really awful
Crashes / Fires:
17 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,395 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 22 of 31)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #183

Dec 052012


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph when the power steering assist suddenly failed. The contact indicated that the vehicle was previously diagnosed by an independent mechanic, who determined that the power steering sensor had malfunctioned. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #182

Dec 122013

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles
This problem originally occurred on Dec 12th 2013. When I started my car, the steering wheel was locked. I then turned off the car, pulled the key out of the ignition and restarted it, and the wheel was fine then. As I was driving, my steering wheel would shake slightly back and forth without me touching it. There were no indicator lights lit up on my dashboard. Then while driving some more, I heard a faint click, and my steering wheel was locked again, it had absolutely no power steering and it took all of my strength to turn the steering wheel. That has continued to happen every time I drive now, and recently it has gotten to the point where the steering wheel is always locked with no power steering. I took the car to the mechanic and was told that the electronic steering sensor is malfunctioning and the whole steering coloumn needs to be replaced and it is a very big job. I am still awaiting my quote to see exactly how much it will cost me.I have had this car for only 7 months and it seems like this is a common problem among the 2008 Ford Escapes. I do not understand why this issue has not been recalled, they can recall things like a power window for locking up and not being able to go up or down, but not this. This problem could cause serious injury and possibly death. This is the only car I have and I rely on it heavily. It it almost impossible to turn the steering wheel and this issue needs to be taken care of by Ford already. How many complaints do they need before this problem is addressed??

- Albuquerque , NM, USA

problem #181

Dec 202013


  • 120,000 miles
The first time my steering wheel started to shake for no apparent reason at a red light. Then it stopped as I proceeded to drive down the road the steering wheel jerked to the left. I then was worried because I had my little boy with me. I ran into the store and then went home and it stopped. Today, I drove 36 miles pulled into my driveway, stopped waiting for the garage door to open and the steering wheel started to shake. I tried to tape it with my phone and it stopped after a couple of minutes. Will have it checked out because I would hate to drive my little one and have the power steering go out in it.

- Vicksburg, MI, USA

problem #180

Dec 092013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 117,000 miles


Started vehicle and began to back out of driveway when I noticed the power steering wasn't working. Turned the vehicle off and upon re-starting, power steering began to work again. This has occurred several times since.

- Hartford, IL, USA

problem #179

Dec 162013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
While attempting to turn left on an intersecting road from a stop sign, the power steering went out with no prior warning. It took all of my strength to get out of the intersection and off of the side of the road. After turning off the engine and restarting the car a couple of times, it began working again. The car was taken to the nearest Ford dealership and they said the steering column had to be replaced for $1,300 which is not covered under my extended warranty that was purchased when I bought the car brand new. I could not drive the car because after researching on the internet, I have found hundreds of the same complaints and this can happen intermittently while driving at any time. This is a major safety concern and I can not believe that Ford has not made a recall on this! I can't bare to think of what could have happened with my child in the car as I was taking him to school.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #178

Dec 272012

Escape 4-cyl

  • 92,100 miles
I had been having an issue with my vehicle starting and the steering wheel not unlocking. Had to turn it extremely hard or put the key in and out a few times turning to unlock. Upon starting the prior 2 weeks it would hesitate- like it had to think about starting. I had it checked out by my mechanic and he said everything looked good - no issues with starter, alternator or anything. On 11/27 vehicle wouldn't start - ended up with a new battery. Now two weeks after battery install I have a very loud clunk in my steering wheel column and my steering wheel is loose. Makes me very nervous. Of course the extended warranty just was up.

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #177

Nov 282013


  • 79,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving in reverse at an unknown speed, the steering wheel failed to maneuver in any direction. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence and had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 79,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- New Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #176

Dec 022013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Help! I bought a brand new 2008 Ford Escape and have a pretty good record of maintenance. A week ago, I noticed my steering wheel is locking. I have to restart so many times before I can move it. Two days ago, I was exiting from the freeway and as I turned, the wheel locked and almost crashed, straight head on to the opposite side. That was frightening! I checked online and surprised to find thousand of complains about the same incident for 2008 model and up. I believe this is a mechanical problem and Ford should have update the way how they make the electrical sensor/power steering wheel that is causing this and should not be stuck to pay $2,000 just to have this parts fixed. There should be a recall for this before someone gets really hurt and cause death.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #175

Dec 112013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 137,800 miles
Started car and attempted to turn wheel to find absolutely no power steering, was able to get car to repair shop. Once car was shut off and restarted, power steering worked perfectly, then once driving it intermittently would stop working causing severely dangerous driving conditions. No warning lights on vehicle regarding power steering control issues were ever displayed. Diagnostic test done at Ford dealership shows error with the sensor in steering column, which requires a complete replacement of steering column. Ford online forum list hundreds of complaints with that exact same issue, similar mileage on vehicle. Car is scheduled to be repaired by Ford dealership, unable to drive until repaired do to sporadic loss of power steering.

- Cottonwood, CA, USA

problem #174

Nov 222013


  • 101,000 miles
I started my Escape on day and noticed that the steering wheel was locked up, I could not turn it, so I turned the truck off and started it back up and it was working. It has done this several times, sometimes it takes quite a few time of turning it off and on to reset it. I have not had issues with it locking up while driving, but I am worried about it, so have not been driving it. While in the park position the steering wheel does shimmy a little and makes a noise.

- Carlsbad, NM, USA

problem #173

Dec 082013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 54,300 miles


While backing out of my driveway the power steering failed, placed the Escape back in the driveway. Will call the Ford dealer on Monday.

- Carol Stream, IL, USA

problem #172

Dec 082013


  • 117,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The contact turned the engine off and after restarting the vehicle, the steering wheel returned to normal function without failure. The manufacturer was made aware of failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 117,000.

- Cement City, MI, USA

problem #171

Dec 062013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
I purchased my 2008 Ford Escape at 71,000 miles, now at 122,000 miles my steering appears to be locking up. Or losing power steering. While the vehicle is in park idling, the steering wheel will move from side to side on its own making noise that sounds as if it is coming from the steering column. There have been thousands of complaints on this. Ford needs to recall this before someone gets hurt. Driving down the highway at 70 mph, and steering locks up. This is an accident waiting to happen. I called Ford and they have yet to do anything about it. As many complaints they have out there with this issue, you think they would take this into consideration and the safety concerns for this.

- Heath, OH, USA

problem #170

Feb 122013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
In Feb. 2013, the power steering went out on our 2008 Ford Escape. After shutting down the engine, I restarted the engine and the problem was gone. I took the vehicle to the Ford dealer where I purchased the SUV, they told me it was only an anomaly, and probably would never happen again. At that time the vehicle was under an extended warranty. On Nov. 3rd, my wife was driving around a turn when the steering went out again. She narrowly missed hitting 2 cars. I took the vehicle in to the same garage, and once again the problem was gone after re-starting. After several days I was told that the problem had been located, and it was a sensor attached to the steering column, which necessitated a $957.14 repair bill. Unfortunately, the extended warranty had now expired. The dealership said there existed no relief as there hadn't been a recall for said problem. I have now discovered that this has been a common and ongoing occurrence with this vehicle. There are multiple websites which attest to said problem including www.aboutautomobile.com/complaint/2008/Ford/Escape/steering, which lists 155 complaints for this problem. There have been literally thousands of such complaints yet no recall. This is an ongoing safety problem, and who knows how many accidents and/or deaths have been attributed to this defect. I am told that this electrical steering feature was first utilized on the 2008 Ford Escape, whether it was used on other models, I am not aware. Hard to believe Ford allowed us to drive this vehicle when they were aware of the defect I certainly hope you can save others from suffering negative consequences in the future.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #169

Nov 302013


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owes a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 70 mph, the steering wheel suddenly malfunctioned and became difficult to turn. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was informed that the electronic power steering needed to be replaced. The contact stated that no repairs were performed to the vehicle. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- Quincy , FL, USA

problem #168

Nov 252013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
I was driving down the road and loss power steering, luckily I was only going 45 miles per hour and was able to maintain control of the car. Surprised to see so many complaints and Ford not standing behind their products. This will be the last Ford our family will own. How in the world can they say this is not a safety issue is unbelievable. What will it take a fatality to get Ford attention?

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #167

Jul 162013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
While sitting at a light in detroit, the epas (steering) failed. I am a grown man and it took all my strength to steer the car to safety, holding up traffic all around me. Once it was turned off, it reset itself and worked again. It has happened 3 times since and am taking it to the dealership, all at zero or low speeds. If a weaker person were to experience this it could result in a real problem as it is almost impossible to steer.

- Clinton Twp, MI, USA

problem #166

Mar 012013


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the automatic power steering failed. The vehicle engaged in manual steering mode without warning. The failure was recurring. The vehicle was taken to a independent mechanic, who was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 97,000.

- Mecca, IN, USA

problem #165

Nov 132013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 66,900 miles
Just starting to make a left turn from a stop sign. Steering seemed to be locked up, very hard to move wheel. Car almost went off road as it was a T intersection. Speed on cross road is 40 mph and luckily I was able to back up prior to being hit. Once the car was back behind stop sign the engine was restarted and steering started functioning again. This is the second time the steering went out. The first time was approximately 6 months ago, speed approximately 20 mph and was attempting to turn into school parking lot to drop off children. I was able to get car to curb and restarted the engine. There was no warning or idiot light prior to steering going out on either time. This seems to be a common problem with this year and make. I am surprised no one has been killed or seriously injured. There are quite a large number of incidents recorded online of this very problem. Not much word from Ford though...

- Beavercreek, OH, USA

problem #164

Nov 132013


  • miles
While driving, the steering column locks up and will not turn. Dealership has confirmed many similar occurrences have occurred yet will not fix the know problem as a recall. One day soon this will be major accident which could have fatal outcome. My daughter is a mother of one and another due early next year, such an accident could have major injuries or worth. This needs attention even more than the health care plan which would have to take care of the injuries which could occur.

- Mint Hill, NC, USA

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