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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,798 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

May 212013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 18,678 miles


As per my vehicle report from the dealership: Concern 52*: tech notes clutch slave cylinder is leaking. Cause: Verify concern, find that vehicle has clutch fluid leaking from inside bell housing area. Correction: Remove trans & inspect, find that slave cyl is seeping fluid. Install new slave cyl & adapter. Assemble vehicle, no leaks found inside bell housing, but clutch live from master cyl to slave cyl will not seal properly. Install line, bleed system & retest, all pass. 52-3: manual transmission slave cylinder- hydraulic clutch - replace.

- North Charleston, SC, USA

problem #26

Apr 292013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 18,678 miles
As per my vehicle report from the dealership: Concern 51: Verify cust concern, find that veh spins over but will not start, install ids & performed koeo, all pass. Perform relative compression test, 80% loss 3,4. correction: Perform manual compression test. Cyl 1-180, 2-175, 3-0, 4-0. perform leakdown & pressure test, find that intake valves in 3 & 4 are not sealing. Remove valve cover & inspect camshafts, no damage found. Spin vehicle over & verify timing. Find that crank pulley has bracket out & vehicle has jumped time. 51-1: remove intake, exhaust manifold, timing components & cyl head. Inspect and finds that valves in 3,4 have contacted pistons, no damage found on pistons. Install new head gasket, cyl head bolts, 2 new diamond washers, all related gaskets & perform timing procedure. Assemble vehicle, change oil & fill fl. 52-2 koeo, pass. Roer vehicle has dtc PO524. Perform pinpoint test, replace vct solenoid, koer all pass. Test drive. Vehicle runs properly at this time. 51-5: cylinder head gasket- leakage (external leaks)- test.

- North Charleston, SC, USA

problem #25

Feb 072013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 15,295 miles
As per my vehicle report from the dealership: Concern 51: C/S that battery light is on, please check and advise. Cause: Verified concern. Found belt thrown. Also found and oil leak at the front cover via a dime sized hole in the cover. Correction: Replaced front cover and vbelt. Also replaced motor mount that was stripped out. Verified repair. Battery light is off and no oil leaks at this time.

- North Charleston, SC, USA

problem #24

Aug 012013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles


My 2012 Ford Escape has transmission issues, and from what I'm being told it's not only my vehicle. It seems to be all over the place as I drive it. One time at a stop light it will slip, and not go into gear just acting like it is in neutral. The next time I take my foot off the brake, and it will jam it self into gear almost rear ending the vehicle in front of me. It does the same as I drive it I'm never sure which result I'm going to get, but I do get one or the other. I've had it into three Ford dealerships a total of seven times, but from rebooting the software to rebuilding the transmission from the limited parts available it continues to get worse. I was told at the last dealership that it needs a new transmission, but none are available as they have so many complaints about them. I've complained to customer service who told me to talk to customer relations, and the case manager doesn't call me back. I finally called Ford credit to tell them about the situation, but they just transferred me to the voicemail of the case manager that doesn't call me back. If they are having all the complaints I've been told about I thought someone should report it to you before gets seriously hurt.

- Hermon, ME, USA

problem #23

Apr 012014


  • 43,583 miles
2 months prior to this date, I was going home, 50mph merging towards another lane when the car, all of a sudden, began shaking and the acceleration slowed down tremendously. I thought I was gonna stall so I decided to push my hazard lights and parked on the right shoulder and turned off the engine. It was traffic time, but luckily I was not hit. A minute later, I turned on the engine and drove, and I was able to get home. On April 1, 2014, I was driving to work on I-5, san diego, ca going 60, I heard a thud, and when I looked at the dashboard, the wrench light was on. In heavy traffic with my hazard lights on I was able to coast very slowly to the right, narrow shoulder and turned off the engine. Every driver behind me was so mad, blowing their horn. A minute later, I turned the engine back on and left. I arrived at work very upset, disturbed, and still a bit shaking. I could have caused a major pile-up, and perhaps I could have been in severely injured. That afternoon, when I drove home, I took the inland street to be a little safer. And lo and behold, the wrench light came on again. So with my hazard lights on, I quickly parked the car and turned off the engine. Then I proceeded driving home without any problems. I have not brought my car to the dealer yet because I want to ensure the problem is covered by my warranty. On April 8, 2014, I will drive my car to perry Ford in national city, ca. I also called customer satisfaction program twice, and I hope they could relay my message to the dealer I was going to drive my car to for repair. In google, numerous complaints mentioned the ebt, and I'm sure it's the problem. I am a 67 year old driver who needs the safest car to drive to work on the freeway, Monday to Friday.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #22

Feb 172014


  • 31,000 miles
It was approximately 9am and I had just exited the freeway (been driving for about 20 min) and I took a right off the exit ramp onto a secondary street. I was going about 40 and starting to slow down for a yellow light, when the car just died. No warning, no lights (that I remembered, because I panicked), no sounds. I was in the far left lane and so I immediately tried to start the car. Nothing. No sounds, nothing. I then turned on my flashers. Tried to start the car again, nothing. I waited about 3 min. And tried again and it started right up. It has not done it in the 2 days since, but I am now to scared to drive me car afraid that it will die and I will cause a car pile up. We have had the car in to Ford and they will do nothing.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #21

Dec 252013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 49,750 miles


I was driving at about 15 mph when I started to accelerate I felt the vehicle jerk. I pulled into the gas station and checked my transmission fluid and it was near empty. A diagnostic of the power train at an independent repair shop revealed that the transmission would need to be rebuilt or replaced. There are thousands of complaints on youtube and various consumer sites to the shooty design of the 4 cylinder Ford Escape models. In the end, Ford has not recalled the transmissions on the Escape models. To fix my transmission from leaking they replaced the seals and informed me to check my fluids every month. I was informed by the independent repair shop before hand, that just replacing the seals would not be enough and I can expect the problem again. The car now has less than 52000 miles, mostly highway. The power trains have a flawed design and needs to be recalled before thousand of motorist are forced to pay for expensive remedies due to no fault of there own. It is up to the government to force a recall on the Ford Escape power train systems.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #20

Dec 292013


  • 460,900 miles
I was driving the car, came to a stop sign, stopped and proceeded to press gas and turn into lane. The car jumped forward and almost stalled. It did not stop running however it would only move approx 1 mph. Just enough to pull of road and park. When I restarted, the engine was shaking. When in low gear, the car would jump forward and stop, jump forward and stop. In drive, it would only go 1 mph.I took car to Ford and they said it was the throttle body position sensor and that it wasn't covered under the drive train/power train warranty and would cost me $520.

- Jensen Beach, FL, USA

problem #19

Dec 182013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 36,749 miles
After slowing down in heavy traffic I felt a jolt or thrust forward. When I looked at the dashboard I noticed the wrench light was lit. I tried to give the car gas and it went no where. I was fortunate to be able to pull over to the shoulder and look up the light in the owner's manual. It said it was a power train/throttle body fault. After waiting 15 minutes for a tow truck I tried restarting the car and it started normally. The car drove normally the rest of the day. I brought it into the Ford dealership where it was purchased the next morning. They eventually told me the throttle body had failed/shorted out and needed to be replaced which wouldn't be covered under the warranty because I was 700 miles over. After filing a case with Ford and doing research, I noticed several others having the same issue.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #18

Sep 092013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
Driving down the freeway and was a pop and I had no gas at all. I had to coast off the freeway. The repair bill was over $400 to replace the throttle body and it is not covered in my extended warranty.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #17

Oct 302013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 54,000 miles


When pulling out from an intersection, I experienced intermittent power loss which resulted in vehicle loafing forward then stalling or entering safety mode low idle maneuverability with wrench light on. I was in heavy traffic and had to shut off the car, place in park then restart only to have the vehicle lurch then shut off or return to safety idle again before I was able to exit the street safely. After several attempts to restart, the check engine light came on resulting in trouble code P2111 "current" fault throttle actuator control system - stuck open and code P2112 " pending throttle actuator control system - stuck closed.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #16

Sep 022013


  • 26,075 miles
The first time this happened I was driving home and turned onto a street as I accelerated the vehicle slowed down. I had my foot as low as the pedal would go and it would not move. I switched it to park turned it off and back on and it started up and was fine at accelerating. So the second time this happened about a month later I was driving about 30mph when my Escape slowed down and completely stalled out while I was driving on a very busy street. I pushed so far on the accelerator that the pedal was as low as it could go but still no movement. I quickly switched it into park turned off the vehicle and tried turning it back on but it just made the noise like it was trying to start. So I tried again and it finally turned on, switched to drive and was able to get off the street as a semi was flying up behind me. Very scary moment in my life. I googled about the issue and found that an investigation is going on regarding the throttle on 2012 Escapes. I think my vehicle may be a part of this.

- Berwyn, IL, USA

problem #15

Sep 252013

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles
Car shuts off completely while driving several times a day during acceleration, was nearly rear ended. Took it for diagnostics and P211 was the code.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #14

Sep 172013


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis but they were unable to duplicate the problem. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 59,000.

- Philladelphia, PA, USA

problem #13

Sep 042013


  • 47,000 miles
While driving 65 on the interstate, my Ford Escape jumped forward and then slowly shut down. I was not able to accelerate. Thankfully I was able to make it to the side without causing an accident.

- Pensacola , FL, USA

problem #12

Jul 262013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 16,643 miles
Leaving the parking space, the wrench light came on, the car began to loose power, putter and would not take gas. When the engine is shut off, the wrench light goes out and the car runs fine until the next time which was the day after I picked it up from the dealer service department on 7/30/2013. On 7/31/2013, the same problem began all over again and I had to return the SUV to the dealer again for repair. Each time it's happened, I was fearful for my life.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #11

Jul 152013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
I pulled out of a post office parking lot onto a two lane road and began to accelerate. My vehicle started slowing on its own even though I was pushing the accelerator. It was creeping along, barely moving, and was unresponsive to me pushing the accelerator. The vehicle sputtered a lot but never completely stalled. Power steering, interior lighting, etc., was all working fine. There was a warning light on shaped like a wrench. I put my hazard lights on and continued coasting in this manner to the next available spot I could pull over. After pulling over, I turned off the car. I turned the car back on, and then it seemed to be idling and running fine. The warning light shaped like a wrench is a "throttle/powertrain" issue indicator. After checking online, I found several articles indicating this is a common problem with Ford Escapes. The North caroline consumers council recommended owners who experience this issue file a complaint. I felt lucky that I did not pull out into a busy road and lose throttle power like that and be at risk of getting T-boned by another car. I agree that this problem is a serious safety issue.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #10

Jul 152013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 4,849 miles
Note, this has occurred at varying times/dates since purchase of the vehicle in 2012, has not just occurred at the date listed. When accelerating, the vehicle will have a prolonged hesitation and even a loss in speed when switching via the automatic transmission from 2nd to 3rd gear. This occurs every time the vehicle is driven, not randomly. Also, when getting up to highway speed, there is a hesitation if you touch the gas to accelerate up to the highway speed; it will hesitate a few seconds before kicking into acceleration mode.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #9

Jun 012012

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles
The car did not shift gears smoothly upon acceleration. The issue increased to the point where it became dangerous to operate because of the delayed response. I would attempt to accelerate and the car would suddenly surge forward as I was braking for a stop sign several seconds later. I took the car in for service multiple times with different results each time. I thought the issue was related to the transmission, but no issue was found the first time and the issue was determined to be related to a problem with the onboard computer communications the second time. I experienced the same issue on the way home from the 2nd service visit and took the car back a few days later. (I drove my MINIcar in the interim because I did not feel safe in the Escape.) this time they determined that the transmission had to be replaced. The response is much better than before, but not completely satisfactory.

- Cedar Hill, TX, USA

problem #8

Mar 132013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 8,402 miles
Transmission issue- I have a 2012 Ford espape 6 cylinder. While driving the vehicle at low speed (20mph) the vehicle sounds like it is not in the right gear, it makes a noise as if it wants to change gears but can't. when you come to a stop at a stop sign or red light and then try to proceed the vehicle will not go when you push the accelerator, then it lunges forward into gear. I have had it at the dealership 3 times. The dearlership said they fixed the problem, but the problem is still there. I had 8402 miles on it and now have approximately 9400 and I am still returning it to the dealership. I have also contacted Ford Motor Company and they said it can possibly be the adapt shift strategy, which is when the vehicle has to learn the driver. I have never heard of anything like this. When the dealership has the vehicle they state the vehicle doesn't do it. When I pick the vehicle up from the dealership, I have the problem again after only driving it about 26-30 miles. I know it is the transmission and I feel Ford is neglecting their responsibility to resolve this issue. This vehicle should be performing better than the 2005 Ford Escape (4 cylinder) I previously owned, and was satisfied with. This 6 cylinder has no power to go. When the vehicle is in idle mode it sounds like a diesel vehicle than a regular gasoline vehicle.

- Hazelwood, MO, USA

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