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U.S. safety agency expands probe of Ford Windstar for corrosion
Automotive News
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December 22, 2010 - 6:33 pm ET




WASHINGTON -- U.S. auto safety officials upgraded a probe into Ford Windstar minivans following a raft of new complaints about corrosion in the vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in a posting on its website today, said it has launched an engineering analysis -- an advanced stage of its ongoing investigation – that covers about 550,000 Windstar minivans from the 1999-2003 model years.

Ford has recalled more than 600,000 of the minivans in the United States and Canada because rear axles can corrode and break. In the United States, the recall began in August and is limited to 22 northern states where salt is used to treat roads during the winter.

NHTSA said its latest investigation is focusing on new corrosion complaints in the front of the vehicles.

The safety agency, according to the posting on its website, has received 346 complaints of corrosion and broken front subframes on the Windstar.

The subframe supports the minivan's engine, transmission, steering rack and front suspension. If cracked or excessively corroded, steering control on the minivan can be impeded.

Three crashes and one injury have been reported to the agency.

NHTSA said most of the latest complaints have been filed by motorists in cold weather states. Some Windstar owners have also cited problems on the right side of the vehicle with the routing of air-conditioning lines, the agency said.

Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood told The Associated Press the automaker was "fully cooperating with the government on the investigation."


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They may have to start buying these POS's back
 

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I have always said, that the taurus based windstar/freestar was one of Ford's worst efforts in decades.
Minimal engineering and a half ass effort in every way.
100% correct and ironically the Windstar was the only domestic vehicle that ever came close to threaten Chrysler's supremacy in the minivan market . . . THAT was the giant goodwill that Ford had in those days.
 

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I have always said, that the taurus based windstar/freestar was one of Ford's worst efforts in decades.
Minimal engineering and a half ass effort in every way.
The Freestar was almost as bad of an effort
 

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It was the same effort . . . with a different grill and a new interior and name.
I give them some credit with the flip fold rear seat that you could use as a tailgate seat as well, but Dodge walked all over then when they did stow and go
 

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I understand what is happening, and why. However, I do have issue with forced recalls/fixes for 8-13 year old vehicles. Especially when those vehicles were built, based on circumstances of their day.

In other words, the salt/corrosive properties in road "salting" are many times higher in the last few years, than they used to be. I think this type of accelerated rusting is going to permeate many vehicles in years to come. At what point is a manufacturer not responsible??

Coming up next, possible recall on 1995 Rangers, for rust issues??
 

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This makes no sense. These are old, mostly high-mileage vehicles where the original loans have long been paid off and they have served their useful life. Does NHTSA want to keep them alive indefinetly?

So when they reach the next 100,000 miles do they get new seats and steering wheel to replace the worn out components?

When a car needs new brakes, should there be a recall?

How about '60s muscle cars? Maybe the government should have the auto companies pay to restore all the car's of those who wish to have one restored?
 
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