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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
127,890 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #5

Dec 082014

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 164,000 miles


In 2001 Ford Escapes a misfire occurs and cause the fuel mileage to decrease. It also causes the car to shutter at idle when it is cold. After checking message boards it appears that more than a handful are having the same exact issue and despite changing any parts accept the connectors and PCM the issue still occurs. The number of cars effected by this is more than just a coincidence and should be listed as a factory defect.

- Dover-Foxcroft, ME, USA

problem #4

Jul 112012


  • 176,450 miles
After driving for appx 19 miles, stopped at my destination and put car in park. Engine started racing to appx 3000-4000 RPM. Tapped gas pedal to see if I could make it stop, which I couldn't (it continued to race for a few moments). At this point I just turned ignition off. Started car back up and everything was normal again.

- Temperance, MI, USA

problem #3

May 252012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
While stopped at driveway waiting to turn right into a 2 lane street, I proceeded to press on the accelerator to proceed into the right turn, when taking my foot off the accelerator pedal to brake, the vehicle continued to accelerate forward causing the vehicle to proceed across the street and impacting a parked vehicle. My vehicle is a 2001 Ford Escape V6.

- North Hills, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 162012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 174,000 miles
Driving the car and the RPM went up very quickly and the car accelerated. Even with foot off the gas pedal it continued to increase speed. Put the car to neutral and pulled to side of road RPM stayed high even in neutral. Had car towed to Ford dealership and they found no problem.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #1

May 182011

Escape 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
My "stick shift" 2001 Ford Escape tends to stall when the clutch is pushed in, clear to the floor. The engine would die and leave me stranded everywhere. Even if you are driving down the road at 45mph or higher, once you push in the clutch to change to the last gear, it will still stall at high speeds. The engine completely cuts off, but only when you push in the clutch. Once this happens, it will not stay running. It will restart for just a few seconds, (not the battery or starter) then it will die again, repeatedly. It would get towed to the nearest dealership with no luck. They could not "duplicate the problem". once, the car cools off, then the problem disappears. There is a valve the heats up and gets stuck open. If the valve cools down, it can close and then it is fine. Now, if I make alot of short stops (errands) where the car doesn't get a chance to cool off, say ten minutes or less, then it won't stay started. If you turn over the ignition, it will start, but immediately dies. However, if I let the car sit for say a couple of hours, say 4-6 hours. It will start back up just fine and stay running like nothing ever happened. The key tip is: Don't put ethanol in the gas tank. If I buy the most expensive gas, the problem tends to clear up on it's own. It started doing it again this summer. Once I changed to the primo (most expensive) gas, it has now stopped without taking it to a dealership. Personally, I think gas containing ethanol has too much moisture in it causing this problem. Even the dealership told me that this Ford Escape car is not designed to run on "ethanol" products. This all mostly happens when it is very hot and humid outside. Was just wondering if anyone else had this problem and if it would qualify for others as a recall item?

- Papillion, NE, USA

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