It was reported last month that NHTSA is investigating reports of axle failures that can send Ford Windstar minivans out of control at highway speed. Two crashes have been reported – with no deaths or injuries – as a result of the rear axles breaking on 1999 through 2003 Windstars. Ford last sold the Windstar in May 2007 and has replaced it with crossover SUVs. According to Ford, it produced about 1.5 million Windstars during the years under investigation by NHTSA.
NHTSA began a preliminary evaluation – the first of three steps that can end with a mandatory recall – after receiving 234 complaints about rear-axle failure. Obviously, that’s a very large number. NHTSA says that 128 of the axle-failure reports – 55% – state that the rear, beam-style axle fractured completely. Fifty-six complaints state that the axles broke while the minivans were traveling 40 mph or faster.
Source: USA Today
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