November 17, 2010 | Washington, DC
Contact: Karen Aldana
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging owners of model year 1998 to 2003 Ford Windstar minivans to bring their vehicles to a Ford dealership immediately to be examined for signs of rear axle corrosion.
Approximately 500,000 of these vehicles in salt belt states have been recalled due to a defect that can cause the rear axle to weaken and crack after exposure to salt corrosion. If undetected, the fractured rear axle could negatively affect the driver’s ability to control the vehicle increasing the risk of a crash.
Owners that have not yet had the inspection are advised to watch for potential warning signs of a cracked rear axle. Those include: top of the rear tires tilted inward (negative camber); excessive bouncing while driving; banging sound while driving over bumps; vehicle rear-end “fishtails.”
Owners of the affected vehicles should immediately visit this Ford web page and enter their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see if their particular Ford vehicle has been recalled for the problem and if the repair has been made. The vehicle’s VIN can be found on the driver’s side dashboard and/or on the certification label located on the door latch post next to the driver’s seating position, or in your owner’s manual.
In addition, any buyer of a new or used vehicle, regardless of make or model, can check with www.safercar.gov to see whether any recalls apply to the vehicle they are interested in. All consumers can also go to the same site and sign up for immediate, automatic email notification of any new recalls affecting their vehicles, tires or child safety seats.