Ford Motor Co. has not made enough of an effort to tell customers about the recall issued for its Windstar minivans, said the family of a Massachusetts man who died when his van’s rear axle split in half and sent the van into a building.
The family of Sean Bowman said they got Fords’ recall notice in October, one week after Bowman died.
Ford had announced the recall in August. It affected 575,000 older Windstar minivans where the company said rear axles could become fragile and break. However, the recall did not attract a lot of media attention.
Ford said this week that it planned to expand the recall and cooperate with a government investigation, but the company had no comment on the Bowman case.
In addition, this week, Volkswagen and Chrysler announced large recalls because of possible air bag problems and fuel leaks.
Chrysler said it was recalling around 367,000 minivans because of problems with the air bags deploying accidentally. The recall affects the 2008 Chrysler Town and Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan.
Volkswagen of America said it was recalling some 228,000 vehicles, including the Golf, Rabbit, Jetta and Jetta Sportswagen for model years 2007-2009 and the 2006-2010 New Beetle.
Volkswagen said the problem in the Golf, Rabbit and Jetta was due to plastic tab connected to the windshield fluid canister that could possibly come in contact with a fuel line and cause a leak to form. In the New Beetle, a fastening clamp on the power steering system could lead to the same kind of problem.