really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,300 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.

1998 Ford Escort engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Ford Escort Owner Comments

problem #10

Mar 102010


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Ford Escort. The contact stated while sitting idle at a traffic stop with the brakes depressed, the vehicle abnormally accelerated to 80 mph. The contact was able to avoid a crash by weaving in and out of traffic and attempted to shift into park but to no avail. The contact then engaged the emergency brake with the assistance of the passenger. The contact stated that there was very little brake fluid in the vehicle but enough that the brakes should have stopped the vehicle. The vehicle was inspected at a local repair facility where the contact was informed that the throttle body and exhaust/ gas recirculation flaw were defective and possibly the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. Neither the manufacturer nor the dealer was contacted to report the failure. The contact stated she did not feel safe driving the vehicle. The failure and current mileage was 150,000. Updated 10/15/10 the consumer stated the problem has been fixed. Updated 10/21/10

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #9

Mar 151998

Escort 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 3,000 miles
The contact states the vehicle has a loud roar when idling. The vehicle also accelerates rapidly on its own. He took the vehicle to an independent garage. The technician suggested a new speed control and an idle control module. This was replaced twice but did not correct the problem. A diagnostic check did not detect any codes. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of this problem. There have been no further repairs at this time. Updated 12/27/2005 - this problem seemed worse in cold weather. In order for the vehicle to idle down the consumer had to turn the vehicle off then turn it back on. The problem would sometimes resurface a few minutes later, a few weeks later or a few months later.

- Buckeye, WV, USA

problem #8

Oct 222002


  • miles
The fuel pump was replaced 20,000 miles ago; dealer will not honor warranty.

- White Bluff, TN, USA

problem #7

Aug 052001

(reported on)


  • miles


The car is constantly shaking, once you put the gearshift in drive. Car was checked and reviewed by mechanic through the computer.the tps was replaced. The motor support rubbers are ok. Went to Ford dealer and they do not find how to fix the problem.this continuous shaking movement is really annoying.

- Mayaguez Pr, PR, USA

problem #6

Feb 022001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer's wife attempted to back out of driveway into road, she stepped on gas, and nothing happened. Then, after jugging gear shift around vehicle accelerated forward. The vehicle accelerated hitting the corner of the garage and was tottaled.

- Pinehurst, NC, USA

problem #5

Jul 241998


  • miles
Engine vibrates, and has a high idle. Engine runs rough and shakes. Engine surges and hesitates. Car stalls. I have had the vehicle in for this same repair several times since the purchase of it. The mechanics have replaced spark plugs, fuel guage, fuel filter, valve idle air control, vapor management, motor mounts. The dearlership in hillsborough replaced a cable something (the service manger quit and a ticket was not found for this repair.) the vehicle continues to have same problem without being totally fixed. The last time I brought the car in for stalling, the repair was done, but the next morning the car continued to stall. As of this date, I am taking the car in for the same problem again. Please note: In reviewing the information after submittting I noticed that in # of failures passenger air bag deployed 8 times with the date of 7/24/98. This is incorrect, car was not in an accident and air bags were not used.

- Hillsborough, NC, USA

problem #4

Dec 052000


  • miles


Entered expressway and throttle linkage stuck open. Got vehicle slowed from upwards to 75 mph by smashing brakes and slowed enough to exit. Was not able to slow down to a stop so turned right on exited street and once straightened out, while still moving at approx. 30mph, shifted in neutral, letting the motor race uncontrollably while vehicle was brought to a stop. At that time lever was put into park and motor turned off. Driver shaken up and vehicle motor may be compromised due to stuck accelerator over-revving. Looked for a recall for model type for stuck throttle linkage-none for Escort but there is one for Ford like model, the Contour, recall # 99V194000. Escort was built in 3/1998 which falls under time of recall for other Ford product.

- Oakdale, MN, USA

problem #3

Jan 252000


  • miles
While driving throttle remained open and was stuck. Ended up hitting another vehicle. Also hit a tree & a pole. Tried to shift into neutral & vehicle failed to slow down or stop. Finally shut vehicle off. Sometime later, restarted vehicle & it was still running at full throttle. Have not taken to dealership.

- New Creek, WV, USA

problem #2

Mar 041999


  • miles
Vehicle would accelerate. Would start revving at stop light/sign. Manua clutch makes noise. Speed not a factor. The brakes would jerk & jiggle when applied. Had rattle in right front after repairs. Was informed that was normal.

- Roseboro, NC, USA

problem #1

Nov 011997


  • miles
While driving vehicle hesitated/revved, and finally accelerated, almost causing a rear end collision. Dealer could determine problem.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

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