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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems



  • Great after reading all this i think my trans is going, i bought mine in feb this year and the trans is harsh shifting from reverse to drive, sometimes delays 5 seconds. I only have 80,000 on mine to, i hope they do a recall for the tranny's. If not im selling mine and buying something else.
  • As another year comes to a close, this issue appears not to be a "safety" issue in the eyes of the government yet (maybe one day), therefore there will be no recall, just a Ford TSB...your better off trading your car in or just selling it out right, you might have to wait a long time not unless one of the lawsuits goes somewhere.....
  • I received an e-mail from Stephen McHenry (NHTSA investigator) who is currently conducting an investigation of problems with Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey transmissions. He asked if the repair shop indicated what part failed (my repair shop specifically told me the torque converter was cracked). Also asked did I have copies of repair receipts. He asked me to describe any dangerous or unsafe situation the failure created. I promptly answered him and told him that Ford Motor Co. was unresponsive to the situation only that the warranty period was over and nothing they could do about it. So perhaps they are taking a very hard look at the Ford and Mercury situations. Let's hope so.
  • Just had my car towed off the Garden State Parkway and taken to a transmission shop. Van suddenly went out of gear while I was driving 70 miles per hour. Luckily no one was with me and I was in the right lane. There was no shoulder right away so I had to coast to a stop. I had a transmission fail on a previous Voyager with warning signs such as going in and out of gear. There was no warning here and no warning lights indicated. I am waiting to hear the damage as I write this. I tried to click on the link above to alert the NHTSA but the link was broken...
  • Could you send me his e-mail address to I may need it as well. Thanks!
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Posting third-party email addresses is prohibited in the Forums. Here is a link to where you may file a safety complaint with NHTSA:

    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

  • Heard from my car repair shop that the incident I described yesterday was indeed the transmission. As someone who is not working full time, this news was not the best with the approaching holidays. The cost to repair the transmission is $2300, and I am without a vehicle until next Wednesday. Since I am in a carpool and substitute teach, this places a major stress both financially and emotionally. I am just glad that no one was with me and that I was driving in the right lane when I realized there was a problem. After hearing about the prevalence of this issue with Ford Freestars, I have filed a complaint as recommended and e-mailed a rep from NHTSA with the details of the occurrence.
  • thanks for the info!
  • I received an email from the NHTSA rep also. He asked the same as above. I'm hoping this goes somewhere. My transmission went out the day before Thanksgiving and we were leaving for Disney World that following Monday. This left us with no ride to/from the airport and all of the money we had set aside for the trip had to go to the new transmission ($1953). What a disaster! Luckily, the trip was paid for in advance but we still had very little money when we got there. The part that really made me mad was the fact that when I called Ford customer service, the guy was rude. I told him that I filed a complaint with NHTSA and his response was, "Well, if you already did that, what do you expect us to do?" He only sweetened up when I started talking class action law suit. I will be filing a complaint here in DE with our AG's office. If you google "ford freestar class action" you will find several suits already filed. I have e-mailed the lawyers for these suits, and hope everyone else does the same. This is unacceptable and Ford should be held responsible!
  • The transmission guy advised me that Ford is well aware of the problem and that they knowingly used an aluminum pin instead of steel....knowing that eventually, the aluminum would give and the transmission would fail. He had just replaced the trans in the same vehicle a week prior to mine.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    If it is true that Ford knew the pin would fail, it is fraudulent and criminal. I believed that my life was at risk while in this vehicle. I have been trying to find information as to how a recall is issued. Ford basically told me that it was none of my business how the process works, and it was between them and the government agency.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I am from DE, too. Are you interested in going to DC and protesting in front of NHTSA?

    I would encourage you to phone Senator Carper's office. They have been working on this issue for me. Please let them know.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Any interest in organizing a protest?
  • I will do whatever is needed to make Ford pay for this problem. Can you post Senator Carper's contact info so I can contact him?
    If you look at the complaint summaries on the NHTSA website, you can view all of the documents pertaining to the investigation. The lead investigator sent a letter to Ford on Nov. 16 requesting a bunch of info such as the number of warranty claims they've had for this issue. Ford has until Jan to respond, so I'm hoping a recall is made at that time.
  • Count me as one of many who have had the same problem with the AX4N transmission. On my way into town I stopped at a traffic light, when I went to accelerate, nothing but revving of the engine. I have 89K miles on it. I found out this a common problem with this type vehicle. NTHSA is doing a work up towards a possible recall. At present it falls on me to get it repaired. Since Ford knows of this problem I fail to understand why they place faulty parts as the consumers responsibility. I am having it repaired at a Ford dealership so it can not be said that I failed to maintain. Hoping for the recall. I would like to know how I join the class action suit against Ford.
  • sjtdadsjtdad Posts: 11
    It has been almost a year since our '05 Freestar tranny died at 52K miles. Our Ford dealer had serviced the tranny at 35K miles. The torque converter had come apart they told me and sent metal throughout the transmission. We ended up paying $3700 for a rebuilt Ford trans with a 100K mile warranty. The dealer service manager said that they'd seen no problems with these transmissions--yeah, right--and said Ford would offer no help. I want in on this lawsuit too. I used to be a Cadillac service manager in the 80's so I know the squeaky wheel will eventually get some grease, but I don't expect to ever see $3700 worth. Anything back would be nice though. How can we help show our bills that were not warranty claims??
  • The transmission shop told us the same thing...the torque converter had shattered and sent metal throughout the whole transmission. My understanding is that the class action lawsuits cover anyone owning a 05 Freestar. However, I have found 3 separate lawsuits and would be happy to add one on to that. The investigator from NHTSA asked if I had detailed bills for the repairs, which I do. I'm hoping to get something back also.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I am very serious about organizing a protest at NHTSA. The week before and the week after the holidays are what I have in mind.

    This issue needs some attention from the news media, and I believe that this is the only way to let them know we mean business. We need to be heard, we need them to resolve this situation, and we need them to fix this wrong.

    If any of you are willing to take part, please post on the list, and we can continue this dialog. Regards.
  • 2005 Freestar Tran died same as the rest I read about I'd like in also
  • I am interested in the protest as well. I guess this would be in the DC area?
  • This was the old design before they changed over to the Freestar/Monterey design, however, one person was killed when the axle broke, family called it stealth recall.
    The recall impacts nearly 575,000 Ford Windstar models for model years 1998 through 2003 and produced from September 1997 through February 2003. Ford said the recall is for Windstars currently registered or originally sold in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

    Ford told the government that corrosion over time can weaken the axle and, when combined with stress, can lead to the axle breaking. A Ford spokesman said the company had received a small number of reports of fractures that "affected vehicle handling."

    "Corrosion and stress can lead to cracks, which if undetected can propagate and result in a complete fracture of the axle. Consequence: a fractured axle can affect vehicle handling and increase the risk of a crash," said the recall. The states were chosen because they are ones where corrosion is quite common, said the Ford spokesman.

    Ford also warned, "A completely fractured rear axle may lead to loss of vehicle control. There may be little or no warning to the operator before a cracked rear axle completely fractures."
  • i also have a 05 freestar the transmission went out at 85000 still to low of mileage for this to happen. i had no warning or anything. it left me and my daughter stranded on the side of the road until the tow truck came and then i had to call a friend to come and get me, thank god for cell phones. i would like to know how to get in on this lawsuit that everyone is talking about if anyone could help me i would appreciate it.
  • I don't know about the lawsuit, but you can file a complaint with the NHTSA. There is an open investigation with them about this problem.
  • remo2remo2 Posts: 1
    my 2004 Freestar has 127000 km .i drove it in to my yard,no trouble.Next day i went to move it nothing just rev up as if not in gear.I had it towed to ford garage he informed me would cost 3500.00 $ to replace trans.& ford would do nothing to help.I have had many fords in my lifetime but i think our relationship may come to a end.
  • I am joining the club, my 2004 Freestar transmission died Sunday after Christmas while I was on my way to my mom's house with my daughter, my brother and his wife, and 4 dogs. It was about 15 degrees out. Called my brother and step dad to bring two vehicles to pick us up.

    So, we got it towed to the Ford dealership where we bought it from a year ago. The van has 74,000 miles and when we bought it last August it had 54,000 miles, that gave me a whole 20,000 miles with the van. Ford looked at the van, diagnoses: bad transmission; for a new transmission it would cost $3,500 to fix if there are not additional complications while they're replacing it. They gave two other options; a transmission with 60,000 miles on it or a transmission with 120,000 miles. Though why would I trust a transmission that has close to the same or more miles than what mine has.

    At this point we felt it may be a good idea to work a deal with the dealer. There best offer was to give us $2,500 trade-in on the van that we paid $9,500 for a year ago, and no deal on a new car, this was today on new year's eve when I thought they had year end sales. In other words they did not attempt to help us with anything so were having the van towed to Aamco to have the transmission rebuilt hoping it will be less than the quote ford gave me. And to get our van out of there they tried to charge us $200 for the diagnoses, until my wife threw the credit card on the table and complained about the price. The cashier asked if we would like to speak to the manager, she came back and our bill changed to $94.

    So, I would like to be part of the law suit. I filled out a form at the website of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP Is this the place to go?
  • If you haven't done so already, it would be good to file a complaint with the NHTSA. They have an open investigation and more complaints may help them to force a recall. You can file a complaint on their website.
  • After reading ALL these posts I feel a bit better, but am now becoming angry.
    Our 2005 Freestar has been towed three times. The first time in it was a TCM issue--yes water!

    The dealership: " We found water in the connector--the module is OK."

    The next time (about a month later), my wife pulled in to pick up our two daughters at day care and after a restart no movement. Engine ran fine but absolutely no transmission engagement. Torque converter failure--replaced under warranty--barely!

    Third time: symptoms like all the rest--sputtering, failure to shift smooth, stall, wild tachometer....
    Dealership: Failed TCM--water again. "We siliconed the housing to keep water out." Me: "Why is the water getting in?"

    Today, after about 6 months of normal operation, the van stalled on highway with no warning. All the same symptoms are back--stalling, engine and trans lights on, sluggish shifting, wild tachometer.......

    It is now out of warranty and I'm not sure what to expect. I'm faced with either limping in to the dealership AGAIN or towing it--probably will take both efforts! I'm VERY interested in a class action suit or anything I can do to get Ford to recall. Please advise.
  • Well, good luck along with the other hundreds of lemon owners. :lemon: I submitted my complaint 2 yrs ago....and NOTHING. Replaced 1 trans. 2 yrs ago... and will happen again soon , was told it would. F O R D sucks!!!!! W ILL NEVER EVEN CONSIDER A FORD NEXT YEAR WHEN WE PLAN ON A NEW TRUCK OR CAR!!!!!!!!!! FORD ====== :lemon: & :sick:
  • I totally understand where you are coming from!

    My 3 kids and I were driving home to Ky from Ga when our 2006 Freestar gave out in Spartanburg SC. As with everyone else no forwarning!

    Luckily I was able to get off the interstate and coast into a gas station parking lot! My kids were terrified (they're 12, 10 and 8)! We had to wait 4 hours for my brother and dad to get to us; by then I finally got a local wrecker/service company to get the van out of the parking lot!

    Just spoke to mechanic: $1800 for rebuilt trans or $2100 for used!!!

    Like everyone else I owe more than what it's worth! I have filed with Nhtsa

    any other suggestions?
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    File a small claims suit in you home state.
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