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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,000 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #3

Sep 072006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles


: the contact stated while driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to the dealership who determined the alternator was burnt and was replaced. Nine months later, the vehicle stalled and a burning smell was observed. It was taken back to the dealer who built a casing around the alternator to stop the burning. Two years later, the vehicle stalled again. When taken to the dealer, the battery was replaced. Two years later, the vehicle stalled again. When it was towed to the dealer, it was determined the electrical harness was corroded and rusted and the harness was replaced.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #2

May 162002

Escape 4WD

  • miles
I was driving on the interstate at approximately 50 mph downhill during rush hour when I lost power. I was on a stretch of interstate that had no shoulder so I coasted 1/4 mile to the shoulder. I was towed to the dealer who replaced my alternator. Six weeks later, I go to start my car and it wouldn't start.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #1

May 012001

Escape 4WD

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Tires make a humming noise. Consumer feels that they may be leaving ground like hydroplaning, and at 65 mph vehicle wobbles, vehicle is not stable at high speeds with window down. The vehicle hesitates when A/C unit is in operation and A/C make a loud cyclic clicking sound. Transmission makes sound. The vehicle was unstable at 65 mph with a slight wind and front end makes tumbling sounds on rough roads. The alternator light comes on intermittently. The cruise control turns off automaticaly by itself. The front brake has excessive dust. The vehicle had numerous interior system failures and malfunctioning.

- Lebanon, OH, USA

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