Ford Motor Company has announced a recall of thousands of its sedans after receiving several complaints of faulty door latches that can cause the doors to fly open while the car is being driven.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began an investigation of the door latches last September after receiving over 200 complaints about doors on the Ford Fiesta, including 65 incidents involving doors flying open as the car was in motion. The automaker acknowledged that the pawl spring tab in many of its vehicles can break, resulting in doors that will not stay latched.

Consumers should be aware of the following issues related to the recall:

  • Affected models. There are over 389,000 vehicles included in the recall, including Ford Fiestas, Fusions and Lincoln MKZ sedans. Recalled vehicles include 2012, 2013, and 2014 Fiestas built between Feb. 1, 2012, and May 31, 2013; 2013-2014 Ford Fusions built between July 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013; and 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ vehicles built between July 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013. All of the affected vehicles were built at Ford’s Cuautitlán Assembly Plant or Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico.
  • Injuries and damages. Ford says it has received reports of several accidents that have already occurred as a result of the faulty doors. At least two injuries were caused when doors rebounded back into customers as they tried to close them, and reports indicate damages as a result of doors flying open in parking lots, striking other vehicles.
  • Multiple latch issues. One Fiesta owner reported to NHTSA problems replacing all of the latches on his vehicles after his passenger door flung open during a left turn. After the owner reportedly drove with the seat belt tied to the door to have the defect repaired, the Ford dealership would only replace the defective passenger latch. The customer reported his rear door flew open days later, and that the Ford dealership again fixed only the broken latch.

What Should I Do if I Drive One of the Defective Ford Models?

Ford owners can check the recall status of their vehicles online to see if their vehicles have been affected. Ford has already received 1,079 warranty claims related to the recall, and has affirmed that its dealerships will replace all four door latches at no cost to the consumer.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.