Although classified as a small SUV, Escape's relatively spacious interior stretches the definition of small. Offering a strong V6 and good handling, Escape delivers good ride quality Developed side-by-side with the Mazda Tribute, differences in ride quality plus certain differences in interior trim led us to rate the Escape slightly higher than the Tribute.
Alerts
There are 8 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
The 2004 Ford Escape has been recalled 8 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
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Overall Reliability Verdict
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POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
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NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
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NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
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NA
Drive System
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Fuel System
NA
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Electric System
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Climate System
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NA
NA
Suspension
NA
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NA
Brakes
NA
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Exhaust
NA
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NA
Paint/Trim
NA
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NA
Body Integrity
NA
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Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
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NA
In-car Electronics
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NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Recalls
PROVIDED BY
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:LEVER AND LINKAGE:FLOOR SHIFT
Sep 29 2015
If the shift lever disengages from the transmission, a driver may be unable to shift gear positions and the indicated shift position may not represent the gear position the vehicle is in. Should a disengagement occur while the vehicle is being driven, when the driver goes to stop and park the vehicle, the gear selection indicator may show that the transmission is in the "PARK" position, but the vehicle transmission may not actually be in the "PARK" gear position. If the vehicle is not in the "PARK" position there is a risk the vehicle will roll away as the driver and other occupants exit the vehicle or anytime thereafter. A vehicle rollaway increases the risk of injury to exiting occupants and bystanders.
Summary:
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2001-2008 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner vehicles manufactured March 31, 2001, to September 1, 2009. The affected vehicles are equipped with either a 2.3L or 3.0L engine and have had their CD4E transmission replaced with remanufactured one that was rebuilt between June 11, 2015 through July 15, 2015. These service repair part transmissions have a shift lever bolt that may not be properly tightened. As a result, the shift control lever could disengage from the transmission without warning.
What should you do:
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the transmissions and either tighten the manual shift lever bolt or replace the manual shift lever assembly. These repairs will be performed free of charge. The recall began on October 23, 2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 15S28.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 15V606000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 57
SUSPENSION:FRONT:WHEEL BEARING
Jun 03 2015
Use of an incorrectly sized wheel bearing can adversely affect the braking and steering of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
The Timken Company (Timken) is recalling certain aftermarket front wheel bearings, part number 510072, sold from January 22, 2015, to May 21, 2015, to be used as service parts on 2001-2012 Ford Escape, 2001-2011 Mazda Tribute, and 2005-2011 Mercury Mariner vehicles. The affected wheel bearings have incorrect dimensions of a 42mm bore, 76mm outer dimension, and 39mm width, instead of a 42mm bore, 78mm outer dimension and a 45mm width.
What should you do:
Timken has begun notifying distributors who will offer purchasers replacement wheel bearings, free of charge. The recall began on May 21, 2015. Owners may contact Timken customer service at 1-866-984-6536.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 15E045000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 576
STRUCTURE:FRAME AND MEMBERS
Apr 02 2014
A separation of the lower control arm can result in a significant loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2001-2004 Escape vehicles manufactured October 22, 1999, through January 23, 2004, originally sold, or currently registered in, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. These vehicles may experience excessive corrosion at the forward attachment of the lower control arm.
What should you do:
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will install a newly designed reinforcement cross-brace, free of charge. The recall began on May 30, 2014. Owners may contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673. Ford's number for this recall is 14S02.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14V165000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 348950
VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL:CABLES
Jul 26 2012
A stuck throttle may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop or slow the vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death.
Summary:
Ford Motor Company is recalling certain model year 2001 through 2004 Escape vehicles equipped with 3.0L V6 engines and speed control manufactured from October 22, 1999, through January 23, 2004. Inadequate clearance between the engine cover and the speed control cable connector could result in a stuck throttle when the accelerator pedal is fully or almost-fully depressed. This risk exists regardless of whether or not speed control (cruise control) is used.
What should you do:
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will repair the vehicles by increasing the engine cover clearance, free of charge. The safety recall began August 3, 2012. Remedy parts are expected to be available in mid-August 2012. Until then dealers will disconnect the speed control cable as an interim remedy, if parts are not available at the time of an owner's service appointment. Owners may contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332.
For more information:
Ford's recall campaign number is 12S37.Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V353000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 529719
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:ANTILOCK/TRACTION CONTROL/ELECTRONIC LIMITED SLIP:CONTROL UNIT/MODULE
Apr 10 2007
AN ELECTRICAL SHORT MIGHT CAUSE AN ABS MALFUNCTION THAT WOULD ILLUMINATE THE ABS WARNING LIGHT, AND IN SOME CASES, THE MODULE MAY OVERHEAT RESULTING IN BURNING ODOR, SMOKE, AND/OR FIRE. THIS CONDITION COULD OCCUR EITHER WHEN THE VEHICLE IGNITION SWITCH IS IN THE OFF POSITION OR WHILE THE VEHICLE IS BEING OPERATED.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH ANTILOCK BRAKES (ABS), THE ABS MODULE CONNECTOR MAY HAVE MISSING OR DISLODGED WIRE SEALS. THIS CONDITION COULD ALLOW CONTAMINATION TO ENTER THE MODULE CONNECTOR, CREATING A POTENTIAL FOR AN ELECTRICAL SHORT.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE WIRE HARNESS CONNECTOR TO THE ABS MODULE FOR MISSING OR DISLODGED WIRE SEALS, AND REPAIR OR REPLACE THE HARNESS CONNECTOR AS APPROPRIATE. THE DEALER WILL ALSO INSPECT THE CONNECTOR ON THE ABS MODULE AND REPLACE IT IF IT IS FOUND TO BE CORRODED OR DAMAGED. THE RECALL BEGAN ON APRIL 23, 2007. OWNERS MAY CONTACT FORD AT 1-800-392-3673.
For more information:
FORD RECALL NO. 07S51.CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 07V156000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 446460
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:FOUNDATION COMPONENTS:MASTER CYLINDER
Mar 29 2007
LOSS OF BRAKE FLUID CAN RESULT IN POOR BRAKING PERFORMANCE, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
CERTAIN CARDONE MASTER CYLINDERS WITH PART NUMBERS 10-2925, 10-2987, 10-2987MZA, 10-3083, 11-3015, 11-3042, 11-3044, 11-3045, 11-3047, 11-3064, AND 11-3156, AND WITH DATE CODES LOWER THAN DCA7078 SOLD AS REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT FOR USE ON THE VEHICLES LISTED ABOVE. THE SEAL ON MASTER CYLINDER CAN FAIL AND LEAK BRAKE FLUID.
What should you do:
CARDONE WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND OFFER TO REPURCHASE ANY DEFECTIVE MASTER CYLINDERS. THE RECALL BEGAN DURING APRIL 2007. OWNERS CAN CONTACT CARDONE AT 1-800-777-4780.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO AFTERMARKET CARDONE MASTER CYLINDERS AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON THE VEHICLES LISTED ABOVE.CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 07E023000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 13128
LATCHES/LOCKS/LINKAGES:DOORS:LATCH
Dec 20 2004
IF THE LIFTGATE IS LEFT UNLOCKED, THERE IS THE POTENTIAL THAT IT MAY OPEN DURING A CRASH.
Summary:
CERTAIN 2004-2005 SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES AND CERTAIN 2001-2003 SPORT UTIITY VEHICLE HAVING REAR LIFTGATE COMPONENTS SERVICED WITH 2004 EQUIVALENT COMPONENTS FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 206, 'DOOR LOCKS AND DOOR RETENTION COMPONENTS.' THE REAR LIFTGATE LATCHING SYSTEM DOES NOT MEET THE INERTIA LOAD REQUIREMENT IN ONE DIRECTION.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE REAR LIFTGATE LATCH RELEASE ROD, THE RELEASE ROD ATTACHMENT CLIP AND THE DOOR HANDLE RETURN SPRING. THE RECALL BEGAN ON MARCH 31, 2005. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT FORD AT 1-800-392-3673.
For more information:
FORD RECALL NO. 04C09.CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 04V602000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 262113
VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL:CABLES
Dec 07 2004
AN UNEXPECTED INCREASE IN ENGINE IDLE SPEED MAY INCREASE STOPPING DISTANCE AND MAY RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES BUILT WITH 3.0L V6 ENGINES, THE ACCELERATOR CABLE MAY PREVENT THE THROTTLE FROM RETURNING TO THE IDLE POSITION.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE ACCELERATOR CABLE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON JANUARY 10, 2005. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT FORD AT 1-866-436-7332.
For more information:
FORD RECALL NO. 04S25.CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 04V574000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 470245
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