Ford Recalls Half a Million Windstars

A new recall, this time involving American manufacturer Ford, has hit the US consumers after yesterday the Japanese from Toyota announced over 1 million Corolla, Matrix and Vibe models will be called back to replace the engine's ECM.

In Ford's case, the recall concerns 575,000 Windstar minivans manufactured in between 1998-2003. The recall was prompted by an evaluation of the vehicles' rear axles performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after receiving 234 complaints. When the investigation was launched, the number of potentially affected vehicles was as high as 900,000 units.

“The rear axle beam in the subject vehicles is an inverted ‘U’ channel design, which appears to provide a collection point for road salt slurry, resulting in corrosion that progressively weakens the part until it fractures,” the NHTSA evaluation document, published by The New York Times, read.

According to Ford, the defect appears after many years of vehicle service and manifests itself as corrosion. It weakens the rear axle, making it susceptible to torsional stress.

There is no official date for the start of the recall yet. According to Ford, customers will be asked to take their Windstars to Ford or Lincoln-Mercury dealerships for inspection.

If a crack is found, owners will be offered alternative transportation until the replacement parts become available. If there is no crack, Ford will schedule another appointment to fit reinforcement brackets on the axle.

The recall applies to vehicles sold both in the US and in Canada. Further updates to follow.

Ford is currently under investigation for problems with 2004-2007 Freestar and Monterey vehicles as well.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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