Ford Windstar Vans Recalled Due to Salt Issues

Drivers of Ford Windstar minivans should take note of an important safety recall by Ford. The Detroit automaker recently recalled more than 400,000 Windstars manufactured between 1999 and 2003 for problems with potential corrosion in undercarriage mounts and brackets. The affected parts could separate and lead the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The undercarriage also holds other major parts, including the engine and transmission.

That recall followed an earlier one involving 600,000 Windstars due to fears over corrosion of the rear axles, which could lead to malfunctions. The affected defective autos were sold in 22 northern, cold-weather states in the United States and in Canada.

Ford stood by the minivans, saying that the vehicles performed well and that fewer than 100 people complained about the corrosion. However, the problem gained added attention when a 28-year-old Massachusetts man was killed when he drove his minivan into a building. The cause was said to be corrosion of the rear axle, which broke apart. The victim's family was not aware of any Ford Windstar recall until after the crash.

Ford sent letters to hundreds of thousands of Windstar owners in the affected states and Canada, advising them to bring their vehicles in for an inspection of the undercarriage. If the vehicle proved damaged, Ford said it would fix the auto free of charge. In the event that no replacement parts were available, Ford agreed to pay for a rental car until the owner's vehicle was fixed.

Ford has not been the only automaker to recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles - 2010 was a banner year for auto defect recalls, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Over 20 million vehicles were recalled in the United States last year, and three of the five automakers with the most recalls were foreign manufacturers. Ford showed up on the 2010 recall list at number six - and the majority of its auto recalls involved the Windstar axle defect.

Experts suggest that anyone involved in an accident with a Ford Windstar should contact an experienced attorney to assess any liability issues that might stem from an auto defect or other negligence.