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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,606 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Nov 062015


  • 49,500 miles


Power steering quit instantly making steering impossible. Restarted engine 15 minutes later and was able to drive. Took to dealer where same error code showed and power steering quit again. Had repairs done for $1600 at 49,500 miles. Fortunately, vehicle sitting still when steering went out.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #16

Aug 222015


  • 47,400 miles
After traveling on a 5 hour round trip I stopped to fuel. After fueling I started my engine and begin to pull away. No steering!! received message 'steering assist fault'. I was just traveling on the highway at 75 mph. If I had been traveling at that rate with my 3 grandchildren riding....well, god only knows what the outcome would have been. It was totally in god's hands that I stopped before it shut down without warning.

- Richton, MS, USA

problem #15

Jul 072015


  • 43,000 miles
Driving on freeway at 70mph and lost all power steering and code popped up on screen that said "power assist failure" this will get someon killed or hurt if a recall is not issued.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #14

Apr 082014


  • 12,000 miles


Starting in April of 2014 when the car was only 9 months old the warning light came on "get to safety" overheating engine. It went to pleasantville Ford where they replaced the engine. 1 month later all the transmission fluid fell out of the care. Back to pleasantville Ford where they replaced a part. Over the next 8 months the warning over heating "get to safety" would happen another 7 times. Ford would tow the car to pleasantville Ford they would fix (a sensor, fill fluid, and give me the run around) the final time I filled a complaint with BBB. They got a Ford mechanic from deer born, mi to look at the car. He replaced the radiator and right axial. Only for two weeks later the same "get to safety" and the car dies again.

- Ossining, NY, USA

problem #13

Apr 302015


  • 61,000 miles
I got into my vehicle on April 30, 2015, started the vehicle and a warning message came on the control panel-I don't recall the exact verbiage but it was something like "immediate maintenance required-power assist steering fault failure". I tried to turn my steering wheel, but it would not move. I shut off the vehicle, went back into the building I had just left. When I came back out about 5 minutes later and started the car there was no warning light and I could steer the vehicle. I looked online that night and saw there are thousands of Ford customers with 2008-2013 vehicles that have/are experiencing the same exact issue. Ford stated they are aware of the issue but have not yet issued a recall. I took the vehicle to the dealership the next morning. I was told the steering box had failed. The cost is $1800. I called Ford directly and let them know I feel I should have not have to pay for the repair, even though my vehicle is out of warranty. I let them know I would be happy to pay for any repairs due to normal wear and tear, but this issue is not normal wear and tear and Ford is aware of a problem. Ford offered to pay $600 of the $1800. They keep telling me to keep my receipt and they will reimburse me the rest, if a recall is issued. I drive 100 miles per day to and from work. If my steering had frozen 2 hours earlier on that day, I quite possibly could have been killed. How do you control an SUV going 70 mph without any steering? this is a very dangerous default that I feel Ford is not taking seriously and charging their customers to fix.

- Canfield, OH, USA

problem #12

Mar 062015


  • 45,396 miles
Steering wheel was hard to steer for a couple of days. I thought it was just from the cold weather. I could hear a grinding sound when I backed the car out of my garage. Took my car to the dealer and they have to replace 3 different parts in the steering. It is going to cost me $2000 I don't think a car that is only 3 years old should have this problem and I am not very happy.

- Beaver Falls, PA, USA

problem #11

Dec 122014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


After running 15 miles, vehicle was shut off 10 mins, on restart a chime sounded and the information center indicated service steering assist, attempted to turn wheel and had no power steering. Turned off and restarted car, information center was clear, power steering worked fine. Loss of power steering is of course an unsafe vehicle condition. Contacted Ford dealer that sold me the car used, to see if there was a software update of other related issue, he checked and said there was none at this time for power steering. It would seem I have no recourse, and would only spend money at the dealer for no trouble found. I plan to check for stored codes, and contact Ford consumer complaints.

- Farmington, MI, USA

problem #10

May 202013


  • miles
Steering control rod is exposed under dash and contains sharp edges. Driver side door has a sharp piece of metal which can cut.

- Cinnaminson, NJ, USA

problem #9

Dec 112013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
There was a sudden loss of steering control and a very large increase in steering effort as if the car had been turned off and there was no power steering boost. It became exceedingly difficult to turn the wheel and control the vehicle. I managed to slow down and make my way to the shoulder where I turned off the car and restarted it, which cleared the problem. This has now happened three different times in a similar manner. Ford service has indicated that can find nothing wrong... this is extremely serious and under some circumstances, the loss of control could cause an accident.

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 182014


  • 29,345 miles
While driving vehicle turns off/engine dies at any speed without warning. It has happen 6 times.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #7

Oct 152013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at 25 mph, the engine stalled and the engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to a dealer, who replaced the tire wiring for the map return signal and the tcbp return. The contact stated that five months after the repairs the failure recurred. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the engine warning light illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed and was diagnosed that the fuel pump control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 14,383. Updated 09/30/14 updated 02/27/2015

- Nevada City, CA, USA

problem #6

Apr 212014

Escape 4-cyl

  • miles
It started as a recall. There was danger of fire in the motor. Took in on April 21, 2014 and told it would be back in 2 days. Down hill from there. Bad water pump. Waiting for parts. The motor has been taken apart and put back. Dealer test drove and "check engine light" came on. This has happened twice. Ford has said they would send a "new" motor. This is July 7th and I still don't have my car back. Dealer said they don't know when I would get it. Also -- the Escape has a steering problem. It hangs when you are turning or changing lanes driving 70 mph and they can't identify the problem. They say that Ford hasn't had any complaints. Updated 02/05/2015

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #5

Jun 192014


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the power steering failed and the power steering warning lamp illuminated on the instrument panel. The steering wheel became very hard to maneuver. The vehicle was taken dealer who repaired the vehicle. The contact was unaware of the exact repairs made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 36,000. The VIN was not available.

- Rio Grande, TX, USA

problem #4

May 192014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
I have had 2 incidents where my power steering has gone out. The first was at about 25 mph and the other about 15-20 mph. Both times I got a message across my information screen that said "steering assist fault". it was really hard to steer the vehicle I was able to stop and turn off the vehicle since I wasn't on a busy street either time. When I restarted the vehicle the message went away and power steering was restored as if the computer just needed to restart.

- Dahlonega, GA, USA

problem #3

May 212014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 9,300 miles
While traveling at approximately 50 mph on May 21, 2014 I suddenly heard a chime and a message appeared on the driver information center alerting of a "steering assist fault". our Ford is equipped with the automatic parking steering assist system. I then felt the steering lock up and dramatically reduce the ability for me to steer the vehicle from one lane to the other on the straight away that I was presently on. The sensation was that of trying to drive a vehicle that completely lost power steering and feedback. After approximately a quarter mile of evaluating the vehicle, I pulled over and restarted the car, thus regaining normal control without further incident, and proceeded to deliver the vehicle for evaluation. The car is currently at lindsay Ford in silver spring, md now and will be evaluated 5/22/14. This is at least the third time I have seen this fault message, however it would appear when starting the vehicle but never eliminate steering ability. I believe this vehicle to be a lemon in the eyes of the law, I have previously requested a buy back from Ford based on dismal fuel performance and other unrelated matters. Ford has neglected to fully resolve those matters, and with this incident on hand, I am requesting any assistance to ensure that I own a safe vehicle, because my previous experience with Ford has been unacceptable.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #2

May 082014

Escape 4-cyl

  • 8,900 miles
Driver was proceeding down a residential street when the vehicle suddenly veered to the right and hit several parked vehicles. The driver complained that there was absolutely no response from the steering wheel the seconds prior to impact. Once the vehicle was picked up by the tow truck and the underside of the vehicle was visible, the point of failure was quite apparent. The ball joint remained completely intact while the steering knuckle visibly broke at the point where it meets the ball joint. Every other item under the vehicle was visibly ripped or bent except the steering knuckle. It appears as if the steering knuckle material is not thick enough for a structural component. At the point of failure, the metal is approximately 5/16" thick.

- Chicago , IL, USA

problem #1

Sep 092013


  • 750 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact state that while driving 15 mph, the power steering assist failed, causing the contact to crash into an undisclosed object. The contact was not injured. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the contact was awaiting inspection of the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the incident. The approximate failure mileage was 750.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

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