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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,811 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

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 #11

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 #10

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

problem #9

Nov 202014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 23,000 miles


The vehicle will just die when driving, it is off. Very dangerous. There is a recall for the smaller engine with the same symptoms. The dealer has spoken to Ford and they do not know what it is. It died on them twice. They now believe it could be a dropoff in pressure in the fuel system which makes no sense. The cat just stops running.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #8

Nov 102014

Escape 4WD 4-cyl

  • 19,020 miles
While slowing down for a stop light on a busy state highway, and without warning vehicle stalled. Loss of electric temporarily. No collision bc vehicle behind me was able to swerve.

- Buffalo , NY, USA

problem #7

Dec 182013


  • 8,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that there was a strong gasoline odor from inside and outside of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician could not diagnose the problem. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 8,000.

- Barnegat, NJ, USA

problem #6

Dec 142013


  • 16,000 miles


The traction control system on the vehicle is a hazard. With no more than 3-4 inches of snow the vehicle would not accelerate to get me and occupants out of oncoming traffic. A close call when my only option was to back up and the people behind me to offer me room. The vehicle sits with the accelerator floor or modulated but will not move. After reading the owners manual it tells me " in some instances of deep snow" (not!) turn off the traction control via these 4-5 steps. How the hell are you going to do that when your going to get hit. In my estimation this is a hazard! their traction control is a danger it does not work period. My wife and I were scared needless to say. Try it, you'll see what I mean.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #5

Aug 012013


  • 5,000 miles
Filling vehicle up with gas pump on automatic. After gas pump clicked off, removed nozzle from vehicle and gas shot out of gas tank filler neck all over me. Happened twice at 2 different gas stations.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #4

Apr 232013


  • 11,500 miles
Had regular oil change on 4/15/13 and about a week after. While coming to a stopped the vehicle just stalled without warning. Had to come to come to complete stop to put car in park and restart. Ran vehicle health report--nl. Went to dealer who did oil change and said they never heard of this car doing it. If happened again call roadside. 05/29/13 at 545pm car stalled again no warning. Called crown Ford set up appt for mon. 06/10. 6/7/13 558am car again stalled at about 35 mph no warning had to put in neutral apply brake to restart since I was on road with no shoulder and mid curve. Keep appt for mon. At about 423pm that day started car and engine fault noted on start tried to drive out of parking garage. Car was missing and barely moving. Transmission made loud clunk noise. Coasted car down parking garage so tow truck would be able to access it. Towed to crown Ford. Offered vehicle health report I ran stating it was powertrain issue. They declined needed it. Checked and replace map sensor. Picked up on 6/11/13 and 06/12/13 stalled again early in the morning about 600am and then I was advised to bring back to dealer. Stalled again on way to dealer approximately 1130 am. Advised service dealer they ran diagnostic for the next week which all came back normal. Service manager drove on 06/17 and stated problem reproduced and would replace throttle body.this was done and I picked up on 06/21. 06/23 at approximately 204 pm car stalled again...restarted after putting in neutral unable to come to a stop vehicles behind us...restarted when restarted engine missing again when pushed gas the transmission seemed to make a clunk noise and stalled again.the vehicle without notice stalls and is a great safety issue and after last stall the RPM seems to rev up some.this is a major defect and life threatening defect. Vehicle randomly stalls & now revs rpms.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #3

Sep 082012


  • 5,787 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that there was no way to secure the fuel system from vandalism because there was not a locking mechanism on the fuel cap. The manufacturer was contacted however, they offered no assistance. The local dealer was contacted and advised that there was no remedy available for the problem. The failure mileage was 5,787.

- Palmer, AK, USA

problem #2

Jul 282012

Escape 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
2013 Ford Escape situation is that when I transfer my foot from the accelerator to the brake pedal, besides lightly braking the vehicle experiences a surge in acceleration... causing unexpected acceleration when the driver would expect the vehicle to be braking. There are 1 or 2 problems: 1) the brake pedal is too close to the accelerator pedal [more so for a male driver with a wider foot than a female driver]. 2) the brake pedal has too much movement while the driver is trying to brake, in that pressure on the brake pedal pushes the pedal to and past the accelerator petal; in that if the foot is not exactly on the brake pedal, the accelerator pushes down and causes a power surge, when the driver is expecting the vehicle to be braking. The problem is the design and function of the brake pedal. The brake petal has such a long travel, that when a person's foot is not 100% on the brake that the foot also presses on the accelerator pedal, causing the vehicle to surge forward unexpectedly, instead of stopping. This is most likely to happen with a man's foot, being wider than a female's foot. I have experienced this on various occasions; all of which caused an extremely traumatic situation(s): 1) traveling on the freeway, when traffic backs up or another vehicle changes into my driving lane - in either condition, where forced to brake 'unexpectedly', the vehicle surges forward. 2) when braking at an intersection, taking the foot from the accelerator to the brake, initially the car slows down, but when the brake is pressed to stop the car, the car accelerates unexpectedly, I.e, a pedestrian is crossing the street in an intersection and the vehicle accelerates unexpectedly and possibly injuring the pedestrian. The Ford dealer said that they cannot fix a "design flaw".

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #1

Oct 212011

Escape 4-cyl

  • 1,725 miles
My 2013 Ford Escape, 1.6 liter engine, had 3 recalls, (two were engine fire related). All 3 recall repairs were done by the local Ford dealer, salem, va. We picked vehicle up after third recall work had been done on 9/17/12. We assumed the recall work was done correctly, and that Ford's "fix" worked correctly. On 9/21/12 we were traveling East at 65 mph in the right lane on I-64 near charlottesville, va. It was about 1 pm in the afternoon. There was a "pop" sound in the engine area. Instantly, the accelerator had no response, the high engine temperature warning light came on, and then all warning lights, gauges, & tachometer all went dead. Luckily, we were adjacent to an exit ramp, and we coasted to a stop on rte 20/53. Immediately, white steam came out of the engine compartment. Knowing the third recall dealt with the "risk of engine fires", we got out, and moved well away from the vehicle. Within minutes, brown, oily smoke came out from under the hood. Then flames came out from under the hood, at the windshield and out the sides of the engine compartment. Then the car burst into flames and was destroyed. Pictures were taken of the vehicle on fire, and after it was out, with a cell phone. After the fire was out, the vehicle was taken to the Ford dealer in charlottesville, va.. we were told the insurance company had retained a fire inspector to look at the car, and ask me questions, which he did. Later the inspector said the insurance company did not require a report. We feel we are lucky to be alive!

- Roanoke, VA, USA

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