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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,606 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 wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2001 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #8

Aug 292005


  • 29,849 miles


Consumer experienced a tread separation on all four tires. Each tire was replaced. Continental rejected the consumers claim stated that the problem was due to a repaired puncture in the tire.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #7

Jul 232004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles
I was driving my car on I-75 near gainesville, Florida last week. I was in the passing lane when I heard and felt the left rear tire tread beating on my car. It had separated from the tire without warning. It all happened so fast, I immediately attempted to get onto the shoulder safely. My car began to pull to the left uncontrollably, crashed into the guard rail at over 60 mph, bounced off and sent me sliding sideways for about 100 feet. By the grace of god, my children and myself were not physically injured. The damage to my car is estimated to be around $6,000. The tires were the original factory tires on my 2001 Ford Escape and have only 26,000 miles on them. From what I have read on the internet, this is not an isolated case but appears as though the manufacturers are aware of the tread separation but choose to do nothing about it. I am wondering if you can advise me to what recourse I have in order to prevent this from occurring to other unsuspecting motorists. I was fortunate to have had only car damage, I fear others may not be so fortunate and this matter needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #6

Mar 112004

(reported on)

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
While driving at highway speed driver heard a thumping noise. Driver pulled over, and noticed rear passenger side tire tread separated. Two weeks later, front driver's side tire tread separated. Consumer felt tires should have lasted longer than 20, 000 miles. General, grabbers aw, 225/70R15. Consumer also felt severe vibration on steering wheel when tread separated from steel cord. Also, it was measure by a tire dealer that other tires were worn as well and has a 400 tread wear rating stamped on them.

- Kerrville, TX, USA

problem #5

Dec 052003

(reported on)

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles


While driving steering wheel would perform erratically. Took vehicle to dealer, and mechanic indicated that tires were the cause of the problem. Had noticed some tread separating on the tires. All four tires showed excessive wear at or around 14,000 miles. Two showed the steel tread, as a result vehicle was unsafe to drive. Vehicle was routinely serviced with additional repairs.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #4

Jun 142002

Escape 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Heard a noise, took vehicle to dealer and was informed that front driver's side tire was begining to separate, original tire. Firestone tires.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #3

Dec 012001

Escape 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving the driver's side front and rear Continental tires experienced tread separation, causing tires to go flat. Original equipment, 12000 miles, mounted on a Ford, Escape, 2001.

- Macedon, NY, USA

problem #2

Nov 092001

Escape 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
PE00 020; consumer was traveling about 75mph on highway heard a popping noise ten minutes before incident. Then he felt vibration, and the vehicle was traveling rough. He was able to pull over to the shoulder and was in control. Consumer noticed that right/rear tire was blown out, and tread separated from tire. Firestone, Wilderness AT.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #1

Oct 032001

Escape 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Was driving vehicle and heard a loud noise, drove home and parked, noticed a large bulge on inside of left rear tire, next to rim, tread was coming loose, took vehicle to dealership, and checked on tire. Mechanic put two plugs in tire because of a hole on outside of tire. Firestone, wilderness ht, B235/70R16.

- Bluefield, WV, USA

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