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Ford Escape Liftgate Problems

by Dianne Christensen-Herman

The Ford Escape is a compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) first introduced in 2000. One of the Escape's features is a centralized automatic locking system that operates the doors and rear hatch or liftgate. An electronic wireless remote key controls the doors and liftgate. There have been problems reported that the liftgate sometimes will not open or close.

Won't Stay Closed

More than 200,000 vehicles were recalled in 2004 because the rear liftgate could come open during a crash, possibly causing serious injury to the occupants. The problem has since been remedied.

Will Not Open

There have been problems reported that the Ford Escape liftgate will not open and is jammed closed. The liftgate is controlled with the key remote. Occasionally, other objects get in the way of the liftgate and the remote. The key remote works best at a distance between 3 feet to 25 feet with no obstruction in between.


The latch assembly may be sticking if the liftgate will not close. The liftgate is comprised of one unit that controls the door and window latches. Lubricating the unit may solve the problem or some of the internal parts may have broken. If the liftgate will not open, the battery may need replacing in the remote or an internal spring or mechanism in the liftgate may be defective. The vehicle should be inspected by a qualified mechanic in both instances.

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