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Keith Griffin

Ford To Buy Back Ford Windstars with Cracked Axles

By October 25, 2010

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I've been following the Ford Windstar rear-axle snapping issue since first alerted to it by a NY Times piece by Christopher Jensen back in May. The comments from some of the people personally involved are heart wrenching. Now comes news via the Detroit News that Ford is buying back Windstar models that were subject to recall.

To recap, Ford has recalled about 475,000 Windstar vans in the United States and Canada for rear axles that can corrode and potentially break. It was a problem exacerbated by poor design that allowed road salt to accumulate on the rear axle and making it rust. According to the Detroit News, Ford has been providing rentals to customers pending the repairs being made.

Now the company has decided to just go ahead and buy back Windstars purchased before Aug. 26 instead of repairing them, according to the Detroit News article. Ford said it plans to repurchase primarily the oldest vehicles -- and ones that have cracked or perforated axles.

What do you think? Should the Windstar be on the permanent Do Not Buy list? Why would anybody buy one now? Comment below.

October 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm
(1) Pete says:

They currently have our Windstar as the axle was confirmed cracked. Ford has offered $2,710. It is a 2000 wirh only 60K miles. That is about trade in. Retail, excellent condition is over $4,900. I planned to run this to around 100K, 3-4 more years! It’s driven very little locally, and replaces my Mustang GT on bad winter days.(Guess that’s what did it in)I have suggested to Ford that they would do better offering a larger voucher toward the purchase of a new/used Ford from a dealer. If I can’t get it fixed, I want something better. Time to call the attorney general?

October 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm
(2) S says:

My 2003 Windstar was inspected this week and the axle is bad. What sucks for me is that I just bought it from a used car dealer in April!! The balance on my loan is right around blue book value, so I hope if Ford makes a re-purchase offer, they will at least pay off my balance. Otherwise, I am letting it sit at the dealer until it is repaired and I will continue to drive a rental at Ford’s expense.

October 28, 2010 at 4:03 pm
(3) S says:

I was just checking Craigslist in the Detroit area and there are a whole lot of Windstars listed for sale right now, by owner and by dealers!! There is no way all of these have been inspected and passed. I hope used car buyers are doing some research before buying a Windstar right now.

October 29, 2010 at 7:17 am
(4) Tonia says:

I agree! I have a 2000 Windstar and it’s value is above what Fords wants to pay me for it. I just got mine paid off and it’s a great van. I can’t buy anything close to what I am giving up with $2710. Our dealership here that has my van is only offering extra incentives on new cars. I don’t want a payment!!!!!!!!!!! I want a good used car. I never planned on selling my van. I shouldn’t have to consider “selling” it now. All’s I want is to get a good deal on a good used car, and Ford’s should make it right. I will not let them buy me out either. I will drive this loaner till they make it right or fix my Windstar. I’m with calling whoever I have to to make Ford’s make this right.

October 29, 2010 at 7:56 am
(5) usedcars says:

Tonia & S – I just posted a blog about Ford needing to do the right thing. Let’s get a letter campaign going. Ford needs to treat people right on this issue.
Your Guide to Used Cars

November 1, 2010 at 4:56 am
(6) used car inspection says:

2000 Ford Windstar has adjustable gas and brake pedals and a rear-seat video system are new options for 2000 on Ford’s minivan. We’ve done with 23 cars last year in usedcarinspectors

November 12, 2010 at 6:10 am
(7) Salvage Trucks says:

Recall should in appropriate with proper amount for buy back but he hard to give back ford . this cars fully exites me

March 4, 2011 at 9:33 am
(8) lee says:

Hey, this is getting ridiculous, they are paying sooo much money for this rent a car now, its been 5 months, so why don’t they just give us enough $10,000 to buy another used Ford product and get it over with. By the time they pay for the rent a car, the labor & material just to make the part and money to ship it to the dealer and pay the mechanic’s to install the part, we all could have a new car !! come on – who’s in charge of making these decisions ????

March 14, 2011 at 9:49 am
(9) Tonia says:

I just got my Windstar back from Dave Knapp Ford. And my engine light is now on and my ABS light is on. I talked many times to the service manager and got “whats wrong with it didn’t happen cause of the fix we did”. So I went to the GM Jeff Gordan and his response was basically the same thing and then his response (and I quote) “we knew this was gonna be a problem with all these vechicles sitting here for so long, but if Ford’s can’t do the right thing and take care of these customers, I’m certainley not paying for anyone’s problems!” Can you believe an actual GM would say something like that?? and not try to help me. I have no road I can go on, I can’t fight the dealership by myself or Ford’s for that matter. So I guess I have to worry about my enging and my ABS now. Dave Knapp Ford’s have not been on my side from the very beginning on this whole ordeal. I’ve sent emails to Ruth to the Rescue and The I team from Toledo news. I have not heard anything at all. I guess I’m just screwed again!!!!!!!!!!

March 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm
(10) scott weber says:

The dealer offered me $3720 for my 99, and told me I would have to return the rental when I turned the car over to them, and they said it would take 2-3 weeks to pay me. I told them that they needed to let me use the rental until the check is in my hand and they refused. I spoke to FORD Co. for several days arguing my plight and they said it takes that long for checks to clear the dealer.
If you look at the BUY BACK AGREEMENT it does not say when you will receive the payment. So I told them when I turn over my title to the dealer they better give me a rental or I will call the police for grand theft auto, because Ford wouldn’t let me drive away without paying for a car I purchased.
FORD seemed to have changed their mind because when I gave the dealer the title to my car the clerk asked for the keys to the rental and I was about to ask him for the check when the GM yelled from across the room let him have the rental. Later that day the Dealer and FORD Co. left messages on my cell that they had the check. So do not let them take your car without paying you for it or giving you a rental until they get the money to you.
The agreement is so poorly worded that they are trying to take advantage of the situation. Owners read everything!

March 31, 2011 at 3:32 pm
(11) PS says:


April 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm
(12) Steve says:

I have a 2001 Windstar. It did pass the axel inspection but is a piece of junk. Just to keep it on the road costs me $1500.00 every couple of months in repairs. Now the ABS break system has failed. This vehicle has sucked form day one and should have never ben built. Ford did a poor job in the design and should be buying back all Windstars at book value.
Time for a class action law suit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 12, 2011 at 8:51 am
(13) Jessica McNabb says:

I own a 2003 Ford windstar with a little over 80000 miles on it. The axel passed but the subframe was rusted and there were holes. They offered me 6675 one hour later. My biggest gripe is not only was it our “family vehicle” We can’t get a rental because our local enterprise has none available. Just 3 weeks ago we put over $400 in it for new tires, an allignment and brakes and rotors plus on the way to the dealership I put 23 gallons of gas in it a $3.73 a gallon. My husband asked for more money, they have to “get back with us” In the meantime we are down to 1 vehicle and I have been informed I have to return the rental when I recieve the check. I DIDN’T GET A RENTAL!!! And I am all about a class action law suit. I bought and paid thousands for a faulty vehicle, Ford needs to offer much more so I can get a decent vehicle, not a junker. I knew my vans history because I have bought it in 2004 and I have done everything to it because everything has gone wrong with it. It basically has all new guts and they need to reimburse for that!!

April 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm
(14) Belinda says:

We have a 2003 windstar. It is a pc of crap. I have only had it for 3 months and have had to put about $2000 into it to get it fixed, transmission went with in 1 1/2 months of us having it and we are looking at more repairs soon!! grrr. We bought it for $2400. The only reason we bought it is because our dodge (which was an 02 and never had problems with) was smashed by a frito lay truck and the ins. company was only giving us so much time to find a vehicle and not very much money. Moral of the story
ford windstars suck!!! We had our frame checked..they fixed the back then said the front was fine,…..I’m not sure I believe them but what so you do/???.,,,,,

June 21, 2011 at 10:32 am
(15) Mari says:

I have a 2002 Windstar and I had the same exact situation with my ABS, brake, and trac lights turning on right after I left the Ford dealer after repairs and inspection for the last two recalls. The Service manager said that the repairs for the recall had nothing to do with the ABS module going bad but now I’m having trouble with the traction and the van continuosly jumps when I try going more than 60mph and the lights are turned on all the time now. I sent a complaint to Ford Corp. and they said that they spoke to the Ford Dealership manager and he said that they are not responsible for the ABS Module going bad because it was not even close to the parts that were being repaired for the recall. Therefore, if I wanted the ABS module repaired that I would need to pay out-of-pocket the repairs. I am SOOOOO ANGRY!!! They are treating Windstar owners like 3rd class citizens as if it was our fault that these cars are LEMONS!! I am all for a CLASS ACTION SUIT. They simple cannot admit that these cars are BAD NEWS. Also, I can’t believe that they are only buying back the cars in the colder States where they say the salt is the culprit. Well guess what? I’m in Florida and with the amount of moisture and rain we get here, I wish I could send a picture of how rusted this car is. I can’t take this anymore. Will someone please help!!

July 27, 2011 at 11:58 pm
(16) Rich Kirkland says:

I own a 2003 Ford Windstar. I have what appears to be a common problem with the ABS and Brake light both coming on. The head gasket is also leaking which also seems to be common. Before that, the clamps that held up the exhaust system completely rusted through and dropped my exhaust system to the ground, while driving home from work. I will never buy another Ford as long as I live.

April 17, 2013 at 10:39 pm
(17) Lisa says:

Ford “repaired” my rear axle in July 2011. Today, it broke! Their BANDAID did not fix the problem and since it has been over 12 months since the “recall repair ” was done, they will not warrenty this issue. I was never shown the part they were to “fix” before or after they “fixed” it. I was never offered a buy back or loaner vehicle from them either. They said it was not cracked and all they had to do was fix it according to the recall. I’m suspcious that it was probably a hairline crack and they figured it’d be ok. The entire axle is cracked and looks like it has been that way for awhile due to the rust in that area. In fact, it is under their bandaid. While the bandaid they used to “fix” this problem probably kept me from having a bad accident while driving on city streets, it is still broken and may not have been of much help if I had been driving at higher speeds. I run a small business and rely on this vehicle to get to my jobs. I also had one of my workers with me. Now how would that have played out if we’d had an accident and my worker was injured? God was really looking out for me today when the tire decided to start rubbing against the wheel well due to the “repaired axle” failing. I had just dropped my son off at school when it decided it was done working. I was supposed to travel today about 30 miles one way to a job. I would have been on the freeway at some point. Ford, you need to take better care of your customers by repairing things the right way…A NEW AXLE would have been ALOT better than your BANDAID FIX!!! I’m very upset with your company. I will NEVER BUY ANOTHER FORD!!! I will stick with Chevy from now on, like I should have done in the first place. You’d better start taking care of customers instead of your wallet. Just make the product better from the start!

April 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm
(18) Lisa says:

By the way, this was not the only issue I’ve had with this pile of CRAP!!! The transmission went out, engine light was always on, lots of wiring issues, constantly had to get new tires due to the alignment always being off, even shortly after it was fixed. This was a very bad vehicle all the way around.

June 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm
(19) fortue says:

i need a ford winstar rear axle , mine broke after it has being bracket

September 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm
(20) Mariaelena Waring says:

I own a 1999 windstar and I have read all your comments and agree. This car is not a good car at all. I have replaced the transmission and just recieved a recall letter concerning the rear axle but I think I won’t take it in because I also do not want all the other problems like lights that are not suppose to be on,on. Even though the comments I read are from 2010 here it is 2013 and I am just hearing about this. I am hearing the snaps and squeeking too. I hate this because I really like my van,but I guess for safety purposes I will have to give it up.FORD SHOULD MAKE THIS RIGHT!

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