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:
71,671 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments

problem #16

May 142016


  • 125,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was once serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 13V081000 (seats). While observing the vehicle, it was noticed that the rear wheel well was severely corroded. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the third row seat latch striker mounting bracket was corroded and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The failure mileage was 125,000.

- Menominee, MI, USA

problem #15

Aug 282013


  • 141,000 miles
First crack in U shaped steel channel noticed when I took this van in for other recall repairs at yucca valley Ford. They notified me and I had it welded. A few months later crack was back had it rewelded and gussets added to restrengthen both sides. Lasted six months till I took to tire shop to have front end aligned and two new tires put on. Left next day for gig broke one mile from home just past the weld. This van has always been a California car to my knowledge. No rust. Same rear axel as Windstar. Bad design. Van is heavy little sh*t steel channel to hold all that weight is stupid. Couldn't believe it was built that way. How come no recall for same axel design on Freestar. People apt to die from this stupid design.

- Twentynine Palms, CA, USA

problem #14

Jul 062014


  • 115,000 miles
Once again, Ford refuses to acknowledge their vehicle defects. Our third row rear seat will not lock in place. The floor latch is corroded and broken and our children can no longer safely ride in our only vehicle. Ford recalled many other Freestars for this exact same problem but refuses to include our vehicle despite the similarities. Our vehicle has now broken down on us numerous times due to power train issues (later recalled), transmission issues (later recalled), and now this safety issue. I am extremely disappointed that they continue to disregard safety for their customers.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #13

Aug 012013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles


2004 Ford Freestar. Consumer writes in regards to wheel well rusting recall notice. The consumer stated rust developed on the driver's side door in 2010, at the time the vehicle was purchased, the consumer bought amor protection for rust. The consumer put in a claim, and the vehicle was repaired. However, one year later, the rust returned, only this time, the consumer was denied a second claim. A couple of years later, the third seat bracket fell apart. The consumer received a recall about the wheel well rusting. The consumer made an appointment at the dealer. The dealer informed the consumer, as they were cutting away at the rust. It was discovered the frame was also rusting, and it was dangerous to drive the vehicle, or to even try and fix the rust problem.

- Signal Mountain, TN, USA

problem #12

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 #11

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 #10

Jan 102011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 92,241 miles


Water keeps getting into the PCM. Common problem with this vehicle. Van will stall out, not have power in drive or reverse, and anything electrical acts up.

- Sylvania, OH, USA

problem #9

Apr 032012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
PCM wet and engine will die when under load. Turn on power option will cause the engine to die.

- Imperial, MO, USA

problem #8

Jan 122012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle would stall without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and a cover was placed over the computer to keep water from getting entering and damaging the computer but the repair did not correct the failure. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the dealer added sealant to the cover that was protecting the computer. The VIN was not available. The current mileage was 103,000 and the failure mileage was unknown. Updated 03/27/12 the consumer stated the computer is located directly under the windshield, allowing water to drip on the computer.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #7

Oct 222011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that water had entered and remained in the rear cargo area. The contact inspected the vehicle and found corrosion in the rear fender well and the third row seat latch. The rear panel was not installed correctly and caused water to penetrate the cargo area. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 105,000. Updated 11/25/11 the consumer stated that it became evident, while troubleshooting, the failure of the rear passenger side vent window motor. The water leaks have been corrected and the structural integrity of the fender and seat latch has been restored. Updated 06/06/12 the consumer discovered that was entering the rear of the vehicle in three separate areas. Inside the rear wheel well on the passenger side, in which a re-enforcing plat was improperly installed. Gasp across the top trailing edge allowed water to get in behind the panel. Water was also entering the vehicle along the rear seam where the inner fender attached to the floor pan. The factory installed seam sealer had failed. Water was penetrating through cracks in the rear roof seam located at the outside trailing edge of the roof seam that served as the rain gutter.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #6

Jul 172011


  • 97,500 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the side panel that held the back seat bracket was corroded. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who verified the failure and stated that the panel needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 97,500 and the current mileage was 98,600.

- Fond Du Lac, WI, USA

problem #5

Apr 302011


  • miles
Ltr on behalf of concern the safety of her 2004 Ford Freestar re the rusting of the 3rd row seats anchoring latch system; reply attn kay rash/davenport district office the consumer was informed it was not cost effective to fix the vehicle.

- Eldridge, IA, USA

problem #4

Apr 302011

Freestar 4-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated while attempting to latch the third row rear seat, the latch failed due to severe corrosion on the floor panel and attachments. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who inspected the vehicle and advised that the vehicle was unsafe to be driven. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 113,000. Updated 06/01/11 updated 1/24/2012

- Eldridge , IA, USA

problem #3

Apr 062009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2004 Ford Freestar. S10 appropriate handling - letter to the president from consumer re vehicle hazards due to major defects (full document not imaged). The check engine light illuminated. The codes were for a cmp sensor and ac pressure sensor. The power train control module needed to be replaced due to water intrusion. The vehicle would stall while driving on the highway. The consumer stated there were no problems with the vehicle until a water leak occurred. Updated 08/26/10 updated 11/10/10 the consumer stated after the third repair, the dealership stated they could not adjust the hood latch down enough to prevent water from blowing in from the front of the vehicle. The consumer believed the problem was a safety issue and not a customer satisfaction issue. Updated 07/26/11 updated 08/23/11

- Middletown, DE, USA

problem #2

Mar 012007


  • miles
2004 Ford Freestar, back liftgate. A design flaw allows rainwater or water from a car washing) to seep in, accumulate, and puddle all around the latch mechanism of the back lift gate. This causes it to freeze on icy days which causes difficulty opening or closing the back liftgate. Eventually, the latch mechanism rusts out completely and has to be replaced. This is an obvious design flaw.

- Lakewood, OH, USA

problem #1

Jan 082008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
Van without warning stopped moving and engine cut off. This is a follow up from our christmas adventure. Got it towed to dealer and after 2 days of "looking into the problem" told me that water leaked in from under dash(it had not rained or snowed for days- roads weren't even wet) and got the computer wet an caused it to malfunction. Sealed leak and $250 later sent us on our way. Fast forward 2weeks and our van is back in the shop again for the same problems. Come on now, enough is enough!!!!! recall this problem before people get killed!!!!!

- York, PA, USA

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