Ford has issued a recall for 248,912 vehicles in the United States over defective door latches. According to Car and Driver, the recall covers three sedans – the Ford Fiesta, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ. Nearly 250,000 of these vehicles were made in the United States, and about 20,000 were manufactured in Mexico. The problem is with the latch pawl’s spring-tab design. It can degrade in high temperatures, which can lead to the door not being secured when it is shut. Ford says that even if an owner gets the door to latch after repeated attempts, it is still possible that it will become unlatched while driving.
Details of the Recall
The recall includes three Ford sedans – the 2014–2015 Ford Fiesta, the 2014–2016 Ford Fusion, and the 2014–2016 Lincoln MKZ. The automaker says it is unaware of any accidents or injuries resulting from this issue. The affected vehicles have been or are currently registered in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and federal territories.
When the recall begins, dealers will replace the door latch with one that does not degrade in high temperatures. Owners will be notified beginning May 4. They may also check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website to determine if their vehicles have been recalled by entering their vehicle identification number or VIN.
Ford has had a history of problematic door latches over the last few years. In May 2015, the company had to recall 692,000 small and midsize cars for a door latch problem. At the time, NHTSA warned vehicle owners to get them repaired as soon as they received a recall notice from Ford. In August 2016, Ford recalled 830,000 cars, SUVs, and vans for faulty door latches that could break and cause the doors to open when the vehicles moved.
Auto Product Liability Issues
If you or a loved one has been injured due to these or other auto defects, it is important to understand that you have legal rights. Injured victims can file a product liability lawsuit against the automaker seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, permanent injuries and pain, and suffering. Victims in such cases would also be well advised to contact an auto defect law firm that has access to experts and the experience to hold manufacturers of defective automobiles accountable.