Windstars recalled for faulty mounts

Associated Press / January 27, 2011

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Ford Motor Co. recalled more than 400,000 Windstar minivans in cold weather states yesterday to fix brackets and mounts that could separate from the vehicle’s subframe and cause a driver to lose control.

The recall, the latest quality issue to afflict older Windstars, covered 425,288 minivans from the 1999 to 2003 model years sold or registered in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Ford said there had been seven crashes and five minor injuries connected to the recall.

Ford has recalled more than 600,000 of the minivans in the United States and Canada since August to address rear axles that can corrode and break.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also has been investigating corrosion problems in the minivans from the 1999 to 2003 model years. The Transportation Department said yesterday the minivans were still under review by the agency.

The recall affects brackets and mounts connected to the front subframe, which carries the engine, transaxle, steering rack, and front suspension.

NHTSA said in a posting on its website that if the mounts separated from the frame, a driver could experience reduced steering control.

The recall is limited to states where road salt is used during the winter, including all six New England states.

Also yesterday, Toyota recalled nearly 1.7 million cars worldwide for possible fuel leaks, the latest in a ballooning number of quality problems that could further tarnish the company’s reputation in the United States.

The recalls are mostly in Japan, but include Lexus IS and GS luxury sedans sold in North America. That’s where the world’s number one car company faces the biggest challenges in winning back customer trust.

US dealers will inspect cars to see if loose fuel pressure sensors caused leaks.

There were no accidents suspected of being caused by those problems, according to Toyota. The car maker has received 77 complaints overseas, 75 of them in North America, and more than 140 in Japan.