DEARBORN, Michigan — Ford is recalling 342,271 1998-2003 Ford Windstar minivans in North America for a second time to make sure that the installation of a reinforcement bracket on the rear axle was done correctly, the automaker said.
"A bracket incorrectly installed could limit the effectiveness of that recall repair," Ford said in a statement on Wednesday. "A fractured rear axle could affect vehicle handling, increasing the risk of a crash."
Ford said it is aware of a small number of accidents linked to the recall, but no injuries.
Ford dealers will inspect the minivans to determine if the brackets were correctly installed. Customers whose vehicles had the bracket installed incorrectly will have the rear axle replaced.
If the bracket was installed correctly, customers will receive an incentive to replace their rear axle at a reduced cost. The offer is good for one year with unlimited mileage.
The revised recall is expected to begin the week of October 19. Owners can contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332.
No information about the recall has been posted on the Web site of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees vehicle safety in the U.S.
Edmunds says: Owners of these vehicles need to have their Ford service department take another look to make sure everything is OK.