Ford Motor Company has announced two new recalls, which will affect about 440,000 vehicles. According to a Reuters news report, the two separate recalls include 211,000 vehicles in North America to replace potentially faulty side door latches and 230,000 vehicles for under-hood fire risks. So far, the automaker has received reports of 29 fires, but no injuries. The recalls and repairs are expected to cost Ford about $295 million.
Details of the Recalls
Ford had previously recalled nearly 4 million vehicles for door latch issues in six separate recalls since 2014, including 2.4 million vehicles recalled in late 2016. The latest door latch recall includes 211,000 2014 model year Ford Fiesta, 2013-14 Ford Fusion and 2013-14 MKZ vehicles. Ford officials say they are not aware of any crashes or injuries linked to this particular defect.
However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2015 said it had 1,102 reports relating to door latch failures. Ford had more than 10,000 warranty claims relating to the same issue as well. According to the complaints, some vehicle owners told NHTSA they had to use ropes or tape or even seatbelts to restrain doors.
The second recall covers 230,000 Escape, Fiesta, Fusion and Ford Transit Connect vehicles. In these vehicles, the lack of coolant circulation could cause the engine to overheat, This could cause a crack in the cylinder head resulting in an oil leak, thereby increasing the fire danger. NHTSA opened an investigation into 440,000 Ford Edge SUVs (2011-13 models) over door latch warning light issues. That investigation is being closed without seeking a recall.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Both the issues highlighted involving defective door latches and the fire risks are serious and could result in serious injuries or even fatalities. If you don’t know if your vehicle is part of the recall, visit safercar.gov and enter your vehicle identification number or VIN. If your vehicle is part of the recall, follow up with your dealership to schedule a repair, which the automaker is required to make at no cost to consumers.
If you have been injured as a result of these auto defects, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.