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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
114,630 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.

2002 Ford Windstar body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Windstar Owner Comments

problem #17

Aug 152016


  • 170,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 11V030000 (structure). The vehicle was repaired; however, the vehicle failed the annual safety inspection. The safety inspector diagnosed that the subframe and bushings fractured. The vehicle was driven to a collision shop where it was diagnosed that the subframe was cracked. The vehicle was delivered to the dealer, but not diagnosed nor repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 170,000.

- East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #16

Jul 262016


  • 145,000 miles
Husband was going to work in early morning and had just slowed as he exited highway, went over first set of railroad tracks at speed limit, then the front end of van raised into the air about a foot then slammed down as he crossed the second set of tracks and he lost control. He had no brakes or steering and the van crashed into a curb before stopping. It narrowly missed going under a semi-truck. It took several hours to be towed to Ford dealer and missing an unpaid day of work, our insurance secured a rental car since Ford refused to do so. The 2002 Windstar had been previously repaired under the 2011 rear axle recall 10S13 and subframe 11S16 passed inspection at that time, but both appeared to have failed in this instance. This failure caused over $3000 in collateral damage to the steering and exhaust systems that Ford says will be our financial responsibility if it can even be fixed due to many parts no longer being produced.those would need to be found through salvage or aftermarket sources. They have only offered to repair the failed subframe issue and possibly the recalled rear axle. We recently learned after this accident that there was a recall 15S27 on the prior axle recall repair for incorrectly installed brackets. We received no notification of this recall from late 2015 to have the axle fixed properly. Ford has offered to buy back the van for $1339, which appears to be substantially less than what was offered for buy backs in 2011 when the initial recall was done. Our van also had about 40,000 fewer miles on it than vans of the same age and make, based on an average of 15,000 miles a year. We have owned this van since 2002 and been at our same address for 10 years, so our lack of notification about this latest recall is unacceptable. Ford appears negligent both in dealing with a dangerous structural issue and notifying owners of recalls to fix it.

- Caseyville, IL, USA

problem #15

Feb 292016


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while at an inspection location, the mechanic diagnosed that the front passenger's side sub frame had fractured due to corrosion and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 11V030000 (structure). The failure mileage was 40,000.

- West Springfield, PA, USA

problem #14

Nov 212015


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving at 20 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The vehicle had a front end alignment and other repairs performed but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the sub frame needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 120,000. Updated 04/14/16

- Dingmans Ferry, PA, USA

problem #13

May 092015

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
They had a recall in 2011 where they put support brackets on the rear axles. Mine did have the brackets put on and right behind the bracket the axle still broke driving down the street at 40 mph where we almost hit another car with children inside her and my vehicle. Ford said the brackets are only warrantied for 12 months. These vans do not need brackets they need new axles.

- Beaverdam, OH, USA

problem #12

Jan 092015

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 154,000 miles
When bringing my Windstar in for an alignment it was found that the subframe had rotted and cracked near the control arm. Ford had "completed" the necessary repairs to address this issue and has stated that they are not responsible for the damage to the vehicle even though it was the original reason for the recall. According to the information from the original recall Ford was supposed to replace the subframe however small brackets were added to the van instead. I do not feel that the recall was properly done by Ford.

- Rutland, MA, USA

problem #11

Aug 212014


  • 166,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving at unknown speeds, the driver hit a bump in the road and the vehicle made a cracking noise. Upon inspection, it was found that the passenger rear wheel well was damaged. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 166,000.

- Lumberton, NJ, USA

problem #10

Aug 172013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 184,741 miles
We were slowing to pull up to our home. We were driving about 10 mph. About 70 feet from our home. It sounded like there was a flat tire with rubbing and bumping noises. We parked on the street in front of our home. Upon inspecting the vehicle, the tires were intact. The tires are bowing in. We looked under the rear of the car. We saw a large crack of the rear axle closer to the driver's side of the car. Ford recalled the rear axle for this very reason 3 years ago due to corrosion caused by years of exposure to salted roads. Ford performed the recall work by placing a bracket on the axle. The brake on our axle occurred under the bracket. Ford is not assuming responsibility even though the supports they placed on the axle failed to do their job. There are other complaints this year for this same problem. The big difference between all the broken axles this year were the speed of the vehicles and type roads they were traveling on. I believe that there more out there that have had this same problem that have not been reported to this website yet. I also believe that more axles that have already received the recall fix are going to find their axles breaking in the near future as well. As for now the recall of these axles, Ford has closed the case until forced to reopen the recall. Ford should replace the entire axle on all the Windstar that were under the original recall.

- Chesterfield, MO, USA

problem #9

Aug 212013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
Sliding side doors and rear wheel wells rusting from bottom up. There is a dramatic amount of rust. Worried about structural integrity of doors in case of a side-on collision. This is true for both the Windstar and freestar.

- Chelmsford, MA, USA

problem #8

Jul 272013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 200,000 miles
Rear axle broke in half as I was turning a corner at very low speed, causing to loose control of vehicle and run off road.

- Mason City, IL, USA

problem #7

Oct 062010


  • 74,042 miles


Attempted to change lanes, motorist from behind sped up, applied brakes, ABS lights flashed on dash, car did not slow, pressed brakes harder and rear brakes locked up, causing me to side swipe guard rail. ABS lights and brake lights have remained on for over 2 years. Have spend thousands of dollars attempting to repair this problem, to no avail. Brakes are intermittent at best. ABS and brake lights are still on.

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 192011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
ABS brake lights on, after research, its a common problem with faulty ABS modules. Subframe is rotting out with the mounting points of the subframe peeling away. O/D light coming on intermittently, after research, common problem points back to a bad vehicle speed sensor. Mileage does not seem to be a factor. Faulty hard lines for rear heating. Multiple cracks in lines cause radiator fluid loss. Very very common problem, looked at 10-15 Windstar in pull-A-parts lot, all with faulty hard lines.

- Hudson, OH, USA

problem #5

May 092012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
Right rear wheel well body panel rotted a hole that extends into the sliding door roller area and interior to the seals of the vehicle. While this has not caused an accident, I am concerned about the integrity of the sliding door and protrusion into the passenger cabin.

- Bennington, VT, USA

problem #4

Feb 072012


  • 126,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The vehicle was included in the recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 11V030000 (structure: Frame and members: Underbody shields) and was repaired. After the repair, the contact heard a banging noise in the front end of the vehicle while driving approximately 35 mph. The contact inspected the vehicle and noticed that the control arm was detached from the sub frame and that the sub frame was corroded. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact that the repair was not covered under the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 126,000.

- Allison Park, PA, USA

problem #3

Jul 262010


  • 123,500 miles
While driving my 2002 Ford Windstar I started to hear a grinding sound and could tell something was wrong and had to pull over. I was driving at a low speed at the time fortunately. It ended up being that the rear axel broke. The mechanic indicated it appeared to have rusted from the inside out. Thankfully this happened 2 days after a return from vacation at which time we were traveling 70+ mph on the West Virginia turnpike.

- N. Lawrence, OH, USA

problem #2

Apr 192010


  • 119,500 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving at speeds of 30 mph, she heard an unusual banging noise. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where she was advised that the main beam had fractured. The mechanic performed the necessary repairs by welding the beam securely to the vehicle. The manufacturer stated that there were no recalls on her vehicle. The failure and current mileages were 119,500.

- Manorville, NY, USA

problem #1

Aug 182009


  • 152,934 miles
When driving my 2002 Ford Windstar mini van on the highway we noticed a loud slamming noise from the rear causing the vehicle to lose control, swerving to the right shoulder and stalling with the tail end still in the middle of the two lane highway, as the tractor trailer behind us who was very alert nearly missed a rear end collision with our vehicle. Upon inspection of the underside of the vehicle we noticed the rear axle beam was split in two, rusted and rotted out and hanging to the ground, a tow truck was notified and the operator stared in disbelief that the axle had broken in half. This obvious defect could have cost us our lives. This defect needs to be addressed immediately before a some lives are lost as a result of the Ford Windstar rear axle beam breaking while occupants and passengers are riding in this vehicle. This incident was reported to the Ford customer service assistance center and they took the information about the vehicle and the nature of the complaint advising me to speak to a Ford service manger and for the defective vehicles broken axle to be inspected by a Ford dealer.Ford customer assistance rep advised me not to return a call to them because they have the incident on file and the Ford service manager would follow up on the complaint. Upon speaking to the Ford service manager he asked a bout the type of problem year and model of the vehicle. Being a 2002 Windstar with 153,000 miles he stated that because of the mileage and the age of the vehicle Ford would not assist me in getting this situation resolved. He also stated that the cost to repair this problem would be 5 hours labor charge @ $100 per hour and the cost of the axle beam would be $500 plus what ever other damages incurred. As these would be my out of pocket costs plus a $275 tow charge. Needless to say how costly this event became as well as the possible worst case scenario a fatal accident could have occurred as a result of this defect. This must be addressed.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

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