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:
17,000 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 #4

Mar 092006

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles


: the contact stated while driving in stop and go traffic, the vehicle had a rough idle and stalled intermittently. The vehicle was taken to dealer for inspection; however the problem could not be duplicated. After a short period of time the vehicle had the same problems again. The vehicle stalled and was towed to the dealer. The dealer replaced the PCM but this did not correct the problem. The dealer stated the wiring under the dash needed replaced. There is a NHTSA recall 04V165000, regarding the power train: Automatic transmission: Control module PCM and a NHTSA tsb item #617976, regarding the electrical system: Wiring under dash. The vehicle has the same problems as indicated in the recall and technical service bulletin; however it is not included in the recall due to the VIN. The consumer was informed the vehicle had an electrical short. Updated 04/11/06.

- Hampton, GA, USA

problem #3

Apr 012002


  • miles
Instrument panel lights will continuously come on, for example engine check light will come on, but there was never anything wrong with vehicle. Contacted dealer.

- Avon, OH, USA

problem #2

Jan 152002

Escape 4WD

  • miles
The overhead map lights in the front of the vehicle do not come on when the driver door is opened. The center and back dome lights come on and then fade, however, there isn't enough light in the front of the vehicle to see to put the key in without manually turning on the map light. I have 2 friends who have the same year model, and their map lights come up. When I contacted the dealer, he said a change in wiring was made to their vehicles and would gladly charge me $300 to fix mine. I live in Alaska where 6 months out of the year it's dark and I believe this is a safety harzard in getting into the vehicle without having adequate lighting to see to put the key in. We've talked to the sevice manager and they are unwilling to do anything for us. They have apologized for wasting my time, and leaving me sit in their waiting area for 8 hours and then announcing they "forgot" about me. When told it would take an addtional 3 1/2 hours to fix, and cost me $300, there wasn't enough time left in the day to complete the job if I chose to spend the money and would have had to come back at another time. I feel this is a true safety hazard when I can't see to put the key in and start the vehicle up.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #1

May 022001

(reported on)


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
No summary listed for above vehicle.

- Lebanon, OH, USA

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