really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
91,135 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.

2008 Ford Escape electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Mar 142013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 61,250 miles


This is an update to previous incident. $10486901 having spent the previous ($900) to find the problem, customer took the vehicle to a Ford dealership repair shop. They agreed with the other mechanics that the instrument cluster was defective, but said that they could not give anything in writing till I paid their diagnostic fee ($135) and saw for themselves. I agreed. Now I have spent another ($1120) to replace the instrument cluster. I also have in writing from the Ford dealership that the speed cannot be viewed while driving (it reads 0 mph) and is a safety issue. Contact me for the next step.

- Mississauga, NY, USA

problem #26

Mar 042013


  • 109,006 miles
Power steering goes out for no reason. It clicks in the housing under the steering wheel, in the steering column. Needed to add that we have had several injuries and more than one accident where a vehicle sustained damage as a result of this defect.

- Hendersonville, AA, USA

problem #25

Oct 172012

Escape 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
As I was backing up, I lost power steering. I was unable to turn the wheel without great force, and backed into the porch. After turning the car off and turning it back on, this resolved. It happened again the next day going forward at 40 mph. I could hear something in the steering column click and then lost power steering. Now the power steering has completely gone out. When I start the car, I can turn the steering wheel all the way one direction and "trick" it into having power steering for a moment before it clicks off again. I have sustained a neck and shoulder injury from having to use my entire body to turn the wheel, and slamming into the porch when the wheel got "stuck" in a turned position and I was unable to turn it back. It is unbelievable that no one has died as a result of Ford's defect. Will the NHTSA wait until then to force Ford into a recall?

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #24

Feb 282013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles


I turned on my seat warmer on driver's seat and heater, within a minute or so smoke started coming out bottom part of control panel where it meets the console. The smoke got worse. I was in the middle lane of heavy traffic and had a difficult time getting over to turn off and get stopped. By this time the smoke was quite bad (had electrical smell) I had all windows down & sun roof open. The car alarm went off, the heater would not turn off. I finally got stopped and got out of the vehicle. A lady pulled in to the church parking area where I was and called 911 for me. By this time you could see actual fire (flames) coming from the same spot as smoke. It was amazing how quickly it was in flames. The vehicle blew up. The fire department arrived in time to put out the fire. The only thing left is the metal shell and the tires. Nothing in the interior. All windows and sunroof blew out. Bumpers, lights, tail lights melted. Thanks Ford.

- Double Oak, TX, USA

problem #23

Dec 152012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
I was driving down the 5 freeway. I had been driving for about 45 minuets. I changed lanes to the right and the steering got extremely hard to move. I pulled of the freeway at the next off ramp. The entire time the wheel was very hard to maneuver. I came to a stop turned off the car, checked all my fluids, and googled the issue on my phone. All results lead to electrical power steering. I turned the car back on and all function returned.

- Arvin, CA, USA

problem #22

Jan 222013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
While backing out of a parking space the steering locked on my wife's 2008 Ford Escape. She called me to come help her as she was not able to move her Escape. Upon arrival I inspected the vehicle for obvious signs of problems, none were noted. I tried to move the steering wheel; I was quite shocked that the steering wheel could not be moved. Since I am 6'4" and 300lbs most things that I grab move?the steering wheel should have moved, just without the assist of the power assist. The vehicle was towed to a Ford dealership for them to diagnose the issue. I was informed that the sensors in the steering column are bad. The dealership stated that they were able to reset the computer and that the steering now functions. The dealership informed me that I have two choices drive the vehicle and see if the issue repeats or replace the entire steering column ($1,500). I explained that this is in fact a safety issue as the steering failed completely and locked up as I was unable to move the steering wheel. Ford customer care was contacted and they have offered no assistance in this issue and claim that they have no knowledge of any issues pertaining to this problem on record. This statement by Ford customer care seems to be highly suspect as a quick internet search found many identical issues. The complete failure of the steering system is beyond unacceptable! if someone with my strength cannot move the steering wheel than how is someone the size of my wife supposed to move the steering wheel if and in this case when the steering system fails. Ford needs to accept that there is in fact a major safety problem related to the failure of the electronic steering system of the Ford Escape. Complete failure of the steering is not acceptable. Again this was a complete failure of the steering system!!!

- Hagerstown Md , MD, USA

problem #21

Jan 042013


  • 101,500 miles


My Ford Escape is my family and work vehicle. One morning I started it after it was parked in cold overnight, engine started but the steering was stuck, thought battery was bad. Restarted several times until steering loosened up. Drove car and every stop light or while idling, the steering wheel vibrated so hard and have to hold it steady, thought, time to have my control arm replaced again. Took it to a friend's car shop, said, they've been having costumers bringing their Ford Escapes lately with the same problem. They couldn't fix it. Told me to go to my dealership. Dealership diagnosed it, electronic steering problem $90 for diagnosis, $1100 parts and labor, about 3-days to order for parts. Too expensive and dangerous, needs to have a recall.

- Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, USA

problem #20

Dec 052012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 78,100 miles
The car involved was a 2008 Ford Escape. I was driving at about 45 and I lost complete control of my power steering. I was unable to turn steering wheel. I used all my force to get to the side of the road. I then turned the car off and turned it back on my steering was then fine. I got back on the road and I lost all of my power steering again. This steering problem is very dangerous and recall must be enforced!!

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #19

Dec 032012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
While driving at 65 mph on I-10, toward armstrong international airport, the vehicle, with no pre-warning began to decelerate (slow down). The vehicles speed did not respond to depressing throttle pedal; the vehicle would not maintain speed. Fortunately, there were no vehicle in the right lane and I was able to get to the shoulder of the road. There, by turning off the ignition and restarting the vehicle I was able to continue the trip until the second and third occurrence. This situation occurred three more time on the return trip home. All on the interstate highway. Needless to say, after the first occurrence I proceeded in the far right lane where I could get to the shoulder easily. After doing some investigation, I have found that this has been occurring on Ford escorts since 2004 at least. I find it difficult to believe that such a potentially dangerous design flaw in an automobile has persisted so long. Imagine what would be the consequences of having this occur while driving in the middle of a six lane interstate with 18 wheelers all around. At best there would be an accident, there is a very high probability of fatalities.

- Gretna, LA, USA

problem #18

Feb 152012

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
The dashboard cluster (instrument panel) failed while driving causing the speedometer and RPM gauges to drop to zero. All the instrument lights turning, car not starting on, ac blowing warm ai, were all side effects of the problem. Searching for the problem has amounted to almost $900 in expenses. Sent in complaints to Ford, who promised to escalate the issue and then never contacted me. Took it to the dealer, who mentioned that they didn't know what it was and that it was somewhere in the vehicle. Took it to a reliable mechanic who called in a specialist to find broken connections within the panel causing it to fail intermittently. I have the mechanic's report stating that many similar models have this exact issue and is surprised Ford in not giving attention to this safety issue.

- Ontario, DC, USA

problem #17

Sep 012011

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles


Out of nowhere in Sept and Oct of 2011 my sun roof, right passenger and right back passenger windows stopped working. They fell straight down.. the motor and the band quit and now come August and October of.2012 the same thing on the left. I bought this brand new on 2008 out of the dealership and now I have to spend my time and money for a defective auto.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #16

Dec 012009

Escape 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
Starting in the fall of 2009 when the weather got colder, the throttle became unresponsive and harder to depress, requiring a greater effort to press down the pedal to un-stick and only then would the throttle pedal depress beyond the idle position. Therefore, the vehicle continues to lurch forward creating a sudden, dangerous condition. The problem has been persistent and continues to get worse.

- Romeo, MI, USA

problem #15

Sep 242012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Issue happened four times in last couple months--two times with my wife-two with me-was once on highways with each of us -and once in just going into a parking lot while turning at 5 mph or less-have a witness on last occasion a couple days back at work lot. Have also experience a battery dead-took to advance auto of hammonton, NJ and advised on Sunday passed that battery tested fine. The ignition has been loose-and is getting worse -the key wiggles -and on just a normal input the engine does not turn over --have to put in 2nd or 3rd time -pushing in hard to get contact. Feel, but do not know, that this issue effects both the battery and the loss of power steering on the four occasions--in any case it is a real safety issue-will not let my wife drive the car-she uses now the 2000 sel Ford van we have for second car. We love the Escape-but this is a serious safety issue. I have all my records on my home page Ford for years-and all service records-99 per cent from dealership where bought this and many others. They have in past been great. Contacted Ford.com -received a reply to my E-mail in a day from a [xxx] of Ford -they are doing a very intensive study and are also saying there are no current recalls or financial assistance on what our dealership said could cost around $400 to pull down and repair.[xxx] of Ford.com promised a reply and hope for solution with and in co-operation with my dealership and Ford. Ford in the past has always stood up to their responsibilities for us, as has our dealership service department at lilliston Ford, vineland, NJ. Thanks for allowing to share this with other folks -will follow up on a conclusion in the next weeks. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Mayslanding , NJ, USA

problem #14

Feb 202012

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
When driving the instrument cluster fails. All the dashboard lights come on, the speedometer/fuel gauge/etc move to 0 or the far left. Looking online for Ford instrument panel failure, there are hundreds of complaints about it. Checked with the mechanic who says it is a common failure with Ford. They have a bulletin about it but it will not construe a recall until a death or injury from a crash related to the defective equipment. This may also fall under a tort lawsuit.

- Grand Forks, ND, USA

problem #13

Jan 142012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 105,020 miles
I was driving with two family members when power steering failed on a freeway off ramp. Steering failed whereas I narrowly avoided a major collision. Vehicle extremely difficult to turn with electric steering failure.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #12

Oct 042011

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles
I had purchased this truck new from the dealer in March of 2008, this truck has had many problems in the past starting with the day I bought the truck. Now a few year's later the "a.C. condenser" was leaking transmission fluid and the dealer is now telling me that it is not covered under my "drive train warranty". I am not a mechanic but the several mechanic's that I have spoken to said that, that part is vital to the power train. I am a young struggling nurse trying to pay off school loans, and they are telling me that this is going to cost $700, I cannot afford it and I need my truck. I bought this new with the impression that these things will not be an issue and if they were they would be covered by Ford's warranty. I have done some research on the internet and this is a major problem with this specific year and truck. I am hoping that you guy's will be able to help with this matter. Thank you and god bless.

- Collegeville, PA, USA

problem #11

Oct 152010

Escape 6-cyl

  • 24,500 miles
The tire pressure monitor light comes on and the message center says "tire pressure monitor fault". at the same time the door ajar light and brake lights came on. The volume on the stereo automatically goes down or stops working or can't change stations when I get the tire pressure message or reboots along with the air conditioner blowing hot air. The doors don't automatically lock, when they do lock, the ac comes back on. As it got worse the dash has a mind of its own, somedays it doesn't light up other days it stays on all night. Sometimes when I ride over a speed bump it will fix the problem, but it always comes back.

- North Providence, RI, USA

problem #10

Oct 232010

Escape 4-cyl

  • 46,843 miles
Car burned down to the frame. Turned the car on it started to smell like something was burning. Smoke and fire started coming out of the A/C vents. The contact left the vehicle immediately and it went up in flames. After speaking with the police and firemen and they had a chance to look at the remains of the car once the fire was put out, the best conclusion they could come up with as to what happened was some sort of electrical fuse malfunction. Updated 12/20/10 * bf the fire originated within the passenger compartment and then advanced into the engine compartment. The exact cause of the fire could not be determined. Updated 12/27/10

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #9

Jan 132009


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. While the vehicle was parked, as she turn the ignition off she heard a clicking noise. She believes the clicking noise was coming from the air conditioner. She also stated that white partials were all over her seats and interior. The vehicle was taken to two authorized dealers and she was told that the noise was normal. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 100 and the current mileage was 1,400.

- Canby, OR, USA

problem #8

Feb 092010


  • 21,000 miles
Tccf transmission cooler condenser failure- July 16,2008 repaired; -leaking -slipping on shifting-had very little transmission oil on dip stick when repaired at dealership under the 36,000 limited warranty--after 4 days July 20, 2008 wife was rear ended by a dwi traveling at estimated more than 75 to 80 mph(my wife traveling on a state highway at normal regulated speed of 50 mph) -damages of over $13,500 to our car-all shop and repairs done by Ford dealership, our only shop and service place for this Escape 2008. On February 9, 2010(at 21,000 miles later the 2nd tccf-leaking fluid seen in snow-dealership after contact with Ford.com replaced and repaired under good will customer plan of the dealership. They also replaced on our complaint of a "clacking" type noise, a steering right front assembly at no cost to us) there evidently a tsb on it. In addition we have a heating-cooling flow of air from our heat and air vents problem-temperatures not as we regulate them.. the dealership had replaced a actuator in behind dash(have record of that along with all service dates on Ford ownership home page-believe it about on previous service for oil change) on completion of recent repairs and our vehicle returned to us on February 18, 2010 we advised the service manager of the continuing air-heat regulator problem-advised they would reexamine it on next service or at our convenience. The dealership has stood behind the Ford, we must admit that-but our inconvenience and the so many that have seen by others on the internet seem to warrant a recall as to all three related problems--some of which seem to be related to the same tcc problems.

- Mayslanding, NJ, USA

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