US safety agency watches Ford vans for rust signs


DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators are watching about 100,000 Ford and Mercury minivans that were not covered by a recall for rust problems.

Ford recalled about 230,000 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans in March to fix rust that can cause the third-row seats to come loose.

The vans from the 2004 through 2007 model years were sold or registered in 20 cold-weather states and Canada where salt is used on roads in the winter.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it's monitoring vans that are outside the salt-belt areas and were not covered by the recall. The agency says it's aware of only one rust complaint from an owner outside the recall areas.

Owners can contact Ford and seek repairs if vans show signs of rust in the wheel wells.

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