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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems



  • Our 2005 Ford Freestar's transmission went at 55,000 miles. We bought it for its quality and safety ratings. Our son, Zachary, was born in 2004 and has had 22 hospitalizations to date. We bought our van to give our family a safe and reliable family vehicle to get our son to the hospital on an emergency basis. We have no vehicle right now and have had to borrow my brother's car. We do not have $3,500 to fix our van. We do not have any credit cards or such to throw an emergency repair on. It would be a matter of us coming up with the cash. It is sick to know that Ford is aware of this problem and is doing nothing. I will be contacting both NHTSA and the WBAL newstation. Thanks to all for their hardwork and dedication. We too would like to join any class action suit.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Thanks for the post. The information provided by your friend is intriguing and speaks volumes about why Ford is struggling in the marketplace. Apparently, the bottom line is that they obviously think customers are dispensible. I guess that is why Toyota is now #1 in the US. My reaction as a business owner, and I have owned a business, would be to reach out to my unhappy customer and see if the relationship can be salvaged. Knowing that a current customer is a potential repeat customer and a source for referrals, (not to mention that I don't have to spend 1 penny in advertising to reach a current customer), I recognize the value of the current customer relationship. Wasn't this taught in business 101? The executives at Ford need to fire whoever is responsible for this misguided policy or Ford will never recover. In the meantime, keep the faith. Together, we will hold Ford accountable.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Mary Q,
    2 Things; First, it is amazing that you said that. I actually prefaced my whole conversation with those nitwits by stating that I was a loyal Ford customer and wished to continue to be. I further stated to them that, if the situation was resolved to my satisfaction that, not only would I continue to be a loyalist, but that I would also continue refering everybody I know to Ford. Still, they wrote me off and "drove me away." Now, I intend to be a thorn in their side until they step up and do the right thing. It is a shame too, because I told them all I would settle for 50% of the repair and they would have gotten the work! Second, I feel for you regarding the Neon paperwork. I am happy my wife read your post because she is always on me about keeping meticulous records and keeping them FOREVER. You never know when something is going to become useful again. Stay tuned to this forum. There is more to come.
    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Your story is another brick in the wall that will be our lawsuit. It is even more proof that Ford is engaging in CONSUMER FRAUD. I doubt it is a coincidence that every person who has had this problem is LIED TO and told that they are the first by the dealers. I would be willing to bet there is a memo or 2 floating around within the Ford organization instructing the dealers to LIE TO THE CUSTOMERS. It is just a matter of time before some disgruntled, recently laid off employee makes this type of information available to us. This is an intentional act by Ford to mislead its customers. I believe this is a crime. It makes you wonder if Ford is aware of the internet. This scheme sounds like something that a manufacturer would do in the time before the internet when it would have been harder for people to communicate about it. As I have said many times before, it is no wonder Ford can't compete in the marketplace anymore. I can't wait until my case gets in front of a judge. I will have mountains of evidence of this FRAUD that Ford is perpetuating on its customers.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    I couldn't have said it better myself. I have been buying Fords for over 20 years and my family had been buying Fords for 40 years until this experience. Instead of retaining a customer for life, Ford has not only lost a customer but has also gained an adversary like none thay have had before. It has become my mission in life to keep beating this drum until these vans get recalled. Livers are literally at stake.With regards to Acura, my neighbor relayed the same story to us when she heard about our Freestar. Her daughter's transmission went out in her Acura and they replaced it - no questions asked. That is why Acura has a fiercly loyal customer base and they don't take it for granted like Ford does. I know of many Acura owners beside my neighbor who would never buy anything else.
    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    We are sorry to hear about your situation. We too could not afford this repair. Ours went out right before Thanksgiving so, needless to say, Christmas was very lean this year. We too bought the Freestar based on Fords marketing it as, "The safest vehicle in its class." What a farse. Now, Ford is not only not stepping up and assisting its customers, but they are also engaging in sytematic, intentional FRAUD by misleading its customers when they get to dealership with this problem. Without exception, in each case, the customer is told that they are the first customer with this problem and that Ford has never heard of it. They even tell you that when you call the Customer Relationship Center, they also LIE and say they have never heard of it. While it is a little easier knowing that we are not alone in this, it is MADDENING that Ford continues to act in this way. It is only a matter of time before there is a fatality as a result of this defect. What is worse is that NHTSA, the federal agency that is supposed to be looking out for us is, apparently in Ford's back pocket becuase, to date, they have refused to even initiate an investigation into this defect. I guess thay don't care if someone gets killed because they probably can't be sued. stay tuned to this forum. There is more to come. And, most importantly, we will all be keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers.
    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • tbrown61tbrown61 Posts: 9
    Sorry to hear your story too. I also was in the same boat, broke down..with no cash to fix it. yet still making payments for months to see the van sit in my driveway. I finally scraped the $$ up and got it fixed. Its a shame that the dealers lie to all of us. They act like its the first they heard of it, It makes you wanna (shake) the truth out of them. saying nicely. yes I did get in writing that the torque converter was the trouble, he said he never seen one fall apart so bad before. the one thats in it now is a custom rebuild, that he does himself. I sure hope the rest of the van holds up. Its a shame, Im a Ford loyal guy, I have 4 in my driveway. I bought this as well as the rest of you, thinking its a safe decent vehicle. I think the word is gettin out though, I cant sell this piece of crap for anything....guess ill drive it till the next part fails. I will not buy another Ford though, unless its a classic..the new crap is just that Crap!! :lemon:
  • vickekayvickekay Posts: 3
    I have not had a problem with my transmission YET but I have had a few problems and wondered if anyone else has them as well.

    First, when I'm driving down the road, the automatic sliding door unlatches and the lights come on and the dash shows the door being adjar. I was told by my service team at the dealership that it was impossible. I have had the problem since 2006 and they just tell me that they can not duplicate the problem, even though I have taken it in and they have seen it happen on 2 occasions! I finally came to the conclusion (at the end of my warranty) that they have been treating me like the "crazy lady". I did take it to another dealership and I hope they fixed it, they did at least treat me with true compassion and seemed very interested in fixing the problem! When I talked to the Ford Rep, it was like talking to a brick wall!!!!!! Pretty much a waste of time.

    Second, when I'm driving down the road around 45 mph my van seems to "jerk" for a quick second. It does not happen all the time. Could this be signs of the transmission going bad????
  • Hello all, just wanted to add my story to the board for what it's worth. I'll give the reader's digest version:
    I am an active duty Soldier stationed in Germany. I bought a new 2004 Freestar SEL in July 2004 from a dealer in Mississippi and then shipped it to Germany when I was stationed here. Transmission went out on the German Autobahn in Sep 2007 (34,000 miles). Had it towed to one of the few Ford dealers here in Germany that are authorized to do warranty work on American spec Fords who quoted me a price of 5800 Euros (approx $8000) to replace, since it was out of warranty by 2 months. So far, not much differenent than everyone else's story.
    I decided to give the Ford Customer Relationship Center a call and beg for a little compassion and mercy given the circumstances. After explaining my problem, the rep said since I was located in Germany, they could not help me and said I had to call the CRC in Germany (I knew right away, this was not correct since I knew they would tell me they only service German made Fords, but I called anyway...and got that response). So, after calling the US CRC back and talking to 5 different people (supposed next higher, but most likely the guy/gal in the next cubicle), everyone said they couldn't even take my complaint because I was not in the US.

    So, thinking how I was going to have the van taken to the strip yard at this point, the German Ford Dealer service rep suggested I calll a guy he knew at the US Military Car Sales here in Germany to see if he could help. (If you don't know, US Military Car Sales is a program around the world at US bases that allow Service Members to purchase American made cars overseas..usually no sales taxes). Since I didn't buy the van through them, I thought it was a long shot, but didn't have anything to lose, so I did. Less than a minute into the phone call to the rep of hearing the brief explanation of my situation, he said, and I quote, "NO PROBLEM, LET ME MAKE A PHONE CALL TO FORD IN THE STATES AND THEY WILL FIX IT, WITH YOU ONLY PAYING A SMALL DEDUCTIBLE, PROBABLY LESS THAN A $100). Then he took my information, made a call, and within two days, he called me back and said he received an email from Ford with all the information and approval to fix the transmission at cost. That day, Ford had a new transmission already being shipped from the states direct to the dealer and my van was fixed in a day, once the parts arrived. It did cost me a little more than expected....$300. I asked the rep (I don't want to give his name) for a copy of the email, but he told me he was not allowed to give me a copy or the name of the person at Ford he coordinated with, it had to be someone pretty high up (makes you want to go HMMMMMMMMM).

    Bottom line, I'm glad I got it fixed, but it was like a bad foreign spy movie with all the secret, back room negotiations and cloak and dagger stuff to get it down. So, instead of Ford just practicing good customer relations and helping me directly, I had to get lucky and stumble on the secret passage to the promised land! It also seems to point to the fact that Ford knows about the problem. The CRC is a flippin Joke, along with Ford in general.....sad to say, I've always been a Ford man, never again.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Nothing surprises me anymore with these cowards at Ford. The story about your door is very sad. I bet they would get right on it if someone fell out and was killed as a result. Oh, wait a minute, this is Ford we are talking about. If that happened, they would find away to blame it on you and bury their collective corrupt heads in the sand even further. What's next? Is the roof going to blow off while we are driving down the road? As for the momentary jerk you are feeling, it sounds exactly like the torque converter getting ready to fail all together. Imagine the splines on the part in your torqueconverter that will fail are like the cogs on a set of gears that are designed to mesh together as the assembly turns. If 1 or 2 of them started to round off, the gears would slip slightly. As time went by, the cogs would wear down even more and the uneveness in the motion caused by the original 1 or 2 would cause the whole assembly to move in a way that would cause the remaning cogs to be ever so slightly mis- aligned. This, in turn, would cause those cogs to wear in a premature and detrimental way. Eventually, enough of or all of the cogs will either break off all together or become so worn and mishapen that they would no longer be able to stay engaged and the whole assembly would cease to operate. I would recommend that you get your van to a reputable shop and have a qualified transmission technician dissassemble it and inspect it. At the end of the day, this willbe costly but it could literally save your life. If your transmission fails on the freeway while a semi is barreling down on you, the possibilities are pretty scary. I think the peace of mind you will get will be worth the cost. Let us know what you decide to do and how it goes.
    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    First, let me say Thank You for serving your country. We really do appreciate it. Second, we are happy that your story had a happy ending. Third, your story proves my assertion that their is a systematic and organized movement at Ford to defraud and mislead the owners of the Freestar vans. Your story illustrates that in a very clear and convincing way. The bottom line is; there should be no hoops to jump through, no disparate treatment, no cloak and dagger, secret handshake nonesense. Ford should simply step up and fix the problem they have KNOWINGLY CREATED for the rest of us who are left holding the bag with these defective vans. I wish you would divuldge the name of the rep that helped you out. Perhaps he is in a position to influence Ford to do the right thing. Stay safe!
    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Amen. Both of my Fords are on the market right now. I can't wait to make the switch to Toyota! I am going to invest in a Tundra to replace my F150 and a Sienna to replace my wife's Freestar. We too are having trouble selling the Freestar even though we got it fixed. People do seem to shy away from it for its reputation wether it is fixed or not. Every day that goes by that it doesn't sell and we are making payments on the ridiculously high interest rate loan we had to take out to pay for the repairs just motivates me even more to keep beating this drum and force Ford to be accountable. By the way, where is NHTSA on this? I guess somebody has to die first as a result of this DEFECTIVE part for them to take notice. what a shame.
  • kari7kari7 Posts: 1
    We would appreciate hearing if others were finally able to get their cars fixed or what they ended up doing with car. The transmission on our 2004 Freestar stopped working at 31,000. The Ford Dealer Service Department said that the problem was that the computer that controls the wiring had gotten wet. The Service Dept. replaced the computer at no charge and told us the car was fixed and ready to be picked up. When we went to pick up the car, the transmission still did not work. We left the car for the Service Dept. to do further diagnosis. Meanwhile we researched the problem on the Internet and discovered that it is a common problem caused by a poor design that allows water to flood the computer and wiring causing the transmission not to work. The Service Dept. then told us we needed a new wiring harness and two sensors connected to the harness, for which we would have to pay. We authorized the new wiring harness and sensors, and again the Service Dept. told us the car was fixed. We test drove the car before accepting it, and the transmission worked fine; but the dealer had made a new key which caused our other keys not to work. We left the car overnight so the Service Dept. could make the new keys. The next day when we went to pick up the car, the transmission no longer worked. Now the dealer wants to replace another sensor that the harness plugs into. Our repair bill is now up to $1400. We do not know if we should keep putting money into repairs until the Service Dept. can get the transmission working (the trade in value of the car is $8000).

    Has anybody’s car with this problem been successfully fixed and at what cost?
  • malonmalon Posts: 1
    lam another unhappy person,I was looking for information in the internet about freestar transmission problem and I found all these message about the same problem. today 4/5/2008 at 10 pm I was driven to the theater when my transmission went ritgh in front of the dealer where I b my minivan, I just pushed it and parked in to the dealer parking,monday I have to go and see how much they are going to charge me to fix the transmission I will let all you know wthat happen.

    ps is too many people that have the same problem, must be something that we all can do any idea? count with me.
  • ajennbusajennbus Posts: 1
    We have had many issues with our '05 Freestar (mostly electrical), but the transmission failed just like everyone has experienced with school children in the van!!!! Any suggestions on what we can do?
  • mom0f2mom0f2 Posts: 1
    I am posting this to vent my frustration just as much as agreeing with what other's have said. Here it goes:

    I bought my 2005 Freestar used at a non Ford dealership in August of 2006. On the way home we noticed a shutter. At first we thought it was the road and never driving a van thought it was just it's reaction to the road. About a week later we were on a new road and it did it again. I noticed a pattern, when the van reached a certian rpm it would shutter so I took it in the shop since it was still covered under the warn. They said it was the torc converter they replaced it and a few days later I got it back. That very day it started again. This began a process that resulted my taking the van in over and over sometimes not getting the van back for up to 2 months at a time. The first year of ownership my minivan was in my drive for what totaled 3 months, the loaner Tarus was in it more. It also included multiple torc converters, rebuilt transmissions, and 2 NEW TRANSMISSIONS, a reventing of the transmission, and 1 will not start because the repair allowed water in the tranny cilinoid (spelling) During this mess I asked if I continued to drive this vechile with the shutter what would happen. I was told nothing. That it is just a inconvenance. Well it started again but my Aunt died back home in Mississippi so I had to have my van for the trip from Kansas. I get back and was paying bills around town, by now I knew the schedule of the techs and the tranny guy wouldn't be in til Monday and this was Friday, and the tranny made a grinding noise and my transaxile light and check engine light came on. I called Ford last Friday after I dropped it off and said I wanted to talk about a buy back, seeing that I have given them 22 times to fix the issue and it is obvious that there is no fixing it. Yesterday I got a call that they would rather keep repairing the issue. I am to pick up the van today and forgive my doubting but I just don't want to, I know that it is going to do it as soon as I pick it up and have to turn around.

    Since Kansas has no lemon laws for Used cars I have to go to the Better Buisness Bureau (spelling again) and have them abertrate a deal. If I do get my case accepted I will still not get the loan completely paid off since they take off mileage. I owe like 13K on it and with the mileage gone I will still owe 3K. As with 75% of the nation times are hard and I can't be without a car but I can't afford another let alone paying for one that would not be in my driveway. :lemon: :lemon: please forgive the gramar and spelling...........
  • rae4kmarae4kma Posts: 4
    This is absolutely ridiculous!!! My 2004 Ford Freestar SE has 40,100 miles on it and WAM the transmission up and died!!! No warning, nothing!! I was getting on the interstate and vrrrrrrrrrrroooooooommmmmmmmm nothing,.... just the RPM were going up but my car was NOT moving!!! I was able to down shift and go back into drive and move really slow until it kicked in, but it did it 6 more times before I got it to the dealer. They told me to drive it there since it was only like 10 miles. So they called me and said it needs a full overhaul!! They said I have to agree to pay $1000 for them to take the Trani out and inspect it and if they determine it is MY fault not theirs I have to pay that plus $2800!!!!!!! I do have the extended warranty but I am not sure what they are going to tell me, I feel like they are just going to blame it on me!!!!!!! Thankfully I have record of getting my transmission serviced at 22K, which is crazy that it needed it then.

    Do you think that since I have records of that service and the Extended Warranty that it will be covered??? Please help!!! It is at the dealer right now and I have not given them approval to take it out yet cause I do not have the money. HELP PLEASE!!!!!!!!!! :sick: :sick: :sick: :lemon:

    I also had the back rotars go out at 24K which cost me $1000!!!!!!!!! Front brakes were 1/8" worn.... Back brakes were shot... front wheel drive car!!! WTF!!!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I know this post is a couple of months old but the current Nissan Quest does not share any parts with the Monterey or Freestar. The current Quest was re-designed in 2004 ans is solely a Nissan design. The Quest has it's own issues but not the transmission failures.

    Good luck with your battle with Ford. Unfortunately, I doubt Ford will stand behind their product. And they wonder why the company is fighting to stay alive.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    I wish you were in MD where we do have a lemon law and your dealer would have to buy the van back. Since you are not however, my advice to you would be to pursue your claim with the BBB and if that gets you some financial relief-take it and cut your losses. You are right, times are tough everywhere. we are paying $1000.00 a month just to put gas in our vehicles! You can't put a price on your safety though and your van is unsafe for you and your family. Keep us posted on your progress.
    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    I'm sorry but you made me laugh. Your reaction is absolutely right. What the heck?!?! Welcome to the world of cheated Ford Freestar owners. I would be very surprised if they don't try and blame it on you. They blamed mine on me and our van doesn't even have the transmission that the manual said required the service at 30K miles! They even LIED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND! IN WRITING! about my situation. The nerve of Ford and Koons Ford of Annapolis is unbelievable! What a bunch of crooks and cowards. They knowingly put a defective vehicle on the market and sold it to families-all the while marketing it on its SAFETY RATING! What a joke. Only the joke is on us. I can't wait to have my day in court. Please let us know what happens in your case. I intend to be a thorn in the side of Ford until they accept responsibility for this fiasco and compensate us for our losses! God forbid someone should get killed in one of these things. Ford will find a way to blame them.
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