NHTSA investigating older GM, Ford vans for rust problems image

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on Tuesday it has opened investigations into rust issues on older vans and minivans built by GM and Ford.

The investigation targets 17, 165 2003 Chevrolet Express vans for fuel leaks and 63, 000 2004 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans for severe corrosion in rear wheel wells. The GM investigation focuses on Express vans whose fuel filter pipe may corrode and leak fuel. The NHTSA said it has received five complaints from areas that use road salt during winter months over rust issues on Express vans. The fuel filler pipe on those specific models is located farther back than on vans not equipped with a left side passenger door. As a result the filler pipe routes through the rear wheel well, being exposed to road debris and water spray by the rear tire.

In the Ford investigation, NHTSA said it has received seven complaints of 2004 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans, which were in use in states that use road salt during winter. The complaints say the rear wheel wells were severely corroded, with some cases where the anchor mount was completely detached from the car. NHTSA said there were no crashes and injuries connected to the two investigations.