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CarComplaints.com Notes: With questionable safety ratings, a faulty power control module (PCM) and a rear subframe that can rust out, the first model year Escape is known for problems. But the worst one of all? A design flaw that carried through multiple model years and caused dangerous unintended acceleration.

A lack of clearance between the engine cover and the speed control cable connector meant the throttle could get stick open when the accelerator was fully depressed. Following a petition from the Center for Auto Safety, NHTSA opened an investigation and eventually issued a recall to fix the sticky throttles in the 2001–2004 model years.

Even with the throttles fixed, the 2001 model year could still have trouble stopping due to multiple problems with leaking brakes.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,349 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2001 Ford Escape electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Jan 142008

Escape

  • 150,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. While the vehicle was parked, the vehicle began smoking and then caught fire. The front end of the vehicle quickly became engulfed in flames. She attempted to utilize a home fire extinguisher; however, the fire would not go out. The entire front end of the vehicle was destroyed. The contact is awaiting to hear if the insurance company will classify the vehicle as destroyed. A police report was filed. She is also awaiting an investigator from the fire department to determine the origin of the fire. The fire department stated that the smell was similar to that of an electrical fire. The failure and current mileages were less than 150,000.

- Brokenbow, OK, USA

problem #29

Apr 052008

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact's vehicle caught fire while parked. The fire department arrived and extinguished the fire. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The insurance company stated that the vehicle was destroyed. The current and failure mileages were 130,000.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #28

Mar 232007

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,508 miles
- the contact stated that the 2001 Ford Escape XLT wires under the hood burned while sitting in the garage of her home. She drove the vehicle one hour prior to the fire. The alarms in her house warned her of the fire. She called the local fire department, and they found no fire in the house. They then checked the garage and they smelled something burning. The fireman opened and noticed the wires that were burning under the hood of the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to town and country, and they informed her that old brake fluid leaked on the ABS, which was the cause of the wires burning. The vehicle was serviced for the ABS light coming on, and off at the local Firestone, they replaced the master cylinder. The wires burned within 24 hours of the repair. The town and country dealership gave the contact a loaner vehicle, and she felt this was odd. The contact stated that the dealership informed her that it would cost $2,416.12 to repair the wires and the ABS. The current and failure mileage were both 67,508. The consumer states that she wants to be reimbursed for all repairs done to her vehicle and has provided all invoices for repair and the report from the fire dept. Update 4/25/07

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #27

Feb 062007

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Car had been parked for 30 minutes with engine off when a fire ignited in the engine, engulfing and destroying the entire car. Ford Escape XLT 2001.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #26

Mar 092006

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving in stop and go traffic, the vehicle had a rough idle and stalled intermittently. The vehicle was taken to dealer for inspection; however the problem could not be duplicated. After a short period of time the vehicle had the same problems again. The vehicle stalled and was towed to the dealer. The dealer replaced the PCM but this did not correct the problem. The dealer stated the wiring under the dash needed replaced. There is a NHTSA recall 04V165000, regarding the power train: Automatic transmission: Control module PCM and a NHTSA tsb item #617976, regarding the electrical system: Wiring under dash. The vehicle has the same problems as indicated in the recall and technical service bulletin; however it is not included in the recall due to the VIN. The consumer was informed the vehicle had an electrical short. Updated 04/11/06.

- Hampton, GA, USA

problem #25

Jan 142006

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle was parked for 9 hours and it caught on fire. The fire department responded and extinguished the fire. The fire marshal stated the damage was too extensive to determine where the fire started. Most of the fire damage was under the hood on the driver side. The insurance company deemed the vehicle totaled.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #24

Jun 222004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The SUV sat parked for a 3 day period. Heavy rain storms moved through area for 1 and 1/2 days of that time however the vehicle was not driven. After the 3rd day, the SUV was started at which time the check engine light started to blink and when accelerator was depressed for power, the engine sputtered. Problem was diagnosed as a 'bad coil pack". it was replaced and given back. After 3 days of driving, the same failure happened again, this time they replaced the "coil pack" and the wiring harness. Just over 6 months later, the same situation occured with the vehicle. It sat for 4 days in which time a severe rain storm came through however vehicle was not driven nor standing in water. Started the vehicle on the 4th day with the exact same result. Vehicle is in Ford garage and was notified that the coil pack was damaged due to moisture. These failures are not covered under any warranty and should be happening.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #23

Mar 122005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,500 miles
Car spontaneously caught fire 3 hours after being driven. I believe Ford is trying to cover-up what really happened by feeding me lines of bs. Incidentally, Ford covered 90% of the costs for repair even though my car was not covered by warranty.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #22

Dec 072001

Escape

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Nar 02/13/2003. The automatic transmission would shift to drive from over drive, the vents automatically switched to frost. The vehicle completely stalled on a separate occasion, the relay assembly was replaced. The cruise control was inoperative from the time of purchase. The windshield wipers stopped working, the consumer continued to experience problems with the transmission and the gas mileage was poor.

- Mars Hill, NC, USA

problem #21

Oct 012004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
While making a right turn into the parking garage vehicle stalled. Consumer was unable to restart vehicle, and had it towed to the dealer for inspection. Mechanic determined that computer sensor crank, and idler arm needed to be replaced. Consumer informed the mechanic that this problem still occurred more than once, and had not been resolved.

- Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #20

Apr 292004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have a 2001 Ford Escape and it was recently recalled for faulty ignition switch. The day before I took it in for the recall, the check engine light came on and it was rough idling. The Ford dealer replaced ignition coil and said that was problem for check engine light and rough idle and said they did the recall. Less than a month later my car would not restart after stopping for a few brief minutes. A tow truck was called by Ford's roadside assistance and when the tow truck driver arrived an hour and a half later the car started. The tow truck driver said it may have just been a fluke. I drove the car home without it being towed. 2 weeks went by with nothing happening and then one day after another brief stop the car would not start again. This time the tow truck arrived and it was taken to a Ford dealer and was kept by them for 2 days to no avail. They still could not find a problem. They returned the car to me and 2 days later the car would not restart again. My husband pushed on the car backwards a few feet while the car was in neutral and to much surprise, the car started again when put tried again. This was very good news as it was late evening on a sat and the Ford dealer was not open. Today, 3 days later, my husband stopped for gas and after paying for the gas the car will not restart. The truck is once again being towed to the Ford dealer this time for good until it is fixed properly. Luckily these all happened close to home, what if we would have been on a trip or something ? if they cannot fix this problem I would like to be given a new/comparable vehicle. I am almost scared to drive it from fear of it failing me again.

- Romeoville, IL, USA

problem #19

Oct 152001

Escape

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Oct 15, 2001- while driving down a steep hill in austin, tx, my Escape suddenly died without warning. I was unable to stop, steer, or slow down! I coasted into a parking lot at the bottom of the hill and luckily avoided all parked cars or people (co-workers!) walking through the lot. I had the car towed to maxwell Ford and was told that they couldn't find anything wrong with my car! I contacted the president/ CEO to express my concern over what could have happened. He didn't seem to be moved. I picked up my car and hoped it was just a fluke. Two and-A-half years later and not a single problem, until last week (April 9, 2004). I was driving about 40mph around a curve and suddenly lost all ability to steer or slow down! once again, I was unbelievably lucky that I didn't hurt anyone or myself. I was able to start it again and safely pull over to the side of the road after coasting to a stop. I'm grateful that I wasn't rear-ended or hit head-on when I coasted over the middle line.... (nevermind the heart-attack I almost had from the suddenness of this!) I hate to imagine the outcome if this would have happened 10 minutes earlier while I was moving at 55mph in busy traffic on the highway or on the exit ramp! I have an appt to take the car in on Friday. Coincidentally, I discovered (this morning) that a recall has been announced for this very problem.... (2 years after they were made aware that there might be an issue"??") what a relief. So, I'll be back on hwy 410 in san antonio next week after I pick my car up from the service dept --- I'll be the one in the Ford Escape going about 60mph..... I sure hope I'll be able to steer or slow down if I need to!! at least, I'll be better prepared for this "surprise" from now on ( like everytime I have to drive anywhere)!.... nothing like paying $24,000 for a little extra stress and worry. Thanks, Ford. You are just super.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #18

Jan 272004

(reported on)

Escape

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,478 miles
The vehicle stalled six times within the last 45,000 miles. The dealer replaced the pfe sensor, coolant, instrument cluster, the ignition switch, the front crank seal and the dpfe sensor. After all the repairs the vehicle continued to stall.

- Union, KY, USA

problem #17

Dec 282003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
Auto stalled while going 30 mph on a slight incline. Auto lost all power steering and electrical. It was lucky that no one was around (early morning). We had to coast to side, and because we didn't have power steering I hit the curb pretty hard. On the way home it did the same thing at about 40 mph. Will take this to markel Ford in omaha, ne for fix. We have 44,000 miles, and if Ford cannot get this fixed it will be time to sell. This will be my first and last Ford, if I have to pay for this fix. Now I know why my father told me to buy a Toyota.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #16

Jul 142003

Escape

  • miles
On two different ocassions, Ford Escape stalled while driving. Once while going about 25 mph down hill. The other time, while pulling into a parking lot under 10 mph. Consumer refused to drive the car any more until a resolution is found. The Ford dealer hooked up a computer but could not find any problem.

- Danville, CA, USA

problem #15

Oct 222003

(reported on)

Escape

  • 5,000 miles
While driving vehicle suddenly stalled without warning. Consumer had to put vehicle in neutral gear to restart. Dealership would reset the main computer in an attempt to correct the problem. If the attempt failed then the throttle body would be replaced.

- Lewisville, OH, USA

problem #14

Jul 302003

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was driving my 2001 Ford Escape doing 40mph down an incline and the engine shut off. Lost power steering and brakes and wound up on someone's lawn. Someone could have been seriously hurt. What does it take to get a recall on this problem due tothe fact that most of the Escapes issues are stalling.

- Austell, GA, USA

problem #13

Jul 112003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,495 miles
Driving approx 40mph the 2001 Ford Escape stalled. Lost all power steering, and brakes. Finally got stopped, restarted vehicle and everything worked again.

- Chaffee, MO, USA

problem #12

Jun 232003

Escape

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,500 miles
On two separate occasions, while driving along at approximately 40 mph, our Ford Escape suddenly lost all power and stalled. This resulted in loss of power steering and power brakes. The Ford Escape could not be restarted until it was stopped and placed in park. We have taken to hill & sanders Ford located in wheaton, md. In addition to other service related problems with the staff of hill & sanders, we were told different stories by different people. One story was that our key ring was too heavy (4 keys 1 remote). The next was that there was a computer reprogramming that would resolve this problem (along with a developing/occasional transmission shiver/shudder between 35-45 mph). The computer reprogramming was completed 4 days ago. Since that time, the car has not stalled in a similar manner, but continues to have an occasional transmission shiver / shudder. Based on the failure of the reprogramming to fix the transmission shiver / shudder, we anticipate that the Ford Escape will continue to stall.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #11

Jun 132003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles
While driving at 40 mph down a hill, the vehicle shut down, there were no brakes/ power steering. The consumer was able to control the vehicle. The dealer replaced some parts.

- Lynnwood, WA, USA

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