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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,171 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #7

Sep 192008


  • 123,800 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the rotors were defective and caused the brake line to become faulty. He noticed that there were new brake lines on the defective rotors and would not allow his child to drive the vehicle. He also stated that there was a defective ball joint on the front passenger side of the vehicle. In addition, the engine malfunctioned after three hundred miles. The used car dealer, from where the vehicle was purchased, stated that they would purchase a new motor under the warranty to replace the non-working engine. The dealer and manufacturer have not been notified. The current and failure mileages were approximately 123,800.

- Clark Summit, PA, USA

problem #6

Jan 062007

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,600 miles
(2007) while driving my vehicle, the engine-cooling system-low coolant warning indicator lamp illuminates and after checking the coolant resevoir which was at proper levels. Delaer notified me that the coolant sensor as bad and needed to be replaced costing $300. (2007) while driving or parked, after turning the steering wheel left or right, there would be a loud squeak or screehing sound coming from the tire area. Dealer notified me that the axle rod needed to be replaced costing over $300. (2006) last year there was a check engine light on which was caused by a malfunctioning engine coil #5 which burned out my spark plug. That cost was over $700. There were several other problems with theis vehicle but too many to name.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #5

Mar 102005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles
On the left front wheel of the vehicle their is noise coming from the axle. There is a lot of movement in the brake pedal, and the vehicle pulls to left.

- Jackson, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jul 292003

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,800 miles



- Elizabeth, NJ, USA

problem #3

Jul 012002

Escape 4WD

  • miles
Loud ticking noise when turning vehicle. Occurs at all speeds. Ford notified but can't fix problem. Will not state whether or not vehicle is safe for driving. No safety defect listed.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #2

Jun 112001


  • miles
Had severe vibration of steering wheel at speeds of 75 mph or greater. Dealer said it was the after market rims installed on the vehicle. When dealer installed the stock rims and took it out and tested it, the vibration was still there when he achieved a speed of 75 mph or better. Dealer re-balanced the wheels and problem still occured. Dear checked the alignment and said it was out of alignment and probably came that way from the manufacturer. After front end aligned no more problems. As for prob#2, I noticed some pink fluid leaking from under the vehicle. Took to dealer and had them put it on a rack to inspect it. They found that the power steering fluid is leaking at the left side of boot. They have to replace the entire rack & pinion unit. Are there any other Escapes out there with less than 10,000 miles having the same problem? also when dealer received the rack & pinion unit for my vehicle they noticed that it was not the same unit that is on my vehicle. Dealer said they contacted the manufacturer of this rank & pinion unit in Indiana and the manufacturer stated that they changed the ranck & pinion steering unit. The dealer was unaware of this change becausse no notification was ever sent. If I had not noticed this the steering fluid could have leaked out and I could have had a serious problem with the steering while vechicle was in motion. The vehicle was serviced by the dealer to check fluids at the same time I was having the vibration problem. I notified Ford cust. Service and they could not tell me if thre were any other Escapes having the same 2 problems. They said the dealer would know... Ford's cust. Service will not let you speak to anyone up the ladder at Ford. They just take the complaint or concern and that's it. What they do with those complaint's or concerns is beyond me. Ford can't tell me why this steering unit has to be replaced on a new car nor are they sympathetic.

- Temecula, CA, USA

problem #1

May 232001

(reported on)


  • miles
Intermittently vehicle pulls to left or right randomly at variuos intensity. Dealer has adjusted alighment twice, but problem still exists.

- Nesconset, NY, USA

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