1998 to 2003 model Ford Windstar minivans recalled

Ford has issued a recall for Ford Windstar minivans, model years 1998 to 2003. A total of 575,000 vehicles are affected. The recall is due to possible corrosion problems with the rear axle.  Because cracking problems or axle failure affect vehicle handling, corrosion problems or defects could lead to accidents or injuries. People who own a 1998-2003 Windstar are advised to take their vehicle to a Ford dealership for inspection. Ford states that if the axle shows signs of cracking, owners will be offered a repair and alternative transportation while the repair is performed. If there is no cracking, owners will be offered a reinforcement bracket for the axle. A story is available here, including a Youtube video highlighting the problem.

Ford Motor Company’s official recall notice is here and reads as follows:

Ford is voluntarily recalling older, high-mileage Windstar minivans produced between mid-1997 and early 2003 for rear axles. In a very small number of cases, the axles have fractured in certain locations on the right and/or left side, and affected vehicle handling. We will notify affected owners in the very near future and ask them to bring their vehicles to their local dealers for inspection and any necessary repairs. As always, Ford is committed to responding quickly for our customers.

The recall for the Windstar – which is no longer in production – applies to vehicles in 21 states, the District of Columbia and Canada where road salt corrosion is more common.

Ford dealers at no charge to customers will reinforce the axles of the affected vehicles as parts are available. If it’s determined the axle can’t be reinforced, it will be replaced as soon as parts are available. Ford will provide for rental vehicles for customers until the rear axle of their vehicle has been replaced.