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Ford recalls 575,000 Windstar Minivans

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On: Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 9:09AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 Ford recalls 575,000 Windstar Minivans

Ford Motor Co. has announced that the company is voluntarily recalling as many as 575,000 Windstar minivans that were sold in Canada and the United States, due to a problem with rear axles that have a potential for breaking as a result of corrosion.

According to the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehiclesinvolved in the recall include 1996 to 2003 model year Windstar vans that have been located in 21 cold weather states (and Canada). The NHTSA stated that the design of the axle appears to allow it to collect road salt slush, leading to rust.

A recent announcement posted on the NHTSA website by Ford Motor Co stated: “after many years of vehicle service in these areas, corrosion can weaken the rear axle, making it susceptible to stress.”

Approximately 950 complaints were filed regarding rear axle cracks; 7 of those complaints involved accidents that allegedly resulted in three injuries, according to a Ford spokesperson. Ford announced that the company will fix all of the recalled vehicles at no cost to the customers using brackets that will serve to reinforce the defective rear axle.

Federal safety regulators began a preliminary investigation of the problem on May 13th 2010, after receiving 234 (the number eventually climbed to 950) complaints from consumers alleging rear-axle issues.

Of the total number of vehicles being recalled, approximately 463,000 were sold in the United States and the remainder in Canada, according to Ford spokesperson.

Windstar owners will be asked to bring their vehicles into Ford or Lincoln-Mercury dealerships in order to have their axles inspected. If the axle shows a crack, owners will be offered a repair or alternative transportation until parts are available, Ford told NHTSA.

If there is no evidence of cracking upon inspection, owners will receive a letter informing them when to return in order to have reinforcing brackets placed on the axle.

The recall affects vans that are located in Canada, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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