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 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,739 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 #15

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 #14

Feb 092006


  • miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 65 mph the "brake" warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. There was pressure applied to the brake pedal, followed by a low power response. Also there was brake fluid leakage. The failures progressed over a period of time. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The vehicle identification number was excluded from recall campaign id number 07E023000 (service brakes, hydraulic:foundation components:master cylinder). No repairs were made. The failure mileage was unknown. The current mileage was 97,000.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #13

Nov 202007

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,080 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the master cylinder was leaking into the booster. The vehicle made a hissing noise coming from the brakes and there was a rapid loss of brake fluid. She also stated that braking became difficult. The contact noticed that the brake light remained illuminated for six months, dimmed for a couple of days, but then illuminated again. When she took the vehicle to the dealer for NHTSA campaign id number 07V156000 (service brakes, hydraulic:antilock:control unit/module), the dealer stated that the master cylinder and booster (because of the leak) also needed to be replaced. The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage was 142,129 and failure mileage was 130,080.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #12

Jun 232007

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


We noticed a hissing noise, took it to dealer, was told brake booster, master cylinder, left stabilizer link assy, and pre-tensioner connectors on air bag all need replaced. Can not afford to replace pre-tensioner connectors. Seems unusual to me that all would go out all of a sudden, especially both the booster and master cylinder. To my knowledge we did nothing to contribute to the probs. I may be hard to reach, as I am staying with my father in hermann while he undergoes cancer treatments, but, my wife can be reached at the evening phone # listed.

- Rolla, MO, USA

problem #11

Nov 042006

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
Ford Escape 2001 master brake cylinder and brakes failed causing accident when I totally lost my brakes. 1 day after Ford dealership replaced master brake cylinder. Ford has faulty master brake parts.

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #10

Apr 162007

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
On April 15, 2007, I went to value brakes to have my brakes checked. They were fine, but my master cylinder was leaking and it had to be replaced. I paid $284.83 to have it replaced.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #9

Sep 302005

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


Brake fluid from the master cylinder leaked on a wiring harness and caused multiple system failures including the ABS system, the cruise control, the driver's side air bag, and the display on the radio. The service tech indicated that I was lucky I avoided a fire. This seems very similar to the recall on the Ford F-150S that is causing multiple fires. Per diagnostics for the verification of the airbag lamp, the cause was due to the power fuse of the module/open circuit from ABS internal circuit damage.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #8

Feb 112005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
Brake warning light came on. Had car inspected, determined back half of master cylinder was leaking causing brake fluid level to drop and warning light to come on. Master cylinder to be replaced, rear brakes need to be adjusted and entire brake system needs to be flushed.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #7

Feb 012005

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
The plastic cap on the master break cylinder leaked break fluid on the electrical wiring harness. The insulation on the harness failed and the wiring shorted, causing a fire. The break fluid acted as fuel for the fire. The breaking system, although able to bring the vehicle to a safe stop, was seriously and adversely affected.

- Pleasanton, CA, USA

problem #6

Aug 122002


  • miles
Brake pedal went to the floor while applyng the brakes at 25 mph. Technician stated that problem was master cylinder which needed to be replaced. Feel free to provide any further information.

- Franklin Park, IL, USA

problem #5

Apr 292002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


ABS light illuminated at all times. Master cylinder replaced twice. Brakes' shoes and master cylinder cap sealed 3 times. Problem has reoccurred the same way. Dealer was notified.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #4

Mar 202002

Escape 4WD

  • miles
While driving on the mass turnpike I tried to apply my brakes and the pedal went to the floor, I brought the M/V to the local dealer because where I bought it went out of business. They had to order the part and said it would take three to six days just to get the part. I am not happy with Ford and the fact the say the build to last. It has not.

- Newton, MA, USA

problem #3

Feb 072002


  • miles
Master cylinder comple failure. Also, 4 door handles had to be changed.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #2

May 052001

Escape 4WD

  • miles
Left rear passenger restraint was jammed after the first use. This part was replaced and it was jammed after the first use. It was replaced a second time and is currently fuctional but this is the first time in 4 months since purchase date that it has been functional. Rear differential had a broken seal and was leaking. This part was replaced and is now functional. The master cylinder was cracked and replaced. This part is now functional. The power steering was effected when part of the power steering system fell out of the car when the vehicle was put in park. The parts (including alternator, belts and spring) literally fell off the car. This could have resulted in many fatalities as the vehicle was on the highway only minutes prior with a car full of passangers. The results of this incident would have been drastically different if this had happened when the vehicle was in motion. Ford has not been responsive to my needs as a consumer and has minimized the safety hazard posed by this defective vehicle.

- Hudson, NH, USA

problem #1

Mar 312001


  • miles
Brake light came on dashboard. Also, vehicle just shutdown without prior warning. When consumer applied brakes pedal was normal. She took vehicle to dealership. Mechanic told her she needed a master cylinder.

- Charlerou, PA, USA

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