really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,441 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.

2002 Ford Windstar steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Dec 072016


  • 100,064 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. While attempting to accelerate from a traffic light, an abnormal sound emitted from the rear of the vehicle. The contact stated that the vehicle suddenly accelerated independently. The brake pedal was depressed; however, the vehicle kept gaining forward momentum. The contact stated that the power steering also failed to operate as intended. As a result, the vehicle jumped the sidewalk and struck two small trees. The contact was able to stop the vehicle by turning the ignition to the off position. A police report was not filed. The contact sustained whiplash and muscle spasms, which required medical attention. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The contact was informed that the subframe fractured, which caused the throttle to seize in the open position. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 11V030000 (structure) and 15V608000 (suspension). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,064.

- Lakeville, MA, USA

problem #25

Apr 162016


  • 89,000 miles
Vehicle currently at the dealership for more than two months awaiting from Ford customer relationship center to resolve the issue as the dealer wont fix the corroded sub frame instead they want the crc dept send the parts to them, according to crc dept they escalated the issue to the second level but no action until now has been taken...I feel that they're ignoring my request or has been sitting there without taking any action. We almost died on this as the passenger side wheel fell off..I'm trying my luck if you can help us to resolve the issue with them...thanks danilo zanoria-owner

- Bergenfield, NJ, USA

problem #24

Nov 212015


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving at 20 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The vehicle had a front end alignment and other repairs performed but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the sub frame needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 120,000. Updated 04/14/16

- Dingmans Ferry, PA, USA

problem #23

Dec 182015


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving at 30 mph, the steering wheel seized causing the contact to lose control of the vehicle. As a result, the contact crashed into a fire hydrant and the air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained neck and shoulder injuries but did not require medical attention. The passenger sustained wrist injuries that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000. Updated 02/12/16

- Scenectady, NY, USA

problem #22

Nov 252015


  • 129,637 miles
Leaving parking lot at work my car fully accelerated, lost steering and crashed into steel post. Inspection revealed both rear engine cradle mounts were completely rusted through causing rear engine cradle to drag on the ground. Which caused loss of steering, full throttle and crashed right front of vehicle.

- Emporia, KS, USA

problem #21

Oct 122015


  • 39,700 miles
Complete deteriation of the front left and right sub frame attaching to the lower control arm attachments at the rear of subframe holding the rack and pinion assembly. This steel is flaking and appears to have laminte separations (looks like flakey pie crust). Cannot get a mechanic to replace leaking rack and pinion assembly due to the poor condition that will leave no material when it breaks off.

- Cudahy, WI, USA

problem #20

Jul 202015


  • 146,000 miles


Rear axel cracked after period of time resulting in blow out tire in a parking lot. After researching this online, I have found Ford recalled this same van for this same problem but did not in our state although the recall was due to states with weather like snow, ice, salt, etc which caused said issue. Why wouldnt Nebraska be included in this since its Nebraska and its snowy alot" luckily we were in a parking lot, we were not driving at high rate of speed down highway like I saw while researching this online which a man was killed who had this happen. I have found that this seems to be a very dangerous and tragic mistake made by Ford and now my van sits in a parking lot with no way for me to get it to a shop to get a repair made even if I did have the funds to do this. At least I would want my van in my driveway, not in a grocery store parking lot with no means of getting it home, besides the fact that being a woman, I would have kept driving it not knowing and could have been in a serious accident such as ones I have seen since looking into this issue. I have taken photos of cracked axel in rear and also front due to weather and climate and found the court papers saying which states were included in this recall, yet Nebraska not one of them? makes no sense. So do I go and drive it home anyways and just hope we dont die in the process..or do I let it sit in a shady part of town parking lot forever" being a single mother of 3, I would have thought Ford might see the all the news about this and have done more to prevent so many incidents, one of which someone died. The court papers indicated that they knew about it 10 years before recall. I noticed the van drove rough over bumps recently, but thought maybe it was shocks, until I found my tire not just flat, but looking as if it was slashed in the parking lot because it literally blew up.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #19

May 022015

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
Total sudden loss of steering the car went off the road totally out of control. No notification of recall subframe collapse. Entire steering parts destroyed and coolant leaked from engine this is incredible that no one was injured I was about to get on the highway!!!

- West Nyack, NY, USA

problem #18

Aug 012014


  • 150,074 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated while driving approximately 10 mph making a turn, the steering wheel seized without warning. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The mechanic was unable to locate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,074.

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #17

Oct 122011


  • miles
Since I purchased this van from steuben/yates county pro-action in nys wheels to work program, I have had numerous problems with my Ford Windstar. 1st problem was with emission code stating it needed a map censor; 2nd issue was the sway bar broke (was repaired under recall at Ford dealership in elmira, NY Jan 2012). After numerous complaints to the car dealer ship I purchased the Windstar from the garage, their mechanic replaced O-rings in the engine to fix the map censor in Jan 2012 as well. In February 2014 I invested a little over $1,800 in repairs to my mechanic for; tune up, struts and shocks, brakes all around, wheel bushings, and a wheel alignment. I keep the van well maintained with oil changes and lately my radiator is loosing fluid. I always stop in where I maintain it and the business is always topping off the radiator fluid and when scheduled oil changes are due, I am always a quart low on oil. Most recent incident: I will be driving along and the van turns off and turns back on while driving. At night when this would happen I have no headlights for a brief moment but that is still an unsafe van. Also, I get an electric shocked every time I touch the van as I get in to go somewhere. ****this is my first and last Ford!!****

- Painted Post , NY, USA

problem #16

Aug 012012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles


Van intermittently has ABS light, trac control off light, and emergency brake light all on at various times. If vehicle is turned off sometimes lights go off sometimes they do not. Also at random times the theft light will come on and van will immediately shut off (this occurs at speeds over 35mph). In addition the power steering reservoir will not hold fluid. Needs to have fluid added at least 2 times a day. With the exception of the power steering issue, the brake failure and the theft system failure is extremely dangerous. I have seen numerous complaints regarding these items. I took my vehicle to Ford for repair of the recall on the speed module and they told me that these other issues were not their problem. I called Ford customer service and the individual on the phone told me that if I felt it was unsafe then I should sell my van. This is an extremely dangerous problem with Ford vans....the brakes fail and the theft system is faulty!!!!!! they should not be allowed to manufacture any vehicles!!!!

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #15

Jul 242014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 179,000 miles
The sub frame mounts broke disconnecting the steering losing control. We drifted across the intersection and stopped the vehicle as far off the road as possible with the back end still in a lane.

- Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #14

May 142014


  • 119,000 miles
I lost control on the highway I was driving I hit a pothole and my car when its own way I was coming home from the hospital from just giving birth two day earlier and I kept hearing a weird noise so I took my car to the shop and they said it was the lower control arm.

- Capitol Heights, MD, USA

problem #13

Feb 122011


  • miles
Van won't go into gear or drive. I don't know if it the corrosion fractures of front lower control arm or transmission. Trying to find out if any recalls would be on the van on what's going on with it.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #12

Sep 102012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
I had my front tire replaced and the man that changed it told me that I need an alignment because of the way my tire wore out. About 3 weeks later, when I had the money, I took my car to get an alignment and the car shop called and said that both of my tire rods needed to be replaced before an alignment was completed. I've had the car for less than 2 years and although it is an older vehicle, the tire rods should have lasted longer than that (if properly checked). My steering shakes horribly from side to side at various speeds and often times my ABS/trac off lights come on and won't got off. I am still able to use my brakes though. I am not sure why that light comes on.

- Beckville, TX, USA

problem #11

Sep 102012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
I have a bad vibration when im goin on the highway and when I hit bumps it makes a clunking sound and when I turn and makes a noise.

- Milford, IL, USA

problem #10

Sep 012011


  • miles
The antilock brake system light as well as the traction control lights keep coming on. Garage can't tell the exact cause. The booster arm busted, keeping the brakes engaged as driven. The booster arm was replaced and the lights are still on. I reset it, and they reappear after a short time. I now smell the brakes when applied. I've had engine replaced at 101,000 miles, two transmissions, multiple brake jobs, rear axle repaired, front axle repaired, front tie rods repaired. The alignment on my vehicle could only be partially completed.... toe, and another alignment done, but the complete alignment would need a hole drilled in the frame and a bolt moved over - bad design by Ford. I've also had to have the oxygen sensor replaced at my own expense. The vehicle is a ticking time bomb, piece of crap.

- Pomfret, MD, USA

problem #9

Jul 122012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
I was driving on the road and it had been raining earlier when I tapped my brakes to go around the curve I started sliding into the oncoming traffic and almost hit a van. I tried to steer back into my lane but it wouldn't let me.if the van hadn't been able to get out of my way I would have hit them. I wasn't able to get traction until I was off the pavement on the side if the road.

- Pioneer, TN, USA

problem #8

Jul 062012


  • 139,000 miles
First, the power steering wasn't working and parts of it had to be repaired and replaced. But the worrying thing is that the ABS yellow light and the red brake icon on the dashboard often come on and remain on while we're driving. That is worrying, as we don't know if it means the brakes are faulty or not. A Firestone mechanic said it was because of rust build-up, but I don't like that the yellow ABS and the red brake icons come on, because who knows if that means the brakes won't work or not. From my online research, this seems to be a common problem with Ford Windstar, and needs to be addressed!

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #7

Aug 152011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
While driving down my hill, my brake light came on. Now my ABS light comes on with my brake light. Brake fluid is present, brakes are almost a year old. For over a year now, my van after it being turned on and off (errands, shopping etc), it does not want to start. Once it does start, as I turn the wheel while in park, it stalls. Now that my brake and ABS lights come on, as I turn the wheel it wants to stall while driving. When I am turning my vehicle off, I turn the key down very slow and all the way down, that seemed to only help it restart a few times. I had my vehicle at the Ford dealer for the recall in 2010 dealing with the cruise control issues. My od light has been off for over a year now as well. While driving my vehicle, when I am stopped, I notice a white colored smoke coming out from under the hood, and no one can find where it is coming from, especially happens when it is damp or raining out, and engine temp is normal.(I can not take my van to an auto car wash due to the fact it starts shaking, smoking and won't run or stay started when the under carriage is being sprayed) fuel pump, starter and ignition coil are fine. Has new plugs and wires.

- Springdale, PA, USA

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