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:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,155 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Nov 262014

Escape 4WD 4-cyl

  • miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact received a notification for recall NHTSA campaign number: 14V597000 (air bags). However, the part needed to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experience a failure. Updated 01/09/15 updated 6/3/2015

- Lake Ariel, PA, USA

problem #12

Nov 242014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact received a notification for recall NHTSA campaign number: 14V597000 (air bags, seat belts). However, the part needed to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Willinmgton, DE, USA

problem #11

Oct 102014


  • 3,500 miles
Got a recall notice for 14S17 called crowell motor co South boston va service dept. Advised they were waiting on parts from Ford to do the work but that there was also another recall 14V-597 on the vehicle as well and that Ford had not sent any of the parts to do the work. Called again on 10-24-2014 was told the same crowell called me on 11-03-2014 and stated they would call me when the parts arrived. They seem to be doing all they can but can only fix the vehicle when Ford sends the parts to the dealers. My problem why send out recall notices if the parts are not available as get people scared to drive the vehicle as we are that I paid $33000 for.

- Roxboro, NC, USA

problem #10

Oct 092014


  • 31,410 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the engine hesitated and the front passenger air bag warning light illuminated intermittently. The contact received a notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V495000 (engine) and stated that the recall exceeded a reasonable time for repair. The dealer advised that the part was not available. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 31,410.

- Foley , AL, USA

problem #9

Jul 312014

Escape 4WD 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
My 2013 Ford Escape SE is having a continuous problem with the airbag light. The airbag warning light will illuminate in the instrument panel and stay on while I am driving. This happens intermittently and is difficult to predict. A vehicle health report state that there is a failure in the overall restraint system that must be fixed immediately. Stoneham Ford and Ford corporate has indicated that they will not address the problem unless the light is actually on while it is in the dealership. I am currently considering legal options right now for breach of warranty.

- Winchester, MA, USA

problem #8

Aug 082014

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles
I buy Ford Escape 2013, SE ecoboost 1,6 in February $ 29,00, brand new.after 10 months send me recall notice(13V583,14V-239,14V-237,14V164000) after recall value for my car drop down 50%.who refund my.after fix my car, my car, no now car, this is fixed car.who agree for sell with no good condition car.

- Palm Beach Garden, FL, USA

problem #7

Jul 192014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


May 26, 2014 began a Ford recall of "certain models" 2013 Escape for restraint control module defect-it required replacement of the rcm (Ford #14S04, NHTSA #14V237000). I did not receive a notification. Apparently I don't own the "certain model". July 19, 2014 the "air bag system warning light" illuminated and stayed on. July 22 dealership says rcm needs replacement. Is defect not only in the "certain models" claimed in may recall" luckily, altho past the 36,000 mile basic warranty and that it was not included in the may recall for this problem, it is covered by a "restraint warranty". phew...but, they can't find the part anywhere in the country. Ford says maybe they can ship one by early to mid August. My car is unsafe and stays at the dealership until the part is received. Luckily the dealership will provide me a loaner at no charge. Bottom line: Really Ford?? seriously?? you recall a problem and involve only certain cars but it is apparently a problem in other...versions of the model" I wish I had read this information before I bought; I would not have bought the Escape. I am petrified the engine stalling, fires etc.seen numerous times in the complaints on this site will at some point occur. Once repaired I'm trading it. 2013 Escape=10 recalls, 39 service bulletins, 210 complaints. 2013 Nissan rogue= 0 recalls, 8 bulletins, 24 complaints. Honda CRV=1 recall, 9 bulletins, 76 complaints. You do the math. Don't judge a book by its cover; the Escape is very stylish but inside hides too many problems from nuisance to safety hazards. Not worth it. Too add to the cartoon, the lift gate handle broke-away from the body at 36,086 miles. Hahaha, cost me $50 to fix (see service bulletin # tsb-14-0012). One day earlier it would have been a warranty repair. What a joke. Thankfully at least I seem to have found a great dealership & service department.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 262014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 5,700 miles
Car was driven in the morning and returned to the garage at about 1030am. Approximately 4 hours later the car on fire, my dad's neighbor woke him from a nap, the fire department was called and they cut the battery line and put the fire out. The entire inside of the car is melted and totaled. The fire department investigator the day of the fire said it was "airbag bracket on the left side above the passenger door", and the roof above the airbag was a hotspot. Ford is not being responsive, the dealer referred us to the toll free customer service line. They took the information gave him a claim number and asked him what he wanted! my dad's name address and phone number is below, I am his daughter and my email address is below. He is 81 years old and very upset and stressed about this.

- Haslett , MI, USA

problem #5

Jun 072014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
On sat June 7, 2014 I noticed the drivers side airbag light was solid yellow and stayed on until I returned home that evening. On Monday June 10th, I got up and went to the store and noticed it was off. Since then it has came on and went back off at various stages of driving, from highway speeds to an idle at a traffic light. Also, the passenger side air bag light does do not come on when my granddaughter is sitting in the front seat, she is 14 years old and weighs approx 90#. I have taken it to the Ford dealer in cookeville Tennessee and they kept it over night and advised me that they could not duplicate the issue and no repairs were performed. They have told me that since they could not duplicate the issue there was nothing they could do and the vehicle was "safe" to continue to drive as normal. On the way home from the dealership, the drivers side air bag light came back on and has since went off and on several times since then. I do have pictures that are time and date stamped of each subsequent incident and the speed and odometer reading at the time.

- Christiana, TN, USA

problem #4

Jun 132014


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated indicating the airbag system was disabled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the air bag control module needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Midland, MI, USA

problem #3

Apr 302014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 8,660 miles


The air bag controller on our 10-month-old 2013 Ford Escape, purchased new on July 4, 2013, has failed. The air bag indicator light came on constantly. This is the 3rd major problem we have experienced with this vehicle, including the 13S12 fire safety recall, which also affected it. So, out of the blue, the air bag stopped working on a nearly new vehicle. The Ford dealer determined that the rcm module (restraint system control module) had failed and replaced it. Since there have been several problems with this vehicle from the beginning, I asked if there was a recall related to the air bag controller module failure. I was told "no, it is likely a 1-in-1000 type of failure [sic]". I suspect otherwise. Unfortunately, with the 2013 Ford Escape, the air bag light can either fail to light, flash or come on constantly. Ours did not flash, and is amber, so we drove it for a week before we noticed the light was on. However, a premature failure of the rcm module at 10 months of age and 8600 miles is indicative to me of another potential recall issue. I am asking that NHTSA investigate further to determine if there is a significant number of air bag rcm module failures on the 2013 Ford Escape. This is, in my opinion, a major life safety hazard. I am very grateful to the NHTSA staff for the excellent work they do to protect consumers from safety issues with automobiles, such as the 13S12 Ford Escape recall, the repairs for which were just completed on our car. Thanks for all you do to keep consumers safe!

- Gaineville, FL, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Feb 122013


  • 847 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while sitting idle at a red light, another vehicle crashed into the rear of the contact's vehicle. The contact's vehicle was pushed forward, causing her to crash into the preceding vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained a broken tail bone and head injuries. A police report was field. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnosis but they were unable to duplicate the air bag failure. The vehicle was repaired and the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 847.

- Antioch , TN, USA

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