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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23 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 #4

Jan 222002

Escape 6-cyl

  • 92 miles


There were numerous problems. The egr sensor (dpfe) was replaced along with the sop driver side outer belt molding, fuel pump, sway bar links and iac. There was a loud noise coming from the driver's side window, water leaked around the tailgate window, the vehicle was hard to start, the iac was sticking, the driver's side window squeaked and rattled, the vehicle hesitated upon starting, there was play in the front sway bar links, the coolant light stayed on, there was a crack around the oil pan and the oil drain plug was problematic, and the accelerator pedal was sticking.

- Mound, MN, USA

problem #3

Jul 082002


  • miles
Vehicle has on 2 occasions shut off while driving. Without warning, the engine, battery, and oil lights come on at the same time and vehicle immediatelty shuts itself off. Vehicle has been to the dealership after both occurrences. The iac, dpfe, and fuel pump relay were all replaced and my vehicle's PCM was reprogrammed. None of these "fixes" have solved the problem. Although the technician working on the vehicle and the shop foreman have made every effort to assist me with the problem, the cause of the problem has yet to be determined. The manufacturer is aware of this problem with this particular vehicle, but cannot explain what is wrong or how to repair it. I do not feel safe driving my Escape knowing that it could shut itself off at any time without warning in the middle of a busy road.

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #2

Mar 162002


  • miles
When going down a hill vehicle will automatically shut off. Contacted dealer, dealer noted that the reason was fuel pump being located in rear of vehicle.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #1

Nov 162001


  • miles
Vehicle stalled wihtout warning while driving @~30mph. This has happened several other times on the road. Dealer has performed repairs 3 other times as follows: Visit 1 - changed fuel pump relay, visit 2 - changed ECM module relay, visit 3 - replaced fuel pump and sender. Dealer service has indicated that they were unable to find exact cause of stalling, so they are replacing components in hopes of catching the problem. After vehicle stalled, power steering and brakes were non-functional and I once again needed to pull off the road evasively to avoid rear-ending the cars in front of me. Clarification: This most recent stalling incident occured today, even after the fuel pump was replaced.

- Austin, TX, USA

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