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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems

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Comments

  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Welcome to the club of defective Freestar owners......sorry! Not the kind of club you want to be in.

    "Failure of the "Neutral to Drive Accumulator" causes hard shifts into a drive gear (R, OD, D, 1). from "N" or "P". This can become quite violent. Reason for this part's failure: Piston stuck, seals or springs—damaged, missing. Correction for this problem: Check for damage. Replace as required (located inside the transmission, recommended that a transmission shop do the repair, but a full rebuild of the transmission is NOT required).".....as per Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_AXOD_transmission#AX4N
  • msq1224msq1224 Posts: 16
    So sorry you've joined our club! If it makes you feel any better, when mine failed at 67,000 miles, I didn't want to take a chance on a rebuilt transmission. I paid the extra to get a new one with a 75,000 mile warranty. I now have >101,000 miles, so it has lasted at least 34,000 miles and has no signs of trouble (yet). The problem is that once you put so much money into the vehicle you have to keep it!
  • My 2004 Ford Freestar just stopped moving while I was driving into a parking lot. I had it towed to a nearby service station where I was told that my transmission went out. My husband and I called 2 transmission shops to get an estimate on how much the repairs would be and we were told that there were 5 other vehicles in the shop within the last week with the same problem. I called the Ford dealership thinking that there must be a recall on this problem and was told by the dealership that yes, it was a very common problem, but there were no recalls on this vehicle. This is the last Ford vehicle we will ever buy.
  • Remember, the NHT(Safety)A will not do anything major i.e. recall, until they determine that it is a real safety problem. Similar to the Toyota recall.
  • My repair guareente will expire this Nov. And have been told "it will goout again". My self&71 yr.old husband was very lucky 1st time, whose to say 2nd? We are VERY ticked with ford AND NHTSAFETY?A. bOTH HAS HAD ENOUGH TIME ON THIS STINKIN SUBJECT AND DEATH TRAP!!!!!!!!! :mad: :mad: :mad:
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    NHTSA works for the people of this country.

    I would recommend that you contact your Senators and Congresspeople and get NHTSA to do what they need to do. There is no doubt that this is a SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUE and a MAJOR DEFECT that will get someone killed or serious injured. I do not believe that any of us who own or have owned these vehicles believe anything different otherwise we would not be so determined to get this issue resolved.

    Let those responsible for correcting this problem hear you! Have Ford disclose the number of customer complaints, warranty repairs, secret warranty repairs, and recall and FIX this problem!
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Nadine is right everybody.In addition to the class action, we need to contact our representitives in Congress and turn up the heat on NHTSA. They work for us and need to their job. Their inaction is like me standing by while a crime is being committed and doing nothing to stop it. I believe what Ford has done and is doing is both fraudulent and criminal and needs to be addressed accordingly. People's lives are literally at stake.

    In the meantime, I would really like for everyone who wants to join me in a class action to contact me via my Email address which you can get from my profile on this website. I have several contacts already but, as we all know, the more, the better.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • The transmission went at 85,000 with no signs of any problems prior...well driving on a somewhat busy street during rush hour, going up hill, i suddenly lost the ability to accelerate and was forced to pull over as much as possible to prevent a traffic back up. I understand based on previous comments that there would be no recall on such a problem unless it was a "safety" issue. Can someone please define "safety", because if what they mean by safety issue is that someone would need to actually be injured before this can be recalled I would need to question the social responsibility of both ford and the NHTSA. If a situation like this, happens without warning to an unsuspecting driver while on the highway then i would have to question the safety factor here?
  • Just last night I had the same thing happen with 7 women in the VAN on i-25 1400 miles from home. The Van was towed to a local dealership and I "believe" I have the extended warranty -- how did they fix your problem? What was the cost?
    Yes we also were hit by several tractor trailers trying to get off to the shoulder of the highway from going from 75 miles a hour (the posted speed limit) to no power.
    Any info you can provide as I deal with this out of town dealer would be appreciated. AndreaDoria
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    If I were you, I would contact Ford and I would not let them give me a bill for this. Then, I would file a complaint with NHTSA.

    Would you explain what you mean when you say that you were hit by several tractor trailers? Do you mean that you were personally hit by the trucks or the vehicle was hit by the trucks?
  • I have a 2005 mercry montery with 48,000 miles.Cant drive it.Transmission fails without warning.Left me stranded 5 times in past 4 months.Replaced speed sensor,cam sensor,sealed pcm..still breaking down.Sometimes if you disconnect battery and reset computer it will run ok a couple weeks...til it rains.I want in on class action suit.Got my lemon from OC Welch bluffton S.C.Someones going to die in these death traps!!!
  • While running errands yesterday,I noticed that my Ford Freestar will start vibrating from what seems to be the engine. Its an audible vibration and the steering wheel shakes when I apply the brakes and stops when I get over 35mph. I took it to my mechanic and he told me that the transmission was not engaging properly. in the last few weeks my abs light and the traction control light are lit up as well :confuse:
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    I wonder if the this could be the problem where water is getting into the PCM? If so, it's a relatively simple fix.
  • aggiemeaggieme Posts: 10
    How simple is simple? Any documentation on it? Also, I agree with a previous post that the PCM malufunction and the tranny issues are very related. Trying to think positive thoughts....
  • Transmission went out going down highway with no warning and no indication on dash. Raining cats and dogs hour and a half from home. I see this is standard for the Freestar. I also had problems with Rubber around windshield blowing loose. I have replaced passenger side bearings also. It is pitiful that a company would make a product such as this and know it is defective. I had 80,000 miles on mine when purchased and after 20,000 miles no tranny. My email is [email protected] if there is something in the works that I need to be a part of.. Thanks..
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I can not agree with your comment that the PCM is an easy fix. Been there done it. Good luck. Ford just did one recall, and hopefully, this one will be next.
  • aggiemeaggieme Posts: 10
    I also had a problem with the rubber around my windshield blowing loose. Was yours the driver's side/vertical portion, also? I crack up everytime I read another random thing that happens to somebody elses. :lemon:
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    We had this vehicle into the dealership numerous times, and they could not solve the issue with it. After the third time the vehicle lost all power, this time on Interstate 95 during rush hour exiting a major city, my husband finally got the message that this vehicle was a safety hazard.

    I was so afraid of this vehicle that I refused to drive it or ride in it. For those of you who have children, my heart goes out to you. This is a very sad situation.
  • I had that problem with the rubber on the windshield also. In fact it was "fixed" about 4 times while it was still under warranty. :lemon:
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I'm a bit confused by your post so I have a couple of questions. The vibration starts when the car is being driven below 35 mph? Or does the vibrations start when you apply the brakes? Does this vibration happen all the time at low speeds? Did the vibration start after the "ABS" & traction control light came on a few weeks ago?

    The steering wheel shaking while braking has me thinking you should have the front rotors checked for warping. But the ABS & TC light would point me toward a bad wheel sensor.

    Here's a very detailed answer I found when someone asked about how the Freestar Traction Control system worked.

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080223203344AARoClk

    Before having someone play around with the transmission, I would have the braking system looked at. Also I would keep monitoring the situation noting the exact conditions.
  • jtjd96jtjd96 Posts: 4
    My transmission went out late last year and I had it rebuilt. The van then died on the road about a month later when it was raining hard. Took it back to the mechanic and asked them to look at the PCM and sure enough, water had leaked in and caused the engine to shut down. There is a Technical Service Bulletin on this issue with instructions on how to fix it (someone had linked it in this thread earlier). I'm not sure that it was an easy fix because the mechanic worked on it for several days. I have not had any problems with the van since then.
  • I've been informed by Ford Canada that my warranty expired Oct 7th. I reported a breakdown of my vehicle on Oct 13th. There office was closed from Oct 10th - 13th due to CDN Thanksgiving. I have 75,000km on the vehicle. Ford doesn't want to cover the full cost as the breakdown was reported a few days after the warranty expired.

    The dealer is quoting $3,500 to fix the Torque Converter/Transmission. Aftrer numerous calls to Ford Canada they agreed to pay 1/2 the cost. I am pushing for the full amount as it seems they knew about these issues. So far 1/2 the cost is all they'll go for...The dealer (Oakland Ford) doesn't want to do anything....

    My wife was on the highway on-ramp when the transmission died. Same as the rest, the engine was running but the van would only rev and not (D) drive in gear. I've added my complaint to the NHTSA (#10288741) and Transport Canada websites. As well, I'll be sending a letter to the Vice President of Customer Service. If anyone has a suggestions on possible next steps, please let me know.

    In the meantime, lets all hope for a recall... These vehicles are not safe and someone is going to be seriously rear-ended
  • misty10misty10 Posts: 23
    Our torque converter went too at 79,000..also a 2004. It cost us around $2300 I believe. Most of that was in labor. Something must be done..just make sure you report it. Maybe someone will actually help us someday.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    If I were you, I would ask Ford how many complaints through their Customer Relations Center have they had on this issue. I know that they have a large number.

    I looked at the Canada Transport site, but could not find how many complaints they have had about the Freestar. If you can find out, I would appreciate getting a copy of the information since I am awaiting some from NHTSA. I believe that NHTSA is going to issue a recall on these vehicles soon because they are in the process of examining these failures. We need continue to educate those who can solve the issues the seriousness about the situation.

    I have been able to find ten Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) issues on these vehicles. The TSBs are issued by the manufacture to avoid a recall, but these issues are too serious.
  • I would encourage anyone with this problem to check around for a good price. My torque converter cost $800.00 to replace. Of course with the towing and rental for a week the total for the whole problem was around $1500, but I would avoid the dealership for a repair due to cost. Also, our mechanic said that in most cases the engine is fine...the transmission is fine, Ford just has a subpar Torque Converter on these autos and there is nothing any better to replace it with. He did give me a 1 year warranty on the parts and labor, but if it went out once...I'm sure it will go again at some point.

    Needless to say, I spent yesterday car shopping. I'm just no longer comfortable with mine, especially since I always have my 4 year old with me.
  • jroysejroyse Posts: 7
    Just a reminder here: There is another Defect Investigation with the Transmission Torque Converter failures.

    Ford has stated to the NHTSA that there is a low report of failures, so if your transmission failed and you want Ford to take action on suspected defects - make sure to submit a NHTSA report at the www.safercar.gov site!

    Below is an email I received from the NHTSA regarding the torque converter issues:

    Dear Freestar/Monterey Owners,

    This is xxxxxxxxx again with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the US Department of Transportation. As some of you may already know, an investigation has opened on the 2004-2005 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey vehicles for transmission failure. This can be viewed on our website at www.safercar.gov under investigation #PE09-033.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    I find it interesting that when I called my dealer and then the Customer Relationship Center, I was told that there had been NO REPORTS of this type of failure and that ours was' "The first we have ever heard of this type of failure." What a bunch of liars, criminals and cowards.

    Ford is no different today that in the "Let 'em burn" days of the Pinto. Well, guess what Ford, you will not get away with putting my family and the rest of the families that put their trust in you by buying your, "Highest safety rating in it's class," Freestar in harms way and then walking away from us.

    Anyone who is interested in joing a class action, PLEASE CONTACT ME, via my Email address which is readily available via my profile on this website. For now, all I need is your contact information. We will take it from there.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • From my standpoint as a mechanical engineer, if the torque converter design is not changed, you are just throwing good money after bad by getting it fixed. Ford looks at this as a business case analysis, a redesign costs big money, and if the platform isn't used anywhere else, this usually is a non starter. Since the mini van was not selling as a profit center for Ford, they have chosen to stop making them. Look at the Ford Five Hundred, it wasn’t selling so they changed its name back to the TAURUS.
  • momx6momx6 Posts: 5
    Jim (and all other victims of these Ford vans)

    I have been following the threads since our T.C. went out this summer...with my three youngest and my husband in the van, going 70 miles in four lanes during rush hour. My words will never express my anger at Ford. In our case they denied the issue as well. I actually had a manager at the local dealership tell me "Hey, We only sell em' ". Ford national also denied the issue.

    We can't in good conscience sell it. We couldn't get what we owe for it anyhow and we can't afford a new one right now. So we are stuck. I would like replacement value for the van so that we can move on.

    the irony of this is that one of the reasons that we bought this particular van was for the safety features...good rating and side air bags...No one is safe in these vans.

    has anyone called the press?

    Sue their pants off! We are in. I am unclear about how to get personal contact information to individuals who post on this site?

    Jill
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    ...asking others to contact you and provide their personal information is considered soliciting. I understand how frustrating this situation is for Freestar owners, but these are the rules here. For further clarification, please click on "Membership Agreement" at the bottom of the page and read the paragraph concerning Promotions & Solicitations. If you have any questions, please send them to me in an email, [email protected]
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    You can file a complaint at The Center for Auto Safety http://www.autosafety.org/fileacomplaint

    From their website "The Center for Auto Safety needs public complaints on vehicles to pursue recalls and make auto companies take responsibility for defects. Should you choose to submit a complaint, any personal information contained therein will be used to obtain remedies for the defects about which you complain. For example, we have used individual complaints in public petitions to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in order to obtain recalls of defective automobiles, such as the Ford Pinto for exploding gas tanks."

    I believe that Ford will have to correct this. We still live in the country that states "for the people by the people". As our President has stated, "YES WE CAN."

    How many of us will ever purchase another Ford? I use to defend them. If they do not take action to correct this, I will never buy another Ford, nor will I stay silent if anyone in my family buys one.

    Tell everyone you meet about your experience with the Freestar and Montery. Let them be the judge of Ford.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I so agree with your comments. It would cost Ford big money to do this except in the long run, I believe that Ford would of gained more respect in being a responsible company. Instead, they choose to jeopardize families safety. They ethically should of pulled these vehicles off the market. If this were the case, I would still be defending them, but instead, they provide me with the desire to learn more about why these situation arise. After educating myself, I learned that Ford has reputation of not being an ethical company. Why would I support this?
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Jim,

    Justice will prevail.

    I believe with all my heart that something will be done to right this situation. You've been a strong advocate for so many of us on this list.

    Thanks.
  • THIS IS SATURDAY MORNING OCTOBER 24 AND I WAS DRIVING MY 2004 FORDFREE STAR AND IT JUST STOPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF TRAFFIC SO ALL I WANT TO KNOW IS WHERE I VOICE MY COMPLAINT AND WHAT ELSE I NEED TO DO TO GET THESE BASTARDS BACK BEFORE THEY KILL SOME ONE
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    File a complaint with NHTSA https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/Complaint.cfm File a complaint with The Center for Auto Safety http://www.autosafety.org/fileacomplaint
    File another with the Better Business Bureau.

    Then, read what rights you have under Title 49 of the US Code, and DEMANDthem! You can have a hearing through the Secretary of Transportation, but you have to ask for one. Write your senators, congresspersons, and attorney general.

    Did it rain before this happened?

    You have just become a member of the Club from Hell. Welcome and sorry you are here!
  • Someone asked for a hearing on PCM,

    NHTSA Action Number : DP09004 NHTSA Recall Campaign Number : N/A
    Make / Models : Model/Build Years:
    FORD / FREESTAR 2004

    FORD / FREESTAR CONVERSION 2004

    Manufacturer : FORD MOTOR COMPANY
    Component :
    POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:CONTROL MODULE (TCM, PCM)

    Date Investigation Opened : June 4, 2009
    Date Investigation Closed : Open
    Summary:
    ON MAY 6, 2009, NHTSA RECEIVED A REQUEST FOR "A HEARING THROUGH TITLE 49 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE, CHAPTER 301, MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY, PART 557." THE REQUEST WAS IN REFERENCE TO VEHICLE OWNER COMPLAINT, 10266067, FILED WITH NHTSA ON APRIL 20, 2009, WHICH DESCRIBED A PROBLEM WITH ENGINE STALL IN A MODEL YEAR (MY) 2004 FORD FREESTAR MINIVAN DUE TO WATER ENTERING THE PCM. PART 557 OF TITLE 49 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, ESTABLISHES PROCEDURES FOR HOLDING A HEARING TO DETERMINE WHETHER A MANUFACTURER HAS REASONABLY MET ITS OBLIGATION TO NOTIFY OWNERS OF A SAFETY RELATED DEFECT. BECAUSE A SAFETY RELATED DEFECT HAS NOT BEEN DETERMINED REGARDING THE ALLEGED DEFECT IN MY 2004 FORD FREESTAR VEHICLES, THE OFFICE OF DEFECTS INVESTIGATION IS INTERPRETING THE REQUEST AS A DEFECT PETITION UNDER PART 552 OF TITLE 49 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS. A DEFECT PETITION HAS BEEN OPENED TO ASSESS WHETHER THERE IS EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT OPENING A SAFETY DEFECT INVESTIGATION CONCERNING THE ALLEGED DEFECT IN THE SUBJECT VEHICLES.
  • I traded in my 2005 Freestar Thursday!!! I bought an 09 Ford Explorer (we have always had Fords). The reliability rating is a 9.0 on US NEWS, so I guess we will see. Can't get a better safety rating for the price either.
  • I JUST WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW THAT IAM HAVING THE SAME PROBLEM MY TRANNIE WENT OUT AND I NOTIFIED NHTSA FILED A COMPLAINT AND I WANT A BOARD WITH YOU ALL IAM IN THE PROCESS AND THIS MIGHT SOUND ODD BUT IAM WRITING OBAMA A LETTER WITH ALL THAT I HAVE DONE AND LETTING HIM KNOW THAT HE NEEDS TO GET INVOLVED WITH THIS MATTER I DONT KNOW HOW FAR ILL GET BUT IF YOU ALL COULD SENDD ONE TO IT MIGHT HELP FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND HE OWNS SOME OF FORD THANKS REX GET ME UPDATED
  • WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR JASPER TRANSMISSION AT I NEED ONE BUT I REFUSE TO BUY FORD ALSO KEEP YOUR RECIEPT WE MIGHT GET IT BACK IN THE LONG RUN AT LEAST IAM KEEPING ALL MINE THANKS REX
  • IAM IN INDIANAPOLIS ,INDIANA I WILL TRY AND GET SOME UPSET FORD PEOPLE TOGETHER IAM CALLING ALL THE FORD DEALERS MONDAY AND TELLING THEM TO CALL MY CELL NUMBER IF THEY HAVE THE TRANNIE PROBLEM KINDA MISLEAD THEM TO THINK I HAVE A SOLUTION TO THERE PROBLEM AND YOU KNOW AS LAZY AS THEY ARE THEY WILL GIVE MY NUMBER 2 WORDS INTO THE CONVERSATION THANKS REX TRY AND DO THE SAME
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    You should file under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). See if NHTSA got the information that Ford is suppose to release to them about costumer complaints. I bet they never got the information or Ford doctored the results.

    Still would like to know if it was raining or had rained when people have problems.
  • THE DAY I LOST MY TRANNIE IT HAD RAINED FOR 3 DAYS PRIOR
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    At our house, we switched from Chevy to Ford about fifteen years ago, but after this experience, I do not think that I would go back to Ford unless they did something to rectify this situation.

    My husband will not have a foreign vehicle in our driveway, but if the American manufactures keep building these "junk" vehicles, we may not have any choice.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I think the PCM and the transmission problems are all related, and I do not think that the Ford engineers know how to fix this dilemma. What bothers me is that Ford will not recall them.

    Writing President Obama is a good thing to do. I wrote to the White House, but did not receive any response. Got a canned form letter from Biden's office. He was my Senator, I worked on his campaign, and many people in my family made contributions to his campaign. Really disappointed with the letter, but the more people who hear our voices, the better.
  • JIM I HAVRE BEEN CLICKING YOUR NAME TRYING TO LEAVE YOU A MESSAGE THE DIRECTIONS YOU SAID ABOUT CLICKING YOUR NAME DONT GET YOU THERE SO IF YOUR NOT GETTING ANY RESPONSES THEN THATS WHY LET US KNOW A BETTER WAT TO GET IN TOUCH OF YOU THANKS
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    File a complaint with The Center for Auto Safety
    "http://www.autosafety.org/fileacomplaint<a href="
    The information will get to the right people for the right purposes.
  • JIM I WOULD LIKE TO SEE HOW MANY PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO POOL THERE MONEY TOGETHER AND HIRE AN ATTORNEY OR A GROUP AND GO AFTER THESE CROOKS,I KNOW BY READING THESES BLOGS THERE SOME OUT THERE EVEN THOSE THAT HAVE PAID TO GET THERES FIXED THEY SHOULD BE WILLING TO DO THIS YOU SEEM LIKE THE PERSON EVERYONE IS TALKING TO IAM MORE THAN WILLING TO GIVE YOU A HAND AND GET THIS THING ROLLING IAM SO UPSET WITH ALL THIS TRANSMISSION REPAIR PEOPLE ACT LIKE THEY HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THIS PROBLEM AND WE ALL KNOW Y SO THEY CAN GET YOUR VAN AND TEAR IT APART BEFORE THEY TELL US WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW SORRY FOR VENTING IAM WILLING RIGHT NOW TO GIVE 500.00 TOWARDS AN ATTORNEY OR GRUOP OF THEM THINK ABOUT IT IF WE GET HALF OF 178 THAT WOULD MAKE A GOOD RETAINER LET ME KNOW IAM IN INDIANA WILLING TO TRAVEL AND YES I DO WORK AT LEAST 10 HOURS A DAY BUT I CANNOT TAKE THESE CROOKS DOING WHAT THEY ARE DOING SOME PEOPLE ON HEAR HAS PUT 2 OR MORE TRANNIES I THERE VAN LET ME KNOW I WOULD BE WILLING TO SHARE PHONE NUMBERS LET GET THIS ROLLING
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    When I spoke to an attorney in May, he told me that it would take $300,000.00 to start a class action lawsuit.

    First, I think we need to let NHTSA do their work. There are two investigations underway so they will have their engineers look at these transmissions, and make a determination. They have the power to make Ford issue the recall.

    You could take Ford to court yourself and sue them. I think that we should all file claims at one time, and make them send all those lawyer to all the different states to defend these claims. How funny would that be? More funny, how much money would it cost them?

    Each state has a different amount of time that you can file a claim. In my state, it is three years. I still have about two and half years left. I do not intend to wait that long, but you also have to have all your ducks line up in a row to win the fight. In the end, I believe that we all want to see the problem corrected.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Be patient everybody. I don't want to get kicked off of the site. We will come up w/ a better way to communicate about a class action.

    In the meantime, follow Nadine's advice and file complaints/reports with the organizations/government agencies that she lists. Also, contact all of your representatives in Congress, your local attorney general, any consumer advocate group you can think of, and, of course, your local media outlets.

    I am 100% in agreement with Nadine that something, wether it is a recall or a class action, will happen soon. Keep the faith, spread the word about these vans, especially to other families who drive them and who may not know about this potentially deadly defect, and stay tuned to this website!

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jroysejroyse Posts: 7
    I was worried about the replacement transmission failing also. Still do. However I looked on the NHTSA website: www.safercar.gov under investigation #PE09-033 and you can view the documents related to the case.

    Basically for a defect investigation the NHTSA receives the safety concerns from consumers (us with failed transmissions!) and compiles them and other questions into a document request of Ford. You can view all the questions and most of the public responses Ford offers the NHTSA. I am going to summarize here, please read it for yourself. But among one of them is under a routine inspection of failed parts Ford analyzed the torque converter spine shaft and found it was basically not heat-treated correctly. Someone obviously dropped the ball there - They didn't make that many of this type of van so my guess when they go to rebuild the transmission they go and find a new torque converter spline shaft - not one off the shelf from 2003, so odds are the replacement is heat-treated correctly and won't leave your loved ones on the side of the highway during rush hour with an infant in the back seat like the non heat-treated torque shafts. Sorry for the snark.

    If you read closer into the docs that Ford submitted to the NHTSA you can find that Ford admits to only testing a small sample of 2% of failed parts to analyze the reason for failure. I understand that. But what is really funny is the dealership and Ford service department relationship. Read the reply from Ford to the NHTSA and you can find that Ford basically doesn't read what the dealer wrote under the suspected cause of failure or shop notes. I think it must be some type of corporation litigious firewall. As a company that makes them a bit indifferent to parts failures- they basically don't want to know why the part failed, if they did they would be reading what dealers/customers reports when their vehicles are breaking down and getting fixed. If you really wanted to be on top of quality control you would leverage that relationship with the dealer- because they could gather information on how to make the vehicles better.

    My 2 cents.
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