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 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,231 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Ford Escape:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Dec 282003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles


Auto stalled while going 30 mph on a slight incline. Auto lost all power steering and electrical. It was lucky that no one was around (early morning). We had to coast to side, and because we didn't have power steering I hit the curb pretty hard. On the way home it did the same thing at about 40 mph. Will take this to markel Ford in omaha, ne for fix. We have 44,000 miles, and if Ford cannot get this fixed it will be time to sell. This will be my first and last Ford, if I have to pay for this fix. Now I know why my father told me to buy a Toyota.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #36

Jan 132004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,200 miles
2001 Ford Escape XLT 4WD stalled while driving. Has done this on numerous occasions. Also, occasionally will not start. Usually when vehicle has been parked outside for several hours in rain. Requires several attempts to start.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #35

Jan 042004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,612 miles
While driving 2001 Ford Escape at average 50-60 mph speed ok. Upon deceleration, car dies. Took car to dealership next day (died 3 more times). Dealer is saying 2 cylinder heads need to be replaced; 2 camshafts and basically need new engine installed at my expense. Dealer has requested maintenance receipts (I have supplied all). Now waiting to see if Ford will assist in repairs. Have called Ford 6 times to file complaint stating since purchasing vehicle new in Dec 2000, have had new transmission installed (warranty covered); new fuel pump (warranty covered); and new master cylinder (paid out of pocket). Escape is not safe and not reliable.

- Horsham, PA, USA

problem #34

Sep 252001


  • miles


Engine stalling, intermittent, unpredictable. During various times, days and circumstances. Since 09/25/01 till last time was 12/01/03.

- Creswell, OR, USA

problem #33

Nov 292003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,700 miles
2001 Ford Escape 3.0 L car engine stalled when in traffic slowing down while proceeding straight.

- Methuen, MA, USA

problem #32

Nov 192003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
While traveling to work today, my 2001 Ford Escape stalled four times while driving. Each time, I was going between 20-35 mph and the car just completely shut off. This is extremely dangerous as I have a young son who was riding with me at the time. The dealer stated they have had numerous cars do this.

- Bella Vista, AR, USA

problem #31

Jul 312003


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2001 Ford Escape transmission went out after the vehicle kept stalling out!

- Va Beach, VA, USA

problem #30

Oct 242003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 150 miles
While driving, at various speeds, the engine stalled. The problem had been occurring for over 3 years. The vehicle was taken to the dealership numerous times but mechanic would replace different parts to the engine and also had the gasoline changed. The problem of stalling is still not resolved.

- Union, KY, USA

problem #29

Jun 122003


  • miles
When driving the vehicle at any speed it would stall.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #28

Apr 122002


  • miles
While driving at any speed and with no warning vehicle would stall, causing the driver to lose control of vehicle. Consumer contacted the dealer on nine separate occasions, but problem is still recurring.

- Hermosa Beach, CA, USA

problem #27

Oct 022003

Escape 6-cyl

  • 31,000 miles


While driving the vehicle stalled without warning. The consumer stated that she went to the NHTSA website and found several other complaints on this issue.

- Dundee, OR, USA

problem #26

Sep 252003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,500 miles
We own a 2001 Ford Escape with less than 42000 miles on it. We have gotten all of the required oil changes and scheduled maintenance done on it. We went through the dealer for all service work and all but one oil change. Recently it began shaking even when the car was not in motion. We took it back to the dealer again and they informed us that the engine was bad and needed replaced (costing $4000). The service technician had originally told us that the engine had gone bad because we had not changed the oil or had put the wrong oil in it. This is untrue, we have met the requirements set out by Ford and had proof. Then, he said that we must have gone through high water in the car because the air filter was yellowed. We have never taken the car through high water. We were told by a different Ford mechanic that dust and pollen in the air can cause the yellowing. Then they told us that the engine could have become ruined because of heavy rain. The dealer that we have been working with is: Rusty eck Ford 7310 East kellogg wichita ks 67207 phone: 316.685.9211 fax: 316.685.2890 this is obviously a defect in the manufacturing of the engine and we feel that Ford should replace the engine. We have owned more than a dozen cars (one having over 180,000 on it) and have never had an engine go bad on us. We have owned 7 different Ford vehicles. We have done our part in taking care of the Ford Escape, and we feel that it is ridiculous to have to pay for this kind of repair so early in its life. The excuses that we have been given for the engine failure are ludicrous. Certainly, vehicles must be able to withstand rain showers.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #25

Sep 082003


  • miles
While driving at any speed and without warning the engine stalled. The consumer pulled to the side of the road and the vehicle was towed. The transmission also failed. It wouldn't shift properly from first gear to second gear.

- Maynard, MA, USA

problem #24

Jul 312003

(reported on)


  • 12,000 miles
While driving, engine cuts off without warning. Dealership serviced the vehicle and did a computer update, but problem still exist.

- Mckeesport, PA, USA

problem #23

Oct 032003


  • miles
While driving vehicle began to stall then shut off. Dealer notified.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #22

May 192003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
My 2001 Ford Escape's engine has stalled numerous times over the past 3 months.the engine will stall when put in to drive, reverse, while idling or when stepping on the accelerator. This problem started when the car was under 2 years old. The Ford dealership I brought it to has tried 4 times to repair the vehicle with no success. They have replaced various parts; sensors, valves, etc. They also expressed to me that they do not know how to rectify this problem. I have 11 more months on my lease and have requested a replacement car under the lemon law, which they told me I do not quailify for because I have over 18,000 miles on the car. Obviously, the car is dangerous and unsafe to drive.

- Carmel, NY, USA

problem #21

Jul 062003


  • miles
Consumer stated that while driving and without warning the engine is not giving enough power. Dealer notified.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #20

Jul 142003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,660 miles
Vehicle stalled while traveling at approximately 40 mph on county road. Stall became noticeable because power steering and brakes were affected, check engine and oil lights came on. This is the third time in 2 years this has occurred.

- Hardwick, NJ, USA

problem #19

Jun 172003


  • Manual transmission
  • 13,268 miles
There were problems with the vehicle shutting down while in traffic. The idle gauge kept dropping and going up until it eventually dropped below 1, then it cut out immediately. The consumer had taken the vehicle back to the dealer and attempted to fix the problem on numerous occasions but were unable to verify. The dealer said there was water contamination in the gas tank, and the consumer was told that a rat had bitten through the wires. The consumer had taken the vehicle back in for the stalling problems and gas fumes were coming through the A/C vents. Later on that day the vehicle caught fire. The consumer requested a refund and or exchange for a new vehicle.

- Kingshill, VI, USA

problem #18

Jun 072003

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,500 miles
Driving car when it stopped running without any notice. Engine just stopped.

- College Park, GA, USA

Read the next 17 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?