Here is a real situation: Imagine a Ford Fiesta or a Fusion with a door that won’t close, no matter what you do. You slam; kick, fling, hit, and use every bit of brute force you can think of – maybe a log -- and the door still won’t shut and latch.
Door Latch May Work, But …
Suddenly, you are lucky, and the side door finally latches. However, you are playing a waiting game. Inevitably, the door will pop open as you are driving, exposing you and your passengers to danger.
Ford is aware of the problem and has launched a safety recall. The recall covers a quarter-million 2014-15 Ford Fiestas, 2014-2016 Ford Fusions, and 2014-2016 Lincoln MKZs primarily from warm weather environments. My colleague Jimmy Dinsmore covered another recent Ford Ranger recall here. Ford had another major recall in its popular F-150 pickup lineup that I covered for Torque News as a member of the F-150 reporting team.
According to Ford, the affected vehicles have door latch pawl spring-tabs whose design is susceptible to failure due to cracking in areas with high daily temperatures – the Southwest or the Southeast.
When the door latch with a fractured pawl spring tab has this condition, it typically results in a “door will not close” situation. If the driver can close and latch the door, it can easily [and will] unlatch while driving, increasing the risk of injury to the driver or passengers.
Door Latch Issue Has Caused No Crashes
Ford is not aware of any reports of crashes or injuries related to this condition. In total, the problem affects 248,912 cars in the U.S., 19,413 in Mexico, and four in Canada. Dealers will remove and replace the side door latches.
The affected vehicles include:
- 2014-2015 Ford Fiestas built at Cuautitlan Stamping and Assembly plant, Mexico, Nov. 1, 2013-Dec. 4, 2014
- 2014-2016 Ford Fusions built at the Flat Rock and Hermosillo, Mexico Assembly Plants, Nov. 1, 2013-April 27, 2015
- 2014-2016 Lincoln MKZs built at Hermosillo, Mexico Assembly Plant, Nov. 1, 2013-April 27,2015
Door Latch Issue Affects Warm-Weather Cars
Records show registrations for the affected vehicles in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and federal territories.
The Ford reference number for this recall is 20S15.
In the second safety recall, Ford has recalled nearly 3,000 E-Series vehicles for problems with frame-mounted wiring harnesses. Over time, the harnesses may chafe on the frame, damaging the wiring them and critical vehicular electrical systems. Earlier this year, Ford had another E-Series recall that I wrote about here.
E-Series Vehicles Recalled By Ford
The systems include the fuel, trailer towing, and antilock braking systems. The chafing can damage the fuel pump circuit, leading to unexpected stalling while driving. If an engine stall happens while the vehicle is in motion, it may affect the vehicle’s ability to restart, increasing the risk of a crash.
Ford has reported no crashes, injuries, or fires related to this condition. The issue affects 2,871 vehicles in the U.S. and 760 in Canada. Ford built the commercial vehicles at its Ohio Assembly Plant from May 11, 2019, to Jan. 30, 2020.
Dealers will inspect the harness for damage. If there is no damage, the technician will place anti-abrasion tape over the area and ensure clearance to surrounding components.
If the harness is damaged, technicians will follow the standard workshop manual repair procedure to slice in new wire, apply anti-abrasion tape over the areas and assure clearance to surrounding components. The Ford reference ID for this recall is 20S13.
E-Series Vehicles Are Stripped Chassis
E-Series vehicles are Ford stripped chassis and cutaway vehicles.
In a Canada-only safety recall, the automaker is recalling more than 50,000 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, and Lincoln MKZ vehicles to repair a brake problem. The problem affects 2006-2010 Fusions, 2006-2010 Milans, and 2006-2010 Lincoln MKZs.
Ford says that the problem involves a valve inside the hydraulic control unit that may stick open. The normally closed device, when it stays open, could lead to extended brake pedal travel, possibly increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect the hydraulic control unit for signs of stuck or slow-responding valves and replace the unit if necessary. The system will be pressure-flushed with DOT 4 brake fluid. As part of the procedure, a new DOT 4 reservoir cap will replace the now-standard DOT 3 cap.
E-Series Vehicles Reportedly Had Crash
There has been one crash reported that is related to this condition. Ford built the affected vehicles at its Hermosillo Assembly Plant from Feb. 22, 2008, to July 15, 2009. The Ford reference number is 20S14.
Marc Stern has been an auto writer since 1971. It was a position that filled two boyhood dreams: One was that I would write, and two that I write about cars. When I took over as my newspaper's auto editor, I began a 32-year career as an automotive columnist. There isn't much on four wheels that I haven't driven or reviewed. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. Today, I am the Ford F150 reporter for Torque News. I write how-to and help columns for online sites such as Fixya.com and others. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Most of Marc's stories can be found at Torque News Ford coverage. Check back again and search for Torque News Ford F-150 news for more F-150 truck news coverage.