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Fatal Accident Following Ford Windstar Axle Failure

February 15, 2011

A Massachusetts family is blaming Ford for failure to take adequate steps to warn the public about a product defect in certain Ford Windstar vans that can cause the axle to rust and break in half. Sean Bowman, a father of two young daughters was killed when the rear axle on his Ford Windstar broke in half, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a building.

Several models of the Ford Windstar have been recalled as a result of the defective axle. Photos at the scene of the accident in the Massachusetts crash revealed that the victim's axle was indeed broken.

Several months before the crash, Ford had issued recalls covering certain older model Ford Windstar vans following a determination that the axles could deteriorate and break in half. The recall was not widely publicized so the Bowman family indicated that they were not aware of the problem. Tragically, the family received a notice of recall but not until the week following the fatal accident. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, represents those who suffer serious injury or wrongful death from Georgia car accidents that result from design and manufacturing defects in motor vehicles. If you have been involved in a serious auto collision, which may have been partially caused by a defect in your automobile or its parts, contact Montlick & Associates to discuss your rights to compensation for your loss.

The original Ford Windstar recall covered 575,000 older Ford Windstar vans in cold-weather states and Canada due to the risk that the rear axle may crack and break apart from corrosion. The massive recall was triggered by an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that was initiated after the NHTSA received reports of Ford Windstar van axles cracking and breaking, including reports of at least two car crashes caused by axles that failed. The NHTSA had received almost 1,000 reports regarding the axle defect prior to the recall being issued. The NHTSA reported that a design defect in the axle makes it possible for salt and slush to collect around the axle causing the axle to rust, which can lead to cracks and even a broken axle. The NHTSA prophetically predicted that when the axle fractures the driver may lose control of the vehicle and be involved in a serious auto accident resulting in catastrophic injuries or even death.

In the wake of the Massachusetts crash, Ford announced the recall of an additional 37,000 Ford Windstar vans, which presumably is why Bowman's family received a recall notice one week after his fatal accident. One is left to wonder whether this tragedy might have been prevented had Windstar issued a broader recall initially or been more aggressive in making the public aware of the known design defect in Windstar axles. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Georgia car crash including one resulting from a possible design or manufacturing defect, contact the product liability lawyers at Montlick & Associates to discuss your rights to compensation. We have been representing Georgia residents who suffer catastrophic injuries and wrongful death in Georgia car accidents for over 39 years.

Our experienced Georgia defective automobile accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.