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:
81,292 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 #13

May 132005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. While driving at various speeds and attempting to engage the brakes, the rear end of the vehicle started to shake violently and became difficult to stop. In addition, the rear latch activator failed to work intermittently. The failure occurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000. Updated 8/28/15

- Stateline, NV, USA

problem #12

May 012012


  • 0 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact stated that only the drivers side door could be unlocked. The remaining three doors on the vehicle had failed inside and out. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer or an independent mechanic. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages were unavailable. The VIN was unavailable.

- Peck, MI, USA

problem #11

Aug 012011


  • 198,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph, the contact attempted to brake and the vehicle failed to stop. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the brake lines needed to be replaced. In addition, the contact stated that the rear hatch, rear passenger door and the driver side doors would not open. The contact was able to lock and unlock the doors however. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The current mileage was 227,691 and the failure mileage was 198,000.

- Granville, WV, USA

problem #10

Jun 252010

Escape 6-cyl

  • 87,500 miles


The trunk-door (5th door) cannot be opened when exposed to the sun or temperature is warmer. It can only be opened after it is cooler in the evening or at night. The rear-left- passenger-door locked and cannot be opened at all. Now passengers have to enter and exit the vehicle using only one right-passenger-door. This is a safety issue and a very inconvenient one. Please help!!!!!

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #9

May 282011

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles
Opened doors to many times from outside of vehicle. Both drivers side and passenger side front doors will not engage when handles are pulled upward which before the mechanism failed allowed entry to the vehicle. Now when handles are activated neither door operates as it should. In other words the doors will not open. And yes, the doors are unlocked and still will not open. This occurs on each and every entry is tried. Or everytime I try to get in the vehicle. The consequences are entry has to be made by sticking my arm through a window that is down and engaging the inside door handle to open the door. I can not afford to make repairs on a item that should perform regardless of age but is properly maintained. Doors are a safety feature without properly working doors there is an accident waiting to happen. I called the 18003923673 spoke to [xxx] and he transferred me to Ford credit, I think he thought it was time to finance a new Ford. But if they would fix and engineer these doors/components correctly I wouldn't be writing this complaint.thanks for nothing [xxx] from Ford. This in my mind is one of those hidden fix-it problems that puts money in Ford pocket and takes it from mine. The Ford service people at my Ford dealer I called before this complaint, didn't have the foggiest idea of any 2001 Ford Escape door problems. Yea, right guys. This is a safety problem pure and simple. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Walker, MI, USA

problem #8

Nov 242010

Escape 6-cyl

  • 185,000 miles
Door locks are not unlocking properly. Contacted Ford about problem and they informed moe to put grease on it this did not work. Ford Escape tries to quite while running. Replaced hoses and plugs and problems still going on. Ford Escape does not want to stop properly with new brakes or brakes that are only 10 to 20 percent worn. Also leaks brake fluid have been unable to locate leak on Escape.

- Milan, TN, USA

problem #7

Jul 152008


  • miles


I have a complaint. I own a Ford Escape 2001. First the drivers rear door will not open from the outside or inside. Now the driver's door won't open from the outside to get in, but I can open it from the inside to get out. Is there a recall on theses doors?

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #6

Jun 152008


  • 165,000 miles
Door locks are on all 4 doors are locked and cannot be opened no access to vehicle except through the back hatch or windows.

- Kaministiquia, 00, USA

problem #5

Dec 122008


  • 190,000 miles
On occasion the drivers door and back passenger door latches will not release to allow door to open when pulling handle to open. Multiple attempts are required to have door open. Now, front passenger latch will not release at all, causing the door to not be usable. I spoke with Ford at 18003923673 and was told they were not willing to do anything to help fix the problem. I am concerned that my young children, who ride in the back, will not be able to get out of the vehicle. If we were ever in an accident emergency help may not be able to reach them in a timely manner and the children may become trapped. In the event that the front door would not longer open the passenger, myself, had to climb over the seats to get out of the vehicle.

- Stacyville, IA, USA

problem #4

Jan 032008


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. While the vehicle was in park or idling at a stop light, the engine revved. The contact would have to shut off and restart the vehicle in order to reset the throttle. In addition, the rear hatch door would open intermittently. After several weeks, the rear hatch does not function at all. The dealer stated that her VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id numbers 00V210001 (vehicle speed control) and 04V602000 (latches/locks/linkages:doors:latch). The vehicle is currently at the dealer, but has not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 120,000.

- Waverly, OH, USA

problem #3

Apr 012006


  • 50,000 miles


I own a 2001 Ford Escape. The locks on the hatch door and hatch glass window do not open consistently, particularly when it is hot outside (I live in fl). There are no other ways to open the door or window as there are no handles on the inside and no key lock on the outside. Ford has not issued a recall for this. I would think this would be some type of safety issue. From blogs I see that other owners have the same problem. It seems the actuator may be at fault.

- St. Augustine, FL, USA

problem #2

Aug 212007

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,300 miles
Driver's side outside door handle fails to work. Upon disassembly, we found that the part that connected the handle mechanism to the lock mechanism was a flimsy thin metal washer, which had broke in half. This component is definitely substandard for the constant use it gets. Upon conferring with other 2001 Escape owners at (tech. Tips ), not only does this part fail, but the same part on the interior door eventually fails too, thus you cannot open the door from either the outside or inside.' The passenger side door also has this problem as posted by other owners. This creates the possiblilty of being trapped inside during an emergency situation, such as a fire, accident, etc. These cars should be recalled and Ford should fix this problem with a more substantial part.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #1

Oct 222006

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My driver's side door stuck and could not be opened and had to be repaired at a cost of $350. Both back doors are stuck closed and can not be opened. Now the front passenger side door is stuck closed and can not be opened. My son broke his arm and injured his leg and had to go to the emergency room. We had to get him out of the car through the window! as the door suddenly would not open. There were no events leading up to the failure. The repair bill is estimated at another $350. In addition, my rear hatch door refused to open the other day while I was having the shocks repaired. The mechanics finally got it open. I fear that something will happen and emergency personnel will not be able to get in to the car and we will not be able to get out.

- Seneca Falls, NY, USA

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