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 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,433 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 #6

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 #5

Jan 202007

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The car was parked for about an hour when my sister in law saw the fire coming out of the engine area. I turned the fire off with water. The master cylinder was completely burned. All of the wires coming out of the fuse box as well as the ABS wires. The car will turn on but I cant shift it into drive. The brake fuse also burned out.

- San Benito, TX, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Nov 042003


  • miles


Engine unexpectedly stalled and engine lost all powerwhile puling into a driveway. This was the second incident in the last 6 months involving the Ford Escape that is my company car. I barely missed being hit by another car. The first time was on the freeway at 60 M.P.H. I consider myself luck I was not killed or injured.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 172001

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,600 miles
In the last 2 months - going downhill at 35mph vehicle stalled, loss of ps/pb, headlights/radio remained on, engine/oil light illuminated - vehicle towed to dealer, dealer unable to replicate problem, indicated that vehicle "started right up" - 1 wk later, vehicle stalled again, same as before, this time shut off vehicle completely and vehicle started up again - today seatbelt light started flashing and bells were ringing though driver was seatbelted. Vehicle did not stall during this episode. After reading other complaints, I do not feel safe driving this vehicle at highway speeds and will put vehicle up for sale.

- Scappoose, OR, USA

problem #1

Mar 012002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle is stalling at low speed. Has been taken to dealer 4 times. Powertrain control module/ wiring assembly and PCM relay were replaced. Did not remedy the problem.

- Coquitlam B.C., CD, USA

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