Ford and their Windstar Axle Problem

The Ford Motor Company has recently recalled 1998 to 2003 Winstar vehicles due to a problem with the rear axle. It seems that corrosion can attack the axle and cause it to break. When the axle breaks, the driver can lose control of the vehicle and crash. It seems to me that as long as Ford has been in business, the company has gained enough experience to know how to protect the vehicle, in general, and, the rear axle,  in particular, from the effects of corrosion.  It is well known that in climates where salt is used to melt ice, the resulting residue can corrode the undercarriage of vehicles not protected. So, how is it that a car manufacturer, who has been building cars for longer than most of us have alive, puts out a product that is not protected against a well known corrosive medium? Consider for a moment that the Windstar is the only vehicle in the Ford family of cars and trucks that is subject to this problem. Ther aren’t any other recalls for a Ford manufactured vehicle wth this problem. From Ford’s viewpoint, Ford believes that owners of Windstar vehicles who are experiencing rear axle problems are trying to get out of paying for expensive repairs by filing claims against Ford alledging a defective product. Why couldn’t the Windstar be defective?

About R.J. Hill, P.E.
R. J. Hill is the author of two blogs: R.J. Hill Consulting and the Descendants of James Alexander Hill. Mr. Hill is a registered professional (mechanical) engineer with 42 years of experience, 37 years in private practice. Please visit to see the kinds of forensic investigations that Mr. Hill performs.

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