The rust issue in the rear wheel wells of 2004-2007 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans has finally led to a recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began an investigation into the matter in 2011, said investigation being upgraded to an engineering analysis a year later while NHTSA tried to figure out how many model years should be included in the assessment.

Ford has decided to recall all of the 230,000 minivans potentially affected, namely those sold in salt-belt states and countries like Canada. The excess rust in the rear wheel wells was also able to prevent the third-row seats from locking to the floor of the minivan. To repair the problem, owners can take their minivans to dealers, and the dealers will place new panels in the wheel wells, replace the third-row seat mounting brackets and relocate the latches to an area away from any corrosion.

Ford says it will begin notifying owners during the last week of March.


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  • 46 Comments
      XJ Yamaha
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm a Ford fan, but these vans were garbage no matter how you look at it....
      nastyashes
      • 1 Year Ago
      Rust in Ford Vans is nothing new, it goes back to the first ones they made back in the 60's
        BLONDIE & GRUMPY
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nastyashes
        I always thought that was a Chrysler problem as they had great engines but horrible body construction...
      ctayner
      • 1 Year Ago
      When is Ford going to address and do something about the corrosion on aluminium body parts? I have a 2005 Ford Mustang with an aluminium hood, for the last 5 years the paint has been peeling from under the hood and around the outside front edge. I've just recently noticed the paint bubbling on the hood surface. I've wriiten to Ford about the problem and got the standard no action unless it rust through response. ....ALUMINIUM dosen't rust! The car has always been well maintained and never involved in an accident. I've always bought Ford/Mercury products, but this makes me think twice about future Ford purchases.
        cangelo629
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ctayner
        It sounds like a primer application problem ........a good body shop may be able to at least tell you why....
      CJ_313
      • 1 Year Ago
      Here in Detroit, you can\'t swing a stick without hitting a Windstar/Freestar with rust on it. I\'ve seen some very rotted out late late-model Windstars.
      SpikedLemon
      • 1 Year Ago
      This article is reminiscent of the Ford minivan rust issues with the Aerostars. FWIW: Most of Canada doesn't salt the roads. It's really only prevalent in Southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic.
      Shirley
      • 1 Year Ago
      And "back in the day" (sure am glad it's not the case today) we had no choice we had to suck it up if we had a Ford or Chevy that rusted out, it was just a part of life with an American car. Dealers wouldn't repair cars under warranty either, they waited until warranty was up & then hit you with a staggering bill. My day with American cars are far behind me & I'll never go back.
        hchevy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Shirley
        Japan laughs all the way to the bank at you.
        jkstray
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Shirley
        Had many foreign cars from Q45,s to Audi A-6,Mercedes 500,Volvo's S-80, Volvo-240,VW's,Simca,Austin 3000,Karman Ghia,. Lexus RX 300. Every one of the foreign cars required constant maintenence,repairs breakdowns etc. Never had a problem with AMERICAN. Go ahead-pay list price for foreign iron, with unnecessary maintenence and hundreds of irepairable problems and problems galore. I buy American but not the cheapies. Lincoln and Caddy cars last. I miss Mercury
          jtav2002
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jkstray
          So you're making the blanket statement that foreign cars are riddled with problems when it seems quite a few of yours were German cars? I wouldn't lump something like a Toyota or Honda in the category of being unreliable because you had German cars with lots of problems.
        richard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Shirley
        Oh yeah Shirley, like your foreign junk doesn`t rust huh?
      carguy1701
      • 1 Year Ago
      >buying a minivan in the first place Its their own fault, really.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carguy1701
        [blocked]
          carguy1701
          • 1 Year Ago
          Sorry, but I can't think of any logical reason to buy one. At all.
      scion_tc
      • 1 Year Ago
      Typical. Just like Ford waited 10 years to issue cruise control switch recalls. Wait till all the vehicles are out of service, or on the second owner and can't be found.
      rollie
      • 1 Year Ago
      Freestars are absolute garbage. Here in upstate NY the bodies are so rusted on even one that is of fairly receint vintage that they are worthless. The ones that don't already have holes you can throw a cat thru have bad transmissions. Some owners have had both problems. I like some minivans, but this one should be buried as soon as possible.
      shelm53
      • 1 Year Ago
      What about Ford Escapes with transmissions that something inside breaks and the whole trans has to be replaced?? Mine had 52,000mi !!! Ford did nothing!!!
        michigan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @shelm53
        CVH engine - another beauty from Ford
        Willie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @shelm53
        Did they replace your transmission under warranty?
        Hello
        • 1 Year Ago
        @shelm53
        I have 190,000 miles on my 2001 Escape with no issues except a reflash done under warranty for the trans.
      jkstray
      • 1 Year Ago
      Had a Freestar for 7 years and not a spec of rust in,under or out. It got 22 MPG hwy. and 19 around town. Sometimes 27 Hwy. and 22 around town. Put 120,000 miles on it with ZERO repairs. Changed plugs at 100,000 miles and trans. fluid at 60,000 miles. This is a great van.
        CJ_313
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jkstray
        You\'re in the minority, I\'ve read multiple horror stories about the Freestar/Windstar/Monterrey vans, going well beyond rust issues.
      xspeedy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ford has some nice cars, but I'm not impressed with the fit/finish and certainly not impressed with the way Ford handles issues. I won't be buying another.
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