Ford already recalled vehicles for this issue in some states.
Ford’s door latch recall will now cover 2,383,292 vehicles because the automaker will add around 1.5 million units to the existing campaign. Specifically, there are 2,046,297 of them in the United States, 233,034 in Canada, and 61,363 in Mexico. The affected models are the 2013-2015 C-MAX, 2013-2015 Escape, 2012-2015 Focus, 2015 Mustang, 2014-2016 Transit Connect, and 2015 Lincoln MKC.
According to Ford, the pawl spring tab in the side latches can break. If this happens, then occupants can’t securely close the door, and they could open without warning while on the road. Ford knows of one reported accident and three injuries from this happening.
Ford first discovered this problem in October 2015 when warranty data and field reports showed the latch breaking on the 2015 Focus. An initial investigation showed the risk was greatest in places with high ambient temperatures. The firm also found more affected models. However, Ford decided that a recalled wasn’t necessary because a warning on the instrument panel would tell occupants about an un-latched door. After the number of reports kept increasing through 2016, the automaker reversed its original position and issued a recall in August for 828,000 vehicles from certain regions. Further discussions with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pushed the company towards a nationwide expansion of the campaign.
Ford dealers will replace the door latches to fix the problem. However, the company doesn’t currently have enough parts to repair all the affected vehicles. It plans to send a letter to owners that tells them about the problem and then mail a second notification when the components are ready.
Ford filed a document with the Securities and Exchange Commission that said the expanded repair campaign would cost $640 million, according to The Detroit Free Press. Because of the unexpected expenditure, the Blue Oval now expects $10.2 billion in pre-tax profit for the year rather than $10.8 billion.