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AutoBlog: NHTSA opening probe into Ford Freestar/Mercury Monterey transmission defect

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Filed under: Minivan/Van, Government/Legal, Recalls, Safety, Ford

2004_ford_freestar_630.jpg

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating hundreds of reports that 2004-2005 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans are fitted with defective transmissions that could dangerously fail without warning. Most alarming is that many of the transmissions reportedly fail at highway speeds. In a common complaint, the engine will suddenly surge and then all power is immediately lost. The vehicle is forced to coast powerlessly to a safe spot out of the flow of traffic. Angry owners have flooded message boards to report incidents of transmission failures which leave them stranded and stuck with $3,500 repair bills.

To date, there have been 654 customer complaints and 2,791 warranty claims. However, according to NHTSA, as many as 205,000 vehicles may be affected. The investigation, expected to take a year, will focus on the torque converter output shaft which drives the wheels. Ford Motor Co. has not yet released an official statement regarding the investigation.

[source: Automotive News, subs. req'd]

NHTSA opening probe into Ford Freestar/Mercury Monterey transmission defect originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 Nov 2009 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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damn, and i was looking at one of these to replace the aztek. um, not no more!

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I think the Windstar / Freestar have done more to damage Ford's reputation in modern times than any other vehicle. The worst part about it is that a lot of families flocked to these vehicles in the 90s and were left with a sour taste toward Ford afterward.

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i had heard the 04+ ford vans were pretty good. you are thinking of the 3.8 litre head gasket issues with the WINDstar.

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