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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,503 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 1 of 2)

problem #34

Dec 132016


  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at 35 mph, the vehicle independently reduced speed advertently as the engine or transmission warning light illuminated. The contact was unsure of which warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the sensor in the cooling system failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Espinsola, NJ, USA

problem #33

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 #32

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 #31

Nov 302016


  • 58,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 10 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The engine stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 58,000.

- Waycross, GA, USA

problem #30

Sep 212016


  • 50,941 miles
"engine fault" service now signal came on & car would not accelerate. Car was cutting out & difficult to drive.... manage to make it home slowly while driving w/emergency flashers. Signal went away after car was turned off & was driven just fine after that. 2 weeks later exact same thing happened & fortunately I was close to Ford dealership & was able to drive it there. Electronic throttle body needs replaced & part is back ordered. And car is completely unable to be driven now.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #29

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 #28

Jan 262016


  • 47,014 miles


Was in reverse pulling out of drive way, cross traffic indicator went off and car began to shake, put car in drive and drove after it stopped shaking. When I came to the first light the car would not go even as I had accelerator all the way down, the car revved but did not move until a minute later it slowly began to move with accelerator all the way down. Gradually it picked up speed again but kept on shaking. While at the light the car seemed to be loosing electrical power and felt as though it would shut off as it had lost all power before due to the collision indicators sensing a crash.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #27

May 312015


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at 20 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the manifold absolute pressure sensor had failed and needed replacement. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in the NHTSA campaign number: 15V813000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 86,000.

- Edinboro, PA, USA

problem #26

Feb 262015


  • 14,200 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. While driving at 30 mph, the vehicle decelerated, the transmission failed to shift into gear, and the check engine warning light illuminated. The engine was shut off and restarted, and the vehicle resumed normal operation. The failure recurred multiple times intermittently. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 14,200.

- Marcelluf, NY, USA

problem #25

Apr 082015

Escape 4WD 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
At start-up, there was an error message on the instrument panel about an engine fault instructing me to seek service immediately. As it was after 6 pm, and the dealer service shop was closed, I drive home. The engine was "sputtering" as if it was going to stall. The car had minimal power and didn't achieve a speed over about 25 mph. I ran a vehicle health report, which indicated a problem in the engine, transmission, or powertrain; it instructed me to have the car serviced. The next morning, there were no problems. At the dealer the following day, no problem codes came up, and the dealer wouldn't replace the etb since there isn't a recall. I believe, however, that the problem is the etb and that I'm being placed in an unnecessarily dangerous situation when the etb can fail unexpectedly. Please issue a recall!

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #24

Sep 122014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 28,083 miles


Mileage above is from incident in 2/15, occurred first time at or about 9/14, and occurred again 3/15. On each occasion the car stopped accelerating. On the 3/15 occasion I was traveling about 45 mph on a 4 lane road....when this occurs I am on the gas pedal....not the brake pedal as I am trying to move the vehicle forward. I was terrified to be struck from behind and watched as traffic was coming towards me. Each occurrence had a different repair because diagnostic code was different. I do not feel safe in this vehicle. I have contacted Ford Motor Company.....for this issue as well as numerous other issues. I want to feel safe and not fear future problems. I can provide more information/and or complaints but as I am not that knowledgeable about cars, I trust that you will see all issues through my VIN number provided. One question I have is about the diagnostic codes and their accuracy?

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #23

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 #22

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 #21

Aug 212014


  • 35,000 miles
TL- the contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the cruise control failed to engage and disengage intermittently. The contact experienced an electrical short with the radio shorting out as well. The vehicle stalled multiple times and the contact had to make several attempts to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who replaced the wiring harness and the failure recurred. The contact noticed that the vehicle was idling rough, the cruise control was engaged and was stuck multiple times causing the vehicle to accelerate while attempting to disengage the cruise control feature. The vehicle also stalled more than five times and the contact was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was not safe to drive and was parked at the contacts residence. The vehicle was towed by the dealer to the authorized dealer for further inspection, diagnosis and repair. The contact was waiting for a response from the authorized dealer who was checking for approval from the manufacturer to repair the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure several times. The approximate failure mileage was 35,000. Dyd

- Homer City, PA, USA

problem #20

May 062014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 9,100 miles
Foot slips off brake pedal..accelerator pedal and brake pedal are to close together.brake pedal needs to be wider to accommodate larger shoe sizes, mine are size 13.. in rainy conditions foot slides off brake pedal frequently. Bad design from Ford...hope I don`T have an accident before this condition is corrected.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #19

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 #18

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 #17

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 #16

Nov 132013


  • 7,092 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while slowly moving forward, the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning as the brake pedal was being depressed. The contact crashed into a house. The front and knee air bags deployed. The contact suffered injuries to the left leg, knee and chest. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was not inspected to determine the cause of the failure, nor repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 7,092.

- Connersville , IN, USA

problem #15

Sep 182013


  • 23,000 miles
The auto stalls randomly on occasion. I feel this is a dangerous situation, however, the dealer can't get a code so Ford will not fix. Ford clearly knows this is a throttle problem with many of their vehicles, and as I understand, it has been investigated for a recall several times. How can I get them to fix it?

- Spring, TX, USA

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