Malfunctioning Door Latches Prompt New Ford Recall
Ford Motor Co. is closing out 2023 with another sweeping recall.
The automaker is calling back some 45,000 vehicles, it recently told federal car safety regulators.
The vehicles’ door latches may become faulty when exposed to weather conditions, according to Ford. Specifically, latch pawl spring tabs could crack and break in areas with high outside temperatures.
“A door latch with a fractured pawl spring tab typically results in a ‘door will not close’ condition,” Ford said in a defect notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “If the customer is able to latch the door after repeated attempts to shut the door, there is a potential the door may unlatch while driving, increasing the risk of injury or a crash.”
The recall covers certain 2015 Ford Fiesta, 2016 Ford Fusion and 2016 Lincoln MKZ vehicles. It is an expansion of an earlier recall, in 2020, also over faulty door latches.
Ford said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the defect.
The company said it planned to notify owners of recalled vehicles by mail by early December. Owners can also check the NHTSA website to see if their cars are included in the recall.
Ford is asking owners of recalled cars to bring their vehicles to authorized service providers for inspection and repair.
“If any of the door latch date codes are from the suspect time frame, dealers will replace all four side door latches,” Ford told NHTSA. “There will be no charge for this service.”
Ford Owners in California: Know Your Lemon Law Rights
The company issued more recalls than any other auto manufacturer last year.
Ford announced a total of 67 separate recalls in 2022, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show, far surpassing the 45 recalls by the next closest manufacturer, Volkswagen.
This year has been much of the same.
The company said in December, for instance, that it is recalling more than 5,000 Ford F-150 Lightning pickup trucks over a software defect that could limit drivers’ control of the vehicles. The move came shortly after Ford called back some 230,000 Explorer sport utility vehicles that the company said could lose power or roll away.
Fortunately, Ford and other car owners across California have some important rights and protections under the state’s lemon law.
The California lemon law generally requires car manufacturers to perform a variety of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty.
The law also requires automakers to buy back cars that they are unable or simply refuse to fix. A carmaker can instead offer to replace the vehicle, but it is up to the owner to decide whether to accept or reject this alternative arrangement.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.