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:
58,750 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. rebuild transmission (3 reports)
2012 Ford Escape transmission problems

transmission problem

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2012 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #8

May 192019

Escape LL 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,553 miles


As I was driving down the highway, the car just stopped accelerating. When I stepped on the gas, nothing. Then the car stalled. The engine light and oil lamp came on. I put the car in neutral and started it up again. It stayed on for about 40 ft. and then stalled again. As I coasted into my subdivision, I put it in neutral again and started it again. Again it went about 40 ft. and stalled. The wrench light is now on. I was able to keep doing that until I got home. I did some research on the computer, went back out to my car to get the mileage and started the car up. It died within a minute. Car will not start and stay on now. I thought I had lack of acceleration last week a couple of times but thought maybe I was imagining it. Guess not. Ford had a recall for 2010's due to this problem so I don't understand why 2012's are not. I have read numerous reports about this same problem for the 2012 Ford Escape. Something needs to be done by FORD.

- Florence H., Gretna, LA, US

problem #7

Mar 012016

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

2012 Ford Escape XLT 3.0L V6. Purchased in March 2016. It had 106,000 miles. Transmission seemed OK on test drive. After a few months things started getting progressively worse. Transmission started to miss shifting points badly. There was no power upon acceleration. Merging onto freeway was downright dangerous. No power unless you absolutely floored it into the 6 to 7,000 RPM area. Sometimes it would miss a shifting point and engine would race up and it would eventually catch and jerk the entire vehicle. It also has an intermittent problem with downshifting while pressing the accelerator. This can be very dangerous. It is also very loud, sounds like a diesel, most likely due to faulty shifting points that make engine constantly race at high RPMs. Gas mileage has been getting worse by the month.

Have extended warranty and took to Ford Dealer in September 2016. They had vehicle for 3 weeks. Eventually came to the conclusion that a differential bearing was bad and was the cause of the problems and the cause of the metal filings in the transmission fluid. They said they would either replace the transmission or repair it, depending on what Allstate wanted to do.They went ahead and fixed the differential bearing only. When I got vehicle back there was very little change. The vehicle remained to perform poorly for several months but has been getting worse in December and January. Transmission slippage is getting more noticeable and jerking harder and more often. Hesitation up to 3 seconds sometimes before the car accelerates. Absolutely no power when accelerating from a dead stop. Can take 20 to 30 seconds to go from 0 to 30 mph and sometimes even downshifts while it should be up-shifting. It just never seems to run the same set of gears during acceleration, always seems like a crapshoot on which gears will engage.

This seems to be a common problem with Escape transmissions. I thought Ford fixed this problem as the previous generation had the same issues. I set up an appointment for mid January and will update this post with any solutions. Current mileage is 121,000.

- catch23, Hutchinson, MN, US

problem #6

May 052016

Escape ES 2.00

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


- Amer M., Sterling Heights, US

problem #5

Feb 172016

Escape LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


Transmission failure at 62,000. Warranty ran out at 60k. Ford WILL NOT consider helping to fix my transmission. Only had the vehicle for 18 months. Still owe 4 years on loan. WILL NEVER EVER EVER PURCHASE A FORD AGAIN. Thanks for nothing ford.

- Jamie G., Denver, PA, US

problem #4

May 082015

Escape Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

It started with a erratic shift that was once in a while and got somewhat worse. I thought it might be cured by a reprogramming of the ECM or TCM however after we took it to the Ford dealer, they said it needed a rebuild. They said one of the pistons had a cut in it's seal. Thankfully when my wife bought the car she also got the extended warranty which covered all but a few dollars or we'd been out of $2500+ and they supplied a rental car.

- nascarnuts27, Gladstone, MO, US

problem #3

Aug 272015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,200 miles

slipping out of park, rolling down hills., gaining no power , rpm monitor goes up and down spratically, with very low power.

- ymekmb, Star Lake, NY, US

problem #2

Dec 062013

Escape LX 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,777 miles

Was sitting on a hill, car in drive(automatic transmission) took foot off brake pressed gas and car rolled back like it was a gear shift car. Has happened twice. 2nd time was just backing up. This Escape only has 4,777 miles on it. I shudder to think how long before it really goes out. Disappointed in Ford. Am considering trading it for a Volkswagen.

- Melva M., Gibsonville, NC, US

problem #1

Jan 032012

Escape XLT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 400 miles

I have this problem (xmission surging or it just dies an then I pump the accelerator and it will go back to normal and it only does it about once or twice a day and then it is Perfect again.

I have taken it back to the ford dealer (kelly Ford) three times and the problem will not there is NO FIX??? and yet it continues to do this///any help would be appreciated

- Norton D., Melbourne Beach, FL, US

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