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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,067 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

Aug 102006

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,200 miles


2001 XLT - hissing noise when pressing the brakes. If tapped the sound decreases. This just started at 75K. Will need to get booster changed. I have never had this to any of my other vehicles.

- Issaquah, WA, USA

problem #2

Oct 202004


  • miles
I've noticed an air-leaking/hissing noise that has gradually, over a few weeks, gotten louder. The noise gets quieter when the brakes are applied, but returns as soon as you let up on the brakes. I've had the noise checked out and was told that the brake vacuum booster was leaking. This should not be happening to a 2001 Ford Escape with less than 51,000 miles on it. The interesting thing is, my mother has a 2001 Mazda tribute, and she just had this exact problem with her car. Her mileage, too, is around 50,000. We find it odd that the vehicles are made by the same manufacturer and both have relatively low mileage for this type of problem. Have other drivers had similar problems with these vehicles?

- Panama City Beach, FL, USA

problem #1

Oct 062004

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While applying the brakes pedal went to the floor. Brakes decreased in braking power. Consumer took vehicle to dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that power brake booster vacuum was leaking, and needed to be replaced.

- Queens Village, NY, USA

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