Door latch recall to cost Ford, cut into full-year profits
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DETROIT — Ford will spend $640 million to replace door latches on nearly 2.4 million cars, trucks and vans this year because the doors can pop open while the vehicles are moving.
On Thursday, the company announced it would add 1.5 million vehicles to the pesky and growing recall, which has become so costly Ford had to cut its estimated full-year pretax profit to $10.2 billion from at least $10.8 billion.
Customers have been complaining about the problem, which has affected much of Ford’s North American model lineup, since 2014. At least 3 million vehicles have been recalled due to the problem. The recalls come after a U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation found 1,200 customer complaints about doors failing to latch.
Thursday’s announcement came under pressure from NHTSA, which deemed an Aug. 4 recall of about 830,000 vehicles inadequate because it wasn’t nationwide.
Ford said in a regulatory filing that the $640 million will cover the cost of both the Thursday recall and the one announced Aug. 4.
The latest recall includes the 2012 through 2015 Ford Focus, the 2013 to 2015 Ford Escape and C-Max, the 2015 Ford Mustang and Lincoln MKC and the 2014 through 2016 Ford Transit Connect small van.
Ford says a spring tab in the door latches can break, and the doors either won’t close or could pop open. Dealers will replace the latches for free. The company said it knows of one crash and three injuries that may be related to the problem.
The Aug. 4 recall was limited to Mexico and 16 states with high temperatures and sunlight exposure.
Ford says customers who want to know if their vehicle is included in the recall can go to www.ford.com, click on safety recalls and enter their vehicle identification number. That number can be found on most state registration cards and is attached to the dashboard near the driver’s side windshield.