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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,683 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 1 of 3)

problem #60

Sep 012017


  • 135,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the carpet in the rear rows of the vehicle become wet and soaked. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the rear passenger seat anchor latch was loose. Months later, the driver noticed a grinding type noise when turning the vehicle. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the same failure had occurred on the driver's side. The failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The local dealer was not notified. The manufacturer was notified, but no assistance was offered. The failure mileage was 135,000.

- Red Oak, IA, USA

problem #59

Dec 042017


  • 155,000 miles
Went to investigate the water logged carpet in the rear of the van. Removed interior plastic panels on drivers side of van. The seat anchor mechanism fell out of the wheel well unto the tire. Very fortunate I was in the garage and not travelling down the freeway.

- Story City, IA, USA

problem #58

May 022017


  • 60,000 miles
I just paid off my vehicle did thousands of dollars worth of repairs now mechanic tells me he wont replace my starter because sub frame is unusually worn and dangerous to drive, so now I have no vehicle because 2004 was not recalled yet, most other years were

- Garden City, MI, USA

problem #57

Apr 202016


  • 123,137 miles


This vehicle I received numerous recalls and had many problems with this vehicle. Major electrical problems. When it would rain and get car wash the electrical system would malfunction and cause engine not to run properly and check engine light would come on. In April of 2016 engine was malfunctioning and caused me to get in accident. This vehicle has since been impounded and loan company santander trying to bill me for remainder of loan and now causing major credit issues. I would like this to be covered by Ford/carmax for selling my family an unsafe vehicle which could have resulted in critical injury or worse.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #56

Jan 012017


  • miles
Im having many issues with my vehicle. The worst one is the passive security system that has stranded me in many areas because it refuses to start. I have tried many things including replacing transponder keys and the transceiver but I still am getting the flashing red security light. Im scared to drive this thing in the winter due to the possibility of getting stranded in cold temperatures. Also this vehicle lets water leak in everywhere causing severe rust and mold issues. One of the floor supports of the drivers seat is close to being rusted through and the other ones are on their way out. The body is severely rusted and im not sure how much longer this thing will be safe to drive.

- Etna Green, IN, USA

problem #55

Feb 242017


  • 185,000 miles
02 06 2016 the first problem with subfram breaking, I was at savealot 123 St clair avenue 44108, started my engine and shifter gears the engine started I shifted gears and it lots power and restarted, the vehicle jumped and a loud grinding park Ford 400 West avenue tallmage Ohio 44278 I purchased two bolts W711082-S439 purchased 2 bolts one broke and I spoke to the manager/ owner and I was told to return the bolt and the would provide me a new one. At the time they had a kit that was $65 the kit had the bolt steel washer, rubber 2 bushing and a anchor ( what the bolt screws into. 2nd time I was in East cleveland same thing happen with a chuck- hole, I repaired the van again, third time East 123 superior by day car van lost power and loud grinding, 3 time same bolt snapped it was repaired again, rallys E105 St clair avenue chuck holes both the right front and rear subframe bolts snapped in the middle of St' clair officer young and officer king parked behind me while I fixed the vehicle so I could get it home East 105 and elk avenue, rear spare subfram installed, and the front was chained locked and secured with cable just incase the locked chains failed, I called Ford the said to slowly drive it out to them, towing, my insurance company was called and they ensured towing was added but I'd have to pay up front and get paid back, it the end of the month and I'm a disabled usaf veteran on a fixed income so this was not going to work. I was blessed to get the van out to Ford under it own power yes I prayed all the way tears in my eyes. Ford want to charge 300 labor I purchased $296.83 parts, $95.38 parts because Ford feared this parts would break, now come Ford wanting to charge 4X @220. [3F2Z5C148 I bolt I bushing 2 pieces? ] =$880 +296.38+95.38+300 predicted total $1,572.20 this recall is not free of charge, saw kit for $65 on 2/6/2016

- Cleveland,, OH, USA

problem #54

Jun 122016

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,520 miles


The contact owned a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving approximately 20 mph, the third row seat area rusted through to the trunk area near the spare tire. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.....updated 09/19/16 the consumer stated dealer said that the vehicle is beyond repair.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #53

Jul 132016


  • 132,125 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the rear passenger and driver side wheel wells were corroded. The vehicle was diagnosed, but not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 132,125.

- Cookville, TN, USA

problem #52

Jul 072014


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While inspecting the vehicle's subframe, the contact noticed that it was corroded. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 85,000. Updated 10/19/16

- Lancaster, NY, USA

problem #51

Jun 022016


  • 154,000 miles
The 3rd seat hooks rusted out leaving and unstable passenger seat and body structure issues that are identical to the recall #13S01but due to the vehicle not being in a "saltbelt" state, it was not included in the recall even though it is pretty clear that Kansas and Nebraska use sale abundantly on the roads. I was told by Ford that my specific can was not included in the recall because is was manufactured differently than the 100,000 that were included in the recall so it should not have the same problem which it now has. I put my four kids in this van and now it is not structural stable for them.

- Derby, KS, USA

problem #50

May 262016


  • 86,580 miles


The front subframe is rotted on my 2004 Ford Freestar. I found out when my car was in for it's annual inspection. They called the Ford dealer they said Ford was no longer making the parts. The dealer said Ford used to have recalls. I found out that Ford had a big problem with this on the Windstar. I contacted Ford and they said all the recall on my car were fixed. They said I should call the Ford dealer.

- Port Chester, NY, USA

problem #49

May 152016


  • 172,000 miles
Ford is not honoring 13V081000 for the third row seat striker problems. Our van which is operated in the Kansas City metropolitan area, which heavily salts the roads is having the corrosion problem. Just this weekend we were traveling with all seats occupied when the inner fender well on the rear passenger side broke through with the seat striker mounting bracket hitting the sidewall of the rear tire. Fortunately at the time we were not driving at high speeds and were able to remove the seat occupants and return home safely. The design of this seat striker plate is flawed as there is a reinforcing plate on the inner side of the fender well that results in entrapment of moisture and dirt. This bad design combined with the weight of three people occupying the seat results in stressing of the fender well material. When I went to the Ford dealer on Monday and gave them my VIN they could not find any hint of a recall for this issue on my vehicle.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #48

May 072016


  • miles
Ford refuses to pay for recall related repairs. I purchased vehicle in July of 2015. Received notice from Ford of safety recall involving 3rd row seating. Ford wants $2100 for repair of the corrosion on the wheel wells. The row seating is useless doesn't lock in open position.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #47

Jun 272014


  • 96,000 miles
Car history: The transaxle light has gone before when we travel through vt mountains, but turning off the engine and letting it sit, and restarting it, the light would go off. Upon getting home safety, our mechanics didn't find anything to repair and so left it be, and would only sometimes see it when we traveled through the vt mountains, a few times a year. All recall repairs were up to date. There were no other symptoms. Incident: As we nearing the top of a mountain, the transaxle light came on. Unlike the other times, the transmission suddenly failed to be in the correct gear, so unlike the other times, we were very concerned. We pulled over immediately, and as we reached the shoulder smoke began pouring out of the vents. We quickly evacuated our kids, and as we were getting them out we noticed that there was already fire coming from under the hood, near the windshield, on the passenger side. We are so glad our kids were awake, and able to unlatch their own child carseats, and able to get out quickly. The fire spread to the entire van, consuming everything, at a great expense to us. (and others; our accident blocked a significant amount of traffic for about 3 hours.)

- Barrington, NH, USA

problem #46

Dec 252012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while attempting to have the vehicle repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 13V081000 (seats), it was determined that the rear wheel wells were corroded due to water penetration and were unable to support the recall remedy. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The consumer stated the rear latch 3rd row seat fell off, due to it rubbing against the rear tire.

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #45

May 212012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 170,214 miles
I had my vehicle to the Ford dealership on a recall for the third row latch/corrosion issue. While in the process of doing the repair, the service dept. Found massive undercarriage corrosion, in which other parts of my car were disintegrating & falling apart, such as the starter and the engine mounts, as well as parts of my exhaust system. While my car was on the premises there were also two other Freestars with similar amounts of massive corrosion on the body of the vehicle, particularly all of the doors. My vehicle is only 9 years old and has been taken care of with regular maintenance and should not look 20 years old with the corrosion that it has accumulated. I also have a large, visible crack in my wheel well in the rear passenger area caused by corrosion and my vehicle may not pass inspection. I have been in touch with Ford Motor Co. And they seemed only casually interested, but did give me a case file # [xxx]. they report that there is currently no recall on any of the peripheral corrosion problems and could not guarantee that there would be a recall on this. The supervisor at the dealership expressed to me that he has seen at least 6-8 other Freestars with the same corrosion in the same places. My car is rotting from the inside...presently when it rains, my front passenger door accumulates water inside, which eventually drains itself out through the corrosion underneath that panel. Please help me to force a recall on this issue so that I can get my car repaired in an appropriate manner and feel safe in driving without worrying that my vehicle will disintegrate underneath me from this massive corrosion problem. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Northfield, MA, USA

problem #44

Feb 152013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that there was a gaping hole in the rear wheel well, causing the third road striker and latch to fracture. The failure prevented the third row seat from locking into place. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 13V081000 (seats) however, the technician notified the owner that the water damage caused mold and corrosion to form in the quarter panel, seat belts, left third road seat and the carpet. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the additional repairs were not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 87,000 and the current mileage was 88,000.

- Elmwood Park, IL, USA

problem #43

May 142013


  • 154,430 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the rear door latch would not release for the door to be opened. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection of the rear door latch. The dealer was unable to release the door latch due to excessive moisture. The dealer attempted to repair the vehicle under NHTSA campaign I.D. number 13V081000 (seats) but to no avail. The contact had to take the vehicle to a second dealer to have the vehicle remedied per the recall. The failure mileage was 154,430.

- Menomonie, WI, USA

problem #42

Nov 292012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
On christmas eve 2012 we drove to our parents house we heard something rubbing against the rear driver side tire. When we investigated what was going on we found the 3rd row seat latch had almost detached but was rubbing against the tire it eventually fell off as we tried to get it to reconnect. We received a recall letter in April but was unaware of the potential danger that driving like this for 3 months had caused. At repair shop vehicle would not pass insp due to rotted wheel well and springs also rotted we called local dealer for appt on recall. To my dismay a couple of things that are very concerning to me occurred I received a call later that day from the dealer stating that they where having problems with Ford company itself the latch had fallen off and they had the parts to replace it but they could not attach it to the rear well because it was rotted and not only that they also told us the springs could fall out and collapse the rear suspension if it was driven again when they told the Ford representative this they said just weld a metal piece over the well wheel and just attach it on their dealer declined because this would still be a dangerous situation to drive because of the rear springs if driven could drop the whole rear suspension while driving Ford rep said not our problem you need to complete the recall and the customer has to pay for the springs to be repaired. This is totally unacceptable to me it obvious that the latch situation and corrosion has caused this whole problem to have them try to have the dealer put in effect a bandage on the situation and let my family risk there life driving this van is corrupt to the core. The dealer was able to get the area Ford rep to come out and look at the vehicle in the next couple of days. But I cannot emphasis more what they tried to do today was without question unethical.

- Watertown , NY, USA

problem #41

May 082007

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
The latch on the rear of the van has rusted closed on three separate occassions. It is presently rusted shut and the back hatch doesnt open as a result. There is a recall on the third row seat due to water leakage from the rear tire well. This has to be related as the carpet throughout the van gets wet. Even the front drivers seat where it attaches to the floor is soaked, posibly leaking from front tire well.and all the way down the interior of the car to the third row. There is also a short in the dash lights due to water leaking into the dash area. The car radio stays on when it feel like it and you have to hit the drivers window button for the radio to shut off otherwise it drains the battery and the car will not start. The car was at the electrical shop a year ago and could not find the problem.

- Wyandotte, MI, USA

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