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:
9,142 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #4

Jun 102005

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


In my 2001 Ford Escape XLT both front headlights have lost their seals, at separate times without any damange to the vehicle having occurred, and water enter the light compartment, difusing the headlight and necessitating about $300 in replacement costs, each. I just find it very strange that both lights have had the same problem and it is an unusual problem to begin with. The driver side headlight went around June 2004 and the passenger side one just broke.

- Malden, MA, USA

problem #3

Jul 022004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,568 miles
Vehicle had a recall to reprogram power train control module which was corrected (?) on 6/9/04. On 7/2/04 vehicle would not idle and subsequently would quit running. Taken to dealer and dealer replaced ignition control valve. Dealer states it was not related to the power train control module reprogram. Car was out of manufacturer warranty, with 36,568 miles at time of failure. Other items of concern on this vehicle include the left headlight as defective assembly and allows moisture buildup. Dealer again refuses to acknowledge a defect and refuses to repair at their cost (estimate cost appx. $200 to repair their defect). Other issues include the replacement of a coolant sensor, and replaced a dpfe (environment problem that was covered by warranty).

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #2

Jan 012002

Escape 4WD

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
While traveling on the highway the headlight will come on and off intermittently. The dealership is aware of the problem. The low beam fails intermittently and is unpredictable.

- Lynco, WV, USA

problem #1

May 072001


  • miles
Passenger side headlight assembly has bad seal causing headlight to fill with water, dealer stated this would eventually ruin reflective backing, one of the fog lights blew out.

- Canada, KY, USA

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