really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,760 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Ford Escape Hybrid Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

Jul 032013

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape hybrid. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled with the illumination of a red triangle on the instrument panel warning the contact to pull over. The contact later took the vehicle to the dealer where it was determined that the motor electronic coolant system failed and caused the failure. The dealer stated that this was known issue that the manufacturer had not corrected. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 62,000.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #25

Jul 182012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
Driving for about 30 minutes at highway speed and the gas motor shuts off and goes in to limp mode using only battery hybrid power. The car won't restart motor while rolling. The dash shows a message to pull over and stop with a little red triangle. In order to restart the motor you have to completely turn the key to the off position. The car will immediately start back up and drive between 1/2 to 1 mile then shuts down again. Repeat process again and again until got off the highway. Once off the highway, I stopped with the motor shut it off for approximately 15 minutes and the car started back up and operated normally. Drove an additional 30 miles with no problems. No issues for about three weeks then same scenario of multiple stalls on the highway. Car worked fine the following day. No engine lights or codes. The first incident occurred while raining. The second incident occurred at night when it was dry.

- Bluemont, VA, USA

problem #24

Jun 182013

Escape Hybrid

  • 69,500 miles
Was driving on a hwy on a summer night, going 60 mph, when a light came on my 2008 Ford Escape hybrid's dashboard that said "stop safely now" and the engine lost power/turned off. I coasted to a shoulder and shut the vehicle off and restarted, and the warning light was gone, so I drove on. Noticed engine was running louder than normal and transition between gas and electric modes seemed clunky. Googled the problem when I got home and found dozens of consumer complaints - saying it was a faulty cooling pump (part number 5M6Z-8C419-a) causing this problem. Took vehicle to the Ford dealer and they confirmed this was what was wrong with my vehicle. Repair cost $632. Not covered under the hybrid warranty. (we were told it's necessary for the hybrid engine to function, but it's not considered a hybrid part.) dug further, saw that Ford had issued a technical service bulletin (Nov. 20, 2008) to dealerships: "tsb 08-24-5 states that some 2005-2008 Escape hybrid and 2006-2008 mariner hybrid vehicles may exhibit a red triangle light and codes indicating a transaxle overtemp. This condition may result in reduced power as the system activates fail safe operation." Ford knows about this problem. This is clearly happening to a lot of people. Ford needs to be made accountable and do the right thing and issue a recall. If this problem happens when someone is in the middle of a busy expressway, or if someone is being tailgated, etc. When the engine shuts off, people will get killed, if some haven't been already. We called the Ford owner relations number and were told that the best way to get a recall issued is to submit these complaints. How many people have to be injured or die before this is taken care of" Ford Motor Company - if you're worried about profits and the bottom line - how much repeat business will you get once you kill off your customer base"

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #23

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 #22

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 #21

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 #20

May 082013

Escape Hybrid

  • 90,000 miles


Driving on the highway, engine decelerated, red triangle warning light appeared on dash, with direction to get off of the road. I did so, turned off engine and waited a few minutes. Engine then restarted without warning light coming on. Between that event and arriving home (approximately 10 miles), this occurred 5 more times. This had never happened before. Researching this online, there appear to be hundreds if not thousands of people with the same experience. This needs to be investigated and Ford needs to take responsibility for resolving this issue.

- Media, PA, USA

problem #19

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 #18

Mar 302013

Escape Hybrid

  • 60,200 miles
While driving on the freeway, the "stop safely now" lit up after I felt a jolt to the car, which then slowed down. I reached the side of the road and turned the car off for a few minutes. Upon restarting the car the red ssn light was off and I was able to reach a qualified auto repair. They ran the diagnostics but were unable to see a problem after going through their code process, nor recreate the ssn alert. This first happened on February 27th 2013. Again, having three children in the car with me and to have this happen on the freeway was (on the way to disneyland) quite frightening and hazardous! I have read many many stories of feh owners with the same issue! this is a defect to the car, and not due to normal wear and tear. It is a huge safety concern and while I was not injured, the fact that I had to suddenly slow down and pull over could have resulted in other car owners on the freeway being in an accident. Seriously.

- Clayton, CA, USA

problem #17

Jun 082012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
While driving at a normal speed, the electrical panel has started displaying "stop safely now" and the engine shuts down. This was happening sporadically but has since started happening more consistently. It happened while traveling on the highway on 3/22/2013, which is a very serious safety concern when a vehicle shuts down in the middle of a busy highway. Once I pull over and restart the car, everything appears normal until the next time it happens. On 3/23/2013 it happened twice in less than 5 miles.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #16

Feb 262013

Escape Hybrid

  • 125,578 miles


While commuting to work traveling at interstate speeds, the vehicle indicated a red triangle with exclamation mark enclosed, a message in the driver message center reading 'stop vehicle safely', and an immediate loss of power on both fossil fuel engine and electrical motor drive components. Coasting to the side of the interstate was stressful and exceedingly dangerous during rush hour traffic at speeds in excess of 70 mph. Without extensive driver experience, this incident could have become a fatality. This powerless action should be investigated due to its very potential of fatality.

- Mount Pleasant, TN, USA

problem #15

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 #14

Dec 282012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 79,270 miles
Car started and after backing out and moving forward, stop engine now message came on with a red triangle on dash. Slowly moved to a parking space. Turned engine off and waited for one minute and restarted. Message was gone and car driven home. Brought to dealer following week with description of problem. They diagnosed as a failure of the throttle body and replaced the throttle body and assembly at cost of $629. Read in other complaints that problem resurfaces later. Happy that I was not traveling on freeway when the problem occurred. Considering frequency of this and other problems related to shutdown and hybrid, should a recall be issued?

- Berkley, MI, USA

problem #13

Dec 262012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 68,735 miles
Stop safely now-lights up and engine kills/quits. Will restart after stopping and restarting vehicle engine kills creating a dangerous situation.

- Belle Chasse, LA, USA

problem #12

Jun 302011

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
I was driving with my family to see mt. Rushmore at night when my 2008 Ford Escape hybrid suddenly shut down. I was on the freeway going about 70 mph when without warning a red triangular warning light came on and the engine stopped running. I pulled over, shut the engine off, and was able to complete my trip after this. However, when vacationing a year later in Michigan, this exact same thing happened 3 times when making an 8-hour trip. Each time I've been going close to 70 mph and I've had to carefully navigate my way to the side of the freeway... very dangerous! it would seem that a recall would be in order for such a serious safety issue.

- Oak Creek, WI, USA

problem #11

Sep 182012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
Does someone have to die before Ford recalls these cars to fix the hybrid cooling system in these vehicles. I have fixed the problem once myself (two years ago) and now it is happening again. These cars shut down on the highway with out warning because of something going on with the hybrid system. This time my wife was in the passing lane when it happened. One day someone is going to die from this problem because it only happens when you are traveling at higher speeds (on a highway) the red triangle light comes on and automatically shuts down the car. Some family will be killed because of this and Ford will be caught knowing about the problem and doing nothing to fix it.

- Owasso, OK, USA

problem #10

Sep 152012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 50,400 miles
I am the owner of a 2008 Ford Escape hybrid with approx. 50K miles. As with many complaints related to Escape hybrid, I was driving on the interstate in perfect weather conditions at approx. 70mph when without any warning, the engine shut down and the master vehicle electrical hazard warning lamp lit up. Steering and braking were normal but I had to coast to the shoulder across several lanes of busy highway traffic to stop. It was terrifying. I gathered myself and my three terrified children and started the car again with no problem. The same incident occurred three more times before I was able to make it to my destination, but I was anticipating the issue and stayed in the right hand lane. This issue is being reported time and again yet no action is being taken to address this obvious defect. What is Ford and NHTSA waiting for? this is an extremely dangerous issue! please, before someone is injured or dies.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #9

Jul 222012

Escape Hybrid

  • 93,829 miles
This is the second of two incidents where power was lost and the car became unresponsive. First, was one week prior driving from la to san diego at 5pm. We got a flat on the highway in irvine ca. We pulled over and changed the tire but when we started the engine it would not start. The lights came on but with a warning light to "stop safely now". I thought this was from the tire and pressed the reset button but the warning would not clear. We jumped the car once and were unsuccessful, we jumped it again and again nothing, we towed the vehicle to a mechanic and the tow truck tried to jump it again and this time the lights would not come on. We jumped while holding the button for the high voltage battery which we found out about in the manual but the car would not start. We paid the tow and called for a ride home. I missed work and my mother took me back to la to wait for the car. The mechanic replaced the battery. I waited 8 hours for the mechanic to say that the car needed to be taken out of a safety mode and that this can't be done manually in the event it happened again. The next week, after pulling out of the driveway to go home Sunday night the red triangle light came on and warned me to "stop safely now" and then I could not accelerate past 20mph and then 10mph as I slowed to pull over. I killed the engine, waited ten min. And restarted but the car would not accelerate and the light came on again. I waited until midnight to be towed to the dealer, got a ride, and I am now on the bus until something can be done. After researching other complaints I am sad to find that this problem is common, it is unresolved, it is dangerous for a safety mechanism to cause the driver to suddenly lose power, and it is inconvenient to be stranded and unable to troubleshoot the car if there is nothing wrong with the engine and it is a computer malfunction.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #8

Jun 172012

Escape Hybrid

  • 80,100 miles
We were driving up I-95 from fl to va when the car suddenly gave a loud warning tone and displayed the message stop safely now. The car lost all power as we quickly tried to cross several lanes of traffic to reach the shoulder. Upon examination of the car we started it up again with no consequence and continued on our trip. About 30 minutes later it happened again. After reading the owner's manual I discovered the warning message involved a component of the hybrid system. I decided to try shutting off the econ switch (which activates battery) and all ac/ electrical components. This worked beautifully for 100+ miles until at nightfall the headlights kicked on and our troubles returned. Since it was Sunday night we decided to stay overnight where we were and get it checked by the nearest Ford in the morning. The diagnostics ($95) revealed it was the motor electronic cooling pump at fault which this dealer did not carry. We cautiously continued using the no electrical method and were able to successfully reach our destination 400miles away with no more incidents, where we then took it to our home dealer for repair. A very dangerous condition which upon research I'm learning is happening to many other Escape hybrid owners.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #7

May 282012

Escape Hybrid

  • 72,258 miles
The first time it occurred I was driving on the highway and the info screen told me to stop safely as the engine shut down. It happened several times that day, and then didn't happen until today, June 17, 2012. This recent time a high engine temperature warning came up on the info screen. I checked all of the fluids and they are full and all have been changed in the last year or so.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

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