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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,120 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #2

Dec 212000


  • miles


When trying to shift gears it gets stuck. When the gear is in reverse if you put your foot on the gas pedal the engine just revvs. You have to slam the gear shifter up and down to get it into the drive position.

- Bunnlevel, NC, USA

problem #1

Nov 202000


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When transmission gear is shifted from neutral into reverse nothing happens, engine revvs, but vehicle does not move. Consumer has to shift back and forth until vehicle is finally in gear. Took vehicle to dealer 3 times, cannot remedy problem. The problem also occurs from reverse to drive. The gear indicator light goes off too.

- Jamesburg, NJ, USA

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