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Federal regulators announced a recall of 575,000 Ford Windstar vans in several states and in Canada where road salt is used in cold weather, because the rear axle may fracture due to corrosion.

In May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a preliminary investigation into the problem, after the agency received 234 reports of rear axle fractures and two minor crashes. The number has since risen to 950.

The recall affects about 463,000 vehicles in the U.S. and the remaining in Canada, according to a Ford spokesman. The model years involved are 1998-2003.

The states affected by the Windstar Recall are listed below:

Canada and Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Ford Motor Co. will repair the recalled vehicles free of charge by installing brackets to reinforce the rear axle, Ford said in the statement.

The NHTSA is also investigating a potential design defect of the gas tank in about three million Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles that could pose a fire danger in case of a collision.

12 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Megan

    I already had to replace my rear axle about 6 months ago. The guy at the garage said he'd never seen anything like it, it just snapped in half.

    Will Ford reimburse me for having it done??

  2. Gravatar for Mike

    I have the same question/comment. Mine snapped on a 2000 Windstar and mechanic said he never seen anything like it before.....had it replaced....problem is I ended up trading it in on a Chrysler van......any chance I can expect to get reimbursed?

  3. Gravatar for Mary G

    My 98 is all rusted underneath. It will not pass inspection so was going to try to sell it to a junk yard today then heard of this recall. Not sure if they will help me with my rust problem. They use liquid deicer and salt here in south western NY state. I never have had a car that was still running great but the body has rusted this bad.

  4. Gravatar for John DeVito

    I also have a 98 Windstar. The rear axle snapped as my wife was pulling out of the driveway in March. We got one from a junkyard and replaced it. I want reimbursment from Ford for replacing it as well. Not our fault that we had the problem before the recall and had to fix it. I wonder if we have a class action lawsuit.

  5. Gravatar for Laurie  Bodkin

    I have a 2001 Ford Windstar my rear axle broke in August 2010.The tow truck driver could not beleive how it just broke in half.It took them over 90 minutes to figure out how it was going to get it to the mechanics.Over 500. for the mechanic to weld it.Hears about the recall and took to a Ford dealer they have my van and won't give it back until a new axel is put on.They were kind enough to give me a rental. The car they gave me is to small I was told for any thing bigger it would have to come out of my pocket. As for the money I put out for it to get welded I was toldmost LIKELY Ford will not give me reinburse me.I have my rental car for at least a month.I had to put a 150.00 deposit on the car.

  6. Gravatar for Bianca B.

    Same question here, My axle snapped (in heavy traffic with my kids in the car, may I add!!) and I have already had mine replaced...any word on what Ford is doing for us?!?

  7. Gravatar for chuck young

    COME ON FORD,

    MAKE THIS RIGHT FOR YOUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS!!!!!!!!!!

    YOU F#X#!1 UP

    LUCKY NO ONE GOT KILLED!!!!

    VERY BAD FOR YOUR BUISNESS!!!

    KIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Gravatar for adam S

    have a 1999 Ford Windstar my rear axle broke in August 2010 a week before the recall.Heard about the recall and took to a Ford dealer they have my van and won't give it back until a new axel is put on. Ford was paying for a rental. I just got a call from the dealer saying ford called them and said don't know when they will have the parts might be 1 or 2 months and they will buy the car out from me for $2600 and need an answer within 24hrs. They also said they wouldn't pay for my rental car for anymore than 30 days. Talking about putting a gun to my head is ford kidding It might be a piece of SH?@ but I can't replace it for $2600. So they can fix it even if it takes 2 months.

  9. Gravatar for laurie Bodkin

    Well Ford has had my van since September 2,2010. When they took it and would not give it back they told me not to worry they would give me a rental and I would be all set and thats after i put down a $150.00 deposit.A week later I received a phone call it was going to cost $7.50 a day.Today is Oct 5 had to go in and and pay another $230.00 to date thats $380.00.They say my van is in very good condition so buy back is not a option.They have approved another 60 day rental at $7.49 a day $675.for 3 months out of my pocket.I was told today that they (Ford) has no solution yet.Here is a number 1-800-392-3673 CALL FORD .......

  10. Gravatar for windstarless

    To: adamS - is it ford motor company or the dealership that is offering the $2,600. is that with no strings attached. i have been without my van for over a month now. this is terrible. you cannot replace a 1999 windstar for $2,600. they should get these cars off the road.

    also, there is talk about the front subframe corrosion, but they have not as yet issued a recall. see this link:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/07/30/report-nhtsa-expands-ford-windstar-corrosion-probe-to-front-sub/

    thanks.

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