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 6 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #157

May 052015


  • 24,900 miles


Driving on the freeway in traffic due to an accident on the shoulder, about 35 mph. I went to accelerate after passing the accident, I took my foot off the gas around 60 mph. The RPM's were bouncing up and down, and the car continued to accelerated. I slammed the brakes around 90 mph. The engine continued to rev as I pulled to the shoulder. A sheriff left the scene of the accident I passed after seeing what happened. The sheriff escorted me off the freeway, as my car would not go over 40 without revving the engine. I was escorted to the dealer, who stated they had not heard of this happening before.

- Mequon, WI, USA

problem #156

Apr 112015


  • 13,790 miles
Bought a 2013 used (clean car fax) Ford Escape Thursday April 8th, 2015. On Saturday April 11th, the car engine light came on, said the engine was overheating and pull over safe. Before we were able to pull over the car went from full speed to safe mode with no power to move the car. We drifted to the side of the road, without getting hit by another car (miracle). We had the Escape towed to dick smith Ford in raytown, mo. They flashed the PCM, and said it fixed the problem. I have had the Escape back 3 weeks and it did it again same thing on the highway again on May 2nd. I was going 70mph and barely made it to the side; the back of my car was in the right lane of the highway. The Escape said engine overheated pull over safe, went from 70mph to nothing in less than 5 seconds. I was dodging cars to pull over, but I had no power and could not move the car. I call for roadside and told them it was an emergency, I was going to be hit and could be killed if I did not get help right away. Once again we had the Escape towed to dick smith Ford in raytown, were it is still to this day being looked at. They have to call tech support/engineer to find the problem. I called Ford customer service Monday morning May 4th. I was given a case number and was told a regional service manager would call me. It has been two days and no calls from Ford. I am very upset and angry. This Escape is under full factory warranty still, and it is not safe to drive. My family could of been killed in an accident because of this car. I need help dealing with Ford over this issue. They need to make this public before something horrible happens. I can't temp fate for a 3rd time.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #155

Apr 252015


  • 39,900 miles
The vehicle was driving fine while utilizing cruise control going 70 mph. All of a sudden chime sounded and engine stalled. Cluster had message "shift into park" my turn signals didn't work as well. Instrument cluster died completely as I went to pull over. Turned on hazards and shifted into park and restarted vehicle. Was able to control the situation.

- St.Paul, MN, USA

problem #154

Mar 162015

Escape 4WD 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles


I've been to dave crossley dealer ship 3 times on the problem with my car it pops up message engine fault service know. This will be the 4th time they have tried to fix my car 2nd time it did it I was picking up my 7 yr old child when it did it. It is not a safe car to be driving in when message pops up engine just stops. I bought this car to be reliable for me to get to work every day something has to be done about this. One day I will be going to work and message does it on a freeway then you will see a law suit on your hands.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #153

Apr 182014


  • 17,676 miles
On April 18,2014 car was in a Ford dealership because I heard a rattle coming from underneath the car a day or two before. I noticed the heat shield was falling off and tearing away from a bolt. The dealership at that time stated I must have driven over something to cause it to come off. They charged me for the repair. Now it is April 14,2015 and the same problem is happening all over again. Same noise and tearing away from bolt again.. I have contacted Ford customer service again to open another case about this same issue.

- Plainfield, IL, USA

problem #152

Jan 092014


  • 14,520 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled and the engine failure light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer eights times; however, the remedy failed to the repair the vehicle. The last two times the vehicle was taken to the dealer, the wires to the power train control module were spliced but the failure persisted. The contact found NHTSA campaign number: 14V495000 (electrical system), but the manufacturer stated that the vehicle was not included. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 14,520. Updated 6/3/15

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #151

Mar 152015

Escape 4-cyl

  • 20,400 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving at approximately 65 mph, the contact heard an unusual noise outside of the vehicle. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road. The contact inspected underneath the vehicle and noticed that the exhaust heat shield cover detached. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and was repaired. The details of the repairs were unavailable. In addition, the timing peg bolt was missing from the engine and caused oil leakage. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 20,400....updated 05/11/15 the consumer has since sold the vehicle. Updated 05/14/15...updated 06/09/15 updated 06/16/15

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #150

Aug 212014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 19,187 miles
In August 2014, January 2015, February 2015, and March 2015 my vehicle went into "failsafe" mode due to an overheating engine, among other problems. The vehicle was towed each time to the Ford dealer's service center where the lease originated. Failsafe mode cuts power to the brain of the vehicle which shuts down the engine to "safely" stop the vehicle so the car doesn't light itself on fire. The car literally goes from 60 to 0 in a matter of minutes. Any time the vehicle has gone into failsafe mode I have been terrified of causing an accident or getting rearended. The car has been in and out of the Ford service center and pep boys for repetitive engine issues, coolant system issues, transmission issues, computer system issues, etc. There are 9 recalls on the car thus far, 8 of them have been fixed - the airbag recall does not apply to my vehicle because the airbag light is not on. My car has spent a total of 28 days in the shop since it was leased in 2013 for repeat repairs. I tried several times to have Ford buy back the remainder of the lease but was denied because the issues did not take place within the first 18,000 miles of the lease. I also filed for New York state lemon law and was denied for the same reason. I was forced to roll the remaining 9 payments ($4,044) into a new lease for a 2015 Ford Escape on 3/9/15 because the 2013 Escape was unpredictable and problematic - it was not safe to be on the road. The engine overheated approximately every 6 days for two months and it was deemed "unrepairable" by the mechanic but corporate still refused to buy back the lease. Speaking of corporate - I was treated terribly by the regional customer service manager. She screened her phone calls and refused to call me back unless I asked for a supervisor. She spoke to me like she was punishing her 5 year old child and her favorite word was "no."

- Hauppauge, NY, USA

problem #149

Mar 132015

Escape 4-cyl

  • 59,300 miles
Motor started running very poorly missing and bucking with reduced power then the engine default service now light came on I took it to the closest Ford dealer where they finally told me it has a wiring harness issue which is not covered by manufacturer although this same issue has been recalled for other Escapes with different engine size.

- Gallatin, TN, USA

problem #148

Mar 032015


  • 64,801 miles
Vehicle loses power and stalls either idling after start or within a tenth of a mile. This occurs even if the vehicle has been driven extensively then parked and restarted or from a cold start. This condition is hazardous as power has been lost entering traffic. The car must be stopped and placed in park and restarted. This occurs about every other day. Ford dealership replaced splices in wiring harness per Ford tsb15-0005. Problem recurred. Returned to Ford. Throttle body replaced. Problem recurred; returning to Ford again.

- Sebastian, FL, USA

problem #147

Aug 072014

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles


Back in Aug. 2014 I got a recall - 14S17 Oct. 2014 got a recall - 14S21 I have been calling our Ford dealer each month and they still don't have the parts. So I continue to get a card from Ford reminding me of the recall and to contact the Ford dealer today. Well then, why don't the Ford dealers have the parts.

- Gladys, VA, USA

problem #146

Dec 172014


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving various speeds, the engine stalled without warning. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The vehicle restarted after numerous attempts. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V495000 (electrical system). The approximate failure mileage was 54,000.

- Shelbyville, KY, USA

problem #145

Feb 192015

Escape 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
Recall repair done in August 2014 for well publicized localized overheating of cylinder head issue. Have had two instances of overheating since... the last incident occurred on 2/19. The vehicle went to low power mode and instructed my wife to pull over immediately and stop engine... she did.... after sitting for approx 10 minutes she restarted the engine and temperatures returned to normal however the engine light is now on and I will be taking the vehicle for repairs again on Monday. I am very concerned about the reliability of this vehicle and specifically this engine option. I have no idea what damage was caused by this latest incident... I'm sure there will be some residual longevity impacts if I keep the vehicle. I predict that this engine will continue to have issues.. both incidents did occur during extreme cold (below zero) so it seems to be cooling system related... which was the basis of the original recall.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #144

Jan 292014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 9,205 miles
Oil leak found at routine oil change. Oil leak was with turbocharger. Turbocharger was replaced. Engine shuts down due to low oil. This car is extremely dangerous to drive in high traffic areas due to unknown shutdowns. Car exhaust is a blue cloud. Car exhaust pipes drip oil. The car sticks of oil. The windows need constant cleaning for oil residue. Ford says oil consumption test passes. Ford refuses to test the engine oil level after 3000 miles and adding one quart of oil. Ford is making every effort to get this vehicle out of the warranty period by refusing to admit their failure to accurately perform an oil consumption test with documentation. Ford refuses to perform another oil consumption test. This car is a lemon. I4 engine is a gutless gas-guzzler.

- Garrison, MN, USA

problem #143

Oct 142014


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle went into power saving mode. The vehicle's speed reduced and the check engine warning light illuminated. The engine was shut off then restarted, and the vehicle resumed normal operation. The failure recurred multiple times intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The mat sensor was replaced, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 25,000.

- Opelika, AL, USA

problem #142

Jan 302015


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at 35 mph, the vehicle overheated and stalled. Additionally, the engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 38,000.

- Upper Marlboro, MI, USA

problem #141

Feb 122014


  • 32,000 miles
This is an intermittent power loss issue on a 2013 Ford Escape purchased on December 31, 2013. We have had the issue since that date. At speeds under 35mph and always while making a turn, the vehicle loses all power and must be coasted to a safe spot, stopped, put into park, and then turning the key to restart. This issue happens 1-4 times a week during daily use. We have taken it to the dealer ship 3 times. The first two times I notified them of the issue verbally, but since it did not happen during their test drives, nothing was done or noted. This last time, the issue occurred on December 24, 2014, while making a left hand turn through a city intersection that also put the vehicle on a slight incline, the power was lost, and we could not coast to safety to restart the vehicle. Another vehicle had to lock its brakes to avoid a collision. On Jan 2, 2015 I took the vehicle back to lakewood Ford in lakewood, wa where it was purchased. They had the vehicle from Jan 2 - Jan 9 2015. They test drove it a total of 26 miles. They did not use a "flight recorder" to capture any data. The vehicle is still under warranty and I will be taking it to every Ford dealership I can find until one of them acknowledges and repairs the issue. I will also be recording video of the issue. The camera will capture the instrumentation and road.

- Gig Harbpr, WA, USA

problem #140

Dec 272014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 39,500 miles
Car has been giving us an error message "engine fault service now" since we bought the vehicle. Ford has been unable to repair for the life of the vehicle. The car has no started to shut off in traffic. The incident on 12/27 I was slowing down in heavy traffic and the vehicle shut off. Cars where able to avoid us and we were able get the car restarted but it is becoming a hazard to not only us but everyone on the road. Two weeks prior the car shut off while we were at a red light. Ford has been unable to fix and unwilling to work with us on this issue. I have seen comments on line that other people have faced similar problems with the 2013 Escape. We just want the safe working car that we thought we paid for. We have tried everything and been very patient but now it is a safety hazard.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #139

Dec 292014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 26,400 miles
Just turned on car and was pulling out of the driveway. The information light came on and said it was low on coolant. I noticed a burning type smell when I got out of the car to see how low the coolant was. This car had been recalled before for engine coolant leaks and overheating. I took my car in to get that recall fixed in May 2014 and now it's having that problem again. I don't know if something else broke or that they didn't fix it right. I didn't buy this car brand new so I could take it in like 5 times for recalls. I also checked the coolant level last week and it was at the level it should be it may be a fast leak.

- Milan, IL, USA

problem #138

Nov 202014


  • 23,000 miles
The vehicle had been turned in to brown daub Ford in nazareth, pa where it was reported to have died twice on the road. They then reported it died on them twice also. They replaced the engine fuel pump as this is the ecoboost there are two pumps (one at fueltank one at engine) and returned the car. It drove for 30 minutes and died again in an intersection where it almost caused a serious accident. The dealership wrote up the complaint as car wants to stall which is not what was said. They were told it died and was dangerous, they returned it with the same mileage as they took it in so it was not test driven. This is a very dangerous problem and will cause a death. The none turbo engine has a recall for wireharness splices not done properly and that is what this sounds like. Please look into this.

- Easton, PA, USA

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