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:
3 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,603 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #60

Dec 122016


  • 30,000 miles


My car started acting up when the check engine light came on. It has run at lower speeds, sputtering and seems to have loss of power while driving in local conditions no more than 15 miles or so. I called Ford where I purchased the vehicle, and they offered to tow it. At first they made it seem like everything is covered, and now its 2 weeks later after them telling me its some sort of sensor that needs to be replaced and the cost is 1100 dollars, the car is 3 years old with 30000 miles on it, they will not fix the car until payment is made. It seems that its an issue they should have to fix on there dime not mine.

- Bayville, NJ, USA

problem #59

Dec 162016


  • 57,000 miles
Loss of power turn car off waite few mins star up run find till next time push on gas padal norting happen

- Garden City, MI, USA

problem #58

Dec 042016


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled, the steering wheel locked, and the vehicle was unable to shift into neutral. The engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle had a gasket issue. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was towed to the dealer again where it was diagnosed that it needed coolant. The failure recurred and the vehicle was towed to the dealer again. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The failure mileage was approximately 100,000.

- Elkton, ME, USA

problem #57

Nov 162016


  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. Once the vehicle was shifted into gear, the vehicle experienced a complete loss of power. The vehicle was towed to a dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 84,000.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #56

Oct 102016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 50 mph, the transmission shifted independently into neutral, rolled down a hill, and into the driveway. The vehicle was restarted and driven to the dealer, but the failure was not duplicated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000. Updated 01/04/17

- Desoto, MO, USA

problem #55

Jan 042016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving various speeds, the vehicle would shift hard and a warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was towed to the dealer; however, the details of the diagnosis could not be provided. The vehicle was repaired. The contact stated that the windshield wiper fractured while the vehicle was being repaired. After the windshield wiper was repaired, the windshield was fractured by the dealer. The contact stated that the vehicle continued to shift hard after the repair. While attempting to accelerate from a stop, the vehicle would stall. The vehicle was shut off and turned back on, and the vehicle returned to normal. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer, but the cause of the failure could not be determined. Also, while pulling into a parking spot, the contact heard an abnormal noise and the vehicle stalled after moving three feet. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown.

- Taylor, SC, USA

problem #54

Oct 042016


  • 28,000 miles


Purchased used 07/27/16 and since then, on three occasions while going up small inclines the vehicle acted as though it slipped out of gear and started and the motor started to rev up, as if I had floored the gas peddle. After pulling to the roadside, the engine slowed down to normal RPM's after about 5 seconds, so I put the vehicle in park and back into drive and it seemed to be ok again. On the third incident it did the same thing seemingly slipping out of gear and throttled way up, however this time a display showed engine fault, and when I tried to take off again the vehicle sputtered like it was going to die until I brought it to a stop and turned off the motor. When I restarted the message was gone and the vehicle has been running fine for a couple of days now. I had it tested to see if any diagnostic codes were stored, but it showed none. It took about 30 days for it to act up between the first and second incident, but only a week from the second to the third incident. Ford doesn't seem to have any answers, unless a code shows up in the module, however that has not happened.

- Villa Ridge, MO, USA

problem #53

Aug 032016


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving various speeds, the windshield sensor failed to function. The failure recurred numerous times. In addition, while driving 60 mph and changing gears, the vehicle lost power and stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the electronic sensor and transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 14,000.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #52

Jun 282016


  • miles
Purchased used 2013 Ford Escape vehicle with approximately 33K miles in October of 2014. Purchased extended warranty as warranty was due to expire at 36K miles. A week or two after purchase, car stalled. In the shop it went. Several months later check engine light came on. In the shop it went again. Multiple times later car has been in the shop again for same "check engine light" for 2-3 weeks at a time; transmission replaced twice. The car was back in shop again last week for same issue check engine light this time dealer claims purge valve issue.

- Totowa, NJ, USA

problem #51

Apr 122016


  • 1,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 45 mph, the transmission downshifted and the engine warning indicator illuminated. The failure recurred five times while driving at various speeds. The dealer serviced the transmission, but the failure recurred immediately after the repair. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 1,500.

- Olive Branch, MS, USA

problem #50

Apr 172016


  • 50,000 miles


Intermittent check engine light (happens when in park or when driving). Hooked up to code reader and got P026B7; found online that the the engine coolant bypass valve is defective, but not recalled (tsb 13-02-15). Dealer confirms code and that engine coolant bypass valve is defective and should be replaced but referenced tsb 16-0052. Despite the part being so defective it has been discontinued, redesigned, and replaced the dealer claims it isn't covered under any form of warranty.

- Rosemount, MN, USA

problem #49

Jan 282015


  • 12,583 miles
On January 28, 2015, while driving the vehicle in the city of trujillo peru. The engine stopped, the witnesses of the engine, oil and also the battery sign lit up. So I decided to take the vehicle to the authorized Ford, , where Ford mechanics determined that the engine had no oil, intercooler and ducts, spark burnt with oil residue workshop. Then the workshop asks me to authorize disassemble the engine to repair, the vehicle had 12.583 km long, and is within the factory warranty then, ask the college of engineering of the city of trujillo to conduct an ocular inspection. To determine the cause of the fault and the determination of the severity occurred in the vehicle, of course with the consent of Ford peru, Ford which he refused to perform an expert.

- Trujillo, KS, USA

problem #48

Apr 122016


  • 33,000 miles
Looses power, unable to accelerate even when gas pedal pushed to floor. It's been to the dealer twice. No problems detected. Unable to duplicate. Seems to occur while driving various speeds 55-45 mph, city driving, stop and go traffic. Usually occurs after a stop/go traffic lights, right hand turns. Occurred after first time between 25K?-30K miles. 2013 Ford Escape 1.6 ecoboost engine.

- Sumter, SC, USA

problem #47

Apr 142016


  • 36,600 miles
Since August 2015-April 14, 2016 I have taken my vehicle to the Ford service department four times due to reduction of engine power/engine overheating warning. My Ford was subject to the recall and serviced in Aug 2015. In January 2016 and twice in April 2016 I have had the same issue with engine reduction/vehicle heating gauge idle on hot/the vehicle sputters and rides extremely hard until you can come to a complete stop. All incidents have happened while driving in traffic and once on the interstate. When it happened on the interstate I barely made it to the shoulder as I had to try and cross a lane of passing vehicles to do so. I do not feel that Ford has adequately found a fix for this huge and dangerous problem and I do not know if a consumer has to be killed first for them to look at it and suggest a fix that is viable to the problem. I am fearful to even drive my Ford due to the is problem since it only happens when the vehicle is in motion. I am requesting that you please review this for all of the consumers that Ford continues to sell these automobiles too.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #46

Nov 222015


  • 98,500 miles
The car suddenly and without warning shifted into neutral for a few seconds then slipped back into gear even though the gear shift was in drive. This started happening every few minutes regardless of what gear the vehicle was in. The problem would occur while driving thus making it unsafe to drive.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #45

Dec 012015


  • 77,000 miles
Escape 2013 AWD 77,000 miles. Internal mechanical problems affecting the differential. The transmission fluid is burn't. the transmissions slips in every gear, eventually putting itself in to neutral. A well established, local aaa recommended transmission shop owner states only one option; replacing the transmission at a cost of $4,800. Further, stated the problem was something that had been building up for quiet some time and that it's some sort of defect. Worst case scenario, transmissions fails due to defect causing an accident. It has had 2 major repairs since I purchased it new from the dealership in 2013 totalling over $2,500. $2,500 + $4,800 = $7,300 for a vehicle only 2 years old. This model needs to thoroughly investigated before someone gets hurt or possibly killed.

- South San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #44

Nov 222015


  • 41,000 miles
For a few months low coolant light would come on and I would fill it. Then check engine light came on. Before I could have it checked out, I was driving for only five minutes and a red indicator light came on and the car slowed down. It read, high engine temperature, stop safely. Managed to get car home and checked the level of coolant/antifreeze. It was well below the min level. Filled it up and the fluid leaked out right away. Took it to Ford dealer for service. It was a faulty coolant diverter valve that needed to be replaced. Ford told me that it was not covered under the powertrain warranty which was a little confusing to me. Also, I know there were many recalls on this vehicle that were taken care of. One involving cooling system. Not sure if this problem I just had was related to a previous recall.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

problem #43

Nov 292015


  • 30,074 miles
We have a 2013 cpo Ford titanium with 30,000 miles on it, and it recently started to have problems with it loosing power while trying to excellerate. Most of the time it is from a stoplight or sign, but on occasion while getting on the highway. The engine starts to stumble, and won't get up to speed. The "service engine now" light comes on, and we have to limp to the side of the road. When putting it in neutral, the engine revs up to 3000 rpms before we turn it off. After letting the computer "reboot ", the engine is ok and the "service engine" light goes off. This has happened to us at least six times in the last two months. Twice we have had it to crest Lincoln (purchased from) in woodbury, ct., and once to an independent technician with neither of them able to get a fault code from the computer memory. It is completely void of any fault codes! my nephew has the same car from another dealer, and they are having the same problem! it puts us in dangerous situations. Every time we pull away from a stop sign, we hope there is not a dump truck going to run us over! the NHTSA needs to look into this safety issue!

- West Hartford, CT, USA

problem #42

Nov 152015


  • 62,000 miles
Multiple times check engine service engine fault now comes on, killing all power and steering to vehicle. Stalled out in traffic, on highway, at a stop, low speed, no speed, high speed. Lost all ability to accelerate or control vehicle. Traction control sensor light lit up, check engine light lit up, airbag sensor lit up and yet running the check systems on it responds that all systems are normal and no active messages. Previously had issue with a bad wheel sensor affecting RPM's, speed, and acceleration. It took the dealer 4 days to figure that out as no computer codes displayed. When turning the lights on manually, the sensor on the dash doesn't light up and it does not turn the lights on unless it is completely dark outside. Not good for these rainy overcast mornings. The engine stalling happened in all different circumstances and traveling in inner city traffic and losing power has proven to be quite dangerous. It first happened yesterday while traveling short trip turning into parking lot. Today it occurred 12 times in a span of a 25 mile trip with my granddaughter in the car. I read the Ford website and ntsa ones and feel it could possibly be related to recall # 14S17 but when I run the VIN number, it only shows active recall related to airbags. It has had multiple recalls since first 3 months of ownership and dealer where purchased never seems to know or have parts in order to address recall issues. The problem is that when this happens, you lose all ability to control the vehicle and there is no indication of when or where it's going to happen. We were sitting at an intersection and when the light turned green, I accelerated and it lost power and there was nowhere to get the vehicle off of the road as it was traffic all around us. I turned my hazards on and prayed we didn't get hit by the oncoming onslaught of traffic.

- Portage, PA, USA

problem #41

Sep 052015


  • 20,254 miles
The jerking stuttering problem went for about a month and half. Today it came back with a vengeance. While driving from Massachusetts to New York to spend the holiday with the family got about 20 miles away from home started stuttering jerking then went to pay the toll slow down in traffic she died. 5 lane highway would start but put in drive died. Nothing but problems since bought the thing. Wife told me she don't even want to see it in the driveway ever again with all the problems she feels unsafe driving

- Revere, MA, USA

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