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 7 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Aug 282009


  • 160,000 miles


Our not for profit owns a 2001 Ford Windstar which failed to pass nys inspection because the sub-frame is rusted through. This vehicle had less than 160K miles on it. We wash our vehicles every month or so in the winter to rid them of salt so that corrosion is kept to minimum. Too bad Ford doesn't stand by their products like Toyota, (which paid owners of defective pick-ups which had underbody corrosion 1 & 1/2 blue book value for vehicles). Another reason not to buy american: Shoddy materials, shoddy workmanship & uncaring customer satisfaction.

- Ithaca, NY, USA

problem #20

Oct 302009


  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. The contact heard a loud noise outside of the vehicle while he was backing out of a parking space and shifting into the "reverse" position. The vehicle suddendly failed to operate in reverse. Immediately, the gear shifter was placed into the "drive" position; followed by no power response. The driver turned the engine off and inspected the vehicle. The front passenger wheel was turned outwardly when the right shaft disengaged from the differential. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for inspection. The technician stated that the failure was contributed to the engine cradle which exhibited severe rust and caused the lower control arm to break. The vehicle was repaired for malfunction. The contact had concern of the safety risk involved. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileages were 71,000.

- Ft. Wayne, IN, USA

problem #19

Oct 052009


  • 61,000 miles
The mounting ears on the right front subframe (H-frame that all the suspension, steering, and drivetrain) that connects the lower control arm to the frame rotted off the frame allowing the passenger side tire assy. To swing out from under the vehicle causing a loss of control. Fortunately it happened when turning left at a intersection and not on the freeway. The whole front H frame has to be replaced. The vehicle is an 01 Ford Windstar with approx. 61,000 miles, always taken good care of and garage kept. Original owner never any accidents.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #18

Sep 092009


  • 99,900 miles


2001 Ford Windstar. Subframe rusted away where it attaches to the main frame. Consequences might be loss of steering, rollover or other serious accident. Fortunately, the problem was discovered and repaired at the cost of $1700 before a serious accident occurred.

- E. Falmouth, MA, USA

problem #17

Aug 302008


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that during routine inspection for an oil service, a mechanic located excessive rust in the engines sub frame. Engine failure while driving increases the risk of vehicle crash.the vehicle has not been repaired. He notified the dealer and the manufacturer of the failure. The current and failure mileages were 87,000.

- Mount Arlington, NJ, USA

problem #16

May 272009


  • 88,000 miles
Front subframe rusted through at passenger side mounting point requiring replacement of the front subframe. The condition was noticed immediately after failure due to a change in the direction of the steering wheel and a popping noise during turns, confirmed and repaired at an independent repair shop before any further damage accumulated. I noticed a recall issued on Kia of the same vintage for the same problem.

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #15

Apr 272009


  • 71,000 miles


My wife lost control of vehicle, 2001 Windstar, 71,000 miles, right front lower control rod broke loose from engine cradle and she lost control of steering. I had vehicle towed to Ford dealership. Subframe rusted out at right lower control rod mounting, vehicle is not driven in winter, do not understand how this could have rusted out and caused a possible catastrophic failure. Subframe has been ordered, estimate for repairs from Ford dealer is $2,000. I have not contacted Ford Motor Company, it appears that they do not care about this failure judging from other customer complaints for the same failure. If this is caused by water dripping from the ac compressor or a defect in the subframe metal, Ford should be assisting in these repairs. I have been a loyal Ford customer for 30 years and can not believe they would not help with this type of safety issue.

- Lima, NY, USA

problem #14

Apr 062009


  • 154,000 miles
While driving 2001 Ford Windstar on a 1-hour trip toward home, I noticed the back wheels fish tailing that occurred in every rough spot in the road. I immediately thought the tire was going flat and pulled over to check it. Since the tires visually looked fine, I drove to the next exit to a gas station and checked the tire air pressure and found it was at proper levels. I was still unsure what could cause the "fish tailing" or "hydroplaning" feeling, yet I was able to make it the rest of the way home without a major accident; although my car kept "fishtailing".. the next morning, my husband took the Windstar to a service mechanic to inspect the tires. What he found was a rear axle that was "rusted from the inside out" about 3/4 of the way. The mechanic's initial estimate is $1000 (for replacement of new axle and labor). We are relieved that the rear axle didn't break while we were driving as the car could have flipped and killed all of us. What could cause corrosion on the inside? the rear axle should be made to never corrode or break under normal road driving conditions. After researching on the internet, I have found other 8 year old, same make/model Windstar owners reporting the same conditions. This is an unsafe part especially noting that people are keeping their cars longer due to economy. Ford should own up to this part failure and recall and replace this part at no charge to the owners immediately!

- Marysville, OH, USA

problem #13

Mar 102009

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. While attempting to make a left turn at an unknown speed, the vehicle made a very loud banging noise. The dealer stated that the engine cradle was rotted out. The repair cost was estimated at more than $500. The failure and current mileages were less than 110,000. Updated 04-23-09 updated 04/24/09.

- Pawtucket, RI, USA

problem #12

Mar 182009


  • 108,000 miles
I started hearing a knocking -- popping noise whenever I turned the wheel. I took it to the mechanic and he said it could be the buckles in the steering rack. When I brought the van to be fixed, the mechanic stated that my problems are worse than that. The rear axle carrier is cracked and needs to be replaced and the front subframe to body is almost completely rusted through and needs to be replaced. He stated that he has seen this problem alot in 2001 Ford wnidstars with mileage over 100,000 miles. My van has 108,000 miles. I have had many problems with this van including replacing struts, steering rack, ABS lights constantly on the dash. Check engine light on. All these issues have been addressed and still no resolution. I am very frustrated. This latest "mechanical" issue going to cost me way above $2000. I have always driven Ford cars/vans. I am not sure if given the opportunity, if I would buy another Ford vehicle. I am very disappointed with Ford.

- Hopatcong, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jan 262009


  • 102,000 miles


The cradle on my 2001 Ford winstar broke off on the passenger side due to rust. Other side is fine. But in the passenger is totally broken off, making popping and cracking noises. Vehicle is unsafe to drive.

- Addison , IL, USA

problem #10

Jan 082009


  • 126,000 miles
I own a 2001 Ford Windstar and while driving the rear axle beam snapped in half this should not happen this is not a isolated event Ford should be held accountable for this.

- Norwood, PA, USA

problem #9

Dec 142008


  • 131,000 miles
While pulling out of my driveway, the rear axle on my Ford Windstar snapped in half. Clean break with both rear tires holding up the rear of the car.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #8

Sep 012008


  • 108,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. The contact took the vehicle to a repair shop for inspection and the mechanic explained that the subframe and engine cradle were rusted and needed to be replaced. The mechanic further stated that the failure was very uncommon. The contact believes that this is a manufacturer defect. The failure seems to originate from the air conditioning unit. Through online research, the contact found numerous others experiencing the same failure. The manufacturer stated that they were not responsible for the failure; therefore, they expected the contact to pay for the repairs. The current and failure mileages were 108,000.

- Oneonta, NY, USA

problem #7

Nov 042008


  • 95,880 miles
Rear subframe axle assembly part #2F2Z 4B435 aa broke in half causing loss of control of vehicle & loss of brakes.

- Winthrop, MA, USA

problem #6

Oct 192008


  • 92,000 miles
Had just gotten onto highway going about 45 mph, changed lanes to accelerate and felt like a tire blew out, heard something dragging, luckily exited off quickly pulled over to find that rear axel had broke and both tires were on their way to caving in. No accident or injury-thank god. Called Ford dealership and was told no recalls on axles and this was a "common occurrence."

- Reading, MA, USA

problem #5

Sep 202008


  • 71,000 miles
Failure of the right lower control arm mounts at the subframe occurred with no warning or prior symptoms. My vehicle is a 2001 Ford Windstar with approximately 71K miles. My children and I were on a highway on-ramp approaching highway speed when the failure occurred, causing the wheel to swing out from the vehicle and the axle shaft to pull out of the transaxle. The van swayed and bucked with the rear end bouncing up and down off the ground nearly flipping the vehicle. I can't imagine what could have happened four or five seconds later at highway speed. The van was towed to a local service station where it remains about 100 miles from my home. My local dealer was contacted but the service writer said I would need to contact the Ford customer relations center who in turn informed me that it was not within Ford Motor Company's guidelines to offer any assistance. Linda, the department supervisor, said that there is nothing she can do, unless the NHTSA issues a recall, because the van is out of warranty and out of the 5 year range they use for making "good relations allowances". I know there has been at least 12 or 13 similar complaints on the NHTSA web sight and others on blogs (ie allworldauto.com ) so I agree with one of your complainants that "this is a severe failure that is premature, not easily detectable, potentially fatal, and will likely occur more frequently as these vehicles age". I too, strongly urge the NHTSA to conduct an engineering investigation regarding this failure.

- Fayetteville, NY, USA

problem #4

Apr 232008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
2001 Ford Windstar 70,000 miles, had a minor fender bender took to the dealer for repair, once I received the van back an hour after the check engine light came on, called dealer they stated that they needed to reset the codes bring it back when I could. The very next day and every day after that until the final day I called stating the steering wheel seemed odd and I had to slightly turn it to the left to go straight. I again was told that they just needed to realign the steering wheel but not to worry. On the fifth day I called and said I wasn't sure the vehicle was safe to drive because the wheel now had to be turned half way to the left to go straight. Again I was told not to worry just bring it in the next day. 3 minutes later the vehicle stopped and wouldn't move. A tow truck was called and it turns out the control arm that was just replaced fell off!! the dealer informed me it was not their fault due to the fact that the frame was rotted out, something they claim to have never seen. Needless to say after hours on the phone with Ford and the dealer so far I have gotten no where. So I decided to do some research online and found this site which informed me that there are almost 15 cases of the same thing reported! why does Ford think this is not their problem and are they waiting for a fatal accident to do something about this?

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #3

Oct 192007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,700 miles
On October 19, 2007 I backed out of my driveway, shifted into drive and began to go forward when I felt an alarming sensation in my car. I pulled over to the side of the road to inspect my tires. All looked fine so I returned to my car, shifted into drive again and began to go forward when I felt the rear of the car sway. I pulled over again and looked under the back of the car when I saw that my rear axel has snapped in two. On the day of the event my car had 65,700 miles on the odometer. I had my car towed to a local mechanic in wakefield, mass. Both the tow truck driver and the mechanic seperately told me this was shocking and not something that should happen to a car. After analyzing my car the mechanic determined that the broken axel was a manufacturer defect. There is a clean break in the axel where the two broken parts fit together snug like a puzzle. There is no evidence of an accident or tampering to the axel. The mechanic showed me where there is a part of the axel where water can get in, but there is no way for the water to escape. As a result the axel rusted from the inside until it weakened and broke. My mechanic has photographed this part and is holding it at his garage for inspection. As an aside, I have also contacted the owner of stoneham Ford, mark melkonian, to report the problem. He looked up my service account and verified I have "been faithful in the maintanence schedule." I, like my mechanic, believe this is a serious issue in which other consumers will soon, if not already, experience an axel break. Had the axel given when I was on the highway with my children in the vehicle, the outcome might have been much more severe. I am afraid if this is not reviewed another family may have a critical outcome in the course of the axel giving way. Could you please advise what I need to do to have someone look at this part of the car and how it simply cracked in two.

- Stoneham, MA, USA

problem #2

Feb 232007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
- the contact stated that the 2001 Ford Windstar frame was cracked. On 02/23/07 the vehicle was raised to see if the cause of a loud noise which came from the rear passenger tire could be found. She stated that the tire leaned inward. It was observed that the frame had a crack about 3 inches from the brake drum. The contact had not called anyone to find out what should be done. A new framed was installed on the vehicle. She stated that she still has the tire that came from the vehicle. The contact will submit pictures of the tire and of the cracked frame from the vehicle. The current mileage was 90000. The axle was replaced. Updated 04/05/07.

- Washington, MS, USA

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