really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
122,422 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2001 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #54

Jun 192016


  • 160,000 miles


I recently had my Windstar front end worked on by a local Ford dealer, who was supposed to take care of all recall issues. They did a crappy job of that and now the vehicle is sitting my driveway with the axle snapped in half. Had it towed to my home when it broke on the highway. This is not a safe vehicle and we were very lucky no-one got hurt.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #53

May 012016


  • 97,000 miles
I came up to a stop sign, the entire front axle broke off the frame, I lost steering, brakes, had to slam it into park to stop. I ended up across the road. There was a recall in 2011 for the axle mount and Ford decided it only needed a coating on it, 5 seconds later we would of been on the highway and killed. I emailed Ford and they said the recall was still open, the Ford dealer never closed it, so they won't help me. That is bull, the coated it and forgot to close it out, thats their fault, I can take pics if you want them.

- Port Jervis, NY, USA

problem #52

Aug 052015


  • 130,448 miles
The subframe rusted & sway bar ancor bracket broke lose. I was able to weild it back on. I noticed the sub frame had a rust hole in it between the the repairs done by Ford recall 11S16 afew years ago.I called Ford Motor Company, was told my van was to old & to many miles on it.I got recall for the rear axel [15S27] took to local dealer and asked about front subframe. They told me it was up to Ford.

- Stanley, NY, USA

problem #51

Oct 072015


  • 186,000 miles


After noticing wobbling of my back tire driving my daughter home from school my father looked at me vehicle to not only see that my rear axel had cracked (in process of insepction for recall repair on that) but also notuce the the front sub frame is rusting so much that everything attached to it is starting to detach.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #50

Sep 142015


  • miles
The subframe in the front had cracked after having the repair/recall done by Ford. This is the passenger side, right by the mount to the body.

- Farmingville, NY, USA

problem #49

Jul 302015


  • miles
Between my March 2015 oil change and my July 30 2015 oil change the control arms broke and completely ruined a tire all the way around the tire. Chewed it up very badly putting me at risk for an accident from a blow out or loss of control. I don't know exactly when the problem occurred. The problem was found by the shop at the oil change. I am finding online where there is much concern about the control arms on these vehicles. Both front lower control arms were replaced by the shop. The brought one of the tires into the lobby for me to see and it was absolutely chewed up all the way around the tire. It is a wonder I did not have an accident.

- Canton, GA, USA

problem #48

Aug 282015

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 193,000 miles


This vehicle has shut off on me while driving several times. During the latest event which occurred while going approximately 30 mph and the minivan just shuts off without warning. There is not a stalling warning or anything. All lights appear on the dash and it is very difficult to steer the van when it happens. In order to get the vehicle to restart you have to turn it off with the key and then start it up again. I have investigated this problem online and there are many, many people complaining of this. I'm very surprised to see that a recall has not be made. With most of the complaints I've seen online many of the mechanics do not seem to know what the problem is. It's scary to see that many of us are complaining of the same thing. During some of the other incidents it also seemed to happen during lower speeds such as 5 or 10 mph however twice it happened going higher speeds, once at 25 mph and the other at 30 mph. Thank you for checking into this.

- Saint Stephen, SC, USA

problem #47

Jul 072015


  • 161,000 miles
We wish to be contacted and have multiple issues to report. (1) ODI request for information regarding engineering analysis EA10-007 sub frame and (2) issues of compliance with safety recall procedures and what we believe to be fraudulent and illegal actions. Space is inadequate but will try to summarize. Vehicle subframe failed at both passenger and driver side rear mounts and thereby caused separation of the steering components and complete loss of steering, loss of brakes, and loss of transmission control. The owner used the only means available to stop the vehicle by turning off the ignition key and 'riding it out.' Subframe components and the engine/transmission had been in contact with pavement. Large portions of the subframe appear to be missing from the vehicle. The exhaust system was severed. The transmission linkage pulled away and as stated the steering components separated. What is believed to be the air bag cable became wrapped around the steering components. Vehicle was towed to a dealership which refuses to inspect, disclose, photograph, or allow to be photographed the massive damage while declaring the vehicle "repairable" and the "repairs have to be done." At issue are declarations that under the recall that "responsibility" rests with the owner and a "right to deny coverage." A demand that repairs be scheduled or the vehicle be towed from the car lot with a demand that a document be signed which amounts to a release and complete misrepresentation of the facts. The dealership has been told that we will lend no truth or validity to their forceful and manipulative demands, nor will we sign any document. It is our intent to destroy the vehicle. We have incurred multiple out of pocket expenses. In essence fraud and illegal acts, under the color of federal law are alleged. We desire to submit a written statement and request for investigation.

- Peru, IN, USA

problem #46

May 012015


  • miles
Our van has a rusting subframe. We brought it in to a mechanic because of a scraping sound we heard when making sharp right-hand turns, especially when driving down an incline. The mechanic told us of a potential recall on a rusting subframe so we brought it into a Ford dealership. They refused to take responsibility of the subframe at their cost.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #45

Feb 242015


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving at 35 mph, the vehicle made an abnormal noise as the steering wheel seized without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed stated that the vehicle was not repairable. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Kill Devil, NC, USA

problem #44

Mar 272013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles


The same part indicated in recall is bad, my van needs fix. The recall doesn't cover my part or repair because my VIN isn't showing any recalls. When the same problem happened to me indicated in the recall. Is there anything I can do?

- Normal, IL, USA

problem #43

Dec 032014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
In 2011 Ford recalled over 400000 vans (1997-2003) due to serious corrosion of axles and other components. Special repairs were done at Ford expense. Recently my mechanic informed me that the rear motor mount and the van sub frame had continued to rust badly to the extent that the unit was a safety risk. A search of the internet indicates that many, many repaired Ford vehicles have experienced very serious corrosion of the sub frames and the repaired axles with serious results including failure of sub frames and or axles when driving!!

- Windsor, MI, USA

problem #42

Nov 212014


  • 173,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. While driving various speeds, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the subframe needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 173,000.

- Holland, OH, USA

problem #41

Oct 242014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 147,880 miles
I was driving my Ford Windstar at approximately 30 mph when I heard a clunk. Shortly thereafter I heard a metal-on-metal clanking noise. I then drove home, parked the van until the next day. On Saturday, October 25, 2014, I removed the front right tire to find the sway bar bracket completely rusted away from the subframe. The rust was so extensive, the subframe also had a rust hole, the size of a quarter right through the subframe directly beneath where the sway bar bracket "was" located. The following Monday, October 27th, I called and made an appointment at willowbrook Ford. They had my van for two days before calling me with their decision. They told me that they will not cover the cost to fix my vehicle despite Ford having a recall on the subframe. They also called they sent the Ford district manager various photos showing so the corroded sway bar bracket and subframe. They told me the dm at Ford also rejected paying for the repairs. I am very disappointed since this 2001 Windstar has received several recalls, many of which were associated with corrosion around the subframe and rear axle. My Windstar is now not safe to drive! very disappointed with this Ford Windstar and with Ford in general.

- Willowbrook, IL, USA

problem #40

Aug 222014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
Stopped at intersection. Began moving forward making a right hand turn and steering disengaged, steering wheel was freely going in circles. Accelerated through intersection, over curb and into grass area to be clear of cross traffic. Had difficulty moving gear shift but was able to force it into park, shut off engine. Looked under vehicle and found both front subframe lower control arms had broken free.there was no indication failure was going to occur.

- Milford, OH, USA

problem #39

Oct 012007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
My ABS light/brake light is on - started 2007- was told it would cost $1200 dollars to fix it; that it was ok to use the car in this condition. 8/14/14- replaced the wheels bearings on the front right and left wheels-after the bearings / and sway bars were replace still hear a grinding noise front the right front of vehicle. Noise becomes more pronounced the longer you drive the vehicle. Also the ABS/brake light is still on when you drive the car.

- Massaapequa Park, NY, USA

problem #38

Jun 122014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 212,600 miles
While driving through an intersection I heard a loud bang underneath the car and I lost all steering control! I parked the car and called for a tow. When van was on the flatbed I observed the engine mounting had detached on both sides of the car. The engine and other components were hanging down. Had van towed home. Through my own research I found that my van was part of recall no. 11S16 for corrosion related fractures at the front lower control arm rear attaching brackets and body mount attachments at the rear of the front subframe. I was shocked that I had not been notified of this recall because I had been notified regarding recall no 11S13 for rear axle corrosion related cracking. Van was taken for inspection axle and we were told it passed and nothing else needed to be done. Had van towed again, this time to dealer. Dealer says subframe and rear axle need replaced and Ford wants to do the replacement. As a result of the frame detachment, the intermediate shaft needs replaced. There are other unknown components that may need repaired/replaced and they won't know until they do the work. The other repairs may or may not be paid for by Ford. Under Ford's own remedies, if brackets can not repair the original subframe, then a repurchase offer for the vehicle should be made. To date, Ford has refused this as a remedy. Instead, they want to replace the subframe and axle that would have to be attached to other corroded parts of the vehicle. My family's lives were already put in danger enough by these defective products. I was not notified regarding the subframe recall and the rear axle was improperly handled. The axle should have had reinforcement brackets attached even if it did pass inspection. This was not done nor were we told to bring it back in to be done. Ford should be forced to buy back my vehicle under it's own remedy instructions provided to the NHTSA.

- Pendleton, IN, USA

problem #37

Jul 022014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 236,000 miles
While backing out of my driveway the subframe fell out of my vehicle causing the throttle body to open all the way dropped out of reverse and went into drive lost steering, lost brakes jammed vehicle into park to stop 1 foot from telephone pole. Had vehicle towed to Ford took 1 week to here anything from them, was told I could not have a rental or loaner vehicle while they had my car. Called Ford customer service line was told I could only get rental car for 1 day for subframe and 1 day for rear axle recall, as of 7/14 2014 was told I would maybe have my vehicle back by next week after Ford evaluated my car for repairs. I did not receive a phone call from Ford dealer until 7/14/2014.

- Ewing, NJ, USA

problem #36

Jun 212014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I was driving on interstate 39 towards Wisconsin dells with my wife and daughters. About 15 miles out of madison Wisconsin my daughters began screaming I looked back and there was smoke everywhere. I immediately pulled to side of highway and got everyone out of the vehicle. Both my rear tires had collapse. I had to get towed into a Ford dealer in madison Wisconsin. The rear axle on the van had split in half. Calling Ford was no help. They stated that a recall had been on that vehicle a couple years back and that the warranty on that recall had expired. Luckily nothing happened to my family but if these issues on this recall which was done two years ago hasn't fixed the problem someone is going to get seriously hurt! even if I fix this problem I will not be able to trust this vehicle. Please look into this someone. There are many Windstar that were repaired around the same time because of recall that will begin to fall apart again. Problem not fixed!

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #35

Mar 122014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 141,500 miles
Fortunately there was no accident, but my vehicle is very unsafe to drive. I took the vehicle to the dealer for safety recall 11S16. The dealer contacted Ford because sway bar bushings are completely rusted out and broken, leaving nothing to attach the sway bar to. Ford says the bracket is outside the scope and advises the dealer to perform the repair. The sway bar has broken off from the front sub-frame passenger side of the car. The dealer said the sub-frame is so rusted that the only way to reattach the sway bar is to replace the entire front sub-frame at a cost of $2900. The dealer deemed my car unsafe to drive, as I won't have control of my car on quick turns or be able to make fast maneuvers in the event of an accident or to avoid potential accidents. Another risk is that my engine may fall out the bottom of my car while driving (which I see has happened to others with my same problem), endangering my family and others on the road. I plan on parking this car in my driveway and waiting for Ford to be forced to recall these vehicles.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

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