At 90,000 miles, all THREE catalytic converters failed.
Happened to be when the auto companies were having probs so parts makers were scaling down causing us to have to wait 3 months for one of the parts.
Three months in the shop and $3,600 to get it fixed.
During this, our parts guy was told by Ford that it's normal for the CC's to fail at about 90K miles.
Of course this also happened a month before we were planning on taking a camping trip with a couple of friends.
Wound up using our Ranger w/trailer and friends bringing their car instead of all of us fitting in the Escape plus trailer.
Update to this post.
40,000 miles later, the first catalytic converter failed again - found during emissions test.
Mechanic quoted $1,800 for the Ford provided replacement part plus $385 labor (even though the after-market part is less then half that cost).
That's $5,000 in catalytic converter replacement costs in just 130,000 miles.
Mechanic reports that this is a very well known issue with the 2004 Escapes.