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Lincoln Engineering Analysis EA15002: Door Latch Failure
2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Door Latch Failure
- The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened an investigation based on consumer allegations of doors failing to latch and/or inadvertently opening on model year (MY) 2011-2013 Ford Fiesta, MY 2013 Ford Fusion and MY 2013 Lincoln MKZ vehicles. All of the affected vehicles share the same door latch design.ODI has received 281 unique reports related to the alleged problem, with over 100 claiming that the door(s) opened inadvertently while the vehicle was in motion. There were no crashes reported however three separate injuries were indicated, all 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 1,102 unique reports related to the alleged problem. There were no injury claims but there were two claims of low speed accidents occurring involving the door opening while driving and damaging property. Ford also submitted 10,883 warranty claims related to door latch failures.Many customers indicated that the door would not latch at all and accordingly they decided to restrain the door by other means (looping the seatbelt through the door, or using rope or tape) in order to drive the vehicle.Some customers also reported multiple door latch failures occurring on the same vehicle on different doors occurring months apart.On April 23rd, 2015 Ford notified ODI that it would conduct a safety recall (15V-246) to remedy door latches failures on certain MY 2011-2014 Ford Fiesta and MY 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles.According to Ford, the pawl spring tab located within the door latch can break off, or separate and result in a ""door will not close" condition.The recalled vehicles include Fiesta vehiclesmanufactured from the start of the MY 2011 to May 2013 and Fusion and MKZ vehicles manufactured from the start of the MY 2013 year until May 2013.In May 2013 Ford reports that it made a manufacturing quality control change, specific to the spring tab, to improve the performance of the existing part.The door latch spring tab was redesigned and the new latch was phased into production in December 2014 with a new part number.Ford will replace all four door latches on the affected vehicles with the new latch design currently in production.The recall action initiated by the manufacturer appears to address the safety risks of concern to ODI.Accordingly, the investigation is closed.The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the identification (ODI) numbers found in the attached list.
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