Notes: With solid trends of engine failure — $4,500 to fix at 85,000 miles avg — AND transmission failure — $3,000 to fix at 75,000 miles avg — we can't recommend the 2006 Ford Escape to anyone except your worst enemy.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 1
Average Mileage:
63,820 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.

2006 Ford Escape seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2006 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 062016


  • 93,000 miles


Driving down a street in my neighborhood when the brakes failed. In previous occurrences I was told that the calipers froze up and that the brakes would make a grinding noise. Also the computer system on the vehicle would never record the proper amount of fuel in the tank or at times engage the brakes. I am not a professional but I know this vehicle did have issues. The vehicle was in motion on a city street and when I applied the brakes nothing happened. Upon impact it appeared I hit the steering wheel before the airbag deployed. I had my seat belt on. I have driven down that city road thousands of times but it appeared this time there was a issue with he vehicle that caused this accident. Injuries were airbag related.

- Phillipsburg, NJ, USA

problem #9

Oct 032015


  • miles
I bought the vehicle on September 4,2015 all these problem started 1 month after. Manuel transmission gets to rough at times when being shifted into 1st gear and reverse gets stuck and hard to shift, might be part of the recall no# 15S28 the engine oil seems to use 1qt a week, recently had a changed oil but continues to use the same every week, mileage is at 132467. The air bag for passenger light continues to light up and goes off when driven. A banging noise when driven on the road at rear shock absorbers are located, the shocks are still new.

- Crownpoint, NM, USA

problem #8

Jun 022015

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the passenger side air bag light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician diagnosed that the occupant sensor service kit would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 135,000. Updated 8/28/15 updated 10/14/15

- Omaha , NE, USA

problem #7

Jan 022015


  • 95,000 miles


I own a 2006 Ford Escape XLT with 100,000 miles. 90% highway miles, well maintained with dealer or independent mechanic. Have all paper work. "my biggest worry is the stalling for no reason and an accident happening and this should be a recall issue". Jan. 2015 I had a intake and valve oil leak that was fixed 3 times, Jan, Feb and March. When I took it to the dealer in March, I mentioned that my vehicle had stalled in my driveway after a 30 minute highway drive from work. They put it on the computer and said there was no code for a stall. Dealer said Ford sent them notice describing my same issue but couldn't confirm it was the torque converter. April 10th 2015 I was out of extended warranty. The stalling happened again late April, took to dealer again. Dealer said no codes again. Took straight to uncle after leaving dealer for him to look at and couldn't get the vehicle to stall after a week of having it. I've read online forums of people replacing transmission multiple times for torque converter and other issues within the transmission. Also, after 3 deer ran out in front of me 2 years ago, repairs done to physical damage and passenger seatbelt replaced twice during repairs, passenger seatbelt and airbag lights come on and seatbelt alert beeps while driving even know the passenger has the seatbelt on. I have to park, shut down, buckle seatbelt and then start again and this worked except for one time I had to repeat this a second time. Dealer said there was no codes for airbags or seat belts. Ford has not been notified yet. Also, when I bought the vehicle brand new I had the underbody sprayed but the rear wheel wells are rusting from underneath to outer body and rusting under front doors too.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #6

Mar 202015


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while parking at 5 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and crashed into a wall. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained bruises to the chest that did not require medical attention. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the failure was unable to be determined. The vehicle was then taken to a dealer who stated that the failure might be related to the throttle body. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 75,000. The VIN was not available.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #5

May 062013


  • miles
2006 Ford Escape. Consumer writes in regards to non-deployment of air bags, during accident. The consumer stated the vehicle rolled over several times. He was seriously injured and his wife was killed. Updated 07/27/15. Updated 03/11/15.

- Punta Gorda, FL, USA

problem #4

Feb 282012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 62,816 miles


In 2011, I purchased my used 2006 Ford Escape. About 3 months after purchase, I noticed the passenger side air bag light would activate when an adult would sit in the passenger seat, signifying the air bag was "off" when it should be activated. Today I had my local Ford dealer check the air bag to see if it worked properly. They discovered that not only would the air bag not operate properly in a crash, the seat belt would also fail to lock as it should during a sudden stop or crash. Since there is no recall issued and the vehicle is out of warranty, the cost to repair the seat belt and air bag is all my responsibility. There should be a recall issued for this vehicle and any others known to have this problem. I was told it took a certain number of vehicles to be diagnosed with the same problem before any Agency would issue a recall. Even one vehicle with this problem should prompt a recall, because technically, this malfunction could cause serious injury or death in the event of a crash.

- Newport, NC, USA

problem #3

Feb 042011


  • 85,200 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Escape. The contact was driving approximately 65 mph when she was struck from the drivers side and then crashed into a concrete barrier. The vehicle was spun around into oncoming traffic as she then crashed into a second concrete barrier. The air bags did not deploy. The contact sustained minor injuries but was not transported to the hospital. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not contacted in regards to the failure. The failure and current mileage was approximately 85,200.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #2

Feb 252009


  • 92,180 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving, he was hit on the driver side by another vehicle and none of air bags deployed. The vehicle was totalled. Three people were injured. No one inspected the vehicle to find out why the air bags did not deploy. He called the manufacturer and filed a complaint. No action was taken at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were 92,180.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #1

Jun 222006

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
I was broadsided and knocked into a utility pole. The front end was wrapped around the utility pole. I was driving my mother's 2001 Ford Escape. The air bags did not deploy at any time. Due to this my chest and left shoulder were injured greatly. I had to be cut out of the SUV. When the police arrived I heard them mention that the air bag did not deploy and told them to be careful when cutting me out of the vehicle. I was taken to the er on the day of the accident and on the next day I had to go back because of head and chest pains. I do believe if the air bags had deployed my injured would have been lesser. I have great bills because my mother's insurance did not pay the bills, because I did not live in the house with her. I have pictures of the wrecked vehicle.

- Auburn Hills, MI, USA

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