I have found out that the 2001 escape door handle interior reinforcements break very easily.I replaced the passenger side and now the driver side broke.I have no idea as to why Ford Motor Company does not put a recall on this item...The new reinforcement part # 6T2Z-78223N03-A is around 20 bucks.
Door Handles on 2001 Ford Escape
by kwelbreeze in Richmond, VA on March 25, 2009
ANSWER by hemicuda on March 26, 2009
I also found them here http://www.parts.com/ for about $11 If the auto parts stores are stocking them, Then its a common parts that fails.
How do I take off the exterior door handle? The new parts seem like they just snap into place. Is there a screw holding it in place from the inside?
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Have tried with remote,with key,and main controls.The child safety feature should let you open the door from the outside,but it is also locked.