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 / 8
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,121 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 #20

Nov 082011

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles


2001 Ford Escape. Consumer requests reimbursement for ABS module replacement. The consumer stated she wrote to Ford three times, in an attempt to get reimbursement for the replacement of a defective and recalled ABS module. Recall #12V005000. The consumer stated Ford sent her a reimbursement check. The dispute has been resolved. Updated 11/21/12

- La Jolla, CA, USA

problem #19

Jun 012012

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles
Submission from re Ford Escape 2001 safety recall notice 11S24 the consumer received a recall notice in Jan 2012. The notice indicated she would be informed when the parts required to complete the safety recall would become available, which wouldn't be until the second quarter. The vehicle caught on fire while parked, which was prior to the recall, but was quickly extinguished. Shortly after the fire, the vehicle was repaired. Several months later, the consumer was partly compensated by Ford in the form of a check for $1900 accompanied by a document which stated by accepting the compensation, she would also be signing off on any other claims. The consumer also stated the catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, master cylinder, wiring harness, ABS, brake line booster, power steering rack and pinion, tie rods, intake manifold as well as the air bag were all replaced. The steering column would freeze, the rear passenger door handle fell off, rendering the door unstable, the coolant light illuminated, the oil pan needed to be replaced, the air condition stopped working and the rear shock were leaking.

- Waimanalo, HI, USA

problem #18

Jun 012012

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles
2001 Ford Escape. Consumer writes in regards to safety recall 11S24 concerning danger of vehicle catching fire the consumer was informed the parts were not available. Recall # 07V156000.

- Brooksville, FL, USA

problem #17

May 012012

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles


2001 Ford Escape. Consumer writes in regards to safety recall 11S24 even though the consumer received a recall notice, she was informed the parts were not available, and the dealer had no idea when they would receive them.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #16

Jan 202012

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 12V005000 (service brakes, hydraulic anti-lock, control unit/module) in January 2012. The contact was concerned because the parts needed to complete the recall repair were not available. She spoke to the dealer on several occasions and they stated that the parts were not available but she was first on the list to be notified when the parts became available. The contact had to keep her vehicle parked away from her home because both the recall and the dealer indicated that the vehicle could potentially catch on fire. The dealer also advised her that the vehicle was safe to drive however, if it began to smoke to exit the vehicle immediately. The contact was told the that parts would be available within the first quarter but they had not become available as of May 2012. There were no failures experienced with the vehicle. Updated 07/06/12 updated 07/12/12

- Poland , OH, USA

problem #15

Apr 022012

Escape 4-cyl

  • 195,406 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 12V005000 (service brakes, hydraulic:antilock:control unit/module) and contacted the dealer to make an appointment but was advised that the parts needed for the repair were not available. The manufacturer was notified, but denied any assistance to the contact. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact was concerned because the recall letter stated that the vehicle could possibly catch fire and the ABS brake warning light could illuminate on the instrument panel. The contact stated that the ABS brake warning light was illuminated in the vehicle and the time frame in which the vehicle could be repaired had exceeded a reasonable amount of time. The failure and the current mileage was 195,406. Updated 5/11/12

- Morongo Valley, CA, USA

problem #14

Feb 012012

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles


2001 Ford Escape. Consumer writes in regards to recall letter received. Consumer is concerned that vehicle will catch fire the consumer stated she could smell a burning odor inside and outside of the vehicle.

- Millbrook, NY, USA

problem #13

Aug 052010


  • 162,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape XLT. The contact stated that the ABS light illuminated and the ABS module and wiring harness melted. NHTSA recall campaign number 07V156000 was repaired which was related to the ABS module and wiring harness. The recall could potentially cause a fire to occur. The manufacturer stated that they were aware that the dealer did not repairs the vehicle correctly; however, they would not offer any assistance with the modules that burned after the faulty repairs were completed. The failure mileage and current mileages were 162000.

- Lingsdorg, KS, USA

problem #12

May 242007


  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape XLT. The contact stated that the ABS module was repaired in 2007; however, the repair did not correct the failure. The ABS light continued to illuminate intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic twice for the failure who stated that the ABS module wires were corroded. The manufacturer stated that since the vehicle was repaired they would not provide any assistance since the warranty had expired. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was not available. The current mileage was 107,000.

- Happy Valley , OR, USA

problem #11

Aug 072009


  • 110,000 miles
The ABS warning light came on in my 2001 Ford Escape. I took it to the Ford service department. They ran some tests. They said the ABS module was probably the cause but they did not have one in stock. They would order it and contact me to schedule installation. They did not indicate the vehicle was unsafe to operate. I drove the car back home and to work the next day. On the way home after work a fire started in the engine compartment left front side which is near the brake system components. I put the fire out and contacted my insurance company. The vehicle was no longer drivable. I had it towed to the Ford dealer the next day. Neither Ford or farmers insurance could pinpoint the origin of the fire but their was damage around the ABS and its wiring. Ford has denied responsibility for the damage. I remembered a safety recall was done previously having to do with the ABS. I rechecked and discovered that similar fires were the reason for the recall. Ford said they did perform the recall on my vehicle. I checked further on line and saw that a safety investigation was opened because the remedy by Ford has not eliminated vehicle ABS wiring fires. I believe my Ford Escape is another case of this safety defect and Ford should take responsibility for the damage and related expenses I have incurred.

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #10

Jul 122009


  • 99,000 miles


An electrical short caused the ABS to malfunction. This illuminated the ABS warning light, which caused the ABS control module to overheat resulting in a burning odor, smoke, and engine fire. This condition occurred when the vehicle ignition switch was in the off position, and while the vehicle was being operated. It turns out that there were several recalls on this particular make and model which I have not been notified about. I have contacted Ford Motor Company about the recalls. Two different people told me that if the VIN for my vehicle was not included in the recall, then the manufacturer is not obligated to fix the safety defect. The vehicle does not have anti- lock brakes now because the control module has burned up, and the fuses had to be removed. The price for installation of a new ABS control module is estimated at $1500 to $2500.

- Frisco City, AL, USA

problem #9

May 152009

Escape 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
While attending a school play, I was called outside B/C my Ford Escape was smoking from under the hood and the alarm was going off. I had been inside & the car shut off for 25 min. Before being called out. Smoke & fire was billowing from under the hood, and fire was dropping on the ground by the time the fire dept. Arrived. The hood of my vehicle had to be pried up on the sides and front in order to put out the fire. Everything inside had melted. They asked if I had noticed anything unusual about the car. It had been a little slow to start for a couple days, but seemed to run fine. I thought perhaps I needed to check the spark plugs. The fire dept. Suggested I contact Ford to check on any potential recalls. Ford motor verified that confirmed that recall #07S51 did apply to the vehicle based on my VIN#. remembering back, earlier in the week, my ABS light did come on, which I thought was unusual. But it did not stay on long, so I was not concerned. I filed a report with Ford's crc. They have submitted the report to their general council. They said to expect up to 15 business days before receiving a response on next the steps. No one was hurt, but the vehicle was declared totaled. I have a report from the fire dept. Pictures, affidavits and a personal written report. This was my only vehicle. The consumer also stated the brake light illuminated, but once she added brake fluid everything seemed fine. Updated 09/14/09.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #8

Dec 272008


  • 135,000 miles
My 2001 Ford Escape alarm started going off in my driveway, upon investigation there was smoke billowing out from under the hood. We opened the hood and used the fire extinguisher on the ABS brake module/wiring harness under the master cylinder. The vehicle was towed to Ford Motor Company, allstate insurance states the fire was caused by the hydraulic:antilock:control unit/module. I had completed the recall for this part in February of 2008, 10 months later my vehicle catches on fire. The repairs completed at Ford since the fire have been to replace the wiring harness, the hydraulic antilock control unit/module and other affected burnt parts.

- Valdsta, GA, USA

problem #7

May 142008

Escape 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact received a recall notice and took the vehicle to a local dealer to have the vehicle repaired. The ABS light illuminated intermittently. When the contact exited the vehicle, he could smell something burning, but did not see smoke. Shortly after, the ABS light went out, the vehicle speed control did not work. The contact referenced the owner's manual to check which fuse needed to be replaced. He identified that the ABS and cruise control shared the same fuse. Currently, everytime he replaces a fuse, it fails. The dealer informed him that his vehicle had previously been repaired according to NHTSA campaign id number 07V156000 (service brakes, hydraulic:anti-lock:control unit/module). He was advised to take the vehicle in for a diagnostic at the dealer that performed the repair. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 110,000. Updated 02/19/10. The consumer discovered the ABS and speed control were on the same fuse, and the ABS module was burned out. The consumer went back to the dealer, but was told the repair was completed under the recall once. Updated 02/19/10. Updated 09/07/10

- Mt. Airey, NC, USA

problem #6

Apr 202008

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,005 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. While the vehicle was parked, the ABS computer system began smoking. An intense electrical smell was present and the vehicle was towed to the dealer. The dealer stated that the ABS, ECU module, and the hcu module were damaged. A police and fire department report was filed but there was no fire, just a lot smoke. NHTSA campaign id number 07V156000 (service brakes, hydraulic:antilock:control unit/module) was referenced. The failure mileage was 100,005. Updated 06/30/08 updated 06/30/08

- Newberg, OR, USA

problem #5

Oct 022007

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the ABS warning light illuminated intermittently on the instrument panel. When attempting to stop suddenly, the vehicle would be very difficult to stop. He stated that the vehicle spun around once while attempting to stop. He took the vehicle to the dealer and they repaired the vehicle under recall number 07V156000 (service brakes, hydraulic:antilock:control unit/module). Approximately two days later, the contact noticed that the brakes were still not working properly. He returned to the dealer and they would not re-inspect the vehicle, however, they stated that they would make a repair that was identical to the previous repair. The failure mileage was 55,000 and current mileage was 58,000.

- Lake Forest Park, WA, USA

problem #4

Aug 162007

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact took her vehicle to the dealer because the ABS and brake lights were illuminated. The dealer stated that the vehicle was safe to drive until the end of the week. The vehicle caught fire that same night. The contact stated that flames rose at least 20 feet high. The fire department extinguished the fire. The front end underneath the hood was completely burnt and the engine fell to the ground. The vehicle sustained major damage. The insurance company and Ford will inspect the vehicle. The vehicle is included in NHTSA recall number 07V156000 (service brakes, hydraulic:antilock:control unit/module ). the current and failure mileages were 79,000.

- Milwaukee, OR, USA

problem #3

Apr 242007

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I recently took my 2001 Ford Escape in for service for recall #07S51. While a partial repair has been completed the parts to complete the repair totally will not be available until August. While Ford states the vehicle is ok to drive they informed me not to park near structures or inside garages until the repair is completed in August, they cannot be held liable if I do so. That statement makes me believe the car is unsafe to drive down the road with my family in, yet Ford will not do anything to remedy the situation or expedite the repair or offer me a safe vehicle on loan until mine can be 100% repaired. I have made numerous calls and emails to Ford to get action on this repair and have been treated rudely and dismissed telling me there is nothing that can be done for me.

- New Woodstock, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 072007


  • miles
My 2001 Ford Escape parked in my driveway started to catch on fire. I took it to the dealership and it was the ABS module like in NHTSA action number PE06048.

- Rohnert Park, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 232004


  • miles
ABS harness caught on fire on my way back from L.a.

- Ramona, CA, USA

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