Ford suing parts supplier Dana following Windstar recall

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Some Ford Windstar minivans in colder areas were recalled for corrosion of the frame. Ford blames the parts supplier. Image: stu-pendousmat/Flickr/CC BY-SA

Following a large Windstar recall for road salt corrosion in the suspension system, Ford is suing the parts supplier, Dana. The parts supplier, however, is denying responsibility.

Windstar recall

Ford, one of the Big Three U.S. automakers, is blaming the parts supplier, Dana, for allegedly providing faulty frames that were used in some of its Windstar minivans from the model years 1998 to 2003. May’s costly recall affected more than 425,000 of the minivans in the U.S. and Canada. According to the recall, the faulty rear axles of vehicles driven in colder states could suffer from premature corrosion that may cause them to crack and break. Salt is used on the roads in those areas to keep the roads clear of dangerous snow and ice.

Suing for the cost of recall

Ford is suing the parts supplier for the cost of the recall, although court documents, which were filed late last week, did not mention a dollar figure for that effort.

In spite of its claims, Ford says it still intends to acquire parts from Dana, which may not put some Ford buyers at ease.

The corrosion of vehicle frames in so-called “salt states” is an ongoing problem that prompts recalls nearly every year. While Ford contends the parts were at fault, Dana is denying responsibility.

Preventing road salt corrosion

Road salt is the least costly method states and municipalities have to keep roads clear of snow and ice in the winter months. However, salt is highly corrosive and vehicles traveling frequently in those areas during the winter will suffer rust and damage over time.

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The easiest way to minimize the damage is to wash vehicles during the cold months at least once every 10 days. Also, wash it any time the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also best to wash it during the day to allow it to dry completely before night time freezing.

The automotive website autobytel also recommends opening and closing all locking doors and hatches several times in order to keep the locks from freezing up from the wash water.

It is also advised to avoid driving through deep snow, if at all possible. Finish protection coatings should also used to curb salt corrosion in colder areas.


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