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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,804 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #6

Jun 272003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles


Car shut off while moving at 35-40 mph with no warning. Loss of power steering and brakes. Winner Ford said I needed new computer - took 2 weeks to repair. Found out later they only reprogrammed computer. Car had also shut itself off October of 2002, in for repairs, one week later, shut itself off again, another problem. Escape is not reliable. See chat groups and for other peoples complaints.

- Hockessin, DE, USA

problem #5

Aug 102002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Engine coolant light came on and has not gone off. A service technician said the sensor has gone bad, and that a lot of Escapes have this problem.

- Vicksburg, MS, USA

problem #4

Jul 282003

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
While driving engine stalls without warning mechanic cannot locate problem with diagnostic equipment.

- Morrow, GA, USA

problem #3

Jul 042003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,325 miles


I own a 2001 Ford Escape XLT with approximately 22,500 miles. On two occasions, the engine has stalled while I was driving approximately 40mph.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #2

May 282003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,483 miles
While driving the vehicle stalled and lost power assist and brakes. The vehicle was restarted and taken to a dealer the next day where they a component was replaced. The problem has not re-occurred.

- Leicester, NC, USA

problem #1

Jan 022003


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle engine revs/searches/hunts, while driving steady and maintaining a constant speed on a level road, going down or up a hill and the accelerator is not being played with. Intermittently vehicle handling seems to lose the power assist - turning all of the sudden requires more muscle effort - and handling gets very stiff. SUV has stalled 5 times already and dealer still unable to correct the problem. Every time - I lost the steering, the brakes, the accelerator and the electrical systems. Escape is a very scary and dangerous SUV - unable to predict when it will stall or when it will suddenly accelerate (I don't dare use the cruise control).

- Port Washington, NY, USA

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