Last month, Ford Motor Company announced an expansion of a previous recall for a faulty door latch. The pawl spring tab in side doors can break, in which case the door does not latch securely and can open while the car is in motion. This recall involves approximately 211,000 vehicles and was done at the request of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The last recall of September 2016 brought the total to 2,383,292 affected vehicles. The majority of the affected vehicles are in the United States, additional vehicles in Canada and Mexico were also included.
The latest recall includes the 2013-15 Ford C-Max and Ford Escape, 2014-16 Ford Transit Connect, 2012-15 Ford Focus, and the 2015 Ford Mustang and Lincoln MKZ. A door that opens while driving increases the risk of personal injury. Ford is asking consumers to contact their local dealer who will replace all four side door latches free of charge.
Ford also issued a different recall relating to a problem with coolant circulation. Some 230,000 vehicles have 1.6 GTDI engines that could overheat because of lack of coolant circulation. If the engine overheats, the cylinder head can crack and leak oil causing an engine fire. This product defect has already been reported as the cause of 29 engine fires in the United States and Canada.
The coolant circulation recall affects the 2014 Ford Escape, 2014-15 Ford Fiesta ST, 2013-14 Ford Fusion and 2013-15 Ford Transit Connect vehicles. Dealers will be installing a coolant sensor to alert owners to future problems related to overheating. They will also check coolant levels for owners of vehicles involved in the recall. Customers are being mailed instructions from the owner’s manual detailing how to check and maintain coolant levels.
Door latches continue to be a product liability problem for Ford. They have been an ongoing issue for the past three years with last year’s recalls costing the company $640 million. Ford’s pretax earnings are expected to be down by $295 million this year.
Know Your Rights in a Recall
After the discovery of a defective product, manufacturers are required to send, by first class mail, written notice of the defect to all purchasers and registered owners of the product. The notice must include a description of the problem and its risk to motor vehicle safety. Any potential problems or safety hazards must be explained to the consumer.
By law, a manufacturer that has issued a recall has three options to remedy it: repair, replace or refund the defective product. In this case Ford is offering to replace all the defective door latches through its dealerships. If your dealership or mechanic refuses to help with the recall you should submit a complaint to Ford or to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Delaware County Product Liability Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate on Behalf of Consumers Harmed by Auto Defects
At McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC our Delaware County product liability lawyers are not afraid to take powerful opponents to trial and will fight to recover the most favorable outcome possible for our clients. Call 215-569-8488 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. We represent clients in Delaware County and throughout Pennsylvania, as well as those in New Jersey and Delaware.