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:
11 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
12 / 1
Average Mileage:
70,989 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2005 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #18

Apr 142015

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 177,000 miles


With car not! running I inserted key in ignition and immediately the air bag canister exploded and filled the cabin with a thick powder, could not see anything. My wife had just got home from work. If this had happened on our busy highway the results could have been catastrophic.

- Rock Island, WA, USA

problem #17

Mar 192015


  • 98,000 miles
I was driving on the freeway in the fast lane at 60mph and a car cut me short and brake so I applied my brake my wheel had yanked to the left and I tried to gain control of the wheel by pulling it to the right but it yanked again to the left causing me to hit into the median due to the impact my car turned over and dragged across the other 3 lanes and titled back over. Although my car is totaled I sustained minor injury to my neck and left side. Also my airbags did not deploy.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #16

Dec 242014


  • 125,000 miles
I was traveling at 60 mph on a highway interchange. I hydroplaned, lost control of my vehicle, and hit a guard rail with the front driver's side head on. My vehicle bounced off the guard rail, traveled backwards, and hit the guardrail on the other side of the road on the driver's side rear. The car spun 90 degrees and came to a rest with the passenger side against the guard rail, opposing highway traffic flow. The airbags did not deploy, despite a 60-mph collision. The suspension, wheel, and shock fell off in the collision.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #15

Jun 142014


  • 141,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 55 mph, she fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed. The air bags did not deploy. The contact was taken to the hospital with major injuries to her lungs, chin, arms, and lower back. The vehicle was destroyed. The approximate failure mileage was 141,000. The VIN was not available.

- Lake, MS, USA

problem #14

Jun 282013


  • 90,000 miles
I was in accident where I hit another vehicle in which when tried to break they did not work. No skid marks where there and should have been. Totaled my truck Ford SUV XLT (sport) and the driver of other car. Passenger airbag never went off. I had concussion and burns 2nd degree on both arms. Still have scars. Other vehicle at light stopped and when I tried to stop it was like gas pedal was stuck and break did not work so pulled up emergency break. I never got any notice on recalls on my 2005 until now. Which could have killed someone. The police report stated no skid marks.

- Huntersville , NC, USA

problem #13

Jan 020201


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated that was driving approximately 30 mph in icy weather and lost control of the vehicle, causing the vehicle to roll over four times and crash into an embankment. The air bags did not deploy. The police reported to the scene and a report was filed. The contact sustained bruising and head injuries, and was transported to the hospital via ambulance. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 135,000.

- Hazel, OH, USA

problem #12

Apr 092013

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles


I wrecked into a mailbox then a trashcan then several small trees before hitting a big tree and bouncing three feet back.. the airbags did not deploy, the front end of my vehicle is totaled out completely. Repair cannot be done.

- Boxsprings, GA, USA

problem #11

Nov 292012

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 97,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact moved the vehicle to the shoulder and was able to restart it after several attempts. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the ignition coil, spark plug, and the power control module would have to be replaced. The parts were replaced but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer. The PCM was replaced a second time along with the battery. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 97,500. Updated 02/26/13 also, the air bag light illuminated. The dealer cleared the cods for the connection on the drivers side seat belt buckle

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #10

Oct 182012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 119,000 miles
On 10/18/12 I was involved in a motor vehicle accident with my 2005 Ford Escape. My vehicle slammed into an embankment, crushing the drivers side of the vehicle, and there was a large crack near the luggage rack extending the length of the vehicle on the drivers side at some points I could visually see into the crack and into the vehicle interior. Drivers side of vehicle hit head on into tree at 55mph, but airbags did not deploy. Both headlights popped out, hood crinkled, and there was extensive front end damage. Rear window on drivers side broken. Vehicle was totaled.

- Deforest, WI, USA

problem #9

Dec 232011

Escape 4-cyl

  • 74,500 miles
Our Ford Escape 2005's airbag light is flashing on the left side of the dashboard. We took the vehicle to a local repair facility and they informed us that the airbags are now disabled, due to this problem, and that the part alone will cost us $1400, plus the cost of the service. After receiving this information, we searched the web and found thousands of complaints just like this about Ford Escapes, ranging from the years 2003-2006. We believe that this is a safety issue and should be covered by Ford as such, but they do not agree. I emailed them about this problem and they told us that you are the Agency that governs all such concerns.

- Brigantine, NJ, USA

problem #8

Dec 102008


  • 57,000 miles


My daughter was involved in a crash with my 2005 Ford Escape. She went off the road due to a deer running out in front of her and went into a ditch and the air bags did not deploy. There was front end damage and passenger front side damage when vehicle collided with a tree.

- Midland, NC, USA

problem #7

Oct 042008


  • 72,760 miles
On 9-9-08 I was in a front end collision, approximately 40mph, airbag did deploy, however the powder that came out with the airbag made my face and eyes burn. My 2005 Ford Escape 4cyl. Sustained minimal damage ($5000). It took 3 weeks to fix, which was no big deal. Yesterday, 10-4-08, while driving home from work, my Escape was running fine until I turned and started to accelerate to get up to speed (40mph), my Escape took the pedal from my foot and locked it to the floor, I have been asked by several people if I accidentally hit the cruise, and all I reply with is "it doesn't have cruise!" as my car started to speed up I tried to stop, my brakes would only kick back out at me and since I was just in a wreck I was a little scared. I turned into a parking lot and drove in circles until I could figure out how to stop it. I tried my ebrake but it didn't work, I tried pulling the pedal up, no good, I tried punching the pedal with my foot, no good. I didn't want to do any damage to the tranny so I didn't take it out of gear, finally I decided to try shutting it off, it shut off and is running fine now. I am certain that this is a huge problem mainly because I have read all of the postings for this car and found that many people are having problems in this area. You can be certain that if this happens again and there isn't anything done to fix it, I will get rid of it and stop buying Ford all together. I am very disappointed that no real action has been taken with so many of these complaints.

- Newton, IA, USA

problem #6

Sep 022008


  • 52,000 miles
My wife was driving our 2005 Ford Escape. She failed to yield and hit a 2006 Dodge charger, that was going close to 45 mph, in the passenger's side smashing in both of his doors. The front of her car is damaged enough to break off the engine mount, front bumper is gone, windshield wiper fluid reservoir was actually on the pavement. All of this and the airbags were not deployed. The shop that the car is being repaired at says that the airbags should have been deployed in this type of accident. Had this been at a slightly higher speed we would be looking at a death, not an injury.

- Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #5

Jul 032006

Escape 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
My wife is approximately 110 lbs and when she sits in the seat the airbag light goes out. This means that she is an adult in the front seat without the protection of the airbag. She has to bounce up and down to turn the light off. I have communicated with Ford numerous times. They have even supposedly replaced the sensor.

- Fisher, IN, USA

problem #4

Apr 032006

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,935 miles
On the 04/03/06 I was driving my Ford Escape XLT 2005 on road #10 between intersections # 503 in the city of ponce puerto rico. Around, 10:45 pm I lost control of the vehicle crashing directly to a fence and jumping it. Then the Ford Escape rollover and the air bags never were activated. I have injuries on my neck and left arm. I am concern because a bought for the safety and the air bags never function.

- Caguas, PR, USA

problem #3

Jul 252005

Escape 4WD

  • miles
2005 Ford Escape XLT roll over resulted in a fatal death. The lift gate and door were opened during the roll over of SUV. The air bags failed to deployed. I lost my wife in this roll over. My self and my brother's wife got major injuries. This model has automatic 4 wheel engagement. During the crash the engine pumped more power to the wheels. Tried to control but becuase of more power from the engine the driver could not control it and got over corrected which ended up in ditch. That finally, ended up in a roll over. My wife got ejected from the vehicle and died on the spot due to blunt force trauma to head and chest.

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #2

Mar 262005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
New vehicle that has a weight sensor on the right front passenger side air bag. This allows the air bag to be active or disabled with the weight of a person. The sensor is calibrated between 115-120 pounds. Therefore, if the passenger weighs less than 120 pounds the air bag is disabled. Spoke to manufacturer, and they spoke to engineers, who indicated this was a normal calibration, and could not be changed.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #1

Mar 082005

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Driver noticed that the air bag light flashed on and off, then remained on the dashboard. Driver took vehicle to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that the computer needed to be reset. However, driver informed the mechanic that the problem happened repeatedly and has not been resolved.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

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