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.

9.5

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,538.00
Average Mileage:
107,292 miles
Total Complaints:
29 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced the rear axle (15 reports)
  2. not sure (10 reports)
  3. replace axle (2 reports)
  4. $1000.00 out of pocket money to ford (1 reports)
  5. the "fix" for the 1st recall did not work (1 reports)
2002 Ford Windstar drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #9

Dec 252009

Windstar SE 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

After leaving my in-laws for Christmas our 2002 Ford Windstar's rear axle snapped in half, lucky I was in the city and was driving at 30 miles an hour but the noise it made was a loud screeching noise so the kids started screaming, once I pulled the car over and went to see I noticed the rear axle snapped. We had this Windstar for around 6 years now and never had any life threatening issues till this. We called our auto insurance company and are waiting on them with a appraiser. I did a search on you tube and found this happened to two other people, here is that link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suNu9d7EjmU

PLEASE if you have a windstar get this checked out as soon as possible you don't want this to happen to you and your family. VERY DANGEROUS!!!!!!

- , Colonia, NJ, USA

problem #8

Oct 252009

Windstar V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

I am in the process of filing a formal complaint with the NHTSA and thought this may be something you would want to look into. Here is the story…..

Yesterday my wife, my best friend and my two twin daughters were driving back from Iola, WI. My best friend’s parents live there and we make a yearly trek out there to enjoy the fall festivities. On our way back home we had just come across the Wakota bridge at exit 65 (494 West) when the rear axle of our Ford Windstar instantly snapped sending our van into a power slide at 70 miles and hour and facing us into oncoming traffic. I fought for control and was able to keep the van from rolling over and steered it onto exit 66. It was nothing shy of a miracle that my family, friend and I were not killed nor did we kill anyone else.

Shortly after a man in a black Chevy SUV stopped to help us. Shortly after that a state trooper and a man who works at a local Auto body shop stopped as well. Upon inspection of the minivan we noticed the rear axle was cleanly broken. Neither the auto body guy, the state trooper or the tow truck driver from Dick’s towing service had ever seen anything like it. I had the van towed to Z-Tech on Old Shakopee road where my brother in-law works as a mechanic. Him and the crew at Z-Tech again said that this was something they have never seen. They said “rear axles don’t break!” My insurance adjuster today also reviewed the mini van and had the same reaction.

I looked this up on the internet and see that many others have experienced this same situation (i.e. the rear axle just giving out). I have pictures and I am currently in the process of filing a formal complaint with the NHTSA (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/). Please make the effort to file your complaints someone else and their family may not be so lucky.

Our minivan has been regularly serviced, has never been in a crash or a fender bender and has never gone off-road where something could have damaged the rear axle. Very, very scary!

Update from Oct 29, 2009: After filing a formal complaint with NHTSB I also filed a formal complaint with Ford. Our insurance company "totaled" our vehicle as the damages due to the rear axle snapping exceeded $6000.00.

I contacted our local media and our story was picked up by Channel 5 Eyewitness News (KSTP) in Minneapolis. After much investigation by our insurance company and our auto mechanic it appears that there is a design flaw in the rear axle of the vehicle. If you inspect the axle cloosley you will see that there are two large holes on the underside of the axle. These holes are in the design, bbut alllow moisture, salt, sand, etc. to get into the axle and rust it from the inside out. This weakens the structure internally and causes the axle to snap without warning.

I highly recommend that you have a regular inspection of your rear axle to determine how much it has deteriorated. This is not normal "wear and tear" and even if you get a replacement axle with the same design iit is subject to happen again.

- , Lakeville, MN, USA

problem #7

Sep 292009

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

my wife called me this morning and said that the van was swerving all over the road like it had a flat tire , she pulled over to see and the tires were fine. so she called me when she got to work and i along with her father came to check it out and we thought that it was in the suspension by the way the tires were sitting. so i crawled under the van and the metal was split in half front to back with less than a inch holding it together. now i cant find one, and dont know what to do about it.

- , Kenna, WV, USA

problem #6

Aug 182009

Windstar LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 153,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

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 INDCIDENT 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.FORDS 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 @ $100.00 PER HOUR AND THE COST OF THE AXLE BEAM WOULD BE $500.00 PLUS WHAT EVER OTHER DAMAGES INCURRED. AS THESE WOULD BE MY OUT OF POCKET COSTS PLUS A $275.00 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

problem #5

Aug 192009

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

After having another problem fixed on my Windstar, I did a generaL search on the web looking for recalls etc. I came across Autobeef and read about the other unfortunate owners of Windstars that had the rear axle break on them. I figured it was probably a rare problem so I really didn't pay too much attention to it. The next day I started hearing a metallic cracking sound each time I took a sharp right hand turn in the Windstar. I parked the car, crawled under and found a 2 inch crack in my axle!! $785 dollars later I have a new axle in the car and the car is safe...for now. Also register a complaint with Ford. Not expecting to get much of a response from them. Thank you Autobeef. If It wasn't for this website, I would have never thought to check the axle for problems

- , Sprinfgffield, MA, USA

problem #4

Aug 052009

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

I ordered a new axle. List price 483.32 I plan to install it this weekend.Pretty simple to do.The thing that really troubles me is this problem Is going to kill someone.I contacted Ford and they seemed more interested in selling me a new car then fixing this problem.I have been an A.S.E master technician for 25 yrs.The steel being used in cars today is much thinner than it used to be.Just wait until the new fuel standards take place.You cannot get 35mpg and seat 7 people without making them cheaper.

- , Barberton, OH, USA

problem #3

Jul 162009

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My rear axle broke in half at approx. 30 MPH. This is a family vehicle used for vacations and all sorts of things that require having lots of people in the van. This time it was only me and I can only imagine the possible outcome if I was on the highway at 70 - 80 MPH with the whole family. Ford refuses to acknowledge there is a defect even though they sell 3 to 4 times as many rear axles for this vehicle than any other. My mechanic said it was defective without question. I am filing a claim against ford and any one else who has had this issue should too. It is the only way they will respond.

- , West Boylston, MA, USA

problem #2

Sep 032008

Windstar

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half

Could have been on a highway when this happened.

Real safety issue

- , Long Valley, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jun 302008

Windstar

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half

Similar complaint as others in this category, except I caught mine before the beam completely snapped in two. My wife heard the rear of the van "clunking" when she made right turns and going into and out of the driveway. I removed the rear tires and brake drums to see if there was something loose there, but found nothing. Had the wife drive in and out of driveway until I narrowed down the location of the sound and crawled under with a flash light and found the crack (photo one). Took it to the local Ford dealer for repair and got the same "Gosh, we've never seen that before" song and dance that others have heard. My wife was very upset and called the Ford customer complaint line. They told us they would investigate and get back to us. When the customer complaint line called the dealer's service center the manager of the shop said that the damage was caused by improper jacking of the van. Citing the "marks" in the axle as the spot where the damage originated - you can see the "dimple" on the second photo to the right of the crack. Ford, of course, refused to pay based on the "improper jacking" comment. This didn't sit well with me, and so the day after the van came out of the shop, I took a mirror and flashlight to see what the new axle looks like. Lo and behold the new one has the same "dimples" (third photo). These are machining marks left from the stamping process when the axle was formed. Now quite irritated, I call the service manager back and give him an earful, he calls customer service and Ford still refuses to pay saying the van is 8 years old and those things happen...well the van is not quite 6 years old and these things shouldn't happen.... Now I am waiting to hear what the "zone manager" says about the repair...then it'll be the district manager and so on and so on...

- , Stow, OH, USA

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