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 9 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #97

Jan 062014

Escape 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 13V583000 (engine) and stated that the parts were not available. The dealer did not give a specific date when the parts would become available. The manufacturer could not provide an estimated date for when the contact's vehicle would receive the recall repairs. The contact had not experienced a failure. Updated 08/14/2014

- Livingston, NJ, USA

problem #96

May 252014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
As I was slowing to turn left the car stalled in the middle of the intersection. And again, as I stopped at the stop sign, it stalled again. I took this car into the dealer ( third time) because of the stalling issue and I had just picked it up from the dealer service department, (who said they could not find anything) when the car stalled a mile away from the shop. It was closing time on a holiday weekend, when I picked it up, so they were closed by the time I turned around.

- Maumee, OH, USA

problem #95

Nov 132013


  • miles
Engine fault, service engine now. Automobile loss of power, stall, engine cuts off completely at any given time. Hopefully to help so many people on this site with the same problem. My vehicle did this for many months and always the same answer from Ford and error code so nothing is wrong. Finally it happened as I pulled up to dealership for oil change. So they could clearly see what the car was doing and there was an error code. I looks to be addressed by Ford tsb 13-7-5 superseded by Ford tsb 13-12-12 wiring harness fault in signal return splices. Why has NHTSA and Ford Motor Company not nationally published this information so all dealership understand (hopefully) the solution to this very dangerous problem. Amazing so many dealership are not aware of all Ford tsb's.

- Troutman, NC, USA

problem #94

May 192014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles


2013 Ford Escape as I back out of parking lot, car dies, engine light comes on and oil light appears also. Car also shut down at busy intersection. Took car into dealership next morning, started car up and it died, did this 3 times and the Ford service man witnessed this. They have had car 4 days in the shop. Shop foreman has driven car home to see if it can be duplicated and can not. They say when they hook up to computer no problems register. They just called and said I have to pick up the car today, they can't keep it any longer. If it happens again, to bring it in. Very frustrated. Hope I don't get hit and injured!!

- Belton, MO, USA

problem #93

Sep 252013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
Vehicle started with warning 'engine fault service now'. restarted vehicle and message was gone. Later that day while driving we noticed severe jerking of the vehicle while changing speeds and noticed the engine fault warning was displayed. Pulled vehicle over. Restarted and the warning was gone. Brought to dealer for over 2 days and they were unable to reproduce error and therefore unable to fix anything. Months later the problem started recurring again while reducing speed on a highway exit resulting in extreme vehicle jerking as if transmission was failing, at this time we noticed the engine fault warning had reappeared. Contacted Ford service center and they will take another look, but without a recall there will be nothing that can do. With so many similar complaints it is astonishing that this is not a known resolvable issue for Ford.

- Fairport, NY, USA

problem #92

Mar 112014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 10,017 miles
The car stalls intermittently. The first time 3/11/2014 was the day following my service for oil change and tire rotation. I was pulling away from my house and the car just stalled. I put it into park and the car restarted. The next time was 3/17/2014, again I was pulling away from my house and the car stalled, started beeping and a service engine now light came on. I restarted the car, parked and called the dealership. A towing company picked up the car and took it to the dealer. The dealer informed me that nothing showed up in the memory and they could not do anything because it wasn't happening for them. They kept the car for several days before I picked it up. Approximately 2 weeks later the car stalled again while I was on the freeway on ramp. I tried to call the dealer but the phone would not work. Ford took the car again and could not find anything in the memory. Within 2 weeks this happened again while getting onto the freeway. In addition to the stalling problem, the sync system has reset itself, the compasses are not functioning properly, the external temperature gauge doesn't work all the time and now the phone randomly starts calling people. I was given a phone number for corporate by the dealership. I called and after playing phone tag for several days the representative (joshua) told me that if it stalls again that I should not attempt to restart the car and I need to call the roadside assistance number and wait for them to come. In addition, he said under no circumstances should they attempt to restart the car because if they do it will reset the memory and Ford cannot fix the problem. I asked about the recalls on my car and was told there were none; however, I was on the website and there are 2. I asked why Ford did not send me a recall notice and he told me that Ford doesn't do that. I am afraid to drive my car. Its been to Ford 7 times now. Help!

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #91

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 #90

May 142014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
The "engine fault, service now" light came on and the car would not accelerate. I had to pull over and hit ok in order to turn off vehicle. When I got out of the car it smelled like burning in the engine. After researching this online it is worrisome that this is not part of a recall yet. It seems there are many of these Escapes with the same issue, some catching fire. Please advise!

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #89

Apr 122014

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles
2013 Ford Escape. Consumer writes in regards to recall notice problems. The dealer informed the consumer, the part had not been manufactured, and it would be awhile, before any parts would be available. The consumer referenced recall # 13V583000.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #88

May 092014


  • 27,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated while driving approximately 40 mph, the contact was advised by another driver that smoke emitted from underneath the vehicle. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road where flames were seen from under the hood. When the contact moved away from the vehicle it exploded. There were no injuries. The fire department extinguished the fire. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 27,000.

- Hope Mills, NC, USA

problem #87

Apr 152014


  • 79,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Escape. The contact stated while driving approximately 5 mph, the vehicle started making a clanking noise. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road. When the vehicle was observed the front tires were bent outward. The vehicle was towed to a dealer who stated that the under pan needed to be replaced in order to repair the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number 14V165000(structure, frame and members); however, it did not completely repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 79,000.

- Hampshire, IL, USA

problem #86

Oct 012013


  • miles
2013 Ford Escape. Consumer writes in regards to "engine fault- service now" warning appeared on the dash when starting vehicle. Consumer states vehicle stalled and lost all power. The consumer stated the first engine fault light happened in October 2013. He turned the engine off and re-started it again, and the light didn't come back on. The second fault occurrence as he was leaving the house in mid-February. The vehicle moved very sluggishly and didn't appear to be getting any power. On March 15, 2014, the vehicle stalled and lost all power. The only message that displayed said to put the vehicle in park. Fortunately, the vehicle started again. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but a diagnostic test didn't reveal any problems. The dealer kept the vehicle for 2 weeks, with no success in finding a problem. The next morning, the engine fault service no error message appeared on the dash. When his wife attempted to drive away, the vehicle accelerated sharply and took off down the road at a high rate of speed, leaving her with no control of the acceleration or speed of the vehicle. She applied the brakes, and the vehicle stopped. The consumer drove the vehicle to the dealer, and on the way there, it repeatedly sputtered and then it suddenly accelerated and lunged forward all the way to dealer. Even the engine fault code displayed on the dash, the mechanic was unable to get an error code on the computer. The mechanic test drove the vehicle with the consumer, and it was then the vehicle exhibited everything the consumer was referring to. When they returned, the mechanic, hooked the computer back to the vehicle, and an error showed a harness issue, which was related to a wire splicing into two wires, which somehow became tangled during assembly.

- Deming, NM, USA

problem #85

Apr 202014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 13,400 miles
When I brake to slow down the car for a red-light stop the engine shut down before the car was completely stopped. This happened 3 times in the 4/20 week. Ford service couldn't find what's wrong because they couldn't "reproduce" the problem. Another safety issue is the passenger airbag. The airbag-off warning sign always lit up randomly when my son sits in that seat. My son is slightly over 100 lbs. Ford people said he has to sit straight up, which I think is ridiculous and outrageous.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #84

Mar 242014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
One day when I started my car it came up with the error message "engine fault, service vehicle now!". I got a fright, restarted the car and the error message was gone and I could drive it home. The next day the message came up again, I tried to drive it and it was clunky and wouldn't go past first gear. I pulled over and restarted the car and it worked fine again. It happened again the following day so I took it into the service center. The service center was unable to recreate the problem and could not find anything wrong in the car. They looked into the car computer's logs and couldn't find anything there either. Since then the problem has happened 9-10 times and it is unsafe for me and my family to drive when the car is reporting the error. We cannot drive it while the error is on and the dealership say they cannot fix it unless the error is showing.

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #83

Feb 162014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
Engine caught fire due to a Ford recall notice, burning vehicle. Vehicle is a total loss. Ford did not have the replacement parts available to repair the vehicle at the time of loss. As of this date (April 26) Ford has not accepted responsibility for this fire loss.

- Fairhope, AL, USA

problem #82

Jan 152014


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was unable to be repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 18,000. The VIN was not available.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #81

Mar 012013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 900 miles
I bought the car brand new Nov. 2012 and it had 200 miles on it. From about Mar/April 2013 I have taken the car in 6 times for the same problem over the past year and a half that they can not seem to fix. When I start the car or its already running and I start to drive the "engine fault, service now" comes up and the car goes into limp mode until its shut off and re-started again, at which point its a 50/50 chance of working right. This has happened in the driveway when I first start the car as well as when im driving it will go into limp mode and not get above first gear and it sputters to a stop. I have had my engine sensors changed twice because they kept blowing out. The problem still continues.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #80

Nov 182013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, small flames emitted from the engine compartment. The vehicle was moved to the shoulder and was shut down. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who repaired the vehicle. The contact mentioned that the failure continued after the repair. The contact was unsure of the exact repairs. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number 13V583000 (engine). The failure mileage was not available.

- Wyntote, PA, USA

problem #79

Feb 072014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
I was ~350 miles from home in N. Minnesota on 2/7/2013 and was accelerating from ~30 mph to 55 mph when the vehicle started to shake violently and loose power. A default message appeared on driver's information display followed by an ok message. The vehicle continued to shake and would not accelerate past ~5mph. I pulled into a local business parking lot and turned off the engine. I then added a bottle of gas line antifreeze believing there was a fuel problem since the outdoor temperature was extremely cold (-20 F to ?? 30F) and I had refuel ~75 miles before. After the addition of a bottle of fuel line antifreeze I immediately started the engine. I proceeded to the local Ford dealer to have the vehicle checked out. The technician could not find an error code. The vehicle performed normally until the problem reappeared March 30th at ~ 19,500 miles (again in N. mn). A default message re-appeared on driver's information display followed by an ok message. After pulling over on the shoulder of the road, I shut off the engine and immediately restarted it. The engine has performed as normal since the second incident. After return to my home I reported the problem to the local Ford dealership. The dealer maintenance department consulted with Ford Motor Company for a service recommendation. The vehicle was serviced on 3/9/2014 per Ford's recommendation at ~ 20,000. Again there was no error message stored on the vehicles computer.

- Charles City, IA, USA

problem #78

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

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