I purchased a new 2011 Escape in August of 2011and flat-towed it from Louisiana to Georgia & back, plus a few shorter trips. Then, in June, 2012, returning to Louisiana from a trip to the east coast of Florida, we were flagged down by another motorist on I-10 just east of Pensacola when they saw our Escape trailing smoke. We pulled immediately into a rest area whereupon further investigation revealed the transmission to be extremely hot. On top of that, the engine would not turn over although the battery seemed to still have some charge. Still would not start after jumper cables attached to RV. Long story but we ended up having it towed to the Ford Dealer in Pensacola where 2 weeks later it was returned to us with a new transmission, free of charge, with the explanation that a "pin" inside the transmission had done something it wasn't supposed to do, hence the transmission was destroyed. I'm not sure the service-writer knew what he was talking about - young guy - didn't really give a crap. So now I am gun-shy. It is a royal pain in the butt to have this happen on the road away from home because first, you have to find someone to fix it, then, whether you want the **** thing or not, eventually you have to go back and get the car at your own expense. Ford won't pay for that. I have been a Toyota owner for years and thought it was time to give an American company another chance. Big mistake. My advice to anyone looking for a toad - don't buy a Ford. The Escape is a noisy, rough-riding, gas-guzzling little beast that IS NOT FLAT TOWABLE!