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Q: Paint is coming off and the car is fairly new

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I have a horrible rust problem in my 2008 Ford Escape. The car is at 50,000 miles and the rear fenders have huge bubbles in the paint. One started to chip off and it was all rust underneath. Who know what else is rusting in there! How bad could this problem be? This car is way too new to be rotting away!

It seems as if your vehicle is part of a large group experiencing a similar problem. The best action to take would be fixing the paint issue as soon as possible so that the issue does not get any worse. Unfortunately, as with many other Escapes, Ford refuses to take responsibility for this problem unless it is suspension related. Ford issued a recall on the Escape due to rust in the ‘rust belt’ states. This recall is related to rusting of the front lower control arms and if bad enough can cause suspension parts to break and loss of steering control. The first course of action would be to call Ford and see if they are willing to help you. They will do a full inspection of your vehicle and if any recall related rust is found they will cover the repair. The repair involves installing a cross-brace on the lower control arms to prevent loss of steering control in the event of a suspension separation due to rust. If Ford is unwilling to help and you must pay for the repair out of pocket, try calling several body shops for quotes to get the best price. In addition, when shopping around for this repair, make sure that the body shop that performs the work has a quality warranty. Be certain that your repair is covered to the fullest extent possible as this issue is also known to reoccur even after a repair has been done. At least by paying out of pocket for this repair you can hold someone responsible should the issue reoccur since Ford will likely be unwilling to help.

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