Just two months after federal regulators shut the book on a probe into why the door latches on certain Ford vehicles refused to stay shut, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a similar investigation into another set of sedans from the carmaker.
NHTSA launched an investigation into nearly 400,000 model year 2012 and 2013 Ford Focus vehicles after receiving consumer complaints alleging the doors don’t remain latched.
According to documents [PDF] from the agency, NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation received 73 reports from consumers that doors fail to latch, with several reports indicating that the “door ajar” warning light on the dash appeared.
In some cases, drivers alleged that the door opened while the vehicle was being driven, while other say they have had to physically tie down the door.
“My daughter was driving and the driver door latch failed and the door wouldn’t stay shut,” one Focus owner reports to NHTSA. “The dealership said the defect is in the door latch. Said there is a recall but only for Fusion and Fiesta models.”
“Today, while putting several things in the back of the car, my wife noticed that the rear driver side door would not close,” another complaint states. “Upon further investigation, it appears that the latch of the door is not functioning properly and the door is not able to be closed.”
“Latches on rear left door broke, not even two weeks later the driver side latch broke,” a complaint from December states. “The car was not in motion, but now when I drive I have to have the door tied to the other door so it does not fling open.”
So far, NHTSA says it is aware of one injury related to the possible defect. In that case an occupant of the vehicle was struck by a door that rebounded after attempting to close it.
The latch issue found on the Focus vehicles is similar to that previously tied to 456,000 model year 2011-2013 Ford Fiesta, model year 2013 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles.
NHTSA closed a year-long investigation into those vehicles in December after determining that a recall by Ford to replace all four door latches on affected models fixed the problem.