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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,669 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 exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #7

May 012006

Escape 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles


The first incident happened on 05/01/06 after driving at least 30 min to 45 min. At a speed of around 50 mph, the check engine light came on. I took it to the dealer where they diagnosed a loose gas cap. On 5/22/06 after driving again at least 30 min to 45 min. After returning home and backing out of the driveway my Escape stalled and would not start, after about an hour it started again did not take it to the dealer. The third incident happened May 30 after driving 30 min to 45 min the check engine light came on again. I took it to the dealer where they replaced the vapor management valve which is still not correcting the problem, so they are talking about replacing the fuel tank. The dealer has been very helpful, but after five years I would think I would not have this problem.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #6

May 162006

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,680 miles
I received a warning light on the control panel of the car. Subsequently found that the differential pressure feedback egr (dpfe) sensor had failed. I see that many of the 2001 & 2002 Ford Escapes have this failure. Something was changed to resolve this as 2003 model does not appear to have problem (source Why should I pay $450 to correct a manufacturer fault.

- Dublin, CA, USA

problem #5

Jan 132004


  • 37,000 miles
Engine light stayed on. A foul smell seeped through the ventilation. As a result consumer vomited, and felt light headed.

- Forest Hills, NY, USA

problem #4

Oct 092001


  • miles


When driving or idling, my 2001 Ford Escape has stalled 7 times in the past three weeks. The auto has only 8600 miles. I first took it to the Ford service shop, who replaced the air flow valve and the idle regulator, but this did not solve the problem. The car stalled again two days later. I returned the car to the shop without any help from the dealer because the shop could not duplicate the problem. I explained to the shop manager that I had read on the internet that a PCM relay could be the culprit. The frod delaer shop very hesitantly replaced the part today. I feel this is a very serious problem because I have almost been hit twice when the engine has stalled. I lose power steering and power brakes, thus losing control of the car.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #3

Mar 012001


  • miles
While driving consumer smells fuel coming inside of vents. Dealership was aware of problem.

- Anderson, SC, USA

problem #2

Apr 052001

(reported on)


  • miles
While making a stop or restarting vehicle gas smell enter in side.

- Jackson, NJ, USA

problem #1

Dec 142000

Escape 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer smells gas fumes inside vehicle, most often in morning, if fan is on or during short trips when turning vehicle on/off. Dealer checked it a month ago and found nothing. Problem is still occurs and they seem not to care. The dealer could not find the cause for the fume inside the vehicle.

- Sutton, MA, USA

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