Ford recalls 59,000 minivans for axle problem


TORONTO – Ford is recalling nearly 59,000 older Windstar minivans in Canada as part of a wider safety notice because the fix used in a previous recall for a rear-axle repair might not work.

The latest recall covers around 342,000 vans built at the company’s Oakville, Ont., plant from 1998 through 2003 and sold in both Canada and the United States.

Ford said Wednesday that the Windstars were recalled in 2010 due to axle cracks that could grow and lead to complete failure and a crash.

They’re being recalled again because a reinforcement bracket from the first recall may have been installed incorrectly. The bracket was designed to mitigate problems if the axle failed.

The company says it has reports of a small number of accidents but no injuries. The exact number was not available.

Dealers will inspect the vans and, if the brackets weren’t installed right, replace the axles. If they were correctly installed, customers will be offered a $300 discount on the price of an axle replacement.

Also Wednesday, Ford said it was recalling 37,000 F-150 pickups from the 2015 model year in the U.S. and Canada to fix a problem with the adaptive cruise control system that automatically brakes the trucks to avoid a crash.

The company said that when passing a large truck, the radar could incorrectly determine that it’s in the F-150’s travel lane when it is not. The system could apply the brakes until it senses that the truck is no longer in the way.

Ford says it has a report of one crash caused by the problem but no injuries. Dealers will update software to fix the problem.