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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
70,753 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. cleaned connector under drivers seat (1 reports)
2001 Ford Escape seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #3

Aug 232011

Escape XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


airbag light would flash then stay on I removed the connector under the driver and passenger seat sprayed it with sensor cleaner and the problem has not occurred since.

- , Plain City, UT, USA

problem #2

Oct 212007

(reported on)

Escape 3.0V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,704 miles

This is now the 3rd time our Escape has been in for the air bag light staying on. This trip it was in for the recall on the accelerator cable. Apparently, the air bag light problem was supposed to be fixed. Well we certainly would hope so. The fear at this point is will bag still work when needed and not go off unexpectedly.

- , Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #1

Oct 212007

(reported on)

Escape 3.0V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,554 miles

At this point, one would have thought that Ford would have looked further in to this air bag light problem besides just cleaning a few parts and resetting the system. It is evident to me that while this service end of this problem may be isolated to Berge Ford in Mesa, Arizona, I feel like it is more a representation of Ford Motors. It also appeared that each time we brought the vehicle in to this dealership, something else would go wrong. We now have endless noises under the dash as well as crappy gas mileage with a check fuel light that is still on after replacing the fuel cap. I am at a loss. I guess it is true that a day (or less) after the warranty is up, you can expect something to go wrong. AS stated before, I can deal with reasonable repairs. But, if a dealer cannot solve the problem the 1st or 2nd time at most, it is much more than a repair issue. It is a customer service issue and that will cause me never to buy a Ford again.

- , Gilbert, AZ, USA

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