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Ford 2012 Escape, Fusion No Longer Towable
Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:22 PM
This Information Replaces The Recreational Towing Information In The Tires, Wheels And Loading Chapter
Note: Put your climate control system in recirculated air mode to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the vehicle. Refer to the Climate Control chapter.
Follow these guidelines if you have a need for recreational (RV) towing. An example of recreational towing would be towing your vehicle behind a motorhome. These guidelines are designed to ensure that your transmission is not damaged.
Front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles CANNOT be flat-towed (all wheels on the ground), as vehicle or transmission damage may occur. The front wheels must be placed on a two-wheel tow dolly. If you are using a tow dolly, follow the instructions specified by the equipment provider.
All-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles CANNOT be flat-towed (all wheels on the ground), as vehicle or transmission damage may occur. It is recommended to tow your vehicle with all four (4) wheels off the ground such as when using a car-hauling trailer. Otherwise, no recreational towing is permitted.
The owners manual for 2013 Escape vehicles includes the same information; therefore, new Escape vehicles with FWD, AWD, or 4WD cannot be towed four wheels down. FMCA has not yet confirmed whether 2013 Fusion vehicles can be flat-towed.
FMCA ... Enhancing the motorhome lifestyle!
Posted 25 May 2012 - 10:51 AM
I purchased a 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid back in December, 2011, had it outfitted for towing 4 down this past March, and then started hearing/reading all the conflicting reports about Ford now declaring the Escape as non-flat towable.
After much digging around, on these forums along with others, I think I've got a handle on what the real situation is. The V-6 Escape (both FWD and AWD) have the 6F35 (6-speed) transmission. This is the tranny that has caused all the grief (and confusion) with regards to flat towing. It seems that after a number of toasted transmissions, Ford decided (with TSB 11-7-15) that so long as the tranny fluid level was lowered to just above the fill mark, these affected cars were still towable. Supposedly this would prevent the ATF from foaming, being forced out the dipstick tube (due to heat buildup), and eventually ruining the transmission. Many people have had success with this alteration, but there have still been some cases of fried trannys. Ford has even suggested installing a transmission pump to keep the fluid flowing, and therefore cool (Remco has come up with a pump specifically for the Escape and the 6F35 transmission).
My assumption is that since there are still cases of transmission failures, even with the lowering of the fluid level, that Ford has just thrown up their hands and declared these affected cars as non-towable. The owners manuals for the affected cars are now including an insert stating the non-towability, and the cars now being purchased are not covered by warranty if the owners try to flat tow them. It is my understanding that cars purchased before the owners manual changes are still covered by warranty (when flat towed), but you're rolling the dice and taking your chances.
Now.......to *my* case, I bought the hybrid version. It has the eCVT (electronically controlled variable transmission). This transmission is sealed (no dipstick), and there is no way to add/adjust fluid. Apparently it was, and still is, flat towable. I have not been able to track any cases of someone having problems when towing.
So-o-o-o-o, it looks like the $750 I spent to outfit my 2012 Escape hybrid (hitch hardware and wiring) is not money thrown out the window. You can bet that I'll be keeping a close eye on things, as I start out with short trips before venturing too far!
And if anyone here knows of any eCVT failures, keep them to yourself! No news is good news, right?!
Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:41 PM
I am in the similar situation I purchased a Ford Escape in December and in April had it outfitted for flat towing. On Friday I was looking through my newly arrived FMCA magazine and found the notice about flat towing. Today I called my dealer and at first was told that I could tow it and I explained the notice in the FMCA magazine. He send an email via their internal email system which they enter a VIN number and a few minutes ago he called me and the response came back that this (no flat towing) only effects 2012 Ford Escapes built after February 17th and as mine was built in October 2011 it can be flat towed. While I know of no difference between the ones built before and after the February date I will be flat towing it and hopefully it is one of those that has no problems.
Bob and Cathy
Southern New Jersey
2015 Itasca Sunova 33c
2008 Jeep Wrangler dingy
Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:56 PM
2004 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
2012 Fusion Hybrid Toad (maybe)
Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:47 AM
We have a 2010 Escape with about 6,000 miles on the odometer. I experienced a problem with the transmission overheating on my last trip. This was after having towed it about 5,000 miles within the last year. I was very careful to start the engine and cycle through the gears at the start of the day and at every stop (usually 2 to 2-1/2 hours). Near Raleigh NC it began to smoke, so I had It towed to a local dealer where they refilled the fluid, checked it out and said all was ok. On the first tow of the day we blew out about a pint of fluid. I surmised that the fluid was being blown out of the breather tube along side the filler tube. Making a stop at a hardware store for some hose and a plastic quart bottle, I was able to rig up a fluid catching system. At the beginning of every day it would blow out a copious amount of fluid, The first run would be about 60-100 miles, where I would take the fluid and pour it back into the transmission. We limped it home (1,300 miles) where we took it to our local dealer and they had to replace the transmission. Ford took care of it in a satisfactory and timely manner.
Here's the problem. Do all of us that own these vehicles continue to tow them til they break? Ford will stand behind them until the warranty runs out. The level of inconvenience it causes us is undeterminable. Apparently they will break. When? We love the vehicle, but are very uncomfortable towing it knowing that we could have a problem at any time. This takes away form the motorhoming experience and one I can do with out.
Ford Customer Relations is ignoring the problem since it is not a safety problem. They don't have a resolution to the problem other than to suggest a lower level of fluid (suggesting the dealer can set it for you). They are happy just to let us flounder out here and replace transmissions when they fail. I believe they expect to resolve the problem by hoping we'll go away.
Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:11 PM
2002 Coachmen SportsCoach
2003 Tahoe (now)
Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:46 PM
Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:25 PM
I too have been towing a Ford Escape. I towed it about 5,000 miles before having had a problem. We were very conscientious about the towing limitations, and stopped every two to three hours to run the engine and cycle the transmission.
On our last trip, we were 1,300 miles from home when the transmission overheated. We got it home by doing some creative engineering (blown out fluid collection and recycling).
The Ford dealer at home replaced the transmission and all is OK now. The problem is that in doing some research (which I should have done before buying the vehicle) it appears that this is a common problem with late model Escapes. In contacting Ford customer service all I got was lip service with no resolution of the problem. All were sorry to hear we were having problems, but no one has the ability to fix it. They reiterated that they will repair any problems (within the warranty period, then you're on your own) that occur.
That is all fine and good, but I don't really feel comfortable towing a time bomb that could fail at any moment. Several mentions were made that I could install a circulation pump (Remco). That's the $1,000 for the pump plus installation, and that besides the cost of setting up the vehicle for towing to begin with. I really think that THIS IS NUTS!
We really like the vehicle and it's utility. But I think I'm going to swear off Ford and it's new image of "quality".
Posted 10 June 2012 - 12:27 PM
WE ARE NOW IN CONTACT WITH FORD TO SEE HOW THEY ARE TAKING CARE OF THIS PROBLEM. HAS ANYONE TRIED TO GET COMPENSATED?
WILL KEEP EVERYONE POSTED WHEN WE GET AN ANSWER FROM FORD.
Posted 12 June 2012 - 07:56 PM
Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:00 PM
Posted 16 June 2012 - 05:15 PM
Ford sold the 2010 Escape as a 4-wheel drive towable vehicle, which clearly it is not. Many RVers bought this vehicle becase it was designated a tow vehicle by Ford and was lightweight, yet fairly comfortable.
We would love to be included if anyone is starting a class action suit.
Also, we would like to hear from Newbie (who posted on 31 May 2012) that they were able to get Ford to buy back the Escape once an attorney was involved. Would Newbie be willing to share the name of the attorney? I expect to be in Washington in a few weeks and would like to speak to the lawyer about this situation.
2010 Tiffin Allegro RED
2010 Ford Escape
FMCA member F254313 (since 1999)
Posted 16 June 2012 - 05:20 PM
Posted 16 June 2012 - 06:13 PM
Posted 18 June 2012 - 06:38 AM
Please refrain from garnering support for legal action here on these forums. It violates the Forum rule: "Posts on matters in which legal counsel is/has been involved, including posts related to future, current or past lawsuits, are not allowed."
Anybody considering a class action suit?
You may contact forum members privately, but posts within this thread will be edited or removed.
Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:03 PM
Posted 23 June 2012 - 04:21 PM
Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:35 AM
Posted 27 June 2012 - 02:26 PM
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