Ford Escape Faces Another Recall, 485,000 Units Affected

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande
2003 Ford Escape.

It’s been a very bad month for the Ford Escape, in fact it’s been a terrible year with a list of damning issues coming to light, the worst of which is now leading to a recall.

Ford will recall 485,000 Escapes built between 2001 and 2004 because they can unintentionally accelerate. Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was investigating a series of complaints about the defect after a group petitioned the government agency.

Drivers lodged 68 complaints about the Escape accelerating out of control, some of which describe repeat incidents in the same car. In the worst case, a 17-year-old Arizona girl died after her SUV sped up unexpectedly.

According to Ford, Escapes equipped with six-cylinder engines and cruise control are at risk if the gas pedal is pushed nearly to the floor because engines need more space between the engine cover and speed control cable.

Fixing the defect won’t take long; all it takes is raising the engine cover by replacing a fastener to offer enough clearance for the cable.

Unfortunately, that quick fix won’t be possible for another two weeks. In the interim, Ford is advising drivers to avoid fully depressing their Escape’s gas pedal. Customers can also bring their vehicle in for an interim fix where Ford will disable the cruise control and move the speed control cable.

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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  • Bemade Bemade on Aug 25, 2012

    We took our 2002 Ford Escape to the dealer for the recall for cruise control which they disconnected without telling us that is what they were going to do. Afterwards we took the Escape to get a safety inspection sticker which was due. The station failed our vehicle because the computer needed to reset. He said bring it back after we gor about 100 miles on the car. We did and the computer still had not reset. Did disconnecting the cruise control cause this and now what do we do

  • Thrdchance Thrdchance on Dec 08, 2012

    The 2003 Mazda Tribute (Ford Escapes off shoot) also has the same issue and problem. However, when the Mazda dealer raised the cover as stated in their recall notice, they noticed the cruise control cable broke due to the cable being stuck on the cover. When I asked them (the mazda dealer) to fix it since it was the fault of the clearance on the cover that caused the breakage, they basically told me for $100 they would. So, I agreed but now the cruise control cable is not available from Mazda - what a joke. Nice going Mazda - I did find a cruise control cable from Ford (2003 Ford Escape) but they wont guarantee it will fit nor warranty the repair - wow Japanese auto makers at their best (booooooooo)