— Ford door sensor problems have caused the owner of a 2011 Ford Edge to file a class-action lawsuit alleging door sensors fail and cause "door ajar" lights to illuminate on the 2011-2014 Ford Edge, 2011-2015 Lincoln MKX, 2013 Ford Flex and 2013 Lincoln MKT.
Plaintiff Roger Kinnunen purchased a new 2011 Ford Edge and by October 2012 he experienced a “door ajar” warning light on his instrument panel. Kinnunen says he took the SUV to a dealership that verified the door ajar light was coming on, but replacing the door latch assembly would fix the problem.
In February 2015, the Edge once again experienced a door ajar warning light, causing the plaintiff to contact the dealer. A technician said a technical service bulletin had been issued by Ford with instructions to remove the door latch and cycle it.
Then the door ajar warning light came on again a year later, but this time the dealer said Ford wouldn't cover the cost for repairs, leaving the plaintiff holding the checkbook. Upset, Kinnunen took the Ford Edge to an independent repair shop where the door latch assembly was replaced for $206.91.
The defect allegedly begins with contamination of the electrical contacts on the door sensor, something that will eventually cause the sensors to fail. A driver will likely see a warning light that says "Door Ajar" and then experience problems with the door latches and locks.
According to the plaintiff, single or multiple doors on the vehicles may not lock at any time, whether the vehicle is turned on or off and despite necessary commands by the operator. This jeopardizes safety by making the Ford vehicles more vulnerable to theft, unintentional door openings during operation and other risks that could have otherwise been avoided.
Then there is the danger to children sitting in the rear seats since the child door lock safety features can become inoperable. In addition, car batteries will drain if the door sensors and latches fail when the car is turned off.
Based on court documents, Ford concealed the door sensor problems even though the automaker knew certain components within the door latch systems do not reduce contamination to minimize door sensor failures.
For customers with vehicles within the warranty periods, Ford has allegedly done nothing more than to temporarily repair the door sensors and latches or replace assemblies with other similarly defective door latch assemblies.
Ford has also allegedly refused to take any action to correct the root cause of this concealed defect when it manifests in vehicles both in and outside the warranty period.
The plaintiff says Ford has long been aware about the door sensor problems through complaints, warranty claims, information from Ford dealers and internal records, yet has refused to recall the vehicles to repair the door latches and sensors.
Saying Ford has been deceptive and unfair with affected owners and caused owners to lose money and a loss of value of the cars, Kinnunen says he would not have purchased his Ford Edge if Ford would have admitted the problems with the door sensors and latches.
Overall, the lawsuit alleges the affected vehicles were manufactured with defective door latch systems that make the door sensors fail. And once the door sensors stop operating, the "door ajar" lights illuminate and the door latch assemblies and latching systems completely fail. The only known fix is to replace the door latch assemblies, something that typically leaves owners paying for repairs.
The Ford door sensor class-action lawsuit, if approved, will include all persons or entities in the U.S. who are current or former owners and/or lessees of 2011-2014 Ford Edge, 2011-2015 Lincoln MKX, 2013 Ford Flex and 2013 Lincoln MKT vehicles.
The Ford door sensor lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court For The Eastern District of Michigan - Roger Kinnunen, et al, v. Ford Motor Company.
In October 2016, federal safety regulators opened an investigation into Ford Edge door ajar lights after owners suspected the door sensors were faulty. But even after admitting 2,000 complaints had been filed about the Edge door ajar lights, the government closed the investigation without finding evidence of a defect.