really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
115,310 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.

2001 Ford Windstar body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2001 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 5 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #61

Sep 182010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles


I was driving down I-75 in toledo Ohio at 70 mph when my rear axle broke in half on my 2001 Ford Windstar minivan. Lost control but was able to not hit anyone or roll over. I have had no help from Ford and nothing but a run around from them help!!! I have 4 children and no transportation. My eldest daughter has no busing in our county so I have to Transport both ways and no vehicle. No way to get groceries or dr. Appts. Ford promised me a rental but 9 days have gone by and no help. What do I do? they are telling me it will be over three months before I can have my van repaired.

- Fremont, OH, USA

problem #60

Sep 262010


  • 148,000 miles
Went for a routine oil change and my mechanic discovered the passenger side sub frame is all but rusted out.

- Wappingers Falls, NY, USA

problem #59

Sep 152010


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. The contact was driving 35 mph downhill when the vehicle made a loud, crashing noise followed by a loss of power steering and braking power. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the contact was advised that the sub frame cradle had fractured from the frame while driving. The dealer also advised that the steering components, transmission, drive train and frame would need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 140,000.

- Manitowoc, WI, USA

problem #58

Jul 012010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles


I was driving my 2001 Ford Windstar making a right turn when I straightened out I noticed that my steering wheel was still turned at a 45 degree angle. Being cautious now listened for warning sounds of possible further problems, there was no strange sounds or shaking nothing to indicate what would happen next. As I continued on my journey I was driving 50km an hour when suddenly the front end of the van dropped sitting on both front tires, causing me to lose control of steering and braking. I slid down the street eventually crashing into the curb thankfully no one was injured and no other vehicle was involved. I exited the vehicle and noticed transmission fluid pouring out onto the road. My van was towed to the mechanics and we discovered that the right control arm that is connected to the front sub frame brackets were totally roughed out due to bad design in the sub frame in which the brackets are welded to the frame which has a bowl like base which collects water and salt and speeds up the corrosion time. This is a serious safety issue for other Windstar vans, if I was on a major highway doing 100km this would of been a fatal accident. If this would of happened the police would of determined that I was going to fast or some other reason other than the control arm breaking of. There has been a recent recall for the rear axle cracking and splitting in half due to bad U shape design of the axle in where again salt and water become trapped and speed up the corrosion time. So I believe that the control arm is a serious safety issue which needs to be dealt with by issuing a recall as well.

- Newmarket, 00, USA

problem #57

Sep 162001


  • 149,000 miles
As my wife backed the van out of the driveway the rear axle broke in half.

- Antioch, IL, USA

problem #56

Sep 082010


  • 152,000 miles
My wife pulled out of someone's driveway and without a warning, the front end of our 2001 Ford Windstar had fallen out destroying the control arm, strut and possibly more damage. The van got taken to a garage where it was revealed that the cradle had basically split and if this had happened on the highway, there was a high percentage that my wife and three children would have been seriously injured or killed thanks to Ford manufacturing deathtrap parts. Parts like this should be the last thing to ever go. We bought the van in June 2009 with only 112,000 kms on it. Ford should be footing the bill and a recall should be ordered immediately. I will never buy a Ford ever again. I will be getting the van fixed next week and I will be keeping the old cradle as evidence and my receipt for the cost of repairs.

- Hillview, 00, USA

problem #55

Sep 062010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 156,000 miles


My 01 Ford Windstar van sub frame has lot of corrosion. I have notice this after reading rear axel recall.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #54

Aug 202010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
I have a 2001 Ford Windstar which is showing signs of a sub-frame corrosion failure similar to the one described in investigation pr 10-026. There is a "U-shaped" subframe element which connects to the main frame near the outboard side of both front seats and extends forward around the front of the car. It does appear various suspension and steering members are connected to this sub-frame. The passenger-side end of this sub-frame where it connects to the vehicle frame shows severe rusting and metal delamination and a crack has formed on the end. The driver-side end of this subframe shows normal wear and is not in immediate risk of failure. The corrosion to the passenger-side end is excessive as compared to the driver's side and other frame elements in the vicinity. Something is accelerating the corrosion on the right side. It may be due to the condensate drain from the air-conditioning system. At this time, the sub-frame has not failed but the vehicle represents a significant safety risk since failure-related crashes have been reported. The repair costs are estimated to be in excess of $2000 for frame replacement. I believe that Ford should quickly develop and deploy a means of reinforcing the frame member and offer the repair via recall to Windstar owners. Since the parts are currently still on my vehicle, I can take photographs showing the deterioration of the sub-frame ends. As a side note: My Windstar is equipped with the rearseat air-conditioning system. The evaporator is in the rear quarter-panel on the driver's side in the rear or the vehicle. While this affected components do not appear to be a critical part of the vehicle's structure, there is significant corrosion to the parts which are in the path of the condensate drain for the rear A/C system as well. This seems to confirm the belief that A/C condensate run-off is a key factor in the sub-frame corrosion issue.

- Utica, NY, USA

problem #53

Aug 242010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 129,000 miles
2001 Ford Windstar was making noises in the back for a couple months. Just recently, the noise got much louder when backing up and going out of my driveway. Before driving today, I looked under the back of the vehicle to see that the rear axle beam was cracked at least 95% about 18 inches from the drivers wheel. I could have been killed if I was driving on the expressway and lost control. I have to get this fixed and cannot drive the van.

- Hickory Hills, IL, USA

problem #52

Aug 152010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Ford Windstar rear axel break 1. heard odd sound under car 2. rear axel broke near driver side of car. 3. dealer says they cannot get the part, I must find my own.

- Batavia, OH, USA

problem #51

Jul 132010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


My wife was pulling out of a driveway with her 2001 Ford Windstar when there was a loud noise and the wheels turned and locked in position. The vehicle was towed to an auto repair shop and it was determined that the subframe was completely rusted through. This could have been a very dangerous situation if it would have happened at highway speed. The vehicle has 96,000 miles on it. It cost $1,600 to get repaired. Ford has a problem with the metal on these vehicles. Vehicle frames should not rust out.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #50

Aug 142010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 60,100 miles
While driving our 2001 Ford Windstar which has only 60,000 miles at about 20 mph, a loud snap sound occurred, followed by wobbling from the back of the car and burning rubber smell as the vehicle came to a scrapping stop. We got out to see that the rear axle bar had snapped in two about a foot or so from the drivers rear wheel. We called geico and filed a claim, they are going to repair it but we will still have to pay a $500 deductible. They said that if they are successful in going after Ford for this "defect", we would them be eligible for the $500 back. We see on the internet that there are two youtube.com videos about this same problem and these axles are snapped exactly where ours let go. We also see on the internet that the NHTSA has been investigating this problem since may of 2010. As of that date there were almost 300 occurrences of this failure in the northeast, I guess more and more of this occurrence will continue until Ford recalls this defective weld or inadequate thickness of the rear axel bar itself. We hope no-one has to loose their lives before Ford addresses this issue. We are so glad that we never made it to the entrance of the highway, because I cannot imagine what would have happened at highway speeds.

- White Plains, NY, USA

problem #49

Aug 062009

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 119,660 miles
I own a 2001 Ford Windstar with just over 119,600 miles on it. On Friday, August 6, 2010 I was driving home from work. I was going between 35 and 40 mph. Suddenly I heard a loud noise somewhere close behind me and I saw smoke and/or dust coming from the rear of the van. I thought I had blown a tire but when I got out and looked all the tires were fine although I thought the rear tires were tilted toward each other. When my husband came to pick me up, we looked under the rear of the van and noticed that the rear axle had broken almost in half.

- Coal Valley, IL, USA

problem #48

Aug 042010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 178,000 miles
2001 Ford Windstar. Right front subframe rotted at mounted point to main frame. Had been hearing slight grinding noise for past week or so from right side of vehicle. Several attempts were made to diagnose noise with no success. Vehicle was raised on jacks for inspection and it was found that the frame had rotted through at the mounting point. Vehicle requires complete front subframe replacement.

- Wappingers Falls, NY, USA

problem #47

Jul 222010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
For several months, my wife and I noticed a creaking/thumping sound coming from the left rear of our 2001 Ford Windstar sel, which has 111,000 miles on it. The sound was especially noticeable when turning at low speeds and at the same time experiencing an elevation change (e.g., entering a driveway from the road). The Ford dealer told us we needed new rear shocks, which we replaced for $500+. the vehicle handled a little better and the sound seemed to be reduced, but never totally went away. Over the next couple months, the sound gradually worsened. We were planning a long road trip for our summer vacation, so we took the vehicle back to the dealer the day before we were going to leave. This time, the dealer told us the rear axle beam was cracked. I'm sure that was part, if not all, of the problem that we experienced the first time we brought it in, because the sound was the same. Regardless, we were fortunate enough to discover the problem before we were on the road with our three children and a van fully loaded for a 10-day vacation. I asked the Ford technician how it could possibly be that Ford could make a minivan with a rear axle beam that failed after only nine years of routine use. He didn't have much to say, but all you need to do is take a close look at the axle beam to understand why. It's as thin as an aluminum baseball bat, and it's just as hollow. A pop can has more structural integrity. I mentioned the problem to a neighborhood auto mechanic, and he said this happens on 'all' Windstar. Rather than pay the $1000 repair bill, and given the dozens of other issues we've had with this substandard vehicle, we decided to just buy a new vehicle. We were considering trading the Windstar, but before doing so, I decided to see if this problem was as common as the local mechanic implied. Turns out it is. This is a serious safety issue, and all affected vehicles need to be recalled immediately.

- Covington, KY, USA

problem #46

Jun 012008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
NHTSA expands Ford Windstar corrosion probe to front subframes. I have not had an accident due to this but have had to have the H-frame in the front of my Windstar replaced due to corrosion where the driver side front wheel connection had corroded through and the wheel was going to potentially come off. It was making a lot of noise and not performing correctly so my mechanic took a look to see if the shocks, ball joints needed replacement. He found the H-frame corroded and required replacing. This was 2 year ago and cost about $2000 to replace. I am now having issues with my rear end which is causing loud noises going over bumps and vibrating at speed. Went to the same mechanic and he says that the U-frame holding up the rear end is cracked and corroded. Eventually it will break through and drop the car. Since this is a 2001 Ford Windstar with 80,000 miles, I have decided not to undergo the repairs but to look for a new vehicle. The Windstar has been garage kept for its entire life.

- Moorestown, NJ, USA

problem #45

Jun 112010


  • miles
It was raining & I was driving home with my sons in the van when it suddenly swerved out of control, fish-tailing into the direction of oncoming traffic. I almost lost complete control and narrowly avoided hitting another vehicle. I proceeded home cautiously, thinking the way the van was now handling was due to road conditions. The next day it continued to handle difficultly, and I noted a squealing tire sound with turns - I thought perhaps the tires needed air, and it was still raining. That afternoon, as I was merging onto the highway, the van randomly started to fish-tail over two lanes, nearly rolling over. I was barely able to obtain control. I proceeded home cautiously, noting the tires were squealing more with turns & it was more difficult to handle. Once home I checked the tires & they seemed fine. I loaded my sons in the van, against my better judgment, to have dinner at a friends house. I planned to have her boyfriend check it while we were there (my husband was gone for two weeks). I cautiously drove down our road and when I took the long curve by the school the tires began to squeal loudly and the van started swerving all over, into oncoming traffic. It rocked and swerved & nearly flipped, scaring all 3 of us nearly to death. I finally was able to stop the van & had my son get out and watch as I drove past slowly. He immediately started screaming to get out! the wheels were about to fall off! I slowly & fearfully pulled into the church lot we were next to and discovered that both rear tires were tipped in at the top, like a tee-pee. We were all shaken, knowing how close we came to dying. The van was eventually loaded onto a flatbed truck and brought home. My husband got home & discovered the steel support beam was split nearly in half in the middle. I thank god we didn't go over the bridge that night - we would've had a massive accident, injuring/killing who-knows how many people! we wont replace it with used parts & there aren't new ones.

- Quaker Hill, CT, USA

problem #44

Jul 192010


  • 144,231 miles
Broken rear axle in my 2001 Ford Windstar-2nd occurrence had the axle repaired/welded in 2009 on the left rear and now the right rear is cracked rendering the car undriveable.

- Plainville, CT, USA

problem #43

Jul 092010


  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. The contact noticed an unusual cracking noise coming from the vehicle. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic who stated that the frame that held the rear wheels together had fractured in half. The contact informed the dealer of the failure but the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The current and failure mileages were approximately 106,000.

- Friendsville, MD, USA

problem #42

Jul 082010


  • 177,000 miles
While driving our 2001 Ford Windstar pulling a 7'X12' trailer at 60 M.P.H. on a two lane state route road we crossed an intersection of a county road there was a small hump at the intersection there was a very loud bang followed by a tire screeching and loss of steering the van pulled very hard to the right into the grass correcting we came back into our lane and started into the oncoming lane I was able to bring the van back to our lane and then slowly back to the grass where we came to a stop 1500' past the intersection after looking at the van I had found that the back mount of the right lower control arm was wet and had rusted and broke off causing the right wheel to turn out pulling the drive shaft out and locking up the wheel causing the loss of steering I believe that over time the evaporator dripped condensation on to the mount causing it to rust a fail this is a very serious structural failure and could cause serious injuries or death and is just not a pleasant time not wanting to pay $900 to $2000 to be repaired I found a good sub frame at a junk yard for $150( some frames may be more money) and will replace it myself this is a very big and hard project that will take a lot of time I have the right tools and knowhow I don't recommend trying for everyone this is a backup vehicle so I have the time to fix it Ford or the N.H.T.S.a. should recall all vehicles with the potential of this problem before some one gets badly hurt or dies this problem will not go away only get worse I urge all owners of any Windstar to check there right lower control arm mounts to see if they are bad.

- Pandora, OH, USA

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