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:
15,886 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #5

May 252005

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,630 miles


Air bag light has illuminated occasionally since vehicle was new(Nov 1, 2001). Seat belt buckle latch was replaced under warranty in Jan 03. Problem fixed. Next occurrence Nov 03. Connections cleaned and treated, problem fixed. In May 05 problem appeared again, with the addition of intermittent seat belt light illumination. Vehicle was returned to dealer. A tsb had been issued by Ford to replace the safety belt buckle pre-tensioner on both seats. The tsb was not covered by an extended warranty, and the repair would cost approximately $695. Repair was declined. However, owner was charged $75 to read the codes. Owner cleaned and treated electrical connections under both seats. Lights are no longer illuminated.

- Plainwell, MI, USA

problem #4

Apr 042005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Airbag warning light iluminates intermittently during vehicle operation. Problem began after completion of Ford recall 04S13.

- Hill Afb, UT, USA

problem #3

Nov 012002


  • miles
Air bag sensor light illuminated and stayed on. Took vehicle to the dealer. However, problem recurred. Ford stated that they will not do anything to help.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #2

Apr 202004

(reported on)


  • miles
While starting the vehicle air bag light appeared on the dashboard and remained on. Consumer notified dealer.

- South Holland, IL, USA

problem #1

Jul 292003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,800 miles

- Elizabeth, NJ, USA

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