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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
94,452 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace torque convertor or replace trans (1 reports)
2001 Ford Escape transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 092008

Escape XLT 3.2lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,905 miles


Now's when it gets interesting for me. I've had my POS into the local FORD dealer several times over the summer for hard-shifting/missed shifting when it's running in OD and needs more power to accelerate or climb a hill. Each time the local dealer would run the trouble codes and report back "no problem with the trans". I knew this wasn't the case, but didn't wise up and take it to a private trans place, as I figured if there was a problem with the replacement transmission (this is my 2nd in the POS), the dealer or FORD would do the right thing and fix it for free. HA! Am I dumb, or what?

Anyway, just found out today that the torque converter on the 2nd trans (which is a re manufactured item, apparently) is bad, and I can either replace the TC ($1600 approx) or replace the entire trans ($3100 approx). I also found out that b/c FORD paid for the 2nd trans, it was a remanu item, and only had a 1 year, 12K mile warranty, instead of the 3 year, 36K mile warranty that a new trans would have had. Also, FORD won't pay, the dealer won't pay, so I'm on the hook for it. I guess I'll try to get the dealer to pay part of it, as it should have been caught earlier when I first brought it in.

Needless to say, this is my last FORD ever. Their quality sucks, their customer service is worse, and I'm buying Asian made vehicles from here on out...

- , Ambler, PA, USA

problem #1

Jul 052007

(reported on)

Escape ES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

Vibration when changing gear - between 3rd and 4th (or 2nd and 3rd) only. Gear changes are clunky. Does anyone know how what the problem is, and how it can be fixed?

- , Farmington Hills, MI, USA

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