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:
47,836 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #3

Aug 302007

Escape 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 68,308 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. While attempting to accelerate from a stop at 8 mph, the transmission and steering wheel began to shake. The shaking continued for five miles until the contact smelled burning rubber and pulled the vehicle over. She took the vehicle to the mechanic and they stated that the cause of failure was the transmission. The current and failure mileages were 68,308. The consumer stated wants to be reimbursed for repairs. Updated 09/18/07

- Dallas Town, PA, USA

problem #2

Aug 072006

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,200 miles
Third time my rear differential has leaked!!! first time was in 2003, second time in 2005, and this time in late 2006.

- Issaquah, WA, USA

problem #1

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

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