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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,538 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.

2012 Ford Escape body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2012 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #19

Nov 272016


  • 50,000 miles


Two days ago I was driving down the highway at nighttime, alone. I was the only vehicle in sight, and they were no overpasses anywhere near me. As I was driving, out of absolutely nowhere my rear windshield exploded. Glass went flying everywhere, even to the point of hitting the front seat. I had no idea what happened, I thought someone may have thrown a brick through my window. Luckily I had my wits about me enough to pull over and see what it happened. I examined my vehicle and noted that there were no rocks and still no other vehicles or people in sight. There was no reason for this window to have exploded; it happened completely on its own. If I had had a dog or child in the backseat, they could have been killed. I was driving at 120km/hr, the sheer noise and shock of the incident could have easily caused me to be in a fatal accident. I was lucky that I reacted the way that I did, but many people wouldn't have. Glass shards were all over my car. They flew to the front seat. They came out at such a speed they easily could have blinded or cut someone. This is a common problem with Ford SUVS! there are multiple news reports and yet Ford has done nothing as of yet!

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #18

Jul 122015


  • 42,000 miles
Ac unit quit working at 42000 miles. The rear window leaks, bad latches.

- Lykens, PA, USA

problem #17

Aug 192016


  • 38,000 miles
Body paint peeling and rust in multiple areas including wheel wells and rear cargo door since 38K miles. Now at 43K miles more rust is visible. At this point the warranty is useless unless rust is through body.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #16

Jul 312016


  • 105,000 miles


Rear lift glass hinges corrode and snap. My hinges broke while stationary the vehicle was at rest and the lift gate was not in use.

- Hudson, WI, USA

problem #15

Jul 172016


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Escape. While washing the vehicle, the contact discovered that the liftgate and both rear wheel wells were corroded. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 94,000.

- Oley, PA, USA

problem #14

Jul 052016


  • 71,076 miles
My wife and one month old child were in an accident the other day. She turned left in front of an oncoming vehicle and our 2012 Ford Escape XLT was hit in the front passenger corner. The insurance adjuster just finished determining the damage only to conclude that the vehicle is a total loss. There was over $10,000 in damage to the vehicle before he took it apart to determine how expensive the frame repair would become. The airbags did not deploy. I have notified Ford about this issue and they are "investigating" which I'm sure will lead to absolutely nothing. How can a car receive a catastrophic impact on the front end like that and the airbags not deploy?

- New Franklin, OH, USA

problem #13

Apr 162016


  • 59,000 miles


The rear lift gate window exploded. We weren't there when it happened. 60 degrees and sunny outside. We were attending a party for 2 hrs and came out to shattered glass every where. Car was stationary, parked in a lot.

- Newport, VT, USA

problem #12

Jun 102015


  • 48,000 miles
Rust issue in all wheel wells typical it seems with all Ford Escapes in 2012. I assume the manufacturer did not treat or used bad rust treatment on these cars.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #11

Mar 132015


  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Escape. While driving at approximately 25 mph, the rear of the vehicle leaked water into the interior and created mold. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the cause of the failure could not be determined. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 22,000....updated 02/19/16

- Austell, GA, USA

problem #10

Apr 152015


  • 48,800 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Escape. While the vehicle was at an independent mechanic for routine maintenance, the technician found excessive corrosion on the wheel well and tailgate of the vehicle. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified twice. The failure mileage was 48,800. Updated 01/27/16

- Bradford, PA, USA

problem #9

Jul 212015


  • 69,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Escape. While the vehicle was at the dealer for routine maintenance, the technician found excessive corrosion on the wheel well and tailgate of the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 69,000.

- Novelty, OH, USA

problem #8

Apr 032015


  • 32,345 miles
I have only owned this Escape 1.5 yrs. I just noticed this spring that the paint was coming off in the wheel well, now as of 7/7/2015 it has gotten bigger. As well as the rear hatch when you open it you can already see bubbling. My understanding by the paper work I received with it it was suppose to have had some kind of under body protection put on it.

- Mound, MN, USA

problem #7

Jun 172015


  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Escape. While driving 30 mph, the contact noticed a burning odor coming from the air vent. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the seal did not properly protect the vehicle from water. As a result, water entered the vehicle and shorted out the electrical system. In addition, the receiver dryer, blower resister, and gasket cap needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 22,000.

- Ithica, NY, USA

problem #6

Nov 282013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
After dark one night (I couldn't see that the hood was cracked open) while accelerating on a highway the hood blew open-safety catch did not hold hood shut. It bent back to the windshield, I could not see the road and luckily was not killed in a crash. Body shop installed new hood and latches and safety catch etc. Less than a year later the safety catch stopped operating. I tied it down with rope to the frame and drove it for a while. I couldn't get to the body shop because I never got out of work on time. While having the oil changed the service manager at the dealer tried to fix the latch mechanism and couldn't so he ordered a new one, installed it and charged it to the body shop. The hood release handle and parking brake release handle are inches apart from each other which is a poor design, but regardless when the hood is popped the safety catch should prevent it from opening. A relative who drove my vehicle kept popping the hood accidentally because he wears a leg brace which caught on the release handle. Luckily I had the hood tied off. I may also tie the hood with rope again as I don't have much confidence in these parts. I have had many cars in my life and never had this type of mechanical failure happen to me. Obviously people could be seriously hurt or killed. The hook that catches the hood seems to loosen up from its assembly and fall forward towards the front of the car thereby not aligning with the hood.

- North Andover, MA, USA

problem #5

Aug 142014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 15,320 miles
Please forward to appropriate personnel, on Thursday, August 14th at ~5:45pm a clear day: Our mom/mother in-law had just dropped of my daughter after shopping and was making her way home thru the windy back roads less than two miles from our home. As she climbed a hill a few blocks around the corner from her home and stopped at a stop sign on the crest of the hill. The 2012 Ford escaped lurched/surged forward uncontrollably. As from her description, she heard loud rumblings coming from the engine; the Escape shook and launched her forward while she had her foot on the brake. The Escape propelled her uncontrollably forward crashing into a large boulder, she then ricocheted across two lanes up hill, over an embankment /wall, just missing a tree, collided with another parked vehicle pushing it approximately three feet, passed that into another small wall just missing the house. We are thankful on many levels; that our daughter was not with her, that our mom was not severely injured and no one else was injured. I was researching online and there was an investigation open for this vehicle at one time. A recall is needed for this vehicle model before there is a fatality involved. We are very concerned knowing that many other family members and friends drive Escape models. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. We have many pictures from the scene for you to review. Kind regards, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- White Plains, NY, USA

problem #4

May 162014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 42,983 miles
This document is in response to a frontal vehicle collision occurring May 16, 2014 on a major highway. At my request I requested the auto body repair shop to check the occupant restraint system. It was determined that the restraint system control module was initiative and probably has been since the car was built. Perhaps an investigation of the same, make, model, and year Ford SUV be considered. All supporting documentation is immediately available.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 212014


  • 33,000 miles
On the way to work at 7pm, the back hatch began randomly locking and unlocking and opened slightly. After work the next morning at 8am, the back hatch unlocked and opened while driving on a busy road at 10mph. I contacted airport Ford in florence, ky and they stated never hearing of this happening with another Escape.

- Crescent Springs, KY, USA

problem #2

Jun 082012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 200 miles
There is a very bad reflection of the driver's side dash vent present in the side mirror. The dash vent is trimmed in chrome and as a result it reflects in the mirror blocking the view of traffic along the driver's side.

- Coxs Creek, KY, USA

problem #1

Jun 102012

Escape 4-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
Vehicle was being prepared to back out of level garage onto driveway with mild downhill slope. Vehicle was started, emergency brake released and automatic transmission placed in reverse, driver's foot engaged brake. Driver realized wallet with driver's license was left inside house. Transmission placed in park, driver removed foot from brake and exited vehicle. Vehicle not noted to be moving when driver exited. Driver entered house through garage entry, retrieved wallet. When garage was re-entered vehicle was backing out of garage onto driveway on its own. Driver attempted to catch up to vehicle on foot and attempt to regain control. Vehicle backed down full length of driveway (approx. 100 feet) and backed across road and down fairly steep embankment on other side of road. Vehicle then backed into a large tree about 10-15 feet from road and abruptly stopped, and an adjacent tree was side-swiped by the rear/left side of the vehicle. No property damage occurred, scant damage to 2 large trees. Driver assessed the damage, re-entered the vehicle. Driver cannot definitively recall what gear the transmission was in when vehicle was re-entered. Driver was able to re-start the vehicle and move it across the road and back onto driveway.

- Woodstock, MD, USA

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