hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,546 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.

2008 Ford Escape Hybrid drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Ford Escape Hybrid Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Jul 212013

Escape Hybrid

  • 52,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape hybrid. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis but they were unable to duplicate the problem. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 52,000.

- Manhatten Beach , CA, USA

problem #17

Jun 222012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
While driving down the road at highway speed on a summer night at around 9:00 pm, the car's engine suddenly stopped, a red warning triangle light came on, and the dash message screen said, "stop safely now." I pulled the car to the side of the road, turned it off, and was able to resume driving after a few minutes. On 5 separate trips subsequently, this sudden loss of engine power has happened, often in heavy traffic where pulling to the side of the road was very difficult and dangerous. The failure often happens multiple times on the same trip. Each time the failure has happened has been in the summer and in the late afternoon or evening. Each time the car can be restarted once pulled to the side of the road and turned off.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #16

Jul 272012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
On 4 separate occasions, all occurring at highway speed after at least 40 minutes of driving on a hot day, the car's engine suddenly cut off, causing the vehicle to lose speed rapidly. A red triangle warning light appeared on the dashboard with the following words: "pull over safely now and turn off engine". all 4 times I was driving around 65 mph on an interstate. All 4 times the car started again normally after a few minutes. After the 3rd incident, I started the car again soon, and it stalled again after 10 more minutes of highway driving. First incident late July 2012, then late August 2012, and twice on June 19, 2013. This is a terrifying experience, and I was extremely lucky not to be rear ended. The dealer claims it cannot duplicate problem or see any codes in diagnostic computer, refuses to pursue. Help!!!!

- Princeton, NJ, USA

problem #15

Jul 092012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Ford Escape hybrid (feh) "stop vehicle safely" red triangle warning and immediate engine shutdown due to the well-known defect in the Bosch oem motor electronics cooling system (mecs) pump in the 2005-2008 model years. See Ford tsb 08-24-5. if the NHTSA did even a cursory search on the internet they would see many, many hundreds of postings and related accidents or near-misses. This is a very serious safety problem because failure is only triggered by driving at highway speeds or driving up steep hills and the shutdown is immediate (no prior warning), causing sudden and significant drop in speed and frantic actions by the driver to abruptly steer the unpowered car to the shoulder. There are no external indicators to warn other vehicles of the sudden slowdown and lane change and the driver dare not use the brakes to signal others because to hit the brakes with the engine shut down and the vehicle already quickly slowing to a stop would cause the feh to abruptly stop in the middle of highway. Although this part is unique to the hybrid versions of escapes, Ford refuses to classify it as a unique hybrid component (which would be covered by the 8 yr 100,000 mi warranty) and routinely charges $800 to replace it. In my case failures happened four times in the last year, always on interstate highways. Two of the failures nearly caused multiple car pileups because the interstate was full of cars and semis when the engine cut out. I am frankly shocked that the NHTSA didn't require a recall years ago for a well-known and common defect that without warning causes feh's to abruptly and significantly slow down specifically at high speeds or steep hill climbs, forcing the driver to abruptly change lanes to get to the shoulder. Several class action lawsuits are being prepared. Isn't it time the NHTSA addressed this very serious defect?

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #14

May 292013

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
My 17 year old daughter was driving home approx 5:30 pm on a busy four lane road from an errand and the "stop safely now" light came on. At that point she could not get over due to traffic and the engine shut off in the middle of the road. She was able to coast down a hill into a turn lane nearly hitting an oncoming car and stop the car. We arrived on the scene and was able to restart the car and bring it home. We took it to the dealer where they wanted to replace the coolant motor to the battery which was defective and causing the hybrid battery to overheat thereby shutting down the engine completely. This is to prevent the hybrid battery from overheating. I do understand the need for this to eliminate the possibility of a fire, but these should be replaced every 50,000 miles to stop the engine from shutting off. We were getting ready to drive on a 600 mile trip in this car and would have been stranded on the highway. The way the warranty is written, it is not covered. After researching the problem, this happens more frequently especially after 50,000 miles. Please investigate and provide a recall and/or fix to this problem on these cars.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #13

May 022013

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 54,093 miles
During a 300 mile trip, the feh "stop safely now" warning came on and car shut down. We were on a busy la highway at the time. We were able to get it off the highway, read up on that warning symbol and restarted car without another incident then. 25 days later, driving the car on 45 minute trip, 'stop safely now' light came on repeatedly. Had to pull over several times, wait a few minutes and restart car. Again this was highway driving in heavy traffic. This was very dangerous situation and no car should just shut down while you're driving.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #12

Apr 052013

Escape Hybrid

  • 59,575 miles


Driving along, my wife suddenly noticed that braking was extremely difficult. Dashboard states ABS system failure, and regen system failure. She pulled over and turned car off. Restarting, failure lights still come up, braking still extremely difficult. A look under the hood, and the brake fluid is almost completely gone! it'd been filled at last oil change (less than 1500 miles ago) took car to Ford dealership. After 2 days, they determined that the master cylinder and hcu needed to be replaced, that they would be special order parts and that it'd cost extra $ for repairs due to the complexity of the repair. (I'd told the dealership that I'd researched and this is a very common issue, Ford has many tsbs out for this, calls into question the training or the ability of this dealership to properly do the repair) Ford is the only supplier for parts for this particular repair, and they charge a premium price for them! $7000 for parts and labor to repair a safety related problem that Ford should be voluntarily recalling. If they're not going to issue a safety recall, they should at least make the parts available for a lot less money!

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #11

Nov 162011

Escape Hybrid 4WD 4-cyl

  • 36,050 miles
Driving vehicle on interstate highway @ highway speeds. While merging into traffic, experienced abrupt loss of power. Amber wrench warning light came on. Moved to shoulder of road in heavy traffic, stopped vehicle, turned off ignition & after about 30 - 40 seconds restarted vehicle, power restored & vehicle continued to drive normally (wrench light off). Took vehicle to dealer, where throttle body was replaced, not under warranty (despite tsb 09-19-12). On Feb. 3, 2012, experienced similar loss of power problem, and the amber wrench light and master vehicle electrical hazard warning light came on, and vehicle completely shut down (mileage at this point: 45,500 miles). After shutting off the ignition & restarting, the vehicle would run normally for 45-60 seconds, then would fault & shut down. I was close to my workplace, so I limped it back to work. Called dealer, who recommended calling Ford's roadside assistance. Vehicle was transported to hybrid certified dealer, where the throttle body was replaced (under warranty this time) and the PCM was reprogrammed. When I came to pick the vehicle up, I experienced the same loss of power & warning lights (open wrench light). Dealer now claims a sensor in the shift assembly is bad & is causing the problem (claiming this is not covered by warranty). Vehicle is still at dealer at the time of this post.

- Angola, IN, USA

problem #10

Nov 062010

Escape Hybrid 4WD 4-cyl

  • 21,239 miles
A problem that surfaced again after experiences many times since the above mentioned incident date: A wrench sign was coming on the dashboard frequently, and sometimes disappeared itself without doing anything.similar sign or indication for oil change was also experienced even after a scheduled oil change was done with the dealer. When the problem was reported in early period, I (the customer) was advised to disregard, because the mechanic forgot to reset after the oil service, when Ford customer service was notified today (11/7/12), it was acknowledged as a service issue, which I do not agree. Since the problem existed when the vehicle was new in early stages after the purchase, my concern is that this is a manufacturing defect with battery door which malfunctions, and does not allow ventilation on & off. The battery was down, all controls disappeared and the car was locked in position about two years ago (approximate June 2010). That time a major service was performed, which required a month long period to fix it. (safecar reference 365127). Unfortunately, I never heard back from your office on this past issue and complaint. Since both problems have to do with battery and monitoring devices, I would like to inform for safety of all using this model. Please let me know your findings on battery vent door functioning. Thanks

- Hightstown, NJ, USA

problem #9

Jun 162012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
While driving on the highway during a long trip (9 hours) a triangular warning light flashed on: Stop safely now, and the car decelerated quickly as though the engine had abruptly stopped, barely allowing time to pull off road. Fortunately, there was a shoulder at that spot on the highway. There is no way to safely stop a car this suddenly that is traveling on a highway! after reading the manual which directed driver to wait a bit and then restart car, the driver did so and everything seemed fine until it happened again, twice, on the highway again after driving for only 2 hours. Please; just because there wasn't a crash, injury, fire, or death does not mean this is "safe enough."

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #8

May 022012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • miles


2008 Ford Escape hybrid. Consumer writes in regards to transmission and engine problems the consumer stated when he decided to slow down by applying the brake and shifting the cvt transmission into low range, to his surprise the transmission did not shift down and allow the engine compression to slow the vehicle down. He took the vehicle to the dealer, but they were unable to find anything wrong. The consumer was advised by Ford customer service to take the vehicle to another dealer. The service manager stated the vehicle could not be shifted into low at 50-60 mph and expect it to slow down. However, the consumers manual stated the transmission may be shifted into low at any speed. Updated 09/11/12

- Turlock, CA, USA

problem #7

Apr 102012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 76,102 miles
While traveling at approximately 70mph and after several hours of highway driving, the vehicle suddenly and without any warning lost all forward engine power (combustion engine and hybrid system). The incident occurred while in the left lane of a major interstate highway. The message "stop safely now" appears on the driver display. My wife was driving and narrowly and miraculously avoided accidents with following traffic including tractor-trailers and was able to move the vehicle to the right hand shoulder. After several minutes on the side of the freeway, the vehicle was restarted and was able to be driven to the dealer where the diagnosis indicates a hybrid mec pump failure. After researching this failure mode on the internet and through other sources, it appears that the following situation exists: 1) this component exhibits a very high and premature failure rate at all mileage levels. 2) the failure mode (sudden and unexpected loss of all vehicle power) is highly likely to result in fatalities and major accidents. 3) the above information is well known to Ford Motor Company and various technical service bulletins have been issued to aid in the diagnosis and replacement of this component. 4) NHTSA has previously received 25 similar or identical defect reports, yet still neither NHTSA nor Ford Motor Company has acted to protect Ford escape owners from this safety critical defect. I urge NHTSA and Ford Motor Company to open a formal safety investigation on the Ford Escape hybrid mec pump "stop safely now" powertrain failures before lives are lost and more accidents occur due to this defect.

- Grosse Pointe, MI, USA

problem #6

Dec 022011

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Incident took place on 12/02/2011. After work I was driving South on the 405 freeway in southern California. I was in left lane going approximately 60 miles per hour when the car lost power and I could no longer accelerate. Smoke started to come up from the hood of the car. I immediately put on my hazard lights and tried to make my way to the right shoulder on the freeway. The only lane to the left of me was the carpool lane. It was during a heavy traffic time and I was nearly rear-ended several times as I tried to get to the shoulder on the left side of the freeway without the ability to accelerate. This entire time the car was getting smoky and it was hard to see and breathe. Cars were honking at me and one car pulled up next to me and yelled at me that there were flames coming from my car and the car was on fire and I needed to get out immediately. I barely made it to the side of the freeway and parked and got out of my car. I could see smoke and flames coming from the bottom of the car near the engine. One truck with two men inside pulled over to help me. I used a fire extinguisher I had in the car to put out fire. The tow truck towed my car to local Ford dealer. The dealer told me that the gears inside the hybrid power unit came apart and broke. Then transmission fluids leaked onto the exhaust and burst into flames. My service adviser brian said that they documented that there were flames as a result of this. He also said he did not know why a car with only 66,000 miles would have this problem. He said they did not have an explanation for why the gears would break apart. Ford replaced the unit but did not clean the car, still has fluid under it and it smells horribly to drive. Ford cannot guarantee it wont happen again because they don't why it happened in the first place. Submitted claim to Ford and they rejected it.

- Lawndale, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 252011

Escape Hybrid 4WD 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
2008 Ford Escape hybrid, approx 65K miles. Drove approx 10 miles on expressway when suddenly vehicle losses engine power, red triangle with exclamation point, and message "stop safety now." Coasted without power to pull over onto shoulder. Another message read "electric motor temp high." I turned off vehicle waited 2 minutes, turned on vehicle and drove approx 1/4 mile and again vehicle losses power with same stop safely now message. This occurred 9 times while on the way home, and once on the jr express which is 2 lane so I stopped all traffic. Very dangerous. This has happened multiple times before and hassett Ford service, NY tells me they can not do anything. Called Ford Motor Company and they will not do anything. Are they waiting until there is a death as a result of engine power loss on a 65 mph expressway to offer a repair? no one from Ford will offer a repair. A proper investigation is necessary and a recall to repair this problem immediately before a serious crash fire or death occurs.

- Huntington, NY, USA

problem #4

Mar 112011

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 39,605 miles
Triangle light with exclamation in red came on. Vehicle will not accelerate past 15 miles per hour.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 102011

Escape Hybrid

  • 34,485 miles
2008 Ford Escape hybrid: Turned on the car, turned into a drive way to turn around noticed parking brake light on. Brake not engaged" brake failure car rolling into parked vehicle had to put car in park to stop. Backed out of drive way ABS light on, brake failure on dash, get brakes checked, parking brake light on. No brakes. I backed up again and then the lights were out and the car had hyper brakes.... light brake pedal pressure way sensitive. Over stoppage... took to dealer they said it was a connection to the battery? then my son told me about the hydraulic problem????" Ford still has care servicing other issues, 34,485 miles>.

- Glendale, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 312011

Escape Hybrid

  • 28,700 miles
Driving off road up a steep incline (40-45 degrees), the vehicle came to a halt. There wasn't any power going to the tires even though I had the accelerator pedal to the floor. The engine RPM would only rev up to about 1200 RPM. It felt as if there was a disconnect between the transmission and the engine as there was no power being delivered to the tires. The tires did not loose traction or spin either. What was especially unsafe about this is that it was extremely hazardous backing down the steep hill I had tried to ascend. I was trying to back down slowly by using the brake, but many times the brakes would lock up causing the vehicle to shift and slide sometimes sideways which could have caused the vehicle to roll. I tried to again to no avail. This vehicle is used by the us forest service in which many times the vehicle is required to go of road on forest service roads. There is a section in the owner's manual about off road driving, but it makes no mention that the vehicle should not be driven up steep inclines.

- Redding, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 232010

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 63,084 miles
My 2008 Ford Escape hybrid has experienced at least two unexpected and un-commanded accelerations in the past week. The dealer has looked at it once and replaced the left front ABS tone ring. The problem persists today 23nov2010.

- Noblesville, IN, USA

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