Last post on May 07, 2013 at 10:10 AM
You are in the Ford Freestar
What is this discussion about?
Ford Freestar, Mercury Monterey, Transmission, Van
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
#107 of 1889 Re: Joined the Transmission Failure Club at 49K Miles [hdparker]
Jan 01, 2008 (6:44 pm)
Thank you so much for responding. You would think that Ford would do the right thing with so many of us, (THOUSANDS OF US!), having the exact same problem. The reality of it is however; that they refuse to step up and do the right thing. Sadly, it is a rarity for a manufacturer to do so without being forced to do so. In this case, the agency that could force Ford to do a recall is NHTSA. To that end, please take the next step and report your transmission failure to NHTSA via their website. It is remarkably easy to do. My hope is that they get enough reports that they wake up and recognize this problem for the safety defect that it is and force a recall before someone gets killed in one of these things. Check your repair bill. Undoubtedly, it is the torque converter that failed. Also, you need to know that Ford paid another customer $3097.00 to fix theirs with the same defect in late November 2007. They had their failure exactly one week after ours. They got assistance and we didn't. Ford refuses to say why. Right now, I am working my states Office of the Attorney General to hopefully compel Ford to either pay up or divuldge the criteria that they use to determine who gets assistance and who doesn't. My guess is that it is anything but objective. My suspicion is that those of us who got a rebate when we purchased our Freestar/Monteray are the ones who are being turned away by Ford. I will never accept a rebate from another manufacturer if this is the case without first getting a promise in writing that it will not affect my ability to get coverage for a repair such as this. Further, if this is the case, I think this is out and out fraud. How can they justify paying some and not others? Spread the word. There is strength in numbers!
#108 of 1889 Re: Joined the Transmission Failure Club at 49K Miles [sunburn]
Jan 01, 2008 (6:51 pm)
Thanks for the reply! The problem you had is the exact same problem that I and THOUSANDS OF OTHERS had. My transmission guy says that he has seen it in all model years of this van. The reason they changed the name from Windstar to Freestar was to dodge all of the bad publicity from this transmission problem. Please follow up and report the failure to NHTSA. My guess is that with thousands more of these vehicles attaining the same magic number of miles, (+/- 44K), that we will be seeing more of this problem. Please refer to the rest of my postings for more information. Spread the word! There is strength in numbers and it just might help to save someones life. (Ours failed in the middle of an intersection with my entire family on board). Needless to say, this could have been tragic.
#109 of 1889 Re: Joined the Transmission Failure Club at 49K Miles [jgenovese]
Jan 02, 2008 (8:04 am)
Monterey 2005 with 49k.
Transmission dropped into neutral.
I am now gathering info and would like to thank you all for posting your similar transmission problems.
I am also getting the run around from Tasca Ford dealership. The dealership people are all acting as if this is the first time a Monterey transmission needed repairs. I even followed the maintenance schedule. Which included transmission fluid change. The fluid used in the replacement automatically gave a 150,000 mile warranty. I am now finding out that if the fluid company feels it is a defect the fluid companies warranty may not be applied. I now begin the struggle to actually get the transmission opened to see what is wrong. Only I can not get the transmission fluid people to open the transmission. I have to pay $650 to the dealership to open the transmission.
My transmission gave no warning signs prior to breaking. No slippage, clunking or rough shifting at all. It simple dropped out of gear into neutral on a main road at 40 mph.
As I read this website I began to actually see the dangers that transmission failure could actually represent in different traffic areas.
#110 of 1889 Re: Joined the Transmission Failure Club at 49K Miles [dowphoenix1]
Jan 02, 2008 (8:38 am)
Thank you for your post! This is what it is going to take for Ford/NHTSA to step up and take this issue seriously. We as consumers cannot let up the pressure on either Ford or NHTSA. This is not just about very expensive repairs that working families cannot afford and should not have to afford. It is about SAFETY. Please keep us informed and updated on your situation via this website. Also, PLEASE REPORT THIS FAILURE TO NHTSA via their website. It only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete and is the only way that NHTSA will take notice of the issue. Also, make sure you post your complaint with NHTSA by indicating BOTH the Powertrain-Automatic Transmission component and also the Automatic Transmission-Torque Converter component. (Self explanatory when you go through the steps to report your complaint). Again, Thank you for your post. Spread the word. There is strength in numbers and it just might save someone's life.
#111 of 1889 Another Mercury Transmission bites the dust!!!
Jan 04, 2008 (11:22 pm)
On December 15, 2007 while driving at approximately 40 mph the transmission on my 2004 Mercury Monterey went into neutral. No warning, no nothing. Luckily I was able to coast onto a smaller side street and call my husband for help. My van has just over 46,000 miles on it. I had the van towed to two different Ford dealerships. Both refused to pay for the repair even though I purchased the "Easy-Care Gold" extended warranty. My husband changed the transmission fluid at 30,000 miles just as the warranty called for. The dealership wants proof. How do you provide proof of maintenance performed at home? And after the research I have done regarding this particular problem there is absolutely nothing the owner can do to prevent the transmission from failing. Of course neither dealership said a thing about this being an ongoing problem. Does anyone know what I can do to get Ford to pay the $3500 for the new transmission? Also, shouldn't there be a recall for these transmissions before someone is hurt or killed? I filled out the complaint form with NHTSA. Is there anything else I can do to help get some action?
#112 of 1889 Re: Another Mercury Transmission bites the dust!!! [cowboys59]
Jan 05, 2008 (3:03 pm)
If you did the transmission fluid change yourself, your only proof would be the receipts for the filter and fluid. If you don't have those or Ford won't accept them, then it you're stuck in a difficult situation. The sad part is the problem is not related to the condition of the fluid, but a design or manufacturing defect in the torque converter. You probably don't need a new transmission, however. When the torque converter fails it can spread metal throughout the transmission. The transmission need to be disassembled and inspected for damage. It probably only needs to be cleaned out, overhauled, and reassembled. If you can't get anywhere with Ford, I would take your vehicle to a reputable, independent transmission shop. They will probably do a better job for less money.
#113 of 1889 Re: Another Mercury Transmission bites the dust!!! [cowboys59]
Jan 05, 2008 (10:54 pm)
Thank you for your post! It is a good thing when people with a common cause can communicate so readily and effectively. First let me say this; The dealership cannot deny you coverage for not performing a RECOMMENDED service. The 30K transmission fluid flush and fill is a "recommended", not required, service in your vehicle's manual. Further, the simple fact is this; this procedure would not have prevented your transmission's torque converter from failing. Period. My transmission expert is going to testify for me as to this fact. The failure is a result of a manufacturing defect in both the engineering and the materials used in the torque converter. Also, you are absolutely correct when you characterize this as a safety defect that should trigger a recall. To that end, you did the right thing by reporting it to NHTSA. Hopefully, NHTSA will do the right thing and issue a recall before somone gets killed in one of these vehicles. Ford is obviously not going to step up to the plate and do the right thing in this instance because it will cost many millions of dollars which, apparently are more important to Ford than the lives, let alone the loyalties, of their customers. All we can do is report the defect to NHTSA, lodge a formal, written complaint with Ford, contact their Customer Relationship Center, (the number is in your manual), and contact your state's consumer protection division. Mine falls under the Office of the Attorney General. Report this situation to them as a case of possible fraud. I say this because Ford has paid out money to some customers with this very same problem as recently as late November, 2007. $3097.00!!!!! How can they pay some but not others? Sounds like fraud to me. Also, contact your local television station that has a consumer advocate reporter. My local station is following my story and hopefully will feature it as my case progresses. Finally, you can sue Ford as well as the dealerships that turned you away in your state's version of small claims court. It is remarkably easy to do and very cost effective. Mine is costing me about $200.00 in filing fees and the cost of having the sheriff serve the papers. All of the information you need to do this is on your state and local government's website. The bottom line is that there is strength in numbers and together, we will make a difference. We may actually save a life in the process! Don't get complacent and let this drop. Spread the word to every single person you see at your child's school, your church, the grocery store, etc., who drives one of these vehicles. I am convinced that this type of grass roots effort will pay off in the long run.
#114 of 1889 Another case of FRAUD on the part of Ford
Jan 05, 2008 (11:11 pm)
Once again, Ford has given financial assistance to one customer but not others. (See the NHTSA website). While I am happy that this family was at least partly compensated, it is infuriating that that they assist some but not others and REFUSE TO SAY WHY or what criteria, if any, is used in making this determination. I guess this is just one more brick in the wall that is my lawsuit against Ford. It's no wonder that Ford is losing market share. I'll bet Toyota, (now number 2 instead of Ford), treats their customers alot better than Ford. Keep spreading the word! There are hundreds of thousands of these vans on the road that are about to reach the 44K threshold where most of these failures are taking place. Mabey NHTSA will wake up and force a recall before someone gets killed in one of these things.
#115 of 1889 Re: Another case of FRAUD on the part of Ford [jgenovese]
Jan 06, 2008 (1:20 pm)
I wouldn't bet that Toyota is much better than Ford. Remember all the fuss a couple of years ago about Toyota engine failures after the warranty period was up due to sludge build up. Toyota contended that it was improper maintenance on the part of the consumer. Consumer and government pressure eventually got Toyota to extend the warranties on the engines that had the problems. Toyota never admitted to any problems.
#116 of 1889 Re: Another case of FRAUD on the part of Ford [sunburn]
Jan 06, 2008 (10:08 pm)
I hadn't heard about that one. At least some action was taken to help the consumers. Ford and or NHTSA need to step up and soon before someone gets killed in one of these things. Not to diminish the inconvenience/headaches endured by Toyota customers, but sludge build up in an engine is far different than a transmission failing on an interstate. Am I the only one who has noticed the common threads/themes in all of our situations? Ford/Ford dealerships continue to deny any knowledge of a problem at first, then, miraculously, without even opening up the trannsmission or putting it on a lift, the customer is told that they are on the hook for a new transmission/torque converter. I am very anxious to meet with my Office of the Attorney General representative. I would like to get an expert opinion as to the fraud/criminal negligence angle in all of this. It seems to me that Ford has known about this problem since at least 2004 with the Freestar/Monteray and long before that with the Windstar. yet, they continue to put these vehicles on the road, knowing there is a problem. Now, hundreds, (those reported anyway), are dropping like flies in all sorts of scenarios from interstates to neighborhood streets, to urban environments. They still continue to deny any problem exists even though their service departments know right away what the problem is when these vans come in for service. It is just a matter of time before someone is killed. How are they going to defend themselves against that? Sounds like criminal as well as civil negligence/liability to me. I, for one, will not let this drop until something is done, either voluntarily or through government action or through litigation,( Class action lawsuit?) Ford, are you listening?