Ford Motor (F) is expanding its recent recall of Windstar minivans to replace axles that may crack after exposure to road salt.
The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker is adding 37,000 units to the original 575,000 Windstars from the 1998 to 2003 model years it recalled in August, raising the total of recalled vehicles to 612,000 in the U.S. and Canada.
The expanded recall includes 2003 model year minivans with heat-treated axles, and those sold in Utah. August's recall in the U.S. was limited to 21 states in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions where roads are routinely treated with salt, which can cause the axles to rust.
Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood told the Associated Press that the automaker has determined that vans in Utah or with heat-treated axles may also develop cracks.
According to the most recent figures available, 950 complaints about the axles had been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as of September, Ford said.
The Center for Auto Safety, a consumer safety group, said the defect had been blamed for eight crashes and three injuries as of September, AP reported. Ford said none of the injuries was serious.
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