hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,740 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.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid brakes problems

brakes problem

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2009 Ford Escape Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #14

Aug 202016

Escape Hybrid

  • 124,000 miles


Brakes weak on manual mode almost no stopping power, codes C1320., hydraulic travel sensor circuit, hcu, ABS light on, service brakes lights on, no hcu compressor coming on at pre start any more. Suggested need new hcu, at a part cost of $3889 plus 10 hours of labor to bleed system putting repair cost over $5K, car blue books at $3.5K, how can this be feasible, thanks for the disposable car Ford.!!!

- Salinas, CA, USA

problem #13

Sep 012016

Escape Hybrid

  • 86,485 miles
Sudden and immediate loss of braking system without any warning lights etc. I had started car, backed down my driveway and entered roadway when ABS and brake warning lights appeared and I had no braking system operating. I had to be towed to a service station.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #12

Jul 262015

Escape Hybrid

  • 58,600 miles
The initial incident in which the hydraulic brakes failed in my 2009 Ford Escape hybrid was in early June 2015. The vehicle was serviced at the dealership on June 17, 2015 at 57,164 miles. The service department was unable to duplicate the brake failure: Where hydraulic brakes go soft, making it very difficult to stop, and then the check brake system light and the ABS light turn on. The vehicle must be turned off and restarted for the system to reset itself. The hydraulic brakes failed again on July 25, followed by two more failures on July 26, 2015. The only common factors that may be linked to my brake failure incidents are use of power window and turning airconditioning on/off multiple times. The vehicle spent a full day at the dealership (July 27), and baffled service personnel are waiting for Ford hotline to provide direction.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #11

Dec 122014

Escape Hybrid

  • miles


Check brakes sign came on all of a sudden I was going slow so I pulled the car to the side and pressed on the breaks but the car would not stop and the breaks failed. I turned the car off and put it in park it made this loud sound and finally stopped. Turned the car back on and the brakes were fine got home I was terrified thinking what if I was on the highway. First it was steering and now it's the brakes. I don't think I can drive my Ford escape anymore thinking I am safe.

- Jackson Heights, NY, USA

problem #10

Oct 152014

Escape Hybrid

  • 45,000 miles
Brakes have given out, while coming to a red stop light luck that no one was around when I ran the light sent to dealer they could not duplicate issue but they did a update on steering and know when backing up steering gets stiff, causing turn radius to become extreme, but only does it sometimes.went back to dealer no problem found and could not duplicate problem.hoping someone find problem before a person or persons gets killed!!!

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #9

Jun 282014

Escape Hybrid

  • miles
I own a 2009 Ford Escape hybrid and on June 28, 2014 when I was driving the brakes suddenly failed. The red brake warning lamp lit with an alarm sound and message - 'check brake system'. the brakes did not work and reverted to the fail safe mode where it required pedal to the floor to stop the vehicle. I pulled the vehicle to the side of the road and stopped. On restarting the vehicle the brakes returned to normal operation. This was very concerning as it could have resulted in an accident/injury. It did not occur for 2 weeks then on july15th, 2014 while my wife was driving the vehicle on the highway the brakes failed again with the same message and alarm. She had use the hand break and pull the vehicle to the side. On shutting down and restarting the brakes returned to normal operation. I have taken the vehicle to Ford dealership and they have not been able to reproduce the issue and the brake systems checked out as working properly. There were some error codes but they were not able to provide any conclusive evidence as to the cause of this issue. All they said was there was a communication error and they cannot do anything about it. I had the vehicle taken to another repair shop after the second incident and they told me the same. They asked me to bring it back when it happens again but I do not know if they understand the risk of driving a vehicle with brake systems that can fail at any time. I have read in internet and few blogs about this issue with the Ford Escape hybrid vehicles and it seems to related to a flawed design. Its a shame that Ford is not taking any action on it. I do not understand what they are waiting for, anything involving brakes not working should be considered very serious and actions need to be taken quickly.

- Woodbury, MN, USA

problem #8

Jul 022014

Escape Hybrid

  • 90,000 miles


Backing out of garage at home brakes failed. Was unable to stop almost backed in to a parked car. Since backing out was going very slow and pushed brake as hard as possible to the floor finally getting the car to stop. The ABS light, parking brake light, and check brake system came up. Car was taken to service station in neighborhood and ignition turned off. Started car back up and no lights were on and brake functioning was almost normal.

- Haymarket , VA, USA

problem #7

Mar 062014

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 99,257 miles
Sudden brake failure with no warning. Vehicle was initially traveling at 55 mph when a sudden stop was initiated by driver. Vehicle stopped as expected. Vehicle also stopped as expected 3 more times over next couple miles. However, when brake pedal was depressed prior to next turn (now from 45 mph), brake pressure was low, pedal travel was long, and vehicle did not slow. At this time 3 dash indicator lights illuminated: ABS, brake pressure/emergency brake, and traction control. No warning chime or driver information message. Vehicle did begin to slow at slow rate once brake pedal was depressed all the way to floor. Issue remained for duration of 1/2 mile drive home. Vehicle was then parked, ignition switched off, then restarted after ~30 seconds. Warning lights went off, and brake pedal pressure was normal after restarting. Brake fluid reservoir level was okay. All systems function normal during 1 mile test drive. Vehicle has no history of brake problems.

- White Lake, MI, USA

problem #6

Feb 152010

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
A recurring issue with the electrical/brake system of this vehicle was a random-occurring "short" or electrical system glitch that would partially disable the electric power braking system and causing a substantial loss of engine power, which caused the braking capability of the vehicle to be reduced to a barely functioning operational level as well as the loss of power steering. This occurred at least 20-times during our first 22-months of ownership. This sudden and severe lack of braking required the vehicle to have the transmission downshifted to a lower forward gear and a hard mechanical effort applied to the brake pedal and steering wheel to bring the vehicle to a stop. With the vehicle stopped, the ignition could be turned-off and the key removed. When the key was re-inserted and turned to "start", the vehicle would always start as if the entire electrical system had "reset". this required a total of five (5) different multiple-day repairs at the local Ford dealer in attention to the normal maintenance intervals service. Each of the 5-"power problem" repairs were found to be from different causes, including but not limited to: Faulty starting-battery location and wiring harness damage, faulty wiring assembly (different location), ABS brake sensor module. The Ford dealer we purchased the vehicle from, and Ford corporate ultimately did not stand behind our purchased "Ford premium service plan" or our purchased "Ford extended service mileage contract" costing us over $2,000 of out-of-pocket and "non-covered" plan expenses. Because of the random and severely unsafe power and braking conditions of this vehicle, in addition to the excessive repairs and finally the non-resolution attitude and non-performance of the Ford Motor Company, we sold this vehicle as a dealer trade-in for the purchase of a new SUV from a different manufacturer and dealer.

- Markleeville, CA, USA

problem #5

Nov 192013

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 112,112 miles
Driving down a major blvd. 4 lights turned on simultaneously, brake, ABS, traction control and the "wrench" icon indicating a major failure. Brake pedal went to the floor and I experienced an 80% loss of braking power narrowly avoiding a collision with cars stopped in front of me. Lights remained on and brakes were severely compromised as I limped to the nearest repair shop with very little braking ability. Turned the car off. When I restarted the car all systems were operational and all lights were off. Drove the car to a Ford dealer the following day for evaluation. Dealer diagnosed a compromised battery as the source of failure and replaced the battery. Dealer service rep denied this problem had anything to do with hydraulic control unit as other reports mention with the exact same symptoms on your site, as well denied problems with the master cylinder or regenerative braking system. The battery didn't explain the problem to me, why then did the car continue to drive normally for a while following the failure before the battery was replaced" even if this is the problem, no battery light indicated a problem prior to failure. Am I to expect brake failure to be what announces my battery might be in need of replacement" no fail safe mechanism appears to be in place on this vehicle. Treacherous. I'll likely sell the car as I don't want my less experienced 16 yr old to be confronted with this issue. I was lucky to have left plenty of following distance, without which I most certainly would have become the victim of an accident.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 072013

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 63,400 miles


Driving down hill on dry pavement at 35mph. Gentle braking for red traffic light. Everything normal until slowed nearly to a stop. Then a sudden loss of braking effect requiring extreme pressure on brake. Simultaneous with the loss of braking a clunking sound was heard and several warning lights came on including brake, ABS, & traction lights. Drove to a safe location with the warning lights still on and the brakes requiring markedly more force to apply. Engine never stalled. Once parked I turned off the car and removed the key. When I restarted the car all the lights went out and the brakes behaved normally. Drove the car to nearest dealer. They found no codes and could find nothing wrong. Called national service number and was assigned case # [xxx]. almost hit car ahead of me. Now I am afraid to operate vehicle. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Gainesville, GA, USA

problem #3

Mar 222013

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
I was driving in heavy stop and go traffic on the highway for 10 minutes. All of a sudden the emergency brake light illuminates on the dash board, the electric panel reads "check brake system" and I loose all braking power. I slam on the brakes as hard as possible, but it barely stops. I pull over on the shoulder and turn the car off and back on and the lights go away and the brakes work again. I have the car looked at on three different occasions by two different dealerships and they can't find a problem. Fast forward to September 12, 2013. I am in heavy traffic while driving from massachussetts to Michigan and the same problem happens twice in heavy traffic about 4 hours apart. Taking to the dealership on Monday, Sept 16th.

- North Falmouth, MA, USA

problem #2

Jun 012012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 39,500 miles
In 2012 a clunking noise and slight lurch began to be felt occasionally when breaking my 2009 Escape hybrid. Over time the clunk and surge increased in intensity but remained intermittent. When I took my vehicle in for its 40,000 mile maintenance, I requested that the dealership check my breaks. They reported the breaks looked in excellent condition. Over the next year the clunk and surge got worse. Suspecting perhaps my transmission or U-joint was the problem, I took the vehicle in to the dealership to diagnose and fix the problem. I was able to leave the car at the dealership for about 1 month. I told them I was not in a hurry, I just wanted it to be fixed properly. Several mechanics drove the car and explored possibilities but reported back to me that it was a normal aspect of the hybrid breaking system although somewhat extreme (more severe than most hybrids). One mechanic explained it to me in this way. There are two types of breaking in the hybrid. In electric mode the car uses "simulated breaking." In normal engine drive mode, the car uses "normal" breaking. When I use the break, the computer decides which type of breaking is required and when to switch between the systems. Under certain circumstances, when in between modes, the clunk and surge occurs. The ABS breaking system complicates the problem. The mechanic suggested I try to drive so that I can break the car more slowly and gently. I believe the degree of clunk and surge is dangerous and may contribute to the hastened deterioration of my car. I am also worried about the breaks actually failing. I am worried that my 2009 Escape hybrid is unsafe. The mechanics at the dealership insisted there was nothing they could do to fix the problem.

- New Meadows, ID, USA

problem #1

Jul 232012

Escape Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Upon starting car, check brake system warning came on. Attempted to take it to dealer but, when approaching stop sign, brake pedal went to the floor and could barely stop. I made it back home and also noted that the vehicle could no longer hold itself up even on a small incline. This happened for no apparent reason and brakes had been working as normal with no indication of wear. Had tow truck take it local Ford dealer and the driver said he tested the brakes and they were working. Once at the dealer, the service manager said he drove it around parking lot and all seemed fine. I told him how the wrench warning light (power train) had come on approximately 3 times in a month, but never stayed on after vehicle shut off and restart. He said that all these warnings should be stored in the computer but when checked, the system was totally clear of any errors or warnings. The Ford dealer is not sure what to do with it now, after having it for over 4 days, and they are concerned because everything to appears to working normally and no issues with the brakes themselves. I feel it is unsafe to have a car where the brakes can spontaneously stop working, for no apparent reason, which seems to lead to a software malfunction.

- Speedwell, TN, USA

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