On September 11, 2014 the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI)of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened Preliminary Evaluation PE14-028 to investigate claims of doors failing to latch and/or inadvertently opening on model year 2011-2013 Ford Fiesta vehicles. ODI has received 207 unique reports related to the alleged problem, with sixty-five claiming that the door(s) opened inadvertently while the vehicle was in motion. Two injuries were reported, both caused by a rebounding door striking a consumer after they attempted to close it. In response to ODI’s Information Request (IR) letter, Ford Motor Company (Ford) responded with 451 unique reports related to the alleged problem. Ford also submitted 1,079 warranty claims related to door latch failures. Additionally, Ford informed ODI in its IR response that 2013 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles utilize the same door latch as the 2011-13 Fiesta. ODI has received 11 reports on these vehicles, with 4 allegations of inadvertent opening.
According to the ODI, Ford stated that it does not believe that a latched door experiencing this condition will inadvertently unlatch and that there are many overt warnings associated with a door that does not latch.
ODI noted that the rate of occurrence for this failure is comparable to other door latch failure investigations and questions the effectiveness of warning signals given the number of complainants alleging that the door(s) opened while the vehicle was in motion. As a result ODI upgraded the investigation to further assess the scope, frequency and consequence of this failure.
If this has happened to, please share your story.
***** UPDATE ******
Ford Motor Company is issuing a safety recall for approximately 390,000 2012-2014 Ford Fiesta and 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles for a door latch issue. The door latch in these vehicles may experience a broken pawl spring tab, which typically results in a condition where the door will not latch. If a customer is then able to latch the door, there is potential the door may unlatch while driving, increasing the risk of injury.
Ford is aware of two allegations of soreness resulting from an unlatched door bouncing back when the customer attempted to close it, and one accident allegation when an unlatched door swung open and struck an adjacent vehicle as the driver was pulling into a parking space.
Affected vehicles include certain 2012-2014 Ford Fiesta vehicles built at Cuautitlán Assembly Plant, Feb. 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013; certain 2013-2014 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, July 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013; and certain 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, July 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013.
There are approximately 390,000 vehicles in North America (actual 389,585), including 336,873 in the United States and federalized territories, 30,198 in Canada and 22,514 in Mexico.
Dealers will replace all four door latches at no cost to the customer.