Ford Windstar Rusting Subframe – Potential Recall

| September 29, 2010

If you’re driving around in a Ford Windstar with a model year that falls between 1999 through 2003, there is a chance that you’re affected a safety issue that is a potential recall. It’s a potential recall because it’s currently in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation stages. It may prove to be a recall or it might not, only time will tell.

The Problem with the Ford Windstar

This current problem is isolated more or less to vehicles driven in “Salt-Belt” states. In other words, if you live in an area where it snows in the winter and salt is used to improve winter driving conditions, your Ford Windstar might be affected.

The problem involves rusting of the subframe. Most of the corrosion occurs on the passenger side of the subframe. If the subframe rusts out while driving your Ford Windstar, you could potentially lose all steering control and end up in an accident. According to the NHTSA action #PE10026, some Ford Windstar owners had their drive axle detach from the transmission.

Discovering the Ford Windstar SubFrame Problem

You can only detect the rusted sub frame by placing your Ford Windstar on a lift and looking underneath it. The sub frame is located at the front end of the car. If yours is rusted, you’ll see it. Look at the rear mount on the passenger side of the subframe.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Ford WindstarAccording to the NHTSA website, an investigation into this problem was launched on July 20, 2010. As of that date they had received 87 complaints of rusted sub frames from Ford Windstar drivers. Of the 87 complaints 85 are located in the salt belt.

Fixing the problem on your own will prove to be costly. If you can’t find a used sub frame that is in good condition, you’re looking to spend about $1,000 for a new subframe plus the cost to install, which takes about 4 or so hours. Calculate the cost of your mechanic’s time and add it to the cost of the subframe; you’re talking about spending a pretty penny.

More than being costly, this is a safety issue. If the subframe gives out as your tooling down the highway, it can prove to be deadly.

Ford’s Early Response about the Sub Frame Problem

As an owner of a 2001 Windstar, I made the call to Ford to see if they would be willing to offer a discount for fixing an unsafe condition. Their answer? No. According to two Ford Customer Service Reps that I spoke to, they had no knowledge of an NHTSA investigation. In response, I gave them the NHTSA Action Number: PE10026 as found on the NHTSA website.

Unfortunately, if Ford doesn’t issue a notification in their Ford database, the NHTSA investigation means nothing to their customer service reps.

Help NHTSA Make this a Recall

If you have a Ford Windstar that falls within the years of the affected vehicles, go to the NHTSA website and complete their complaint form . When completing the complaint, make sure you have the vehicle’s make, model, vehicle ID number and a description of the problem (limited to 2000 characters).
Add your name to the growing list of Ford Windstar owners who believe Ford should fix the problem.

Other Ford Windstar Recalls

As a registered owner of a Windstar you more than likely have received the information on the rear axle recall . If you have not done so, schedule an appointment with your nearest Ford dealership to have outstanding recalls taken care of. As a matter of fact, while you car is there, ask the mechanic to check the subframe. You might not like what you hear.

Related Reading:

Document Your Ford Windstar Subframe Defect
Don’t Pay Full Price for a Sub Frame

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Category: Ford, Recalls

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a wife, mother, freelance writer and owner of Tidbits About Money.

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