By CHRISTOPHER JENSEN
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has intensified its investigation into transmission failures on about 205,000 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans from the 2004-2005 model years.
The agency began a preliminary evaluation in July, saying it had received 178 complaints from owners about transmission failure. Some cases resulted “in a sudden loss of vehicle propulsion.”
Now the safety agency has advanced that investigation to an engineering analysis. That indicates researchers found reason to be concerned. The agency has 227 complaints of loss of power, including 124 that attributed the problem to “the torque converter shaft splines stripping, causing a sudden loss of power to the drivetrain.