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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
103,969 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 (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #34

Dec 122012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 99,750 miles


I own 2004 Ford Freestar. While attempting to latch the third row rear seat, the latch failed due to severe corrosion on the floor panel, side panel and attachments which holds the third seat latch bracket the third row seat latch bracket slides out and extrudes to rear driver side wheel which is very dangerous and can burst the rear driver side tire while running car. 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 broken off because of rusted panel. The whole plate rusted thru.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #33

Nov 102012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
During sts tire servicing, mechanic showed me a large section of structural steel hanging from the rear driver side wheel well and a Michelin tire that contained abrasive ripping caused by the section of steel that had been dangling and rubbing against the tire. The large section of steel contained an anchor at the center which was manufactured to hold the third row row in place. This steel plate with the anchor for holding the third row seat in place is no longer attached to the vehicle due to a manufacturing defect which allowed the welds holding it in place to fail creating dangers of: Unsecured seating, hole exposing passengers to exterior of vehicle and moving parts, opening for rodents or other dangers to enter vehicle, knowledge of prior may cause fear and panic of driver or passengers which may cause accident or mental anguise. I brought the vehicle to smith Ford dealership in Washington, N.J. requesting an inspection and warranty repair of the above stated structural steel. Smith Ford inspected the vehicle and said that the manufacturing defect would not be repaired by Ford and that Ford does not accept financial responsibility even though the problem was the result of a manufacturing defect. Reported this to Ford headquarters on November 30, 2012 and was informed that the dealership was correct in stating that Ford will not repair this serious problem. My wife is increasingly having terrifying visions of mice jumping on her while driving, having snakes crawling into the car, rain snow mud etc entering vehicle, or having the children put their hands or other things into the hole in the vehicle.

- Annandale, NJ, USA

problem #32

Dec 212012


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that there was an abnormal clicking sound coming from the rear of the vehicle. The contact later inspected the vehicle and found that a large square bolt near the rear driver's side wheel well was corroded. This bolt held the rear seat in place and the contact stated that the bracket was fractured and detached from the vehicle. As a result, the seat was unable to latch and remain in place. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Kittery, ME, USA

problem #31

Aug 242012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles


Drivers side rear passenger seat bracket failure. The bracket is mounted through the wheel well. The weld around the bracket had severe rusting, no where similar to other parts of the car. The plate holding the bracket rusted through completely dropping the seat. The plate and bracket began rubbing against the tire. If I had not stopped and found the problem and secured the bracket, the tire could have blown causing an accident. Accident was prevented, but serious body failure occurred. This needs to be addressed. As is this seat should no longer be used until it can be fixed, there is no cost effective fix.

- Lutz, FL, USA

problem #30

Oct 132012


  • 169,000 miles
The 3rd row rear seat on my 2004 Freestar does not latch into seated position properly. Upon further inspection, I realized that the driver's side support ring which the 3rd row seat latches into was pushed back into the trim. I looked underneath the driver's side rear wheel well and noticed that a steel plate which the support ring is mounted has completely rusted through the body of the vehicle. Also, when it is not latched it has a tendency to interfere with the rear driver's side tire. While there is a small amount of metal holding the mounting plate in place, it requires two people to latch the seat in order to keep the metal plate from scoring the sidewall of my tire. The passenger's side mounting plate continues to be secure, yet there is a noticeable amount of rust on that side as well. If someone stows the 3rd row seat and tries to flip it back into seating position without knowing that the support ring is loose, they could end up scoring the sidewall on the rear tire and causing a complete failure. Further, the proper function of the seat belt in the third row seat could be compromised during an accident; the seat could pitch forward or flip back because it is not solidly secured to the van's structure.

- Gaylord, MI, USA

problem #29

Jun 122012


  • 143,000 miles
Inability to latch the rear seat, entire driver side anchor plate completely detached from the vehicle.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #28

Oct 102012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 153,850 miles


The left rear seat anchor has detached from the body due to excessive rust in the rear quarter panel by the left rear wheel well. The third seat is no longer usable and there is a hole through the body that lets air and water into the passenger compartment. The right side wheel well area shows rust as well but the seat anchor has not yet detached from the quarter panel. Two Ford dealers have said they are not aware of this problem occurring and do not know if it can be fixed. My concern is safety while driving the vehicle, noise and water entering the passenger compartment, and the loss of use of the third seat. This vehicle is too young and useful to be scrapped.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #27

Sep 112012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while parked the contact pulled the rear seats up and noticed the stud which holds the back seat in place was loose. The contact pushed the stud and it fractured. Also, the wheel weld was corroded on the rear driver and passenger side. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to determine how to remedy the failure. The vehicle was later taken to an independent mechanic who welded new metal pieces to the wheel wells on the rear driver and passenger side. There was an investigation under NHTSA action number: EA12003 (seats:mid/rear assembly structure structure:body) that may be related to the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000. Updated 11/14/12

- Davis, IL, USA

problem #26

Oct 072012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 156,000 miles
Our son was in the rear seat and complained that as we turned corners, his seat moved. He said it felts as if it were not latched. Upon investigation, we found the seat did not latch on the drivers side. We tried without success to relatch it and found the latch anchor was loose. Being dark and 30 miles from home, we drove on. We then heard loud noise coming from that wheel well and began to smell "burning rubber". having no other option, we pulled to the side of the dark highway and saw a piece of metal hanging out of the van, onto the tire. We pulled it the rest of the way out and found that it was the seat latch anchor. The area seems to be completely rusted...from the inside. The metal did not look rusted from the outside. We now have a hole in the side of the van (in the wheel well) and a van which is incapable of hauling our family of five. Even using it as a four-passenger van, we have concerns about exhaust entering the interior of the van. (mileage noted is approximate).

- Dale, IN, USA

problem #25

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 #24

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 #23

Aug 082012


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that whenever she engaged the brake pedal, it felt hot to the touch. The contact stated that after inspecting the vehicle she noticed that there was a piece of metal rubbing against the tire. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnose that the rear wheel well needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The failure mileage was 84,000.

- Shelbyville, IN, USA

problem #22

Aug 032012


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the rear quarter panel on the driver side had excessive rust build up and as a result, the panel rubs on the tire while driving. The contact decided to remove part of the quarter panel in order to stop the tire from rubbing. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the quarter panel needed to be replaced with new metal. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The failure mileage was 83,000.

- Shelbyville, IN, USA

problem #21

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 #20

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 #19

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 #18

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 #17

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 #16

Jun 282012


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the rear wheel wells were completely rusted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be repaired and the contact was informed that the dealer would not touch the vehicle to avoid the liability. The rust had damaged the lugs for the seat belt anchors. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 120,000.

- Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

problem #15

Jun 252012


  • 269,359 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle was used as a taxi and a customer complained that the rear seats were loose. The contact then noticed that the rear seats were out of place and the rear driver's side wheel well was rusted. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or repair shop for repair. The manufacturer was notified and referred the contact to NHTSA. The failure and current mileages were 269,359.

- Canton , MA, USA

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