Ford Windstar Recall Informationby Dennis Hartman
The Ford Windstar minivan was first sold in 1995. Ford undertook a major redesign between 1998 and 1999, making the Windstar available until 2003. Over its nine year model run, the Windstar participated in the minivan boom and was a common sight on American roads. Despite generally good safety and reliability ratings, the Windstar was the subject of several recalls from Ford.
The first recall of the Windstar occurred in November 2004. Over 100,000 of the new vehicles were affected. The recall dealt with two separate issues, both electrical in nature. One recall involved a loose connection between the power distribution box and an alternator output wire. The other concerned bad insulation on wires leading away from the instrument panel. In both cases, the known issue was a potential source of future electrical problems and a possible source of fire.
In 2002, over a quarter million Windstars were recalled due to a problem with brake lines that had been installed improperly, making them susceptible to rubbing on different parts of the vehicle's undercarriage and possibly developing a leak over time. While this would activate the brake warning light on the dash, faulty brake lines still represented a significant danger to drivers. The recall involved repositioning, and in some cases replacing, the brake lines. Replacement brake lines featured a nylon coating to guard against similar problems in the future.
Several of the Windstar's recalls dealt with safety equipment. A 1995 recall involving over 8,000 Windstars fixed a known issue with the airbags. A 1997 recall involving only some 200 Windstars dealt with a problem involving the installation of the child seat. In 2000, around 1,500 Windstars were recalled to install new glass in place of safety glass that had been incorrectly formulated and was prone to shattering. 20,000 Windstars were recalled that same year for an exterior lighting issue.
Several other notable recalls involved the Ford Windstar during its production. In 2001 nearly one million models were recalled to repair a problem with front coil springs that were prone to cracking after becoming corroded. A recall for the gas tank assembly was enacted in 1999 and covered 70,000 Windstars. In 1997 100,000 Windstars were recalled due to an issue with the automatic transmission, Other Windstar recalls dealt with issues involving the seats, air conditioning and cruise control.
For the 2004 model year, the Windstar was transformed into the Freestar. This new minivan borrowed many components from the Windstar and was itself the subject of several recalls. In 2003 some of the earliest Freestar models were recalled due to a steering issue. In 2004 over 34,000 Freestars were recalled due to a problematic front wheel hub assembly. A 2006 recall dealt with a fuel issue on almost 60,000 Freestar models. Another recall that same year dealt with a problem with the rear liftgate on a much smaller number of vehicles.