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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
144,004 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
  2. engine burns rich in gas (1 reports)
2001 Ford Escape engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #5

Feb 102015

Escape XLS 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 187,000 miles


The car started acting funny, missing and spitting, so I did a tune up, still no fix. So change the lac, then car started running like sh*t, then took off on the idle. Can't drive it when it's like that. Then I see the TSP switch was broke so I bought a new one, still no change. Read online that the coolant sensor might be bad so I changed it, worked for a little while then right back to square one.

Anybody know how to fix this cause it's a real pain in the ass.

- , Paris, TN, USA

problem #4

Mar 062011

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

When I first started my car after its been sitting for a week of not being driven I had noticed Dark grey smoke coming from my exhaust. My first reaction was to turn it off cause i thought I was burning oil. Then when i stepped outside it smelled like as if someone had spilled gas. It also causes my car to idle at .1 RPM instead of .5 RPM when i drive it 1 mile down the road and sit at a red light. none of my local shop could find what the problem was. The "Check Engine" light hasn't even came on either. I think this should be a recall as it is posing a safety concern.

- , Clarkston, MI, USA

problem #3

Jul 162010

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Engine is fine upon startup. After driving a few minutes, the engine idles faster. When put back in park or neutral, the engine will race up to as much as 3500 rpm until turned off. If turned back on soon, the engine will idle fast again, but will calm down eventually. Just got back from the dealer today trying to fix the problem. They put in a new PCV valve hose assembly and a transmission range sensor. Apparently that did not do the trick. Any ideas?

- , Huntsville, AL, US

problem #2

Feb 162010

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,021 miles

When you crank up the car you have to shift into park or the engine will start revving up. When you are in drive and with your foot on the brake you can hear a grinding sound like the engine is trying to rev up but you have your foot on the brake. If anybody knows what the problem is and how much it will be to fix it, please let me know.

- , Ellaville, GA, USA

problem #1

Apr 012008

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

My car started revving out of control last April. It was intermittent on and off, but is now always having this problem I have been trying to get it fixed since last year, and am up over 2000.00 in repairs that didn't work. The dealership tried resetting the pcn, replacing the pcn, replaced the computer, replaced harness/switches, replaced the alternator, it is still doing it. The only way to temporarily reset it is to disconnect the battery, and it helps for a little bit, but does it again. You have to slam it into drive as soon as you get the car started. It will not idle. The dealership said the next step was to replace all the wiring and that would be very expensive. This is not fair, as i have spent over 2000.00 already trying to fix this. I find it hard to believe there is not some sort of recall with this. I asked about the cruise control, as I was using it when it initially happened, and the cruise control stopped working altogether after this started happening. I am really concerned that one of my daughters will have an accident because it feels like it is just going to take off when you put it in drive. I really feel like I have been given the run around with this very dangerous problem, which remains unfixed after a half dozen trips to the dealership.

- , Milford, MA, USA

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