfield ct. Vehicle could not be immediately repaired due to the holiday. The car was repaired on Dec. 26, 2008. The dealership replaced the power control module and also replaced 2 ignition coils # 2 and 3. could not save PCM because there was a core charge for it, but I do have the ignition coils. Vehicle had 38,711 miles when this happened. Then on May 17, 2009 the #5 coil failed and had to be replaced. I still have that coil also. The dealer said that the coils were not warrantied under the emission control warranty which is 5 year 50,000 miles. The repairs done in ct totaled $729.48. The subsequent repair was done by me. The cost of the coil was $79.99.

- Sanford, ME, USA

problem #6

Jul 202009


  • 80,000 miles
From one day to another the car started shaking when it was at a stop or light and the engine light turned on, the A/C stopped working and cd player too. I took it to the dealer and I was told that the computer needed to be changed and it would cost me about $2000 and this does not include the A/C or cd player. I asked if it could be reset or something cheaper could be done and I was told that no. The guy there said he did not know why this happens but it does and he said that he sees this kind of situation every two months with the Ford Escapes. I think that if it has happened to so many people and we have to pay over $2000 to repair it, it is not fair for us as consumer because I honestly do not have that kind of money to pay.

- Canyon Country, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 212009


  • 86,709 miles
There were no events leading up to the breakdown. The car simply quit running. It had fire but would not turn over. We had no problems prior to this. We took it to the Ford dealer. The first problem they told us was that the chip in the key was bad. The had a new key made. From there, it was the PCM computer and then a second computer and then 3 power packs. They also replaced the plugs and wires and misc. Other parts.

- Cedar Hill, MO, USA

problem #4

May 022008

Escape 6-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
About 6 weeks ago, my wife called me at work to report her 2005 Escape "made a funny noise" when she tried to start it. When I got home that afternoon, I went to investigate it. When I put the key in and turned it on, it exploded. The intake manifold disentergrated and schrapnel from it severed wiring harness, knocked parts off etc. Having 39K miles on it I had it towed to a local top rated mechanic. After the mechanic repaired the mechanical damage, he sent it to beach Ford for a PCM issue. They replaced the PCM (under Ford warranty, admitting that the computer was "fried" and this has been a problem with other Escapes) but absolves any knowledge or responsibility as to why the explosion occurred in the first place because a "third party person? repaired the car before beach Ford saw it. A ?mike" at Ford customer service who based on conversations with beach Ford, said that repairs by a third party precludes Ford from any responsibility as to why the car exploded in the first place. My mechanic has done internet research and found other reports of PCM issues with the Escapes causing problems from failures to explosions. A tech at the Ford dealer said it has to do with stray voltage being induced into the wiring and going back up into the PCM, but then Ford and the service director denied any knowldege of this. Ford said the car is repaired (at my expense) and washed their hands of this situation leaving me with a car that has only 39,000 miles on it and exploded in my driveway causing sever damage, and no attempt to investigate why it happened. I have all the damaged parts that were replaced and told Ford that. No one will address why it exploded in the first place. What if this happened at 55 mph vice in my driveway, or my wife was home and I opened the hood and had her start the car so I could listen for that noise she said? please help me out.

- Va Beach, VA, USA

problem #3

Jun 062006

Escape 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,732 miles
: the contact stated while the air conditioner was on, there was a hesitation while accelerating during a left hand turn. The dealership was unable to determine a problem, but replaced a chip. Five weeks later, the problem returned and the vehicle was taken to the dealership. The dealership was unable to determine the problem, but reprogrammed the computer to the latest specifications. The dealership stated because it was a four cylinder engine, there would be a hesitation with the air conditioner on.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #2

Sep 012004

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,200 miles
I have a 2005 Ford Escape. When bringing the car to a stop in traffic it sometimes jumps ahead for sevearl feet before I'm able to bring it to a full stop. I have owned the car for ten months and this has occurred on five separate occasions. I have had the car inspected by the local Ford dealer on several different occasions. They have tried but are unable to determine the cause. Believe me, it has nothing to do with putting the foot on the wrong pedal, etc. Etc. At this point I'm unable to determine whether the problem results from acceleration from the motor or slippage in the braking system.

- Naples, FL, USA

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