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:
11,285 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 #8

Jan 172008


  • 68,083 miles


Catalytic converters (all3) have gone bad, vehicle has only 90,000 miles on it, vehicle began miss firing shortly after purchase a year ago. However, dealership mechanics could not find anything wrong. At times exhaust is circulated back into vehicle.

- Paldale, CA, USA

problem #7

Mar 152001


  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles
2 months after I bought my car brand new I went out to start it, it would not start and the emission light came on. The car sounds like it is trying to start, the only way I could get the car to start is hold the ignition. I smelled gas after the car started. I informed Ford about the problem, they found nothing but replaced my starter even though it wasn't the problem. I have had this car almost 3yrs my warranty is ready to expire and Ford still cannot fix/find the problem. This car has left me stranded more then once, I even had it towed to the dealership after working hrs. I was told by their service manager the car started, we found nothing wrong. I even told the dealership this car has been in the shop over 3X's it is a lemon and I want a new car or my money back. I was informed according to Ford we cannot find a problem therefore, the lemon law does not exist and Ford will not just take the car back. I have had this car to 2 Ford dealerships, the sad part the orginal place I bought it from treated my very nasty since I would take my car for service at a closer one and have them look into the problem. Ford is Ford doesn't matter what dealer I use does it? I am very dissatisfied and will never ever buy another Ford again!! someone please help me!!!

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #6

Jun 012002

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
My 2001 Ford Escape XLT stalls frequently and also has an exhaust smell coming from the air vents. I have taken it in over 10 times and they tell me it's fixed when it isn't.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #5

May 232003


  • miles


Gasoline fumes entered the vehicle while driving.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #4

Nov 012002

Escape 4WD

  • miles
I purchased this Ford Escape in March 2001 and have had nothing but problems with it since. On March 26 2001, two days after I received my new vehicle, it wouldn't start. The same problem occurred three more times in a period of two weeks before I brought the vehicle back to the dealer on April 9 2001. The dealership replaced the battery which was obviously defective. Since then I have had numerous other problems with my Ford Escape. I reported that the throttle was sticking (5/17/02) and it was replaced, but it continues to happen. I also reported that there was a vibration and hesitation when shifting gears around 45 mph (5/17/02). Nothing was done at that time to remedy the problem. I later (8/29/02) reported the same problem to the dealer, brought the vehicle back for service on 9/27/02 at which time the torque converter was replaced. There is still a hesitation and loss of power as I drive the vehicle. Also on 5/11/02, the "service engine soon" light came on. The fuel emissions valve was replaced on 5/17/02. On 10/28/02, I reported to the dealer that my vehicle almost stalled at an intersection on 10/26/02 and later that day it would not start. I also told the service representative that there continued to be a "loss of power" as I drive the vehicle at highway speeds. I brought the Escape back to the dealer on 10/30/02 and the technician found "nothing wrong" with the vehicle from the tests he performed. I am not satisfied with these results there is something obviously wrong with this vehicle!

- Ellenburg Depot, NY, USA

problem #3

Sep 182001

(reported on)

Escape 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The vent hose had fallen off or was improperly connected allowing gas fumes to enter the cabin of the vehicle. Nlm

- Raliegh, NC, USA

problem #2

May 072001

(reported on)

Escape 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Engine check light keeps coming on and stays on. Dealer has attempted to fix defect 5 times, but cannot fix defect even after replacing computer and within emmission control device sparts.

- Brentwood, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 222000

Escape 4WD

  • miles
No summary listed for above vehicle.

- Newburyport, MA, USA

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