CLEVELAND - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Ford announced another Ford Windstar recall over corrosion concerns. Certain model year 1999-2003 Windstar vans originally sold or currently registered in some cold weather states are part of the recall. The recall will fix brackets and mounts in the front subframe that may separate and cause steering problems.
Ford already recalled 1998-2003 Ford Windstars over corrosion of the rear axle. The recall of these vehicles also included cold weather states. Yet, a 5 On Your Side investigation found these recalled cars still on the road. Owners didn't realize the danger until the axle broke.
Our investigation found that owners who brought their car into the dealer haven't been able to drive it since November because parts are not available. Their car is sitting idle at the Ford dealership they took it for the inspection. Ford is offering alternate transportation until parts are available.
Ford dealers said they are getting parts to fix cars that were still driveable under the first recall. If the car failed the rear axle safety inspection and needed an entire new axle, those parts are still not in stock. They are still listed on backorder. So, Ford Windstars still sit on Ford lots from the first recall.
The parts for the latest recall involving the front end are expected in early March. The recall will officially begin on or before February 14. If the March deadline is met, cars will not be sitting idle on dealer lots for as long as the first recall.
The states involved in the latest recall include Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Ford is offering alternative transportation to owners if their vehicle is unsafe to drive. If the minivan can't be repaired, Ford will repurchase the vehicle. Ford estimates there are 425,288 vehicles involved in the latest recall.
NHTSA received 87 complaints of corrosion-related failures of the front subframe. Ford has 74 unique incident reports related to NHTSA's evaluation that it opened in July. NHTSA is still conducting an engineering analysis. Still, Ford told NHTSA, "While we have not concluded that the low rate of reported incidents on these older vehicles rises to the level of a safety defect, we are taking the action to confirm our commitment to safety and to address any potential vehicle owner concerns."