Notes: The 2013 Ford Escape has been in the news quite a bit and for all the wrong reasons. Within a few months of its release the SUV was recalled three times, twice because of engine fires.

In July 2012, due to a fuel line that could split and leak, Ford told owners to park their cars because even driving to the dealership for repairs was deemed too dangerous. Instead, in a somewhat unprecedented move, Ford sent tow trucks to pick up the affected vehicles and handed out rental cars while the owners waited for repairs.

A few months later the Escape was recalled again because antifreeze could leak out onto the engine due to a freeze plug becoming dislodged. As the coolant hit the hot engine there was, once again, a threat for fire.

The 2013 is the first model year of the Escape's 3rd generation and proves once again that you want to avoid the first model year when at all possible.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,170 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.

2013 Ford Escape brakes problems

brakes problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Jun 162016


  • 59,789 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving 70 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and failed without warning. The contact was able to slow the vehicle down with the emergency brake and downshifting by manually shifting gears. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the core coupler in the camshaft, which operated the brake booster, fractured inside the camshaft. As a result, the power assist feature in the braking system disengaged. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 59,789.

- Newport Beach, CA, USA

problem #23

Jun 122016


  • 44,500 miles
I was driving out of a mountainous road and all of a sudden, no warning lights, no check engine lights, nothing, the power brakes went. I was able to stop by using the hydraulic system with both feet tromping down on the brake pedal. I have taken my car to the Ford dealer and they said that it was the vacuum power assist contraption that was defective. I haven't gotten my car back (9 days now) because they are saying that the engine does not function properly now and that is isn't the 'fault' of the vacuum power assist device malfunctioning.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #22

Mar 102016


  • 64,000 miles
Driving @ 70mph, get ready to make a turn by slowing down. Push on the brake to stop and there is no power assist. Overshoot corner and finally stop approximately 100 feet past where I needed to turn. Driving on rural roads is the only reason I was not in an accident. I still had 20 miles to go to get home. Had it towed to a Ford dealer. They say the vacuum pump has failed. There was no warning or indication of this failure.

- Ringwood, OK, USA

problem #21

Sep 152014


  • 20,000 miles


Excessive rear brake wear resulting in need for new rotors and pads at less than 20K miles. Owner has complained to dealer at that time and was told system was ok. By 30K miles rear brakes had to be replaced due to severe scoring of rotors and pads worn through. Vehicle is driven safely: Not charging stop signs, backing off for stale green lights, etc. Very little brake usage to slow down in this vehicle. Rear rotors and pads have been replace and it was found that very little to no lube was found on the caliper pins. Fronts have been inspected and are not going to need attention for many more miles. It appears that the balance between stopping between the front and rear brakes may be a design problem. Rear rotor diameter to front rotor diameter is 300mm to 330mm which may be too little swept area versus inadequate front pressure. Front pads will be replaced to establish a new baseline for comparison. Ford was notified via phone and email to little or no satisfaction. I'm surprised that a formerly responsive company has gotten so far behind in customer complaint handling. Checking the web, numerous instances of this type of performance have been found. It is my opinion that a "concern" should be opened immediately. Even my selling dealer is unresponsive, yet Ford personnel could not suggest an alternative dealer nor share dealer ratings with their customer. This vehicle has been plagued by numerous recalls already and there are yet two more to be processed. A lot of good an extended warranty does one! help please.

- Columbiaville, MI, USA

problem #20

Feb 052014


  • 8,000 miles
Ongoing list of recalls some of which do not even work its a dangerous distracting vehicle to drive endless trips to the dealers.this is not a safe and reliable car

- Minster, OH, USA

problem #19

Nov 162015


  • 24,975 miles
On 10-10-2015, our 2013 Ford Escape 4WD started displaying an ABS error code, along with a traction control system error and a "hill start assist not available" error message, simultaneously. The ABS brakes would engage at low travel speed. We took it to the dealer, who determined that a rear wheel sensor had failed. They kept the car for two weeks and returned it on 10-21-2015. It had 24,273 miles on it. Now, 3 weeks later, on 10-16-2015, the very same problem has reoccurred, with the dash lights displaying for the ABS system failure, the traction control system failure and the "hill start assist not available". the ABS system engages at low speeds causing the brakes to grab, rendering the car unsafe to drive. This car is a 'lemon' in our opinion, as it has had 5 major breakdowns, including a major engine problem at 720 miles, a failure of the air bag controller, two problems with the ABS system, as documented herein, and two recalls related to the engine potentially catching on fire due to a fuel leak (a recall, followed by a recall to fix the recall). I sincerely believe that this vehicle is dangerous and have asked the Ford Motor Company to buy back this vehicle several times, but they have refused to do so. I fear that my wife and I are not safe while driving this car due to the high number of defects on this one particular vehicle. I am reporting this ABS/traction control problem since it has now happened twice, as I believe it likely impacts other Ford Escapes made at the same time, and likely indicates a bad batch of wheel sensors that are failing prematurely in the field. Since the failure of the wheel sensor disables the ABS and tcs systems, this is a dangerous defect, as it can happen completely at random. My wife was 100 miles from home last time and had to drive back with the ABS & tcs not functioning.) this car is "unsafe at any speed"!

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #18

Sep 172015


  • 23,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at 65 mph, the vehicle decreased in speed and the brake pedal traveled to the floorboard when depressed. The failure occurred intermittently. In addition, the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer on four occasions but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 23,000. The VIN was not available.

- Fairmont, WV, USA

problem #17

Jul 222015


  • 25,000 miles
Took car in for oil change. Dealer advised that left rear brake pad was worn to 1mm and that rotors needed replacing. Brakes, especially, rears, should not need replacing at 25,000 miles and it was only the left that was worn. Dealer indicated that it appeared the brakes had seized, causing the excessive early wear.

- Dexter, MI, USA

problem #16

May 072015


  • 58,000 miles
99% of the time I put my foot from the gas to the brake, my foot ends up under the brake pedal on the undercorner before I make a quick adjustment to get my foot on top of the brake where it belongs. This happens everyday since I got the vehicle. You can actually see where there is a worn spot under the brake pedal and on the very most right side of it. I curse it every single time, every single day. One of these days I can see it coming. I would say that this has been a problem since the vehicle was built.

- Woonsocket, RI, USA

problem #15

Aug 182014


  • 29,345 miles
While driving vehicle turns off/engine dies at any speed without warning. It has happen 6 times.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #14

Oct 152013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at 25 mph, the engine stalled and the engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to a dealer, who replaced the tire wiring for the map return signal and the tcbp return. The contact stated that five months after the repairs the failure recurred. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the engine warning light illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed and was diagnosed that the fuel pump control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 14,383. Updated 09/30/14 updated 02/27/2015

- Nevada City, CA, USA

problem #13

May 062014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 9,100 miles
Foot slips off brake pedal..accelerator pedal and brake pedal are to close together.brake pedal needs to be wider to accommodate larger shoe sizes, mine are size 13.. in rainy conditions foot slides off brake pedal frequently. Bad design from Ford...hope I don`T have an accident before this condition is corrected.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #12

May 142014


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle rolled backward after being stopped on an incline. The contact mentioned that both the accelerator and brake pedal needed to depress in order to ensure that the vehicle would not roll backwards. No warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure recurred on a regular basis. The manufacturer was not contacted. There was no diagnostic test completed on the vehicle. The failure mileage was 12,000 and the current mileage was 15,000.

- Elizabeth, PA, USA

problem #11

Jan 092014


  • 11,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph and applying the brakes, the brakes failed. The contact crashed into a concrete lane divider and went airborne. The vehicle crossed over four lanes of traffic before coasting to a stop. The contact sustained a fractured lumbar spine and injuries to the left elbow. The front passenger suffered a head injury, fractures to the lumbar and thoracic spine areas. The contact stated that the front passenger's side seat also failed upon impact. Both of the injured occupants were transported to the hospital from the crash site. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 11,000.

- Yukon, OK, USA

problem #10

Aug 282013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 15,040 miles
While sitting at a light with my foot on the brake, car jumps/lunges forward. It feels as though someone is hitting it from behind.

- Crosby, TX, USA

problem #9

Aug 282013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 15,029 miles
While sitting in a drive-thru with my foot on the brake, car lunged forward. It feels as though someone hits you from behind.

- Crosby, TX, USA

problem #8

Aug 202013


  • 2,000 miles
The gas and brake pedal are so close together that when you push on the brake, you could also be pushing on the gas pedal if you have normal sized feet. This causes the engine to race and you step on the brake harder which pushes down the gas pedal more and causes the engine to race more. This has happened to me twice in the last month.

- Newburgh, IN, USA

problem #7

May 062013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 11,100 miles
While stopped at a stoplight, with the car in drive and my foot on the brake the engine revs up and the car lurches forward and crashes into the car in front of me. This happened last week at a drive thru and I was fortunate that no one was in front of me.

- Oakbrook Terrace, IL, USA

problem #6

Mar 242013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 8,150 miles
While depressing the brake pedal in order to bring the vehicle to a full stop at a stop sign in a residential neighborhood, the engine raced and the vehicle lurched forward beyond the stop sign. I, the driver, was required to quickly place the vehicle into neutral gear as the acceleration of the engine and the fully depressed brake pedal seemed to be fighting against each other.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #5

Nov 302012

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles
2013 Ford Escape situation is that when I transfer my foot from the accelerator to the brake pedal, besides lightly braking the vehicle experiences a surge in acceleration... causing unexpected acceleration when the driver would expect the vehicle to be braking. There are 1 or 2 problems: 1) the brake pedal is too close to the accelerator pedal [more so for a male driver with a wider foot than a female driver]. 2) the brake pedal has too much movement while the driver is trying to brake, in that pressure on the brake pedal pushes the pedal to and past the accelerator petal; in that if the foot is not exactly on the brake pedal, the accelerator pushes down and causes a power surge, when the driver is expecting the vehicle to be braking. The problem is the design and function of the brake pedal. The brake petal has such a long travel, that when a person's foot is not 100% on the brake that the foot also presses on the accelerator pedal, causing the vehicle to surge forward unexpectedly, instead of stopping. This is most likely to happen with a man's foot, being wider than a female's foot. I have experienced this on various occasions; all of which caused an extremely traumatic situation(s): 1) traveling on the freeway, when traffic backs up or another vehicle changes into my driving lane - in either condition, where forced to brake 'unexpectedly', the vehicle surges forward. 2) when braking at an intersection, taking the foot from the accelerator to the brake, initially the car slows down, but when the brake is pressed to stop the car, the car accelerates unexpectedly, I.e, a pedestrian is crossing the street in an intersection and the vehicle accelerates unexpectedly and possibly injuring the pedestrian.

- Monongahela, PA, USA

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