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Government upgrades investigation of Ford minivans

WASHINGTON – The government has upgraded its investigation into Ford Windstar minivans amid additional concerns about corrosion in the vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in a posting on its website Wednesday that it has begun an engineering analysis of about 550,000 Windstars from the 1999 to 2003 model years.

Ford has recalled more than 600,000 of the minivans in the U.S. and Canada since August to address rear axles that can corrode and break. The U.S. recall is limited to 22 cold-weather states where road salt is used during the winter.

The government said it has received 346 complaints of corrosion and breaking of the front subframe, which carries the engine, transaxle, steering rack and front suspension. NHTSA said it is trying to learn more about the alleged defect.

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