NHTSA Investigates Reports of Ford Fiesta Doors Suddenly Opening While Driving

Federal auto safety officials are investigating potential door problems with certain Ford Fiesta vehicles, following consumer reports that suggest the doors may inadvertently open while the car is parked or in motion, posing a serious injury and crash hazard. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a formal probe into problems with 2011 through 2013 Ford Fiesta vehicles (PDF) on September 11.

The investigation comes after more than 100 reports were submitted where drivers indicated that the Ford Fiesta doors failed to properly latch, opening suddenly while the vehicle was driving at highway speeds in some cases.

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This could pose a serious risk, potentially allowing occupants to fall out of the vehicle or increasing the risk of an accident as the driver attempts to close the door while the vehicle is in motion. Additionally, the defect door latches may result in the loss of valuable items in the vehicles or create situations that allow theft from locked vehicles.

Serious Risks with Ford Fiesta Door Problems

Some of the incident reports have described extremely hazardous situations.

On September 11, the NHTSA received a report that a 2012 Ford Fiesta owner was traveling with her 6 year old grandson in the back seat when the rear passenger door the child was sitting next to swung open.

Another incident that was reported in August indicated a driver and passenger were traveling at speeds over 40 mph when the front passenger door inadvertently opened, forcing the passenger to hold the door closed until the driver could stop the vehicle.

The reports to Ford Motor Company include 12 reports that the doors opened after they were shut and the vehicle was in motion.

Ford is aware of at least one injury report, involving an owner who was struck by the rebounding door after attempting to close it.

Other reports have indicated unoccupied passenger side and rear doors opening causing the drivers to pull over and close the doors. Two complaints have indicated the owners had to tie the doors shut with rope because the doors would not latch, furthering the safety hazard.

The NHTSA and ODI announced they will be analyzing the scope, frequency, and the possible consequences of all of the alleged incidents to determine if a safety risk exists and will then determine if a recall is necessary.

Investigators recommend that in the meantime, consumers with model year 2011 through 2013 Ford Fiesta vehicles should be cautious and always look to see if the dashboard “Door Ajar” lights are illuminated before and while driving the vehicles.

1 Comments

  • PeterOctober 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Unfortunately I encountered the same problem on my 2011 Ford Fiesta. Driving at low speed in a parking lot all of a sudden the rear door opened ans did not stay shut. I had to use a dog's leash to keep the door closed.

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