really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
161,405 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.

2006 Ford Escape Hybrid brakes problems

brakes problem

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2006 Ford Escape Hybrid Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #46

Dec 262016

Escape Hybrid

  • 156,000 miles


While driving (not braking) the car on an interstate highway for about one hour, the ABS and brake lights illuminated on dash along with the message "service brake system" and a ping sound. When brakes were next applied they had become very soft and not as responsive. I pulled into a safe area and turned the ignition off. After waiting a few minutes, the car was restarted and all of the above mentioned lights and messages were gone and the brakes were working correctly. Continued to drive again and the message didn't reoccur for several hours. The problem has happened several more times on both highways and rural roads and always fixed by turning the car off and letting it sit for a couple of minutes. The problems don't initiate when we are actually braking. Took the car to our Ford dealers service department where they ran a diagnostics test. The report they gave us said " verified customers concern. Retrieve coda 1524, 1526. Brake pedal travel sensor related. Also retrieve codes for traction battery cooling fans." The service dept recommended replacing the brake master cylinder (at a cost of $2078.95) and the hybrid battery cooling fans (at a cost of $716.99).

- Taylors, SC, USA

problem #45

Oct 182016

Escape Hybrid

  • 110,000 miles
ABS light comes on. Brakes are loose. Happened now more than 10 times. We just pull over the side and turn off the car. Start again and brakes work fine for a while. This is an scary car. I use to drive my kids around.

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #44

Apr 052016

Escape Hybrid

  • 93,000 miles
Brakes suddenly fail. When you are driving down the road the power assist to the brake fails unexpectantly and you must use extreme force to bring the car to a stop. This is intermittent and they will work again after the car is shut off. I have found many complaints of this on line. It is only a matter of time before someone is in a very serious accident. Not only did I find many complaints but these were across several years of production.

- Trinity, FL, USA

problem #43

Sep 262016

Escape Hybrid

  • 105,000 miles


Brake light intermittently comes on. ABS light also comes on - loss of braking ability at highway speeds when ABS comes on.

- Venta, OR, USA

problem #42

Aug 262016

Escape Hybrid

  • 75,000 miles
My vehicle has 75,000 miles on it. I bought it Oct.9,2015 with 72,000 miles on it. In May 2016 the engine started cutting out and the message would read "service engine" along with a yellow wrench appearing on the dash. I had the vehicle taken to the local Ford dealer and was told I needed a harness. I paid $1004 for the new harness and they also installed a fan for the hybrid system. The car did it again a few days later and I had it towed back to the dealer. The service department told me they had made a mistake and had to call Ford to get the correct codes to fix the car. I was told it was done and picked it up. The same thing happened less than 4 days later. I had the car towed again and let the dealership send my car home with a mechanic for 2 days. I was told nothing is wrong and picked it up. I now have the ABS light coming on, the red triangle safety light coming on, the red brake light coming on, the low tires light coming on (it stays on) and the yellow wrench light coming on. At night when I turn on my right blinker the high beams come on. The dealership says there is nothing wrong and no codes come up on their machine. When I brake I have to push very hard and sometimes the brakes lock up on me. I have avoided accidents so far but I am concerned at this point. I do not want to be injured or killed and I certainly do not want to injure or kill anyone in an accident that could be avoided, if Ford had a mechanic that knows what is happening with the car. When I am driving the car will suddenly shut off in traffic and I have to stop, put the car in park and restart it. This is good for about 10 minutes before it acts up again.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #41

Jun 172016

Escape Hybrid

  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Escape hybrid. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled and several warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. Also, when the brakes were applied, the brake pedal would be very stiff, and the vehicle would skid. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the fan was changed in the hybrid system; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #40

Jul 042016

Escape Hybrid

  • 78,600 miles


Brakes stopped working, dash lit up like a christmas tree.

- Gulf Breeze, FL, USA

problem #39

Jul 222016

Escape Hybrid

  • 133,200 miles
Vehicle dash brake light came on intermittently. Took vehicle to dealer for diagnostic. Dealer advised master cylinder needed to be replaced for $2500. In adition, hydraulic control unit might also need to be replaced, for an additional $4000, but the dealer could not tell until the master cylinder was replaced. At this time, there are no brakes and the vehicle can only be stopped using the hand brake and is not safe to drive.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #38

Jul 242016

Escape Hybrid

  • 130,000 miles
I was driving along the highway coming up to an intersection, preparing to stop at a red light in the left turn lane, when my breaks completely failed. The break pedal was stiff, and would not budge. We hit two cars that were sitting at the intersection, totaling my Ford escape as well as one of the other cars. In the past, the "service breaks" light would go on occasionally in the summer during the hot months, giving the car slightly less break pressure. This was never a serious problem, and has always corrected itself anytime I turned the car off for a while. In addition, whenever having the breaks checked, they could never detect a problem. In addition, my car had routine inspections done during an oil change a month before the accident, and a full service inspection before this. This car is unsafe for the road, and the accident was out of my control. After research, I found many 2004-2006 hybrid Ford escape owners to have the exact same complaints and experiences.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #37

May 062016

Escape Hybrid

  • 185,000 miles
My ABS and brake light came on and brakes became manual. When I checked on the codes (C1478, C1313 & C1480) I found that there are quite a few complaints of this exact problem, that the repair cost is ridiculous at approximately $5000. And that this is a very common problem with this 2006 Ford Escape hybrids. This is a safety hazard and should be a recall by Ford!

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #36

Jun 182016

Escape Hybrid

  • 33,000 miles


The wheel speed sensor ring, also known as the tone ring, can split or crack while driving, causing loss of ABS and 4 wheel drive. This is what happened to me. It's a known defect, is frightening when it happens, and should have long ago result in a recall.

- Glen Arm, MD, USA

problem #35

Jun 012016

Escape Hybrid

  • 160,000 miles
Nearly impossible to brake, major safety issue with the hydrolic regenerative breaking system and ABS. While driving the vehicle on city streets, speeds between 0-40mph the brake pedal will become very hard and impossible to press with loss of braking. When this happens I am forced to rapidly release the brake pedal and brake again (pumping) the brakes in order to stop. On several occasions this pumping of the brakes has cause the break pedal to go from hard/impossible to push to completely soft hitting the floor with no braking capabilities. On these occasions I am forced to pull of the road quickly, downshift to low gear and even use the emergency brake to avoid causing an accident. Only about 60% of the time when this event occurred does the ABS light, brake light and service brake system warning indicators illuminate or display. When this occurres I am usually forced to turn the engin off, remove the key, let the system purge (makes noise) after the vehicle sits for a couple minutes and then restart the vehicle in order to keep driving and fix the issue. Sometimes it fixes to issue for the rest of the driving time while others only work temporarily and the issue returns almost immediately. I feel that this braking issue is a huge safety concern for my family and I and our piece of mind in the safety of this vehicle is not good. As an additional note this brake issue only became evident after we had another recall issue fixed on this vehicle for stalling. Before that fix we never had any braking issues.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #34

Jun 032016

Escape Hybrid

  • 75,000 miles
Driving car and brakes failed completely. Had to jump on the brakes to get any traction whatsoever. Was fortunately able to use the emergency brake before I got into an accident. Yellow ABS and red brake lights are on, along with messages of check brake system and regen brakes disabled. Appears to be a common problem with Escape hybrid that it is the hydraulic control unit - a part to repair which is more expensive than the car is worth.

- Gulf Breeze, FL, USA

problem #33

Feb 152016

Escape Hybrid

  • 105,000 miles
The brakes on our 2006 Ford Escape hybrid began grinding around February 2016. We had the pads and rotors replaced and it braked better, but within a mile after leaving the Ford service center the brake light came on and shortly after - while moving - the brake pedal went to the floor and there were no brakes. We had to coast to a stop and pull over. When the car is stopped and turned on and off, you can sometimes get the brakes to work for less than a mile. Its so unsafe, we had it towed to service centers for estimates. Two Ford dealers and one other service place investigated the problem thoroughly and all came back saying the hydraulic control unit must be replaced at an average cost of $4,500. Otherwise, we like the car, but this one repair is greater than the blue book value and is very dangerous.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #32

Dec 142015

Escape Hybrid

  • 55,500 miles
The brake system is very irritating because my ABS and brake light are on at weird times and to fix they said it would cost me $4500. That's ridiculous I can't afford something like that. It also just started spitting gas out at me when I go to fill it up. Did it to me twice the other day and I have no idea what the reasoning was for that never had happen before. Then when I go to drove off sometimes the vehicle likes to make a pop noise once or twice not sure what that's all about. These cars are have more problems then they are worth.

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #31

Jul 162014

Escape Hybrid

  • 83,700 miles
Car had been parked at airport parking lot for a month. When retrieving it upon return brakes failed, ABS and brake service warning light came on, and peddle went to the floor. We parked the car in the lot, rented a car to get home. Next morning we arranged aaa to tow vehicle. When tow operator came the vehicle braking systems was perfectly fine. We chose to pay him and drive the car home. Took vehicle to dealer and explained the issue. They never acknowledged any understanding of this problem. They replaced rear brake pads and rotors because there was also loud brake noise. Now one year later, July 27 2015, [97000+ miles] slowing for a right turn on a rural highway and the brake system failed again. With no warning the peddle went to the floor. With a concerted effort I was able to slow the vehicle and make the turn without incident. The ABS light and service brake warning lights were lit. Condition persisted as we continued a few miles to the shopping plaza. After shopping we decided to return directly home, but when car was started the fault had cleared and the brakes functioned normally. We have just spent the morning searching internet and find this is an issue Ford knows about and is denying to acknowledge. And apparently it is very expensive to resolve with the need to replace the hcu. We now understand what the problem is but are among the many who feel this is certainly a serious enough safety issue Ford should participate in its resolve for owners with defective brake systems. Our experience so far is, that though there is some ability to brake it is not anywhere equal to the 'normal' braking capacity and that is dangerous. And the intermittent and random occurrence is troubling to say the least. We will contact the dealer today to get the reaction to our concern.

- Germantown Hills, IL, USA

problem #30

Jun 292015

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
Driving approximately 35 mph, suddenly received warning message about the brakes and heard warning beeps. Immediately I lost all braking ability (brake pedal felt soft and give very little resistance) but still had acceleration and steering control of the vehicle. I navigated the car to a side street and was able to slow the car down to an eventual stop on the shoulder using the emergency/parking brake. I turned the car off for approximately 5 minutes. Tested the pressure on the brake pedal and it seemed normal. I then started the car up and moved a little bit forward and depressed the brake pedal and everything worked fine. No warning messages or sounds. The car operated normally as I drove it back to a safe spot.

- Longwood, FL, USA

problem #29

Jun 152015

Escape Hybrid

  • 85,000 miles
Basically, this is happening at least 1 X / day. I am taking back to the dealership tomorrow, but Ford really needs to recall this vehicle and get this fixed. I was driving on a regular road and my ABS brake light and service engine light came on with the warning bell. My hydraulic brakes failed again! I put my flashers on, pulled to the side of the road, I depressed the brake all the way the floor and rolled to a stop with throbbing emergency brakes still working. Then I turn off my vehicle after putting it into park, take out the key, wait a few seconds, then start the car again. It works again temporarily. Now, I know how to deal with it and I plan for it since it happens all the time, but if I am ever in a situation where I cannot control my environment, I cannot guarantee someone will not be harmed or killed as a result of this failure in my vehicle. Please! help us do something about this. This needs to be fixed!!!

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #28

May 072015

Escape Hybrid

  • 171,000 miles
Driving down the road I had a complete loss of normal and effective braking. The ABS and brake service lights both came on in the dash and in order to bring the vehicle to a stop it, it became necessary to depress the brake pedal as hard as possible all the way to the floor. Whenever attempting to brake the vehicle would lunge to the right, clearly indicating that (at least) the front brake on the passenger side was completely useless/ineffective. Needless to say, this was a very traumatic experience as it took all of my skill as a motorist to avoid a collision with the vehicle in front of me and to protect my wife and two children who were also with me. After getting online and reading countless forums and articles, I discovered that it is a disturbingly common problem with Ford Escape hybrids to lose effective braking by way of a faulty hydraulic control unit: A part to which I later found out costs an approximate $4,200 to acquire. After bringing the vehicle to a local Ford dealer, I discovered that this was, in fact, the exact problem with my escape. This vehicle, apart from the faulty hcu, is in incredibly good shape and has no other mechanical issues. It is an absolute atrocity that Ford has not issued a recall for this part. It has been made very clear that they have no intention of recalling this dangerous unit until, inevitably, fatalities occur.

- Greendale, WI, USA

problem #27

Apr 302015

Escape Hybrid

  • 125,000 miles
Was driving to work in the morning. Had been in the car approximately 10 minutes when the ABS, brake, and service brakes, indicators came on all at once. Depressed brake pedal only to discover that I did in fact not have any brakes. Turned on emergency flashers and began to merge over into right hand shoulder, repeatedly stomping on brake pedal. Was able to come to a stop. This incident happened while I was approaching a very busy 3-way intersection, off of a major highway. Turned car off and back on to see if this was a malfunction, but all three indicators came on again. Had vehicle towed to Ford dealership. Paid $5280.03 in parts and labor to have faulty hydraulic unit repaired, and hcu and hybrid system bleed. Had not had any problems with this vehicle in the past. Very thankful that this incident did not cause an accident or injuries to myself or others.

- Wauna, WA, USA

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