Ford Issues 2nd Minivan Recall over Corrosion Issue

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Defective Products on Friday, January 28, 2011

Ford Motor Company recently announced a recall of Windstar minivans in Missouri and other cold-weather states. The recall is due to a corrosion problem with the vehicles’ subframes. It comes just months after Windstars manufactured around the same time were recalled for a similar problem in the rear axles.

According to an article in USA TODAY, Ford announced the Windstar recall on January 26. The problem involves defective brackets and mounts in the subframe, which supports the engine, transmission, brakes and other key parts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 87 complaints that the subframes have corroded, causing parts to fall, according to another story about the recall from Reuters. Ford had received 74 unique reports of corrosion problems as of December.

The recall is for Windstars made between 1999 and 2003, and only applies to vehicles driven in states that use road salt in the winter. That group includes 22 states, including Missouri, plus the District of Columbia. Windstars in Canada and other countries are also included. The total number of vehicle affected is around 525,000, according to Reuters.

Ford said that it would be sending letters to affected Windstar owners in February. Owners should bring their vans to a nearby Ford dealership so that mechanics can inspect the subframe. If they find corrosion, they will replace the parts as they come in. Ford will provide a rental if the new parts are not yet in stock at the dealership, and will buy back the van if it cannot be repaired.

In August, Ford issued a recall for about 600,000 Windstars for a similar carrion problem affecting the rear axles. The August recall was for 1998-2003 Windstars in the U.S. and Canada. That recall progressed slowly until October, when a Massachusetts man died when the rear axle in his Windstar broke and caused an accident. The man’s parents said that they did not receive a recall notice for their Windstar until a week after the accident. The NHTSA issued a consumer advisory the following month urging owners to get their vans inspected.

Source: USA TODAY, “Ford Windstars recalled again for new salt damage issue,” Fred Meier, January 26, 2011

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