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:
130,901 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #3

May 012014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 165,434 miles


As I was driving the car down the street I began loosing control of the steering. The steering wheel was facing a 90 degree right angle as I was driving straight and every time I would hit a bump the car would jump to the right. The steering wheel also had a lot of play while driving. I took the car straight to my mechanic and he informed me the car was not drivable or safe due to the lower control arm separating from the subframe which has to due with recall # 14S02. Is the subframe being replaced at some point? they put a crossbrace on the vehicle but it is still being deemed unsafe to drive.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #2

May 212013


  • 127,069 miles
While driving the vehicle, the left side of the vehicle collapsed after experiencing a loss of steering control. I jacked up the vehicle to inspect the cause and discovered the left side of the engine/suspension cradle was suffered from abnormal corrosion that allowed the lower control arm to become detached from the vehicle. This condition is not present on the right side of the vehicle, therefore it is obvious that this is a quality issue with the component that caused a premature failure and a safety issue. This is a Ford quality issue that is not being addressed that could cause severe injury and death.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #1

May 132013


  • 100,199 miles
Right front suspension control arm no longer securely attached to car frame because cradle or subframe rusted thru. Quick search on internet indicates that this is a common issue for 2001 - 2004. Left front cradle that attaches control arm to body is good. Perhaps constant water dripping from air conditioner has caused that area of the frame to rust. Ford dealer can not find a supply of subframe part perhaps because of frequency of rust thru failure?

- Livonia , MI, USA

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