Notes: The 2012 Ford Escape has an acceptable complaint history so far, with leaking rear window problems showing up as the main concern so far. NHTSA complaint data shows an early pattern of problems with stalling while driving.

Another concern is the 2012 Escape rolled onto its roof during an NHTSA side impact test so it only received a marginal side impact rating ... not good.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
55,900 miles
Total Complaints:
37 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (13 reports)
  2. remove rust (13 reports)
  3. replace rear quarter panels (8 reports)
  4. replace wheel wells and lift gate (3 reports)
2012 Ford Escape body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2012 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Oct 122016

Escape LT 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles


I have a 2012 ford escape-I am shocked to see all the complaints about the rusting above both back tires on the body of the vehicle. this started last year and I thought it was "normal" until my friend's husband saw it (he is a mechanic at a ford dealership in IL) he suggested I contact ford and I did. they couldn't care less. but-if everyone on this website calls ford directly-they may issue a recall. I am also going to send a letter along with a picture of this issue and print out all the complaints in this website (if possible) and if this doesn't get fixed by ford I will never buy one again. like most of you.

Update from Jan 3, 2018: is anybody interested in doing a class action lawsuit against ford? I think this is our only hope. I have contacted the ford dealership in madison, Ford directly in MI, better business bureau in WI, WI dept of agriculture,trade and consumer protection, and national HWY traffic/safety admin. nobody cares. I don't need any money-I just want them to fix this defective vehicle at no cost to me. Ford dealership quoted me $3,000 per side. Which ford should be paying for.

- Dana D., Waterloo, US

problem #16

Dec 012016

Escape XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Purchased this car a couple years ago with less than 50k miles on it. This vehicle is garaged and taken care of, ie washed regularly, especially in the winter in MN. And the rear wheel wells as everyone else is also complaining about already is rusting.

This is ridiculous, I have never had a vehicle rust so quickly.

- Tina R., Cannon Falls, MN, US

problem #15

Mar 012016

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

Rust and paint bubbling in the rear driver wheel well.

- Nancy B., Grandville, MI, US

problem #14

Jun 112014

Escape LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles


click to see larger images

excessive rusting

Rust in the rear quarter panels both sides. Ford has had this problem for years and will not take responsibility for producing a poorly manufactured car. They either screwed up on the primer paint or the final paint process. They need to take responsibility and fix this problem at no cost to the user.

- Al R., Milwaukee, WI, US

problem #13

Sep 012016

Escape Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I noticed this week that the paint is chipping off on the wheel wells in the back wheels. Rust is forming as well. This is ridiculous since I am just finishing paying for it and they can't make a car that won't rust for 5 years. No accidents, no excessive moisture. This occurred where the body is built to bend around the wheel well.

- John W., Medford, MA, US

problem #12

Jan 052017

Escape 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

They never prep the metal for paint at all the seals at back doors tailgate wheel wells are all of a sudden rusting dealer says what do expect it is 5 years old are kidding me

- Anthony C., Toledo, US

problem #11

Nov 072016

Escape XL V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 55,000 miles


So glad I found this website. I have a 2012 Ford Escape and the paint is bubbling and starting to rust on the driver's side rear wheel well. In a year it's going to be rusted through. I've read other's complaints about how Ford will NOT step up to take care of this and I'm just astounded! I didn't buy a brand new car to have it start rusting out in 4 years! I bought it to drive it until it drops and had hoped that would be 12 years from now. It has been well taken care of -- garaged at night and underground parking during the day while I'm at work. Super pissed and will NEVER buy another Ford again! And even more bothersome, if I go to trade it in or sell it outright, they will see the bubbling paint and rust and knock money off of it. JUST RIDICULOUS!

- Yvonne G., Indianapolis, IN, US

problem #10

Sep 092016

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,586 miles

click to see larger images

excessive rusting

I purchased a 2012 Ford Escape (new) along with a 72 mo/75K mile extended warranty. This car is and always has been meticulously maintained: garage-kept, washed and waxed regularly, dealer-serviced. I have almost 56,000 miles on it and just noticed about 2 weeks ago, that the paint on the driver side rear fender is starting to bubble. I looked in the wheel well and it is completely warped and rusted on the outside edge, right up to the paint. There are 2 pieces of metal come together to form a seam there, and when I put my hand up there, I can feel that the seam is open and the upper layer is torn in multiple places. I looked over at the passenger rear wheel well and it is not as bad, but is starting warp and rust. The front 2 seem fine.

I immediately took it to the dealership the next day, and one of the guys at the desk looked at it and said he has never seen anything like that on a 4.5 year old car. He said my warranty will not cover the cost to fix it and the standard 60 mo/unlimited mile Perforation Warranty will only cover it if there is a hole. He told me to contact Ford Motor Company directly and issue a complaint, which I did, but they told only told me the same thing -- there is nothing they can do -- and closed the case. So basically, if a hole doesn't appear in the next 6 months, I'm on my own.

I took it to my body shop and they said that there is a patch kit made to repair this issue for the driver side, but nothing for the passenger side. For the driver side: remove the rust, install the patch kit, and repaint the entire fender will cost around $750. For the passenger side: since it's only in the beginning stages right now, they can spray some rustproofing protector up inside to try to prevent any further damage at no cost. But, if it doesn't work and the same thing happens on the passenger side, they will have to machine a patch, remove the rust and repaint which would cost upwards of $1000.

I can't say that this car has been great otherwise. I've had multiple things replaced under warranty in the past 2 years. In fact, it's at the dealership right now for another problem that they think will take a few days to figure out and fix.

I wasn't going to give up on this car until now. I am very upset and angry as I had just finished paying it off last week. I am done with Ford and done with dumping money into this car. 4-year old cars shouldn't rust out. I think the only thing I can do is fix the rust and trade it in as soon as possible before something else rusts through or falls apart.

- achristy, Aston, PA, US

problem #9

Jul 142016

Escape Limited 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

There should be no rust on this vehicle for being only 4 years old! I bought it certified used only 7 months ago, I have a loan for 5 freaking years. I don't have the extra money just to fix an issue that shouldn't be my problem. I just saw another escape, same year with the same problem. It cant only be two of them in 2012 that have this problem. And the lift gate is rusting too, probably from the rear window leaking!

- Carol Y., Oley, PA, US

problem #8

Aug 012015

Escape XLT 2.5L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,147 miles

2012 Escape with less than 37,000 miles, virtually a new vehicle! The lower edge of the lift gate is rotting away! Not just the paint peeling but flaky rust eating at the metal! Ford will do nothing about the problem because it is out of warranty. This is a 3 year old vehicle with less than 37,000 miles! Are you kidding me Ford? Apparently your slogan "Built Ford Tough" is just as big a sham as your customer service! My first and last Ford.

- hilltoprec, Springwater, NY, US

problem #7

Jan 012015

Escape XLT 2.5L L4 Dohc 16-valve

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,496 miles


click to see larger images

excessive rusting excessive rusting excessive rusting excessive rusting excessive rusting

This problem was NOTICED a year ago, but likely started way before that. A 2-3 year old vehicle should not be rusting. I even purchased Rust Protection at the time of purchase. The dealership keeps giving be the run around, and Ford Canada told me to go through my local Ford Service Centre. They have told me not to do anything, including oil it, as when they repair it, that will be done for me. The rust, that shouldn't even be happening on such a new vehicle, is only getting worse.

Never buying a Ford again. So cheap and garbage. They look nice, but that's about it. Quality is just not there. And apparently customer service isn't either.

- Kate M., London, ON, Canada

problem #6

Jan 012016

Escape XLT 2.5L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

I noticed bubbly paint and surface rust on the outside of driver's side rear fender a couple of months ago. The vehicle is ONLY 4 years old and currently has just a little over 49K. Ridiculous for a vehicle of this age. Also, around the same time I noticed the hatchback window leaking around the top.

I bought this as a Ford certified vehicle in November 2014 at which time the vehicle only had 30K on it. I had the vehicle appraised by a Ford dealership for trade value and was only HALF of what I owed on the vehicle.I refinanced some negative equity on my trade, so that didn't help, but I am sure that the appraiser saw the rust and as a result it lowered the value of the vehicle. Ford should be ashamed to allow such a shoddy vehicle on the roads!

- Chris L., Woodbine, MD, US

problem #5

Oct 142015

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

click to see larger images

excessive rusting excessive rusting

I have read the accounts on your website of the same problem. Rusting occurs in the wheel wells of the Ford Escape eventually the wheel well will rust out. Further, I did take this problem to the dealer to see if it was covered under warranty. I was told no free fix till it rusts completely through good till 100,000 miles. Further, the person I spoke with at the dealer was oh so familiar with this problem. It seems this occurs almost with every 2012 Escape. Ford should be ashamed of this problem and fire all of their quality control staff because they have their heads up there A*@. Do you see any other cars on the road nowadays(the other manufacturer's) with rust on the cars since the 90's. What the hell kind of steel or treatment is Ford using?

Anyway enough complaining Ford should fix this problem at no charge to the customer because they dropped the ball there is no way a car should rust in today's marketplace. Quality my A*@. Thanks.

- ryback, Milwaukee, WI, US

problem #4

May 112015

Escape Limited 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

I bought a 2012 Ford Escape, white with beige leather interior and sunroof very beautiful. In observing a low tire I discovered rust on my wheel wells. Contacted the dealership haven't had the car 1 year, bought it as a certified used car. Just out of the new car warranty about 5 months so the rust had to be covered under the 5 yr warranty. Both wheel wells had rust on them, ford only fixed one side because the metal had split and denied the driver side because it wasn't bad enough. I'm so sad, I Google this issue now I no I'm not alone. I'm gonna write and report them to the better business bureau. This will be the last Ford I'll buy!

- floers4166, Miamisburg, OH, US

problem #3

Jul 312014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,427 miles

The rear window leaks so on the inside of the lift gate on the bottom, end to end rust. Trip to the body shop and vehicle kept overnight with no rental to fix.

- joanne_c, St. John's, NL, Canada

problem #2

May 152014

Escape Limited 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

I have owned Fords since late 80s including Ltd multiple Torus, Rangers, F150, F250, & 3 Escapes This is the most disappointing since the Ltd. All others I would consider good cars but recently the last 2 Fords, 2011 F250 & 2012 Escape, have had problems not seen in the previous cars. F250 AC compressor replaced, battery replaced only 9000 miles on it, now Escape front brakes, and rust on rear wheel wells, 25000 miles.

I will look into other car companies for next car. Also at work we have 3 2012 Hybrid Escapes that are rusting at rear wheels as well, they have higher mileage but same year same area the paint peals off

- lapoij0, Ellenburg Depot, NY, US

problem #1

Jan 272012

Escape XLT 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,214 miles

click to see larger images

excessive rusting excessive rusting excessive rusting excessive rusting excessive rusting excessive rusting

many rust spots inside the car (under front/back seats etc)

Just want the whole world to know that Ford Motors and their dealer cheated me, selling me a car rusting !

- Sede B., Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

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