really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,129 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Windstar:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #17

Dec 242016


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. While driving approximately 25 mph, the front frame fractured or was rusted, which caused the passenger side wheel to detach from the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an auto repair garage. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 09V385000 (suspension). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 81,000.

- Center City, MN, USA

problem #16

Jul 162015

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving at 70 mph, the tire began to rub the inner fender wall. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the axle was fractured and needed to be repaired. The vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 11V030000 (structure) but the remedy failed to repair the vehicle. The contact mentioned that the axle should have been replaced initially under the recall and not bracketed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 140,000. Updated 12/03/15 updated 12/09/15.

- Dubuque, IA, USA

problem #15

May 252011


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id numbers: 10V385000 (suspension:rear:axle:non-powered axle assembly) and 11V030000 (structure: Frame and members:underbody shields). Upon receiving the vehicle from the authorized dealer, the vehicle began to shake violently when driving at various speeds. The contact would also hear rattling and banging noises. The vehicle was taken back to the authorized dealer where the contact was informed that a bracket on the frame was hanging off and the piping was still corroded. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 140,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Medfield, MA, USA

problem #14

Dec 162010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 167,000 miles
Ford Windstar van, which was already subject to rear axle recall, and the rear axle did break on it in may, and was replaced and I received reimbursement for the replacement from Ford. However, another incident happened in December. My 21 year old son was in an accident driving this van on Thursday, Dec. 16. the van lost traction and pulled to the right, pulling him into a ditch and down a steep embankment. The front of the van was ripped off, tires slashed, van almost flipped over, and the airbags never deployed. He hit a dirt embankment head on going about 30-35 mph. The roads were icy that day, and he was on a curve... the van would not respond to steering to correct the direction the van was going. I experienced something similar last winter; the van seemed to pull to the right, going off the road without allowing the driver to control the vehicle. However, when I went off the road, it was in a shallow ditch and it caused no damage to the van. My son was not as fortunate, and he could have been severely injured. I feel that this may have something to do with the current investigation into the front suspension... the van could not be controlled, and pulled to the right. Our insurance co. Is taking care of this, and I don't know the current location of the van. It is totaled, I know that. I asked state farm to check out the front suspension for weakness or rust, but don't know if they'll know what to look for, especially since the front is so damaged from the wreck that the tires are turned sideways, and I believe the front axle is broken. Please send someone to look at my van, and see what caused this wreck; my son could have been killed. Thank you for the work you've done so far.... your organization is so valuable to consumers.

- Denton, NC, USA

problem #13

Sep 042010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Subframe is rusting out on 2002 Ford Windstar leading to danger.

- Camden, ME, USA

problem #12

Aug 212010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
2002 Ford Windstar rear axel assembly/ axel beam. Van has 120,000 mileage. Rear axel beam sheared in half during highway travel, catastrophic failure caused van to almost roll over and skid out of control, since back tires, no longer connected, were flopping and wobbling. Skidded over 200 feet. No injuries luckily. Upon view of axel assemble it was rusted from the inside. Insurance did not cover this mechanical failure. $600 dollars to repair with used part. Pittsburgh pa.

- Beaver Falls, PA, USA

problem #11

Aug 112010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 144,000 miles
2002 Ford Windstar broken rear axle 144,000 miles no accident Ford dealership to repair $1,200 quoted.

- Haverhill, MA, USA

problem #10

Jul 282010


  • 126,000 miles
Rear axle crack for no reason. Person driving almost involved in crash. Assuming faulty design in axle.

- West Salem, WI, USA

problem #9

Jul 122010


  • 94,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Windstar with 94,000 miles on it. I have lately been hearing a loud banging sound whenever I make turns so I brought to the mechanic and was told that the rear axle is nearly cracked in half. I can see that this is a very common issue with this car. I am afraid to drive it, afraid that when it splits, I'm going to get into an accident. I simply can't afford the $1000 plus it's going to cost me to repair it, and better yet, my other car is a 2003 Ford Windstar. So I'm also afraid I'll have to deal with this twice.

- East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #8

Jun 182010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
I was entering the highway as I started to accel I heard a loud thump. Immediately my car began swerving and almost tipped over, it felt as though the rear tires fell off. There was a large amount of smoke and sparks coming from the rear of the car and I struggled to stay in control of the vehicle. Ultimately the rear axle broke in half without warning and out of no where. I did not hit anything and was driving safely. Luckily there was a break in traffic or I have no doubt I would have hit other cars on the road. The car came extremely close to flipping, it tipped at one point and would have flipped on the passenger side if not for my quick reaction. The vehicle was towed and my mechanic immediately told me axles do not break like this and he advised me to call Ford to see if there was a manufactures problem with the axle. I called my local dealer and was advised that Ford have experienced no problems like mine and my car is out of warranty so there is nothing they could do. Only after I came home and searched the web did I realize there are thousands and thousands of other Windstar owners who experienced the same kind of breakage and I believe a more aggressive investigation needs to take place. The axle needs to be repaired and if this is a manufacturers defect it need to be fixed before someone is killed.

- Kings Park, NY, USA

problem #7

May 082010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 76,200 miles
Rear axle failure; Ford Windstar 2002.

- Lafayette Hill, PA, USA

problem #6

May 072010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
2002 Ford Windstar. Picked my daughter up at college to come home for the summer. College 4 hours from home. Missed a turn to get on highway. Turned around in a gas station and thought I had a flat tire as the steering felt funny. Stopped, got out to look, here the rear axle had broken about 12 inches in from the wheel on the drivers side. Called aaa, got towed, tow driver tells me he has picked up at least 6 Windstar in last year with same problem and all in the exact place where it has broke. I just thank god I wasn't back on I 80 going 65 when it happened. Someone is going to get killed by this. I was lucky. Plus had to miss work, buy a used axle, stay in a hotel, etc..... Ford should stand behind their product and reimburse these expenses.

- Lower Burrell, PA, USA

problem #5

Dec 012009


  • miles
The passenger door does not close all the way vehicle was not in a accident had placed in shop numerous times but to know avail. There was a recall on the 1999 Windstar for body but not on the 2002. Could this also apply to my other vehicle since I do not feel secure driving my children in this vehicle. The shop said as long as the door locks I have nothing to worry about. Please call or email me at [xxx] or holden_[xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #4

Jul 162009


  • 110,000 miles
I was traveling at approximately 30 mph, heard an unusual noise, felt like I hit a bump, momentarily lost control of vehicle, traveled approximately 50 more feet to side of road with all kinds of intermittent bumping, screeching and unusual sounds. I got out and saw my driver's side rear tire folded into the wheel-well. I saw the same thing on the other side. Had to have a flatbed take it to a garage. Rear axle had broken in two and will be replaced. There is some other possible damage to equipment near rear axle that has yet to be determined.

- West Boylston, MA, USA

problem #3

Jan 292009


  • 92,300 miles
While driving at a low speed (35 mph), suddenly and without warning or apparent reason, the rear axle snapped on my 2002 Ford Windstar minivan, locking the rear wheels and causing me to lose control of the vehicle. The axle, (Ford calls it a "housing" looked as if it had simple snapped in half. - at the dealership, I learned that a similar incident had been reported a month earlier. - my concern is that this may occur repeatedly and to others traveling at highway speed. The Windstar minivan is the vehicle of choice for people with young children. This failure caused both rear tires to fail to move, and in my opinion is a catastrophic failure of a critical component of the vehicle.

- Congers, NY, USA

problem #2

Apr 112003

(reported on)

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When 18 wheeler(s),tractor trailer(s), and or trailer(s) passed the vehicle, it shaked violently, as if a tire was blown. The dealer said the problem was due to an engineering flaw. Mr scc

- Mayfield, KY, USA

problem #1

Oct 122002

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,700 miles
The vehicle was shaky and unstable to ride and or steer under heavy eighteen wheeler traffic, when they passed the consumer's vehicle (aerodynamics or design problem)

- Mayfield, KY, USA