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:
72,539 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Ford Escape:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #18

Jul 222016


  • 150,000 miles


Suspension failed on the right front due to corrosion when pulling into driveway. Ford has refused to repair because I am 30 miles from the area covered by Ford recall 14S02 and your campaign 14V165000. Help

- Marion, VA, USA

problem #17

Jul 152016


  • 153,127 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while reversing out the drive way at approximately 10 mph, the front passenger side lower control arm fractured. The contact inspected the vehicle and discovered that the frame of the vehicle was fractured. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V165000 (structure). The failure mileage was 153,127....updated 09/12/16

- Marion, VA, USA

problem #16

Dec 182015


  • 189,797 miles
Ford issued a recall in April of 2014 for the front sub frame rust issue which can cause the control arms to separate from the frame causing the wheel to kick out there for having no steering. The fix that Ford did was drill holes into the already rusted sub frame and install a cheap 90 dollar bar that provides no fix to this issue. I took my Escape in October of 2014 to have the frame inspected and to have the recall performed. My sub frame was heavily rusted and they did nothing but installed the metal bar. I've been very worried about this issue for the past year and just last week while driving my Escape the sub frame snapped and had very little to no steering once it broke. This is a very dangerous issue that needs to be addressed, when these sub frames break that bar that Ford installed does nothing to keep your steering under control. I contacted the motor company and hauled it back to the dealer that did the recall on the Escape. After the dealer ship sent pictures to Ford of this issues the motor company said it wasn't their problem and that it was something I have to deal with. Now just think about this, there are a a lot of 2001-2004 Escape on the road that have this issue and when these frames snap it can cause a major problem for the driver. Loss of steering and may cause an accident if you cant control the vehicle to make a safe stop. I'm left with my daily driving vehicle sitting in the driveway because the motor company did not replace my frame that had heavy rust and rust holes in it when I took it to a dealer to have the recall performed. I need my frame replaced but the motor company claims that the issue was resolved when they installed that cheap 90 bar across the sub frame. It was me and my four year old son in the vehicle when the frame snapped while driving it down the road, very very unsafe for Ford no to replace the sub frame.

- Fayette, OH, USA

problem #15

Jan 012003


  • 100 miles


Backing out into empty road, stopping and turning vehicle with steering wheel is very difficult applying pressure to turn, straighten wheels. While driving and applying brakes to stop, the car shakes and the amount of pressure applied to brakes is enormously difficult to make car stop. With normal driving there is a grinding sound in the bottom of vehicle (drive train?). all these issues have been addressed with no apparent help!

- Stateline, NV, USA

problem #14

Oct 112014


  • 86,222 miles
Going approx. 25 mph, slowing to a stop sign. Applied brakes and passenger tire made noise and U joint busted. Rim//tire was positioned incorrectly. Rust is visible. I need to know if this is related to Ford recall of Escape SUVS due to rust that could cause the separation of the lower control arm from the subframe of the vehicle.the recall covers vehicles sold in states where high corrosion is likely to occur. My vehicle was purchased in bradley, il. What do I do??

- Greeley, CO, USA

problem #13

Aug 262014

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 77,700 miles
NHTSA 14V165/ Ford 14S02- brought 2001 Ford Escape to Ford dealer with steering failure due to failure of lower control arm separation at sub frame. Car was not drivable. Was told that recall covered bracket to secure control arm in case of steering failure. Steering had already failed. Was told sub frame assembly was rotted & separated. I have photos. Ford dealership attempted to replace sub frame under recall protocol but was prevented by Ford reps from doing so because the separation was not excessive enough to meet criteria. The lower control arm was off on separation, the front wheel was coming off, but that wasn't enough. I was told that the bracket placement under recall was the remedy to prevent steering failure. But this is after the fact, the steering and control arm had already failed and were unsustainable because the bracket at this time couldn't help. The recall I was told was to prevent loss of control of steering if parts failed and not to replace sub frame. Sub frame and lower control arms(left & right) were replaced at my expense so that I did not have to junk car. Car was at dealership ten days, no loaner car or rental was requested, but not offered either. Multiple calls to Ford Motor Company yielded no results, they approved the dealership to appeal the decision to not repair the vehicle from the recall department but I was told that once they deny a repair, they never rescind a decision. My issue is, what are we doing? blogs on same issue show numerous refusals to repair these vehicles by Ford Motor Company. These are specific vehicles in specific areas that they knew of the situations and failures, it is not isolated. I'd like to get some compensation towards the cost of this very pricey repair. Please address this for others with same critical situation.

- Purdys, NY, USA

problem #12

Jun 022014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact received a notification for NHTSA campaign id number 14V165000 (suspension) and was informed that the parts were not available. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #11

May 012014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 165,434 miles
As I was driving the car down the street I began loosing control of the steering. The steering wheel was facing a 90 degree right angle as I was driving straight and every time I would hit a bump the car would jump to the right. The steering wheel also had a lot of play while driving. I took the car straight to my mechanic and he informed me the car was not drivable or safe due to the lower control arm separating from the subframe which has to due with recall # 14S02. Is the subframe being replaced at some point? they put a crossbrace on the vehicle but it is still being deemed unsafe to drive.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #10

May 212013


  • 127,069 miles
While driving the vehicle, the left side of the vehicle collapsed after experiencing a loss of steering control. I jacked up the vehicle to inspect the cause and discovered the left side of the engine/suspension cradle was suffered from abnormal corrosion that allowed the lower control arm to become detached from the vehicle. This condition is not present on the right side of the vehicle, therefore it is obvious that this is a quality issue with the component that caused a premature failure and a safety issue. This is a Ford quality issue that is not being addressed that could cause severe injury and death.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #9

May 132013


  • 100,199 miles
Right front suspension control arm no longer securely attached to car frame because cradle or subframe rusted thru. Quick search on internet indicates that this is a common issue for 2001 - 2004. Left front cradle that attaches control arm to body is good. Perhaps constant water dripping from air conditioner has caused that area of the frame to rust. Ford dealer can not find a supply of subframe part perhaps because of frequency of rust thru failure?

- Livonia , MI, USA

problem #8

Jul 132012

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,746 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the power steering assist failed and the contact was unable to maintain driving straightforward. The steering wheel had to be turned approximately 90 degrees to the right in order to keep the vehicle driving straight. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic who advised that the sub frame was corroded and caused the lower arm control to fracture. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure however, did not provide any further assistance. The failure and current mileage was 91,746. Updated 10/16/12 the consumer referenced campaign id number: (11V030000) (Ford Windstar) year 1999-2003. A separation of a front lower control arm rear attaching bracket resulting in a lower control arm separation. This caused loss of steering control. Updated 10/18/2012

- Liverpool, NY, USA

problem #7

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 #6

Oct 292004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,900 miles
I noticed a knocking noise when driving over railroad tracks, bumpy roads. I took it to the shop and was told the shock and strut on drivers side and sway bar links needed to replaced. This vehicle is a 2001 Ford Escape with 50,000 miles and should not need these repairs this early. The shock and strut on drivers side as well as sway bar links replaced.

- La Rue, OH, USA

problem #5

Mar 312004

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Premature brake rotor wear. Rotors and pads replaced twice; once at 30K miles and again at 60K miles. Brake master cylinder required replacement at 60K miles. Numerous front-end problems after light conventional "on-road" driving (I.e. loose end links, ball joints, misalignment), which in turn resulted in premature destruction of two sets of tires. Burning oil smell in cabin supposedly unidentifiable after numerous attempts by dealer. None of the above covered under warranty. Over $2500 in repairs and vehicle is only at 63K miles!

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #4

Aug 222002

(reported on)


  • miles
After making a left or a right turn consumer heard a noise coming from the steering wheel.

- Commerce, MI, USA

problem #3

Apr 152002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When consumer starts up vehicle it hesitates/stalls. Consumer had taken vehicle dealer to check because of its pulling to the left. Consumer was never been told why vehicle stalls.

- Sunny Isle, VI, USA

problem #2

May 012001

Escape 4WD

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Tires make a humming noise. Consumer feels that they may be leaving ground like hydroplaning, and at 65 mph vehicle wobbles, vehicle is not stable at high speeds with window down. The vehicle hesitates when A/C unit is in operation and A/C make a loud cyclic clicking sound. Transmission makes sound. The vehicle was unstable at 65 mph with a slight wind and front end makes tumbling sounds on rough roads. The alternator light comes on intermittently. The cruise control turns off automaticaly by itself. The front brake has excessive dust. The vehicle had numerous interior system failures and malfunctioning.

- Lebanon, OH, USA

problem #1

Oct 132000

Escape 4WD

  • miles
Vehicle pulls either right or left randomly when the steering wheel is let go. Occurs daily with varying intensity, on any road surface/condition, hot or cold, in either direction during same driving period and sometimes not at all for a short period. Aligned twice, thrust bearings, bushings, plates replaced, test-driven. While problem occurs daily, it does not occur every moment which may be why it doesn't show up when road-tested. Third service appointment has been booked. Concerned because within a few seconds vehicle can be in another lane (not that I drive without my hands on the wheel). Thanks!

- Port Jefferson Station, NY, USA

Not what you are looking for?