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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,371 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 082012

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 121,114 miles


Inadvertent activation of ABS system while braking due to cracked ABS tone ring on R passenger side. Device failed secondary to rusting components; repair cost ~$200 at trusted mechanic. Quick internet search reveals hundreds of complaints for this issue for similar cars at any mileage. This defect does not impact ability to stop; however, when braking you get a brake/release cycle which feels like the brakes are failing. Eventually, the ABS computer recognizes the error, the ABS light illuminates, and ABS system is disabled, resuming normal braking activity.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #2

Jun 072002


  • miles
F-150 barely stops from hitting a CRV in front of it. As soon as I saw him apply his brakes I slammed on mine. The brakes did not seem to help to slow Escape's speed. Went under F150's bumper and was bounced back at least a car length and a half (have pictures). The front was cruppled and airbags did not deploy. I was told by Ford they found nothing wrong with breaking system but I know what it felt like. Maybe systems were working according to their computer but I know if I had been in my 1996 Explorer it would have stopped.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #1

Dec 222001


  • miles
I have spoken with a Ford rep. For a new car, too many things have gone wrong. It is currently in the shop have the window and ABS brakes fixed. Every time it's somehting new! nlm

- Avon, OH, USA

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