Back in August, Ford recalled 462,750 Windstar minivans in Salt-belt states for rear axle corrosion problems, with another 117,000 units recalled in Canada. Then Utah's 29,900 Windstar owners were added to the list in November. In 2009, Ford also recalled 1.7 million Windstars for faulty cruise control deactivation switches.
The Ford Windstar is already being examined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The rear axles were the initial target of investigation but now the review has widened due to claims of the Windstar's front subframe also being prone to corrosion. So far, NHTSA says it has logged 346 complaints directly related to Ford Windstar engine cradles cracking or showing excessive rust and corrosion, which has led to three reported accidents.
Estimates place the number of Ford Windstar minivans involved in the rear axle recall at about 575,000. The 1998-2003 model year vans have suffered cracked and damaged rear axles, especially in the salt belt. Owners have been dropping them off at Ford dealers to be repaired, and according to a Ford rep, most of them will be back on the road this year. Another clump of them won't be repaired until early next year, however, because they're waiting on components that will arrive in two months.
Back in May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started investigating cases of rear axles breaking in late model Ford Windstar minivans after receiving hundreds of complaints from owners. Over three months later, an official recall has just been announced that covers 575,000 1998-2003 Windstars sold in "Salt Belt" states – places where road salt is used to melt away snow and ice during the winter months. Road salt can accelerate corrosion on the rear axle, which can cause t
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 pa
Toyota's recent issues have turned the lights on automakers' and governments' responses to consumer complaints. Two of the questions to arise, which still haven't been answered, are what is the threshold for customer complaints to be considered a safety defect, and when should the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration open an investigation? An example? More than 200 owners of 1999 to 2003 Ford Windstar minivans have submitted complaints to the NHTSA about snapping rear axles, but there
Even after recalling 10 million vehicles over the past few years, Ford just can't seem to shake the cruise control blues. There have been 130 reports of fires in 1998-2003 Ford Windstars, both during use and while parked, and the NHTSA is looking into the matter to determine if a recall is needed. The fires may be due to the Windstar's cruise control system, but Ford says this unit is different from the system that caused the 10 million-unit recall because it isn't powered at all times, and it d
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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