NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 1998 Ford Windstar

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 1998 Ford Windstar, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. ENGINE COMPARTMENT FIRES NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE08035

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: May 13, 2008
    • Date Closed: September 17, 2008
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System:Wiring
    Vehicle Speed Control

    Summary: ODI has received 134 consumer complaints, 285 manufacturer complaints, and 137 manufacturer warranty claims alleging incidents of engine compartment fire in model year (MY) 1995 thru 2003 Ford Windstar vehicles.two of the ODI complaints allege the fires caused structural damage to the complainant's home.of the 134 ODI complaints, 36 allege the fire occurred while the vehicle was parked, 72 allege the fire occurred while the vehicle was running and 26 of the complaints do not specify if the vehicle was running or not.further review of the ODI complaints shows that 72 allege that the speed control deactivation switch (scds) caused the fire and 10 allege that the scds leaked brake fluid on to the ABS module resulting in the fire.there were 52 that did not identify a cause or that identified miscellaneous other causes.ODI has also received 89 complaints ( not counted in this resume) alleging that the scds developed a brake fluid leak.thirteen of these complaints say that the leak at the scds resulted in braked fluid reaching the ABS module.this PE has been upgraded to an engineering analysis (ea) to further evaluate the cause of the fires and assess the scope, frequency, and safety consequences of the alleged defect.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE08035 »

  2. MISSING/LOOSE FRONT BRAKE NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA98008

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA98008 »

  3. MISSING/LOOSE FRONT BRAKE CALIPER ANCHOR NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE97048

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: November 03, 1997
    • Date Closed: April 30, 1998
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE97048 »

  4. ENGINE COMPARTMENT FIRES NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA08021

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System:Wiring
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Antilock
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Antilock:Control Unit/Module
    Vehicle Speed Control
    Vehicle Speed Control:Cruise Control

    Summary: EA08-021 is closed with Ford's actions in recall 09V-399 recalling approximately 4.5 million vehicles equipped with Texas instruments speed control deactivation switches (scds).with this recall Ford has now recalled all of the approximate 16 million Ford model vehicles that were manufactured from MY 1992 through 2003 with a Texas instruments scds.NHTSA will continue to monitor the recalled vehicles to ensure remedies installed by Ford tomitigate the potential for scds related fires are effective.the Agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.see attached closing report for further details.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA08021 »

  5. OVERHEAD CONSOLE LOOSE OR HANGS DOWN NHTSA Defect Investigation #SQ99001

    • Status:
      OPEN
    • Date Opened: January 12, 1999
    • Date Closed: Pending
    • Recall: possible recall

    Component(s): Structure

    Summary: This investigation is opened to ascertain facts concerning the problem experience, scope, and rational for issuing a technical service bulletin to correct the problem.historically, previous safety recalls involving similar type of failure have been filed with the Agency.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #SQ99001 »

  6. Rear Axle Cracking NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE10016

    Component(s): Suspension

    Summary: In a letter dated August 26, 2010, Ford Motor Company (Ford) submitted a Defect Information Report notifying NHTSA that it will conduct a safety recall (NHTSA Recall No. 10V-385) to address a rear axle defect in model year (MY) 1998 through 2003 Ford Windstar vehicles built at the Oakville assembly plant from September 1, 1997 through February 28, 2003 and either sold or currently registered in high corrosion (Salt-Belt) states where the use of salt and other corrosive chemicals may be used to treat snow/ice covered roads.The following states are included in Ford's recall:Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The subject vehicles utilize a Stamped/Formed axle assembly manufactured by Benteler automotive Corporation of Galesburg, MI.According to Ford, after many years of vehicle service in the Salt-Belt states, corrosion can weaken the rear axle, making it susceptible to torsional stress.There is a risk that the combined effects of corrosion and stress can lead to cracks which, if undetected, can propagate and result in a complete fracture of the axle.A completely fractured axle can affect vehicle handling and increase the risk of a crash.To correct the safety defect, Ford will initially inspect all of the subject vehicles brought into Ford/Lincoln-Mercury dealerships for possible cracked axles.Owners of vehicles without cracked axles will be notified when to return for the installation of reinforcement brackets to extend the axle durability in the presence of corrosion.Owners who have vehicles with cracked axles will either be offered a repair or alternative transportation until parts become available. On May 13, 2010, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE10-016 to investigate complaints of rear axle cracking in MY 1999 through 2003 Ford Windstar minivans.Combining ODI and Ford complaint data, ODI is aware of a total 891 complaints alleging rear axle cracking in the subject vehicles.Over a third of the complaints (334) allege that the cracking progressed to a complete fracture of the rear axle, including 8 allegations of crashes resulting in 3 injuries. Approximately 57 percent of the subject vehicles (524,661) were sold in Salt-Belt states covered by Ford's recall and Ford estimates that approximately 463,000 of these remain in service.Ninety-six percent of the complaints (858) and all of the complaints alleging complete fracture were from the recall region.The action taken by Ford is sufficient to resolve the issues raised by this investigation.Accordingly, this investigation is closed.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE10016 »

  7. SUSPENSION COIL SPRING BREAKAGE NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA00027

    Component(s): Suspension

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA00027 »

  8. SUSPENSION COIL SPRING BREAKAGE NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE00024

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: June 23, 2000
    • Date Closed: December 08, 2000
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Suspension

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE00024 »

  9. WHEEL STUD FRACTURE NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA03004

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: April 10, 2003
    • Date Closed: August 30, 2004
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Wheels
    Wheels:Lugs/Nuts/Bolts

    Summary: The subject vehicles range in age from 47 years in service, with average mileages estimated to range from 50 to 100 thousand miles.at these mileages, the subject wheels are likely to have been removed and reinstalled multiple times for various service procedures.ODI is concerned about the high wheel separation rates in the MY 1997-98 Windstar vehicles equipped with aluminum alloy wheels.however, analysis of failure data indicates that most of the incidents in that population of vehicles occur after the vehicles had accumulated 30 thousand miles of service. The factors that increase the risk that inadequate clamp loads may be achieved during service-related wheel installation are not unique to the subject vehicles.testing conducted by Ford and VRTC indicate that the MY 1998 Windstar aluminum wheel fastening system performs similar to the wheel fastening systems on peer minivans.no design or manufacturing defects were identified in the wheel fastening systems of the subject vehicles. Ford will send a mailing to owners of Windstar vehicles with aluminum wheels that have high wheel separation rates that reviews the appropriate wheel fastening procedures and states that the wheel nuts should be tightened to the nominal torque, 100 ft-lbs (136 nm), and re-tightened to the same torque after 500 miles.Ford's letter also states that it is a good practice to be sure that before installing the wheel the aluminum wheel mounting surface, wheel lug nut area, and the mounting flange are free from dirt, debris, and loose rust to ensure the wheel is seated correctly and the wheel lug nuts remain fully tightened. ODI will continue to monitor the incidence of wheel fastener failures in the subject vehicle population.accordingly, this investigation is closed.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.the Agency will take further action if warranted by the circumstances. For additional information, see the attached closing report.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA03004 »

  10. WHEEL STUD FRACTURE NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE02085

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: November 18, 2002
    • Date Closed: April 10, 2003
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Wheels
    Wheels:Lugs/Nuts/Bolts

    Summary: Analysis of ODI and Ford data has identified 1619 incidents of wheel stud fracture in MY 1998 through 2000 Ford Windstar vehicles, including 69 wheel separations and 11 crashes.Ford has not been able to identify any design or manufacturing defects in its analyzis of the problem.Ford maintains that the failures are caused by either:(1) inadvertent overtorquing of lug nuts during removal or installation; or (2) fatigue due to insufficient clamp load between the wheel and the brake rotor or drum and hub assembly.according to Ford, "corrosion, dirt, or damage present on the road wheel at the nut inteface" could contribute to the latter condition. Analysis of ODI complaint data indicates that the subject vehicles experience wheel stud failures at significantly higher rates than peer minivans.this investigation has been upgraded to further assess the frequency, scope, and trend of the alleged defect condition in MY 1997 through 2000 Windstar minivans.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE02085 »

Browse Other Windstar Years

Become a Fan & Spread the Word