Key PointsThe second generation Windstar"s behind acle can suddenly separation apart when driving.Ford readily available a limited recall in 2010 for corrosion-based complaints.The automaker later readily available customers v the old-style axles an inspiration to upgrade.

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The Ford Windstar is famed for a behind axle the can break-up apart or suddenly snap like dried kindling. This is particularly dangerous on the highway. Here are three points you should know.


1. It"s more Than simply Corrosion ∞

The axle issue essentially boils down to corrosion. The nationwide Highway web traffic Safety management (NHTSA) explained why these vehicles, in particular, are having actually such a problem:

“The rear axle beam in the subject vehicles is an reverse ‘U’ channel design, which appears to provide a collection point for roadway salt slurry, leading to corrosion that increasingly weakens the part until the fractures”

OK, that provides sense. What doesn"t make feeling is how Ford has actually responded to the problem.

After years of stonewalling its customers, facing increased push from the center for Auto Safety, and also staring the barrel of a NHTSA investigation, Ford finally i agree to problem a restricted recall in 2010.

But the initial recall wasn"t enough. Much from it.

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Windstar rear Axle recall Timeline ∞

The very first Windstar axle recall was for almost a half a million 1998-2003 vans. The recall was later on expanded, and then re-recalled since previous attempts to patch the difficulty didn"t host up. Here"s a fast look at Ford"s recalls because that this problem:

The first recall was ago in 2010. Ford recognized corrosion could reason the rear axle to fail and mentioned the a busted axle "might do the vehicle harder to control". No really, they claimed that through a directly face. Ford inspected and replaced any kind of cracked axles, and also then set up supporting brackets for all other impacted minivans.

A local Scope ∞

NHTSA permits manufacturers to limit corrosion-based recalls to particular regions, typically those the use road salt. The ar of the USA that supplies a higher concentration of roadway salt is generally referred to as the salt belt.

So the early recall was restricted to Windstars:

Ford later expanded the recall to encompass Utah, 27,000 vehicles in Virginia and, most recently, 58,858 in Canada. But it doesn"t cover everybody, choose this owner indigenous Oklahoma:

"My mechanic involved my location of employment and kept my vehicle keys so the I might not drive it, He said i had around one customs of metal holding the behind axle together and also then the results might be HORRIBLE! So now I hear the FORD has actually recalled the vans yet only in details states."

2. Ford is providing Owners with Old Axles an "Incentive" to update ∞

Even despite Ford misused brackets during previous repairs, Ford spokeswoman, Kelli Felker, said the agency still "believes the parentheses is an adequate fix."

If you discover that to it is in a daunting pill come swallow, you"re not alone. Yet that pill is about to acquire a many bigger, flavored like spoiled salmon and also covered in tiny shards that glass.

Ford isn"t walking to replace your axle for free. Also if you blow on it and rust falls off, they"ll was standing behind your bracket solution as long as those base were set up correctly. Lock will, however, sell you an "incentive" to replace your axle.

Ford is supplying owners $300 in the direction of the purchase of a new axle.

That"s right, Ford is offering owners the chance to to buy a brand-new axle in ~ a discounted price to change the initial axle which to be recalled as part of a security campaign.

"Going down the roadway 50 mph and the behind axle cracked on mine van through myself and 2 of mine 3 children in the van. Didn"t realize till the following day the it to be the axle. I lost regulate of the van however was maybe to restore it through taping the brake to slow the vehicle down. Ns drove house at 20 mph with flashers on. --- 2003 Windstar owner"

The cost of a new Axle ∞

How much would it cost to replace the axle before the incentive offer? according to owners on CarComplaints.com, the average price of instead of their rear axle was about $1000. Ford"s offer

Windstar owners on CarComplaints.com say the the average expense of replacing their behind axle is about $1000. In various other words, Ford"s market gets you about 30% of the way there.

That"s like finding out that $3 bag that chips you bought was complete of asbestos, and having the chip-maker offer you a $0.90 coupon in the direction of the purchase of a brand-new bag (that hopefully is no much longer covered in attention mineral fibers).

"The only effective remedy is a brand-new rear axle" -- Clarence Ditlow, CAS

3. Architecture Flaw or maintain Issue? ∞

The dispute has to be made that these vans are older, have actually seen a the majority of winters, and also car owners have actually a obligation to store their dare clean and also well maintained. Those things are all true.

But this difficulty isn"t a result of the vehicle"s age. And also it certainly isn"t together rare as Ford would have you believe.

"I figured it was most likely a rare trouble so ns really no pay too lot attention to it. The next day I began hearing a metallic cracking sound every time i took a sharp right hand turn in the Windstar. Ns parked the car, crawled under and found a 2-inch crack in mine axle!!"

As mentioned earlier, NHTSA uncovered that Ford"s usage of an inverted "U" channel style was a perfect collection mechanism for roadway salt. That design decision brought about axles break as at an early stage as 60,000 miles.

In fact, the an initial owner to compose in come CarComplaints.com around their axle breaking to be a 2001 Windstar owner from Massachusetts. The complaint was filed top top November 6, 2007 in ~ a time once the valve only had actually 65,000 mile on the odometer.

"The confirm my maintenance document to identify I had actually been faithful in mine upkeep. I, choose my mechanic, think this is a serious concern in which various other consumers will certainly soon, if no already, endure an axle break. Had the axle offered when i was top top the highway v my youngsters in the vehicle, the outcome can have to be much much more severe.

Unfortunately, she to be correct.

This problem Can revolve Deadly ∞

The investigation and also eventual recall on snapping rear axles wasn’t sufficient to save the life the Sean archer of Massachusetts. According to reports the Bowman family received an main recall notice from Ford a main after the dad of two and Coast security veteran passed away in a crash in i m sorry the rear axle that his Ford Windstar snapped.

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“This is no your average, everyday recall. This is your rear axle can break, you deserve to lose regulate of your vehicle, her wheels can fall off,” --- Justine Bowman

Bowman’s family members believes the severity that the remind demanded more immediate action.