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Image courtesy of MGN Online.

Imagine you’re driving down the highway, cool wind in your hair, the warm smell of… having just learned (yeah, I know, what took me so long?) what the next line means, I’ll end the Hotel California intro here.* Anyway, imagine you’re on that awesome trip when, suddenly, one of your car doors pops open! Especially if it’s one of the rear doors and you have child passengers! Granted, seatbelts and car seats are protection against being pulled out of the vehicle, but nothing is guaranteed in this world. Why do I bring this up? I do so because it can happen and it can be not only scary, but dangerous. Faulty door latches prompt 830K vehicle Ford recall. I might even find myself thinking of the “warm smell of colitas” if it happened to me.

Image courtesy of http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/ford/ford-mustang-2015-review/.
Image courtesy of http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/ford/ford-mustang-2015-review/.

So, what’s behind the failing door latches? A little spring that sometimes breaks, especially in areas with a lot of sunlight exposure and high temperatures. That covers a lot of ground, which is why the U.S. automaker has issued the recall for the affected vehicles in 16 states and the entirety of Mexico. The states included in the recall are:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Oregon
  • Washington

The faulty spring, when it breaks, prevents the door from latching. The recall affects the following models and model years:

  • Ford Escape SUVs, 2013 – 2015
  • C-Max cars, 2013 – 2015
  • Focus cars, 2012 – 2015
  • Ford Transit Connect vans, 2014 – 2016
  • Ford Mustang, 2015
  • Lincoln MKC SUVs, 2015

If your vehicle is on this list and you receive a recall notice, get to a dealership as soon as possible. The dealership will replace all of your vehicle’s latches at no charge if you reside in Mexico or one of the 16 recall states. Ford has agreed to replace latches once at no charge on vehicles in other states only if they break. I don’t find that last part the least bit comforting.

Under the recall, the vehicle count is split at 61,371 in Mexico and 766,682 in the U.S and its federalized territories. Only five of the sixteen federalized territories are currently inhabited: American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Northern Marianas and Guam.

 

The company, however, stated that only states with certain high temperature and sunlight exposure levels were going to be part of the recall. It’s not clear to me at the time of this writing what the levels must be to qualify a state.

Currently, Ford reports one accident and one injury that could possibly be attributed to the faulty latches. For its sake, I hope that remains true. As it stands the recall (just in Mexico and the 16 listed states) comes with an approximately $270M bill. Ford told the SEC in a filing that the recall cost will be listed as part of its pretax Q3 results.

In a time of massive vehicle recalls, I can’t help but wonder if some of the top executives of the world’s automakers wouldn’t like a long vacation, a chance to “dance to forget.”

* Thank you, Eagles, for such a great song!

Sources:

Ford recalls 830K vehicles; doors can open while vehicles are moving

FORD RECALLS 830K VEHICLES TO FIX FAULTY DOOR LATCHES

Eagles’ Lyrics – Hotel California

Ford Recalls Almost 830,000 Vehicles In North America To Replace Side Door Latches

Territories of the United States

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