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2005-2012 Ford Escape under NHTSA investigation for throttle issues

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a preliminary investigation into the previous generation of the Ford Escape after receiving a defect petition from the North Carolina Consumers Council alleging that these popular sport utility vehicles could be prone to stalling or surging while being driven.

The early stages of this new investigation relate specifically to Ford Escape models from the 2005 through 2012 model year with a total of 1.6 million SUVs possibly affected by the process. According to the North Carolina Consumers Council (NCCC), these vehicles are equipped with an electronic throttle body system that could fail – causing the engine to either surge or stall in the right situations.

The NCCC issued this call for action after receiving two complaints from area consumers who had problems with their 2009 Ford Escape intermittently stalling when cruising at highway speeds or when sitting when stopped as well as a problem with the engine surging when accelerating away from a stop. These two reports explained that the problem became severe enough that the driver was operating the vehicle with one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas to keep the car going forward (and not stalling) while also prevent it from surging forward. The driver also had to keep applying the gas when stopped to keep the vehicle from stalling. In both of these filings with the NCCC, the vehicle had a check engine light illuminated and when the codes were pulled by a mechanic, the result was a trouble code of P2111 and P2112 – indicating that the electronic throttle actuator control system was stuck open (P2111) and closed (P2112). Also, both drivers reported that there had been no problems or warnings leading up to these engine issues.

“This is obviously a very dangerous and rapidly growing issue that needs to be addressed immediately (with the Ford Escape),” said NCCC President Sandra Bullock. “With consumers now holding both the brake and gas pedals simultaneously, it’s only a matter of time before a driver inadvertently pushes the wrong pedal, resulting in unintended movement. We trust that the NHTSA will investigate and take the necessary steps to remedy the problem as quickly as possible.”

The NCCC states that similar complaints were filed on the NHTSA website between November 2011 and August 2012 for 2009 model year Escape SUVs along with other complaints about the throttle “sticking” or the throttle body failing and requiring replacement.

The NCCC stated that they had one of the failed throttle bodies from the 2005-2012 Ford Escape in their possession and there was no sign of damage, carbon buildup that could cause the throttle body blade to hang out or other mechanic problems. This means that the problem would lie in the electronic system that controls the throttle input between the gas pedal and the throttle body. On top of those complaints, Ford Motor Company has reportedly issued a handful of technical service bulletins for different models relating to a similar throttle issue with the fix being to reprogram the powertrain control module that controls the throttle system or to replace the throttle body.

The preliminary investigation of the 2005-2012 Escape is the first in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s process of making sure that the vehicles sold in this country are as safe as they should be. Should the NHTSA find that there is indeed a problem with either the powertrain control module or the throttle body that is causing sporadic stalling and surging, the feds could move to the next phase – the engineering analysis. That is the final step before ordering that Ford issues a recall of the vehicles in question but a great many investigations and engineering analyses are closed without any further action being requested.

TorqueNews will continue covering the new Ford Escape throttle investigation – bringing you any news as it becomes available.


Wayne H. (not verified)    November 16, 2012 - 9:31AM

I have one of these throttle bodies sitting on my desk because I had the same issue.
Ford refused to refund me $170 for the part.
I'm waiting for a class action case against them before someone looses thier life over such a simple fix.
I love Ford vehicles, but this is simply not exceptable.

Chris (not verified)    March 3, 2013 - 5:37AM

In reply to by Wayne H. (not verified)

My 2011 Escape XLT just started acting up with the wrench symbol coming on....just yesterday it almost died 4 times.....RIDICULOUS....always seems to fail when the transmission shifts gears (possible link??) I would think that would be covered under the engine/powertrain warranty..but if not, I have a 5yr/100k extended warranty.....My question is: WHY was there a "wrench" alarm symbol for this problem in the driver display?? Seems like they KNEW there was going to be a problem with it!!! Did you complain to the NHTSA?

Judy (not verified)    July 13, 2016 - 11:36AM

In reply to by Wayne H. (not verified)

I have a 2010 Ford Escape. Lost power on tollway at 85 miles an hour. Was told by dealership that it has an automatic cut-off when You Reach 90 miles per hour. Problem is, this happens going 35 miles per hour as well. It has become a continual problem, sometimes in potentially very dangerous situations. Was told to bring it in when the problem happen in order to get a diagnostic.

modonna wilkinson (not verified)    September 12, 2016 - 9:18AM

In reply to by Judy (not verified)

My husband called our dealership just this morning because our check engine light and sensor came on. He had code p211 when it was checked at Auto zone. We found the article regarding Ford fixing this and when he called dealership they told him they would have to do their own diagnostic but if code P211 came up diagnostic and repair would be covered as we have a 2009 under 150000 miles. If not total cost is $150 for diagnostic and around $800 for repair. You need to press them and have a diagnostic done and make them show you the code. Either P211 or P212 is covered if your Escape/Mariner is between 2005-2012 and less than 150,000 miles.

Margaret Fletcher (not verified)    August 28, 2019 - 1:28PM

In reply to by Wayne H. (not verified)

I have a 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid and sometimes when I start it put it in gear and step on the accelerator it will not move I have to turn it off put it in park started again sometimes more than once before it will move

Brenda Quinney (not verified)    December 11, 2012 - 3:51PM

Two years ago I had the throttle body assembly replaced on my 2006 Escape because the gas pedal locked up. The pedal is starting to stick again -- the same symptom as before. I went to my Ford dealer and was informed that I will need to have it replaced again. He said it's not an adjustment that can be made. Not sure if I believe him or not but I don't want to be stuck in rush hour traffic (again) with a gas pedal that stops working.

Nina Clark (not verified)    January 18, 2013 - 6:12PM


Ever since I first purchased my 2009 Ford Escape I noticed that it surged on occassion. I blew it off as that's just how it drivers. But today as I was on my way to lunch, suddenly and unexpectedly my car recoiled and starting slowing down. No matter how hard I pushed the gas pedal it wasn't getting any gas.
I managed to get out of the way of traffic and pull into a parking lot where I called a Ford Dealership.
The Dealership arranged a tow truck and picked me up. I thought it was the transmission, but after it was checked out I was told it was the throttle body that failed. I only have 30,888 miles on it and since I had the foresight to purchase their extended warranty it will be covered except for the deductible. However, it is dangerous and no parts should fail like this on a vehicle with less then 31,000 miles especially as much as these SUV's cost. I am highly ticked at this and a recall is in order. I don't feel that I should have to pay anything even if it is just the deductible.

Nina Clark Lawrenceville GA

Anonymous (not verified)    March 4, 2013 - 1:03PM

In reply to by Nina Clark (not verified)

I just had this problem on 2-28-13. As I was driving on the highway at around 60 mph the wrench light and check engine light came on, the rpm's went erradic and I clost vehicle acceleration forcing me to perform an emergency stop. The dealer said it was the electronic throttle body needed replacement at my own expense.

Jason (not verified)    March 4, 2013 - 10:50PM

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

If you are handy and know how to replace your oil filter, replacing the throttle body is just as easy. It took about 8 mins.
Buy it at the parts dept then compare the way it sits (right on top of your engine. You will see 4 bolts and 2 screws. Super super easy. I love Ford but they should get their pants sued off for this one.
It is a safety issue!

Anonymous (not verified)    April 10, 2013 - 5:58PM

While driving from Central Fl to Asheville, NC. my 3.0 litr Escape basically lost all power a total of 6 different times on Interstates 95 and 26 between Savannah, GA and Columbia, SC. Driving along at posted highway speed limit, engine would unexpectedly start losing power and eventually come to a stop in the emergency lane. The tachometer indicated that the engine was running at about 1000 rpm, but it would not take and thottle and barely move. Switching the engine off and restarting, reset something and allowed me to continue driving normally but only for about 20 miles before doing the exact same thing. This was a Saturday about noon and calling several Ford dealers was useless as most said they were getting ready to close, or could not look at it until Monday. Not wanting to ruin our vacation, we tried to continue with the above scenario repeating itself at least 6 more times, each time getting more and more dangerous, as traffic was heavy and each time the engine would lose power instantly and almost caused accidents before we could get off the road into the emergency lane. Finally called a Ford Dealer in Columbia, SC that was open till 4pm. and said they could check it out. Made it there at 3:30 pm and they diagnosed the trouble as a Code P2111 THROTTLE BODY STUCK OPEN. They had the part in stock and $326 later we were on our way. Vehicle only had 41k miles. Internet research has revealed several hundred complaints of the same exact trouble happening to them. There is even a youtube video showing this described trouble actually taking place, after a frustrated driver could not get any Ford Dealer to recreate the trouble and take care of it, he videod it acutally happening. My calls to Ford Motor Co customer service, and my emails were a waste of time. Ford is ignoring a very dangerous problem that will get them many lawsuits I am sure. FORD NEEDS A RECALL NOW!

joe (not verified)    June 30, 2014 - 10:47PM

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

My 2013 Escape has the same problem which the dealership has been helpful bur they cannot determine the cause or the fix. They kept the car on 4 different occasions at which time the stalling happened while they were driving. They did some work pretaining to the battery....whicd no good. I do not feel safe in the Escape. Most of my driving is done on a freeway. Itvmakes me crazy when my car just stops running. Ibhave to stop, press the brake to start up again. My fear is thae someone has to get hurt or even die before FORD does something. AND here's the kicker, I am leasing it. I pay them to drive an unsafe car! what's wrong with that picture?

Nona (not verified)    July 11, 2021 - 3:54PM

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

My 2009 just did the same thing I was in traffic and was going 35 mph then I started loosing power pushed on the gas and nothing the car started slowing down and I was in the fast lane. I made it to the next side street where I put it in park n shut it off then restarted it it got me home barely.

Mark M. (not verified)    May 3, 2013 - 9:30PM

Same thing just happened to me on May 1, 2013. I was in left lane in rush hour traffic of 4 lane interstate. 2010 Escape lost all acceleration as I was going up slight hill. Thank God no one was that close behind me because on that stretch of the highway the left shoulder isn't wide enough to completely get off the road. I was able to coast over the hill and get to the left shoulder where it is just wide enough to park without being in the lane. My wife was with me and freaking out as traffic kept whizzing by at 70-75 MPH. We called 911 because it was so dangerous. We sat there for 5-10 minutes waiting for the police but they never came. So I started the vehicle again and we were able to drive home with no other problem. Found out yesterday at the Ford Dealer it was a faulty throttle body. They replaced it but I was out $500. After seeing all of the problems people are having, I am shocked and saddened that Ford hasn't had a recall for this problem. I was a loyal Ford buyer for years but that is now over. I hope no one gets killed or badly hurt because of this but it will eventually happen. When it does, I hope Ford gets royally sued and gets the negative publicity they deserve.

andres rivere (not verified)    November 11, 2014 - 1:26PM

In reply to by Mark M. (not verified)

I try to buy US made products, and I was a Ford guy. I have had Mustangs(1), conversion Vans (1), 2 Expeditions and now an Escape. The Mustang, the Van and the first Expeditions were good. On the second Expedition, the engine died after only 56000miles and I paid 8000$ for a new one because my wife likes the car. Now the Escape is having this problem. There is no way I will buy a Ford again.

Cynthia James (not verified)    October 23, 2013 - 6:25PM

Well ford has given me the run around about my 2011 Ford Escape Limited not being part of the limited recall (cars manufactured between 6/2009 and 10/2009) So I too waiting for something serious to happen so Ford can be sued and I can be reimbursed the $628.00 I am out for the Throttle Body I had to have replaced in my car after I had two near death experiences.

Kathryn (not verified)    October 30, 2013 - 7:24PM

My 2005 Escape is at the dealers right now. I'm waiting to find out what is wrong, but since reading these comments, I believe I already know! Surging when accelerating, then losing power, running rough, stalling when stopped, all with the check engine light on.

Can't wait to hear what they say! Yikes!

Rick (not verified)    March 30, 2014 - 3:40PM

The immediate question that comes to mind is that if it's indeed the throttle body that needs replacing (and it sounds like that's the case per all the comments), based on it presumably being a defective part, then are the *replacement* throttle bodies being installed by the Ford dealers just as defective? Does make you least it did me. Until a recall is issued, I'm thinking the "replacements" on hand at these dealers (or where they're being ordered from) will have the possibility of being just as "defective" as the ones installed at the factory, resulting in an ongoing and repeating problem.

Mana (not verified)    June 22, 2014 - 8:16PM

I recently purchased a 2012 escape and it hit the 50, 000 mark. Just today it stalled and would not go when I pushed the gas pedal. Luckily I was only going 35mph on a private road just outside my home when it acted up. Thank y'all for commenting because I was completely lost as to what was wrong when I seen the wrench light pop up. After turning it off and on again it was gone and acted normal but imtaking it in to the dealership tomorrow since I know what's wrong. Ford needs to do something and soon. It could have been so much worse. I also agree with Rick's comment as well. I hope the new part it's replaced with isn't defective as well.

Chris in Texas (not verified)    June 23, 2014 - 8:33PM

My 2011 Escape had the throttle body replaced under extended warranty (3rd party)..It costs me $125 (deduction + cost of first system check not covered by the ex would be covered by the Ford extended warranty if you have one). They wanted to also do a "software" scan and check for another $100+ but I told them do the change and lets see what far, ok...mileage is back to normal...ignition noise is up on the AM radio while accelerating (it was not noticeable before the work)..but is acceptable....I WISH Ford or NTSHA would issue a recall and pay back all owners who have had it done already...its ridiculous this issue has been going on since the 2006 model and nothing has been issued yet...when it happened to me, I did research using Google and found this site as well as other forums that told me what needed to be done...I had a similar issue with my Chevy 1999 S10 Blazer and its Throttle Position Sensor but I was able to change that myself for less than $50...I am glad I did NOT have to pay more out of pocket than I did but I still watch the acceleration to make sure nothing bad happens....

Be safe all!!

Chris in Texas (not verified)    June 23, 2014 - 8:36PM

BTW the part replaced was a redesign according to the service tech at the local Ford dealer...he said it was out of stock on backorder when I took mine in for replacement....and the part # was different meaning it was replaced with a new the replacement looks to fix the issue permanently...As I said, its been almost a year and no issues....(havent had it on a long road trip yet....but around town and on the major roads between cities has been ok so far)

Lasharne Dunlap (not verified)    July 6, 2014 - 5:48PM

My 2011 escape engine and wrench light come on and I know that there is a recall because a letter came to the house. I don't think that I should pay any thing because of I am still in 2 year of more payment to pay off the car with Ford

Chris in Texas (not verified)    July 12, 2014 - 8:18PM

In reply to by Lasharne Dunlap (not verified)

WHAT??? You got a recall letter?? I didn't...Im sure yours is a preowned one like mine was?? So why did you get the letter?? A recall should be paid for by the factory....if there IS a recall, then I need to get my money back...(I went through the same thing with a 77 Olds Omega SX AC that kept popping the coil...after 4 of them, I found out about the recall....GM repaid me, well, my mom, back for all the work..which was not cheap back then!)

brandon (not verified)    July 14, 2014 - 11:33PM

In reply to by Chris in Texas (not verified)

There is NO recall. Ford extended the warranty on the throttle body to 150,000 miles. So the cost is covered and if you have already replaced it you will be reimbursed.

Wayne (not verified)    July 22, 2014 - 5:23AM

That's simply not true about the 150,000 warranty.
Ford only cover that part up to 36k. Most of our Escapes are past that when the issue happened.
If it were true, Ford wouldn't be charging all of us for the repair / and or cost to replace it the first time.
I would have happy if Ford just handed me a new one. If you can change a spark plug, you can replace this throttle as well. But no, they still charged for the part.

Brandon (not verified)    July 22, 2014 - 10:42AM

In reply to by Wayne (not verified)

Yes, it is true. The warranty inst that long from the factory it was EXTENDED recently. If you are an Escape owner then you would have received the letter. Ford realizes the original design is flawed but instead of a recall has decided to extend the warranty on the throttle body ONLY to 150,000 miles. It is a ONE time free replacement and if you have already replace it you will be reimbursed. I had mine done last Friday. Look it up at stupid ass.