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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems

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  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Once again, Ford has given financial assistance to one customer but not others. (See the NHTSA website). While I am happy that this family was at least partly compensated, it is infuriating that that they assist some but not others and REFUSE TO SAY WHY or what criteria, if any, is used in making this determination. I guess this is just one more brick in the wall that is my lawsuit against Ford. It's no wonder that Ford is losing market share. I'll bet Toyota, (now number 2 instead of Ford), treats their customers alot better than Ford. Keep spreading the word! There are hundreds of thousands of these vans on the road that are about to reach the 44K threshold where most of these failures are taking place. Mabey NHTSA will wake up and force a recall before someone gets killed in one of these things.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    I wouldn't bet that Toyota is much better than Ford. Remember all the fuss a couple of years ago about Toyota engine failures after the warranty period was up due to sludge build up. Toyota contended that it was improper maintenance on the part of the consumer. Consumer and government pressure eventually got Toyota to extend the warranties on the engines that had the problems. Toyota never admitted to any problems.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    I hadn't heard about that one. At least some action was taken to help the consumers. Ford and or NHTSA need to step up and soon before someone gets killed in one of these things. Not to diminish the inconvenience/headaches endured by Toyota customers, but sludge build up in an engine is far different than a transmission failing on an interstate. Am I the only one who has noticed the common threads/themes in all of our situations? Ford/Ford dealerships continue to deny any knowledge of a problem at first, then, miraculously, without even opening up the trannsmission or putting it on a lift, the customer is told that they are on the hook for a new transmission/torque converter. I am very anxious to meet with my Office of the Attorney General representative. I would like to get an expert opinion as to the fraud/criminal negligence angle in all of this. It seems to me that Ford has known about this problem since at least 2004 with the Freestar/Monteray and long before that with the Windstar. yet, they continue to put these vehicles on the road, knowing there is a problem. Now, hundreds, (those reported anyway), are dropping like flies in all sorts of scenarios from interstates to neighborhood streets, to urban environments. They still continue to deny any problem exists even though their service departments know right away what the problem is when these vans come in for service. It is just a matter of time before someone is killed. How are they going to defend themselves against that? Sounds like criminal as well as civil negligence/liability to me. I, for one, will not let this drop until something is done, either voluntarily or through government action or through litigation,( Class action lawsuit?) Ford, are you listening?
  • A few weeks back, I was driving six children from my son’s hockey team back to Minneapolis from a tournament in Eveleth when my van went into neutral on interstate 35. Luckily, we were all seat belted in because we were going down a hill about 75 mph at the time. A smaller car ended up rear ending my van. All of the children were fine and the couple in the car was fine. Our vehicles’ were not so lucky though.

    I was told that I needed a new transmission and had to pay $3300 for it. I also had to pay an insurance deductible of $1500 for the accident repairs. My Ford dealership claims no responsibility for the transmission failure. I have already written a letter to Ford complaining about this problem and I will file a complaint with NHTSA.

    I am a single mother and can not afford the $4800 that this is setting me back. I wish I would never have bought this van. It has been in the shop once or twice a year since I bought it. I had to have the heater replaced (under warranty) about two weeks after I bought it and then I had some kind of brake thing where I had to replace all the brakes and some other parts (not under warranty), and now this.
  • As I read all of your posts it makes me sick. We bought our 2005 Ford Freestar in February 2006. We haven't really had much trouble with it until two days before Christmas this year. It has 46,000 miles on it and the transmission indicator light came on. Ofcourse we had no idea what it meant until we looked in the book and discovered there was a problem with the transaxle. This shocked me because the mileage was still very low to be having these kind of problems. We took it to our local Ford dealership and they ofcourse asked me had we had the transmission serviced at 30,000 miles. We did not because I know some people who never have their transmission serviced and never have a problem. To make a long story short it is going to cost me over $1,000 to have the shifting solenoids replaced. As I read your posts I realize that the problem had nothing to do with us not having it serviced. I am reporting my complaint today. What address should I send my complain to Ford?
  • Hello,
    I just talked to the Virginia Attorney General's Office and they are sending me the form to get this thing going. The guy in the AG's office was very familiar with Ford's horrible customer service record. He had not heard of this particular problem yet but he is getting ready to look into it.
    I called back to Tysons Ford and all of the sudden the really nice guy "Adam" has an incredible attitude. I asked him how I knew the problem was the torque converter since I know nothing about cars and transmissions. Basically he told me how great the extended warranty was and that the reason nothing would be paid for was that I screwed up by not getting the transmission flushed at 30,000 miles. He said he has never run across this problem before with any Ford transmission. How does a class action suit get started? I can tell that I am going to need power in numbers to get this situation corrected. Anyone with any knowledge on where to go next please let me know. I do not intend to pay these crooks a penny.
  • I will help you do this! I have posted a couple of messages on this board. I am getting so screwed. I would love to get a class action suit started. Count me in! Please feel free to respond to me and we can get this going asap.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    For those that have had transmission problems and Ford doesn't want to pay for them because you didn't do your 30K mile transmission service, check the scheduled maintenance booklet that came with your van. In mine (2004 model year) it lists the tranmission models that require service at 30K mile intervals, the AX4N transmission in the Freestar/Monterey is NOT one of them. Of course, Ford and their dealers know the average person doesn't have a clue what transmission model is in their vehicle. If this is a misprint, then Ford should have mailed out a new maintenance booklet to all the owners. Just another piece of ammunition to use in the battle....
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    You need to start by calling Ford at their, get this, "Customer Relationship Center." The number is in your manual. Don't expect much though because the whole thing is a scam. The people who answer the phone are just call takers who pretend to care about your problem and read from a script, trying to lull you into complacency. It got so bad that I begged them to put down the script and talk to me like the intelligent adult human being that I am. It was no use. They deny that they are scripted and when you ask to speak to a supervisor, they lie and tell you that one is not available but that they will call you back within 2 days. The idea behind this tactic is that they know that the average person can't sit around and wait 2 days before they can have their car fixed and will have to just bite the bullet and pay for the repair. My advise to you is to report your failure to NHTSA via their website. When you do, make sure you put as much information in there as possible. Also, make sure you request that a recall be issued. That way, if someone should get killed driving one of these things, they can't lie and say they didn't know about it. Also, contact your local Office of the Attorney General. I believe Ford is intentionally and knowingly misleading it's cutomers. This amounts to fraud and, if someone does get killed, could rise to criminally negligent homicide. Also, the excuse that you didn't have it serviced at 30K is BOGUS. This service is recommended, not required, and would not have prevented the failures that are occurring-period. It is just another roadblock that Ford has built into their system to distance themselves from the problem that they have know has existed for years. In fact, if you did have the service done, they would make you go through the transmission fluid manufacturer for coverage! Good luck getting reimbursed that way! Also, to add insult to injury, they actually do pay some people. One family, as recently as late November, 2007, got OVER $3K!!!! There is no rhyme or reason to it. It is totally arbitrary. One way or another, DON'T LET IT DROP! There is strength in numbers and great power now that we have the internet as is indicated by the posts on this site alone. Wait until you see the NHTSA website. It will literally give you the chills - especially since they have been aware of this problem for so long and still have not issued a recall. We have got to keep up the pressure on Ford and NHTSA. I am ready and willing to join a class action lawsuit. My own individual suit is on hold until my local AG has completed their investigation. Hopefully, when they are done, Ford will step up and do the right thing and legal action won't be necessary. I'm not holding my breath for that though.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    First, thank goodness nobody got injured. This is a nightmare waiting to happen. Second, thank you for following up with NHTSA. We cannot let them off of the hook either. Nobody should have to pay for these repairs. This is a problem that has been known to Ford for some time now. If your dealership told you that they know nothing about it, they are lying to you. A recall needs to be issued TODAY before another scenario like yours plays out with a less favorable outcome. The fact of the matter is, it could already have happened and we just know about it. I am researching this angle. It is going to take a while though. Stay tuned to this forum. In the meantime, contact your local Office of the Attorney General and report your experience to them. In my opinion, this shaping up to be a clear cut case of fraud on the part of Ford and it needs to be investigated as such. Also, contact your local media, radio, television, and print. Most stations, networks, and newspapers have a consumer advocacy reporter that might take an interest in your story. We have got to keep this story going and keep the momentum and pressure against Ford and NHTSA going as well.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    I am working on it on my end. In the meantime, any tips, advice, support from the others in this forum are appreciated. Also, keep up the pressure on Ford and NHTSA and keep us updated on your case.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    "Adam" is lying to you. He is trained to lie to you. Ask any transmission shop owner who is not beholden to Ford about this transmission and the answer will be the same - THIS IS VERY COMMON, WELL KNOWN, AND WIDESPREAD PROBLEM. Believe me, Ford knows about it. They have known about it for years. Also, the 30K mile transmission fluid flush and fill excuse is a non-starter. First, the service is recommended, not required and second, it would not have prevented the failure - period. It is just a clever scam by Ford to distance themselves from the problem and trick you into letting them off of the hook for the cost of the new transmission. Your are right. There is strength in numbers and the power of the internet is immense. Keep us posted on your progress with Virginia AG.
  • I found another website to go to lodge a complaint. www.autosafety.org
    They also have a place to check off on your complaint if you would be interested in a class action lawsuit. Although they are located in Washington DC they seem to be less polically driven than NHTSA.
    I am going to talk to a couple of friends tomorrow (attorneys) regarding who to speak to about getting our own class action lawsuit going.
    Hell hath no fury like a stay-at-home mom with extra time on her hands whose sole means of transportation is being screwed with.
    Thanks to all of you for all your invaluable input. I have learned more about transmissions and Ford in the past 48 hours than I ever thought I would need to know. Now let's all just keep it going!
  • boydoboydo Posts: 1
    I'm a father of 4 with a stay at home wife. The second week in December of 2007 my transmission went out on my Freestar while i was at work. I had 49,000 miles on it and I got it brand new in 2005. I didn't know what to do so i had my uncle (who is a mechanic) look at it and he told me I would need a new transmission. It was so close to Christmas so I didn't have the money to pay for a new tranny so he found me a used transmission for 850 dollars. It was from a used freestar. So he went online to try and find a transmission repair guide and he came across this forum. Now hes skeptic to replace my transmission because the used tranny has 20 k miles and it might go out at 40 k. So here I am making payments on a van i haven't been able to drive in 2 months and after reading all of your stories that are just like mine in that the transmission just goes out without warning it makes me sick to my stomach. I hope they do a recall on these and i would love to help in making that happen.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Outstanding information. My next step will be to lodge a complaint with AutoSafety and I encourage everyone else with this issue to do the same. Please post your input on a class action. I'm thinking that we are almost to that point. I think the key is going to be communication, organization, national exposure, and momentum.

    PS I think the fury of a father of 6 who's wife and 5 of 6, (1, 4, 6, 12, and 15 years old), of my children were on board when ours failed in the middle of an intersection may run at least a close second to yours. I bought this van based on Ford's marketing that it was safe for my family. I will never trust Ford again and had been a Ford loyalist for 23 years! I guess that loyalty doesn't mean much to Ford. I think I see a Sienna in my driveway just as soon as I can unload this Freestar.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Welcome to my world. Our Christmas budget, (wife and 6 kids), was decimated when we had to replace our transmission just before Christmas. The kids new something was amiss but they are good kids and understood. That said, I would not put a Ford transmission in your van. It is far better to have your existing one rebuilt by a qualified mechanic with high quality parts. Even the replacement transmissions are nothing but re-manufactured Ford junk. There are several things you can do to help make a recall happen. First, report your failure to NHTSA via their website. It is remarkably easy to do and is the best way to get the message to the goverment entity that is supposed to be looking out for us. Also, when you post your complaint on their website, be sure to check off both the powertrain/automatic transmission, and powertrain/torque converter components. This is critical so that NHTSA cannot say that they didn't connect the dots. Also, when you post your complaint, make sure you emphasize that this is a safety issue and demand that a recall be enacted. This way, they cannot say that they were not put on notice. Also, lodge a complaint with AutoSafety as indicated in the previous post. It will also be productive to go to your local Office of the Attorney General. I believe strongly that a case can be made for fraud against Ford based on several aspects of this situation, primarily that they continue to deny a problem exists yet magically know what the problem is when these vans get to their shop. They then blame the consumer by indicating that the consumer's failure to have an unecessary "recommended" procedure done at 30K miles caused the failure. This procedure would not have prevented the failure of the torque converter-period. Also, to add insult to injury, they pay some customers but not others. The assistance has ranged from $800 to over $3K so far! They refuse to say what, if any criteria, is used when making thie determination who gets assistance and who doesn't. I think it is arbitrary and capricious at best but I have a hunch that the reason is much more nefarious than that based on the fact that Ford knows how much you paid for your van, whether or not you got a rebate, how much they soaked you for in the financing department, etc,. More on that later.... Keep this going. Spread the word. tell everyone you know. Tell everyone you don't know who you see driving one of these things; other parents at your child's school, the grocery store, church, etc,. You just might save their life!
  • misty10misty10 Posts: 23
    I was just on the Clark Howard website and noticed a page on cars. Someone asked what's the best minivan to buy and of course I wrote...never buy the Freestar. They said I should complain to the VP in marketing and the CEO at Ford. I figured it was worth a try and will do that. I'll let you know how it goes. We must get the word out against this car and the Ford Co for not helping us out with this problem.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Welcome back! Haven't heard from you in a while. You are absolutely right, we need to get the word out. Not only that, we need to keep the pressure up on NHTSA and Ford using every available means. As more and more of these vans reach that magic 44K +/- miles, they are going to drop like flies and put more and more people in danger. This is not only a tremendous financial burden on working families, but also a very real and present danger. The good news however; is that there really is strength in numbers, especially when utilizing the power of the internet and forums like this. Don't forget your local Office of the Attorney General as well. This is looking more and more like fraud every day. Just read the posts from people all over the country and you will see what I mean. I would love to get my hands on any and all internal memos from all levels at Ford because I am certain that they will prove every theory I am in the process of developing. In the meantime, keep up the networking, keep up the pressure, and warn every family you know that drives one of these vans that they could be in real danger.
  • I talked to "Eddie" at the Ford Customer Service Office today. He took my information and then asked "What do you want?" I told him a new transmission. He asked "What do you want Ford to do? I told him "I want Ford to pay for the transmission." He put me on hold for about three minutes and then came back and said he had to do some research on this and he would be back to me by tomorrow (1/9) at 5:30. I am not expecting much but I will keep everyone informed if and when I hear back from Ford.
  • rt1966rt1966 Posts: 9
    Where to begin........... back in April of 2007 we first experienced problems. Van would not go anywhere. took to local dealer and said they found a mouse on wire housing and fixed wires. Two weeks later same problems happened. found nothing. a month later same thing happened. dealer had it for 3 days and even had to call ford to give direction on what to do. they replaced the torque converter this time. thought they had the problem fixed!!!!!!! on Christmas night 2007 on the way home from my parents house ,again with absolutely no warning whatsoever, (as was the case each time) the van spit and sputtered and finally shut off. i coasted into a parking lot and got the van to start but it would not move. occasionally the tach would suddenly rev high then sputter to where it almost shut off. this was the case each time. got it towed to the dealer yet again. thank god for AAA!!! after 2 days they came to the conclusion (your gonna love this one) that water leaked in from somewhere i don't remember and made the computer malfunction. they dried it out, sealed the "leak" and sent us on our way. fast forward 2 weeks later and on January 8th guess what............ same old same old. spitting sputtering and barely moving. this time as was also the case the 3rd time a dash light that looks like a gear came on for about 2 second then went out and stayed out. after a loud clunk the van seemed better. we drove it this time to the dealer which is a good thing since AAA only allows 4 tows per year. after the 4th and 5th times i filed complaints with nhsta. enough is enough. something needs to be done about this before people get killed!!!!!!!!
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