really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 0
Average Mileage:
92,752 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2009 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 8 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #72

Apr 062014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles


Upon start up, the car has issues with power steering, locking the wheel and preventing it from steering or moving. After a few minutes with the car turned off, the power steering has returned thus far, but we've had 4 incidents of this within the past week. We've read of others having similar issues while driving and we're fearful of the same happening to us. We're fearful of our safety and the safety of others but are fearful that we can't afford the cost of repair. Until we have issues while the car is in motion, we'll continue to drive it small distances.

- Swansboro, NC, USA

problem #71

Mar 152014


  • 59,071 miles
The contact owns 2009 Ford Escape. The contact stated the power steering assist would fail when the vehicle was started. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The dealer stated there was a service bulletin for the power steering control module; however, it would need to be replaced at the owner's expense. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure; however, declined to provide further assistance. The failure mileage was 59,071.

- Ecorse, MI, USA

problem #70

Mar 212012

Escape 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Power steering has turned off while driving.going 45 miles a hour and turning on interstate and almost ran off road. Stopped and turn off car and restarted, which made it start working again. Next time pulling out of store parking lot and went out again, hit curb before I was able to turn back to street.this electric steering is a death trap and should be fixed before somebody dies.now im at 90,000 miles and it is gotten real bad. I have to stop and restart many times to get it to come on and even then it starts to vibrate after a while. Took it to Ford they said even before looking at it most likely would need to replace the whole steering column, since the sensors are what is going bad and not sensing. I would of took it to them back when it first started, but I thought it only had something to do with there anti theft not sensing the key and thought the key might be the problem since it turned on each time before and didn't think to take it to Ford if it was working..just thought it was a glitch. After paying 1400 dollars which Ford is the only one that can fix it and reset system it works again, but with only a 24000 mile warranty. Heard electric steering last about 90,000 before needing replaced. I wouldn't be out of 1400 if I had the regular powersteering with fluid and wouldn't have had near misses with wrecks.when I pick up my Escape even the service manager said the electric steering isn't very good, but did say the F150 truck has fluid not electric steering I got..

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #69

Mar 202014


  • 100,500 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle was difficult to steer while traveling at various speeds. The contact also mentioned that the steering wheel seized several times. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who stated that the steering wheel position sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was being repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,500.

- West Bloomfield Township, MI, USA

problem #68

Nov 212013


  • 100,000 miles
We have a 2009 Escape and so far within the year and four months of having it we sadly have had non-stop problems. Our steering has locked up completely.it started back in 11/13 and has continued to now 4/14. It use to be when we started the car it would lock up and shut the car off and restart and it would unlock and if it did not unlock we drove it that way. The one day I was literally sitting in a parking lot for 1 1/2 hours waiting for it to unlock. Finally after 1 1.2 hours I tried again and it unlocked and I drove straight home and waited for my husband. Then it started to lock up while driving down the road with my kids in the car with me and scared the crap out of me. Then in Jan. 2014 the steering became permanently locked and we drive it that way just because 1.)the part is too expensive and 2.)nobody will let us trade out the vehicle just because there is no value to it is what the dealerships told us. So here we are today with a vehicle that we basically (flintstone) it. We can not afford the part while making car payments on it and trying to pay bills. There should be a recall on it if there are many more complaints because it can cause severe accidents with others. Imagine driving down the highway and it locks you can lose control go off the road and crash. Whose fault would that be"??"

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #67

Mar 312014


  • 94,000 miles
Loss of power steering. Steering wheel has been shaking recently (notice while idle). Today I started my car, I had 0 power steering. Apparently if you shut off the engine and start it again it again you may be lucky and have power steering. I learned this with a simple google search. Many who have Escapes with high mileage have the same experience. This should be a recall, seems very dangerous since from all I have read it happens while driving. "a sudden loss of power steering". this also is a very expensive part, 1,400.00-1,700.00 to fix. Please look into this.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #66

Mar 192014


  • 96,000 miles


I left work and everything was ok. I made 1 stop after about an hour of driving. After getting back in the car to back out of a driveway, there was no power steering. I drove the vehicle home like this. When I got home, I turned the car off then back on and the power steering came back. Since the first occurrence, this has happened about everyday since then. Most recently, while the car is sitting still and idling, like at a stop light, the steering wheel will move a little on its own. It wiggles back and forth. I believe that if this were to happen while driving that this would be a major safety concern. I have read of quite a few people experiencing the same problems, maybe even a little worse. I feel that this should definitely be looked into.

- Newport, MI, USA

problem #65

Mar 012014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
The power steering has become very erratic. When I turn the vehicle on, about half the time when I try to turn the steering wheel it is very hard to turn. I have to shut off the vehicle and restart it, until the wheel moves so I can drive the vehicle. And then, the steering wheel shakes when the engine is idling, and it seems very free moving. I went to my mechanic and he stated the part to fix it was over $900 plus the labor to put it in. Needless to say, am very nervous about operating the vehicle, plus am pretty disappointed in Ford that they haven't recalled and fixed this very expensive, dangerous, and prevalent problem.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #64

Mar 142014

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles
My power steering went out on Friday. It came back after work after the car was restarted. Then it went out again on Saturday. It sometimes works sometimes doesn't it hasn't flipped on and off while in operation. But I am afraid that it might.

- Bay City, MI, USA

problem #63

Mar 072014


  • 84,000 miles
While at an idle my steering wheel would shake. Then while driving down the road going around a corner my power steering stopped working and caused me to go off to the side of the road. I was able to get back on and keep going but was very difficult to steer.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #62

Mar 052014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


For a few days my power steering would grind and the wheel would twitch while idling. Then while on the highway all the power steering shut off as I was moving in lanes. If I had been making a sharp turn into oncoming traffic I could have died. I'm a personal trainer and it took alot to turn that wheel.

- Gibbstown , NJ, USA

problem #61

Feb 032014


  • 91,000 miles
Power assist to steering failed. Resulted in very difficult to turn/steer vehicle. Very fortunate this happened at low speed.

- Huron , OH, USA

problem #60

Mar 032014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Loss of power steering. Turned car off it returned now it twitches shakes and goes off once and while. Need to replace steering column epas shot. Cost$$$ major safety issue this system needs to be looked at the car is dangerous to drive.

- Richfield, MN, USA

problem #59

Mar 072014


  • 122,000 miles
When I start my vehicle, the power steering fails, does not matter the temperature outside. Restarting the vehicle restores the power steering. Steering jerks and makes sounds like a gear mechanism is catching constantly while driving. While it has not failed while driving yet, it feels like it is always on the verge of failing.

- Lake Orion, MI, USA

problem #58

Feb 062014


  • 98,200 miles
I was driving down a side road about 5 min after leaving my house when I lost power steering and had to pull over. I shut the car off and restarted it and the steering worked but the steering wheel shakes when it is in the center position. Now everytime I start the car I have no power steering. I tried turning the car off and letting the electrical system to reset. But that does nothing. When I took the car to the dealership they said I would need to replace the steering culumn and they would charge about $1300. Now as I am starting the car if I pull the steering wheel to the left I have power steering but the steering wheel still shakes if it is in the center positing. If I just start the car like normal the power steering never works. This has only happened once while going down the road but could be very dangerous for any driver and the cars around them. Many other Ford Escape owners seem to be having the same problem.

- Forest Lake, MN, USA

problem #57

Mar 012014


  • 130,000 miles
Power steering cuts out of its own Accord. However when the steering works the steering wheel shakes and twitches, pulling the steering while it moves a little each time. I have to use both hands to steady the wheel as I drive on the highway everyday. I also noticed that the power steering will cut out mid turn, resulting in many pothole strikes, I am surprised this hasn't been recalled due to the fact that I would never be able to swerve around another car in time or heaven forbid a person or animal and that is a major safety issue.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #56

Jan 032014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 154,000 miles
Over the past couple of months or so, upon turning key, my steering wheel would not engage, staying locked - at first was a rare occurrence, but lately have had to restart vehicle 2-3 times to get the power steering. My 2009 Ford Escape is also losing steering in the middle of driving - on one instance, January 3, 2014, I was turning left in an intersection, and my steering wheel froze mid-turn, with traffic coming right at me! I was able to speed up and force turn, barely clearing a vehicle parked on the side. I pulled over and shut off the vehicle - upon restarting the engine, it steered just fine. I assumed it was a minor glitch in steering, but the incidents became more frequent, finding myself unable to steer to turn into/out of driveway, parking lot and even traffic. Yesterday, 2-26-2014, topped it. I was driving around town at max.30 mph, I lost steering, 5 times in 15 minutes, no warning of any kind on my dashboard. I had to fight the steering to pull over out of traffic - that is end of school day, parents and children walking/running around all over! this steering problem is a huge safety issue. This morning I set up an appointment with the local Ford dealership - and I better not have to pay what I'm seeing other people had to pay for exactly the same steering problem. This needs to be taken care of/recalled by Ford, as it appears to be a failure in their electronic power steering, and there are way too many people affected by it, risking crashes and loss of lives.

- Pine River, MN, USA

problem #55

Feb 262014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 112,650 miles
Started vehicle this morning and drove about 1 mile to local store. The steering was very difficult indicating a lack of power steering. After shopping at store, I drove about.25 miles to a bank. Again there was no power steering. After the bank, I drove 25 miles to work (with power steering) and then another 25 miles home in the evening. When I started the drive home, I had no power steering. After talking to my Ford dealer earlier in the day and after reading customer complaints on the web of the exact same symptom, I turned the car off and restarted it. This time I had power steering. Apparently there is a switch in the steering column that activates the electrical (?) power steering pump. This switch can become intermittent causing the power steering to fail. Reported repair cost is $1400 because of difficult access to said switch. Obviously this is a very disconcerting problem with huge safety implications. Web reports tell of losing power steering while driving at highway speeds. The vehicle can still be steered but only with great effort. Seems like a design flaw. It is hardly fail-safe.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #54

Feb 192014


  • 75,000 miles
Power steering/steering column replacement. 250 miles into my trip I was at a stop light and when the light turned green I accelerated and without warning I had no power steering. I managed to pull into a parking lot to get off the busy street. Hoping for a simple answer I checked the "four wheel drive, electric power steering module (epas), park aid module" fuse and it was fine. It was late evening - the dealership was closed, no rental cars available. The police ended up taking me, my dogs, my luggage, etc. To a motel. In the morning arranged for a tow truck and rental car. Dealership mechanic was a jerk because I had pulled the fuse and reset the error code. Told him when you're in a strange area with no help to be found, you're desperate and will try whatever you can. Was not in the mood to put up with his attitude. Got on the road in the rental car and hours later received a call from the dealership telling me the steering column needs to be replaced for $1,300+ and that the extended warranty I had purchased had expired 1/21/2014. I have seen so many posts regarding this matter. When is Ford going to realize this is not a random problem? I have had so many problems with this vehicle. In addition to the current issue I have also had to have the transmission replaced (at about 31K); front wheel bearings replaced; the left, front speaker that was replaced has gone bad again. I am not a bad driver (have never had a ticket or been in an accident where I was behind the wheel), I am careful with my routine maintenance. Next time it breaks down I'll be tempted to walk away from the thing and not look back.

- Bennett, CO, USA

problem #53

Feb 242014


  • 90,000 miles
Wheel locks up and doesn't move, power steering does not work either. Have to turn car on and off continually until normal steering functions return. Dropped car off at the dealership immediately! after some research I see this is a very common problem with no recall? very unsafe not only for drivers but surrounding cars on the road as well!!

- Romulus, MI, USA

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