If you are still stuck driving a prematurely rusty 2004 Ford Freestar or Mercury Monterey minivan, you have our deepest sympathies. But for all your suffering, you might still gain some small measure of satisfaction from Ford.

Remember the investigation launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last year? Well, the good news is that NHTSA has upgraded the issue to a full-fledged engineering analysis, according to The Detroit News. Specifically, the Feds are trying to figure out whether there's any difference between the 2004 models, vehicles that have engendered 22 reports concerning rust in the rear wheel wells, and 2005-2007 models, for which there are no registered complaints. (A 2006 model is pictured above.)

More than 82,000 vehicles are potentially affected by the rust problems, according to the report, with symptoms including difficulty latching the rear seats and anchor plates that have detached from the vehicle.


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  • 85 Comments
      donclayton2
      • 2 Years Ago
      HMMM SEEM TO HAVE SEEN ALOT OF RUST ON ALOT OF CARS OVER THE YEARS... WHAT ABOUT THOSE RUST BUCKET CHEVY TRUCKS...AND YES THE NISSANS... WONDER HOW MUCH IS NON AMERICAN METAL AND HOW MUCH IS THE STUFF THEY ARE PUTTING ON THE ROADS?
      coppermach500
      • 2 Years Ago
      My 1980 Chrysler Cordoba is starting to rust in the same places,can you investigate that too and have Chrysler fix it for free?
      er2blu
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah and while they're at it.. they should look into all the rust buckets Dodge puts out... Their pickup trucks are notorious for rust... usually before you pay off the loan on a 30-40K dollar vehicle According to the another story out today, we should feel good about bailing their backsides out just so Fiat could buy them. Of course that doesn't mean the tax payer will ever see the money back and they'll just keep turning out rusty trucks
      whiteoak
      • 2 Years Ago
      ahhhhhhhhhhhhh another incident of cost cutting by detroit...use that cheap foriegn steel and keep the AMERICAN mills shut down....how else do you expect ALL car manufacturers to insure future market demands,,MAKE sure the vehicles self destruct in 5 - 10 years and the base price is doubled again .............
      Nickoo
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you live in a northern state, rust is by far the biggest issue when it comes to vehicle longevity. It's far past time that auto makers do more to prevent corrosion.
        BG
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nickoo
        Compared to cars built before the 1980s, today's examples are amazingly resistant to corrosion. Remember how a 1970s car has rust bubbles in only two years? It is probably time for highway departments to reduce salt use because the salt is deadly to bridges and overpasses and is nasty to the groundwater. Another option: owners could wash the underbodies of their cars in spring.
          XJ Yamaha
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BG
          The increasing use of plastics have helped aid the vehicle anti-rust initiative.
        IBx27
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nickoo
        Excuse us while we make all our components out of stainless steel and raise the price of each car by 300%. Your other option is to do zinc plating every year.
      beyefh
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gosh. And all this time we thought the Feds got "rusty" from sitting on their tushes doing nothing all day, day after day. Wow! They actually work!!
      djgautomotive
      • 2 Years Ago
      Forget Jeff Sabatini's suggestion, Using NHTSA, to get relief from Ford motor company . Over the years Ford has tried to do a good job rust proofing their cars. What you need to do is get a lawyer and class action suit going against your municipalities and chemical companies for using (and continuing to use) the incredibly corrosive, liquid, Calcium and Sodium Chloride in the wintertime to remove ice and snow. Truck manufactures have complained to federal and state governments for 15 yrs about the rust and corrosion to their trucks, trailers, brakes, electriclal and even damage from these chemicals being sucked into their engines. It is THESE chemicals that have been causing at least the last 12 yrs of serious car corrosion. STOP these chemicals, and standard, factory car and truck rustproofing can stop the RUST and corrosion problem.
      rctbanana
      • 2 Years Ago
      remember the pinto
        tstillkickin
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rctbanana
        remember the Corvair.........doesn't matter what company you're talking about...they've all had problems!
      Maddmax
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should be looking at the Escape also. The back inner fender well is completely rusted out on my car. Open the rear doors and you have to maneaver over the large gapping rust holes. Took it to Ford to be looked at and they said there's nothing they can do since the warranty was expired. But this was clearly a design flaw as the rear door moldings trap water and moisture and just rot your truck away from the inside out.
      jim k
      • 2 Years Ago
      my 2004 freestar also is rusting at the wheel wells and it is garage kept
      mike conley
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford freestar, very expensive car to own, first the torque converter goes out driving down the highway. Got that replaced, not cheap, than some electric problems, dash lights kept going on, tried to use a a scanner on it and did not work as ford has some of the stuff buried and will not release the info. I own a garage and have a very expensive scanner but no luck. Went to a dealer ship and the finally fixed it but cost 1500.00. Ouch, not sure I will ever buy a ford product.
      john92lx91gls
      • 2 Years Ago
      If I were Ford, I'd offer $9K trade in value on a new Flex or Taurus to current Freestar/Monterey owners. It'd be a win-win-win. Then destroy or "recycle" the vans. Maybe they think such a plan would be like admitting they build bad cars and that would have a negative effect on their new product, which it really shouldn't have. Ford has taken major leaps in quality since those bastard children were introduced (Freestar/Monterey).
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