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This is a common problem on the Windstar and you should contact your Dealer as there is a saftey recall that likely apply to your Windstar.
VEHICLE MAKE/MODEL: MODEL YEAR(S):
MANUFACTURER: Ford Motor Company
MFR'S REPORT DATE: August 26, 2010
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID NUMBER: 10V385000
NHTSA ACTION NUMBER: N/A
COMPONENT: Power Train: Axle Assembly
POTENTIAL NUMBER OF UNITS AFFECTED: 462750
Ford is recalling certain model year 1998-2003 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. 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 if undetected can propagate and result in a 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 performed free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin on or before September 27, 2010. Owners may contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332.
Ford's recall No. is 10S13. Owners may also contact The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to http://www.safercar.gov.