Originally Posted by 360ci
Did you try the key? ...
The early models (1st generation?)
do not have a keyed lock for opening the rear hatch... stupid stupid stupid.
If you search here or at other Ford Escape forums, you may come across one or two topics w a fix.
From memory.... There's a plastic piece that breaks. Ford doesn't offer the piece separately, so you'd have to buy the mechanism or whatever it is that the plastic piece is attached to. To get at it, you have to remove or pull off the interior plastic.
OR... Instead of the expensive Ford part, there might be a new plastic doohickey available at the auto parts store - some other modification might be necessary to install it. Again, this is all from memory.
Or... It might be a defective lock actuator. I believe these are available aftermarket... not sure if that's true any more. I checked into an Omega DS2.1SQ actuator & it's no longer available (NLA).
if the hatch is closed & you can't get it open, you can try pushing in on the hatch while pulling the hatch release handle. If you still can't get it open, you kinda have to peel off the interior plastic panel at the top, then carefully lift the center over the window latch. The plastic panel is attached w screws at the bottom, so don't try to pry it there. Alternatively, the dealer probably drills a hole into the plastic panel in-line w the rod so that the rod can be lifted to unlock the hatch; then they install a decorative plastic button to cover the hole.