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Ford Recalls Nearly 600,000 Windstar Vans

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has received nearly 1,000 complaints regarding faulty rear axles on Ford Windstar vans operating in "cold weather states," such as Maryland.

A subsequent investigation by the NHTSA revealed that Windstar vans tended to acquire slush on the rear axle, causing it to rust and crack. In some cases, owners claimed that the axle broke completely apart.

Most of the complaints simply referenced fractured axles, though several motor vehicle accidents were reported.

Ford announced a recall this week that extends to 575,000 Windstar models produced between 1998 and 2003. 463,000 of these vehicles are believed to be operating in the United States. The last 100,000 or so are registered in Canada.

Auto manufacturers have been especially hesitant to let purported auto defects, however minor, go without being addressed since Toyota suffered a backlash last year after the company was found to have ignored safety issues on several models.

All in all, the Toyota recall spanned 11 million vehicles and the United States government levied a $16.4 million fine. The company continues to deal with ill will and consumer fallout stemming from the recalled vehicles.

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