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Another Door Latch Recall Bedevils Ford

Chronic problems and fixes for fixes continue
#tech #Lincoln #Ford

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Door latches that don’t stay latched—a recurring problem at Ford—are back.

This time, the company is recalling nearly 2.2 million cars, vans and crossovers in the U.S….again.

The vehicles were supposedly fixed under two earlier recalls. But Ford says they may not have been fixed correctly, and some doors may have not been repaired at all.

The new campaign covers an assortment of 2011-2015 models. They comprise:

FORD BRAND

  • Fiesta minicars
  • Focus compact sedans
  • Fusion midsize sedans
  • Escape small crossovers
  • C-Max small MPVs
  • Mustang sport coupes
  • Transit Connect compact vans

LINCOLN BRAND

  • MKZ midsize sedans
  • MKC small crossovers

To see if a specific vehicle is included, visit nhtsa.gov/recalls and type in its vehicle identification number.

Here We Go Again

As the two earlier recalls attest, this isn’t Ford’s first go-around with door latches that don’t work. In this case, the problem is a broken component won’t “catch” the door when it’s closed. If repeated slams do the trick, the door may open on its own anyway when the vehicle is moving, according to Ford.

The process of recalling a group of vehicles, then expanding the group in a second recall before fixing some or all of these vehicles again is not unusual for Ford.

Sticky Problems

In 2014, the company recalled nearly 693,000 Escapes with door handles that could bind and prevent the latch from latching securely.

A year later, Ford launched three campaigns covering 964,000 sedans and SUVs with various door handle and latch problems that could prevent doors from closing or cause them to pop open in a crash or while the car was under way.

In 2016, the company added 1.5 million vehicles to some of those previous recalls, hiking the number of units on the repair list—including those covered in today’s recall—to 2.4 million. One callback added nearly 1.6 million to an earlier campaign.

In 2017, Ford expanded a previous callback of Fiesta, Fusion and MKZ models to 211,000 vehicles. Seven months later, it recalled 1.3 million F-150 pickups to fix door mechanisms that could freeze in winter and stop securing the door.

Lesson Not Learned

You can see a pattern here. Ford isn’t alone in having door latch problems, but it sure has fumbled the challenges of fixing them.

Makes you wonder what it takes to crack the mystery of making a latch mechanism with the chops to work as intended, doesn’t it?

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