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
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
124,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2001 Ford Escape engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #2

Aug 302015

Escape LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles


The truck seems to idle high in random moments. After the vehicle is started it may idle normally or it may idle up to a high unintended speed. I checked the cruise control cables but there seems to be no real fix. I have noticed unintended acceleration during times that I am trying to coast. The vehicle can maintain speeds of 35-40mph without intended acceleration. I have to be sure my foot is stiffly on the brake during this period while the engine is doing this uncontrollable acceleration. I can see a possible crash due to this issue. Is it a major issue? I would say YES, since this can cause high rates of speed without intention. I have read several posts about this issue, and have found that vacuum leaks can cause the abnormal air consumption which can cause other issues with an intake valve, sorry I don't know the exact detail, but I have found that there are vacuum issues near the firewall on top of the engine. The vacuum lines I noticed were collapsed during some periods of high acceleration. I usually try to hold the brake down preparing for this random problem to occur during initially starting the vehicle but it doesn't prove to be enough to stop the issue from occurring. There has to be a recall on the accelerator just accelerating on its own??? HELP! This is going to HURT SOMEONE REALLY BAD!

- , Garland, TX, US

problem #1

Jan 152012

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

click to see larger images

sudden unintended acceleration

Driving car down the street..pressed the gas pedal but the light turned yellow so i took foot off gas and onto brake pedal. The car surged at full throttle through the red light. My foot was NOT on the gas pedal. The street was clear in front of me so I had a few seconds to try to fix the problem. I put the car in NEUTRAL but the car continued to accelerate. I was shocked that this did not fix the problem and went into panic mode.

I shifted the car into Reverse and even Park (which normally isnt possible) but the car continued to speed down the road and almost through another red light. My foot was on the brake pedal the whole time but it did nothing. I decided as a last ditch attempt to stop the vehicle from accelerating to try putting my foot under the gas pedal because it was acting like it was stuck to the floor. However I could lift the gas pedal up easily but it would fall immediately back to the floor like it was not connected to anything anymore.

I was about to enter another intersection so turned right and had to avoid a lady in a wheelchair crossing the street. The car ended up crashing into a sidewalk, hit 2 trees, flipped upside down, and hit a parked car. This was a terrible accident and my wife and I were very lucky not to have been killed. The car was totaled and it has been hard to find investigators or attorneys to help us because we were miraculously not severely hurt by this mechanical failure.

- , Falls Church, VA, USA

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