Ford Windstar Recalled Again; 425,000 Models Affected for Rusting Front Subframe

Ford Windstar Recalled Again; 425,000 Models Affected for Rusting Front Subframe

Ford has announced a recall for 425,000 of its 1999 to 2003 Windstar minivan models as a result of an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The issue surrounds a rust problem with the front subframe, that could fracture, which Ford says could result in a steering issue (although considering the structural purpose of the front subframe, the real consequences could be much more severe).

The subframe seems to suffer from the same rust issue that prompted Ford to recall 612,000 Windstars last year.

As the issue surrounds structural rust, it only applies to vehicles from certain states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

Ford has said it will reimburse owners who have already had repairs made. Many Windstar owners have already agreed to sell back their vehicle to Ford, as the automaker has been unable to repair the part in a timely fashion.

  • Tom

    My dealership told me as of December 31 2010, Ford stopped buying back vehicles, and the buybacks only went up through the 2000 model year. Hopefully this new recall will extend the buy-outs.

  • Julie

    This is a new recall. They would have to either reopen the buyback or start a new one.

  • Pete

    My 1999 Windstar has been in the Ford dealers compound since the end of October whilst they wait for replacement axle parts.
    I’ve been driving a rented 2010 Grand Caravan from Enterprise, with the bill ($1500 monthly) going to Ford. Total so far is more than $4500.
    We were not offered a buy-out because our van was considered low mileage.
    We have not received a sub-frame recall notice from Ford yet, but it’s possible they’ll be approaching $6000 to $8000 to repair a $2000 (if that) van.

  • Kelly

    My windstar been at the dealer since Nov.1,2010, waiting for a new axle. Ford is giving us a Chevy HHR to drive an that thing is aweful in the snow. We miss r van alot an now with the subframe recall i dont think we will get the van back till april or god only knows when. We were never offered a buy back for the van.. but we also have 141,000 miles on it an we wont sell it back, because when we do get it back it will have all new parts on it.. so y sell.. we will drive it till it dies. an we r never never buying another ford again.

  • familygames

    my 2002 windstar has been on the lot since nov 1. i hope they offer a buyback eventually but as long as they want to rent me a car i’m thrilled.

  • CGT

    I concur. Ford didn’t look at the numbers very well. There must be some accounting gimmick that makes it reasonable for them not to offer buyouts to everybody. By the time the dust settles, they’ll have over $6,000 invested in repairing my $4500 2002 van. The spread is even greater on the older vehicles. I think they should have bought the vans outright and then donated the good ones back to one of the numerous charities that recycle vehicles to needy families. Ford shareholders and Board members please take note./CGT

  • Barbara

    Just 2 days ago 2-8-2011 my 2000 ford windstars front axle broke while I was driving out the driveway,Thank god it happened there instead of on the the major highways & roads I travel.I called ford customer relations hotline as soon as it happened & was asked to call ford towing to have them tow it but they wanted to me to pay 77$. I decided to use my own AAA(towing). Once it was towed to the dealer I was told they had no idea when it would be fixed because they had nothing there to fix front ends so they sent me to enterprise to get a rental. I was so aggravated by all the sales pitches from enterprize that I just left & I had my daughter call ford customer service relations back to let them know how disapppointed I was. I didnt go to enterprise to get sales pitches I went to rent a van. If there was anything to buy ford should be paying for it.If you would go so far as to protect & coat & whatever else is done to protect the paint job on the car , why wouldnt they do the same to protect the parts that could corrode & cause serious injury or death. To all of you also check your rentals from enterprise or elsewhere to make sure they dont have recalls on them.check out online for accidents/deaths from rentals some of you may be surprised at what you find.

  • Pete

    I was hoping to be lucky enough to get a buyback offer…no such luck. The first thing that I’ve heard since November was yesterday “your ’99 Windstar is fixed, return the rental and pick it up.” Messages to the service department asking whether or not they inspected for the new recall haven’t been returned. I can’t believe it would have passed that inspection. So, if I have to pick it up I’ll have a minivan that I don’t trust to drive, I won’t be able to unload, and I’ll have nothing to put down on a new/used vehicle. This sucks.

  • Michele Webster

    Ford has had our 2002 since October. We’ve been in a chevy HHR which we absolutely hate since then. We were assured it would be done by January. January came and went and they said by late Feb. Now they called today and said late March!!! We are moving out of state (From NJ to FL) in April!! As of April 30th we are in a lease in FL and have nowhere to live in NJ. I’ve already made moving plans, etc and now we’ll have no vehicle! Then to top it off now there’s a new recall that the dealer wont inspect our van for! We have tried calling various numbers for Ford and noone will give us any answers. Anyone know of a number/dept we should speak to?

  • Caer

    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???

  • Pete

    I dropped in to the dealer a week ago to find my 99 Windstar up on the hoist. They said they were ready to do the rear axle fix, when the subframe recall hit the news, so they were told by FORD CORP to stop until details of how to assess the subframe corrosion came out. I expect we’ll get a call any day now to tell us they’ve condemned the van. It’s nice to read of other situations so we can be prepared to maybe bargain a bit before signing the buy-out paperwork. Everybody is saying they’ll never buy a FORD again, but our 99 Windstar is still a better van than this 2010 Grand Caravan rental we have from Enterprise… I would have expected a vehicle that 11 years newer would be a whole lot better over all… but this Dodge van is a real pig on gas, has no power… it’s always downshifting when you just touch the gas, and the road noise and wind noise are much worse than the 99 Windstar. I’m still thinking I would sooner find a good(?) used FORD Freestar than buy a Dodge, because we do need a van. We’re not in a position to put out over $20K on a new van anyway.

  • barb joyce

    I was just offered and accepted a buyback for my ’99 Ford Windstar LX of $3720. The car has less than 80,000 miles on it, and it is my workhorse and always ran well. The dealer showed me the rotted front frame and told me they couldn’t fix it: I won’t drive it and put my children and myself in harms way. I am sad and frustrated. To me, the car is worth much more than $3720, and I cannot replace it without spending much more than $3720, and having a monthly car payment is something I don’t want.

    I am now in a Chevy Cobalt rent a car compliments of Ford until my check comes in (so they said). I sympathize with all of you Windstar owners.
    I am glad to be on this blog and hear of others who have had similar circumstances.

    Good Luck to you all.

  • Pia

    I was driving down a highway, slowly as I was planning on making a left turn into a parking lot, when my front wheel basically fell off the van. It is a 2001 Windstar, the place where it was towed to, installed a used subframe, and replaced the passenger side control arm. I just today looked up the recall on this again, and found it. As, ford has told me to hold on to my receipts, from when the front broke on it. That bill was in the beginning of November,2010, and was about $1,100 total. I took the vehicle into a Ford Dealer on 12/29/10 for the rear axle recall. I have to take the van back to this same dealer in a few days, for the dealer to look at the van to make sure what was done to it, and I have to send everything to Ford for a re-imbursement check from them. My question here is, they replaced the control arm on the passenger side, what is involved in this new recall. Is it both control arms? They also put in a used cradle arm assembly as well. The guy that did it could not believe that Ford had not had a recall on it up to then, as he looked at an 2002 subframe to put on mine, and the rusting on it was worse than what was on my 2001!

  • Pia

    I had contacted Ford about this new recall today, then my mail came and I had a recall notice about it in the mail today! LOLOL

  • Jacobi

    when are the bean counters at Ford going to realize they just need to up the offers – I have been in a rental since November and they have already paid more in rental fees thru Enterprise than the initial offer was, now I have heard my 2000 Windstar won’t be fixed until June 2011?? anyone else heard if there are more offers coming???

  • Cheryl

    I bought my van (99 Windstar LX) used (2-years old), and less then a year after I got it, my transmission dropped and I needed to have replaced. I received the recall on the cruise control & the axel but was told they didn’t have the parts to fix, and would call when they did. I had my axel brake the day after thanksgiving. Luckily I had just gotten off the highway and was in a store parking lot when it went, otherwise My children, My sister, her childen & myself would have been killed. My van was at the shop until 2 weeks ago (beginning of Feb). I received it back, and my sticker had expired. Went to get sticker and was told that I couldn’t because of the rot and corrosion of the undercarrige below the sliding door on driver’s side. Less then a week later, I received the recall for the subframe. The car was then brought right back to Ford, for them to tell me everything is fine and we can come get it. I don’t want it! They have almost killed me twice in this van. In the past I have had vehicles twice as long as this with none of these issues. I no longer trust this van, and will not put my children at risk having them get in it. Would Ford put their families in these vehicles? I don’t think so… I want them to buy out this piece of crap so I can get something I will feel safe putting my children in!!!

  • Pia

    Cheryl, I don’t get that one at all!! If the state is basically saying that the corrosion was so bad that you could not get a sticker, then I have no clue as to why Ford said it was fine?!?! It just does not make sense to me. I am bringing my 01 van in tomorrow to get this latest recall checked out and to get everything for my re-imbursement from when we paid to have it fixed before. I guess I will find out then, if they need to fix the drivers side on my van then. I am glad that when your axle broke, it was a similar situation to mine, we were both moving at very slow speeds. I had turned out of one parking lot, onto a state highway, but then was going to turn into the next parking lot when the front axle broke on it. I was by myself when this happened, but am very glad it did not happen at a high rate of speed.

  • Pia

    Also, we are thinking about getting another truck. I told my boyfriend that we are not getting a Ford truck!!

  • Sarah

    I’m just as frustrated as every other person out there! I haven’t been able to drive my van since the end of october 2010 and thankfully my mother has been letting me borrow her Durango while I impatiently waited for a phone call saying, “you can bring your van on down, we finally have the rear axle replacement”. So I finally got that call 2 days ago and dropped my van off yesterday…. Great, right?! WRONG! As I handed my key over to the guys at Ford Dealership, they inform me about the other recall on the sub frame (I was never notified in any way before finding out about the 2nd recall). So of course I was more pissed off after getting off the phone today with Ford mechanics telling me the van is not to be driven because the sub frame needs to be replaced and I need to wait up to 2 more months for total repairs… Does anyone know who I can talk to about this “buy-out” program????? It’s pretty sad that I bought a 2003 windstar in april 2008 for $6,000 & I have put almost $9,400 in repairs… I will never buy a Ford again!!!!

  • C.

    We brought our 99 Ford Windstar in for the first recall of the rear axle, were told it passed inspection and they would replace the part when it came in. Second recall this month, told it didn’t pass, was condemned, parts would not be made to fix the van and offered us the buyout of 3720. That’s the standard price they are offering everyone. Signed the agreement but haven’t handed the title work over yet and after reading how long the checks are taking to get to people, we are planning on NOT signing the title over until they have a check in their possession. This was our only car, they are providing a rental for only 5 days and then nothing! This is so descpicable and Ford is a joke!

  • Bill

    I have 2002 wind star 2 weeks ago ford sent me a subframe recall then they tell me and my wife that our windstar is not driveable. and they said they dont know if there going to fix it. then told me if they do its going to take 4 to 6 months. i think they should give us our money back that we paid for our windstar.

  • Bob

    I had an ’02 Windstar Sport than ran 327,000km virtually trouble free. Last September it needed brake and front end work and I stumbled across a great deal on an ’01 Windstar Sport with 168,000km so I jumped on it and took the ’02 off the road. Last night the “new” van dropped the right side CV shaft (fortunately at low speed) due to the front subframe basically crumbling. It is currently sitting at the Ford dealership awaiting a determination from Ford as to whether to repair it or offer a buyback. If they come up with a decent number I’ll let them have it, otherwise I have no concerns about running the Windstar once they replace the front subframe and address the rear axle and cruise control recalls. It’s a pain in the rear for sure, but I can’t be too hard on Ford. After all, they are standing behind a ten year old van and putting me in a 2010 Dodge Caravan for a rental.

  • janice

    I took my 2000 ford windstar in for the subframe recall naturally they kept it i called today march 4th and the dealear said they didnt know when it would be repaired that they hadnt gotten any instructions from ford they have had my van since february 14th i am on a fixed income and cant make car payments in fact i just paid my last car payment in february 2011 the dealer did give me a rental a ford fuison but i have severe arthritis and find it qiute difficult to get in and out of the loaner i have been reading some horror stories from other wondstar owners i dont think we are getting a fair shake shame on ford motor company

  • Euene LaMel

    I own a 2002 Windstar. Why have I never been notified of a rear axle recall????

  • Pam

    I just brought my 01 Windstar Sport to the dealership for the rear axle recall and the front subframe recall. There is 191,100 km on the vehicle and we have had it for 3 1/2 years. The dealership told me that the vehicle would be fixed by 3PM this afternoon. We are in Toronto Canada. After reading everyones horror stories about these recalls I am worried about what will happen with my van.

  • barb

    Got my 3720 from ford in less than a week – check with your dealer – he may be holding out on you.

    Bought another Ford (fiesta) and although I don’t like the added monthly payment – the car is beautiful and much better on gas (12 mpg vs 40 mpg).

  • dmk441

    Had my 200 windstar recalled axle and have had rental until now. Ford is not going to fix front undercarriage and will buy them out. Only other alternative was they could fix axle but i would have to take the vehicle without the undercariage done. I took the buy out $4250.00 kelly blue book clean retail. Dealer cut me the check from dealership but it still cost me money to buy a new vehicle for 7 seats. My van was inthe lot and I took pictures of it snow was 3 foot high on roof and battery dead.

  • Don

    1999 Windstar 112000km has been at the dealership since mid Feb. Passed the rear axle test no cracks failed the subframe. As of 3/10/2011 no ETA on reinforcement brackets. Called Ford customer support to confirm what the criteria were for a buyback. If your vehicle can be fixed no buyback was the response. Asked them once the vehicle was fixed what confidence could they give me that the rear axle/subframe would not fail a year from now. Customer rep stated “well they coated the rear axle, cannot guarantee what could happen a year from now if something does happen you would have to bring it back in”??? Needless to say their response does not fill me with the utmost of confidence considering the severity of the recall. Goodbye Ford!

  • Jerry

    I would like to see what goes wrong with all the Windstars that ford fixes a year from now considering the vehicle on average are sitting for 5 to 6 months people should ask for a coverage to help fix up coming issues basicly your Ford is junk now.

  • DMV

    I heard if the dealer does’t get you the check and doesn’t honor the recall just let the dealer know you are going to your DMV and report it and Attorney General this will wake them up and the DMV will call them and open and investigation on the dealership “they don’t want this with a passion”. Ford is making people sign the paperwork in diress which is illegal and contact for corp and complain greesey wheel gets more greese. Ford is losing alot of customers what happened we bail them out with our tax money and they could care less about the little man just like Wall Street Banks wake up America

  • Pam

    Got my 2001 Ford Windstar SE Sport back after being fixed for the rear axle & front subfram recalls. The mechanic said that the van is in perfect shape and will last another 200,000km. I guess time will tell if the fix was enough. Until the next recall comes in….

  • Larry T.

    I just started this process for both recalls,Monday March 7th, both were unrepairable. As noted above the offer was $3,720.00 for the ’99 Windstar LX 100K + mileage. The question I have is the duration of the dealerships offer to keep you in a rental appears to be suspect. We were offered 5 days. had to return and take it out of Fords name and put in ours. Dealer suggested it would take almost a month or better to receive a check. I also talked with Ford Customer Relations in Dearborn, Mich today, confirming that they are independent dearlerships and they set the rental durations not customer relations. ‘Further tht they await the sale to be signed and then process thru Ford and when they receive the check that is when customer receives thiers. So back to the rental, has anyone had this situation and has anyone found any class action litigation started for the extended rental of $210.00 a week in our case thru Enterprise, which the dealership refuses to pick up. Ill check this blog often but to be honest Customer Relations did advise me to check thier web site for changes in the rental policy as they may change down the road. so here we go no money to buy new car, nor didnt care to. Lastly, dealership could care less that wife was oncall emergency room / surgical nurse at local hospital. which only allows her 00:30 min to report when called and this is after her normal shift including weekends and holidays. Thank you all for veiwing my post. and please feel free to contact me via email. Hope this may help someone as the earlier post of the Monetary offer was very helpful to us. Larry

  • TFM

    We were made the same offer of $3720 for our Winstar LX (1999)for recall 11S16. This is NOT in keeping with Ford’s OWN formula available on NHTSA’s website. That formula is set out in an Attachment IV to a letter from Ford to all Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealers, dated Feb 3, 2011 from Michael A. Berardi, Director of Service Engineering Operations, Customer Service Division. The Formula set out in the attachement is worded as follows: “Ford will provide a premium vehicle refund which exceeds the fair market value to owners of 1999-2003 Windstar vehicles when the subframe cannot be repaired. The vehicle refund for Safety Recall 11S16 is based on the vehcile model year and Trim Level using Kelley Blue Book, Private Party, Excellent Condition, and assuming 12,000 miles per year. This premium offer is approximately 150% of this value.” What this means for us – our KBB value came to a bit over $3385 based on date of manufacture through March 1st (150k miles), meaning we should be offered a refund of around $5077. Therefore we are contesting the offer and urge all of you to do the same. Start at NHTSA’s website at, and then do a document search for the Ford letter. Good luck to all of you. Call in consumer Affairs advocate agencies if needed. We are poor and cannot afford a replacement van, nor to be deprived of $1,300+ of the supposed reimbursement/buyout.

  • Larry T.

    Thank you TFM for that info. I knew there was something suspect that they had to be hiding, I trust there will be Litigation to follow. I’ll assume that we have all been taken advantage of with respect to the offer, as it was signed under duress. I believe the second part of this offer that was not handle fairly was the rental, and it didnt make any difference to me, an Enterprise rental or new car demo, not the 5 day rental we were offered. Again when you purchased your car, we all had to write a check or a check was faxed to dealer before we drove off the lot, why are we having to wait a month or more for our check. And lastly those who just had repairs done just prior to recall be reimbursed immeadiately. Larry

  • RHP

    Futher to TFM’s posting above, here are detailed instructions on how to find Ford’s instructions to dealers regarding Windstar Recall 11S16 as posted on NHTSA’s website.
    Go to:
    For a “quick search” enter the NHTSA Campaign ID number: 11V030000
    Click on the box “Document Search” and you should see a list of documents. Ford’s memo to dealers “Safety Recall 11S16 – Supplement #1” starts with document RCMN-11V030-5361. “Attachment IV”, which contains the formula to be used for the “premium vehicle refund” is document RCMN-11V030-8877. After checking out Kelley Blue Book values ( Ford’s stated criteria, it seems that their refund offers are considerably short of “approximately 150%” of the KBB values. Enjoy!

  • Chris G.

    I HAD a 2000 Ford Windstar that suffered from this problem BEFORE the recall notice arrived. Last summer, while driving down a road to my cottage (2 minutes after leaving the highway where I was driving at 100 km/hr) the front subframe split, the axle separated, and the car came to a crashing halt. I had it towed to a Ford dealer who informed me that it wasn’t worth fixing, and so I sold the car to a wrecker for $200. Today the recall letter arrived. I called Ford Customer Service who inform me that since I don’t own the car anymore, they can’t do anything to compensate me. Definitely not impressed… As I said to them on the phone, if it had split 6 months later, I would be compensated. If it had split 2 minutes earlier, they would be compensating my next-of-kin.

  • Legalaction

    Funny thing when it looked like a signed the paper to the dealer for the check I didnt sign my name and they were to stupid to notice. I demanded my check they wanted to wait until they got paid by ford they gave me the check anyways. I cant wait until the class action lawsuit comes and they have to confirm that I signed the paperwork NO Name legable so FU Ford Pay me.

  • Arielle

    If DC and MD are covered by this recall, then NoVA should be too – Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William counties, etc.. We got *how many* feet of snow in winter 2009-10?

  • Jeremiah Wilson

    I have just been hosed by ford on this recall 11S16 my 99 windstar failed inspection.Ford offered me $3720.00 what a joke. My van had 98000 miles and ran great, i had this van for almost 11 years now and took good care of it.I put new tires on it in Dec.2010 $425.00.I found out where they came up with this price and did my own research, they are like $700.00 short on price.From the info i found my van was worth $2965.00 plus ford was to pay 150% of that.Total $4447.50.I tried to call and got “this is none negotiable”.I wanted at least $4200.00 for a down payment on another car.Ford wont even let you talk to anyone with any kind of power at the corperate level.Come on ford you make BILLIONS and you are screwing yourself out of customers.I’ll never buy a ford agian!!!

  • Paul in NJ

    Maybe this is a new policy, or maybe it’s just my Ford dealer:

    Stopped in today to make the appointment. I was informed that if, in the dealer’s opinion, the vehicle is “too far gone,” the vehicle will be impounded on the spot — as in “No van for you!” — and that Ford will buy it back.

    Mine has 118K on it, so if they offer me $3700, I’ll cheerfully take it. (Not that I’ll have a choice.)

  • RAD

    Last Thrusday we took our ’99 Windstar in for the subframe recall. It “passed” the rear axle recall. It failed the new recall. We were told we had 2 options accept the buy back at $3720 (this is less than 150% of blue book value but that is the amount for 1999 Windstars)or decline and take the car. Option # 2 is no option as we would be fully responsible for any accident that may take place. Were given a rental for 5 days, and only five days, which ends today. We liked our car and would have kept it if it was safe. replaced the engine 2 years ago but still could not get more than the $3720. Ford had its best first quarter since 1998 this year. The thanks it gives to all the people that kept them going from 1999 through 2003 is. We used sub standard parts on the underbody of your cars. Now they are unsafe. Here is $3720 for your loyalty you have 5 days to find a new car. For the rear axle recall they extended rentals for months, I asked for one week 7 full days and could not get it. Have never said this before.But I will never buy another FORD product.

  • Lawrence/Colleen

    I just really need my check so I can get a new ride! I am a single mother of three also takin care of my elderly mother w/ no transportation! The guy at the dealership had no idea how long or what to even tell me about how long it would take! I understand Ford is dealin w/ alot! But I was a very loyal Ford customer, just absolutely was set on gettin another one just as soon my money came! Boy have I changed my Mind? I just wish and still am hopin and prayin that it comes VERY SOON!!! As I’m sure most of you are. With my large family guess I’m gonna have to go w/ Doge minivan anything besides Ford unless I get my check soon! The longer I’m w/o the madder I get! And the bad thing is I really loved my van!!! Go figure!!

  • Laura

    Has anyone heard of issues with a 1998 ford windstar with a front axle cracking? I was turning into a parking spot and my front axle bit it. Now I have been told this is not covered in the recall, although my back axle is. What kind of joke is FORD trying to pull? I have had to file a complain to have this looked into. This is insane. I hope this doesn’t happen to someone else who is driving down the highway with their kids in the car.

  • Colum Wood
  • jonathan h

    my van was in the shop for a month and i only had a rental for a weak and 5 days i have four children they gave me a bug first had to wait 2 days for the colbolt then 1 day for the van now i got my van back and its rigged they didnt replace it they used some kind of goofy looking clamp i live in in pa i know its illegal to modify the frame in this state went through it with a differant vehicle years ago so now im stuck to get rid of the van i have to pay to have the title changed to an r title but i dont even feel comfortable with selling it i dont feel that their rig job is safe not to mention the van now with rigging front and back isnt worth what i have in it paid 3500 for the vav put 3000 in the trans not even a year later the guy whom did the work said in his opinion they should be recalling the trannies he said he had probably done 20 of them just in the month i took mine to him i dont know what to do if anyone has any idea plz let me know i at a lost and am tierd of getting f___ by the big companies

  • tanya

    My 2002 ford windstar has 128000 miles on it for the most part its been a pretty good vehicle, even though it guzzles gas. In march we were leaving to drive to florida and had the back axel inspected and passed. To prepare for our trip I put over 1000 dollars into my van getting new tires, tansmission flush, starter, ect. I am extremely worried about this new recall my passenger sliding door is completely rusting from the bottom up so that my sliding door track has a hole in it. It no longer shuts properly and now is affecting my passenger side door. Also my drivers sliding door is starting to rust. Has anyone experienced these issues or know if they lead into more??

  • Jessica

    I just got a post card in the mail yesterday about the recall. I have a 2000 ford windstar. And told me to take it to my locate ford dealer and have it looked at or fixed. I cant be with out a car, will they give me a rental car? And are they still buying back the vans? It scares me to think about something else happening even if they just fix it I have young kids and don’t feel save with them riding in it. So I’d rather them buy it back if they will.

  • debbie

    i also have a ford 2000 windstar van 68,000 miles and a transmission problem and a recall letter now what, my drivers side sliding door also has a hole and rusting from bottom up looked under van and whole thing is rusty cant tell if anything is cracked or faulty dont know if they can do anything for me since van doesnt move.

  • TazMage

    I took mine in yesterday. They said it’ll be ready tomorrow. They did furnish me with a rental from Enterprise, a behemoth of a truck, a 2011 Dodge 4×4, 4 door, that, according to the display, is getting about half the gas mileage of my van. So it’s costing me twice as much to use this rental as it would be to be driving my van and this truck sits so high off the ground, that I can barely get into it.

    Oh well….I look forward to tomorrow…to see if they fixed it or if I even get it back.…I’ll post what happens.

  • TazMage

    Also, I just checked and clicked though all the vehicle input info for my 2002 Ford Windstar. Here is what the NHTSA Action Number EA10007 says that Ford WILL DO.

    “…Owners of vehicles that do not pass inspection, but can be repaired, will be offered transportation until parts become available. Repurchase offers will be extended to owners of vehicles that cannot be repaired with the reinforcement brackets. This investigation is closed.”

    So, If they don’t fix it or can’t fix it, I’d go to and search for your vehicle, then find the NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V030000 and then look for NHTSA Action Number: 2 Investigations found View and click on View and a popup window with that information will come up. You may have to get creative to find a way to print it, either copy and paste it into a notepad or take a screenshot and print it out, but I would take a copy of that to the dealer when you go to get your vehicle fixed and see what they say.

  • TazMage

    Here is a copy of what the refund offer is supposed to be. It’s in a .pdf file, so if they made you an offer to buy your vehicle, print this form and take it to the dealer. It states that they will offer you 150% over the book value of your vehicle.

  • Frank

    Of course after July 1, 2011, Ford is no longer extending the refund offer. I received my recall notice August 16, 2011. So I guess I’m out of luck.

  • Darlene

    I was left a 2001 Windstar by my late father. I call it the orphan van. It is serviced every three months at the dealer and has been since new. The transmission went at 34,000km (I am in Canada), the centre bolt blew out of the block heater, the sensors for my brakes stay on most of the summer but not in the winter. I just took it in as my engine light came on. I am now up to $862.00 to replace a fill pipe. I have about 4 hours of diagnostics at $85.00 per hour. Just got told of the front subframe recall and then told I needed to replace the subframe but at my expense. $3000. plus $85.00 per hour x 7 hours. I have now written Ford and will consider hiring a lawyer based on principal. This is a design problem with Ford and they should be absorbing costs. Not impressed and I will be making this public knowledge in my local newspaper.

  • Jan

    Jessica – my local Ford dealership will not provide me with a loaner car.

  • Mike

    Has anyone experienced noise from the front-end of their Windstar after having the subframe work done? When the weather is wet or cold, there is a loud noise when you make a significant turn of the steering wheel. It does not happen in dry, warmer (over 50) weather.

    The garage I used for repairs says the noise is coming from the left front strut support, but there is no repair/safety issue. They say to get rid of the noise the cheapest thing to do whould be to replace the entire strut, but it would still cost several hundred dollars. So far I have held off replacing it, but the noise is pretty annoying.

    The dealer that did the recall work for the subframe and the rear axle has pretty much said they can’t do anything for me.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

  • JC

    A great big Thank You to all for posting your comments and links! Knowing where to look for additional information and seeing how others are being treated with this issue has been very helpful…

    In my case, I was prepping for a long distance Thanksgiving trip and decided to have my local garage check my 2001 Winstar for a new noise (loud pop) that I was hearing during sharp right turns. When the Van went up on the lift, the mechanic loudly exclaimed “Oh My God”! Then he brought me under the Van to show me that the subframe had rusted completely thru at the rear passenger connector point. This left just 3 bolts holding together the engine, transmission, steering components, and front wheels! There was also a great amount of rust covering most of the undercarriage. I then searched the Internet and located the Recall information. I dropped my van off at my local dealer last week and was told they had to request permission from Ford to proceed with a repair since the subframe was completely rusted thru. Today, they got approval from Ford to replace the subframe and replacement parts are expected within a day or two. After I receive the vehicle back, I intend to take it back to my local garage for another inspection just so I can see their work.

    Having seen the extent of the rust and the damage caused by it, I find it hard to imagine that no one noticed this in the past when I had oil and tire changes.

  • Roche

    I just bought a 2000 Ford Windstar a week and a half ago. The front sub frame and back axl had the “kits” installed to “take care” of the problem. What a joke! My van is undrivable, so says my mechanic. The kits were just put on a year ago, and the van is already undrivable. They should have replaced them. I ask two different Ford mechanics, “would you trust those repairs on the front sub frame and axl?” They both could not respond in a positive way. One even told me they should have replaced them! Ford, shame on you! You are pathetic!

  • Peggy

    Last fall I had the rear axle recall fixed, shortly after there was a squeeling sound when I make turns. I have an ABS light, and brake light that won’t shut off despite multiple repairs to breaks to fix it. Today I see there is another recall, the 11S16, which Ford would have known about when I took my van in for the last recall, but didn’t say anything. I never received anything in the mail about the 11S16. Found out about it researching a recent engine problem only to see the multiple problems appear to be recall related and either not fixed or they say they were fixed and are still occurring.

  • Peggy

    To file a vehicle safety complaint

  • Jay

    02 windstar won’t stay in park. Put the van in drive the transmission locked. Put in reverse it unlocked. Went to put it in park and now it rolls. No park at all. Anybody know if there was a recall??

  • JOY

    Well after reading all the recalls problems for 1999 to 2003 Ford Windstar..Today I just received a letter from FORD MOTOR COMPANY-FORD CUSTOMER SERVICE DIVISION,P.O BOX 1904 DEARBORN, MICHIGAN 48121.. It says in the letter that FORD MOTOR COMPANY-would like to remind you that your 2001 Windstar has not had the following NO CHARGE RECALL COMPLETED..RECALL NUMBER AND DESCRIPTIONS :11S16 -SUBFRAME INSPECTION/REPAIR.. So then it said in the letter please contact your dealer to schedule an appointment to have this important service procedure completed…as soon as possible, so then I called FORD DEALER TO HAVE THIS DONE AND ASKED THEM TO PROVIDE ME A LOANER SO THEY SAID WILL SEE? SO I’m hoping that they provide me a loaner to drive to work and to school everyday .I will bring 2001 ford windstar this Thursday 3/15/2012… Hoping for good service and a loaner car…

  • Andrea

    Just picked my 2000 Windstar up from the mechanic (I have only owned the van for about 4 months) because the steering wheel locked while I was on the highway (almost hit the wall as I was not able to turn going around a bend in the road). The mechanic whom I trust as he is a friend said he looked at the van and the rack and pinion needed to be totally replaced this cost over $900 (other things were also replaced like the transmission pump had a hole in it as well as the rear break line cylinder had a hole in it). Pull in the driveway wheel turns great leave to go the store and suddenly the wheel will not turn again….get the mail from the mail box and find the recall..look up the recall and find it is the exact problems I am having….thanks for almost killing me ford!!!!! It sickens me to know that they are selling vehicles like this and that fact that it is a FAMILY vehicle!!!!

  • brenda

    Joy: i just got my letter. I have been paying a note for a year. I will call tomorrow and go through the same process as you. I pray they will give you a car as well as fix the problem for everyone else too. This is my first car at 63 years old. Im a retired widow who took great pride in having a car for my grandkids. I will see how things go tomorrow.

  • John


  • John


  • Coakee

    ATTENTION ALL WINDSTAR OWENERS, PLEASE READ.  I had my recall repaired last year and despite the ‘repair’ it is currently rotted, having chards of metal poking out and holes in the subframe.  Please have your subframes…even if they have been “repaired” inspected.  If still a problem, please file a complaint on the NTHSA website.  We all need to band together and hold Ford accountable!  I would also like to add that the dealer told me it was fine…. independent mechanic was the one who pointed it out to me.  I notified FORD, returned to dealer today for pictures…. which I supervised.  Awaiting Ford’s response.
    NHTSA’s complaint website:

  • Ford, as are other car mfg, is notorious & more so in recent years in making poor quality vehicles, very hard & costly to upkeep, repair & refurbish plus often declared obsolete.
    Good to hear that there is another ‘recall’ from Ford to replace front carrier frame, along with the earlier recall to replace the rear axle with new assemblies.
    As to my Windstar:
    The front engine-trans axle-suspension carrier frame is rusted to a poor condition whereby hardly any structural integrity remains at both its rearward bolting to van body. Only the two forward bolt mountings still have soundness connection to van body.
    It is compounded by the fact that left lower ‘wishbone’ control arm had earlier catastrophically failed due to rivets broke by enbrittlement from road salts. Let’s elaborate on the control arm and dire consequences later.
    As to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) input to have Ford make positive repairs/replacement of Windstar components it’s great news. However, it’s most ironic due to that fact that FHWA & NHTSA have policy & practise followed by state, county, city & towns to apply salts on roads, bridges, parking lots & buildings under the illusion of promoting safety. Winter, snow, ice & cold actually help preserve vehicles. Road salts not only ruin cars, roads, bridges but also pollute soil, air & water bodies tremendously. Salts create far more hazards than safety. Actually salts achieve massive ruin whether material, vehicle, infrastructure demise to negative social behaviours astoundingly more than it is alluded to eliminate.It’s apparent that both Ford (other mfg too) and NHTSA & FHWA have worked well to ruin vehicles, roads, bridges,.. sell cars… Certainly too to keep hazards & burdens on us thriving that can easily be eliminated by prudent choices, policies & practises.Please do be wary & don’t accept Ford rapairs using epoxy, & make-do mends as they are not sound. The best is to replace rear axle, & front carrier frame assembly with new ones along with related parts. Or Ford buy-back vehicle. Please do look at yours & get good mechanic inspect too.

  • Roots of ruin:

    Also check with your State, County, City & town about road salts applied to roads, bridges, parkin areas/ building, & consequently to vehicles, etc.

  • Grant_guitar

    I had the recall done last year. Two days ago ( 2003 Windstar 223000km/138500mi) the sway bar mount on the subframe broke right off. Only way to repair it that I know of is replace the entire subframe. Not exactly a small job. After calling Ford customer service I was told I’m on my own. Last Ford purchase ever. Thanks Alot.

    This is NOT over. I estimated to roughly get  300 000 km out of this while finishing college and establishing my career. This vehicle is literally going to screw everything up now. If there’s any advice I’m listening…and reading further on this thread.

    NEVER BUY A WINDSTAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • help

    I have a 99 Windstar LX, got new subframe brackets (2 months ago), and fixed the axle.. but the problem is my subframe is about to crack near the control arm , my local ford dealer said ‘it’s not covered in warranty recall. ‘ I have no idea what to do. If I tell Ford Canada (head office) , would they do it for me free. or would they buy it back or give me a rental (I live in canada). what am I supposed to say to ford canada to get a new subframe or to get it fixed ?????? what will they say? would they do it for free. This is a serious problem. If you live in Canada, had the same problem and got it fixed for free or what happened plzz share and tell me what im suppose to do. Thanks

  • help

    I have a 99 Windstar LX, got new subframe brackets (2 months ago), and fixed the axle.. but the problem is my subframe is about to crack near the control arm , my local ford dealer said ‘it’s not covered in warranty recall. ‘ I have no idea what to do. If I tell Ford Canada (head office) , would they do it for me free. or would they buy it back or give me a rental (I live in canada). what am I supposed to say to ford canada to get a new subframe or to get it fixed ?????? what will they say? would they do it for free. This is a serious problem. If you live in Canada, had the same problem and got it fixed for free or what happened plzz share and tell me what im suppose to do. Thanks

  • Glc

    I had my 2002 winstar recall performed at Jim Kien Ford on Friday June29 2012. I went and pick it up after geting a phone call the winstar was done. I got into my winstar,started it up,it sound like some had taken my muffler off.  Iwent back to the service desk to find out that the replacement bracket is to close to the pipe/hanger. service tec to me to take it to muffler shopand for forty to fifty buck they could fix it.  I couldn,t believe I was to get something fixed that there tec cleary broke try to put recall bracket on . I called the Phone number they gave me tocall,asked them about the pipe/hanger,told me they,ve fixed a few of the winstar vans after recall brackes have been replaced. Left a message on service manger voice mail no call ,so much for 100% satisfaction. Jim Kiem Ford. 

  • Mmbyrd07

    I have had my van in the Ford shop on Beechmont ave. since last Saturday. They telling me I can only get a 2 day rental for free then I have to pay. But yet my van is not finished…This is BS..I was driving when the suspension frame snapped..I think we all need to contact a lawyer since were getting screwed…

  • Josephdeyo

    My family and I own a 2000 windstar and the subframe rusted completley off right at the control arm on friday the 21st.  I just learned there was a recall on the subframe. Does anyone know if ford will fix this for sure or buy the van back ? Or will they give me the run around ??? Not to mention , this happen with my family was in the car !!  Any injuries to them on i would have sued !! 

  • elisarn

    It was recalled and they will do either of the two….. fix it or buy it back.  The dealer submits a report to Ford, then Ford will make the decision.  When I went through this a couple years back I had a rental at Ford’s expense for about a month while mine sat awaiting parts.

  • elisarn

    Just to clarify, I did not get the run around to get it fixed, nor for the rental car.
    If I were you, I would begin researching what your car is worth in case they do want to do the buyback… but ultimately that is Ford’s decision how they will handle it.  Good Luck!

  • MattyIce

    Feb 2013.  I had the same as many others here.  I had my 2002 Windstar “repaired” in Apr 2011 under the recall.  A real bad service dept at a dealership near my house installed brackets.  I thought it was fixed, and went on my way.  My front passenger wheel cracked and was turned out to the right(5mph luckily).  Undriveable.  I had it towed to a good independent mechanic and he told me the front sub-frame where the lower control arm connects, is rusted bad.  He said he thought Ford had a recall on that, so I took it back to the same dealership that worked on it in 2011.  That bad dealership and FMC both took NO responsibility.  They claim it was fixed under the recall, but it wasn’t fixed properly.  The sub-frame needs to be replaced, not just new brackets added.  I filed a complaint with the NHTSA today.  I stated exactly that.  If you drive a Windstar, file a complaint with the NHTSA, we all need to do it.  Link is in previous post. Ford did not fix it correctly, they took the cheap way out.  I called FMC Detroit….they are no help. 
    I want to fight to get Ford to step up and fix them correctly. If anyone has a recent update post it.   When the time comes to buy another car….it WON’T be a Ford. 

  • Disappointed in Detroit

    Just purchased a TOYOTA and gave them my 2003 WIndstar (183K) after fixing it w/o help from Ford, we have always purchsed the so called AMERICAN CARS, no more – they never help with anything, my subframe went and it was blamed on something else.. paid the 1500 to fix it – NO MORE FORDS, GM or CHRYSLERS!  THE warranty on the  Toyota is outstanding and co was the buying process, I went to Frod dealer first = gave me the run around… fully disappointed once again. -so the Toyota is made in Michigan with Michgian workers…. so I am NOT suporting AMERICA! (not mexico where all the FORDS seem to me made- & Korea for GM)

  • java

    I just purchased a 2001 ford Windstar three weeks ago & everything seemed okay until a week later I felt like the car was being dragged on the road with no wheels,when I stopped to check I found that the whole sub-frame was rotted from rust and snapped, the engine was literally leaning or sitting on the drive shafts. My question is, is the recall still going on?

  • winstartowner

    Yes the recall is still in effect. Just call Ford and give them your car vin number and they take it from there. They provided me with a rental until my 2001 vehicle was fixed.

  • chris

    Found this article when i was goggling for my 2006 FOrd Five Hundred. Sub frame is rotting out and getting some horrible sounds in the front end, 180,000 kms !!! getting a new sub frame installed today alongside with new Strut bushings on top!! $600 later!!!
    THis just after spending 600 on new ball joints, tie rods and control arm bushings LOL

  • john

    I have a 2001 Windstar which I brought in for this recall in March of 2013. They did the “necessary” repairs to satisfy the recall. Last week (6/12/14) my, subframe rotted out! I took it to a Ford dealer for an inspection and they confirmed that it did rot out. They are not doing anything about it because the recall is over and the 12 month 12k mike warranty on that part they used for the recall is expired. The dealer quoted my about $3300 to repair. This happens just after a drop $1000 on new tires and breaks.

  • mark

    I’ve got a 2000 windstar van with only 100k miles and the engine cradle (frame) broke at the rear body mount. My engine is actually hanging down about 4 inches off the ground. Anyway I called the ford dealer and gave them my vin#. They wont fix it because my van isn’t on the recall list. My question is why are some vans on the list to be fixed and some are not? If my van is obviously having the same issues that the recall is about. Ford should take responsibility for making such a pos!

  • Sibbald Wayne

    What if the van was 2nd hand. Am I still allowed to be part of the recall. If so, what’s the first step

  • Sibbald Wayne

    How far can I drive with a what appears to be a loose sway bar. On a 2002 windstar sport

  • rakiren

    I have a 2003 ford windstar and I need a non chip key made. Where is Oneida county can I get one cheep?

  • sanhein

    Same here, only mine hasn’t broken….YET. Sent Ford pictures and even post on Twitter. @fordservice gives the run around. Asked if I had to get hurt or killed first before something would be done. Also ask WHY this van (1998 Windstar ) was not bought back during the axle recall/buyback as the problem was starting then. My then mechanic was even surprised. Ford does not answer. This vehicle has under 100,000 miles. All sorts of problems, most are complaints many other owners have.

  • sanhein

    Mine is rusting out terribly. Never had such a poor quality, dangerous vehicle such as this.