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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems



  • 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.
    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!!!!!!!!
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    My Ford dealer did the same thing to me. They called me right at the close of business so that there was nothing I could do and no one else I could talk to at least until the next day. This seems to be a common tactic throughout the Ford organization; lie, delay, stall, lie some more, obfuscate, and just plain beat you down until you go away. We can't give them what they want and just go away. We will be looking for your next post.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    A mouse? I suppose anything's possible.....Thank you for contacting NHTSA. You are absolutely correct. Something does need to be done before somebody gets killed. As I have said all along however; this could already have happened and we just haven't heard about it yet. Keep up the pressure. Keep spreading the word. Contact your local representatives. Contact your local media and your local Office of the Attorney General. I would say don't waist your time with the BBB because they are in bed with Ford however; in order to preserve your rights, you may have to exhaust all available remedies prior to suing. I have jumped through all of the hoops and am just awaiting a decision/opinion from my AG before I proceed in court. Ford needs to understand that they can't wash their hands of this catastrophe. This is no longer, (never really has been), just a matter of money. Lives are at stake. Working families and loyal (previously) customers deserve better than that.
  • I called the 800 number this morning and talked with someone named Dawn. She ofcourse took all of my information and then put me on hold for 15 minutes. When she came back on the line she said she would have to do some further research and call me back before 4:30pm this afternoon. I am really anxious to see what she has to say. I have been driving a rinky dink rental car for almost two weeks now and am ready to get my van back. I sincerley hope everyone can form an alliance and put a stop to Ford and their unreliable "transmissions". I am also ready willing and able to file a class action law suit!
  • I just heard back from Ford and they will not authorize any repairs. They are claiming that my extended warranty coverage is not up to them even though they sold it to me. I asked for permission to record our conversation and the supervisor "Steve" refused. I asked him why he was refusing if he was telling the truth and he would not answer that. I aked him how many people had the same problem and he would not answer that. Basically he told me that Ford will not release any information to us. I told him that the lawyer would be able to get all of that.
    They are so sleazy. I want to get these s.o.b's so badly! Talk about a bunch of crooks. Ok people, what do we do next? We are going to have to start communicating about what states we are in, etc. We need to get some press coverage so that we hear from more people. Any suggestions? I contacted 7 On Your Side here in the DC area but I won't hear from them for a while. Let's get going on this asap. Does anyone know how many people it takes to get a class action lawsuit going?
    Let me know what to do next. I am so mad! I want to make Ford pay for all of our transmissions and the hassle they have put us through!
  • Did you ever hear back from Ford? As I said in a previous post they told me that there is nothing they can or will do to help. I have never been involved in a class action lawsuit so I am not exactly sure how to get started but I do think it is our only hope of getting Ford to do the right thing.
  • I dont know how to do the class action either, but my P.O.S. freestar is still sitting in my driveway. the trans went out before christmas, and I dont have the cash to get it fixed. yet I still make payments on the junk.
    It just drives me nuts, that ford know knows about these junkers, yet does nothing. :lemon:
  • My van is at least paid for but it is sitting at Kip Kilmon's Tysons Ford in Vienna Virginia waiting on the repair. I have decided that it is time to use the names of these dealerships that are pretending that they have never heard of this situation before.
    It would drive me nuts to be paying for a van that is not working due to a MANUFACTURER'S DEFECT. I just received the complaint form from the Virginia Attorney General's Office. I don't know if you have contacted your state's AG yet but I do know that is a good place to go.
    I have a call in to a friend about a recommendation on a good Class Action attorney. I will keep everyone informed as to the situation. If anyone has already contacted an attorney let us know what the best form of action would be.
  • The week before Christmas the transmission in my 04 Freestar went :( I filed the report on the NHTSA website and dropped a new transmission in the van. Blah.
    We didn't use a Ford Part - it's a Jasper with 100k mile warranty.
    I'm so angry with Ford and their lack of response on this issue.

    I'm also in NoVa and would love to participate in a Class Action lawsuit against Ford.
  • I had my 04 Monterey at two different NoVa dealerships. Jerry's Ford in Leesburg and now Kip Kilmon's at Tysons. Both of these places acted like they had never heard of this before. Did you get the same song and dance at your dealership?
  • We had it towed to our Mechanic who has a bud at Sterling Ford & he reported that Ford was aware of the issue but not compensating - he said the best we'd get is 10% off parts, but they'd scorch us on labor.

    We had our Mechanic fix it bc we didn't want a "no-good" Ford part (duh) and I love and trust my mechanic.

    We replaced the transmission and the radiator for $3500.
  • I live in Sterling and that is where the tow truck was supposed to take my van. I wish he had because at least someone honest works there. If any of these mechanics would have just said that it is an ongoing problem but Ford won't fix it I would not have been so angry. What makes me so mad is that both these mechanics SWORE they had never seen this before.
    Obviously we need to get a class action suit going. I was at Claude Moore Rec center today and saw another Mercury Monterey. I was thinking that maybe I could print out a bunch of forms about this problem and this website and leave them on all Ford and Mercury Minivans I see parked anywhere. Up at Dulles Town Center, at my daughters' school, etc.. I wish I could afford an advertisement in the Post or USA Today. I have no doubt we would find 100's or 1000's of us out there.
    Don't forget to call the VA Attorney General's Office. The number is 800/552-9963. If they get two complaints in a single week regarding the exact same problem I bet that would get their attention. The guy I spoke to was very aware of Ford's horrible customer service reputation. He was very open to looking into this.
    Please keep me informed. It seems as we are neighbors. If there are two of us this close imagine how many there must be all over the country!
  • I'll call the Attny General tomorrow.
    Anyone I should ask for in the Attny General's office?

    Did you get your van fixed?
  • I talked to a gentleman but I did not write down his name. I feel like an idiot. I did get the impression that it is a one man operation. I think if you call there and ask for the guy in charge of consumer services you would get this guy. If you get his name let me know.
    My van is still up at Tyson's Ford. I have to call the extended warranty people and fight with them next. Ford sends you all over the place talking to so many different people that you end up getting frustrated and just paying for the repair yourself. My van broke down on December 15th. I was driving down Potomac View Rd when all of the sudden it slipped out of gear. I pulled off onto Hampshire Station and called for a tow. I had just come off the Toll Road. I had both my daughters (ages 7 and 9) in the car with me. Can you image if this had happened while going 60 mph! Unfortunately someone is going to get hurt or killed and Ford will act like they have never heard of this. Let's face it. Minivan drivers have little kids. Ford does not care.
    Let me know if you talk to anyone in the AG's office. At first the lady just said she would send me the form. Then she said heard how bad it was she said she wanted me to talk to the guy and connected me to him. I can't believe I didn't write down his name. I was so pumped to have someone finally listen to me and I just forgot to write it down.
    Take care and good luck.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Now we are getting somewhere! This is exactly the type of communication/cooperation that it is going to take to get this issue the attention it deserves and expose Ford and the entire Ford organization/network of dealers for the sleazy, fraudulent, and flat out dishonest thieves that they are. I am in Annapolis, (Koons Ford are you paying attention now?) so, the logistics of getting together on this should be relatively easy as far as getting a class action going. I think we should try to get some sort of internet petition together and get as many people on board as possible so that when we do go to an attorney, he/she will see that this is very real and will be worth their while. We should continue to use this site because, as we communicate with eachother, it will reach more and more people. At some point though, it might be a good idea to meet in person at a mutually agreeable location to brainstorm and set up a better - coordinated strategy. In the meantime, keep spreading the word. The fliers are an excellent idea. Every Freestar/Monteray owner deserves to know that they are driving a defective vehicle that could fail at any moment and possibly get them killed. NHTSA, are you paying attention? Let's keep this going people! These are family vehicles. Lives are at stake.
  • I agree. Lives are at stake. I am going to work on a flyer. I think we will also need to develop a new webpage devoted to this problem. Does anyone have any experience with webpage development. I do not but my husband works at AOL so I am pretty sure I can get someone he knows to help us out. I think that the better organized we become the faster and further we will go. I agree about meeting in person. This is not the forum to exchange name and phone numbers but we need to find a way to do that. Any suggestions?
    I am so glad we are getting this going. This is the only way to get this done.
    Thanks so all.
    Kelly (I figure first names are safe at this point:-))
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Webpage is a great idea. I am not very savvy in this area so any suggestions are welcome. I say we get together soon and put our heads together, exchange contact information, and formulate a cohesive, workable plan. I will defer to you as to a place to meet. I am generally available in the morning as I work the 3P-11P shift however; some mornings I am in court, sometimes not with alot of advanced notice. We will be coming from Annapolis so, anywhere right off of 495 would be good. In the meantime, keep spreading the word and getting our message out there!
    Jim and Michelle
  • My Freestar died on Freeway overpass back in November. Same problem as everyone else. I bought my van at Stillwater Ford and had it serviced at Forest Lake Ford. Neither dealership had ever heard of the problem before.
    I jumped thru Fords hoops and even complained to the service managers of both dealerships and the owner of one. No financial help. All said I should have bought the extended warranty. I have never bought an extended warranty because I never have felt that it was necessary. I will contact my AG next week. [jennifersmith] who was driving the kids back from Duluth must also be from Minnesota so I hope she too will get a hold of the MN AG at (651) 296-3353 or (800) 657-3787.

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    I've been following the posts here and sympathize with your dilemma. I had the displeasure of owning a Windstar and have never considered another Ford since.

    I'd like to suggest that a good way to document what's happening with your issue would be to create a blog about it on your CarSpace page. Others can then comment on your blog. You can add entries as often as you like and send/post links to it.

    All registered members to the Forums have a CarSpace page available to them. All you need to do is click on "My CarSpace" in the top left navigation bar. If anyone has questions, please send me an email. Click on my screen name for my address.

    Here's my page: :)

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    The dealerships are LYING to you. Ford is and has been WELL AWARE OF THIS PROBLEM. The fact that they recommend a transmission fluid flush and fill at 30K is the first clue to this. The change is not recommended because it would prevent the failure, it is recommended so that when the inevitable failure occurs, they can blame it on the manufacturer of the fluid as they did in the case of an earlier post. Another reason they call for this ridiculously early flush and fill is that they can blame you for the inevitable failure if you do not have it done. When my transmission expert, a retired Ford technician with over 20 years of experience, pulled my transmission, I had him document the quantity and condition of the fluid that came out. Both the quantity and the condition were more than adequate to do the job it is required to do. The failure was due to a DEFECTIVE TORQUE CONVERTER that I believe Ford knew was defective when they built it. Please stay in this fight with us and spread the word. Do contact your AG. Stay tuned to this page. We need to stick together on this. In the meantime i am going to look at the suggestion in post 151.
  • My brother-in-law is the general manager of a major high end car dealership here in Sterling. He told me that in some states (not Virginia) you can get a list of who purchased specific automobiles. He was pretty sure that Maryland was one of those states. If that is true that would be a major place to start. I don't know how much mass mailings cost but I don't think it is much. I don't know how to find out which states provide that kind of list but I would love to find out. I have been working on the flyer to hand out. That might not generate much response but any is better than nothing.
    Also, my brother-in-law is going to try to contact his cousin who used to work at a Ford dealership and see what he knows about this problem. That is really who we need. Former Ford employees who would be willing to talk about this.
    I can meet any time during the week while the kids are at school. How many of us live in the NoVa, Maryland, DC area? Let's decide on a mutually convenient place and go from there.
    Jim, since you live in Maryland you might be in the best position to get the list of ford/mercury minivan owners. I am not sure if you need to be a resident of the state or not.
    Last, do you all want a blog or a website? I don't know much about either so I will defer to all of you. I can get either set up. I think that should be our next step so we can give that address out in our flyer/letter.
    Thanks again everyone. I am really excited about finding all of you.
    Take care,
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