Ford Motor Recalls Windstar Minivans

Ford Motor Company recalls 27,000 units of Windstar minivans from Virginia, which is a part of the company’s larger problem of more than 600,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada in 23 states on August 2010.

The Windstars are either sold or registered in Virginia.

The vehicles belong to the model year 1998 through 2003 and were manufactured at Ford’s Oakville, Ontario plant from September 1, 1997 through July 3, 2003. The defect was caused by salt that can cause the axles to rust, crack and even break, leading to loss of vehicle control.

Ford has decided to recall the additional Windstars after receiving 11 reports of axle cracks from Virginia between October 2011 and March 2012. However, the Detroit automaker has not yet received any reports of crashes or injuries in Virginia due to the problem.

Ford will either replace the axles or install brackets to fix them. The company will start sending letters to the vehicle owners in Virginia starting the week of June 18.

According to Ford representative Daniel Pierce, about 60% of the vans in the 2010 recall have been brought in for repairs. Meanwhile, some vans have been scrapped and others were not repaired. He also added that the company received reports of 8 crashes and 3 injuries related to the original recall.

Automotive safety recalls were brought into focus by media after Toyota Motors ‘ ( TM ) announcement of the largest-ever global recall of 3.8 million vehicles in September 2009, triggered by a high-speed crash that killed 4 members of a family.

Later on, a string of recalls has led Toyota to face numerous personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in federal courts. The Transportation Department of U.S. also imposed a fine of $48.4 million on the company due to late recall of millions of defective vehicles.

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