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My soccer mom van

I can’t get anyone other than family to take this seriously. Two plus months ago the rear axle of my 2000 Windstar broke in half as I backed out of my driveway. Ford was absolutely not interested, despite the fact that they sold millions of these to families, and many of them are still in service. It could happen to other parents in more dangerous situations. I did file a report with NHTSB, but heard nothing.

Reporting this to the NHTSB is a good idea. They have to see a pattern of similar problems with a specific model of car or a manufacturer before taking any action.

Sometimes stuff just breaks and your problem may not be common to the many model year 2000 Windstars out on the roads. The age of the car is a factor also. If this was a 2008 or 2009 Windstar it might get more notice.

A failure like this on a 10 year old car is much more common regardless of the model and manufacturer. Stuff breaks sometimes and 10 year old stuff breaks even more often.

Is this a “tag” rear axel as in the car is FWD? I wouldhave to see the axel,has anyone (repairing mechanic) voiced a opinion as to the cause?

I can’t really blame Ford for not being interested in the fact that this happened to a nine year old vehicle that they don’t make any more. The fact that this happened to a single vehicle doesn’t necessarily indicate that this was a manufacturing defect. It could very possibly be caused by factors other than a manufacturing defect, especially if this vehicle has ever been driven by teenagers.

rear axle broke in half ???

This windstar doesn’t have a “rear axle”. What broke ? Maybe the side to side support beam ? A spildle ?
It uses hubs & bearings bolted to trailing arms with a beam between and a track-bar .

In 30 years as a partsman at this ford dealer I’ve seen NO recurrent rear hub/spindle issues in Windstars that would even hint at a Ford problem. Maybe high centering, rust, pot holes etc.

It’s just your one car, get it fixed and move on.


While your shop may not have had people coming in with this problem, it IS a known problem on Windstars of that vintage.

If you go to you will see a VERY large number of complaints of this very problem. There is even a section of that site for photos that people have submitted of car problems, and sure enough, there are several photos of a side-to-side support beam that snapped in half on a Windstar. These incidents are all indexed under “split rear axle”, or some variation on this theme.

I believe that Ford makes good vehicles, overall. However, they really need to acknowledge this problem in order to help others to keep the faith.

thanx, I’ll check it out.

Probably a rust or corrosion issue. Hence, from my vantage point, 4-corners desert southwest, we don’t see this here. It’s also pickup country, low percentage of mini-vans per population.

good info, thanks. Any knowledge of NHSTB taking any action(s)? Recalls? Tech Bulletins?

In Ford info…no recalls, no TSBs.

I was told by my local dealer, who had in fact just serviced this van, that they had never see anything like this failure. Same response from tow truck, etc. We know it was far from new, but it was never driven hard. We felt that if this was a common problem, it would be ethical to at least notify current owners of these vans.

After seeing the graphic evidence of multiple failures of that support beam, all I can say is shame on Ford for not owning up to this obvious problem.

I appreciate all the responses. My intention was to bring this situation to the attention of as many people as possible.

Good to know. I happily stand corrected.