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A red 2017 Ford Escape is shown parked on dirt next to a small pond.

How to Handle a Recall On a Used Ford Escape

Recalls are a natural occurrence in the realm of consumer goods. You buy something, and there is a risk that it may need to be recalled. Why do recalls happen? For safety reasons. Sometimes the recalls are more or less serious depending on the issue at hand, and you’ll only really discover what the problem is until you do a little bit of digging or if you’re contacted about it and informed about why the recall is happening. While recalls may be widespread across a number of different consumer goods, the good part is that for certain purchases, like vehicles, customers will be informed when a recall is issued. But what happens when you buy a used vehicle that has a recall? For example, a used Ford Escape.

Now the Ford Escape is a popular compact SUV, and it has been around since the start of the millennium. This means that there are millions of Ford Escapes out there across the various trims and model year outings. So if you opt to buy a used Ford Escape, how do you even know it has been recalled or needs recall service? Well, that’s what we’re here to tell you, so you can get the most out of your Escape and avoid any hassles that you might experience if you encounter a recall situation.

A blue 2020 Ford Escape is shown in a parking garage.

Has My Model Year Ford Escape Been Recalled?

So one of the things some people might assume is that buying a used vehicle means that they don’t have to worry about recalls. It’s true that, to some extent, the instance of a recall is lessened if you buy used because, usually, the used models being sold have already had the recall work done. However, given the amount of vehicles sold, sometimes some issues only pop up after years of the car being on the market. This can happen to any vehicle of any model year for any trim.

However, the great part is that regardless of the model year you purchased, you can always check to see if it has had any recalls. Now typically, if you buy a used Ford Escape from a dealer, the dealer is kept up to date on recalls from the manufacturer and will tell you about that particular model year and any recall information you may need to know. Some recalls happen many years after a vehicle’s release. There are some vehicles that will go half a decade or more before a recall is issued because the problem may have gone undetected until a thorough investigation is conducted. Also, the dealer may only get recall information about the brands it sells, which means if you buy a used Escape from a Chevy dealer, they may not be as informed about the Ford recalls.

However, while dealers may not be required to tell you about a recall on a car you are looking to buy, the original manufacturer is. If you already own a Ford Escape and a recall goes out, you will receive a recall letter from Ford within a reasonable amount of time. If you are looking to buy a used Ford Escape, do a little research on the model you are looking at for any recalls and check that they have been addressed before you buy.

There is an easy way to check to see if your particular model has had a recall issued. Since some older models having recent recalls can be a real inconvenience, you can actually put in the VIN of your particular vehicle to check to see if the NHTSA has listed a recall for your vehicle. You simply have to navigate to the NHTSA recall section of the website to check to see if your particular model year has been recalled.

What Do I Do If My Used Ford Escape Has Been Recalled?

In some cases, recalls are for things that you may just think are common maintenance issues that you would get resolved during regular maintenance intervals, like leaking oil or tire pressure issues. If you’ve noticed you’ve had these problems with a used Ford Escape and already had them resolved, then you may be in the clear. Furthermore, you could receive reimbursement if you had the issues fixed without knowing they were part of a recall.

Nevertheless, if you visited the NHTSA website and found out your particular model has a recall and the issue has not been resolved yet, then there are a few steps you need to take. First and foremost, you should contact a certified dealer for your vehicle brand. For example, if you have a used Ford Escape, you need to contact a Ford dealer, even if you bought the used model from a Honda dealer. From here, the dealer should confirm if the vehicle has been recalled after contacting the manufacturer. The dealer should then inform you about the next steps, which should involve bringing the vehicle to the dealership service center where the vehicle will be repaired, the part(s) replaced, or the component fixed, free of charge.

Recalls, by law, are supposed to be handled free of charge at the expense of the manufacturer if the recall occurs within ten years of the vehicle’s original purchase date. That means if your vehicle is over ten years old, you may have to talk to your dealer about servicing the vehicle out of pocket or find out if it’s covered under any warranties you may have purchased separately, especially if it’s a certified Ford.

A black 2019 Ford Escape is shown driving on a city street after leaving a used Ford Escape.

What If My Ford Escape Wasn’t Purchased From a Dealer?

This is an issue that some people may encounter if they purchase a used Ford Escape from a private seller, an auction, or an online reseller. Due to this method of purchase, you may not have the assurance that recalls have been addressed. Before you buy privately, do your research to find out if there have been any recalls on the vehicle you want to buy, and if there have been, ask the owner for documentation on if the recall has been done.

If you’ve registered your vehicle through Ford’s online service, you can log in to your Ford account, and check if your particular model year has been recalled. If you didn’t purchase your vehicle from a dealer, you can actually use the website to find a Ford dealer who can then handle the recall repair. Typically, while your vehicle is being serviced, you may need a loaner vehicle in the meantime, and Ford offers reimbursement for loaner vehicles paid for during the period in which your vehicle is being fixed. Private sales can be a great way to get a used Ford Escape; just make sure you thoroughly research safety recalls and make sure they have been addressed.

Stay Aware of Recalls to Keep Your Vehicle Safe

Of course, it should go without saying that your safety should be the top priority when buying vehicles, and that’s why it’s important to buy used cars from trustworthy sources. It helps a lot with cutting down on the hassle if you ever do run into the problem of needing to get your Escape serviced for a recall. However, thanks to the convenience of the internet and the Ford account portal, you can still get your Escape serviced in a reasonable time frame by simply following the customer support guidelines, even if you didn’t purchase from a used Ford Escape dealer. Recalls can be annoying, they are something you need to check for if you are buying or need to take the time to have fixed on the car you own, but they are crucial to your vehicle’s health and safety.