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:
29,979 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 #3

Aug 022005

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,936 miles


1. the airbag light would stay on or flash 2. there was no consequence or failure since I responded immediately by taking the car to the dealership 3. diagnostics were run showing diagnostic code B1881, high resistance, R&R both seats, R&R pretensions R kits. Reinstall and clear codes. I was told this meant in a crash, the front seat belts (both driver and passenger) would fail to retract, in essence, rendering the seat belts useless. Repair kits were installed on each seatbelt. Parts included with installation are: Part number patskey $35, 1L8Z 78610E22 aaa kit repair $103.33, 1L8Z 78610E23 aaa kit repair $103.33, plus labor $227.95 for a total of $523.61. I don't think consumers should have to pay for such repairs. I would also like to know if this is a common failure in this car and should be a recall item before someone gets hurt.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #2

Sep 182002


  • miles
In a frontal collision seat belt did'nt retract on impact.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #1

May 052001

Escape 4WD

  • miles
Left rear passenger restraint was jammed after the first use. This part was replaced and it was jammed after the first use. It was replaced a second time and is currently fuctional but this is the first time in 4 months since purchase date that it has been functional. Rear differential had a broken seal and was leaking. This part was replaced and is now functional. The master cylinder was cracked and replaced. This part is now functional. The power steering was effected when part of the power steering system fell out of the car when the vehicle was put in park. The parts (including alternator, belts and spring) literally fell off the car. This could have resulted in many fatalities as the vehicle was on the highway only minutes prior with a car full of passangers. The results of this incident would have been drastically different if this had happened when the vehicle was in motion. Ford has not been responsive to my needs as a consumer and has minimized the safety hazard posed by this defective vehicle.

- Hudson, NH, USA

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