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Inside driver side door panel vinyl fell off where door handle is

(2005 Ford Escape)
in Port Charlotte, FL on April 20, 2009
Vynil where door handle is, on driver side door panel fell off. Brought it to an interior car repair shop, and to Ford. Both said they can not replace it with vynil or re-tack it back in place(Ford told me they send these repairs to same shop I visited..hmm). They said they have to put fabric on because you will never get vynil back on due to the foam that was underneath at one point. It will become bumpy looking. I find this excuse weak. Is it really that difficult to clean up the dried foam, and re-tack it back in place? Thank you for your time with my question!
Displaying 16 answers & 19 comments
Popular Answer
on December 24, 2010
I Have a 2006 Ford Escape, With the same problem. If I ever catch the guy working the drivers side door panel assembly line I'm gonna kick him in the nuts.
on July 22, 2011
When you find him, give him two kicks from me. All four of my panels have just come off. So much for buying American. I am so disgusted with Ford. I'm done.
on July 29, 2011
Yep, give him a couple of kicks for me, too. I thought it was because I have an '03 and because it suffers through the Texas heat every year, but it looks like a lot of people have this problem. I love this vehicle otherwise, but now it's looking pretty trashy without the vinyl on both front panels.
on August 04, 2011
I have a 2006 Ford Escape. My husband blamed it on the Florida heat. I will never buy American again.
on December 30, 2011
It's not just a southern heat thing I live at the North end of Kansas and it is falling off all four of my doors on my 2003 ford escape. I hoping they didn't have the same cheap mindsets when putting the engine together as they did with the interior. This has never happened to any other car I owned. Cheap bastards.
on May 04, 2012
We have a 2006 Ford Escape and the drivers side padded panel where the door handle is came loose from the top seam first then a few weeks later the passenger side came loose. Ford has got to know about this problem, it seems to happen to often. We took it to Grand Prairie Ford here in Dallas and was told it would cost 4,000.00 to replace. Hell the damn car ain't worth that much. Has anyone figured out a good way to fix this crap? Can that little padded panel be removed from the door panel? I find it strange that it would cost 4,000.00 dollars to fix it when you can find door panels on the internet from 49.00 to 150.00 for the entire panel.
on May 29, 2010
You will need to remove ALL of the yellowy foam dust (cover eyes if windy), Remove door panel and apply a sealer like clear enamel or the like, when dry place the vinyl in place and mark the top and bottom center of both areas with a small piece of tape, apply a good 3M (77...or the like) adhesive spray on both foam core and the vinyl, reapply from Top center to the lower center and work left and right...smack it a few times like a new born baby to wake up the adhesive bond and put the door back together... :) All Good !!! unless its fabric trim... if so... decide on replacing it with a matching color piece of vinyl instead.
on August 06, 2010
Do you apply the sealer to the foam, the vinyl or what?
on August 12, 2011
Thanks for the tips. I live in Texas and drive a black 2002 Escape. Due to the tremendous heat wave we are having, the vinyl skins on both of the front driver & passenger side doors just gave out at the same time and are hanging down. They are holding on by just the door latch.

Today I bought a can of 3M adhesive spray (Hi-Strength 90) from Lowes for $13.97. I'm going to try this fix. But first I will follow your advice and make sure I clean off the yellow foam residue and then seal the panel before I spray with glue. I will post a follow-up to let everyone know what happens. [DB]
on April 19, 2010
I used rubber cement made by 3m that is used to adhere rubber deicing boots on airplanes. Bought it from a hardware store, it is yellow.
on September 09, 2012
Is the rubber cement still holding after 2 years?
on March 02, 2010
mine came off about a year ago...i have tried numerous adhesives, but nothing has worked AT ALL! it is so annoying and makes my car look crappy...
on October 14, 2013
I have a 2004 Ford Escape, the hosiery came lose on all 4 doors. I cleaned off all that old black dried out glue of the door and hosiery panel. I had a 4 oz, bottle of Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue,( found in the craft department at Walmart or any Craft Store) it works well on fabric. Using my fingers I put a good coat of the glue on the door panel and fabric. Then I used another clean wet with water only cloth. After putting the fabric in place, I started smoothing all the air bubbles out with my hand and the rag. Then used a small puddy knife to push in the edges. It takes the glue 4 hours to dry. Advice, don't do this repair in the sun, I worked on it in my garage. It stayed on and looks as good as new. I cleaned off the door of any extra glue. I couldn't see paying the auto repair shop 45.00 a door.
on July 28, 2014
Well, it's been 9 months - did this work; is it still holding?
on September 05, 2009
I have re-applied this panel on my daughters Escape at least three times with various spray adhesives. Looks great for a few days and than falls off. I guess the experts are right and other than buying an entire door panel from someone, I don't have the solution...yet.
on April 20, 2009
I see door panel trim available at put in your year, make and model and click on front door then pick interior trim then pick door trim panel, I see three different colors available, but before you order call them and double check that you are ordering the right panel.
on May 15, 2011
Stop promoting your site. Especially since they don't have crap!
on September 25, 2015
I had this happen to my 08 Ford Mustang on both door panels. I went to my local Advanced Auto Parts store and purchased headliner glue that comes in a spray bottle. I peeled the rest of the vinyl off (no completely off it was still attached at the bottom), then put on a thick work glove and began rubbing the old foam glue off (it comes off fairly easy), after that I got the shop vac to remove any of the debris and to clean the area up, follow the directions on the spray bottle, spray both the vinyl and the door panel and wait for the glue to become tacky, starting at the bottom smooth the vinyl back over the door panel and keep rubbing the vinyl for several minutes to get a smooth surface. If glue gets on the plastic door panel a little rubbing and nail polish remover will do the trick to remove it. If there is a ridge where the final half inch of vinyl sits I recommend putting the vinyl in its final place and then use pennies or other coins to push into the crevice....this will keep the vinyl in place while you can make sure that the surface stays smooth. Repeat on the other side and wait a day or two for it to dry completely. I did this roughly a year and a half ago and the drivers side hasn't shown a single flaw, the passengers side has started coming off at the very top as I didn't go as good of a job when applying this side. Other helpful tools or supplies you might need are some paper towels, flat head screwdriver and a little patience. Hope this helps.
on July 07, 2013
We have a 2002 Taurus and the small panel at the top of two of our doors was falling out; on the driver's side front and also the rear passenger door. The vinyl was also peeling off. The guy we took it to showed us how the foam turns to dust when it ages and it can be rubbed right off. Once you clean the surface you can hot glue the vinyl back in place...but very carefully so it's smooth and so it fits right again since they only give you enough vinyl to barely cover the plastic part. On top of the vinyl issue the panel continues to pop out, even now. When they put them together they use one~time fasteners and once they go loose they're are done with. Our vinyl is far! We're working on keeping the panel in the door now. Hot glue blobs isn't working! LOL! Any suggestions? YOU WOULD THINK they could at least manufacture and sell us what we need to do a DIY repair! Chintzy jerks!
on July 08, 2013
On a separate website for Taurus/Sable owners, we've discussed this problem. No one has an answer.
Shame on Ford for such a sloppy, defective assembly in such a simple thing as door panel trim.
We've tried various epoxies, but none seem to hold in hot weather.
Will keep watching here for a solution.
on July 08, 2013
I was doing some research and found a 3M product called 'Rubber and Vinyl 80 Spray Adhesive'. It says it 'forms a durable, high strength bond to vinyl, leather, laminate, wood and most rubber and plastics'. I guess the key word there was 'most'...but it also says it resists temperatures over 200°F! Good for when the car gets like an oven! Think we will give that a try. Is it one you've already experimented with?
on July 08, 2013
Haven't tried that product. Problem in the Taurus is there is a large amount of space between the trim piece and the door panel. Need to find a way to fill that up. Putting huge blobs of epoxy gets contact between the 2 pieces but the epoxy doesn't hold in heat.
on July 08, 2013
I have two blocks made of firm foam material that I think would hold up nicely with the glue and I believe it's just about the right thickness to connect the panel to the inside of the door. Haven't tested it yet. It's anybody's guess if this will work at all, right? We'll give this a shot and I will post the results. I cringe just thinking about doing this job and we certainly don't want to make it any worse! I still don't know why they can't sell us clips/fasteners to replace the ones they know are going to break! )o;
on July 12, 2013
Has anyone tried the 3M line of automotive double stick tape? Some of the reviews on Amazon say it holds anything.
My Ford dealer recommended it as well.

I just put mine back on using 3M double stick tape. Will keep you posted as to how long it holds. (The roll is still in the truck - will have to post which specific type and size.) I put it around all 4 edges and pounded it in with a rubber mallet to make it really stick. (When all else fails, use brute strength!)
on October 27, 2012
I am very unhappy with this situation, I'm a REALTOR and you can imagine how embarrassing it is to have your clients in the car and the door panels are falling off. After reading everyone's trial-and-errors on various web sites I realize I'm not the only one-too many-Ford should help us out on this. I think I will just go to Home Depot or Lowes and get some gray paint that will cover the foam doors and see how that works.
on November 14, 2012
It's very embarassing indeed, I am embarassed to open my door, and the fabric is a mess, glued various times at no avail, it's a Ford problem for sure, and when I tried to pull the vinyl to fix it, there is not enough fabric, you pull one side and the other comes off, for the price we pay for our cars, they at least should have enough fabric or a better system to keep the panel looking great for ages...I took the car to Ford, and they sent me to a mechanic, because "they don't fix this..." hun?
on November 27, 2012
We have produced a simple permanent repair, and you don't even have to remove the door panel. check us out at TWINSOFSOUTHGATE.COM
on June 27, 2015
For those of you complaining about the "American made Escape" I can tell you I have the exact same problem with the 2003 Mazda Tribute which is made in Japan and is the same car as the Ford Escape.
on June 30, 2015
I have a 03 beetle every door vinyl Piece has fallen off. So annoyed. The manufacturer of these cars did not do research, when putting this vinyl on doors. Can't ride with my sunroof down, looks tacky. Taking the vinyl off and clean the panel really good, then go from there.
on September 28, 2014
I have 2 panels coming loose on a 2007 Escape. We live in the Northeast so we see hot/cold weather. Took mine to a upholstery repair shop. He said problem is he spongy foam drying out, releasing the material. He would have to remove the material, scrap off all the old foam, and reglue the material. They are charging $70 per panel. Thanks fro all the tips on the proper adhesive to use. I am going to do the repair myself.
So the panels can be repaired.
on September 28, 2014
My last post was July of 2013. Since then I've had to re-glue the door panel on the driver's side. Instead of using a can of 'super' spray glue I decided to use a hot glue gun. It works fine. You can kind of pile it up so there is plenty to fill the space when you press it back on. Just be sure to press it firmly into place and hold it until it cools good so is won't slip. Not sure how long it will last but I figure hot glue has to get pretty dang hot to melt so it should hold in hot weather. We shall see when summer rolls around again. (o;
on April 05, 2015
I have a 2002 Mercury Sable. One of the rear door vinyl panels fell off. A few days later the other door panel also fell off. I tried spray glue. It worked for a few days. Has anyone tried contact cement? Scraping off the foam sounds like a good idea. I will try this with the contact cement and share results.
on October 20, 2016
The same thing happened to my 2001 Ford Escape. I tried all kinds of glue including hot glue, all types of Aileen's glue, rubber cement and many other to no avail. They all fell off and nothing will stick. It looks awful in the car. My car is in excellent shape and now looks horrible so I put duct tape around edges and that is holding but looks awful. Wish Ford would own up to their faulty mistakes and fix them w/o paying an arm and a leg. Still trying to figure out some way to fix it still. Thank you.
on December 21, 2017
The vinyl covering around the door handle on my 2005 Ford Escape started drooping and then nearly fell off completely. I took it to a dealership, and they sent me to an upholstery shop. They told me this was a very common problem but the only real solution to it was to completely take off the door, scrape the residue off the entire panel, apply a new sticky base to the bare car panel, then glue the leather back on with a glue so strong it sounded like it must have magical qualities. The cost? $1000 because of the time it woud take to disassemble and reassemble the door. My other half, Syd Nish Marks, suggested a different solution, which you can see at By this time, the passenger door side panel had also fallen off, so we had to do both of them.(And the cost to have it done by a dealer or an upholsterer had now risen to $2000!) I was very skeptical because Florida weather can get brutally hot in the summer. But … this solution, which cost less than $20, has now been in place for almost two years. If you want to know how we fixed it, reach out to me. (We found out in our research that this problem affects many other Ford years and models, and many non-Ford vehicles as well.) Dale Markley
on March 10, 2018
Get tape from auto store and you can use it -not glue —to put planels back on and then you take cuticle tool to push excess panel material down inside on door - glue will not last — if you have let someone try to fix panel they probably cut them too short so get new vinyl and cut about inch bigger than the one they did so you have excess to push down insides door panel - this way it lasts . You can use glue only around door hole but once put four handle back on the stretch vivyl over the tape you gave put on yellow foam . Hope yours holds as good as mine - saw this on a your tube repair and it worked .
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