Ford Motor Co. has recalled approximately 830,000 vehicles equipped with side door latches that could break and open while driving, or may not close at all, bringing the number of affected cars to more than 1.3 million, the company said in a statement Thursday. The automaker’s recall includes model year 2013 to 2015 Ford C-Max and Escape vehicles, and 2012 to 2015 model year Focus vehicles. The recall also includes 2015 Mustang and Lincoln MKC models, as well as 2014 to 2016 model year Ford Transit Connect vans.
In addition, Ford announced a new customer survey to examine vehicles outside the scope of the recall to see if other customers experienced door latch issues. “If a vehicle exhibits a broken door latch, Ford will provide a one-time replacement at no charge for the life of the vehicle,” Ford said in a statement. The automaker said the affected vehicles may have door latches with a broken pawl spring tab, which may prevent the door from latching. If the door did close, it could come open while driving and increase the risk for injury.
Ford says one injury may have been caused by a faulty door latch when a rear door opened and then closed on a passenger’s arm. The recalled vehicles are mostly from states with higher ambient temperatures, including Texas, California and Florida, where Ford said a larger portion of the reports of faulty door latches originate. Dealers will replace side door latches free of charge to the customer, Ford said. The company said it will begin notifying customer by mail by the week of Sept. 5, 2016.
This recall adds to nearly 550,000 vehicles already recalled over faulty door latches since 2015. The first recalls came in a January 2015 with 205,000 Ford Taurus sedans. Ford announced another recall of 213,000 Ford Explorer and Police Interceptor SUVs in March 2015. The automaker recalled 156,000 model year 2011 to 2014 Ford Fiestas and 2013 to 2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles in May 2015, adding to a similar recall of 390,000 of the vehicles just a week earlier.
Ford is also the subject of an investigation launched in January 2016 by NHTSA after the agency received nearly 75 complaints over faulty door latches on model year 2012 and 2013 Ford Fiestas. That investigation is ongoing.
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