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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,133 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

Feb 052008

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,400 miles


In Nov. Of 2006, I took my 2001 Ford Escape to the dealership because my right rear passenger seatbelt was twisting and was not retracting. My child's booster seat was held with this belt and was not working. The dealership told me that due to a flaw, condensation was able to get inside and that it had caused an internal spring to rust and break. They told me that in 2002 + models, it was redesigned and that coil or spring is now protected with a protective covering. I called Ford Motor Corp and they covered the repair and I had to pay a $75 deductible. Now 13 months later, the same problem had re- occurred. This time Ford Motor Corp. Says they will not cover it because my vehicle is out of warranty. I again reminded them that this faulty seatbelt is being used to secure my seven year old daughter's booster seat and it terrifies me to think of what could have happened to her if I was in a serious collision. Ford did have a safety seatbelt recall on a front seatbelt latch and I complied and I think that was in 2004. I believe that this problem has the propensity to lead to a serious injury if it is not resolved.

- Placentia, CA, USA

problem #2

Mar 302004


  • 5,000 miles
The passenger seat belt on drivers side rear does not latch properly.

- O'fallon, IL, USA

problem #1

Jan 282003

Escape 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 49,000 miles
The rear seat belt buckle assembly did not lock into place due to the buckle not engaging.

- Crossett, AR, USA

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