Ford has announced that they are recalling certain models of the 1998 through 2003 Windstar vehicles manufactured from September 1, 1997 through February 28, 2003 and currently registered or originally sold in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. They stated that after many years of vehicle service in these areas, corrosion can weaken the rear axle, making it susceptible to torsional stress. Corrosion and stress can lead to cracks which in undetected can propagate and result in complete fracture of the axle.
A fractured axle can affect vehicle handling and increase the risk of a crash. As parts become available, dealers will inspect and if necessary install the rear axle reinforcement brackets free of charge. This service will be preformed free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin during September 2010. Owners may contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332.