The Mercury Monterey

Ford recalling 200k+ minivans over torque convertor failure

Ford Motor Company and the folks at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced a recall of 2004 and 2005 model year Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans over a concern that they may have been built with defective torque convertor output shafts – a problem that could leave the vehicle “dead in the water” if the output shaft was to fail on the open road.

The output shaft is the portion of the torque convertor that helps channel power from the engine to the internal workings of the automatic transmission in the 2004-2005 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans. No build dates have been specified so we can presume that this new recall applies to all of the 2004 and 2005 model year Freestar and Monterey minivans. Due to the design of a modern torque convertor (or at least one fitted in a 2004-2005 Ford minivan), the output shaft is far more likely to fail under power and when it does – the vehicle will not be drivable as no power will be transferred from the engine to the transmission drive gears. Needless to say, having your vehicle unexpectedly lose all power on the road could vastly increase the changes of an accident so in light of this increased safety risk – Ford has opted to get these 205,896 minivans back to the dealerships for repairs. This torque convertor failure will likely have no advanced warnings but based on my experiences of breaking output shafts in high performance vehicles, the mechanical failure will be accompanies by some fairly unsavory sounds from the transmission.

This new Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey torque convertor recall is expected to formally begin during the second quarter of 2012, at which point the owners of these 205,896 minivans will be invited to return to their local Ford dealership for the necessary repairs. A dealership technician will replace the torque convertor free of charge to the owners but based on the intricacy of the repairs, this will be a fairly lengthy repair so you will want to have someone there to give you a ride home or expect to spend some time watching television at your local Ford dealer.

Owners of these 205,000+ Ford Motor Company minivans can call the Ford Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332 for more information, referencing recall # 11S25.

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