Door Latch Problems with Ford Fiesta, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ Result in Recall for 250K Vehicles

Nearly 250,000 Ford Fiesta, Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles have been recalled after the auto maker recognized the potential for problems with door latches, especially in humid climates where the components may be susceptible to cracking or failing to properly latch, which may result in the doors opening suddenly while the vehicle is in motion.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Ford door latch recall on March 25, after the manufacturer’s investigation identified that the vehicles may pose a serious risk for occupants if the doors fail to latch properly.

Ford first learned of the potential door latch problems in October 2019, after the owner of a 2014 Ford Focus submitted a warranty claim indicating the doors did not close and unexpectedly opened while driving. Ford opened an investigation and collected field parts to evaluate the incident, as they continued to monitor for similar claims.

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After reviewing several additional warranty claims, Ford and the door latch parts supplier, Kiekert USA, Inc. of Wixom, Michigan, determined that a component change in the pawl spring tab for the door latch assemblies that was introduced in the second quarter of production in 2015 may be the source of the problems.

Ford’s investigation discovered that 90% of the customer warranty claims have occurred in states with humid climates and long seasons of hot weather, which could result in a scenario called “solar loading” on the door latch components. The investigate team determined the latch pawl spring tab design is susceptible to cracking and failure in areas with high ambient temperatures, and could pose a safety hazard to owners and occupants.

The recall involves approximately 248,912 model year 2014 through 2015 Ford Fiesta vehicles built at Cuautitlán Stamping and Assembly Plant from November 1, 2013 through December 4, 2014, model year 2014 through 2016 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant and Hermosillo Assembly Plant from November 1, 2013 through April 27, 2015, and model year 2014 through 2016 Lincoln MKZ vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant from November 1, 2013 through April 27, 2015.

To date, Ford is aware of warranty claims involving vehicles registered in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and federal territories.

According to the recall notice, customers should be aware of any dashboard cluster illuminations indicating a door is open. Driver and passengers should always wear their seat belts to protect them against serious injury in the event of a crash, and to prevent ejection hazards.

Ford announced it will begin notifying owners of the defect and will provide customers instructions on how to schedule a free repair appointment at their local dealer, who will be instructed to replace the side door latches.

The recall is anticipated to begin on May 4, 2020. Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall may contact Ford Customer Service at 1-866-436-7332 and reference the recall campaign number 20SI5.

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