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 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

Sep 252012


  • 113,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated the rear seat support corroded causing the seat to fall forward and also push pieces of metal into the rear tire. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who did not offer any assistance. The manufacturer was notified who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 113,000.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #31

Sep 292012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
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 fallen off and was laying on the back driver side wheel. The whole plate rusted thru and fell off into the wheel well. I've had this car since 2004. Yes I live in a snow state that uses salt, but this car has been in the garage its entire life. I would like to understand what stance, if any, Ford is taking with this issue.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #30

Aug 162012


  • 147,965 miles
The third row seat was loose when locked in the upright position. When I looked underneath from the driver side rear tire I noticed the metal plate was loose. I put down the third row seat and looked through the plastic to see that all around the metal plate rotted away. Since the third row seat was not locked in place when I touched the bracket on the metal plate, the entire plate fell out onto the rear tire. The metal all around the plate inside the rear quarter panel is rotted and there is nothing to weld the plate back to. There is also a large opening into the vehicle because that plate is no longer there. My seven seat van can only hold four people safely.

- Hopewell Jct., NY, USA

problem #29

Sep 232012


  • 72,938 miles


Severe rust in the driver side rear wheel well caused the third row seat to detach from the vehicle. The third row seat is now unsafe and cannot be used. The seat can no longer be securely latched in place. This vehicle was garage kept and only has 72,938 miles on it.

- Allison Park, PA, USA

problem #28

Aug 312012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 164,900 miles
I was rotating my tires and noticed that inside each rear wheel well there was a panel patched in from the factory that was rusting terribly, with the drivers side being much worse and almost completely falling off the body. With some further investigation I discovered that the panel actually holds the anchors for the rearmost folding seat. As I stated, the drivers side is almost rusted off the car and there is a giant hole that is letting water and snow inside the van and ruining the carpet and padding. I frequently carry multiple children, some in child safety seats, and could not imagine what would happen during a collision if the rear seat anchor were to separate from the van. I seriously hope that there is some kind of recall, as this vehicle is not yet 10 years old and the rest of the body is still in great shape. This is not just a surface rust issue, it is a safety hazard to anyone owning this type of van and the manufacturer should be held responsible for fixing it as I'm sure the repair is not easy or cheap.

- Clarkston, MI, USA

problem #27

Aug 262012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 116,542 miles
Left rear seat anchor was loose, so we looked. A large hole had rusted out of the inner fender causing the anchor to completely detach from the body. We took it in to get checked out and they agreed it had completely rusted through and the right side is also rusting out, although not the point of completely rusting through, yet. We are just thankful this was noticed when we were parked and not driving 65 mph causing an accident.

- Halstead, KS, USA

problem #26

Aug 152012


  • 105,000 miles


The drivers side rear (third row) seat anchor will no longer hold the seat in place. It appears the metal plate the anchor attaches to has rusted free from the car, due to excessive corrosion in the drivers side rear wheel well creating an opening to the outside. The seat cannot be properly latched to the van when in the upright position.

- Frankfort, IL, USA

problem #25

Jul 252012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
The rear left metal U-shaped post that is used to secure the front of the rear bench seat and is attached through the body by a metal plate in the rear wheel well fell out of the vehicle as the vehicle was moving at a speed of 10 miles per hour. The rear seat was folded into the floor at the time of the incident. The post and the attached plate fell out into the wheel well and then fell to the roadway. Upon inspection, the edge of the metal plate, and much of the surrounding wheel well had rusted away causing the incident. The incident resulted in a large hole in the wheel well that goes clear though to the interior of the van. We brought the van to a local Ford dealer for repair. They acknowledged seeing this issue recently in the same make, model, and year of van. They said they were unable to make a repair. They suggested taking the issue to a body shop. Two local body shops were unable to make the repair. As it stands, the rear bench seat is unusable as it can't be secured in the upright position, and there is a hole near the exhaust system that makes the van unsafe to drive. It is frustrating that the same issue has been seen by Ford, yet no suitable repair or solution has been provided.

- Wheaton, IL, USA

problem #24

Jul 292012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
Driver's side seat mount on third row seat failed side panel in wheel well corroded and failed displacing panel into tire sidewall. Passenger side panel showing signs of failure. Ford dealership bodyshop refuses to work on issue for fear of future liability. Dealership states that corrosion issues beyond normal.

- Abilene , KS, USA

problem #23

Jul 022012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
The rearmost seat in my minivan will not latch down on the rear drivers side. The rear axle 'moans' at times and makes a rotational shimming sound. Upon inspection, I am told there is severe rust in the wheel well where it locates to the seat attachment. The dealership says it is unusual, although I understand your Agency is investigating just this thing in 2004 Freestars.

- Lakewood , OH, USA

problem #22

Aug 132012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 97,603 miles


On 08/13/2012 tried to engage the third row folding seat to the full upright position. The drivers side latch for the third row seat would not engage. After further inspection I found the seat anchor to be loose. After I looked at the outside of the wheel well the plate that the anchor mounts to was completely corroded all the way around and the plate and anchor is detached from the vehicle and falling into the wheel well. There is now a big hole from the outside of the wheel well directly into the interior of the rear of the vehicle. The interior of the vehicle becomes soaked when driven in the rain. Safety issue as our kids ride in the third row seat and there is no way to latch the seat safely now.

- Parma Heights, OH, USA

problem #21

Jul 272012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 147,838 miles
We had the 3rd row seat folded down for cargo space. Upon pulling the seat back up, the left side of the seat wouldn't latch and the seat moved when someone was sitting on it. When my husband tried to secure the latch by folding the seat back down and then back up again - the entire left side latch and plate it's attached to fell into the wheel well. He had to reach up over the left rear wheel to remove the part and saw that there is now a hole in the wheel well that goes right into the van - you can literally see in the van! the latch unit: The plate it's bolted to and the metal section of the wheel well that the plate is welded to were completely rusted out. We can no longer use the back seat due to safety reasons. We are having a hard time finding someone to repair it. One person said we'd have to replace the entire wheel well. We read on line that Ford has responded that there are no replacement "parts" for this issue because it wasn't manufactured to be replaced. Now we have a van we can't get fixed, we can't use the 3rd row seats (we haul the neighbor's 2 kids in addition to our 2 kids to and from school), and gets wet on the inside when it's raining because of the open hole in the wheel well.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #20

Jul 072012


  • 78,507 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the third row seating anchor failed due to corrosion penetrating the rear wheel well on the driver's side. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 78,507.

- Miamisburg , OH, USA

problem #19

Jul 252012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Third row seat no longer latches securely, caused by corrosion from left rear wheel well area ruining body latching holding seat in place.

- New Albany, OH, USA

problem #18

Jul 222012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
When attempting to reattach the third-row seat from the flat position, the driver's side latch on third-row seat popped off - the part was rusted at the attachment point on the interior and it fell onto the ground through a hole above the rear left tire.

- Signal Mountain, TN, USA

problem #17

May 272012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 161,250 miles
We were returning home from weekend trip when I noticed rubbing noise and hot rubber smell coming from rear of van. Two children in rear seat said seat was vibrating badly. I am a state certified master mechanic so I pulled over to investigate. I found that both rear seat strikers had rusted loose and the seat pushed the metal and striker against the left rear tire. I feel this could have been a very dangerous situation if the metal rubbing on the tire had caused a blowout. The children in the rear seat could have been seriously injured from the tire and from the seat not being secured.

- Plainwell, MI, USA

problem #16

Jun 232012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
3rd row seat would not latch on the driver side of the vehicle. Upon inspection, it was determined that the anchor used to attach the seat has completely rusted and is no longer functioning. The rust is from the tire well and the tire is visible from inside the vehicle. The 3rd row seat is now unusable and unsafe.

- Lindenhurst, IL, USA

problem #15

May 192012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 71,065 miles
While turning a corner we heard a loud noise coming from the left rear tire. After getting home we pulled the left rear tire off to inspect the brakes, which were fine. We did notice that the wheel well was rusting out around the third row seat latch. The latch was loose and upon further inspection did not lock the third row seat into place. When carrying passengers in the back seat the latch is pushed out far enough that it actually rubs on the rear tire, which could result in tire failure.

- Spirit Lake, IA, USA

problem #14

Apr 172012


  • 92,865 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle was being examined by an independent repair shop when the contact was informed that third row seating was detached from the floor mounts. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 92,865.

- Marlton, NJ, USA

problem #13

Apr 082012


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the floor mounts for the rear seating rusted and rendered the rear seating inoperable. The dealer was not notified. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 89,000.

- Wyandotte, MI, USA

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