• Jul 30, 2010
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has opened a second investigation into 1999-2003 Ford Windstar minivans. The new probe has arisen amidst reports of front subframe corrosion that can cause the vehicle to lose steering. Apparently, a number of owners in salt-belt states have complained of front steering components rusting to the point of failure, causing a total loss of steering in the process. NHTSA will be looking into a total 900,000 potentially affected vehicles as part of the first stage of a process that could ultimately lead to recall.

As we first reported in May, Windstar minivans of the same vintage are currently under investigation for a similar corrosion concern in the rear of the vehicle. The government agency launched an investigation after receiving 234 complaints of the vehicles' rear axles fracturing. Owners claim that the design allows for road salt and grime to collect in certain places, accelerating corrosion in the process.

Ford says that it is doing everything it can to cooperate with the investigation and address any design issue, should one exist. According to Automotive News, the Windstar, which was built between 1994 and 2003, has been the subject of a total of 10 recalls so far.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      wait....this is a ford not a toyota? whats goin on here autoblog?!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Chalk a third one up in the "shocked" column.... 1999-2003, does this mean Ford was hiding this problem???
        • 4 Years Ago
        I was just as shocked as you are.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Ford Windstars and Freestars were bow-wows.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Amen. Between the 3.8l head gasket and intake gasket problems, the lousy transmissions, the snapping rear axles, electrical problems, and rust issues, they're probably the worst vehicles Ford has ever made.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yep. Our 95 Windstar blew a head gasket at 60,000 miles. We got rid of the hateful thing at 80,000 miles for, wait for it, 2 grand.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Replace Ford with Toyota and this comment section would be 4 pages deep with AB biased hatred. I love what Ford has done with their lineup and they deserve praise, but Ford's (along with other domestic brand's) uphill climb to earn customer trust is a direct result of POS monstrosity vehicles like this.

      The crap Ford, GM and Dodge were spewing out 10 years ago was utter garbage (I'm looking at you Taurus, Lumina, Monte Carlo, Cavalier, LHS, Continental, Saturn, Uplander, Aztek, Neon, Contour, Cougar...I could go on forever with this). I just can't believe powerhouses like Ford or GM, capable of some of the most marvelous engineering, used to make such horrid products. Thank god things have changed and they cleaned up their acts, for the most part, sorry Chrysler, you still suck.

      I guess I gotta admit my comment went far off course from the article, clicking the Add Comment button anyways LOL.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My parents have an 00 Windstar. The electronics have gone out completely, including the odometer. The rear axle snapped about a foot to a foot and a half from the left wheel while they were driving down the road. I don't know about you, but I've never had a 10 year old vehicle that was grannied and the axle snaps. If you search the internet, all of those issues and more are quite common on that generation of Windstars. That goes beyond wear and tear.
      • 4 Years Ago
      And yet Ford still delays the recall of the newer Freestars over failing transmissions. I miss my Ford but I'm glad i traded it in when i did
        • 4 Years Ago
        Bob-omb

        The NHTSA opened up an investigation into the 04-07 Freestars over the transmissions. But Ford said it would take 3-12 months to investigate and that was quite awhile ago.
        I got out of my Freestar, which i rather liked, because of this. The thought of being on the interstate and the transmission just stopped doing anything worried me. I mean it didnt lockup it would freewheel but it still worried me
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good thing not many people bought Windstars/Freestars
      • 4 Years Ago
      Newsflash...cars rust after 16 years!!!
      You run them in the Salt Belt and don't clean them they will rust out a lot faster!

      • 4 Years Ago
      Yes thats true that its Ford not a Toyota and many Ford has been recall after capturing the market due to some reason. That step was great to take initiative as a recall their models. Thanks for this post. Now a days Avis car rental service used for rent/hire service.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Ford expands probe to front areas"
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