Document Your Ford Windstar Subframe Defect

| October 27, 2010

Older model Ford Windstars (model years 1999 to 2003) are the subject of much safety concern. In addition to the recent rear axel recall, there is an investigation underway regarding the front sub frame. Failure of the front sub frame is just as dangerous a condition as the recalled rusting rear axel.

File a Claim with NHTSA

Not to reiterate the contents of the earlier article, it is strongly advised that you file a claim with the NHTSA if your vehicle is affected (a brief review: Ford Windstars model years 1999 to 2003 driven in the salt belt areas are affected by rusting subframes).

After filing a claim, there is a good change that you may be contacted by the NHTSA. Because the investigation is still underway, the more information they can accumulate the better.

Photograph the Defective Sub Frame


Because the corroding part of the subframe is located underneath the car on the passenger side (right side lower control arm mounting bracket), it’s very difficult to photograph unless it’s on a mechanic’s lift. If you suspect that your car has this issue, in addition to bringing your car to the shop, bring a camera to photograph the defective sub frame

If you have already filed a claim, you have the option of holding on to your photos until you are contacted by the NHTSA (they will contact you after submitting a claim) or you can be proactive and attach the photos along with a copy the complaint and mail or email it to the NHTSA.

Urging Ford to Correct the Defect

It’s unfortunate that the consumer is put in the position of having to prove to Ford that the condition is unsafe. Ford’s response to the NHTSA query on the sub frame corrosion is evident that consumer safety is not high on their priority list when it comes to this Windstar defect.

The problem is not limited to US Windstars. Ford Windstar owners in Canada are undergoing the same frustration as US drivers. Here’s a public safety notice compiled by a Ford Windstar driver in Canada.

It’s time for Ford to admit there’s a problem, formally notify unsuspecting Windstar drivers and fix the problem. It’s the right thing to do.

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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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