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Ford urged to tell owners about minivan recall


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Ford urged to tell owners about minivan recall


WHITMAN, Mass. -- The family of a Massachusetts man who was killed when the rear axle of his Windstar cracked in half says Ford hasn't done enough to tell owners about its recall of the minivans.

Sean Bowman's family told the Associated Press on Wednesday that they received a safety recall notice from Ford in October. That was one week after his vehicle careened into a building.

Ford announced in August it was recalling 575,000 older-model Windstars over concerns the rear axles can corrode and break.

Ford said it is cooperating with government investigators but declined to comment on Bowman's case.

After an inquiry about Bowman's case from AP, Ford said it was expanding its recall -- a decision made last month but not previously publicized.

Ford said Wednesday that it was adding 37,000 minivans to the initial recall. The addition brings the total number of Windstars covered to 612,000 in the U.S. and Canada.

In other recalls:

• Chrysler said it was recalling more than 367,000 minivans to address potential accidental air bag deployments in 2008 model year Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans.

Chrysler spokesman Vince Muniga said it was aware of 30 complaints of air bags deploying inadvertently and five injuries since February 2008.

• Volkswagen is recalling more than 228,000 vehicles, including 2007-09 Golf, Jetta, Jetta Sportwagen, Rabbit and 2006-10 New Beetle small cars.

VW says on all of the recalled vehicles, except the New Beetle, a small plastic tab in the windshield wiper fluid reservoir could rub a fuel supply line under the hood. A fuel leak could develop and lead to fires.

Read more: Ford urged to tell owners about minivan recall | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101216/BUSINESS01/12160445/Ford-urged-to-tell-owners-about-minivan-recall#ixzz18HV9B6Qm

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By Mark Kleis

Just over three months ago Leftlane reported on Ford’s announcement to recall just under half a million Windstar minivans, model years 1999 through 2003, for issues related to a corroding rear axle in states with significant snowfall.

Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Ford have announced an expansion of that recall to include roughly 37,000 additional vans, by including a Utah in the list of areas to be recalled, as well as including 2003 Windstars with heat-treated rear axles.

The problem stems from a ‘U’ channel design on the rear axle beam which created an unintentional holding place for salt slurry in areas that treat roads for snow. This holding location ultimately was exposed to abnormal levels of salt, which in turn caused the housing to rust through.

Ford has said that it will retroactively reimburse owners who have already paid to have the issue repaired out of pocket, as well as to replace the faulty part for other owners who have not yet experienced the problem.



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