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:
4 / 22
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,840 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 10 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #77

Jul 292013


  • miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that he attempted to have the vehicle repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 13V583000 (engine) but was made aware that the parts were not available. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repairs.

- Branford, CT, USA

problem #76

Jan 202014


  • miles
Vehicle stalls for no reason when coming to a stop. Vehicle idles rough and stalls. Service engine now warning comes on. NHTSA needs to address this problem now. Look at all the other complaints about this same vehicle on the web sit. Someone is gong to get killed or injured because Ford can not or will not address the problem.

- Troutman, NC, USA

problem #75

Mar 182014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 8,449 miles
While driving the vehicle to the dealer to be inspected under NHTSA recall 13V583 when the engine reached 3000 RPM's huge volumes of blue smoke came out of exhaust system. While at the dealer the dealer performed the recall inspection and related tests, which resulted in replacement of the water pump and in the dealers words "all coolant system and related modifications per extensive recall" Ford recall 13S12C and 13S12D. The dealer would not confirm that the recall had been repaired or eliminated for this vehicle after these repairs were completed. Most of the parts listed to address the recall make sense except the replacement of the oil dipstick. The dealer also addressed the blue smoke issue and in the dealers words "found excessive oil in the turbo and excessive play in the turbine wheel". this resulted in the replacement of the turbo. Please note that this engine is the troubled 2013 1.6 liter ecoboost engine. The parts that failed and were replaced should not have failed on an engine with only 8449 miles on it. The vehicle was in the shop from March 18th until April 1st to get repaired. Also understand that we do not have an issue with the dealer, we feel they have done what they can to resolve these defects in this engine. We are concerned that NHTSA has not done enough to get this troubled engine off the streets and we are also concerned that there still has not been full disclosure from Ford of what is wrong with this engine that is causing multiple recalls.

- Beloit, WI, USA

problem #74

Aug 242013


  • 5,000 miles


I was driving slowly in a parking lot, coasting, when the engine died. I was able to restart it after putting it into park. The issue has happened twice more, once on the highway, once on a city street. Both times happened when the car was coasting. I was lucky to have been able to pull over safely and restart the car. Separately, I have experienced the rough engine start so many others on this website have complained about. The sequence is you turn on the engine, it idles roughly, can't accelerate away from the curb, and jerks forward when you try. You have to shut down the engine, let it calm itself down and restart. Sometimes it's fine, sometimes you have to repeat. I mentioned it when we took it in for its first service, but Ford didn't find anything wrong. I'm shocked that neither Ford nor the government has done anything, despite dozens of complaints of exactly the same issue. That is not a statistical fluke, it is defective vehicle and I hope neither Ford nor this Agency screw up again the way GM and this Agency did with the ignition issue.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #73

Mar 272014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 15,500 miles
When I tried again to start up my car today, the powertrain was producing smoke. Ford agreed to buyback my car in mid December 2013 but they have still not been following through on their written contract. I have contacted Ford's rav dept along with emailing Ford's tier1 customer support everytime my car has caught on fire. I have also let the dealer know of my issues. I have tweeted to @Ford, @fordservice, @fordescape about my car. They are aware my car's overheating and transmission issues. No one from Ford has offered to put me in a loaner car while they try to reissue my 'lost' buyback check. They'd rather me drive around a car that catches on fire. I suspect they are trying to hit a quarterly goal and are stalling to Q2. I paid cash for my car so I'm sure my buyback is impacting their budgeting. The smoke from the powertrain triggered my asthma.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #72

Mar 232014


  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, smoke was seen coming from under the hood. The contact exited the vehicle and moments later, flames had engulfed the vehicle. The fire department was called to the scene and extinguished the fire. The vehicle was destroyed during the incident and a police report was filed at the scene. The vehicle was not diagnosed to determine the cause of the fire. The manufacturer was notified but no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 33,000.

- Mount Vernon, NY, USA

problem #71

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 #70

Mar 202014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
When I tried to start up my car today, the powertrain was producing smoke. Ford agreed to buyback my car in mid December 2013 but they have not been following through on their written contract. I have contacted Ford's rav dept, I have tweeted to @Ford, @fordservice, @fordescape about my car's issues yet they have not contacted me back about where my repurchase check is at or try to get me a replacement vehicle while this process is occurring. They are aware my car's overheating and transmission issues.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #69

Mar 152014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
My automatic transmission is not shifting when I drive uphill and it's causing the engine to rev at redline. When I was driving back from la over the weekend, the car struggled the entire drive. Something was burning under the hood. The engine was also overheating while driving uphill. Ford agreed to buyback this death trap in mid Dec 2013 but they have been stalling the entire process. Apparently my check is missing. I don't want to be in this car when either it burst into flames, the transmission or engine seizes.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #68

Feb 062014


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while idling at a stop light, the vehicle began to overheat as the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the coolant hose assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the check engine light illuminated again. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where they stated that there was coolant in cylinder 4 and the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 14,000.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #67

Nov 192012

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles


I purchased this car brand new January 4,2013 at tom denchel Ford prosser, Washington. All recalls have been very serious - engine will catch fire. I don't feel safe driving this car. I believe Ford should have to recall every one of these 2013 Ford Escape's. the engine has a huge potential of catching on fire. The first recall I believe was the "fuel pump/filter was incorrectly installed" and would cause an engine fire. It seems this car was incorrectly put together. These cars should be taken off the road before consumers lose their lives. I don't feel safe driving this pos vehicle. It just seems there is one recall after another. If there is a consumer class action lawsuit pertaining to this vehicle I would like to know of it so I can get on the list.

- Yakima, WA, USA

problem #66

Feb 242014


  • 1,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact received NHTSA campaign number: 12V551000 (engine and engine cooling) and stated that the recall had surpassed a reasonable time for repair. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer to be diagnosed, and was advise that the part was not available for repair. The manufacturer was contacted and could not advise when the part would become available. The contact also mentioned that while driving 70 mph, coolant began leaking and caused the engine to seize. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 1,500. The VIN was not available.

- Alpine, CA, USA

problem #65

Feb 102014


  • miles
TL- the contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that he received a notice for NHTSA campaign number 13V583000 (engine) and was informed by the dealer that the parts were not available. The manufacturer was not contacted about the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. The VIN was unavailable.

- Jennings, LA, USA

problem #64

Oct 012012

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles
I purchased my 2013 Ford Escape in Sept 2012. Since that time the vehicle has been recalled 5 times for fire hazards. I have taken it in twice for the smell of antifreeze and a check engine light. I was told the smell was my air freshener, I then took it back a second time with the check engine light on and has a sensor replaced that I was told would be the reason I was smelling antifreeze. It has been recalled several times for fire hazards that are very similar to the current recall. I am very concerned about the multitude of recalls for fire hazards on this car. I drive a lot of miles as I am a home health care nurse and are frequently in very rural areas. My concern is this,1. how can I trust that my vehicle will safely get me to my two jobs. 2. the number of recalls for fire hazards lets me know that they have not properly fixed my car in the past recalls. 3. I am a mother of a child that is very involved in sports that requires me to Transport many teenagers to multiple meets, some many miles from home. I have talked to Ford Motor Company with my concerns and they have only told me that there is nothing I can do about this. They have no solution to this and stated that I could not file lemon law because in tn it has to be in the shop for more that 30 days. I asked if they would replace it with a.2.0 liter car as they have not had the recalls that my current 1.6L has but I was laughed at. I am very concerned about my and my families safety.

- Ashland City, TN, USA

problem #63

Dec 192013


  • 19,623 miles
The heat shield on the undercarriage of the car is very cheaply made and is falling apart. It is basically fiberglass insulation covered with shiny aluminum foil. It is very flimsy and exposed to the elements. The shielding has come loose and the more I drive, the more the wind pulls it and tears it from the car. It is now hanging down from the undercarriage and almost touching the ground, laying over the exhaust and directly touching it. This seems to be a very hazardous situation. It seems to be a very poor design to have something that is so delicate and flimsy to be directly exposed just inches from the ground on the undercarriage where any sort of road debris could easily damage it and cause it come into direct contact with a hot exhaust pipe. I'm sure once it catches on something it would be easily ripped free of the vehicle and leave absolutely no heat shielding between the exhaust and the floorboard.

- The Colony, TX, USA

problem #62

Dec 142013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 33,908 miles
On 12/14/13 at approx 6:55pm I was traveling at 40mph. I hear ding ding ding and noticed my vehicle is losing speed and immediately looking at gauges my temp gauge is on hot. Error message displays high temp, slow down, stop safely, engine speed has been reduced.!! I was so alarmed at what was happening had I thought quicker I should have taken a picture with my phone of the message. I was on a highway where I could not get off the road, only slow down and pull to the right. I got stopped and shut car off. Waited a few minutes and started car back up. Message instrument displays the same message. Then message disappears and I drive to my destination 3 miles away very slow. Reaching my destination I get out of the vehicle and the smell of engine coolant is very strong. No leaks of any kind observed. It has now been 15 minutes later and the smell of engine coolant is still very pungent. I had contacted the dealership this past week on Monday 12/9/13 regarding the smell of coolant and a recall I was told about. I was advised by the service advisor for the recall parts were not yet available and to continue driving the vehicle and if I encountered a issue to immediately stop driving the vehicle and have it towed to there facility and I would be placed in a loaner vehicle until my car was fixed. Now at this point I do not feel safe to continue driving this vehicle. The recall I was informed about is related to a engine overheating issue and possible fire could result due to something with oil. Please help. This issue was witnessed by my passenger.

- Daytona Beach, FL, USA

problem #61

May 082013

Escape 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,150 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 2 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The failure recurred sporadically. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer three times where the technician was unable to duplicate the problem. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 6,150...updated 01/23/2014

- Henderson , NV, USA

problem #60

Dec 032013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 26,000 miles
In Sep 2013 Escape with ecoboost engine died either when slowing for a stop sign or (worse) when slowing down via coasting on transition ramp between two freeways at about 30 miles per hour. This required stopping car and putting in park so that engine could be restarted. Serious safety concern: I am very concerned that I could be rear ended on the freeway due to this. Ford claimed this was a known problem fixed by Ford tsb 13-7-5 which indicates this issue is due to corrosion of connection terminals of the supercharger for 1.6L or 2.0 L Escape engine. Result was replacement of wire harness which appeared to make engine run better. In Nov/Dec 2013 engine died again twice within about two weeks at about 30 mph when slowing and transitioning between freeways on ramp. Later, after getting gas, car exhibited "engine fault - service engine now" message when I started the car after fueling. Had car towed to Ford. Ford states problem is fixed by tsb 13-12-12 (applied yesterday) which supersedes tsb 13-7-5. I am not confident this will fix the issue and believe there may be a problem with the computer when slowing down via coasting rather than breaking.

- Los Gatos Ca, CA, USA

problem #59

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 #58

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

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