Ford Recall Issued Due to Risk Door May Open While Moving
About 830,000 Ford C-MAX, Escape, Focus, Mustang, Transit Connect and Lincoln MKC vehicles have been recalled, due to a potential risk that the side door latches may break and open while the vehicles are in motion, posing an ejection and injury hazard.
The Ford side door latch recall was announced on August 4, following at least one reported crash and one injury allegedly stemming from faulty door latch springs that may stop the doors from latching fully. Ford is investigating the matter and searching warranty claims to identify additional reports, but is unsure of the defect rate.
The vehicles are being recalled due to the spring assembly in the side door potentially failing or breaking, causing the doors to open not latch closed and open unexpectedly. In the event a door is not fully latched, a side passenger could be at risk of falling of the vehicle or subject to increased crash hazard risks.
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More than 70 accounts of the doors not fully latching that have been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), according to an investigation report (PDF). They have included reports of doors opening and swinging back striking the passenger, doors opening while driving down highways at rapid rates of speed, and one report of an owner who physically tied the door closed. Several reports have indicated the “Door Ajar” warning chime illuminating on the dash board. However Ford is unaware if all vehicles will provide this warning.
Included in the recall are 2013 to 2015 Ford Escape SUVs manufactured between October 19, 2011 and January 31, 2015 at the Louisville Assembly Plant, 2013 to 2015 C-Max cars built between April 19, 2012 and January 31, 2015 at the Michigan Assembly Plant, 2012 through 2015 Ford Focus cars built between August 1, 2010 and January 31, 2015 at the Michigan Assembly Plant, 2014 to 2016 Ford Transit Connect vans built between August 9, 2013 and February 1, 2016 at the Valencia Assembly Plant, 2014 through 2016 Ford Mustang sport cars manufactured between May 28, 2014 and April 30, 2015 at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, and 2015 Lincoln MKC SUVs built between December 4, 2013 and January 31, 2015 at the Louisville Assembly Plant.
Of the roughly 830,000 impacted vehicles, approximately 766,682 were sold throughout the United States and territories and another 61,371 were distributed for sale in Mexico.
The automaker put out a preliminary statement with the recall notice stating the latches may be failing due to exposure to high humidity. Ford announced the rate of occurrence has been higher in more humid climates that have higher temperatures and sunlight exposure such as the southern and western regions of the United States and in Mexico. According to the release, the recall will focus on all vehicles located in Mexico and Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Oregon, and Washington.
Ford announced that customers will be sent written notice of the defect with instructions on how to schedule a free inspection and repair or replacement of the door latches at their local dealer free of charge. Customers with impacted vehicles outside of the high rate of occurrence regions will also be covered under the recall if they suffer the same problem. An official recall notice and repair instructions will be sent to customers within the coming weeks.
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