really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
111,385 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2001 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 7 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Sep 082009


  • 142,882 miles


I have just came home from vacation in AZ and my van the whole time on vacation was making this noise I didn't know what it was until we backed in our driveway and the driver side tire was cocked in at the top so my husband jacked the van up and the rear axle was snapped in half I have to say Ford needs to pay for all the repairs!!!! I do have pic's of this I have to say that we have guardian angels watching over us to make it home this van was driven on vacation 5,200 miles thank god it didn't happen on the highway!!! my husband dose mechanics and he has seen this happen to other Ford Windstar and it breaks in the same spot on all of them Ford needs to open there eyes and fix this problem before a family dies from Ford Windstar vans!!!!!!!!!

- Terryville, CT, USA

problem #26

Sep 152009


  • 109,000 miles
Ford Windstar 2001 rear axle broke on highway. Van began to shake my wife pulled over and van had to be towed.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #25

Sep 162009


  • 123,500 miles
I had been hearing a dull squeaky, clicking noise from the left rear of my van for approximately a month. I took my van to the mechanic on 8/31/09 and they told me I needed new tires, an alignment and some front end work. I told them again that the noise was coming from the back, so I wasn't sure why I needed front end work and not back. I paid $767. On 9/2/09 & 9/7/09, I took the van back because I was hearing the same noise. They test drove the car and didn't hear anything. They put the van on the lift, took the tires off and they couldn't find anything. The more I drove the van, the more I heard the noise. I noticed that the van would "fish tale" or shake more whenever I went over a bump. On 9/20/09 I took my van to a different mechanic to see if they could find anything wrong. I told them that it felt like I needed an alignment, although I had just had one on 8/31/09. The mechanic showed me that the top of the left rear tire was bent inward, causing the van to lean to one side. The mechanic put the van on the lift and showed me a crack so deep that if I had gone over one big pothole, my daughters and I could have been injured. I became infuriated at the place where I took my van initially, because I thought there was no way they could have missed that crack when they changed the tires. I took my van back to the initial mechanic. When they put the car on the lift, they said that they definitely would have noticed a crack that significant if it had been there before. I went on line and was amazed at the amount of cases I found that were very similar to mine. There is no way that all of these incidences are coincidences. The total amount to have it replaced was $836. I called the Ford place and the person that I spoke with said that Ford won't do a recall unless there are at least 2,000 complaints. I wonder how many have actually died in a 2001 Ford Windstar because the axle broke. Unfortunately, they didn't live long enough to write a complaint.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #24

Sep 162009


  • 72,000 miles


2001 Ford Windstar was making a bang in rear with right turn taking to the mechanics for yearly inspection and rear axle was cracked in half. This could have been real problem had it broke while being driven someone could have been seriously hurt or even killed. Now waiting to get new part and how much it will cost to fix.

- Swoyersville, PA, USA

problem #23

Jul 202009


  • 131,000 miles
My 2001 Ford Windstar's axle broke in half while doing 30 mph down a paved road. The vehicle has 131,000 miles and resides in Chicago metro area so vehicle has been driven on paved roads with no utility purpose other than driving five kids around town. Tow truck driver and 60 year old mechanic were astonished and mechanic stated axles are not suppose to break in half, ever !!!!

- Evergreenpark, IL, USA

problem #22

Jun 262009


  • 79,000 miles
I was driving my family home from a summer fest, as I was going over a fairly smooth railroad crossing I felt the van start handling strange. I pulled over and found the right rear wheel out of align. I carefully drove it home and went underneath to check it. To my surprise I found the axle beam cracked 3/4 of the way thru. There is no reason a beam of this size should crack like this unless there was a material or design fault in the van. I am the first owner of this van and it was never overloaded. At this point I am not sure what I am going to do to repair/replace the axle. After reading the dozens of complaints from other Windstar owners (at least 15 from just the 2001 model year) I see this problem is not unique.

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #21

Apr 012009


  • 92,000 miles


Rear axle broken in our 2001 Ford Windstar. The vehicle has never been in a crash, has approximately 92,000 miles, and in overall good condition. The vehicle has never been driven hard or on rough terrain. There is no apparent reason for this malfunction. After conducting searches on the internet, we discovered this is a common problem with these vehicles, although Ford is denying it is a defect.

- Lancaster, OH, USA

problem #20

Apr 262009


  • 109,000 miles
I was traveling down hwy 18 S/B near new brunswick, NJ at approx. 45 mph when I heard and felt a loud "boom" from the rear of the vehicle. Immediately after the noise I could hear a rubbing noise and see smoke (from the tire rubbing against the wheelwell). I pulled over to the shoulder, looked under the back of the van and could plainly see that the rear axle had snapped in half. I had the vehicle towed to my local mechanic who fixed the vehicle(replaced the rear axle). The tow truck operator advised me that he has towed 5-6 vans with the same problem and when the mechanic contacted the parts supply man, he was advised that the part was in stock because this is a common problem and the new part(axle) is manufactured to better specs so this does not happen again.(as opposed from getting a used axle from a junk yard). I have pictures if you need them.

- Parlin, NJ, USA

problem #19

Apr 232009


  • 115,000 miles
I was driving down the interstate going 55 mph in a construction zone. I was in front of a semi truck. I had my 3 young kids in the van. The van started feeling funny and I was looking for a safe place to pull off, when the rear axle snapped in 2 pieces. This caused my van to start to spin. We were almost hit by the semi and then we almost went off the road where I am afraid we probably would have rolled over. We ended up facing the wrong way in the passing lane which thankfully had construction barrels up so it was closed otherwise we would have probably been hit head on. The tow truck driver, the semi truck driver, the police officer, my husband and my father all said that they had never seen this before and that rear axles just don't snap that way. We now have to replace basically everything in the rear of my van. As we were doing research to price the replacement parts we found that there were many stories just like ours and that it had been reported to Ford to no avail. Mechanics are saying that the problem seems to be near the wheel where water can get in but can't get out so they are rusting from the inside out and snapping. So even after I replace my axle I still can't feel safe B/C they have not fixed the design flaw and apparently don't intend to. We could have been killed if the road was any different that day. I would hate to see another family not have the fortunate circumstances that we did that day and someone lose their life! please please please don't let Ford let it get to that point!!! please make them recall this part so there will be a safer axle for my van and all the other Ford Windstar, these vehicles are used by families for their small kids. Thank you for your time and consideration of my letter.

- Hammond, IN, USA

problem #18

Apr 102009


  • 112,000 miles
Rear axle split on a 2001 Ford Windstar LX. At that point, the right rear tire was resting against its wheelwell and the car could not be driven. I was only driving 20mph when this occurred, but it could have been very dangerous at highway speeds.

- Olmsted Falls, OH, USA

problem #17

Feb 222009


  • 114,500 miles


I have a 2001 Ford wind star sel that had a cracked rear axle today. I was pulling out of my church parking lot and heard a little strange noise from the back. As I was driving the car started swaying in the back and when I pulled over I noticed that the rear axle had a crack in the middle and the tires were angled in because of it. Thank god my family was not with me when I pulled out of the parking as the additional weight might have aggravated the problem and there have been a accident. I was quoted anywhere from 700-1000 dollars for the repair which will be done this week. I do not understand why a rear axle would break since I have a family of 3 kids and they are small so weight is not a problem and I also had my shocks replaced 1 year ago. This puts serious doubt in Ford craftsmanship and wont be buying another Ford again.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #16

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 #15

Dec 062008


  • 85,100 miles
Rear axle broke into two pieces about one-third of the way from the driver's side of the vehicle. Rear tires are running on the inside edge with the top inside edge of the tire being torn up by the body of the car. Handling was difficult for about a week including driving on hard packed and slippery snow. Very hard to keep car traveling straight. Backing out of the driveway and applying the brakes there was a sharp crack sound. About 10 miles later the axle snapped, the tires interfered with the wheel wells and the car stopped. Had we been traveling faster or in more congested conditions this could have been serious.

- Rockaway, NJ, USA

problem #14

Nov 262008


  • 91,000 miles
Rear axle failure. Axle rotted through and disabled vehicle.

- Swansea, MA, USA

problem #13

Jul 192005


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. When the contact first purchased the vehicle, it shut off. The rings in the engine had to be replaced. She also heard a rumbling sound when the brake pedal was depressed. An auto repair shop stated that the brakes were operating normally; however, after much complaining, the contact had the front brakes replaced. The windshield wipers stopped working after a new windshield was installed. The vehicle was diagnosed and the motor was found to be the cause of the failure. The motor was replaced. A couple of months later, the vehicle began leaking antifreeze and was towed to a repair shop. The contact was informed that the fuel injection hoses were leaking. The leak was repaired. Three weeks later, the vehicle would buck and shut off. She was informed that the catalytic converter was completely destroyed. Lastly, the contact noticed an issue with the rear of the vehicle. It would fishtail or wobble while driving various speeds. The dealer stated that the vehicle was no longer included in the factory warranty. The manufacturer has not been notified. The current mileage was 74,056 and failure mileage was approximately 65,000.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #12

Oct 242008


  • 95,641 miles
My 2001 Ford Windstar had a squeaking noise in rear of vehicle.noticed over bumps or just rocking front to back. Researched on internet and came across the same complaint about rear axle cracking and braking. Inspected and found the axle cracked on the rear and half way around. Had not cracked all 360 deg or else more damage and possibly injury could have happened.

- Elkins Park, PA, USA

problem #11

Aug 282008


  • 71,000 miles
My 2001 Ford Windstar has a crack in the rear axle. I've read on the internet about several instances of this happening and the axle cracks in two pieces causing at least that the vehicle is not drivable. If this would happen even at moderate highway speeds there could be devastating consequences. So far I don;T see a recall for this defect from Ford. The mileage of my Ford Windstar is 71,000 miles. It seems that the axle is rusted from the inside but my vehicle has been garage kept since it was first purchased. I believe this incident should be recalled for safeties sake. I think all Windstar with this axle design should be recalled and have the axle replaced.

- Saint Marys, PA, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Sep 232008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,138 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. Whenever driving over a bump at various speeds, the contact noticed that the rear of the vehicle would sway from left to right. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop and the mechanic stated that the rear axle cracked in half. Prior to the failure, the contact heard a creaking noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. The current and failure mileages were 59,138. Updated 11-19-08 updated 11/20/08.

- Auburn, MA, USA

problem #8

Oct 192008


  • 148,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. While driving 40 mph, the contact drove over a bump in the road and suddenly the rear end of the vehicle fell to the ground. He did not notice any differences beforehand. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the rear axle needed to be replaced. The current and failure mileages were 148,000. Phone update on 10/28/08: Ms. Corby drove over a dip on the road and immediately heard a loud crack. The vehicle swerved and smoke came out from the driver side rear wheel area. She said that there was brake fluid on the ground and that the rear axle had severed. The left rear tire slanted a lot and the right rear tire slanted less. No prior warning. She had four children in the van at that time. She drove over that road thousands of times and never had a problem.

- Portland, PA, USA

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