Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The Freestar was introduced in 2004, but it was essentially just a rebranded Windstar. While there was a redesign of the interior and exterior, the Freestar still inherited some of the design flaws of its predecessor.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,738 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Ford Freestar accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #52

Jan 152013


  • 144,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that water was building up in the wheel well brackets for the third row seats. As a result, the seat exhibited rust and corrosion. In addition, the rear seat anchor plate was completely detached from the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the failure, who advised the contact that the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 144,000.

- Brundidge, AL, USA

problem #51

Feb 012013


  • 130,000 miles
The problem is the same that is described in EA12003. The attaching bracket for the rear seat fell out while the seat was folded into the floor. It became lodged in the inner portion of the rear wheel assembly. If this would have happened at high speeds, somebody could have easily been killed, by the rear wheel becoming restricted or this heavy plate bouncing down the road at another vehicle. The bracket is a U bracket attached to a plate that is welded flush to comprise part of the wheel well. To temporarily keep from losing the bracket, I held the bracket in place while setting the seats upright again so that the seat itself is holding the bracket in. There is now water from the road getting up into the passenger compartment. I hope that Ford issues a recall or offers a bolt on replacement soon. I've been mostly happy with this vehicle otherwise. (there are no other prices rusting or falling off obviously).

- Newbury , OH, USA

problem #50

Feb 152013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
As stated with other 2004 Ford Freestars, rear rust on driverside rear, rear seat will not lock because the safety lock is rusted away, not safe to any passenger to sit there.

- Chesterton, IN, USA

problem #49

Feb 092013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


The panel that the latch is bolted to was corroded and came of leaving no place for the latch on the drive's side to attach to.

- Lawrenceville, NJ, USA

problem #48

Jan 282013


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Freestar. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, a loud grinding sound was heard coming from the rear tires. The contact also stated that the wheel mount and wheel well were rusted. In addition, the third row latch failed and the seats were unable to stay folded. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics. The technician stated that the wheel well and latches needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any further assistance due to the vehicle not being included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage and current mileage was 140,000.

- Levittown, PA, USA

problem #47

Jan 182013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 100,800 miles
The left rear 3rd row seat anchor plate, mounted normally to the left rear inner wheelhouse as an integrated part of the wheelhouse, has rusted around the plate edges and the entire plate is separating from the wheelhouse assembly. Currently it is rusted thru on the left, right, and bottom edges of the mounting plate, remaining attached only along its top edge. This is letting road moisture into the interior regions of the van, soiling carpet and jute, causing odor and possible mold development. The 3rd row seat can no longer be safely attached.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #46

Dec 262012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the left side of the rear seat was not bolted to the floor. The plate that was holding the seat in place was covered with rust and disconnected leaving a hole near the left rear wheel well which caused the seat to move. The plate on the right side of the seat was also covered with rust, but had not broken away from the structure of the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 119,000 and the current mileage was 119,300. Updated 02/26/13 the consumer stated the manufacturer was contacted but, offered no assistance. The vehicle was beyond its 5yrs corrosion warranty.updated 03/1/2013

- Hopewell Junction, NY, USA

problem #45

Dec 122012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 99,750 miles
I own 2004 Ford Freestar. While attempting to latch the third row rear seat, the latch failed due to severe corrosion on the floor panel, side panel and attachments which holds the third seat latch bracket the third row seat latch bracket slides out and extrudes to rear driver side wheel which is very dangerous and can burst the rear driver side tire while running car. I am entering this complaint in relation to other complaints that have been filed. There is a defect investigation taking place (EA12003 and PE11039) for this issue already. I attempted to put my 3rd row seat back up and lock it into place. On the drive side I noticed that it would not lock into place. After further review, I know noticed that the whole latch had broken off because of rusted panel. The whole plate rusted thru.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #44

Dec 312012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 130,600 miles
Returning from a 'dump run', I noticed the plastic cover for the 3rd row passenger seat, driver side, had been dislodged and was lying on the floor. I went to reconnect it and I found the latch 'floating'. it was no longer part of the vehicle. I could see out through the wheel well. After further inspection, I saw that the welded plate, that should be part of the van was no longer attached. I haven't looked at the tire for damage, yet. This is a design and manufacturing error, as the latch bracket used to secure the passenger seat in place, needs to be a permanent part of the vehicle. The van isn't too old, and should last many more years/miles and for this piece to come loose, is a safety issue as well as a quality issue. I'm afraid to take it to the local Ford dealer for fear of being gouged on the cost to repair, which should be at Ford's cost. If this was a pick up truck with exposure to the elements all the time, I could see a rust issue. This vehicle is lightly used and garaged nightly, so it shouldn't happen - ever. The other comments on this page are all similar to my experience with this part. Right now, I'm using a strap to hold the piece in place, stretching to the latch on the passenger side. Comment: This van has had too many quality issues since we purchased it in 2006 - torque converter replaced, driver seat heater replaced, transmission replaced, cruise control switch mech. Replaced, ignition replaced.

- West Hartford, CT, USA

problem #43

Dec 012012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
The driver-side wall bracket that locks the third row seat into the upright (usable) position is loose. It appears that it is welded to the inner shell sheet metal of the vehicle and that the inner shell around the bracket has rusted sufficiently to cause the bracket to be loose. We have discontinued use of the back seat, fearing insufficient protection during a potential crash.

- Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #42

Nov 102012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles


During sts tire servicing, mechanic showed me a large section of structural steel hanging from the rear driver side wheel well and a Michelin tire that contained abrasive ripping caused by the section of steel that had been dangling and rubbing against the tire. The large section of steel contained an anchor at the center which was manufactured to hold the third row row in place. This steel plate with the anchor for holding the third row seat in place is no longer attached to the vehicle due to a manufacturing defect which allowed the welds holding it in place to fail creating dangers of: Unsecured seating, hole exposing passengers to exterior of vehicle and moving parts, opening for rodents or other dangers to enter vehicle, knowledge of prior may cause fear and panic of driver or passengers which may cause accident or mental anguise. I brought the vehicle to smith Ford dealership in Washington, N.J. requesting an inspection and warranty repair of the above stated structural steel. Smith Ford inspected the vehicle and said that the manufacturing defect would not be repaired by Ford and that Ford does not accept financial responsibility even though the problem was the result of a manufacturing defect. Reported this to Ford headquarters on November 30, 2012 and was informed that the dealership was correct in stating that Ford will not repair this serious problem. My wife is increasingly having terrifying visions of mice jumping on her while driving, having snakes crawling into the car, rain snow mud etc entering vehicle, or having the children put their hands or other things into the hole in the vehicle.

- Annandale, NJ, USA

problem #41

Aug 242012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles
Drivers side rear passenger seat bracket failure. The bracket is mounted through the wheel well. The weld around the bracket had severe rusting, no where similar to other parts of the car. The plate holding the bracket rusted through completely dropping the seat. The plate and bracket began rubbing against the tire. If I had not stopped and found the problem and secured the bracket, the tire could have blown causing an accident. Accident was prevented, but serious body failure occurred. This needs to be addressed. As is this seat should no longer be used until it can be fixed, there is no cost effective fix.

- Lutz, FL, USA

problem #40

Oct 132012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
Noticed a panel loose in the rear driver's side wheel well while removing the wheel. The panel was completely rusted and separated from the wheel well, with only something attached to it on the interior keeping it from falling off. Took it to a body shop, where it was determined that this panel is the rear seat anchor and the seat latch was the only thing keeping it from falling off. The estimate for repair is $906.99. The rear seat anchor was removed and the hole temporarily taped closed, and the rear seat is not safe and cannot be used. Contacted the dealer to see if any recalls exist for this condition and was told there are none. Currently trying to decide whether or not to repair the vehicle. The vehicle is well maintained and the condition of this panel/anchor is unusual when compared to the rest of the vehicle.

- Yorkville, IL, USA

problem #39

Oct 132012


  • 169,000 miles
The 3rd row rear seat on my 2004 Freestar does not latch into seated position properly. Upon further inspection, I realized that the driver's side support ring which the 3rd row seat latches into was pushed back into the trim. I looked underneath the driver's side rear wheel well and noticed that a steel plate which the support ring is mounted has completely rusted through the body of the vehicle. Also, when it is not latched it has a tendency to interfere with the rear driver's side tire. While there is a small amount of metal holding the mounting plate in place, it requires two people to latch the seat in order to keep the metal plate from scoring the sidewall of my tire. The passenger's side mounting plate continues to be secure, yet there is a noticeable amount of rust on that side as well. If someone stows the 3rd row seat and tries to flip it back into seating position without knowing that the support ring is loose, they could end up scoring the sidewall on the rear tire and causing a complete failure. Further, the proper function of the seat belt in the third row seat could be compromised during an accident; the seat could pitch forward or flip back because it is not solidly secured to the van's structure.

- Gaylord, MI, USA

problem #38

Oct 042012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 125,682 miles
Our two daughters where in the rear seat and complained of a bad smell as if something burning. At about that same time I noticed hearing a rubbing noise every time we turned left. When we got home shortly after I looked up under the inner fender of the rear left wheel and found a large steel plate loose and rubbing the tire. It was so rusty you could see the interior plastic panels and insulation. At that time I put away the rear seat and noticed the left side anchor was totally loose and when I asked the girls if they noticed that the seat moved they stated that they did notice it move but never said anything about it. There is now a hole in the car wheel well and we cannot use the back seat. We have a bungee cord latched to the two seat anchors holding them inward to keep the metal plate from rubbing the tire. The van is now limited to four passengers and I am concerned about carbon monoxide entering the car.

- Taylor Mill, KY, USA

problem #37

Jun 122012


  • 143,000 miles
Inability to latch the rear seat, entire driver side anchor plate completely detached from the vehicle.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #36

Oct 102012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 153,850 miles
The left rear seat anchor has detached from the body due to excessive rust in the rear quarter panel by the left rear wheel well. The third seat is no longer usable and there is a hole through the body that lets air and water into the passenger compartment. The right side wheel well area shows rust as well but the seat anchor has not yet detached from the quarter panel. Two Ford dealers have said they are not aware of this problem occurring and do not know if it can be fixed. My concern is safety while driving the vehicle, noise and water entering the passenger compartment, and the loss of use of the third seat. This vehicle is too young and useful to be scrapped.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #35

Sep 112012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while parked the contact pulled the rear seats up and noticed the stud which holds the back seat in place was loose. The contact pushed the stud and it fractured. Also, the wheel weld was corroded on the rear driver and passenger side. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to determine how to remedy the failure. The vehicle was later taken to an independent mechanic who welded new metal pieces to the wheel wells on the rear driver and passenger side. There was an investigation under NHTSA action number: EA12003 (seats:mid/rear assembly structure structure:body) that may be related to the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000. Updated 11/14/12

- Davis, IL, USA

problem #34

Sep 052012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
The third row drivers side seat anchor no longer holds the seat in the upright position. The plate in the wheel well that the anchor attaches to has rusted loose. I brought the van to my dealer and they said they could not repair the problem.

- Frankfort, IL, USA

problem #33

Oct 072012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 156,000 miles
Our son was in the rear seat and complained that as we turned corners, his seat moved. He said it felts as if it were not latched. Upon investigation, we found the seat did not latch on the drivers side. We tried without success to relatch it and found the latch anchor was loose. Being dark and 30 miles from home, we drove on. We then heard loud noise coming from that wheel well and began to smell "burning rubber". having no other option, we pulled to the side of the dark highway and saw a piece of metal hanging out of the van, onto the tire. We pulled it the rest of the way out and found that it was the seat latch anchor. The area seems to be completely rusted...from the inside. The metal did not look rusted from the outside. We now have a hole in the side of the van (in the wheel well) and a van which is incapable of hauling our family of five. Even using it as a four-passenger van, we have concerns about exhaust entering the interior of the van. (mileage noted is approximate).

- Dale, IN, USA

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