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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems



  • On 12/22/07, my family and I were on Interstate 65, in central Indiana. The cruise control was engaged and set to approximately 65 mph. With no noise and no warning, the tachometer, usually around 2000 rpm at that speed, bounced up to its upper limit and the engine “reved”. My husband immediately turned off the cruise control and attempted to accelerate since the vehicle speed was dropping. There was no response, and the van coasted to a stop on the shoulder of I-65. We were towed home at a cost of $350. Based on our description, the service manager at our Ford dealership believed it to be the “planetary shaft”. Once the vehicle was towed in, that was confirmed, and we were told that the entire transmission had to be replaced. The cost of towing the vehicle to the dealership was $75.00, and the repair was $2849.58, for a total of $2924.58. At this time my husband called Ford Customer Relations and was given a Case Number. After hearing nothing from Ford at all, we sent a letter explaining the case and asking from restitution…again no reply. On 2/5/08, my husband called and was told that they don’t usually respond “when there is no action to be taken”…so not even the courtesy of a reply. We are seeking arbitration. This is a very dangerous failure, and I have filed a complaint with NHTSA.

    Can anyone explain the transmission maintenance? The only information we have about our transmission is from the original sticker and sales description which says it is a “4-speed automatic OD transmission”. We had it checked at 30,000 and 60,000 miles, but as I read the manual only two specific versions require flushes before 120,000 miles, and I don’t see anywhere that says I have one of those. The receipt for my oil change at the dealership at ~60,000 miles says “Transmission flush recommended,” but the mechanic did not say it was required.
  • HI Jim,
    Sorry I have been out of pocket. I started back to school and it is killing me! I think my brain has been on hold for a few years. Anyway, how are things going for you and your quest? What can I do to help? I am having my van towed to a transmission place for repair. I will not give Ford any money! I will have them document everything as you said. If I go ahead and pay for this is there any hope on reimbursement from Ford? I am afraid that they will say that since I didn't have it repaired at a Ford dealership they are not responsible. What is your opinion?
    Thanks so much.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    The transmission in the Freestar is the AX4N. It is stamped on the bottom of the transmission pan. According to my manual, it does not require service at either 30K or 60K miles.
  • Thank you for the information. I'm coming to this club late...has it occurred to all of you that the transmission we all paid ~$3000 to replace is the same design as the original...and that we are all in the same dangerous situation we all over idea where we'll be when it happens again??? I really want a buy back!
  • Have all of you requested arbitration through the Better Business Bureau? I see this is not listed as an option in the manual, but when I called Ford Customer Relations for an arbitration packet they sent it. If you've gone through it, what was the outcome?
  • I got a different brand of transmission - not a Ford part. My new transmission came with a 75k mile warranty. I think it's a Jaffre or something. I'd get up and check the warranty paperwork but I'm holding a baby. :)
  • My 2005 Ford Freestar's transmission failed yesterday. I was driving 55mph down the highway when my rpms spiked with no load on the engine. I coasted off the freeway, there were no signes that the transmission was having any problems. I had to be towed to the closest dealership, 50 miles away. The dealership won't be able to look at it till Monday. I'm stuck with a rental till this is resolved. The van has 66K miles on it and I didn't purchase an extended warranty. How do I sign up for the lawsuit if any?

    Ben :mad:
  • Kelly,
    Sorry Ididn't get back to you sooner. As far as not getting reimbursed because you didn't have it repaired at a Ford dealership, I think we are all past that point. Ford seems to be digging in on this issue. They are even refusing to participate in arbitration with me through MD's Consumer Protection Division/Office of the Attorney General. In fact, in their responses, they have out and out lied and misled the agent who is handling my case. My sense is that they know this is only the beginning and they don't want to give any future transmission victims a precedent for reimbursement. Based on posts on this and other websites, the transmission failures seem to be occurring at a rate of about 1 per week. This is what I predicted. As more and more of them reach the magic 44K+ mileage, more and more are failing. The scary thing is that the odds are better and better that somebody is going to get killed. In the meantime, make sure your repair is well documented and that your paperwork indicates a defective/faulty torque converter as mine does. Also, I have been giving a lot of thought as to how we can get the word out as quickly and effectively as possible. I think I have a really great idea that will be relatively inexpensive and easy enough to do without the need for a paid professional. I think as many of us as possible should get together in a mutually agreeable town/location and tape a brief video introducing ourselves, outling the problem, and requesting that anyone with the same problem report it to NHTSA, their local OAG/Consumer Protection Division/media outlet(s), etc.; we can then upload it to Youtube, etc.; and start getting the word out to people to watch it. It is bound to catch on and spread nationwide. Afterall, millions of people log on to see cats surfing and dogs singing! The key is to keep this thing going and keep the momentum going in our favor. Please keep us posted and good luck in school!
  • Don't waste your time. This is just 1 more scam that Ford puts out there to make it look like they are serious about addressing consumer complaints. they won't even entertain it because the program is limited to vehicles with less mileage than yours/ours. Also, Ford PAYS TO BE A MEMBER OF THE BBB SO IT NOT OBJECTIVE AT ALL! It is nothing but FRAUD and a SCAM. Please see my next new post for the name and address of the latest in the long line of crooks, (my personal opinion), at Ford that I want all of you to write to and voice your concerns.
  • Amen! Keep up the posts. Keep up the pressure. This thing is really catching on. These transmissions are starting to fail like clockwork now. What we need is for more and more people to REPORT IT TO NHTSA WHEN IT HAPPENS and write to the person I will name in my next new post.Not that I expect much out of her. I just want her to know that Ford is messing with the wrong bunch of people and we will not just take it and go away. We are educated, intelligent consumers who know we are being abused and we know how to harness the power of the internet/media to get our message out there.
  • Ben, got your Email and responded. see my next new post for someone to write to at Ford.
  • Hey everybody, I have tried to arbitrate this situation with Ford through my Office of the AG/Consumer Protection Division but, unfortunately, Ford, (and my dealer KOONS FORD OF ANNAPOLIS), continues to mislead and be disingenuous. (That is being kind.) The person from Ford who is responding to the AG is Tanya Arteaga in Consumer Intervention. The address on the letter is P. O. Box 6248, MD 3NE-B, Dearborn, MI 48126 USA. Please feel free to write her and voice your opinion of what Ford is doing to you and what you think Ford SHOULD DO to rectify the problem. I don't think they understand that cleverly worded and MISLEADING responses and hiding behind their "Dispute Resolution Board" (BBB-WHICH Ford PAYS TO BE A MEMBER OF!), is going to make this problem go away. In the meantime, what does everybody think of getting together and taping a brief video introducing ourselves and outling the issue and encouraging people to join our cause, report their transmission failures to NHTSA/Consumer Protection/media outlets, etc., We could then upload it to Youtube and watch it take off. Some media outlet and, if we are lucky, some sharp attorney, will see it and want to get involved. What they will want to see is numbers. There is strength in numbers. The more of us who are willing to step up and take on these crooks, the better for us. I think we could accomplish this with little or no expense but with a huge potential payoff in that we could at least get the message out there to unsuspecting Ford Freestar/Mercury Monteray drivers so they can at least be aware of the danger they are in. Looking forward to your feedback!
  • Amydoll, You have a JASPER transmission. Jasper is a well known brand of rebuilt transmissions. Is this what you got to replace your DEFECTIVE FORD TRANSMISSION or is this the one that failed on you?
  • This msg. is to all the members of the now infamouse Freestar Trans. group. For several months I have read the hundreds of complaints sent to this web site. There is no doubt Ford will do nothing to repair their defective products they mfr. the past 15 yrs. It is about time they should be held accountable and resolve and PAY for their faulty, unsafe product!! A man from I believe Maryland had a friend Atty. who was searching for a sharp Atty. Firm that could file a National Class Action Suit against Ford. Folks that is the only way they will listen and issue a recall etc. to resolve these many issues! I sent NHTSA a complete report with copies of 2 ltrs. I sent to Ford's CEO plus 5 complaints from this Web, 2 of which had serious accidents. They told me that was insufficient for them to take any action. So much for NHTSA, apparently they will not go against Ford either. Soon I plan to try & develope a National Web site that all members can sign into. This will also give an atty. the complaints and detail to possibly submit the Class Action suit. I am sure this is the only way to bring closure to this serious problem. Not only should Ford repair at their expense ALL FAILURES but damages as well. Many of us had out of pocket expenses because of Ford as well as physical & Mental grief they should also pay! If anyone can find a Law Firm that would handle this problem please, someone take the lead. I for one would join the suit in a heart beat.
    Ron MacGregor
  • Yes you are right!! I have a Jasper transmission :) This is what we replaced the terrible Ford part with - I'm expecting that it will be a decent part? I'm encouraged by the 75k mile warranty.
    Is there really going to be a class action lawsuit? I certainly had better things to do with 3500$ :lemon:
  • Jim,
    I have written to the Ford contact you listed, and will pursue the arbitration, even if they are not objective. I am trying every avenue, and am documenting such. I see that the Center for Auto Safety has a list of Lawyers and Experts by Specialty. Have you contacted any of them? There are only a few complaints on their website(saw yours, mine isn't showing up yet). This organization used to be very effective, but I'm not sure if they are still as active.
    Mary Q.
  • Mary,
    If your vehicle has over 36K miles, the "DRP", (BBB), will not consider it. At least that is the excuse they gave me. (I find this interesting because they have paid assistance to others who were over the supposed cut off for mileage!) Sound like fraud to you? Does to me. One way or another, please keep us posted on the outcome and please write to Ms Arteaga in "Customer Intervention" and make your opinion known. Ford needs to know that they can't get away from this issue and that they should do the right thing and voluntarily recall these vehicles before someone gets killed. As you have suggested, I have again encouraged everyone to lodge their complaint with the Center for Auto Safety and check off the class action box. I will go back to their website and get the list of attorneys and start making some calls. Give me your thoughts on any suggestions you may have as to what else we can do to get this thing going.
  • this time they replaced the throttle control sensor. this time it "only" cost me $315. so far (knock on wood) running good. good news is we made it back from n.c. we got 2 more inches of rain today and waiting on a call from my wife to see if things are still "o.k." stay tuned!!!!! :confuse:
  • Well I have joined you folks. I have less than 30,000 miles on my Freestar and yesterday all of a sudden I couldn't go forwards or backwards. Although I am lucky I was just in my driveway it too died without any warning. Thank goodness I was not going 70mph on the freeway.
    Had it towed and today found out I need a new transmission to the tune of $3,300.00. The fellow at the automobile shop had three other Ford vehicles in there all needing transmissions. What does that say? Please count me in on any and all info. regarding this. I will sign, write, or do anything to help the cause. This is a tragedy!
    No wonder people are buying foreign cars in America.
    I always had GM, not many problems with those vehicles I might add. Count me in on a class action suit. I'd at least like to get my $3300.00 back. Never again will I buy a Ford! Thanks for reading!
  • Jim,
    You were right about the BBB, today I received a letter stating that they would not investigate. I tried calling NHTSA to find out how many complaints or what event has to happen to get them to you can imagine, I didn't get any real answers. Do you know if Monterey owners are experiencing and writing about these failures too?
    Mary Q.
  • I tried arbitration with my dealer that repaired my Freestar but they just filed for Chapter 11. The owner of the dealer has been accused of taking $4million in cash advances on an American Express Credit Card. I wrote a letter to Ford which was never responded to, I have talked countless times to the “customer satisfaction” personnel who each time claim “it’s the first time they ever heard of this” and I have done the NHTSA thing. I talked to a guy who said that the NHTSA issued a recall on a Chrysler car he owned and had already paid to get fixed back in the 90’s. He said to be weary of a recall because he never received cash for his expenses instead Chrysler gave him a “gift certificate” for $2000 to be used on the purchase of a new Chrysler vehicle. He never used it and has only bought Toyota since. I am thinking that I may just have to write this off and trade it in, hopefully I will get enough back to at least break even on what I owe and buy a foreign car.
  • Hi, I have been reading these messages and was wondering if someone could give me any information so that I can see if there is anything that I can do. My husband was driving on the PA turnpike today and with no warning our transmission went. Of course we did not have the extended warranty and we are at about 54,000 miles. We just had our car in for maintenance at ford in December and they changed our transmission fluid and there was no comment made about our transmission being in bad shape. I am just so frustrated after reading many of these threads to see that this is such a problem. When I think of what could have happened today it makes me sick that this is an ongoing problem that they are ignoring. Does anyone have any advice? I know at this point, being over the warranty we are probably out of luck. My husband was getting ready to buy a new second car and was considering the Ford Edge. I want nothing to do with anymore Fords!
  • This is exactly what happened to my husband today on the PA turnpike. We have about 54,000 miles, and no extended warranty. We are lucky that there was no serious accident but the more I am reading here the angrier I am getting. They need to issue a recall. Do I call the NHTSA to issue a complaint? Do I contact my dealership even though my warranty is expired? They just did maintenance on the transmission about 2 months about (fluid and filter).
  • Hi Mary,
    My van I have been writing about is a 2004 Monterey. I was wondering if anyone with a Nissan Quest was having a problem. All of these vans use the same transmissions.
    Jim and I have been trying to get something done for months. We just have to keep at it. I am so afraid someone is going to get hurt or killed and Ford will claim they are not responsible. We have to keep at this.
  • jh,
    First of all, thank goodness no one got hurt. Ford has dodged the bullet once again. Second, in order to lodge a complaint with NHTSA, you have to go to their website, just google "NHTSA", and take it from there. It is very user friendly and self explanatory. When you file your report, be sure to file it under BOTH the Powertrain-Automatic Transmission and ALSO the Powertrain-Torque Converter component fields. I know this is kind of tedious, but it will ensure that Ford and or NHTSA, (I am not sure there is a dimes worth of difference between them at this point), can't say that they "Didn't connect the dots," and looked at the complaints as seperate issues. These scoundrels are professionals when it comes to dodging responsibility for anything. Third, you should definitely contact the dealership that worked on your transmission before. You might have some recourse with them for that reason. I would be interested to hear what they tell you. Finally, stay tuned to this forum and spread the word. I am working with my local media oulet to try and get a bigger spotlight shone on this issue, hopefully before somebody gets hurt or killed.
  • Ron,
    I could not agree with you more. I put up a post a few days ago with the intention of making it easier for everyone to communicate but they took it down because it contained my phone number. It is their website so we have to play by their rules and that is OK with me. Its too bad though because that post addressed many of the points that you brought up. I will attempt to paraphrase that previous post as it is very relevant to all of the posts that have appeared since then. It is my intention to sue Ford, ABSOLUTELY! My individual suit will go forward one way or another. However; I will proceed as far as I can go with the intent and desire to join a class action. It is my understanding that the basic process for a suit to be considered a class action is that a petitioner, or group of petitioners, must ask the court to "certify" a lawsuit as a class action. This, I assume, would require a suitable number of plaintiffs. What that number is, I do not know. I do know that this process is best performed by an attorney. That said, we need to get together as a unified group and convince an attorney that; A. There are enough plaintiffs to qualify as a class action, B. That our cause of action is legitimate, and C. That the suit will be worthwhile financially for them to pursue. Afterall, whoever represents us will have to dedicate many resources and hours to the research. That said, we may very well have to come up with a retainer. Personally, I am absolutely willing to invest in this cause as my family's finances will allow. Obviously, the more of us that come together, if a retainer is called for, the lower our individual contribution will have to be. As of this moment, my suit is complete and waiting to be filed. Sadly, the OAG/Consumer protection route has not been productive because both Ford Motor Company and my dealer, Koons Ford of Annapolis have elected to INTENTIONALLY mislead and provide false information to the mediator who is working on my case. (Yes, I do have proof.) If they are willing to misrepresent facts to the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland, why would we expect them to be honest in dealing with us? As I said in my previous post responding to jhmarq, these are professional scoundrels. In the meantime, we all need to bite the bullet and agree on a time and a place to meet. We need to set an agenda for the meeting to include what will be adressed and what we will need to accomplish in the meeting. Obviously, some of us will be traveling an appreciable distance so the meeting will have to be productive and will probably be an all day event. At a minimum, I think we should put together a "video" introducing ourselves, encapsulating our claim, creating a sense of urgency about the danger that thousands of families continue to unknowingly be in, and encouraging anybody who is in our situation to join our cause. I think this will be an exteremly effective tool if we post it on Youtube. In this day and age, this is proving to be a very effective mechanism for getting a message out. As a bonus, the media will undoubtedly pick up on it once it is out there. In the meantime, we all need to insure that we have posted our complaint with BOTH NHTSA and the CENTER FOR AUTO SAFETY. On the Center for Auto safety site, we must all check off the box indicationg that we are willing to be part of a class action. Additionally, we need to keep up the pressure by at least preparing and filing our own individual lawsuits in our local juristiction's version of small claims court. While it is relatively inexpensive to file, Ford MUST respond to it. This way, they will at least understand that this issue is not going to simply evaporate and go away. Also, we need to keep our eyes and ears open for any accidents involving Ford Freestars and Mercury Monterays. If you hear of one, get as much information together as you can and post it here on this site. I will take it from there. If we can link any accident to this defect, this will be very compelling to the media and also to an attorney who would consider our case. At the end of the day, we cannot give up this fight because there are still TENS of THOUSANDS of unsuspecting families driving around in these vans whose very lives are in danger.
  • Jim, I see you have been very active on this site and my question is this. I'm having problems with my 2005 Freestar "jerking" when I'm driving at about 45 mph. Of course, they can not duplicate the problem. I'm almost at 36,000 miles. I'm wondering if it has to do with the transmission. Have you heard from anyone that that may be the start of a ''BIG PROBLEM"? My other issue is the automatic doors not opening and closing properly. Also, I had a flat tire a few weeks ago and when I went to get the jack out I noticed that there was rust on the jack and the screw that holds the jack. I didn't think anything of it, but I have been reading about a leak around that area so I guess I need to look into that as well.

    Vicki :lemon:
  • Hi Vicki,
    I saw your post and wanted to reply. I had problems with both of my automatic doors. This was at least something Ford covered under my extended warranty. As for the jerking you describe I didn't have anything that overt. The day before my transmission blew it felt sluggish when I was going at highway speed (between 50-60 mph). It just didn't respond the way it normally did. I remember it felt like it was sort of "kicking". But as I said that was not even 24 hours before it failed completely. I don't know if this helps or not but I just wanted to give you some feedback. Good Luck.
  • Hi Jim,
    I had my van towed to AAMCO today. The manager there was absolutely fantastic. He told me that it is ridiculous that Ford is trying to blame this on not flushing the transmission fluid. He deals with "Easy Care" extended warranty often and is going to go to bat for me. Even if he doesn't get it paid for his price is $1000 cheaper than the Ford dealers! I will keep everyone informed as this progresses.
    I noticed that we are getting many new people signing on about their transmission failures. Does Ford not see that it is just a matter of time before someone is hurt or killed because of this?!
    I found out that Acura had a transmission failure problem in their 1999-2000 sedans. They REPLACED every single transmission that had a problem as soon as the customers came in and said their car wasn't acting right. Even if the transmission had not failed completely. They were avoiding their customers being put in harms way. How refreshing! Ford could learn so much.
    Take care and let's get this going!
    Kelly L.
  • Vicki,

    YES!!! I know what you mean by "jerking" because my Ford Freestar 2004 with less than 30,000 miles on it was doing the same thing. Thought it was ice on the road because I live in Michigan but it also happened on dry pavement several months before my tranmission went out. It would happen now and then but not everytime I drove my van. When I spoke to the fellow that put in my new transmission he said that the old transmission had had problems for quite a while because of all the debris in the tranmission case. So YES, YES I believe the jerking is a result of a pending tranmission problem with your vehicle. Imagine, mine has less than 30,000 miles and Ford would not cover a penny of it. This is a crime....we must group togther to get FORD to admit to faulty transmissions before someone does get badly hurt or worse yet killed. Regards, goldenpups
  • Regarding the Acura comment, Honda and Acura replaced thousands of transmissions and provided free extended warranties when they had a problem from 1999 through 2004. I'm very frustrated with this whole situation as I deliberately did not consider a Honda Odyssey because they "only" extended the transmission warranty to 100K miles and I was concerned with what would happen after that.

    PS - I have a 2004 Monterey with 44k and some knocking noises coming from the transmission, but no failure yet. Based on comments in the forum I know it's only a matter of time.
  • I went on the website and was able to file a complaint against Ford and they gave me a case no and now have to see if a lawyer takes it or not. Please do the same so they see that there are many of us. Ford has got to recall this van....instead of making a fortune off of us in transmission replacements. Again:
  • On 2/14/08 my 10 year old daughter and I were on I-26 in route (via I-95) to Florida for a school trip when my 2005 Ford Freestar transmission went on us, after only 52,000 miles. We were traveling at 70 mph and I feel fortunate no one was hurt.

    As a collective group we need to do something!!... Does anyone here recall the Firestone/Ford fiasco involving the Explorer and thousands of fatalities a decade ago???? This transmission issue is a public hazard.
  • Vicki,
    I cannot speak to the issues of the automatic doors or the possible leak however; with regards to the transmission symptoms your are describing, take your van, or, better yet, have it towed to a reputable transmission shop. Based on EVERYONE's experiences with them, I would not trust a Ford service department to be straightforward with you on anything to do with the transmission. It may cost you some money for the transmission shop to pull the transmission and inspect it, but IT COULD LITERALLY SAVE YOUR LIFE. To me, that is money well spent. Try and get all of this done before you hit 36K miles so you are still under warranty. If the transmission shop discovers debris in the pan and/or a torque converter with stripped splines, have it towed to the Ford dealer and demand that they repair it under your 3 Year/36K mile Bumper to Bumper warranty. If you do all of this and the Ford dealer tells you that you are out of luck because you didn't have the 30K transmission fluid flush and fill, please let me know. I will tell you what to look for from there, both on your transmission and in your owners manual. Also, if it is determined that the transmission/torque converter are damaged and/or need to be replaced or repaired, report it to NHTSA via their website. (Google NHTSA. It will be self explanatory from there.) Unfortunately, NHTSA, an agency of the Federal Govermnent, appears to be in the back pocket of Ford and, thusfar has refused to open an investigation into these failures. However; it is still important to report each and every failure so that when the day comes when someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of this defect, the weasles at NHTSA can't say they didn't know about it ahead of time. Maybe then someone will be held accountable and some heads will roll. I hope that day never comes, but based on the feedback on this website alone, it is statistically inevitable. Also, report your failure to the Center for Auto Safety via their website. When you do, don't forget to check the box indicating that you are interested in being part of a class action. Finally, try and peruse as many of the 220 or so posts in this forum as you can so that you can get fully up to speed on the situation. We have to stick together and spread the word on this issue. We cannot let Ford and NHTSA get away with putting our families in harms way.
  • Please, Please see post 218.
  • Outstanding idea. Please let us know if you get a response. If you do, I think it would be much more effective for us all to then contact that attorney more directly via their website. That way, he or she will know that we are all part of the same group.
  • Lulabelle,
    Thank goodness no one got hurt. Please see post 210 and post 218. Please report this incident to NHTSA and Center for Auto Safety.
  • well..I finally broke down and sent my Freejunk to the transmission shop. I decided to not use the dealer since all they do is rob you and lie ( Park Ford ) . I had my transmission rebuilt, and the culprit was a defective torque converter. The reason for the rebuild is that all the steel flowing thru the trans. I told him I do not want any Ford replacement parts installed, He installed all the best parts offered on the market. $2200 later Im back on the road, but I intend on dumping this piece of junk as fast as I can. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • Did you get it in writing that it was the torque converter and that the torque converter was defective? We all know tha it was but it is better if a qualified mechanic puts it in writing. I'm still working on this on my end. Has anybody heard back from any attorney's? I am working on a loose script for a video to put on Youtube. I think we will be able to get really good exposure this way. Imagine how many people are in the same boat as we are who don't happen to know about this site. I would venture to guess that more people are familiar with Youtube than are with Edmunds. No offense Edmunds, you have a great site. Looking forward to everyone's feedback and ideas.
  • Hey everybody, I almost forgot. I want everybody to contact my TV media guy. His name is Barry Simms and the station is WBAL Channel 11 in Baltimore, MD. Needless to say, Edmunds won't let me put a phone number or Email address in this post but his contact information is in the WBAL TV website. Please refer to my name in your Email/phone calls to him/his producers so that they can put it all together. I know it will be helpful to our case for him to hear from all of you. These people do an excellent job once they get ahold of a story. Let's hope they get going on ours.
    Jim Genovese
  • cowboys59cowboys59 Posts: 38
    Hi Everyone,
    I got the news from my mechanic that it was the torque converter. Surprise surprise. He also told me that the problem is that Ford put in an engine that is too big for the transmission and it is wearing it out. The torque converter is apparently the weakest link. I have all of this in writing from an independent mechanic. I am now getting ready to go onto the WBAL website and contact Barry Simms. As always Jim, thanks for getting all of this going. My total repair cost is $3100. I really want to get this back from Ford. It makes me sick that they keep getting away with this.
    Take care,
    Kelly L
  • Hello Jim, Kelly,

    I too have written to WBAL, Barry Simms. This is so important to make FOrd responsible. Please everyone write and let's get something going so that no one gets hurt and also so that we can possible get our $$ back. It cost me $3400 for my new trans and I had less than 30,000 mile on my Freestar. This is NOT right that Ford just says sorry, you are out of warranty, I mean come on it has so few miles. Help. Please, everyone write WBAL now! Thanks, Robin
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    This is exactly the type of information that we need. Excellent work. Please let me know if you hear back from Barry Simms. I really think that, once they hear from enough of us, it will encourage them to get involved with our cause. Everybody else needs to contact him as well. We need to keep the momentum going on this. In the meantime, keep your eyes and ears open for any others with this issue that may not be aware of this site and spread the word!
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Just checking in with everybody. Please let me know if anyone has heard from Barry Simms. I am waiting for a court date for my suit in my local jurisdiction. I would really like to bump this up to a class action. I believe that is the best way to hold Ford accountable for the disaster they have created for so many of us and the fraud that they continue to perpetrate on their customers. In the meantime, keep spreading the word and telling everybody you meet with a Freestar/Monteray about the danger they and their family are in if they have not had their transmission checked out by a qualified mechanic.
  • I was just reading some of the messages out here and am amazed. I had no idea so many people had the same problems we've had. The entire power steering system went at 39,000 miles. That should have been our first clue. At 79,000 the transmission went out on the expressway in the left lane with my baby in the car during rush hour. We were lucky to make it to the side of the road. We were told the trans was out and had to be replaced. About $3500 and a month later we had a new trans. Of course we only had it for about a week before the light was on. We had pieces of the trans fixed including the torque converter several times over the next couple months. Then, it went out again and kept going out. Almost 3 months later and many meetings between Ford mechanics and our trans shop - we had another new trans. It's been ok so far since December after 2 1/2 trans. replacements. I would love to know if anyone is having any success with pursuing this - Ford basically washed their hands of us.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Welcome to our world! Thank goodness neither you nor your baby were injured. My wife and 5 of my 6 children were in our van when our transmission failed in the middle of an intersection. After being yelled at and threatened by some rude drivers who could not understand why this van was just stopped in the middle of the road, my wife and children had to walk home after some kinder souls stopped to help her and push the van off to the side of the road. The whole thing has been a nightmare. We got off to an especially bad start when our Ford dealer, Koons Ford of Annapolis LIED TO US and said they had never heard of this problem. They then blamed us by claiming the transmission failed because we didn't have the 30K mile flush and fill done on our transmission. (Our manual did not indicate that our transmission model required this service. It named another model transmission that we do not have in our van.) We then contacted Ford's "Customer Relationship Center." What a sham this is! They also LIED TO US and claimed they had never heard of this problem before. All you have to do is a quick internet search as you did to see that they are liars too. To add insult to injury, they helped others in the exact same circumstance with financial assistance but refused to help us. When we asked why, they basically told us that we didn't get to know why. I eventually got my Office of the Attorney General's Office involved and they attempted to mediate the situation. Both my dealer, Koons Ford of Annapolis, and Ford even LIED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND! IN WRITING! AND I CAN PROVE IT! There seems to be no end to the sheer temerity and gall of these jackals. They sold us a van based on claims that it was, "The safest vehicle in its class." This vehicle almost got my family killed. Sadly, there are tens of thousands of other unsuspecting families out there who are in harms way because Ford is run by a bunch of thieving cowards who lack the decency to stand behind their product and take care of their customers. I have directly purchased 9 new Fords in the last 20 years, 7 of them from Koons Ford of Annapolis. (My dealer, Koons Ford of Annapolis, the owner, Joe Koons Jr. actually, challenged me when I told him this fact.) What kind of businessman tells a customer that they didn't buy their product when there is proof of it in writing? I guess it is obvious why Ford can't compete in the marketplace anymore. They have managed to chase away a previously life-long loyal customer. I will never buy another Ford product or any product that Ford is affiliated with such as Volvo. In fact, I am selling both of the Fords that I purchased new in 2005. I will no longer be a rolling billboard giving Ford free advertising. In fact, I make it a point to tell everyone I know about our experience with Ford, especially people who come to me for advice when purchasing a new vehicle. (Because of my years of experience in the car industry and above average knowledge of the industry, alot of people seek my advice.) We are going to replace our Fords with a Toyota Sienna and a Toyota Tundra. We can't wait to make the switch.

    There are a couple of things you can do to help us hold Ford accountable. First, report your failure to NHTSA via their website. These are the people that are supposed to be protecting us from defective and dangerous vehicles. So far however; they are also ignoring the problem. When more people report to them however; they have more incentive to get their heads out of the sand, (or out of Ford's back pocket, I'm not sure which), and force a recall of these dangerous vans. Second, you can SUE FORD in small claims court in your local jurisdiction as I am doing. Third, you can contact Barry Simms at WBAL-Channel 11 News vis the WBAL TV, (Baltimore, MD), website and let him know that you are also a victim of Ford and their defective product. He will know what you are talking about because I have been in direct contact with him on the issue. It is my hope that his team will pick up the story. Fourth, you can report your failure to the CENTER FOR AUTO SAFETY via their website. When you do, be sure to check off the box that says you wish to be part of a class action lawsuit. Fifth, and most importantly because lives are at stake, if you know anybody who drives one of these things, give them a heads up so they can at least have their vehicle checked out by a qualified mechanic. There have already been at least 2 documented accidents involving this vehicle that were directly caused by this problem. Luckily, no one has been seriously injured yet. It is just a matter of time however; before there is a fatal accident involving these vehicles.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this post and get involved. I and a few others are committed to this cause and, together we can hold Ford accountable.
    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • Jim-
    Thank you for responding to my posting. I will follow the steps you suggested. I had no luck with Ford as I said before in my posting. A friend of mine used to work for them in New Jersey in the customer complaints area. When I expressed my frustration to her, she explained they classify people who call in. If it is clear you are upset and will most likely not continue to be a Ford customer-they write you off immediately. She said she used to do that job and listening to me she would have automatically classified me this way. Once people are classified like this they essentially get no response whatever from Ford. It sounds like you were probably classified like this as well. I'm glad your family is ok. It is a very scary situation and you are right - eventually there will be a fatality. Anyway-
    Thanks again-
  • msq1224msq1224 Posts: 16
    Sharon, so sorry to "welcome" another member to the club! I won't go into detail on mine (I think my initial post is ~#118), since the story is much like everyone else's. I'm fascinated by your description of how customer relations classifies callers, since I really DID want to continue as a loyal Ford customer, and told them that. If they had offerred 75% or even 50% restitution I probably would have taken it, and probably would have purchased another Ford...seems like they're trying to drive me away!

    Jim, in the "never give up" category. In 1997 I replaced the entire engine in my 1995 Neon ($1600). I fought with Chyrsler for a while and eventually gave up. In December 2007 (10 years later), I finally disposed of all my records about that vehicle. In January this year (yes, one month after getting rid of all those records), I received notice that I was going to get a partial settlement from a class action suit on engine repair...all I needed was proof of repair...oh well! I'll never throw out car repair records again.
    Mary Q.
  • Well, I guess I am not alone with the FreeStar thing. I bought the car new, 2004, and without any noise or warning, it coasted to a stop out on the freeway (I-70 in the remote part of Utah) about 1 month ago. Luckily, there was little traffic, so I was able to get off the road over on the shoulder. I called my son in Grand Junction and he said that has access to a tow truck. So he pulled it back to Colorado that night. Next day, I was told by the Ford dealer (Western Slope Ford) that it was the torque converter. Now the bad news: 46,000 miles and out of warranty, and they wouldn't cover a dime. Estimate was $3200. Sooo, I had my son take it to an independent transmission place in Provo, Utah. Total cost, with after-market parts? $1150, with parts and labor. Pays to shop around, but the main thing is that the Ford dealer lied about the frequency of the failures. He (the shop foreman) said this was the first Freestar van that he had ever heard about breaking down (with transmission problems). The transmission shop in Provo, however, has repaired 9 of these cars with the same problme in the last 6 months. I would love to sue Ford, as would all of you out there. Perhaps if we get in touch with Consumer Reports, they may put us in touch with an attorney for a class-action litigation. Sad part is, I like the car, and this is the only trouble I have had.
  • cowboys59cowboys59 Posts: 38
    I finally got my van repaired after three months of hoping Ford would do the right thing and cover it. Of course they didn't and I had to pay. I know what you mean about liking your car. I love my van. But I will never buy another Ford because of the way they have handled this situation. I have been a loyal Ford customer for almost 30 years. That means nothing to them. The Ford Motor Company would rather lose every customer they have than do the right thing and admit they need to cover a repair. Does that sound like good business to anyone? As we mentioned in earlier posts, Acura had a similar problem and took care of it right away. My brother is a loyal Acura owner for life because of that. Oh well, hopefully we can force Ford to finally do the right thing. Until then, let's all keep at them.
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