2019 Ford Escape Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Customers looking to drive a stylish yet inexpensive SUV often gravitate toward the 2019 Ford Escape. After all, it’s American-made and provides many innovative tech features. The company even suggests that it is “always unstoppable.” Sadly, the drivers of this model have more to say than that. The malfunctioning electrical system, defective engine and faulty powertrain leave a bad taste in their mouth.

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Electrical System

In modern vehicles, the electrical system must be running at optimal levels for all the technology to work seamlessly. Between the interior comforts to the sophisticated engines, electronics are part of everything in the vehicle.

One NHTSA reviewer shares the struggle with this vehicle. “While operating the vehicle at approximately 70 mph on the interstate, I noticed that all instrument panel lighting, gauge and display screens went out. The gauge needles returned to their home positions. There was an error message on the main touch screen that said: Network Communication Failure. Worried, I took the next available exit and found a parking lot to investigate. I immediately tried to shut the engine off, figuring that if I completely shut the car down the system would somehow correct itself after a reboot of the PCM and BCM. I quickly realized that I was in trouble, the engine would not shut off. The vehicle is equipped with a smart keyless start system, but no matter how many times I would try pushing the button. Even though the car operated properly after the symptoms commenced I find it doubtful that all of the car’s safety features would have operated as designed, if needed. If I would have gotten into in an accident at the time the car was experiencing these problems would the safety restraint system work properly and deploy the applicable air bags??? Would the auto fuel pump shutdown, do its job if needed??? Also, what if the vehicle caught fire at this time and I could not shut off the car??? Not Safe!!!”

Among these issues, the automaker addresses several other electrical troubles. Service Bulletin #SSM 48053 talks about the SYNC 3 system having problems with display operations, navigation and voice recognition. While these aren’t safety concerns, it isn’t enjoyable having a commute to work without access to high-tech features. It’s enough to cause an average person to have a mental breakdown.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Ford Escape Electrical Problems:

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 FORD ESCAPE. WHILE DRIVING, THE VEHICLE SUDDENLY SHUT OFF. APPROXIMATELY TWO HOURS LATER, THE VEHICLE RESTARTED AND SHUT OFF AGAIN AFTER THE CONTACT DROVE HOME. THE VEHICLE WAS TOWED TO ISLAND FORD AND UNKNOWN PINS WERE TIGHTENED. AFTER RETRIEVING THE VEHICLE AND LATER PARKING IT, THE VEHICLE COULD NOT BE RESTARTED. THE CAUSE OF THE FAILURE WAS NOT DETERMINED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 800.

WHILE DRIVING A LOCAL INTERSTATE BETWEEN 60 AND 70 MPH, OUR NEWLY PURCHASED (3,000 MILES) 2019 FORD ESCAPE SEL SPORT COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN WITHOUT WARNING IN HEAVY TRAFFIC. LUCKILY, MY WIFE WAS ABLE TO COAST TO THE NEAREST EXIT AND PULL OFF THE ROAD WHILE TRAFFIC WAS WHIZZING BY US AT BREAKNECK SPEED. TURNS OUT THAT PART OF THE WIRING HARNESS HAD EITHER LOOSENED ON ITS OWN OR WAS NEVER PROPERLY SECURED FROM THE FACTORY. SO, THE SERPENTINE BELT MANAGED TO CLIP THIS WIRING HARNESS WHICH, IN TURN, PULLED THE HARNESS FROM ITS SOCKET WHILE STARTING TO GRADUALLY SHRED THE SERPENTINE BELT. INSTANTANEOUS LOSS OF POWER WITHOUT WARNING CREATED A VERY SERIOUS AND DANGEROUS SITUATION. FORD NEEDS TO ISSUE A SERVICE BULLETIN AND/OR ISSUE A RECALL ASAP SINCE IT WOULD ONLY TAKE ONE OTHER INCIDENT SIMILAR TO THIS BEFORE SOMEONE IS SERIOUSLY INJURED, OR WORSE.

WITH ONLY 18,000 MILES ON MY CAR, THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON AND IT OVERHEATED. THE DEALERSHIP MISDIAGNOSED THE PROBLEM AFTER HAVING THE VEHICLE FOR 2 WEEKS. WITHIN A DAY OF ME HAVING IT BACK, THE SAME THING HAPPENED AGAIN. THIS TIME, THE DEALERSHIP HAD THE VEHICLE FOR OVER 2 MONTHS BECAUSE PARTS TO REBUILD THE ENGINE WERE ON BACKORDER. ONCE I RECEIVED THE VEHICLE BACK, IT NEVER DROVE THE SAME BUT I LIVED WITH IT. HERE I AM 3 MONTHS LATER AND THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ON AGAIN! FORD SHOULD BE ASHAMED. WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER FORD AGAIN IN MY LIFE.

Engine

The engine of any vehicle is the main component that people rely on. When it’s running well, everything seems enjoyable. When problems arise, the drive down the street can become painful and cumbersome.

One NHTSA user documents their experience with the 2019 Ford Escape. “While driving a local interstate between 60 and 70 mph, our newly purchased (3,000 miles) 2019 Ford Escape SEL Sport completely shut down without warning in heavy traffic. Luckily, my wife was able to coast to the nearest exit and pull off the road while traffic was whizzing by us at breakneck speed. Turns out that part of the wiring harness had either loosened on its own or was never properly secured from the factory. So, the serpentine belt managed to clip this wiring harness which, in turn, pulled the harness from its socket while starting to gradually shred the serpentine belt. Instantaneous loss of power without warning created a very serious and dangerous situation. Ford needs to issue a service bulletin and/or issue a recall asap since it would only take one other incident similar to this before someone is seriously injured or worse.”

Another user on ConsumerAffairs.com stated the following regarding her engine reliability problems: “I bought a 2019 Ford Escape 6 months ago. The check engine light came on and the dealership said the codes were Misfires cylinder 1 and 2. They said coolant was leaking in the engine and I needed a new head gasket. I’m so upset that I bought a brand new car and now this. If I want to trade it in I will never get what I should be able to get for the trade. Now I feel stuck with a unreliable brand new car and this just seems so unfair. Why do I have to be stuck with this now?”

In Service Bulletin #SSM 47937, the automaker discusses how an auto start/stop situation occurs that also exhibits DTC P164C. This incident requires the SUV receive an updated crankshaft position sensor that isn’t defective. Still, there are no recalls making sure everyone is aware of the problem. That means plenty of drivers are currently experiencing the on and off situation while driving in front of other people. Knowing this, it might be best for other drivers to keep more than two car lengths between their vehicle and the Ford Escape in front of them.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Ford Escape Engine Problems:

SMELL ENTERS PASSENGER CABIN FROM WHAT APPEARS TO BE CATALYTIC EXHAUST FUMES WHILE DRIVING ON HIGHWAY.

Powertrain

A vehicle’s powertrain consists of every component that transfers power from the engine to the wheels. There are many parts that can ruin the drive if they begin to fail.

One NHTSA user had an experience related to the Escape’s powertrain. “At 10,000 miles my Escape transmission began slipping. It takes forever for it to shift but no transmission light comes on. My gas mileage has also gone way down as a result of this. Ford claims it is fine. But it does it often. Also, when the engine stop is engaged at stop lights, it doesn’t always start back up and I have to put the car in park and restart the vehicle.”

There aren’t any powertrain-related service bulletins that discuss this type of problem. Instead, Ford chose to tell drivers that this is “normal” behavior. How stupid does the Blue Oval think people are? Driving a bucking bull is not what people sign up for when dropping good money on an SUV. Again, it’s only a good reason to stay far away from these vehicles while driving on the road. It seems they have a mind of their own. Despite what the company says, they are clearly not unstoppable.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Ford Escape Transmission Problems:

AT 10,000 MILES MY ESCAPE TRANSMISSION BEGAN SLIPPING. IT TAKES FOREVER FOR IT TO SHIFT BUT NO TRANSMISSION LIGHT COMES ON. MY GAS MILEAGE HAS ALSO GONE WAY DOWN AS A RESULT OF THIS. FORD CLAIMS IT’S FINE. BUT IT DOES IT OFTEN. ALSO WHEN THE ENGINE STOP IS ENGAGED AT STOP LIGHTS, IT DOESN’T ALWAYS START BACK UP AND I HAVE TO PUT THE CAR IN PARK AND RESTART THE VEHICLE.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Ford pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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