2022 Ford Escape Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Headlight, Brake, Powertrain & Structure issues are among the top complaints from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2022 Ford Escape is a SUV designed to bring enjoyment and pleasure to the busy family. The automaker claims it provides the “capability you expect,” but the complaints about this Ford vehicle are adding up. In fact, there are already many issues with the headlights, powertrain, brakes and structure of this SUV.

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Most Common Problems

The problems 2022 Ford Escape owners are experiencing are varied, as complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) and other sources show.

Headlight issues are a particular concern because reported deterioration of the headlight assembly could quickly become a safety risk. Brake problems are also worrying because we all rely on safe, functioning brakes to avoid accidents.

Additionally, owners of the 2022 Ford Escape are complaining about powertrain issues as well as various problems that relate to the structure of the SUV, including the seats.

Of the 12 complaints filed with the NHTSA by early September 2022, most related to exterior lighting – specifically headlight issues – and other structure issues including problematic seats.

2022 Ford Escape Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Fuel System, Gasoline
Power Train
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Vehicle Speed Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control

Headlight Problems

When the headlights of any vehicle fail, the risks are obvious.

An owner from Florida complained in early September 2022 that the front headlight covers were turning brown inside. But Ford says to wait until it gets worse! “This matter needs to be fixed and not wait till it gets worse and I get in an accident in the night”

Another complaint states that the headlight assembly started to delaminate. This reduced the effectiveness of the illumination of the headlights. The Delaware dealership confirmed the failure and replaced the headlights. But the complaint states that “the failure persisted” and, this time, the vehicle wasn’t repaired. The failure mileage was about 1,500.

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Problems with the Structure

The 2022 Escape might look like a stylish SUV, but the way it was built is something that shouldn’t be bragged about.

Even Car and Driver points out issues with how it is equipped by saying, “Its cabin isn’t as refined as rivals such as the Hyundai Tucson, the Mazda CX-5, and the Volkswagen Tiguan.”

A complaint from Ohio mentions the structure of the 2022 Ford Escape specifically. It might seem minor to some people, but it could be a safety issue. The issue is that while driving, the sun reflects on the metallic dashboard trim and obstructs the driver’s view. When the owner complained to the local Ford dealership they said “the vehicle was designed that way.”

A couple of other complaints talk about seat issues. One mentions “an uncomfortable bulge in the front passenger heated seat.” Another complaint, from a Florida owner, states: “Of the 4 bolts that secure (the) back of (the) back seats to (the) floor, one securing nut is missing and other 3 are loose, only barely screwed down a few turns.”

Powertrain Problems

The transmission complaints have been coming in since before the Escape ever hit the road. A look at popular publications shows that this powertrain has serious issues.

While there aren’t complaints filed in the NHTSA powertrain category, a complaint under “unknown or other” talks about a “check manual light with orange wrench” popping up. According to the Ford Pass app, this means there is a high voltage fault and it is essential to contact a dealer immediately.

“But I can’t even put it in neutral for a tow truck because the transmission is locked in some sort of safe mode. I think it is a part of the recall with high voltage battery failures.”

Edmunds wrote when the 2022 Ford Escape was launched, that the “transmission’s abrupt shifts” and it provides a “lackluster handling.” The site goes further to say, “Less appealing is how the Escape drives. Essentially, we expect a little more refinement and handling precision.”

Of course, no one should have expected Ford to build a reliable Escape with this model. In the past, even the engine has been defective, to the point that class-action lawsuits were filed. If things remain the same with the newer model, it won’t be long before overheating and engine damage occurs, along with excessive amounts of smoke and possible vehicle fires. Ford even sets this up with the tagline “capability you expect,” providing that no one should think anything has changed.

Problems with the Brakes

An NHTSA complaint states that there was “excessive brake dust on both front wheels.” There was a warning light. The owner notified the local Indiana dealer, but the failure wasn’t diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was astonishingly only 7 miles.

It’s clear that Ford hasn’t been built up to normal standards. The SUV was barely released and it was subject to a massive recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V922000 states that the rear brake linings might not have been produced correctly. Not only is braking performance affected, but it can also lead to an accident. Drivers might need to push harder on the brake pedal to get the SUV stopped. However, Ford doesn’t currently have a remedy to fix the problem. For now, the company says it will be in contact with customers when a resolution is reached. In the meantime, customers can continue slamming down the brake pedal in hopes that the SUV will stop. Where is the “capability” that customers are expecting? It’s difficult to believe anyone wants a vehicle that might just keep going even if the brake pedal is depressed.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case 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.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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
  • George v

    I have 2022 ford escape hybrid. The anti-collision warning hasn’t worked at all. I get a message saying it’s not working, anti-collision not available, anti-collision sensors blocked, anti-collision not working. This vehicle does not have the front radar sensor they say the 2022 does not have the front sensor.

  • Crystal M

    I’ve had two of these cars in the past year and the same issue I was having was excessive brake dust powder on front wheels. I’m not talking about some dust I’m talking about you can’t even tell my wheels are Chrome. They look black. On the first car same thing but I was also having issues when I would back up the car sounded awful not sure what was causing it because I was told it’s moisture but I’m sure it wasn’t. Now I got this one and the same dang thing is happening, my wheels look awful and I’m being told from the dealership that these are cheap and ecofriendly brake pads and the warranty is only going to cover the same pads. It’s embarrassing to drive a brand new car that had no mileage on it look like this. I have to wash my car twice a week because it looks horrible. I traded in my Ford Escape 2011 for this new model and wish I would of just kept the 2011 because I had no issues with it at all. As much as they want and my car payment is I should have no issues out of the car. I was told if enough of us call and complain about this issue because I was told I’m not the only one complaining about this issue that they would do a recall. In April it will be a year since I’ve had the car and nothing is being done about it. If Ford or Andy Mohr Ford wants to give me free car washes I’d be happy with that too…

  • Don

    I own Ford Escape phev 2022. I owned my car under 6 month and had orange oil light came on me which slowed down the car and when I was turning at an intersection, it stopped. Which is referred to as fail-safe put me in danger. The app said “air in high voltage pump” which is not an uncommon issue for Ford apparently. I called the service (happens to be the dealer I bought the car from), they made me drive the car which was ~15 mins from the location and I had to stop 2 times. After the first stop they asked me to drive on engine and it still stopped on full engine drive. At that time, I noticed this car is more junk than I though as underneath the car it is protected by felt, yes no plastic cover or anything just felt. Meaning, this car is built to fail.
    Now, they tell me I drove on an unsafe terrain, implying I took the car off road (for a car that is not even 4 wheel drive which I only used between work and home, running errands in the town and 2 interstate highway trips). They also say there’s leaves, debris underneath the car (surprise! it has no protection what do you expect after a rainy day), so it is my fault there’s a damage and I need to pay nearly $3.5k! This car is lemon and is not worth to be on the road yet Ford makes money on it. Also, the damage they claim is the coolant pipe was broken. If it was broken at the time I had the issue, it’s beyond me how I could even made the car to drive to their location! Also, when the mechanic came to check the car, he saw there was liquid in the system so, it is all nonsense. Not sure who broke the pipe so it’s not covered under warranty!

  • Marianela D

    The set speed of the cruise control changes while driving.
    The control is set at 60 mph, the speed limit is 56mph, without there being a car in front of you or slowing down or touch and controls. The cruise control speed changes, to 40 mph and the car decrease speed immediately.
    4th time in the dealer for brake noise backing up. Second set of brake pads in 8 months.
    The dealer said they know the system is defective they fix them all the time. But Ford is not doing anything about it and has no solution.

  • Dar

    Too much trouble with this vehicle: Back doors do not open all the way, when back seat are down they don’t lay flat and the star button is next to that steering wheel so I keep hitting it with my hand. This is the first time that I had a bad Escape. The 2017 was great, this 2022 is awful inside

  • Taylor

    We have 24 2022 Ford escapes in our fleet. 6 of them thew check engine lights. All of them are complete fuel system replacements ($4000 repair) do to a faulty design according to Ford. Apparently a line is above a tire and sucking in debris and brake dust contaminating the entire fuel system. Ford has yet to do a recall for this and our company has to pay for this until Ford decides to do a recall at that too. I will not buy another Ford if this is the junk they’re going to continue to make

  • Cheryl D

    Rear wheel wells in 2022 escape. 1500 miles, back wheel wells are made out of carpet & cardboard. With no bad weather yet, drivers side completely popped off hanging with (rug material & white insulation) 5 inches from muffler? All plastic snaps broken on both back wheel wells! This is before snow! Maybe at car wash? Unknown, but have never seen rear wheel wells made out of carpet & an inch of snow or hard rain, they will pop again.

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