Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. 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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
118,589 miles
Total Complaints:
23 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace the damn thing (11 reports)
  2. not sure (5 reports)
  3. rebuild the transmission (5 reports)
  4. junk it (1 reports)
  5. replaced nuetral safety switch (1 reports)
2001 Ford Escape transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Jul 202015

Escape XLT V6 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 196,183 miles


Went away for the weekend all was good. Got home and a storm was coming in so I decided to go to the store started fine engaged into drive fine, drove 4 miles down the road was fine , when leaving the store, went into gear fine got half way home (about 2 miles) o/d light came on and flashed then the car was loosing power and just made it home. Turned the car off restarted it went to put it in drive went ok but no power. Goes in reverse great had lots of power there but nothing in drive, 2, or 1. Now I am a single parent and without a car and needless to say possibly a job because I cant get there! WTH fix it, I have seen many of the same things for the same year escapes get with the programs fix the mall

- , Alton, NH, USA

problem #22

Apr 202015

Escape XL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

My Escape transmission was quoted around $3,000 and it needs coils, and spark plugs and the front passenger and back seat doors don't open! I am having it towed to the junkyard!! My next car will NOT be a Ford!!

- , Ramsey, MN, USA

problem #21

Jun 112013

Escape 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 154,345 miles

here it goes I love my 2001 ford escape!! I have had to replace a lot in the escape but the transmission has me bugged!!! the escapes moves in low gears and reverse but will not move in drive !!!! someone help.... I am still hoping I don't need a new transmission :(

- , Riverside, CA, USA

problem #20

May 112012

Escape XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,093 miles


i have a 2001 ford escape 3.0l 24 valve v6. it started yesterday i was on my way home and the trans was shifting crazy in and out of gears like it was slipping i work on many cars and made me kind of raise my eye brow. i got to next light and made my turn i mahsed it to the floor to see if it would shift it didn't. i was stuck in first, i got to the next turn off in to a bank, park, shut it off and restarted it put it into reverse and had nothing. did it again and it finally kick in but was popping its self out again like it did in drive i went around parking lot and same stuck in first. i called tow truck got it home messed with it and messed with it. i jumped on the net and seen the same type issues from thousands. i sat and really put my mechanics to work and came up with the neutral safety switch. even after hearing a repair shop tell my 1800 to fix it and was told the drum has split in trans it made no sense the guy told me he knew these trans and that was bottom line. I went to autozone after being told that price and i was on a mission to fix this and find the real problem and replaced the switch come to find out it worked shifts nicely and smooth, i found out as well those switches control ur shifts as well. so u guys know its under the upper and lower hoses for rad. hoses are next to batt. its a half moon shape with a shaft coming out of trans with a 11 pin connector. try it? it was $43 for part and free labor if ur skilled enought.

- , Elkton, MD, USA

problem #19

Jun 012011

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

My 2001 Escape is a piece of crap. last year I had to have the transmission replaced. It had between 100,000 and 110,000 miles on it. Spent $2,000 to get it rebuilt. Well, guess what. It's out again. Doing the same thing it did before slipping and not pulling. WTH is wrong with them????? There is no way that I can afford the 2Gs again to repair it. And no way to afford anther car as I am still paying on the repairs from the last time. Ford should have to replace the transmissions!!!

- , Hazard, KY, USA

problem #18

Nov 212010

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I bought this car from roberts brothers in owensboro they assured to me this was a great car. i spent 4 months searching for a car and car lot that i could trust. So, I loved the car and i needed a vehicle as soon as possible the vehicle i was driving was totaled by a woman not paying attention. Anyhow,My ford escape was great at first. I had had the vehicle one month had not even made a payment yet. The transmission failed. If this transmission is defective why doesn't ford take care of their customers like toyota and nissan? All my other vehicles were chevy and Toyota and they both have almost 200,000 miles and still run great. I would never, ever, have another ford not only because they are junk and have had more than enough complaints but, mainly because FORD DOES NOT TAKE CARE OF THEIR CUSTOMERS!! They should be ashamed of their name because they have ruined it!

- , Corydon, KY, USA

problem #17

Jun 302011

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,795 miles


FANTASTIC, I have joined a growing community of unsatisfied customers that own a FORD (fix or repair daily) product. I purchased a 2001 Escape brand new in April 2001. My wife is the main driver for use to and from work. In August of 2008 with only 36000 miles, the car experience transmission problems and had the car taken to a shop. After several days I was informed that a new transmission was needed, so my first call was to Ford to see if they would help because of the low mileage. But they offered nothing but excuses. We needed the car so I went ahead with the new transmission ($2300), but the fix would take several days which meant I had to rent a car during the servicing. Everything was fine until a week ago when the o/d light started blinking and the transmission began to act very strange. This transmission only has 23000 miles on it and now it sounds like another Ford problem has sneaked up to bite me in the wallet. I am willing to join any group that is trying to force action from FORD thru legal action. I own three FORD vehicles, but I can assure you that it will not be my next choice..........

Update from Oct 31, 2011: UPDATE...After experiencing the O/D blinking light and the rough shifting transmission for a week, I finally returned the car to the garage that provided this transmission fix in SEPT 2008. After having the car for 4 days, I received a call yesterday that a effort to fix by replacing a solenoid failed and that it is necessary to rebuild the transmission for $800. The shop owner feels bad that this has happened and is providing me with the best possible price. Still, no answers from FORD as to why their transmission sucks.....THREE TRANSMISSIONS IN TEN YEARS, DO YOU THINK THEIR WAS A MANUFACTURING PROBLEM ?

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #16

Jun 152011

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles

Well I didn't buy this car new but the thing is the first thing that went wrong with the car was the air conditioner went out as soon as it got hot outside and then on 06/15/11 the transmission went out in reverse at my work. so now i have to park in places that will allow me to get out by going forward. it just sucks because the whole reason i got this vehicle was because i needed a dependable work vehicle to get in and out of my driveway in the winter time because of snow. so i bought this vehicle because i knew the person who had owned this vehicle before he traded it in to the dealer and the dealer told me that this vehicle was ok and that everything worked fine on it. the name of the dealership is Larry Fannnin Chevrolet / Buick dealer in Morehead / Flemingsburg, Kentucky.

Now I have to purchase another transmission for the car or trade it in on another vehicle and what dealer is going to want to give me a good trade in now seeing that the transmission and the air conditioner is screwed up.What can I do now? I'm stuck!

- , Maysville, KY, USA

problem #15

Sep 092009

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,448 miles



- , Edmonton, AB, canada

problem #14

Dec 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I was going to buy a ford escape in Jan.2011 it was going to be a 2001 or 2002 and keep trying to figure out way all the transmissions had been repaired or replaced on the cars already. Holy crap. I would be scared to even get a car that had one replaced or repaired if they go out this bad. I think I will have to go with the Chevy Trailblazer my second choice even though I really wanted this escape.

- , Quincy, OH, USA

problem #13

Jul 122010

Escape XLT 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,925 miles


2001 Ford Escape, 4x4 Automatic transmission failed completely at 129,000 miles. All services done and no major issues till we were stranded 2000 miles from home.

We traded it in for 1.00 to a Toyota dealer for a 2008 FJ. Nice car, wish we had bought that one to begin with...

Ford should be ashamed of themselves!

- , San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #12

Apr 152009

Escape LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Out of nowhere driving on a freeway to make an appointment, my 2001 Escape just went noise, no warning...just dead! Had it towed and was told this is typ for Ford Escapes at 80-85k range...go figure.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #11

Oct 142009

Escape XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

My mom has a 2001 ford escape she bought new in 01, the car was a good car with the engine and transmission for years, i mean it had it's occasional problems tires/brakes/plugs wires etc. But about the third year she had it, the driver side back window just stopped working it wouldn't roll down from either button. it was just me and her that drove the car because I'm the only child and she's single so nobody ever road in the back unless i had friends when i drove it. but winter 08, she noticed something really weird about it. The transmission wasn't acting right in reverse. she would have to let the car warm up before she could back out of the drive way. So she took it to a garage and they told her it needed a new transmission, but she could use that one until she go the money to replace it. So she began backing it in the drive and that worked for a bout a year, the transmission would warm up and reverse would work good. but it was summer 09 drive starting doing that, she would have the let the vehicle warm up before it would pull in drive every now and then. But in October me and her was going to get some groceries, and we we're doing about 55-60 on the main highway. she said if felt like someone had pulled it into Neutral, so she checked it and it was in drive. and then the car rolled to a stop on the side road, and it would not pull at all, no gear would work, you could even push it while it was in park and it would roll, so the she had to take a loan out to have the transmission replaced that cost her about 2500 dollars. But after it was fixed, the car runs good to this day, still pulls good, she drives it every day to work.

- , Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #10

Jun 012008

Escape 30.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

The escape started running funny so i drove it straight home and called my local ford dealership. Service manager said drive it in, i told him i think it should be towed to avoid more damage. he said no it will be fine. the transmission failed half way there. The shifter cable has also broken and i have a major steering problem. I should have spent the extra money and got the Toyota 4-runner i wanted. I am completely turned off by Ford now.

- , New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #9

May 012008

Escape XL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

In The month of May 2008, I was driving to a friends house without any warning my car stop, the car would not go in reverse .The next day I had to have my car tow to the mechanic shop , and it sat their for over a week, which cost me over $2000 plus I had to pay for a rental for $600 plus dollar to get me to and from work. This ford escape suck, ford should have a recall on their transmission and take responsibility o building poorly equip vehicle. I never will purchased another ford.

- , Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #8

Jun 172009

Escape XL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 195,500 miles

This is the second time within a year my 2001 transmission has went on me , A few days early my OD button was stuck , I took it to a transmission shop to check , he stated that a lot of customer was coming in with OD button being stuck in Ford , he stated that he will have to go in to see whats the problem , because the OD was causing my gear to failed , well the next day I was driving home from work , in the middle of the street , I could not go in drive , my car stop, engine light came on , people running me over and cussing me out to move I was so scare, then finally I was able to get over out of the way, I had to wait 2 hours for a tow truck in a neighborhood by my self until a tow truck could pick me up and transport my car home. This is a second time this happen, I will never buy a ford , I have put over $4000 in repairs with in the last year . I am stuck at home with no car and trying to get money to repair my car. I hate ford cars, and I will tell everyone about this escape.

- , Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #7

May 022009

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

2001 Ford Escape, running great all the way to Carlyle, PA. On the way back the blasted thing died. Find out that the snap ring on the transmission SNAPPED! The snap ring flew apart and chewed up everything in its wake, that includes all the stuff that makes the freaking transmission work. Well, I'm about to SNAP now as the repair is approx. $2,300!!! I have read a lot lately on the poorly made transmissions in these vehicles.

I'm a good union employee who buys AMERICAN MADE VEHICLES and I'm expecting a RECALL from FORD! The mechanic says that this is a problem with these vehicles and that FORD denies it exists.

Well, we need to do something about this. I'm going to call FORD everyday on the 800 line and ask them about recall info. until either I die or they admit to fixing this vehicle. I love my FORD but not necessarily the company. The Escape is a great little vehicle and I want mine RECALLED and FIXED.

- , Front Royal, VA, USA

problem #6

Jul 232003

Escape XLT 3.2lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,073 miles

Well, this is what I remember about the first time my Piece Of Sh*t's (2001 Escape) transmission failed. I could hear a slight whining noise from the engine compartment, had local dealer inspect, and was told the trans was on its last legs. Replaced under extended service plan at $50 cost to me. Not too bad I thought...glad I got the ESP, I thought. Ford isn't so bad, I thought...

- , Ambler, PA, USA

problem #5

Sep 082008

Escape XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

I was driving to work one morning and without any warning................the tranny went out! Never had any issues, noise, slipping........nothing! How can that happen? I loved my Escape until now. I serviced it according to the recommendations every 3000 miles and now I'm stuck in a rental car for a few weeks. Thank god I purchased the extended warranty!! I will not purchase another Ford!

- , Bloomsburg, PA, USA

problem #4

Dec 192007

Escape EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,500 miles

2001 Ford Escape rebuilt transmission was my Christmas for 2007. Cost $2,500.00.

The Ford Dealership wanted approx $1,900.00 to just tear it apart.

A local transmissions shop did everything for $2,500.00, and was very informative

and 'nice' throughout the process. Meaning alot nicer than Ford Dealership.

- , Sellersville, PA, USA

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