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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,667 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 accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 122015


  • 142,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the key fob failed to function properly. As a result, the contact was unable to unlock and lock the hatch door. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 142,000.

- Masury , OH, USA

problem #2

Dec 312004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
Liftgate gets stuck and will not open. Once in a while it will open out of the blue, then I know as soon as I lock my car, it will be stuck again. Nothing has been done to correct the failure, because it is obviously a defect, a defect that has been recognized for other 2001 Escapes, but not my particular one.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #1

Oct 032005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have had problems with the liftgate latch not locking properly for nearly a year. I found on your website under "recalls" that this is a problem with my vehicle model (Ford Escape 2001). I called my local Ford dealership and they told me it is not found under the Ford oasis of recalls. I'm concerned after reading the information, you provided on your website, that this could cause the liftgate to open during a crash. Why are you calling this a "recall" when Ford says it's not a recall? I want to get this fixed but believe Ford should see this is a problem and needs to be recalled.

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

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