— A Ford F-150 door latch lawsuit alleges cold weather and freezing temperatures prevent the doors from being closed or locked, especially in the cold state of New York.
The Ford F-150 door latch lawsuit currently includes New York consumers, but just as with many vehicle lawsuits, what starts in one area can easily spread across the country.
The proposed class-action lawsuit includes current and former owners and lessees of 2015-2017 Ford F-150 trucks.
Plaintiff Brandon Kommer says Ford sells the large number of trucks it does only because of deceptive and misleading advertising that says the F-150 is "Ford Tough" and equipped with "Rock-Solid Durability."
Kommer says there is nothing "tough" about a truck equipped with doors that won't latch or lock when the temperature falls below freezing, something that no amount of global warming will fix.
Kommer says he purchased a 2015 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew truck in October 2015 believing his truck was "Ford Tough," only to immediately notice several issues with the truck's doors and locks. The lawsuit alleges the front, rear, driver and passenger side doors would not latch close and the electric locks would not open.
In addition, the door handles wouldn't move, the locks wouldn't release and Kommer says he had to use the door’s exterior electronic keypad to lock the doors.
The F-150 door latch lawsuit alleges the automaker knew about problems as early as April 8, 2015, because Ford issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) to dealers that said:
“2015 F-150 SuperCab and SuperCrew Cab vehicles built on or before 3/25/2015 may exhibit inoperative door latches during or after freezing temperatures.” - TSB 15-0052
This door latch TSB described the action needed to be taken by Ford dealers and the specific service procedures allegedly to fix the defective latches. However, as a TSB and not a recall, Ford wasn't required to notify F-150 truck owners.
The TSB’s recommended actions include:
- Removing all interior door panels
- Removing all the center door latch assemblies
- Using compressed air to blow dry all of the center door latch assemblies after removal
- Using compressed air to blow dry all of the handle assemblies
- Installing new door latch assemblies on SuperCab vehicles
- Using grease or lubricant on the steel cable and all moving components of the center latch assemblies
- Using grease or lubricant and spraying the inside of all front and rear door exterior handles
- Reinstalling all center door latch assemblies and reinstalling all of the interior door panels
Ford then issued a second more detailed TSB (16-0155) in November 2016 concerning door latches, but this second TSB wasn't limited to the 2015 F-150 SuperCab and SuperCrew models built before March 25, 2015, but was expanded to include all 2015-2017 F-150 trucks.
The second TSB sent to Ford dealers included more details about "fixing" the door latch problems:
- Removing both front door interior door panels on all vehicles and both rear door interior door panels only on SuperCrew vehicles
- Removing door water shields
- Verifying the latch release cable is properly seated and the cable end is properly installed on to the outer handle
- If improper installation is found and the cable has become kinked, replacing the cable
- Removing both front door latch assemblies on all vehicles and both rear door latch assemblies on the SuperCrew vehicles
- Using compressed air to blow dry all the door latch assemblies after removal and all interior handle assemblies
- Replacing the door latch retaining brackets
- Installing the rain shield on the door latch brackets opposite the latch using Ford supplied hardware
- Potentially installing new door lock rods on all door latch assemblies
- Greasing or lubricating the steel cable and all moving exterior handle components while cycling the handle, all moving components of the latch assemblies, latch lock rod and all attachment points, and the inside of all front and rear door exterior handles
- Reinstalling all door latch assemblies and reinstalling all of the interior door panels
Despite issuing two TSBs, one in March 2015 and the second in November 2016, Ford customers continue to experience the same problems.
"My 2015 Ford F150 truck has inoperative frozen door latches.I have waited 6-8 weeks for the parts to come in. Ive had many occasions ive had to bungee my door somewhat closed to get my family home. I cannot get into my truck and when I do I cannot get the door to shut because of the inoperative door latches. I had it at a Ford dealership for a frozen door latch, inoperative tsb (16-0155) on 1/6/17. On 1/7/17 I went out to my truck and I cannot get into it even with the tsb work done the day before." - 2015 Ford F-150 owner / Springville, New York
Another 2015 truck owner says the doors opened while the truck was in motion.
"When cold, doors do not latch securely and door will appear a jar in gauge cluster as well as being a jar. In addition doors have popped open while in motion because they are not securely closed." - 2015 Ford F-150 owner / Bloomingdale, New York
And another New York customer said they must hold the door shut just to drive.
"Door locks froze in cold weather, not allowing the driver or rear doors to latch. Unable to drive car without holding door shut, not safe, especially with children in back seat. Occurred after sitting in parking lot for 20 mins in 20 degree F temperature, dry day, no water/wash." - 2016 Ford F-150 owner / Williamsville, New York
The Ford F-150 door latch lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court Northern District of New York - Brandon Kommer, et al, v. Ford Motor Company.
The plaintiff is represented by Denlea & Carton LLP.