I've been following this thread and decided to register and stop lurking...so Hello everybody!
I don't mean to hijack, I just want to share my story with water in the driver's footwell.
I have a 2009 Escape Limited with the Moon and Tune. It was fresh off a two year lease when I purchased it in February 2011. I immediately noticed water leaking in from the A pillar near the windshield. It would drip onto the dash, run down over the vent, drip onto the headlight controls and drip onto the driver side floor mat. This happened in car washes, light drizzles, heavy rain, parked or moving.
I took it in to the dealer (still under the 3 yr 36k), the diagnoses was a clogged sun roof drain. The dropped the headliner, and in the process of unclogging the drain, noticed the connection between the drain and the drain tube was loose, so they zip tied it, water tested, and put everything back together.
The dealer showed where the sunroof drains were and recommended that I visually check them periodically if I open the sunroof often.
I haven't noticed any more leaks. But over the past couple months, I've still noticed a small puddle in the all weather floor mat on the driver side. I assumed I was dragging in snow that later melted and didn't evaporate or thought it was just rain falling from my shoes or pants.
Last weekend, June 11, I planned on cleaning the Escape, when I removed the all weather mat to vacuum the carpet, I realized the entire drivers side carpet was soaking wet. I looked under the dash and there is rust on the parking brake and release!
Took it back to the dealer, they thought maybe a gap in the firewall or a clogged drain near the wipers was the culprit. After pulling the dash, headliner and carpet, they noticed the windshield was an aftermarket windshield without the Ford logo in the corner. They pulled the gasket off the windshield and discovered a 6" void in the sealant on the driver's side. The dealer's conclusion is during the lease the windshield must have cracked, chipped, or been otherwise damaged and the lessee had a glass company replace the windshield, without making an insurance claim or notifying the dealership. The replacement was done improperly, leading to the water in the foot well.
The fix was removing the windshield, cleaning all the sealant off the glass and frame and reinstalling the windshield. Since the windshield was aftermarket, they wouldn't honor the bumper to bumper warranty and charged $94 for the repair. I've had the Escape back for two days now, but haven't tested it in a car wash or with the hose. I want the sealant to have a chance to dry and cure.
The dealer determined the rust was superficial and since the leak was not a manufacturer's defect, nothing would be done about the parking brake or release.
I've not had any problems with the headlights or any electronics, so I'm not sure what path the water was taking from the void in the windshield to the floor. I really hope this is the fix for my problem though.
Hopefully your Escape was fixed and is dry as to be expected!
If the 'plastic piece' doesn't fix your issue. Might ask them to check the windshield sealant.