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Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

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  • Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

    This is what I get for braggin on my Escape. The electric power steering assist failed with no notice and as I am researching now this is more common that I would expect. Monica was driving the car and completely freaked out. She's not a novice and handled the situation but if somebody's grandmother who couldn't muscle that ton and a half front drive pig (edit, 3300) home had been driving, it would have been a possible accident.

    I drove it, and other than being heavy and taking more effort than my 69 Ranger did (manual steering) to turn, the Rack and Pinion part of it feels good still. I see the complaint people saying 1300-1500 to repair. Seems to me this is a serious issue that gives zero warning and has downside of serious casualties be it man and/or vehicle. There are a lot of folks who couldn't handle a car of this size (yeah, it's bigger than you think!) with a sudden failure and no real experience with non power equipped cars.

    Does anybody have access to Ford's recall information? I found a bunch of customer complaints but haven't seen a response from Ford. I'll give my local dealer a call but wanted to check here.
    Last edited by Beagle; January 28th, 2014, 12:36 PM.
    Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

  • #2

    Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

    I don't have access info.....but I bet (from experience) that there is an unpublished service bulletin for the issue.
    Of all the paths you take in life - make sure a few of them are dirt.

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    • #3

      Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

      this story gets better. Drive down the road, turn off the key. Leave it in gear, clutch in, let it die, let the clutch out. Turn the key back on, the steering assist starts working but it's jerking the wheel back and forth at stop lights. If you pull it to one side or the other, it's fine. I'd read that the assist was low voltage sensitive and the battery is OE and getting a bit weak (six years old) so I just replaced the battery. We'll see if it has any impact in the morning. I really wasn't wanting to go new car right now, dahmet.
      Last edited by Beagle; January 28th, 2014, 04:34 PM.
      Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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      • #4

        Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

        http://www.arfc.org/complaints/2008/...g/problem.aspx

        ooopsie doopsie. I'll be on the phone with NHTSA in the morning I guess.
        Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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        • #5

          Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

          An electrical part not working correctly on a new car?
          BS'er formally known as Rebeldryver

          Resident Instigator

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          • #6

            Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

            An electrical part not working correctly on a new car?
            just the steering.
            Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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            • #7

              Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

              No recalls on them as far as I am aware, but I can tell you that the part number has changed about 7 times ... that's usually not a good sign.


              cheers
              Ed
              Ed Nicholson - Caledon Ontario - a bit NW of Toronto
              07 Mustang GT with some stuff
              88 T-Bird Turbo Coupe 5-speed

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              • #8

                Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

                Thanks Ed, I'm looking into just the sensor to see if it's serviceable. The whole column is kinda pricey. The whole damn experience is kinda aggravating.

                3280-03-54 is the open Transport Canada investigation, this just gets more f*d up the more I look.

                And Scott, you may be okay with putting your girlfriend in Dallas traffic and saying "Oh, the power steering may just quit on you whenever the f* it feels like it" but I'm really not. I've lost belts before and the PS as a result, you fix it, you move on. This is pretty far from a belt, and yes, it is time for a new new car. I've got about 7,000.00 into the 5 years and 106k I've owned this one and no labor up until now.
                Last edited by Beagle; January 28th, 2014, 08:03 PM.
                Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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                • #9

                  Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

                  Just a curiosity question. What year is yours. I bought my wife a 2012 new. Now I am worried.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

                    2008 - I think they've been using it in the hybrids since 05. The majority of the failures I have read about are about 100k miles. Sadly, I've really loved this turd for what it is but this scares me a bit. I think there is a potentiometer that is flaking out in it, should be 150.00 or so from RockAuto, but there's not a lot of solid information on it. If it really is a 0-4.5v output from the "pot" that is flaking out, then a 150.00 fix is okay with me. I realize computers break, hell I counted on it for about 25 years to make a living! A 1400.00 fix is not.. kind of like replacing a computer when the mouse goes bad.

                    I'm a little upset because of the nature of the beast. When a belt goes bad, you lose power. You find out why, replace it, move on. I hadn't ever really given it much thought until I sat there and watched the wheel twitching back and forth on it's own at idle and stopped. I thought to myself, if it goes really batshit, you might be going into a wall, off a cliff, into the car beside you, wherever. It's not quite the same as losing a belt. I think it has a "I've gone batshit" fail mode where you have no assist, which is okay with me but the on again / off again thing is gonna get somebody hurt.
                    Last edited by Beagle; January 29th, 2014, 08:03 AM.
                    Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

                      Unintended steering lawsuit here we come!!!

                      think of the fun that could be had if the computer has a problem, or a sensor, or a potentiometer when car is parallel parking itself.
                      BS'er formally known as Rebeldryver

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                      • #12

                        Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

                        this is what bugs me most about robot cars........ I have 25 yrs experience installing and maintaining electronic system. they fail. a lot. If your phone fails, its not gonna kill ya. but if your robot car suddenly loses the ability to steer at speed.............bad deal.
                        Mike in Southwest Ohio

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                        • #13

                          Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

                          Don't get me started. Sorry it failed on you - hopefully the fix is well known and well done - it should be under warranty due to the nature of the issue, but who knows.

                          As the EPA mandates better and better fuel economy with no consideration for common sense - things that don't make all that much sense to guys like us will continue to find their way into modern vehicles to eeek out that last % of fuel economy. (it does take engine power to turn a power steering pump)
                          There's always something new to learn.

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                          • #14

                            Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

                            this is what bugs me most about robot cars........ I have 25 yrs experience installing and maintaining electronic system. they fail. a lot. If your phone fails, its not gonna kill ya. but if your robot car suddenly loses the ability to steer at speed.............bad deal.
                            The $64,000 question becomes, do people drive themselves off the road more often than a computer part failure would? I'd hedge my bets on the people being more fallible.
                            Escaped on a technicality.

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                            • #15

                              Re: Safety Issue - Ford Escape Electric steering assist failure

                              I hadn't given any thought to the cars that parallel park themselves, right up until these comments. Shit. It's bad enough OnStar can shut you down remotely... I never thought about OnStar driving you to the curb first from remote control. I'm selling it.

                              Mechanical pump diesel, no computer nuthin having car, here I come. Jeeeebus you guys have me paranoid now, nice job!

                              I'll grow Jatropa for fuel. To hell with it. haha.
                              Last edited by Beagle; January 29th, 2014, 09:19 AM.
                              Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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