really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,264 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.

2009 Ford Escape drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 13 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Jun 162012

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


Driving Ford Escape 2009 at consistent highway speed for approximately 20 minutes. Iphone plugged into usb port, head lights, air conditioning on and working. Sudden feeling of hesitation and then floating. Orange wrench light appeared. Sudden loss of RPM's and engine power. Semi-truck behind me weaved into other lane. I activated hazard lights and coasted/changed lanes over 3 lanes of highway traffic to shoulder of expressway. Stopped and parked car. Wrench light remained on. Air conditioning, music, and lights remained working. I looked up code in owner's manual and found "powertrain" "service immediately". I turned off car. I turned off air conditioning, unplugged iphone, music, and lights. I restarted car. Car immediately restarted with no warning light. With car in park, tested acceleration, no hesitation with rpms. I turned off car and waited 5 minutes. I turned car back on, again no wrench light, no hesitation with RPM/gas pedal tested. I turned off hazards and attempted to drive. No further problem driving that night or the next day. On Monday I took car to Ford dealership for inspection. I was called and told that battery needed replacement. I explained I was concerned because there was no loss of auxiliary power, rather engine power. The service representative stated they would replace battery at my agreement and continue testing. I was called later in day an notified that there was nothing wrong with my car. While waiting for call from dealer, I "googled" Ford Escape 2009 wrench light. I found multiple problems attributed to throttle body sticking, with inability of Ford dealers able to identify this recurrent problem. My car remains at dealer. I called Ford dealer again today and was told my car was fine to drive. I am concerned to drive this vehicle on any street/expressway with the potential for this to happen again, as reported by other drivers.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #12

Apr 022012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 32,791 miles
Intermittent problem when driving gas pedal seems to loose resistance, vehicle starts to slow even though adding more power, as vehicle slows and approaches 5 mph it starts transmission to seize and engine to backfire. Then with car stopped it won't go. When restarted it won't go the first time but the second start will then operate normally. Has happened several times in a day at highway speed or in town. Ford dealer unable to repair it so far had a minor leak in axle seal in front wheel drive repaired that no help. I believe it is a throttle body problem and have found this problem being suffered by many others on internet forums for repair advice/questions.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #11

Dec 122011


  • 60,000 miles
The transmission is slipping and wining. Like a bearing is going out. I think it is the output shaft bearing.

- Leland, NC, USA

problem #10

Oct 072011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 41,500 miles


Repeated transmission shift issues, vehicle will shift extremely hard, especially in stop and go traffic. Sometimes vehicle has a hard time switching into reverse.

- East Prairie, MO, USA

problem #9

May 182010


  • 9,626 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. The contact was driving 25 mph when the vehicle failed to shift properly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the dealer confirmed that the transmission needed to be reprogrammed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 9,626 and the current mileage was 11,000.

- Woodland, CA, USA

problem #8

Nov 232011

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 31,500 miles
Transmission is loud. Shifts are harsh. Significant hesitation when accelerating. Transmission hunts for gears. Upshifts and downshifts are frequent. When passing vehicles on the highway, acceleration is delayed as transmission shifts up through gears, then drops to a low gear. Powertrain light comes on the dash. To dealer for service. They say they cannot locate problem.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #7

Nov 012010

Escape 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


Significant safety issue is as follows; 2009 Ford Escape with a manual transmission will jump out of 5th gear into neutral. This first occurred first in November 2010 at approximately 58000 miles (repaired), then in April 2011 at approximately 72000 miles (repaired), then again in October 2011 at approximately 90000 miles, not yet repaired.

- Lyons, GA, USA

problem #6

Sep 292011


  • 22,741 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to accelerate from a complete stop. The vehicle was towed to a dealer and the manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 22,741 and the current mileage was 22,800.

- Campbell Sport, WI, USA

problem #5

Aug 152010


  • 8,260 miles
While being towed behind my motor home the transmission began smoking. When I stopped there was so much smoke coming from the vehicle I thought it was on fire and grabbed my fire extinguisher. I had the car hauled to the nearest dealer where a remanufactured transmission was installed at 8260 odometer miles. The second transmission failure occurred while being towed at 10834 odometer miles and after being towed approximately 1000 miles after the first failure. The dealer installed another remanufactured transmission. Each repair took 2-3 weeks to complete. Although Ford maintains that the Escape can be towed with all four wheels on the ground there are numerous catastrophic failures reported on the internet under "Ford Escape transmission problems + towing" which leads one to believe the vehicle can not be towed without great risk. This failure is not only an inconvenience but it is a financial problem for the consumer and a safety problem. Depending upon where the failure occurs it might be very dangerous or impossible to pull over and wait for a tow truck. Also, at some point the vehicle could conceivably catch fire which would present an even greater potential problem. There is at least one report of a fire on the NHTSA website. The transmission used in the Escape is a 6F35 transmission which is also used in the Mercury mariner, Ford Fusion and mazada tribute. So these vehicles may have the same problem if they are towed all four wheels down.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #4

Sep 082010


  • 27,080 miles
I purchased a 2009 Ford Escape in June of 2009. In February of 2010, I had issues with the transmission "slipping" and "jerking" while in transmission. I took the vehicle into the dealership, and was informed my transmission had failed, and they had informed me they had installed a brand new transmission. September 8th, 2010 my vehicle was experiencing the same symptoms with the brand new transmission that was replaced in March, at less than 30,000 miles currently on my odometer. Took the vehicle to the dealership September 10th and they informed me on September 12th, that it is indeed transmission failure, and the transmission will more than likely need to be replaced. I am upset that this vehicle continues to have transmission concerns.

- Parma , OH, USA

problem #3

Mar 122010


  • 20,000 miles


At the shift level of 40 to 45 mph the gas pedal vibrates. It is most pronounced during the first shift of the day.

- Waukegan, IL, USA

problem #2

Oct 112009


  • 14,000 miles
Purchased 2009 Ford Escape fwd V6 auto trans as a vehicle to be towed behind our motor home. We were assured it was towable (Ford owners manual & dinghy towing guides published annually with auto mfr's input). We have blown 2 transmissions in past 4 months, and have more than followed Ford's guidelines. I have read of several other rvers who have experienced up to 4 transmission failures - some reported being flagged down by other motorists because smoke was coming from the car while being towed. The wiring harness on ours has been melted both times trans failure occurred. Ford refuses to acknowledge their mistake relative towability. Ford has abused us (stranded for 2+weeks now with no idea when repairs will be completed) by their customer service policies. On the first trans failure they just told the dealer to replace the transmission - took 10 days. This time they are dragging their feet on ordering transmission replacement, and offering us no financial assistance for our inconvenience and out of pocket costs (rental car, etc).

- Emery, SD, USA

problem #1

May 052009


  • 2,000 miles
09 Ford Escape transmission lost third gear [6 speed auto] then goes into default mode [5th gear only] this is a very harsh event [it causes the tire to skid on dry pavement] Ford replaced a PCM now the transmission spews oil out the dipstick tube and covers the back end gate and underside of vehicle [this is a fire hazard as exhaust temps are high] thus far the selling dealers service and warranty is a joke problems started at 2000 miles have 3000 now the truck spends more time at dealership than at our home we do not feel we can be safe with these issues going on.

- Mannsville, NY, USA

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