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Ford Rear Axle Defect Took Life of Teenage Driver

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A teenager was driving a classmate to community college when the rear axle on the Ford Windstar he was driving cracked in half. This caused the Windstar to crash into a building. Sadly, the teen driver did not survive the accident.

One week later, a recall notice from Ford arrived in the mail. It said the Windstar’s axle should be checked out because it could corrode and break. The family of the deceased teen say Ford failed to give the recall the urgency it deserved, according to asq.org.

It turns out Ford announced the recall six weeks prior to the family receiving the recall notice. Talk about a lack of urgency!

Federal law requires automakers to notify owners by mail “within a reasonable amount of time,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The issue is to define what is reasonable. Usually, owners receive notification within 30 days. However, in today’s instant messaging, tweeting, and blogging world, even 30 days may be considered unreasonable. Six weeks seems downright irresponsible.

Ford’s recall includes 575,000 Windstar models between the years 1998 and 2003 in the United States and Canada. The Windstar model has had rear axle cracking issues since 2000.

The Center for Auto Safety reported that the Windstar rear axle defect is responsible for eight crashes and three injuries since September 2010.

Here is a video of a news report discussing the Ford Windstar rear axle defect:


If you or a loved one drives a Ford Windstar within the model year mentioned, take it to a dealership immediately, even if you have not received a recall notice. You do not want to suffer a rear axle crack while driving on the road. The tragic death of the aforementioned teen driver is an example of why this rear axle defect is extremely dangerous and should have been addressed sooner by Ford.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.


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  1. Marilyn says:
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    In the interest of accuracy, I must point out that the person killed in this accident was not a teenager… I believe he was 28 years old. That does not diminish the loss, or make Ford less culpible… I myself am a Windstar owner, and I experienced a broken rear axle and runaround from Ford. Just wanted to point out the age of the victim, may he rest in peace. Thank you.