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 1 of 3)

problem #47

Dec 042016


  • 70,000 miles


I was sitting at a stop light, as I accelerated to turn left, the car lost all acceleration and made a thumping noise. I put the car in park shut off the engine and it started and then accelerated. The car behind me was driving when my car stopped and he was beeping at my car. It was lucky that he was paying attention and quickly stopped as this was very unexpected as I was accelerating and not braking to clue him into stopping. On the way home I was turning left again onto another road and then was driving straight ahead and while driving the car lost all acceleration again and would not move. The engine was on and it was making a thumping noise again. The wrench light was on. It was frightening as the cars behind me were at full speed, at lease 30mph and my brake lights were not on as I was trying to accelerate and the car would not move. The cars driving at full speed had to quick go into the next lane to avoid hitting my car. It was very frightening. I quick put the brake on so the brake lights would be seen and then the flashers. I shut the engine off again and it started up and then accelerated. I am going right to the dealership in the morning as that is very dangerous. I just googled the throttle as that is what the wrench warning light stood for in the manual and I am seeing this had been a Ford issue that should have been recalled. I am very disappointed in Ford as this is a very dangerous and serious problem. I should have been notified. I get my oil changes at Ford dealership and this was never told to me. This is so dangerous!!!!

- Palm Harbor, FL, USA

problem #46

Sep 122016


  • 74,500 miles
I have a 2012 Ford Escape. I have had it for a year and it just started acting up. The first time this happened was Sept 12, 16 while I was headed to work. While accerlerating from being in park, the throttle body/ power train light illuminates causing the car to not accelerate like it should and a lot of squeaking comes from the car. So, I have to put the car in park and turn off the egnition. Once I turn it back on it goes back to driving normally. This has happened six times within 45 days.

- Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #45

Aug 262016


  • 65,000 miles
I was driving home Friday afternoon when my car suddenly started to choke down. I was not going more than 25 mph because I had just recently drove over a speed bump. I lost all power and was unable to accelerate. I cruised over to the side of the road and put my car in park. I noticed a wrench light come on and I then turned the car off. Once I had someone there to follow me home, I cranked my car back up and drove very slowly the rest of the way(3 miles max) to my house. The car did take a few extra seconds to crank but seemed to do fine on the trip home. We took it to the dealership first thing the next morning and they are supposed to run a diagnostic test on it sometime today.

- Leesburg, GA, USA

problem #44

Jun 202016


  • 85,000 miles


While driving vehicle it started making a lot of noise and vibrating a lot. Checked lug nuts and found all tight. Got under vehicle and found the right drive shaft had come apart. Have never had one fail suddenly like this. Had car towed to Ford dealer. Upon inspection the found one of the motor mount bolts had backed all the way out, a second one had backed out a little and broke, the third remained tight but had sheared off. This allowed the engine to drop drop and destroyed the drive shaft. Bought this vehicle new in 2012. Bolts have never been loosened during this time. Dealer has no explanation as to why they would come loose. Mileage at time of failure was 85000.

- Russia, OH, USA

problem #43

May 292016


  • 62,000 miles
I purchased my 2012 Ford Escape in 2012. About 2 yrs. Later as I exited off a ramp of our local by-pass, the car unexpectantly accelerated without pressing on the accelerator. I was quite frightened; and, after applying the brake several times, I got the car stopped. I called our Ford dealer; had the car towed; the service mechanics put it on a computer which "did not" pick up any recent malfunction. They said the car was safe to drive. The most recent calamity occurred on May 29, 2016 in the parking lot of our church. I was driving; my husband was the passenger. As I pulled my car into a parking space, I realized I needed to straighten it out. Upon my observation of another car coming in to park behind me, I waited until the car was parked, put my car in reverse, and "all hell broke loose". the car fully accelerated in reverse and crashed into the parked car. Fortunately there were no injuries; however, damage to the R rear of my Escape, and extensive damage to the R side of the other vehicle. This incident could have had devastating results: (1) if the passenger in the other car would have been getting out seconds before, he would have been killed! (2) if the other car had not been parked, my vehicle would have continued over a small embankment (possibly turning over) and taking with it numerous other parked cars and members walking into the service. Upon examining my vehicle and hearing the report of the accident, our insurance adjustor/appraiser was wise enough to take the car "off the roads"! he deemed it a total loss. This accident has been very traumatic for me~~causing me undue restraint in wanting to drive. I have been a safe driver for 56 years without an accident. I trust that Ford motor will be held accountable for whatever defect caused this incident - possibly the etb (electronic throttle body). We were never notified of any recalls.

- Parkesburg, PA, USA

problem #42

Jan 152016


  • 85,000 miles
Transmission fluid leaking from left half shaft seal

- Fairdale, KY, USA

problem #41

Apr 052016


  • 40,000 miles


While cruising at speeds ranging from 25 to 55 mph, car will suddenly lose power, with rpms decreasing to 1200-1500. Depressing accelerator has no effect for 3-5 seconds, when the car will act normally. A similar problem is noted at random times when accelerating under light throttle from a stop or when applying full power to pass another vehicle on the highway. This presents a dangerous situation when the car cannot be relied upon to perform normally. The problem has not been isolated to any specific environmental or operational conditions. The problem was worse during the first 5,000 miles, but continues less frequently (vehicle has 40,000 miles now). Dealer technicians are unable to locate any faults.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #40

Jun 302015


  • 46,000 miles
The transmission in my Escape shifts badly. Has a lagging upshift from starts and a harsh downshift when coming to a stop a common problem with the 2012 Escape from what I have read. Took it to the dealer twice said nothing was wrong just the way the transmission is.

- Clinton, IN, USA

problem #39

Apr 032015

Escape 6-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
This is the 2nd time this has happened. This time I was attempting to make a U-turn in a loading dock on a busy street, and was going forward, to put the car into reverse to back up a little bit and the car shut off. Again there were no warnings on the dashboard, no sounds and no lights. This time there were cars coming toward me honking at me, and one in the loading dock trying to back up honking at me. I started it back up and backed up to continue where I was going. This is very unsafe. I took the car to my Ford dealership where they tested the throttle body and said that wasn't the problem. They also said they couldn't find anything wrong. What am I supposed to do if this cuts off in the middle of a busy intersection? someone needs to fix this!!!

- Chester, VA, USA

problem #38

Dec 192014


  • 31,500 miles
I was getting ready to back into a my parking space, so I had just pulled into the parking lot (going forward) and came to almost a stop so I could put it into reverse and my car suddenly shut off. There were no warning lights on the dashboard, no sounds, nothing. Because it had never done this before and I had the car for almost 2 years, I thought I had done something to cause it. I started it back up and put it into reverse to back into the parking spot. It started just fine.

- Chester, VA, USA

problem #37

Dec 222014


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Escape. After starting the vehicle and shifting into reverse, the vehicle hesitated to reverse. The contact also stated that while shifting gears, a popping noise was present and the vehicle jerked. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #36

Nov 202014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 44,915 miles
I was on my way home when the car slowed almost to a stop and started making a jerking motion. I couldn't get enough power to stay in traffic so I pulled over and stopped the and shut it off. By this time the wrench signal came on the dash. I started it again and it seemed ok so I drove it to a nearby garage my mechanic owns. It slowed down again and started jerking on the way. I shut it off and started it again and drove 2 more blocks to the garage. They hooked it up to their computer and said it needed a new throttle sensor. It works fine again after a bill of $455.68.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #35

Mar 242012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Escape. While driving various speeds, the vehicle failed to switch gears without warning. As a result, the vehicle hesitated and accelerated rapidly. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle was operating up to standard. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #34

Jun 042014


  • 80,000 miles
Car makes a jump when accelerating was told there is a extended coverage on the throttle body and that its possibly the throttle body causing the jolt, but Ford will not fix under the extended coverage recall until the engine light comes on.

- Norfolk, NE, USA

problem #33

Sep 062014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 32,737 miles
This vehicle was sold to us a being capable of being towed behind a motor home. During the towing process, the transmission became so hot that components of the drive train melted and liquefied as determined by Ford. This presents a severe safety concern as the car could have caught fire and there would be no way we would have known. This could have resulted in an explosion or worse. We have since discovered that Ford, without telling us, issued a bulletin stating that the car can not in fact be towed. This information has not been widely distributed and none of the Ford dealers we talked to were aware of it. In addition, there are websites from motor home magazine and edmonds as well as others that still list the 2012 Escape as a good choice for motor home tow vehicles.

- Cornville, AZ, USA

problem #32

Sep 092014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
As I was stopped at a red light on my way to work, all of a sudden the battery light came on, then oil can light and then the car stalled/shut off. I tried to re-start it and it wouldn't work. The light turned green and I turned my hazards on so folks would know to pass me. I started dialing aaa and tried to start it again. It did start and no warning lights appeared. I called my dealership and they said probably just a computer glitch and to just drive it around my work parking lot a few times, they hadn't heard of this. Then I did research and found it could be the electronic throttle body issue. I have reached out to them to have it looked at this weekend. No problems since the initial stall.

- Hudson, NH, USA

problem #31

Aug 152014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 56,603 miles
Made left hand turn from a stop sign, as accelerating, lost power., put it in neutral started it again, put in gear, accelerated, approx 30 ft, did it again, I pulled over, called roadside assist, it was towed to dealership where I bought it, next day, they "said" it would cost me 104.50(ish) to have it analyzed, I said ok, later they finally told me that it was the air intake module was clogged, this all cost me $184.18. They also said that I have an oil leak, and he was going to "try" to get it fixed on my drive train warranty, but didn't know at the time if he could, now the control arm is a different story, he said he didn't know if it would take care of this also, he would let me know. If not it will cost $452 plus tax I do not understand, the vehicle is just now 2 yrs old and I can understand if I lived on bumpy gravel road or traveled on alot of bumpy gravel roads, but I do not, in fact 90% of the miles on my vehicle are highway miles, and I avoid bumpy gravel roads as much as possible, because I know they will eventually tear up a vehicle.

- Garnett, KS, USA

problem #30

Jul 302014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
Ford Escape lost speed and was manueverable at idle speed only. Repair wrench light came on. Put hazard lights on and pulled into nearby parking lot after almost getting run in to by another car who did not slow down in response to hazard lights. Turned car off and on again. Problem was corrected. In driving to dealership for check, the car stalled out/entered limp home mode 2 more times. Computer update done. Car still having engine surges multiple times on way home. Brought to second dealership which said first dealer made computer adjustments incorrectly. Awaiting pickup of car for 2nd time to see if corrected. Dealers refusing to replace throttle body at this time.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #29

Jul 182014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 32,992 miles
Traveling at highway speed (65mph) the first two times vehicle lost power, throttle/power train light on, went to idle. Forced to shoulder, shutoff vehicle, restart, resumed normal operation. Third occasion same day same problem in the middle of intersection (25mph) in addition to throttle light got check engine light. Fourth occasion same results(35mph).

- Lake Hopatcong, NJ, USA

problem #28

Nov 082012


  • 4,000 miles
The vehicle has lost power on 5 separate occasions while it was in motion. Twice on surface streets. Twice while entering a freeway on-ramp. Once while entering a driveway. The first incident occurred approximately November 8, 2012. The most recent incident occurred on July 16, 2014. The dealership (galpin Ford) has been contacted and the vehicle has been taken in for service for this issue several times. Ford finally acknowledged (approximately April 2014) that the issue could have been caused by a faulty "throttle body" and galpin Ford subsequently replaced the part. Approximately June 9, 2014, the vehicle was taken back to galpin Ford to "recalibrate" the "throttle body". this vehicle is unreliable, could cause serious bodily injury and an investigation should be opened to find a solution to the problem.

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

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