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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,576
    Sorry to hear you are having problems, and yes, this is the place to discuss them (and hopefully find solutions).

    Steve
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    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • eld1eld1 Posts: 10
    Murphy, I couldn't agree with you more. I'm in the same boat and absolutely furious with Ford. My life is worth more than my $25K car and I too would just like to just get out of the Escape at this point. It's too nerve racking to drive the car. I am going to pursue the Lemon Law -- Ford has my letter and I'm on Day 4 in the countdown process. No one seems to this PCM fix is going to work, and Ford just doesn't care. Ford is not going to take care of this until someone dies. I have to say, if it weren't for this board I would feel pretty alone in this life-threatening situation.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I dunno that I would rate stalling as a "life threatening" experience. I drove a 79 Volare station wagon that stalled all the time. It's annoying and a bit unnerving (loss of power brakes, power steering, etc.), but so long as it's safe to get to the side of the road, I think you'll be okay.

    Is Ford hiding this issue? No one can be certain except the Ford execs. It is not uncommon for manufacturers to downplay their mistakes. That's the price we pay for living in the kind of society we have. It's only when they go the lengths that Mitsubishi did, that they get into trouble (Mitsu hid complaints in an employee's locker for a few years). Another recall for the Escape would be a minor disaster for sales. But a scandal about hiding the problem would be a complete disaster. I'm sure that Ford isn't willing to risk that.

    If the issue is reported to the NHTSA frequently enough, they will investigate. If the NHTSA finds sufficient evidence to suggest that the problem is safety related (and not just an annoying defect), they will force a recall. I'm not certain if there has to be a known fix before the recall can be made public. Anybody else know?

    The proposed fix I mentioned earlier does explain the problem. It also explains why changing the PCM in earlier models did not fix the problem for everyone. So I see no real reason to assume that it won't fix it. On the other hand, I have a healthy amount of skepticism when it comes to this particular Ford product. I'd say give the fix a try. If it doesn't work, go make lemonade with your Ford/Mazda rep.

    Good luck.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    If you search the web for "Ford Escape stalling" or something to that effect, a handful of newspaper/webpaper articles reporting the NHTSA investigation will show up in your results. The problem has been exposed to the public so something will eventually have to come out of it. Although, it may or may not be a recall as varmint stated.

    varmint,
    I would think that a fix would have to be approved before they can announce a recall. Have you ever heard of a recall that makes you wait for one? I can't think of one, and I usually keep a pretty close eye on all of them.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    If it is a safety issue and there is no fix, the manufacturer must stop selling new vehicles with the safety related defect. IF this were the case with the Triscape, this would hit very hard in someone's pocketbook, not to mention a few hundred thousand angry customers who are driving vehicles that were deemed unsafe. I'm sure most manufacturers avoid this at all costs. It's very yucky.
  • eld1eld1 Posts: 10
    Varmint - your points are very much appreciated and well taken. But, my Escape is a death trap. If I had a semi behind me and my vehicle stalled, I would hope they saw my flashers (by the way they are impossible to locate behind the gear shift when this happens). The road I drive to work on (where the stalling has happened 7 times) doesn't have too many shoulders to pull off on- just a lot of twists and turns. What if happened at an intersection?? The backwards cup holder is annoying - the stalling problem is life threatening.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    I can think of situations where stalling would be life threatening - the first one that comes to mind would be a stall that occurs part way through an intersection. I am sure you could come up with others.

    tidester
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  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Okay, maybe I should amend that. Technically, driving a perfectly sound vehicle is "life threatening". Auto accidents are one of, if not the, largest causes of death.

    Not only does it have to create an unsafe situation, you also have to prove that the defective vehicle is at fault.

    Take Tidester's example. If I get t-boned at an intersection when my car stalls, who gets blamed? The guy who does the t-boning (can I write that here?). That's who. If the other vehicle cannot stop in time, it's the driver's fault, not the fault of my vehicle.

    Now, I can appreciate Eld1's position. I'm not particularly fond of leaving my safety/life in the hands of the other guy. He has good reason to feel unsafe. But it's not because of his vehicle, it's because he doesn't trust the other drivers.

    Again, I can sympathize. I'm just not sure that the NHTSA will see it the same way. They have to approach the issue from a legal standpoint.

    Regarding the recall - I've always assumed what Maltb posted is the correct answer, but I've never seen it confirmed.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    You're all wet on this one, varmint (and I'm not just saying that because we are in the middle of a thunderstorm in Philly at the moment).

    To make a turn in front of someone, you are supposed to do it ONLY if you can do it safely.

    And even if it is someone else's fault if you get T-boned, you could be dead right.
  • bessbess Posts: 972
    The way that the stalling has been reported, I would hardly classify it as 'life threatening'.

    From all that I've seen reported of the stalling it appears:

    a. to occur only at lower speeds while coasting.

    b. The vehicle does not 'stop dead in its tracks' but instead does coast along. Granted with no power steering/brakes, but there braking and steering capability so control can be maintained. Also the brake lights (and headlights) are still in working order, so other vehicles beind you can see those and know that somethings up..

    c. It has never occured during acceleration from a stop, so the theory of being 'stopped in an intersection' seems extremely unlikely..

    I know it must be frustrating to those who are experiencing the problem, but some folks are clearly blowing this out of proportion..

    If you don't feel safe driving a vehicle, then that is your personal decision and you are wise to look into getting another vehicle.

    I've only had one occasion (with a previous Ford vehicle) to call the Ford 1-800 customer service number. I was always firm, polite, professional, and most importantly reasonable. I got exactly what I was asking for (approved by the Regional rep).

    From many, many posts and stories on boards like this, I have seen a few definite patterns on Ford Customer Service:
    If you immediately go on the complete offensive and make it clear to Ford that no matter what they do, you won't be satisfied, then Ford and the Dealerships quickly go on the defensive. They have nothing to lose.

    Folks who use the other tactic, and tell Ford what it would take to make them satisfied (thats reasonable), seem to have better luck getting TSB's performed etc and an overall positive customer service experience. (btw, in some cases going through the lemon law process is the reasonable thing to do).
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    varmint,

    Actually, traffic fatalities represent a relatively minor contribution to mortality (that is NOT to say it is a minor problem!). Something on the order of 2,500,000 people die each year in the U.S. from all causes while highway fatalities are under 45,000.

    Bess makes an excellent point in that most stalling occurs in non-lifethreatening situations. Nevertheless, stalling has been know to occur at high speeds (it happened to me once!) and other potentially lifethreatening situations.

    tidester
    Host
    SUVs
  • eld1eld1 Posts: 10
    Bess, maybe it's easier for a man to pull a stalling Escape off the road. It usually happens to me on curved hills and it's a TRUE struggle to get it to the side of the road.

    What if your approaching a red light as the Escape stalls -- life threatening.

    Your other points are well taken, maybe I could have used a "softer" approach with Ford --and have been further along in getting rid of the Escape. At the end of the day, I just need another vehicle even if it's another Ford product. However, why should I lose ANY money because they produced a LEMON.
  • bessbess Posts: 972
    My Escape has never stalled, so I can't say first hand how hard it is to handle. I've had much larger vehicles stall, and although difficult, was able to come to a controlled stop. If your approaching a red light, you are already slowing down, and the unpowered brakes would bring the escape to a stop. There's also the parking brake, but be careful to not lock the rears.

    You should absolutely not lose any money on your Escape.. If Ford through arbitration does not offer a satisfactory deal, then there is the lemon law..
    In my state, the lemon law is required to compensate for the MSRP of the vehicle and not what you paid for it.. A co-worker of mine ended up getting a vehicle with more options because of the difference in what he paid vs what he received via the lemon law.. (This was about 4 years ago).
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    few who are blowing this "stalling" issue way out of proportion here. Granted, I agree no vehicle should stall. But, when any vehicle stalls it just doesn't stop it coasts, you lose power steering and power brakes but you DO NOT lose control of your vehicle as some have stated. If this problem were wide spread and a problem with all Escapes it would have started killing people a year ago and I'm sure it would have been all over the news, because it is Ford. Please, search the net, I wish I could put links to other Escape/auto boards to show you.. There are thousands upon thousands of happy, reliable Escapes/Trib owners.. I am one.. Mine has been fine.. Not one problem..
  • hislanderhislander Posts: 67
    Why is it that some Escapes have stalling problems and others as reported and some "Not one problem"? Does it mean Ford quality is inconsistent? I would rather see all having the same problems or not problems at all? Looks like there is some "problem" with Ford's Quality Control then. Another note, I thought Ford is ISO-9000 certified, so what you think of that "ISO" thing?
  • bessbess Posts: 972
    My employer also has to go through ISO9000 certification every year. ISO is not the holy grail of quality that some believe it to be. In a nutshell, all ISO really checks for is that your processes are documented, and that all of the employee's know your documented processes.. So even if you have poor processes, as long as they are documented and followed, you can be ISO certified. Being someone who has gone through numerous ISO audits, I think they are a waste. However several countries require that companies products be ISO compliant to be sold in their country, so we do it..

    Ford does not manufacture every component in its vehicles, and often has to resort to multiple suppliers for the same part. I'm not sure if this is the case with the Escape stalling issue.
    From what is being reported, there are multiple versions of the PCM hardware and software being used. (reports of the fix being, a. reflash the PCM, and b. some PCM are not reprogrammable so they need to be replaced, etc..)

    The fact that there are so many more Escapes with no problems tells me that the Escape's design is sound.
  • wvawva Posts: 1
    I purchased my Escape March 2002, stalled 4 days after purchase, dealer upgraded PCM, 2nd stall was April,16. I take it back to dealer in the morning, they are going to keep it for a couple days. Should I ask them to replace the PCM?
    Any advice would be appreciated. I am afraid to drive the vehicle at this point.
  • bessbess Posts: 972
    They may come to that conclusion themselves. Let us know what action ends up fixing the problem. My guess is the dealership has now contacted FoMoCo to get information on what the next course of action should be, as most dealerships want the problem to be fixed right, the first time. They don't like seeing unhappy customers either.
  • While it's nice to hear from the people who have trouble-free vehicles and so believe this can't be a very widespread problem, that doesn't seem to me to be the issue here. I have no desire to take on Mazda's entire assembly line and am perfectly willing to accept that this may be an anomaly affecting only a fraction of vehicles. However, for those vehicles that are affected, this is a huge safety problem, and I am rather astonished that anyone would suggest otherwise. For those who doubt the dangers of a vehicle that stalls, I invite you drive one in my home state of WV, where straight roads with no hairpin turns or blind corners are rare. As are shoulders. So the concept of pulling over to the side is not applicable, even if I could w/o power steering--which I could not when my Tribute, with roughly 4,000 miles, stalled at the base of a steep and winding secondary road. Luckily, I was at the base, with no other traffic, and was able to come to a stop. On these twisting rural roads, I don't have to be driving fast to face a devastating accident if there is an oncoming car rounding a corner. I find any suggestion that this is not a major safety hazard confounding and my hope is to unload this turkey through arbitration, lemon law action--whatever it takes--ASAP.
    Lynn
  • ver2us1ver2us1 Posts: 36
    I have not been to this site for many, many months. I came back to see what I have missed and I can not believe it! It is still the same people posting the same messages beating the same stalling issue to death. If you haven't had your Ford/Tribute fixed I would have thought you would be driving another vehicle by now. If you have had it fixed or have purchased another vehicle, please move on with your life! For the record, I now own two 2002 Escapes with no problems. Out of all the Escape owners I know (real life, not net posters) no one has had a problem with their Escape, stalling or otherwise. I am beginning to think the whole issue revolves around 5-10 people that can't let go...and half of them don't even owna nd drive the vehicle! This issue has been beaten to death, unless someone has a vehicle that has been manufactured since Jan 2002 that has just experienced the stalling issue, it is time to move on to fresh complaints....I'm sure you will come up with something new worthy of 500+ posts!
  • Gee--sorry to have taken up your valuable reading time. The message you read was my second post on this issue, and my third ever post to a list serve. This one makes four. I have a 2002 Tribute purchased Jan. 1 2002 which stalled a week ago. Maybe it's an old issue to you, but it's brand new me--as is this incredibly hostile town hall. But I'm gone and won't bother you happy auto owners again, who apparently want to reserve this space to discuss how gleeful you all are with your vehicles. What a disappointing experience this has been, and I won't be back.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    Oh don't be put off by someone engaging in negativism! You're doing great and are more than welcome to participate here!

    tidester
    Host
    SUVs
  • muckyduckmuckyduck Posts: 219
    >>"Out of all the Escape owners I know (real life, not net posters)"

    Would you tell us how many that is?

    Thanks!
  • carseeker4carseeker4 Posts: 228
    All I can say is that the Tribscape is under investigation for possible recall on the stalling problem by NHTSA, at least the last I heard. Check out the web site. Regardless of how many repeat people post here, enough have complained about this to warrant NHTSA's attention (many of them called in... you can tell by how the narrative is written). I "owned" a Trib for 24 hours (never took delivery) and backed out when there were 3 or 4 posts from different people on different quality problems with this vehicle...And also hearing other horror stories from other post groups such as Yahoo.... call it a sign from God....
  • ver2us1ver2us1 Posts: 36
    Sorry, I wasn't referring to you when I posted that. I read about 300 of the last messages and the same people who were bashing the Escape and ranting about the stalling issue last fall are the same user i.d.'s who are still at it. Some of these posters go to every Escape site and are known to the other members as "pot stirrers" - they don't own Escapes, they aren't interested in buying the Escape, they just enjoy bashing. I left because I was tired of hearing it and I was terribly disappointed to see 7 months later that it is the exact same people with the exact same messages. Guess I didn't miss a thing....
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    I made this same point about 25 posts back. Same people, same posts, same problems... There are a certain few who like to bash, bash and hope someone will not buy and Escape/Tribute..
    Well, got a bit of bad news for you bashers..
    At my daughters volleyball practice last week a guy noticed I owned an Escape. He asked if he could take a look. He looked, he liked, he now owns a dark grey XLT V6... SEE YA!!
  • I am considering a purchase of a Mazda Tribute. I have read the NHTSA site and I have contacted a dealer to inquire about the situation.

    1. I understand that there may be a TSB providing direction on fixing the problem. It involves reprogramming the PCM on vehicles which have a more recent reprogrammable PCM. It involves replacing and reprogramming the PCM on older vehicles that do not have the reprogrammable PCM. I have read of people who had the part replaced and still experienced the stall. In those cases, it is not clear to me whether the part was also reprogrammed. Has anyone had the part replaced and reprogrammed and still experienced the stall? If so, what model year is the vehicle and where do you live? Do you know the TSB#, part #s, and date of the service?

    NHTSA shows stalls on the Tributes from 2002 model year, with occurences as recently as the end of MArch 2002 and April 4 2002. It is not clear whether those vehicle were sold before the TSB, whether the dealer sold the vehicle after the date of a TSB without performing the fix.

    Is there a different issue for the Mazda v. Ford, have the companies responded differently?

    I contacted a dealer, and they returned my call (while I was out of town-left a msg). Informed me that problems primarily occurred in Hawaii, also in some areas in US such as Florida. They said it was a problem experienced in areas with high humidity.

    The dealer siad they had not had any reported problems on Tributes they sold. One salesman said he had contacted his customers and none had reported stalls. This is in Southern Oregon.

    Any information you can provide that would help narrow issues down would be appreciated--actual owners who have experienced problems.

    Also, what is observed fuel economy and your style of driving. Edmunds test drivers had varied results (apparently based on driving habits) ranging from 11-18 to 17.7-21.5 to 13.8-25.2.

    There was some discussion about using a different motor oil. HAs anyone done this? Purpose? Results?

    Thanks
  • By the way, the NHTSA site shows a monthly report on defect investigations. They opened the investigation on December 7, 2001. In the February update, there was no further action posted on the site. The web page did not yet have a March monthly update. Does anyone have any more recent information?
  • murphy27murphy27 Posts: 31
    If anyone has an Escape / Tribute with no problems why are they even reading, much less posting on the board called Escape Tribute Problems? Maybe the same people post because they are faced with taking a 10-12,000 dollar loss on a car they cannot drive and they are really angry like I am. If you are happy with your car, again, please tell me why you even read these boards.
    Would I like to see Ford go out of business. You bet. Why - because they sold me a dangerous car and are unwilling to do anything about it.

    Murphy
  • This board is about Escape problems, in particular, a stalling problem that has no official solution. The fix will be official when I am contacted by Ford to bring my Escape in for repair. We are "beating the issue to death" before it beats us to death. This ongoing dialogue is important because down the road, a year or so from now when one of those doom and gloom shows runs a story about accident victims of a stalling Escape, all these posts (along with NHTSA complaints which are considered sworn testimony) will once again expose Ford for the poorly operated and negligent company they are. KNOWING ABOUT A LETHAL PROBLEM AND NOT TAKING ACTION IS CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE.
    On an unrelated note, I purchased my Escape for 2 reasons.
    1. It was the best designed vehicle for my needs.

    2. Since this was my first new vehicle purchase, I wanted to buy American and see what all the fuss about quality was.

    My next vehicle will be bought based on a company's/dealer's merit and their ability to address problems, whether the company is American or not.
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