The van and truck industry is once more at the centre of a vehicle recall storm as the Ford Windstar minivan is recalled over a possible axle fault.
Fortunately for UK drivers they are not concerned just yet, but the US manufacturer announced on Friday that 575,000 vehicles in the USA and Canada were being recalled over fears that corrosion of the rear axle could actually cause the component to break, and lead to potentially fatal consequences. It is thought that it could be a design fault with the rear axle that causes it to collect debris, such as rock salt or slush from the road surface in bad weather that leads to the corrosion. Ford has informed the National Highway Transport Authorisation (NHTSA) that the model concerned is being recalled.
The NHTSA had earlier announced that it had been told about two accidents linked to the problem and had received over 200 reports about the axle fault. Ford are contacting owners of the 1999/2003 models that are affected privately and inviting them to take their vehicles to a Ford or Mercury garage where if, after inspection, the rear axle is cracked it will be repaired. Axles that are showing no sign of distress will have reinforced brackets placed on them at a future date.
Windstar drivers are well accustomed to recalls, as over the last few years they have become almost as regular as getting commercial vehicle insurance quotes. Various Windstar models have been recalled for a speed control deactivation switch, wiper motors, fuel line clips, seat belt buckles, windscreen glass, auxiliary air conditioning and power window wiring.