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 / 8
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,489 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

May 132014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 10,435 miles


While turning at a speed of approximately 5 mph the car stalled causing the loss of power steering and power brakes. This was the third incident of the car stalling. "williamsburg Ford and preowned" serviced the car today and found no fault codes. Claim that they can not service the car without Ford's authorization via "recall". this vehicle is potentially dangerous once a stall occurs to a driver from side or rear impact. This needs action from the NHTSA and Ford.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #31

May 122014


  • 15,655 miles
Recall 13V583 for the 1.6L eng fire was accomplished 05-12-14.I drove the Escape home and noticed the lower left corner of the trip display page, the hours driven was replaced with mpg display. The numbers kept recalculating a set of numbers every second, this continued as long as engine is running.the upper right corner of trip page also has mpg which is the normal location from day one.but now counts down in tenths as car is at idle.the dealer told me all this is part of new software. The fix should be to have the upper hand corner show mpg holding at idle and lower left corner display hours driven not another mpg calculating new numbers every second.this has been reported by other owners of the Escape to dealer.

- Matawan , NJ, USA

problem #30

Aug 072013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 16,500 miles
My 2013 Ford Escape has had a issue of stalling while at intersections or driving at slow speeds the radio and ac is still working but the engine is dead if you are not paying attention you could roll out into and interception and you car be dead and you have to put it in park to restart it this has happened many times to my wife she has almost got hit multiple times with the last one being a semi truck everytime I take it to for they tell me they cant find in fault codes they don't know what to fix so they just tell me to go with it I have filed an official complaint with Ford Corp. Office still with no results basically what they are saying is if they cant find a code they cant fix anything so am I just supposed to let my wife drive a unsafe car and get her and my son killed and if you look online there has been thousands of people saying the same complaint and Ford telling them the same thing so something is wrong we need help.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #29

Mar 092013


  • 10,000 miles


For a year I have been getting oil burning fumes inside of the vehicle when idling or traveling at slow speeds. The smell also lingers outside the vehicle for many hours after parking it in the garage. This smell is giving headaches to people in the car. I have taken it to my dealer twice and they have said nothing is wrong this is a normal smell caused because the turbo operates very hot. I have found many posts on the internet about others experiencing similar problems. I am concerned about a possible fire since some models of this vehicle have had oil leak fire problem recalls.

- Cheyenne, WY, USA

problem #28

Feb 272014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 37,498 miles
Driving in parking lot fan speed accelerated and then engine shut off. I tried starting again 3 times and the same thing happened. I called aaa and had the car towed to Hyundai dealership in reno where we purchased the car. There was a smell of burning in the engine. The dealer reported the smoke was coming from under the hood of the air compressor clutch coil is internal short cause burning smoke. They recommended replacing the air compressor. Ford said my car is not included in their recall list.

- Mound House, NV, USA

problem #27

Jan 102014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
The left light went out. Went to dealer to get the light bulb changed. After an hour, they updated me that "some" electrical failure occurred and that it could take "hours" to fix. It for sure is covered under warranty, but now I am skeptical to drive this car. And this car is new, and under 3 months old with about 3500 miles. Incident occurred on Friday evening. Took to dealer on Saturday morning. Was told they were out of bulb, and to wait until Tuesday. Took to another dealership. They were kind enough to get the needed part (bulb) by Monday. Took to them on Monday. They put in the bulb. Then realized power wasn't reaching the bulb point. So had me get it back in on Tuesday. Checked on Tuesday, to find out it was the BCM (body control module) that was out. So had to wait another while they got the part. Finally got the vehicle delivered on Wednesday evening.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #26

Dec 052013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 12,406 miles


Ford Escape had started to stall and quit suddenly when slowing or at a speed below 40mph. There have been 10 occurrences. About half of the time, the entire dash becomes black and it is some time (longest being 4 minutes) before the dash is lit up again. During this time, I am unable to get any response from the car at all. The other times I am able to get the car to restart after about 15-30 seconds. The occurrences have been in high traffic situations, after dark and in sub zero weather. I am a single parent and purchased this vehicle for peace of mind and safety of myself and my children. I am now afraid to drive the car for fear of being hit or rear-ended. Others have attempted to assist me and I fear they are also in great danger as well. The dealer claims that the car does not throw a code. It suggests to me (I am not an engineer or a specialist to make this evaluation) that the computer may have rebooted itself. After the first few occurrences, the dealer had this car for 5 days and it did not stall for them. I was told that I had to take the car because they cannot find anything wrong with it. After the occurrences this past weekend, I spoke with a service advisor who did some checking to see if there were any new data on this issue. There was not. I am told that unless they can pull a code and find something to fix, that I am to keep the car. They will not let me out of my lease unless I pay the balance of my lease payments. After reading the many entries here, I am adding mine.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #25

Nov 302012

Escape 4-cyl

  • 1,669 miles
My Ford touch / sync program and display screen are erratic, unreliable and dangerous to use. The system will randomly cease operation resulting in a blank display screen. Occasionally it will resume operation and reboot itself. Most other times, the vehicle must be stopped and restarted for the system to resume operation. When the screen is blank, the driver must take their eyes off the road to operate radio, climate control and other vehicle functions or at times cannot operate them entirely. My dealer has twice updated the software to newer versions and now tells me no new updates are available, but these problems continue. The value of this vehicle has greatly diminished due to this ongoing significant defect.

- Sobieski, WI, USA

problem #24

Nov 252013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
Now that it is colder out, my car has gone from overheating to misfiring from the defective cac/torque converter in this car. I've noticed that the misfiring does not show up on the check engine light or was able to be read by my obd reader. Misfiring can ruin the catalytic converter and cause emission issues. It is illegal in California (where I'm a resident) to not follow the obd II protocol for reporting emission problems since we have this inspected for registration. When my car has overheated, only Ford was able to pull the code & I also didn't get a check engine light. It's apparent now that Ford has rigged the obd in this car so that only they can retrieve codes. Misfiring is easy for you to replicate to verify my statement. Unplug one cylinder, start the car, see if you get a flashing check engine light and a P030X code.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #23

Jun 152013


  • 11,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while stopped, the front collision chime began to sound. The contact stated there was snow on the front end of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where the technicians were unable to duplicate the failure. The contact was informed where to disconnect the fuse in order to stop the chime from sounding. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 11,000.

- Silver Creek, NY, USA

problem #22

Aug 102012


  • 7,143 miles


Purchased Aug 2012 had nothing but problems since day one wipers, rattles in front end steering stalls on take off also a gas smell strong makes eyes water wife will not drive car I am a retired Ford tech 20 years experience with Ford.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #21

Aug 202013


  • 15,617 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the driver began to smell an electrical burning odor. The vehicle was stopped on the shoulder and before the keys were removed from the ignition, flames engulfed the vehicle. The contact was able to exit the vehicle without injury. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 15,617.

- Fort Dick, CA, USA

problem #20

Aug 072013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 1,276 miles
My wife and 6 year old grand daughter were traveling East bound highway 190 and vehicle started smoking from the vents and shut off in traffic. My wife wrestled the stalled car to the media where itt died. I had just traded a 2011 Escape with a similar problem. It only had 28 K in mileage and it never made warranty.\ Ford wont even return my calls.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #19

Aug 072013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 6,171 miles
Was driving on manetto hill road in plainview, NY when vehicle stalled. No power to the accelerator. Kept pressing the gas, and the car didn't move. No warning chimes, no appearance of anything wrong-radio was playing, ac, etc. Was able to pull over (roll to the side of the road), put the car in park and restarted it. The computer then showed "engine fault service now" drove to a local gas station, though the car was bucking and difficult to drive. Car was then towed to dealership service station. Have learned that there are multiple tsb's issued for my car, but no recall. Parts are not available so the car remains at dealership service station. I was lucky I was not in rush hour traffic or on/getting on or off a highway when the car died. I shudder to think what would have happened then.

- Plainview, NY, USA

problem #18

Mar 252013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 5,817 miles
2013 Ford Escape sel 2.0L. Recurrent issues with "engine fault service now" displaying when car is started (first instance at 5817 miles, now at 11K and still happening). Results in rough idle, poor shifting, harsh acceleration. Can be reset with restart so the error must be visible and the car driven (in terrible and unsafe condition) so the dealer can validate the condition. Condition validated at dealer twice (has occurred five times total) computer has been reset twice, map sensor has been replaced. Issue still occurring with no proposed repair to resolve.

- Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA

problem #17

Jun 242013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 2,200 miles
While driving, in humid weather conditions the vehicle lost power and began lurching, shuddering and jerking. Center, driver side screen (behind steering wheel) displayed "engine fault - service now". was able to drive about a mile back home in "limp mode". I shut off the engine, waited and then restarted and all seemed ok. Next day I went to the Ford dealer's service and explained the problem. They could not pull any codes and said it was probably just a "fluke".... it's happened again twice more this week since then. It's not a "fluke". Ford engineers need to get involved here to determine the cause of the problem, and communicate with the dealer service centers, and issue a tsb fix or recall. It's become a serious performance and reliability concern, and a very serious safety issue as well. I can find similar complaints to mine all over the internet, yet Ford claims ignorance of any problems."??"

- Batavia, IL, USA

problem #16

Mar 032013


  • 4,580 miles
When the start button of the vehicle is pressed, the instrument cluster and synch panel of the vehicle will energize but the starter motor will neither turn over nor engage. This problem is intermittent and has neither been reproduced nor correctly diagnosed at a Ford dealer service department. No errors codes have ever been recovered from the vehicle immediately following the malfunction when a Ford mechanic has searched the system. The vehicle has been returned to the dealership multiple times with none of the attempts to correct the problem being successful.

- Hatfield, PA, USA

problem #15

May 162013


  • 2,500 miles
My Ford touch radio malfunction

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #14

Apr 252013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 6,500 miles
Starting around 6,500mi, Escape would not start without a jump start. After several days of calling tow trucks for these jumps, took it into Ford dealership. They swapped battery and said that's all it needed. After a week, Escape engine cut out at while stopped at red signal light. Engine warning lights for oil and battery came on, and nothing else. Pushed car to side of road and after waiting for tow for 20 minutes, I tried to start engine again and everything came back on as if nothing had happened. After two days of "all systems normal, " I went to start the engine and it began to shake violently and a "engine malfunction-service immediately" warning came up on the dash. I tried to pull car out of parking spot and it had almost no power. Barely putted along despite my really giving it the gas. Parked and had it brought to Ford dealership again. On arrival they pulled a code P0106 off reader. It's been there for 10 days and they say they can not reproduce issue, and have made no repairs. Still waiting for news.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #13

Apr 202013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 9,100 miles
Saturday morning, 4-20-2013, after I filled up my gas tank at the station, when I started the car the insync system did not turn on. The screen remained blank for at least 5 minutes, when I reached my destination and stopped the car the screen turned on and it was downloading to turn on again. System works fine now. The dealer was not concerned when I called. They said as long as it is working now it is a non-issue, I spoke with [xxx] at North brothers, the service rep. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Redford, MI, USA

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