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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,247 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.

2003 Ford Windstar body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments

problem #16

Apr 012015

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 122,850 miles


Vehicle on lift for oil change when mechanic noted that the sub-frame was rotted through on the driver side just above and in front of the wheel. He also noted that a repair bracket had been installed as part of the recall on the part of the frame behind the wheel. He said he would not drive the car too much longer without getting it repaired. He advised that I should take the vehicle to the dealer and advise Ford which I did. Ford declined to offer any assistance since it was beyond the recall warranty period. The reinforcement bracket was obviously not sufficient to repair the corrosion damage to the complete sub-frame.

- Oxford, NJ, USA

problem #15

Jun 052014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
My wife driving to work Thursday 40 mph and rear axle broke. Left rear tire forced against wheel well causing significant smoke and tire damage. Passing car flag my wife down and got her to pull over. When I checked it out later in the day found that rear axle was broke and not drivable. Cost to fix at my total expense $1030 plus tax plus new tire. Recall was performed in 2011 at kistler Ford to install some kind of rear axle supports and also something done to reinforce front subframe. Axle in back looks like it broke inside the reinforcements on or near the left side. Kistler Ford service manager stated he has seen this happen a few times after recall repair and Ford not willing to take care of additional issues after the recall. That does not seem acceptable to me. Seems their recall repair not sufficient. Kistler Ford service manager nor myself a(54yr old) have ever heard of axles failing under normal circumstances ever. This should never happen. This will kill and injure additional people. What if my wife driving 70mph down the highway when this happened? we were planning on taking my family of 5 to the smokey mountains end of this month. This could have been a terrible disaster. We bought this car new in 2003 keeping it well maintained with intention of passing it down to our 20,19 and 16 year old. There are reports of accidents and at least 1 death as the result of this defect. Something needs to be done. I also recommended they examine the front subframe since there may be issues with that repair from reports seen on the internet. Do not want to fix the rear and have that go bad also. Sounds like they need to take these vehicles off the road. I have some pictures of the rear axle.

- Sylvania, OH, USA

problem #14

Nov 232013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 97,332 miles
Mini van steering started making clunking noise while turning. Then I notice steering wheel is not straight when car is driving straight and something was wrong with alignment. Automechanic told me passenger side sub-frame rotted out and minivan is unsafe to drive. I investigated potential recall of Windstar minivans - I am very upset that this could have caused me to crash on the highway. Only a very thin piece of metal remains holding the frame in place. Minivan is undrivable and need to replace subframe.

- Tabernacle, NJ, USA

problem #13

Nov 072013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 84,549 miles


The issue with my vehicle is with its subframe. The front driver's side portion of it is rusting out. I took it in on 11/4/13 to a licensed vehicle service place for a regular oil change, only to have the mechanic tell me the subframe is rusting out. After learning this news (and viewing the subframe myself to observe the condition), I took it into a Ford dealership to have it further inspected. The second inspection was on 11/7/13. At the local Ford dealership, they also inspected the rear axle (which was part of a Ford recall in the past). The dealership could see where an attempt to apply some type of coating to it another time did not change the fact that there was now a six-inch crack running down the center of the axle. A service consultant from the dealership took many pictures to send to Ford. I did not drive my vehicle home that day. A Ford rep came in the next day, and one of the things he was to do was to inspect my vehicle. From what I was told, and from what the initial Ford service consultant said, was that it was a unanimous recommendation to Ford to replace the subframe. Ford, however, refused, even after many attempts to have the "why" question answered, and they would not provide an answer. Before our ownership of the vehicle, when the initial subframe recall existed, the vehicle's subframe apparently was not corroding profusely in 2011. Brackets were installed, and the problem was considered "fixed." Less than a year and a half into our ownership of the vehicle, the subframe is rotting, and Ford will do nothing to repair it as she told me today (11/12/13) in my conversation with [xxx] from Ford (1-800-392-Ford). Though they have the pictures somewhere in their system, they have considered the case closed. Our family vehicle can not be safely used for the family. Please hold Ford accountable for the safety of their vehicles. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- East Leroy, MI, USA

problem #12

Mar 012012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
About March of 2012 my 2003 Ford wind star's lower control arm separated from the sub frame "engine cradle". I took my van to dealer. They did do a repair to sub frame, which I did not find satisfactory, Ford Corp. Had them cut off what was left of any damaged brackets and clamp steel brackets onto a sub frame that is already damaged due to heavy rust and corrosion. Now about one year later "March of 2013" the sway bar mount, which is part of the sub frame has rusted out. Making driving very unsafe and unstable. This problem should have been rectified when the recall was done in 2012. I took van back to the dealer. They sent pictures to Ford Corp. Ford did not approve any repairs to sub frame stating that it was not part of original recall. Now how is that possible if the sub frame and sway bar mount are all one component. It's all one welded piece of steel. There is no fix at this time but to replace the sub frame. Now if the sub frame is under recall and the sway bar mount is part of the sub frame, then I feel Ford should rectify the problem. I plan on keeping my Ford wind star for a while. I feel this is a serious safety issue and really needs to be dealt with. Ford should cover this component or they get away with an unsatisfactory fix and I still have to pay for a new sub frame, which was the whole issue to begin with.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #11

Nov 102012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 121,830 miles
Mechanics at big mike naughton Aurora denver Ford, Inc, and private mechanic discovered rust and cracks through out rear axle.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #10

May 242012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles


My dealership just confirmed that the front (passenger) side engine mount that is part of the subframe has corrosion to the extent that there are two perforations completely through the engine mount. I was told that the recall for the subframe has closed and that there is no recourse for getting financial assistance with this. However, the service manager ([xxx]) also admitted that the extent of corrosion and perforation did not occur in one year ( I had the original recall service done in may of 2011). Therefore, I question why they did not bring this to attention of the recall and include the repair accordingly. This is a safety issue and I would appreciate any help you can give me. The dealership where I had the service performed is roy O'brien Ford in St. Claire shores mi and their phone number is 586-776-7600. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Grosse Pointe Woods , MI, USA

problem #9

Aug 092011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
After having the 2011 rear axle and subframe recall done my transmission failed with no warning signs what's so ever.... shortly after spending two thousand on having the transmission rebuilt in August my brake light came on and my ABS starting kicking in when I apply my breaks and when my ABS light comes on my brakes are fine and my van doesn't come up on the ABS recall...... Ford needs to get their act together and fix these vans.

- Connellsville, PA, USA

problem #8

Aug 012011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 186,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that after receiving notification of a manufacturer's recall for the motor brackets, the vehicle was taken to the dealer for repairs. Months after the recall repairs while the contact was driving approximately 5 mph, the engine began shifting abnormally. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where they advised the contact that two motor mounts were fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The mechanic advised the contact that the failure may have been caused by the previous recall repairs. The failure mileage was approximately 186,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 02/09/12 updated 04/18/12

- Pillsborough, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jun 252011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. While driving in reverse at approximately 5 mph the contact heard a snapping sound. The contact stopped the vehicle and noticed the front passengers side suspension had detached from the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The mechanic stated that the front passenger side lower control arm and suspension detached from the vehicle. The mechanic notified the contact of a recall related to the failure. The dealer was then notified and the contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 11V030000 (structure: Frame and members:under body shields). The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the contact was informed that the sub frame was corroded and needed to be replaced. The technicians repaired both front lower control arms and body mounts. The suspension bar which detached from the vehicle and the sub frame was not replaced. The approximate failure mileage was 180,000. Updated 08/17/11

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #6

May 022011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2003 Ford Windstar minivan. Consumer expresses discontent in regards to vehicle recall and unsafe to drive the consumer stated the vehicle was recalled. It was then determined the vehicle could not be repaired and was not safe to drive. The consumer was offered a settlement amount of $6,675. He statement the settlement offer was not adequate.

- Hewlett, NY, USA

problem #5

Mar 012011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Ford Windstar. Consumer writes in regards to the performance of the Ford Motor Company and two safety recalls the consumer stated the inspections and repairs were not conducted in a timely, efficient, and responsible manner. The consumer stated when he finally received an appointment for the axle inspection, it was determined the axle was cracked in three places. The dealer did not have the replacement parts and the vehicle was deemed unsafe to drive, and therefore, it was left at the dealer for over a month. The consumer stated he then received another recall relating to the subframe. The consumer contacted the dealer regarding the second recall and was informed they were aware of it and he would be contacted when the repairs for the second recall had been completed. The consumer received a voice mail from the dealer stating the parts for the axle had arrived. However, it was discovered the engine had an oil leak, the sway bar link was broken in the front, the right front tire was badly worn on the inside and the left rear shock was completely blown out.

- Merrimac, MA, USA

problem #4

Jan 162011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the front end of the vehicle was covered with rust and shaking violently while driving. The brake pedal also extended to the floorboard when it was engaged. All of the gauges on the instrument panel fell below zero, the brake light illuminated while all of the lights on the instrument panel began to shut on and off. The rear axle was cracked on each end of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who added two plates on each side of the axle. The contact referenced recall 10V385000 (suspension:rear:axle:non-powered axle assembly) & recall 11V030000 (structure: Frame and members:underbody shields) but was concerned with the remedies and stated that they were inadequate. The contact asked the dealer if they could guarantee that the axle would not break with the two plates but received no guarantee. The manufacturer offered no assistance. The current mileage was 127,000. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Aliquippa, PA, USA

problem #3

Nov 112010


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that after receiving a recall notice in regards to NHTSA campaign id number 11V030000(structure: Frame and members:underbody shields) and 10V385000(suspension:rear:axle:non-powered axle assembly). She took her vehicle into the dealer November of 2010 for both recalls and the parts were not available to perform the recall repairs. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. There are no failures at this time.

- Walden, NY, USA

problem #2

Mar 032011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 78,397 miles
Brought my 2003 Ford Windstar sel (with 78,397 miles on it) in to dealer to have it checked for subframe recall, the engine light began flashing, and the ABS, brake light, and trac off lights had all gone on. During the diagnosis, they found that the subframe was fine, the spark plugs needed to be replaced, the ignition coil needed to be replace (causing cylinder 3 to misfire), and the PCM needed to be resealed for moisture. (March 3rd, 2011) they found no hard code for the brakes. We get the necessary work done, drive the van home, and within a day the ABS light, brake light, and trac off light come back on. Call and have the dealer look at van again, they now find code 1185 (pin point test found ABS module not responding). The dealer replaced the ABS module and rescanned with no codes and was road tested. Everything seemed fine (March 7th, 2011), I pick up van, within 4 hours, the ABS light, brake light, and trac off light are back on. As of right now, the van is back at the dealers being checked again. This is very disappointing. In the last week, I have had to bring this particular van in 4 times due to problems. This all comes after having work done on this van in December. In December 2010, they performed system diag, , dtcs, PO174, PO174, lean on both banks, inspect for vacuum leaks, found leaks at intake manifold runner control shafts, required intake manifold replacement to correct, replaced intake manifold and required parts, including cleaned fuel injector, changed oil and filter cleared dtcs, retested verified proper operation. Manifold, 2 seals, 5 gaskets, isolator, thermostat, anti-freeze, coupling, fuel system, filter, engine oil). This should not be the case with a van that has less than 80,000 miles on it.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jun 012004


  • miles
Consumer arm was pinched while she was resting it on the window ledge of the vehicle. This problem would occur while in the passenger seat. When the lock snapped down, the consumer's arm would be badly pinched.

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

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