FITCHBURG (CBS) — Fitchburg grandmother Kathryn Dooley says a recall letter for her 1999 Ford Windstar arrived earlier this month, the same day she saw a story on WBZ-TV raising the question of whether a suspected rear axle defect in a 2001 Windstar could have led to a fatal crash in Whitman that killed 28-year-old Sean Bowman, a father of two, and critically injured his passenger, 29-year-old Colleen Currie.
“I knew this was serious, so I took my car in for the recall,” says Dooley.
But Dooley’s recall letter says parts won’t be available for four or five months. She says her rental allowance will pay only enough for a sedan, not a mini-van like her Windstar which she needs to drive around the five grandchildren for whom she cares.
She says she home-schools several of them because they have neutropenia, a blood disorder that does not allow them to attend public schools.
She says renting a mini-van would cost her $10 a day on top of the allowance.
“I got laid-off the end of May. I figure by the time this axle comes in, which is the first quarter of next year, it’s going to cost me $1,500 to $2,000,” explains Dooley.
She says she has appealed to Ford World Headquarters without success. “And I feel like it’s an injustice for those of us, we have a van for a reason.”
As she keeps trying to find an affordable rental van rather than the sedan, Kathryn Dooley thinks about the company that laid her off as a customer service representative and says even they would have bent over backwards to keep a customer satisfied.
Prompted by WBZ’s request for a response and provided with her contact information, Ford Motor Company contacted Kathryn Dooley and said they would try to work something out through a local dealership.