2021 Ford Escape Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Powertrain, structure and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

The 2021 Ford Escape is meant to offer a fun ride for the family, with the automaker claiming it will help owners “stand out in the crowd.” However, there’s only one reason this SUV stands out and it’s due to the defects. The new Escape has a defective engine, malfunctioning fuel system, bad powertrain and a terrible structure design. .

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2017  2018  2019  2020

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Problems with the Engine

The Ford Escape has been plagued with engine problems and the 2021 model is no exception. It seems the automaker has learned nothing about building an SUV with a reliable motor.

One NHTSA complaint states, “The contact’s daughter owned a 2021 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while her daughter was driving at an unknown speed, the coolant warning light illuminated. As the contact’s daughter began to pull over, she began to lose control of the vehicle as a black smoke started coming from the engine. The vehicle caught on fire once the contact’s daughter had exited the vehicle. The fire department arrived at the scene and was able to extinguish the fire. A fire report was filed. There was no injury reported. Due to the failure, the vehicle was initially towed to a tow yard however, the current location of the vehicle was unknown. The contact’s daughter notified the dealer of the failure and a week later and she was informed that an investigation would be started. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure mileage was unknown.”

Just recently, the Ford Motor Company was hit with class-action lawsuits because of the same problem with the 2013-2019 Escape engines. In those models, coolant leaked into the engine cylinders, causing a fire. It’s unclear whether Ford doesn’t care about customers’ safety or if the company is just ignorant, but it’s obvious that the SUV isn’t going to protect anyone. However, owners will be able to “stand out in a crowd” because they will have the only SUV that’s on fire.

Problems with the Fuel System

There are multiple reasons for car fires in the 2021 Escape. Another issue appears to be caused by the faulty fuel system.

Here’s another NHTSA complaint worth reading. “Vehicle was being driven down the road. Vehicle stalled. Check engine light came on. Attempted to restart vehicle but vehicle stalled again. Smelled fuel. Heard a boom then fire ignited. Fire came from the underside of vehicle and flames were rising on driver side of vehicle with black smoke. Attempted to exit vehicle from driver side door but was unable to do so due to flames. Crawled over to passenger side of vehicle and exited the vehicle. Fire department extinguished the fire with water. Fire reignited and fire department extinguished fire again. Insurance company inspected the vehicle but was unable to determine root cause of fire.”

Ford isn’t attempting to hide any problems and has even issued a recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V625000 states that affected SUVs have a fuel delivery module that leaks into the fuel tank, leading to low pressure and a stalling engine. Whenever fuel leaks, there’s also the chance of a fire. It seems that Ford was so concerned the Escape wouldn’t stand out enough that the company made sure there would be a higher chance of car fires than usual.

Problems with the Powertrain

The powertrain in the Escape is just as faulty as the engine and fuel system. In fact, these three major systems together are creating the majority of the complaints.

Here is a complaint left on the Edmunds website. “Two weeks after I picked it up, the check engine light came on and I could no longer drive the car in Reverse. I could go forward if I wanted to, but silly me, I thought I was going to have a car that could do both. Took it to the dealership, but by the time they saw the car, the check engine light went out and it could go in Reverse so they could not fix what they could not see. Today once again the check engine light came on and once again, the car would not go in Reverse. Another trip to the dealer and a wasted five hours (getting a ride home took up the majority of that time) of my time before they determined that a part needed to be over-nighted. So here I sit at home waiting for an overnight part delivery. I do not have a vehicle to get to work tomorrow and who knows when I will have transportation again. I do, however, have a really nice lease payment to make, so there is that.”

Service Bulletin #TSB 21-2268 also discusses the MIL illuminated with trouble codes and the inability to move in Reverse. The problem stems from a contaminated main control valve body separator plate orifice, requiring the technicians to clean off the debris. Without a fix, owners could simply drive forward at all times, ensuring that there’s never a need to go backward, because that’s what people pay good money to do in Ford’s eyes.

Problems with the Structure

When it comes to engineering a good SUV, it’s become evident that Ford can’t be trusted. Even the structure of this vehicle is in bad shape.

A final Edmunds review reveals this complaint, “I was really disappointed when my headlights fogged up in 7 months due to the supposed air flow and Ford said that it is normal and they won’t replace them. My new car now looks years old.”

Does Ford even know how to build vehicles? At this point, one should question the automaker’s ability. Service Bulletin #TSB 21-2236 even acknowledges that the seats weren’t properly installed on many vehicles from the Blue Oval. The seat might be loose, move or cause clunking noises during turns. To repair it, the dealerships need to install a reinforcement. If nothing else, these issues should “reinforce” that it’s time for owners to switch to another car brand before something terrible occurs.

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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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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