NHTSA Investigating Ford Windstar For Rear Axle Failure

NHTSA Investigating Ford Windstar For Rear Axle Failure

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has now officially launched an investigation into snapping rear axles on Ford Windstar models dating from 1999-2003. In total NHTSA has 234 complaints about broken rear axles, with two noted accidents but no injuries. Of the complaints, 56 involve vehicles where one of the rear axles snapped at speeds in excess of 40 mph.

According to NHTSA, the problem seems worse in Northern states where salt is used on the roads in winder.

As the Windstar is a front-drive vehicle, snapping a rear axle isn’t critical as it could be – which is the position taken by Ford, with a spokesman telling the New York Times last week that the vehicle operator remains in control of the car at all times. This seems contrary to NHTSA’s safety comment that the, “fracture of a rear suspension axle could result in loss of vehicle control.”

Ford has said it will cooperate with NHTSA’s investigation.

If a recall is issued, it could affect up to 900,000 Windstar vehicles sold between 1999-2003.

[Source: NYT]

UPDATE: The Ford Windstar is now under investigation by NHTSA for rusting subframe issues. Click here to read the story.

  • Teri

    Was driving my 1999 windstar and the back end started sliding around and all of a sudden it started swaying real bad and the back end didn’t feel right. I thought at first i had a flat tire and the van was hard to stop as it was swinging around. when i finally came to a halt i looked at the back end and my tires were bowing in. I took it to a shop and apparantly the axle beam in the back is fractured though it is not rusted at all. Scared me really bad cause I had my 3 kids in the car at the time. I believe there needs to be some looking into on this cause my kids depend on me to get them to where we are going safely. The dealership acted like they had no idea what we were talking about and i’ve did research to see if there is any recalls on this problem and found it’s being investigated. Instead of playing with peoples lives they need to bite the bullet and take care of this before someone gets killed due to this issue. Don’t be a sell out like toyota and just take care of business and loyal customers who just want to drive a safe vehicle!!

  • gigi

    Reading about problems with the 1998, not just 1999 & up(!!), and having problems that could be the same (still figuring it all out), I hope they WILL stretch this investigation to include the 1998 as well … or any class action suit that might occur. We should not be left out, just b/c we figured we could afford (on SS) a 1998, & not newer. Don’t even feel safe now taking it on the freeway, so won’t. Feeling I should replace it, I’m not sure how that will be done ($$). g

  • John Mailey

    My wife was driving my sons and two friends to my younger sons birthday party; She felt a snap,the back of the car swung to the shoulder of the road. The rear of the vehicle was filled with smoke from the tire rubbing the wheel well.We had the car towed to John Kennedy Ford which is where we purchased the vehicle and had it serviced since 2002. They blamed my wife saying she had struck something. I had the car fixed else where there was no evidence of external trauma to the axle and no evidence of corrosion.I was a rabid buy American advocate, this is the second American built vehicle in a row that has been not only disappointing but ultimately dangerous.I am angered by apparent collusion between the dealer and Ford;I think its time to take my dissolutioned dollars to a manufacturer that really will Make a good product and then Really stand behind it.I don’t see one on this side of the pond.

  • Cheryl Moser

    Two days ago, my teen daughter was backing the 2001 Ford Windstar out of parking spot and thought she hit something. When she got out of the car, she noticed that the wheels were coming off the car. I came out to look and the rear axel broke in two and was on the ground. Even the tow truck driver had a hard time getting the car on the flatbed of the truck. Tow truck driver told me that this was the second Windstar he had towed (actually more like had to pick up and carry since wheels were coming off the car) with this problem in a week. I filed complaint with NHTSA, and it is going to cost $1275 to get it fixed. I can’t imagine what would have happened if we had been traveling at highway speeds and had this happen. I think this is a serious defect. I can’t even imagine how you would control the car at 55 mph with the back wheels dragging sideways on the ground. This car has had no major damage that should have caused a weakness in the axel. It has been used as a normal family car. Has about 140,000 miles on it, so I do understand that it is aging. But really, should the wheels fall off a car at 140,000 miles? I think Ford should at least be paying for replacement axels. Beware, there is not much warning when this happens. The axel just snaps. And hopefully you don’t pole vault down the highway when it happens. By the way to the above person, my car also was purchased at John Kennedy Ford and is there right now waiting for the parts to fix.

  • Denise

    We have a 2001 windstar and my husband was driving it to work(thank god w/o my family)when he noticed something wrong with the car people he works with said it was the rear axle cracked and rusty.This car only has 70,000 ish miles and should not have this problem-if we had an accident Ford would of had a law suit-they need to recall this problem.My car sits in the driveway since we are debating fixing it or getting something else(which is not in the budget) but don’t feel safe driving it.It also has problems with the check engine,abs lights and brake light which never seems to get fixed with all the money we spend!!!!

  • Cheryl

    Denise, please report to NHTSA. They are looking into. There is also a class action lawsuit now. They are looking for more people who have had this problem. If it does not get reported, then no action is taken. I also took pictures of it. There has also been several newscasts about this issue. Take pictures yourself. I have the broken axle in my car. Everytime I see a family driving around in a Windstar I want to flag them down and show them my broken axle.

  • Lee

    add another to the list. I am stranded right now. Luckily the inlaws were following me and have taken my kids and wife home. I will get there ASAP. Driving at 65mph. on interstate 81 and the rear end started fish tailing. I pulled off the interstate and noticed the two rear tires leaning in at the top. I looked under the van and noticed the rear axle cracked at the bottom approx 18″ from the driver side. The crack is about 2 inches long and growing. It is parked for now until I can get picked up and the van towed and fixed. I have noticed from other sites that this is a real problem with this vehicle after 100,000 miles. I just passed 105,000. Now I cant wait to add the price of the repair onto the price of vacation. AWESOME!!!!

  • Lee

    update: I just filed a complaint with NHTSA.

  • Jacalyn Montecupo

    My rear axel Broke On me today on my 1999 ford windstar. It happened very suddenly and the van was hard to control. I had my children with me and I am grateful that I did not wreck because of this. These are family vehicles that I now feel it isnt safe to ride my family in. I havent even looked up the cost because I know it isnt going to be cheap.

  • Leo

    Well add another one to the list. We had a 2000 Windstar that the axel just broke on us last year. My wife had jsut droped our daughters off an school when it happened. Fortunly the school was right down the road and she was able to get it home. We took the thing to a local Chevy dealer that fixed it. The van had around 135K on it and we live in NJ so the corosion theory sound right but none the less you do not hear of other vehicles at that high of milage having the same issue. We no long have the van and are currently driving a 98 version which is falling apart in of it self but we do not have the money to replace it. I have been out of work for the last year and need a job to get financing so for now I am stuck with this 98 bucket of bolts Windstar.



  • Jan W

    Got another one for you!! I was out on the road in Trenton NJ for my job. I was driving back to the office & I heard a lound noise & saw a lot of white smoke through my rear view window. I have a 2002 Windstar with under 115K miles on it. I looked under the car I saw the axle in half, barely connected & the wheels were bowed in. When the tow truck operator went to put it on the flatbed, it snapped completely in two & he had difficulty loading it on to the truck. Fortunately the kids weren’t in the car & I was going about 30 MPH. My next stop was down a busy highway so I was lucky it happened in the city instead of on a highway at a higher speed. I find it interresting that all these posting are so recent. I will be filing a complaint.

  • Leslie Izzo

    Same thing just happened to me today. The rear axel snapped and my tires bowed in. Thank God no one was hurt. Where did you guys file your complaints. I live in Illinois and bought my car from Joe Cotton Ford. Ever since I bought this stupid windstar, I have have nothing but problems with it. Mine is a 2001 bought brand new and I have only 80,000 miles on it and never been in any accident with this stupid car. I will never buy another Ford again.

  • Cheryl

    File a formal complaint. It is the only way to officially get your voice heard.

    Also, there is a web site for the class action lawsuit. http://www.golombhonik.com/news/detail.php?ID=1029

  • Mary Butler

    I have two 1999 Windstars bought used and both rear axles broke within about 3 months of each other. Also having issues with the needles on the front panel falling down or flip flopping. Sometimes it will read that I have more gas than I do, etc.

  • John Pearce

    I have been noticing a problem with my 2001 Ford Windstar. I thought it was the tires, or the shocks. I was on my way to a class with two other guys That I work with. When I noticed a loud noise in the rear end. I was traveling about 10MPH. We looked under the van and saw the axel broken in half. Luckily I was at a stop sign and there was a spot to park across the street. I can just imagine what would have happened if I was on the highway or somewhere else. I can not beleive this is an ongoing problem. We just purchased another ford windstar this past year. we now have two vehicles both windstars that are suspect one with a broken axel.I was a Ford fan. I am now having second thoughts.

  • Melissa

    I have been hearing some squeaking in the back of my van when I came out of my driveway and I thought it was a strut going bad. Yesterday when I was coming home my 2000 Windstar was not acting right. I was planning on selling it and when a man came to look at it he noticed my rear axel was completely snapped about 1/3 of the way from the drivers side. Thankfully I was only driving on city streets and not the highway as I had the kids in the van with me. I just called the NHTSA and they said they are doing an investigation into it. That doesn’t help with the repair bills now.

  • Cooper

    My husband just called and his 2000 Windsar rear axle just broke. Luckily he was not going that fast 30 miles but he did say he thought he had blown a tire. I filed with the NTSA and am going to file with the class action lawsuit.

  • Larry

    I have a photo of the rear axle beam of my 1999 ford windstar. Yes, there is some minor surface rust but there is no indication of rotting in the area. The fracture occured on the driver side about 6″ to the right of the welds. I’ve repaired commercial lawnmower frames with the same type of stress fracture. The fracture seemed to have started at the top back of the beam, because the cleanest part of the fracture was at the front bottom of the beam when it tore apart this morning. A structural part like this on a car or van should never fracture like this. This is some thing you would find on an offroad vahicle tha is used hard. At this point I don’t care what Ford does about a recall, but they do need to contact owners to let them know that they must get it checked.

  • scott predom

    went out to look at my windstar cause I stumbled upon this site and OMG mine is cracked half way threw and ready to snap off… is ford going to do a recall….

  • Patrick Riccardi

    I have a 2001 windstar. I knew there was a problem, so every time I washed the car, i hosed the axle down. It didn’t help. I see a crack starting. The car is just at 90,000 mi.Very unsafe. I have 3 kids. This could have been a disaster.

  • Robbyn Fussnecker

    Today I was driving my 2001 Windstar to take my grand daughter home…There was a loud pop…I thought it was a tire…I was only about a block from my home so I turned around and went back… I could not see a flat tire but there was a hot rubber smell..I looked under the car and the rear axel was busted…Is there going to be a recall for this

  • Leslie Izzo


    No recall as of yet. File complaints with NHTSA and the FTC, and Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) Good Luck. This is a real problem with the Windstar. There is a class action suit in PA pending, File your complaint so that maybe Ford with pay attention.

  • Jim Ricca

    My 2001 Ford Windstar left me stranded 150 miles from home last night.
    Front left coil spring in the strut let go. Cracked completely in 4 places. Now I am reading about all of the rear axle problems. Ford needs to recall all Windstars A.S.A.P. Very nervous about driving this vehicle any distance.

  • Pam

    My car was swaying, felt like I was on an amusement park ride when I went around a corner… Luckily I wasn’t going fast. I asked my 11 year old to take a look. The rear axle was split in half about 12″ from center on the driver’s side. I submitted a complaint with NHTSA and got an ODI number. They contacted me today, Kerrin Bressant a Safety Defects engineer/Federal Investigator with the NHTSA in Wash. DC. Her email is Kerrin.Bressant@dot.gov She asked for my pictures and said she is assembling information for an ongoing investigation into my class of vehicle (1999 Ford Windstar)





  • Tim Darragh

    If anyone would like to share your story, I am checking into this issue for a story for The Morning Call of Allentown, PA. Please e-mail me at tim.darragh@mcall.com. Thank you.

  • alan hutchison

    my 2001 ford windstar broke the rear axel in half today. it had been making noise like the ball joints were going out. i was driving down the street at approx. 40 mph when i heard a snap and looked in my mirror and saw smoke comming out of the drivers side rear wheel well. i thought it was a blown tire. when i stopped and got ot to look i found that the rear tire was leaning sharply. i looked under the van and the rear axel was broken completly in two. please notify me if there is a recall.

  • Michelle

    I have a 2001 windstar and the rear end started to shake, just as i was picking up my nephew fro the babysitter, the wheels collapsed and the axel broke. is there a recal i had it repaired but wouldlike to know about reibursement.

  • Tim

    My wife and 2 kids were on the freeway in our 1999 Windstar, the van swerved suddenly and then flipped 3 times. The van finally came to rest upside down. The rear axle snapped about a foot away from the tire, it was a clean break. Also the axle wasn’t rusty.
    People ran up to the van and kicked the window out to get everyone out, also my wife had to climb in back to get our kids out. Well when the axle snapped it went through the gas tank and leaked gas all over my kids. It was a miracle that a fire didn’t start. All I have to say is that this van is a hazard, and I’m happy that NHTSA has finally taken notice. My family survived which is only a miracle after rolling 3 times. Now I’m out of a vehicle because it of course was totaled.

  • John H from NJ

    My wife drove through our neighborhood today and crawled back home … rear tires were bowed out and the rear axle collapsed downward (3/4) broken 3/4 of the way through. This jumped on the WEB to check it out and found 200 + incidents reported to the NTHSA. Called Ford dealership and to report the issue and they advised they never heard of this incident. Called local mechanic and he had already done 1 replacement.

  • Cheryl

    Make sure you file reports with NHTSA. They are actively assembling information. Everyone I’ve talked to has said that the Ford Dealers have told them they never heard of the problem. That is what my dealer said too. Later, another Ford owner talked to the same dealer as where I had mine fixed and they were told that the dealer never heard of the problem. I know I was there two weeks before, and they fixed mine! So I cannot imagine how they do not know.

  • Cheryl

    This is not the only web-site where people have listed their incidents.
    Here’s the info again.

    Since my axle broke in June, there have been so many more postings. You MUST file a complaint with the National Transportation Safety Authority . here they are again.

    File a safety complaint with the NHTSA »

    NHTSA website »

    If you live in Canada, you should call Transport Canada’s Road Safety division at 1-800-333-0510.

    Also, the Class Action lawsuit is being handled by Golomb and Honik of Philadelphia. http://www.golonbhonik.com
    1 215 985 9177
    1 800 355 3300
    1515 Market Street , Suite 1100
    Philadelphia, PA 19102
    Talk to Damien Zillas, he was the attorney

    It is really important to get these complaints filed with the NHTSA, otherwise we are all just frustrated and complaining in a circle which leads no where. This will take time, but I think more importantly someone’s life could be saved. I NHTSA did respond back to me withint 48 hours and I sent them pictures. They are investigating. I don’t know how long this takes, nor if they are waiting for a certain number of complaints to take action.

    File a complaint with Ford too. They did not have much to say when I filed my complaint, but action is taken by companies when the regulating agencies ask them “how many complaints have you had against this type of defect?” If you don’t file the complaint, your voice is not heard.

    I’ve been riding around with my Ford Windstar and a brand new rear axle. I keep the broken one the the back of the van. It is very clear that it rusted from the inside out. Every time I have an opportunity to see another Windstar owner at the shopping mall, I pop the back of the hatch and let them see my axle. Forget about the money, I am going to be sick when I see an accident where someone is killed because the back wheels fell off their car.

    These cars are older, but not old enough to have this happen. The car was pretty good up until this and I did keep it (probably won’t buy another though). This is about safety. No model of car, no matter what make it is, should have the axles fall apart and cause accidents resulting in injury to the car coccupants and also to anyone else following behind or aside in another vehicle. No one would buy any car if they were told that the axles were only good for somewhere between 70,000 and 120,000 miles. Another concern is that you cannot look under the car to see if the axle is breaking. It rusts from the inside out, so until you can actually see the crack, you are in imminent danger.

    I think at the very least, owners should be notified to at least have the INDSIDE of the axle inspected, all the cracks seem to occur in same place, about 12 inches from driver’s side and from the inside out so you can’t see on the outside.

    TAKE PICTURES. I have great pictures of my broken axle, but infortunately did not take pictures of the broken axle on the car. The wheels were totally turned inward and the axle was on the ground. You know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words.

    Good luck.

  • Cheryl
  • Pam

    We did it!!!
    Ford will announce on Friday that it is issuing a voluntary recall of 575,000 1998-2003 Windstar minivans because of rear axles rusting, said Said Deep, a Ford spokesman.

  • Leslie Izzo

    Amen. I have been complaining about this issue to anyone that would listen. Thanks Cheryl for your diligence in this matter and everyone else that complained.

    Leslie Izzo

  • Leslie Izzo

    FYI..Took my receipts for the repair of the axle and had an inspection done on my Windstar for the replacement axle to the FORD dealer. Do it early cause there will be a flood of Windstars coming into the dealers. So waste no time. I should receive my check for the repair within 3 weeks. Time is of the essence. Do not wait or you will wait forever. Also, they do not have the “parts for the permanent repair” avaliable yet. They will send a notice then you have to bring your car back to the dealer.

    Good luck to all of you.

  • Peter

    was on my way to work driving my 2000 Ford Windstar when suddenly the car rear axle broke in half the wheels where bowed out i had to have a tow truck flatbed the car but he had some difficult time because it completely snapped into two. a few days before i heard some squeaking sound coming from the back and i was going to take it to the mechanic but then these happened. now i have been hearing squeaky sound coming from the front and maybe is the front axle now. This is ridiculous i hardly had money to pay for the repairs and the tow truck and now i have to take it again. I have had problems with this car over and over again the “check the engine” light is always on even after I take it to the mechanic to take a look at it . I will never buy another Ford ever again.

  • Peter

    They should also while they are at it do something about the front axle because now i am hearing squeaking sounds coming from the front this is ridiculous

  • Leslie Izzo


    take your receipts and tow bill to the Ford dealer you bought it from. They will reimburse you.

  • Donald

    have a 2001 Windstar which is being held hostage by the local dealership. After hearing a blurb on the news about the vehicle, I took it in for inspection and was told the car was unsafe to drive. If I remove the car from the dealership I must sign a waiver to release Ford from any responsiblity. They offered a rental until parts can become available. After contacting NHTSA, Ford and the local dealership, the latest info is parts available in the first quarter of 2011. Ford will pay $30 a day for a “car” (not a van) but the taxes (11%) and gas are my responsibility. NHTSA info says “If a safety-related defect exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment, the manufacturer must provide a remedy at no cost to the owner.” As the schedule looks now my out of pocket expense will be $300 or more for the taxes. I have yet to receive a recall notice. Ford automated system says they were mailed out notices 09-25 or 09-27, 2010. The second time I contacted Ford the notice was mailed out 10-01-2010. It is now 10-13-2010 and still no notice. Ford will not allow me to locate an axile and repair the problem. The parts must come from FORD, yet the axiles are being purchased from another supplier besides Ford. If this is not a hostage situation, I don’t know what is. Sounds like Ford and the dealerships are in collusion to keep everyone on HOLD until they decide what to do and when to do it. A class action suit sounds good to me.

  • Bernard

    I have a wife and for young children. Last week my wife told me that there was something wrong with the steering in our minivan and she could no longer drive it. We had the minivan towed to an auto mechanic who discovered that the rear axle was completely broken in half! He said that he had 9 other mechanics take a look at it and they were all in disbelief. None of them had ever seen anything like it. The mechanic charged us 800 dollars to replace the rear axle with a used one that he had brought in from another state. We hope that Ford is going to reimburse us for this cost.

  • Debbie

    I got my recall today. After reading the comments I am petrified that something will happen. I only have this van for about a year, bought it from a family member who thought it was a reliable van. I noticed others said the check engine, abs and other dashboard lights. I have had all of them on/off over the last year and can say lately I noticed the car simply just doesn’t feel right. Has anyone had issues with the Parking Pawl not holding? My van has jumped out of park 3 times over the last few months,mainly because I started parking on an incline space (my driveway)Prior to that I was parking on level surfaces and never noticed the issue. Now I always use the handbrake no matter what. (Any recall for that issue?) My mechanic told me to take it to a trans shop, but after reading this I think I’ll hold off. I can’t imagine a trans issue would cost less than a grand. The check engine light we were advised is engine seals,cost will be about $400-500 which after reading online I realize this is another defect with this car. My first recall I thought had something to do with the ABS, took it in the dealership and the abs light was only off for a few days. I will be calling my local dealer to see when they can take my van in. I would happily take a rental until they can inspect my van. Right now I am thinking the offer of a check for them to buy back their car would be welcome. I will miss a van, but family safety has got to come first.

  • Barbara

    My friend had her Windstar inspected last week. Sure enough, they took the car off the road and now she is in a rental. She bought the 2002 Windstar new and has maintained this vehicle like a baby. She has driven my daughter and her team members all over southern Ontario. I shudder to think what could have happened to any one of them. The engine blew up last month and just had a rebuilt engine put in. Now, she does not want to get back into the vehicle for obvious safety reasons. I wonder how many people are aware of this. The investigation began, I believe, in May 2010. Ford says that it is sending out recall letters, but she still hasn’t received hers. I pray that no one is seriously hurt by this. Ford has an obligation to right this wrong.

  • Bill

    I got a recall notice on my 1999 Windstar last week. The dealership couldn’t take it until today. I got a phone call this afternoon that the mini-van didn’t pass inspection, and that I get a loaner tomorrow. They couldn’t get me one today because they had to wait 8 hours for Ford to call them back to OK it. Ford is getting overwhelmed with this problem. I also heard that the NTSA is ivestigating a similar rust problem at the front of the vehicle.

  • Chantel K.

    I had just purchased a 2000 Windstar 55,000 miles in August. Had no idea about any recall when I bought it. I had taken it to have the recall work done 3 weeks after buying it when I heard about it. Never got my van back. Had a hard time getting a rental. Now on my second rental because the first wipers didn’t work and 4-ways kept coming on.Not happy- have 5 kids and a Chrysler Sebring. Got a call today saying Ford is offering to buy back my van for 3,995. Now my loan is 5,300 and I traded in a $3,000 car. How is that fair. They are not even offering trade-in value for it.

  • Tim Sabath

    Believe it or not, this is my second Windstar to have a major problem! I bought new 1995 that resulted in major engine recall. In 2001, Ford gave me $4000 to purchase a new one. Now, another potential buy back program. Chantel, how did your dealer determine the $3995 buy back. Does anyone else know if the buyback program is an option or a recommended solution? Is there a pre-determined price tag?

  • Meredith

    I’m also wondering if the buyback program is optional or manditory, if anyone can answer that. I have a 1999 with 109,000 miles that didn’t pass today, and was given a loaner (which trust me was a pain, and Enterprise was really having a hard time getting vehicles. They were waiting on 8 in a very small town). For the person who is paying tax on the rental, Ford should be picking it up. I got mine at no cost. I’m seeing offers posted for as low as $2250 for the buyback and am worried that I won’t have enough to purchase a new van if I get a buyback offer. I was also notified that my front end was in similar condition and would cost 350 to repair (and the parts are available right now). I just want some answers and want my van back, since we do rely on it.

  • Chantel

    They are telling me it is optional, but I would have to wait for it to be fixed and there is no idea when parts will be available. I am hearing mid 2011. I was told the 3995 was Kelly blue book price but that wouldn’t even be trade in value. They should be offering suggested retail since it is not a trade in. Even with that I would be at a loss with nothing to purchase a new vehicle. I have also seen they are investigating the front sub frame for corrosion also,so maybe another recall. Maybe this is why they decided to offer buybacks. Really sorry I purchased this vehicle!

  • Meredith

    I figured that if they have to provide the rental until Mar 2011 (as some other sites say this is when the parts will be available, estimated), they will be spending $6300 for just the rental. I’ll just be happy to get what I paid for the van in 2009 back. If I get an offer over $3000, I’m taking it and running, since this recall just caused the value of the van to die down to zero.

  • Tim Sabath

    Mderidith, I believe Chantel was given false information. Ford is not going to leave a buyback program up to each dealer to set price using Kelly Book. There will be a set price, just like when I purchased my Windstar new in 2001. I guess I/we just have to contact Ford in Dearborn direct.

  • barbara

    I was also offered a buy back on my 2000sel of $3995. Has any one been able to get more money out of them. They gave me kbb private party pricing not retail. I ask if i could buy another car from them at private party pricing and they said no. I was told I had two days to decide and sign paper work. Cant buy anything for $3995.

  • Theresa

    This whole thing is an ill thought out not organized recall. I called the customer service number I was given and spoke with an idiot. Yes, an idiot he was nice enought to let me know he did not make my van. He then implied that I was stupid for leaving my van at the dealership knowing they did not have an axle. His suggestion take the van back with a cracked axle and drive around until I find a Ford dealer with an axle. He was absolutely no help what so ever. I then tried calling back and the 2nd person was a little more helpful but just informed me ford would not buy back my van. So i figured I’d email Ford at their website I received a response which was exactly what the 2nd person told me (obviously there is a script they follow). I have been trying to get these questions answered:
    1. when will the axle be in so I can get my van back
    2. who is going to be responsible for the maintenance on the van over the winter months (is someone going to turn it on every few days while it sits on a lot). If they do not turn it on over the winter is Ford going to fix the problems that can arise from leaving it set in a Mass. winter.
    3. I was told my insurance from the van would cover me on the rental car for the at least 3 months i have the rental. I checked with my insurance company and they will only cover it for a maximum of 1 month. the rental insurance rider on insurance policy is not for extended rentals. So in 3 weeks i will not have insurance on the 2010 focus they rented me. i have asked for a waiver stating that ford knows there is no insurance and they will be response if there are any damages while driving in snow, ice, and slick winter roads.
    4. I do not want them to buy my van back i do want them to offer me the money they would be paying for the rental car for 3 months its 3400, for 4 mos 4560, and 5mos 5700. They are willing to pay for the rental but they are not willing to help out customers who are now without their vans. I was offered 2000 plus the trade in value of my van but i could only use it if i brought a new vehicle. If i could afford a new 11,000 to 20,000 vehicle i would not be driving a 10 year old van.
    I feel they should be more willing to assist us since they have put us the consumer in this situation. They on the other hand feel they should support enterprise and on their website say how much more money they have made this past quarter than they did last year (talk about rubbing it in your face). What about the 510k consumers you have now left high and dry without being able to tell us when we will see our vans again. At first i was willing to go look at another Ford but now that they have made me so mad i’ve decided to wait them out with the rental, i’ll fight them on the payment of the taxes, let them fix the van, and then go buy a vehicle from any other car company but ford.

  • daniel

    i have gotton my recall notice and will be bringing my van in on NOV 8th. i phones the dealership to make the appointmant it seemed like no big deal. but from what i have read here im now a little worried

  • Leslie Izzo

    I feel sorry for you guys. I am now glad my axle cracked and I repaired it with my mechanic. According to Ford, I am still waiting on some part they need to finish the repair. If you look at what I wrote before, the day the recall was issued I took my receipts for the repair to Ford and they issued me a check for repair and tow within 2 weeks and inspected the repairs that my mechanic did. They told me I paid too much for the repair and that I shoud have brought it into the Ford Dealer to have it repaired. Fat chance I would do that. The axle was cracked for crips sake. Don’t trust Ford.

  • Pam

    A word of warning to anyone who has had the axle repaired. Mine broke back in May. My mechanic fixed it by welding and reinforcing it. Last Sunday, Oct., 31, it broke again — first time on the left, second time on the right. Mechanic said there is no rust or corrosion — which means the steel itself is defective. So now my 2001 is sitting at a dealer until at least February. I also got a Ford Focus rental, however, I’m currently in the process of trying to get something bigger as I have six people in my family and own a minivan for a reason. Ford is allowing up to $30 per day plus $8 towards insurance if you don’t carry collision — or if you do carry it, the whole $38 can go toward the car. Here’s the catch, Enterprise charges $40 per day for a minivan and told me that the extra $2 per day would have to come out of my pocket. I, nor anyone else, should have to pay anything!!! As of today, 11/5, the dealer is waiting for a call back from Ford Motor Co. to see if they’ll allow for the $40 per day minivan. However, I’m not holding my breath as I’m sure they’ll try to drag this out for as long as they can. In the meantime, I’m going to see if $38 per day can at least put me in something bigger than a Focus.

  • Jacobi

    2000 Windstar 96k miles – owned since 2002 – just took my car in today at 7am for the brake line potentially causing fires recall and another recall, they waited to call me back at 5:01pm to tell me they didnt fix either recall I took the van in for but that my rear axle was cracked ( I havent received that recall letter yet), the thing that really sucks is that I put a new tranny in last week to the tune of $3,200, the service manager told me he would give me KBB value of $3,600, had I actually known about the recall in a timely manner, then I wouldn’t have just put a new transmisson in….my questions are:
    1. can I request a rental car until the part comes in??? we can’t do a focus with wife and 4 kids???
    2. should I hold out for more $$, will there be a better offer?
    hey Ford Dealership – don’t even think about trying to sell me a car when I come in tomorrow to clean out my car, your defective product will be sitting on your lot until you get it fixed – enjoy

  • Barbara

    My friend’s Windstar has been sitting on the lot for 30 days with a cracked axle. The engine had been replaced by Ford mechanics. She drove with the new engine for less than a week. Then she got the recall notice. Last night she went to the lot to get something out of the car and decided to start the car. She was hysterical. It sounds horrible. She just paid over $7,000 to have the engine put in, and now it sits without being started. How is this going to be rectified? There are 35 Windstars sitting there and soon the snow and ice will fly. What about buyouts for people with 2002 Windstars? Ford is going to have a lot of dead batteries, seized brakes and engine issues to deal with when all is said and done. I feel badly for all of you

  • Linda

    Happy to be alive today! I just got off a major highway this morning going through serious rush hour traffic. When I got back into my car I heard this terrible noise. The axle cracked completely and tires were bowed to the ground. Our local dealer says maybe not until Feb. and they have over 30 of them to be fixed before mine. I emailed the local news to do a story. Ford Windstar owners should be made aware that they are NOT to drive their car until this is fixed. I was planning to keep my car for at least 4 more years, now what? They will not give me enough money to get a new mountain bike!! I also called Ford and let them have it. They need to make it known on all news that this is life threatening and people should not be driving their car until it is inspected.

  • frank

    I currently own a 2000 windstar w/160,000mi and I have to say it’s been the most reliable car I’ve ever driven. Handling, maintenance costs, fuel economy and versatility have all been far above my expectations. OK so what’s the problem? A couple of months ago while I was getting an oil change the mechanic observed that there was a wide crack about 3/4 of the circumference of the rear axle and the only thing holding it together was about 3inches of rusted steel and maybe a guardian angel. Ford has stated because the vehicles are front wheel drive the driver would somehow still be able to control the car should the axle completely break. Would the MORON at Ford who made this claim like to try it at 65mph on a traffic packed highway in the rain or maybe the snow. NO CAN DO!It’s statements such as these why consumers have no faith or trust in corporate America. Try realizing most Americans have a brain and try being honest with your customers. Yes, we all know Ford will do the right thing and fix the cars, but what they really need to fix is their PR.

  • Ann

    I reported this problem to Ford, the NTSB, the car dealer I bought the car from, on line forums and our local news station three years ago. I sent photos and letters and nobody every got back to me except Ford. They sent me a letter without a return address and it was only signed Customer Service. The letter stated I was out of warranty (ended at 65K miles) and there was nothing that could be done. I called the 1800 # on the letter and spoke to someone who would not give me a last name or let me speak to a manager. My car had 67K miles on it when it happened. This is a huge cover-up and nobody had to lose their lives

  • Jacque

    Recieved two recalls from ford the first was the rear axle, and the second recall was the speed controll system modification. Took my 2000 ford windstar into the ford dealership on Tues to have it checked as the recall notifications stated, sit there for a couple of hours and told that it did not pass. I was given a rental compliments of ford only wanting to know if I have full coverage insurance. Today is friday and I recieved a call from the ford dealership saying that ford as offered me 2,000 for the buy back. Well this leaves me between a rock and a hard place first of all 2,000 is not going to cover the balance owing on my windstar, and second of all where can I get another vehicle for only 2,000. I ask if they could just put me in another vehicle and was told no. So what are people suppose to do?

  • Judy CT

    Have 2000 Windstar with 22,000 ( that is not a misprint ) Thank heavens it passed the inspection. They installed the braces today. Now all I have to worry about is the subframe!

  • Robin Perry

    I was driving to new york and i limped into a dealer and my kids were with me.

  • Theresa

    Hi Everyone,

    Have you heard yet about the new Windstar recall? They are being recalled for front subframe corrosion the years are 1999 to 2003. The notices are going to be going out next month. (No need to rush since none of us have our vans right now) Here is a link with some information about the recall.


  • Peter Benvenuto

    I just received an email from Ford with a recall #11S16. This is the newest recall for my 2001 Ford Windstar sub frame. Good luck to everyone withe the same rusted sub frame problem.

  • Caer

    I’m putting my post on several “Make a comment” I want as many people as possible to know how Ford treats it’s customers. So sorry if you read this already.

    I HAD a 2003 van with 68,000 miles. Only owner. I did the maintenance required. Was garage kept for the 1st 3 1/2 years. The 1st week of Novemeber the dealer took it and said they would get the part in Jan 2011. They paid for the rental. This week they condemed my van due to the 2nd recall. My buy out is $9,000.00. The catch – the dealer pressured me to sign the papers right away. Once I did, I did NOT get a check. 5-7 days, longer if a week-end was involed, but I had to turn in my rental on Friday no matter what I did. Dealer said it was Corp’s rules. When I called Corp they said it was dealer’s rules. When I asked about the other people from the 1st recall waiting 3 months+ for their checks the reply was yes there were delays for the 1st recall buy out. That could happen again. I asked to please keep my rental until I get my check. They said no. It would cost them too much money. But now it is Friday and I have no car to drive to work or get my kids to school. I also have no idea when I will get my check. NEVER A FORD AGAIN!!! I get the van is unsafe. I get this whole thing was a very bad mistake. What I don’t get is how I had to give Ford a check to leave with my van in March of 2003, but now that they are buying it back they don’t have to give me my check until they get around to it. They papers said they had a fixed time frame for me to keep the rental. What about a fixed time frame to give me my money. Anyone have any ideas???

  • Jacobi

    any updates about buyouts after the front support recall ??

  • Leslie Izzo

    Just received another recall for the front end of the Windstar. What a pile of crap that van is. I cannot believe how much I paid for the van and now it is a pile of scrap metal. Never will I buy a Ford again.

  • Jerry C

    WELL…FORD SHOULD BE INVESTAGATED !!!!!..look at the hit toyota took … I had a 1996 windstar that ran perfect, swapped it for a 2001,20k miles@ a ford dealer, just to get a second side door. still own it BIG MISTAKE and it is off the road, per ford with a broken axel,but I feel so safe that they glued and put brackets on my subframe !!!! please, what an insult. I will demand a buyback. in 8 years over $5000.00 put into this, o2 sensors- TWICE- and it still fails insp. every year,emmissions issues, abs warn. lt. on for 4 years my dash looks like an x-mass tree.. and the ford shop cant even get em off. ck. eng lt. always on , interior lts and locks all a mess, but look at the outside, like new, 125k well kept miles , but under that shell, an unsafe piece of crap that I have had a family of 5 in for 8 years…last week after waiting 6 wks for an appt, recalls, 3 MAJOR SAFEY ONES.sub-frame, rear axel, speed control,..ENOUGH >>>>>>>>> GAME ON FORD…..!!!

  • Jacobi

    service managers at Ford dealerships are aware of the 150% buyback #, they will offer you a lower $ amount to try to get you to sign, but I brought in the new buyback paperwork I found thanks to TFM (above) at website www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/results.cfm , and he said that he has seen it, my question is; if my rear axle failed and my front supports failed (per their inspection in February) then what is taking so long? my recommendation is to go to the dealerships and get copies of your service history (it is still technically your car) and start to collect data. don’t put it past Ford to somehow change the rules down the road to their advantage. get documents for everything.

  • Linda

    Everyone needs to put pressure on Ford. Please contact your State’s Attorney General’s office and file a complaint. This is the only way we can be protected. If your front end is not repairable, Ford offers a NON-negotiable buyback offer and 5 days to make a decision. Good luck buying a new car in 5 days since they had six months! You have NO options, they will take your rental immeadiately from you. If your front is repairable, they will fix the rear axle because parts are now in and they will return your car to you until the front parts are available. WHAT kind of idiot is going to drive their car while we wait for the front tires to FALL OFF NOW! We are letting Ford have too much power over us. My car would of been good for at least another 3 years and now I will have to take out a car loan. FILE A COMPLAINT TODAY! The more States they hear from, the pressure will be on.

  • couldhavedied

    i just looked out in the driveway at my 1998 ford f150 and my gas tank is on the ground. It has a full tank of gas, if I was driving it while this happened I could have died I’m sure. FORD and the NHTSA has to wait till a few people are KILLED before they do a recall.

  • susana machado

    yesterday my ford windstar rear axel is broken in 2 part!! and I don’t have money to paid the repair !!! who will paid that?????Hell me please!!!!!!!!

  • Natalie

    We have a 2002 Windstar that has made a powersteering noise since we got it. Ford said they all do that. We have also spent alot of money trying to get the ABS light to turn off on dash. We have also had check engine and oil lights on even after a few days after a repair. We put in a rebuilt transmission which cost over $3,000.00, Now we are hearing a clunking sound in the transmission area even though the repair was just done a little over a year ago. On one ocassion my husband was driving, I was in the passenger seat and the 2 children 5 and 4 year old were in the back in their car seats and the gas pedal stuck and the brake would not work. I reached over and shifted the gear into nuetral and then drive and all of a sudden the brakes worked. We had it checked out but not really sure what happened. Recently our power locks are making a horrible noise every time we use them. I just send the hubby out to look at our axle. Do you think that cluncking sound could be the beginning of an axle problem or the transmission? Does California have a recall?