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'Tis the season... for road salt. And with that, comes rust. And what does rust bring? Well, for Ford and General Motors, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation. According to The Detroit News, NHTSA is looking into potential recalls issues with Chevrolet Express vans and Ford Freestar minivans.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating hundreds of reports that 2004-2005 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans are fitted with defective transmissions that could dangerously fail without warning. Most alarming is that many of the transmissions reportedly fail at highway speeds. In a common complaint, the engine will suddenly surge and then all power is immediately lost. The vehicle is forced to coast powerlessly to a safe spot out of the flow of traffi

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Thank God it's over. Goodbye Freestar, you won't be missed. Ford has turned out its last head-gasket-consuming, transmission-torturing, flaccid minivan. It was a good try twelve years ago when it debuted as the Windstar, but time has not been kind to Ford's efforts. Moreover, Ford was not kind to the Freestar, letting it die on the vine while the competition became ever more competent. The Oakville, Ontario plant will continue to build cars, keeping all its employees busy with Ford Edge and Lin

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You knew this was coming. Ever since Ford confirmed that the full-size Fairlane crossover (pictured) was going into production, the writing has been on the wall for Ford's big box minivans, and Friday the other shoe finally dropped, with The Detroit News reporting that Ford's minivans are dead.

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General Motors and Ford have announced plans to cut some of their light truck models to focus on new crossovers. Automotive News reported that GM's TrailBlazer (right) and Envoy SUVs are on the way out, with a scheduled 2009 restyling cancelled. The Blue Oval boys are cutting the Monterey minivan in the very near future, with the Ford Freestar retiring soon.

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