Lawsuit Claims Ford Trucks With Alleged Door Latch Defect Are Not “Ford Tough”

Image courtesy of Daniel Oines

For the better part of three years Ford has endured federal investigations and rather large recalls related to its ongoing saga of doors that just won’t stay shut. While those issues centered on the carmaker’s smaller models, a recently filed lawsuit claims the company’s trucks also contain a door latch defect that contradicts the company’s “Ford Tough” mantra.

The class-action seeking lawsuit [PDF], filed in a New York court, claims that the doors on Ford’s F-150 pickup trucks fail to latch closed and lock in below freezing temperatures.

According to the lawsuit, which seeks to cover all New York-based owners and lessees of model year 2015 to 2017 F-150 vehicles, Ford deceptively and misleadingly advertised the trucks as “Ford Tough” and possessing “Rock-solid Durability.”

Instead, the suit claims that the truck “possesses an elemental defect,” in which the doors won’t lock when the temperature drops below freezing.

The plaintiff says he began experiencing issues with his 2015 F-150 XLT SuperCrew truck shortly after purchasing it in October 2015.

The problems he encountered included: front, rear, driver, and passenger side doors that would not latch closed; electric locks that would not open; door handles not moving; locks not releasing; and having to use the door’s exterior electronic keypad to lock the doors.

Troubled by the issues, the man turned to online forums only to find other owners with similar problems.

In one online car forum, an owner of a 2015 F-150 wrote that “whenever it’s cold out, we’re talking 20◦ F and below, the door will not latch when closed.”

Another 2015 F-150 owner noted that he had woken up to below freezing temperatures and found that his vehicle doors and locks weren’t opening or locking.

The owner of a 2016 F-150 noted that when the temperature two mornings in a row was 12º and 1º, “the door wouldn’t stay closed. I had to get the WD40 out and slam the door pretty hard to go to work.”

“While the defect is obviously troubling, Ford’s conduct is even more disturbing because it has known about this problem for years,” the suit states.

The complaint claims that Ford issued two separate technical service bulletins to address its defective vehicles, but has allowed the problem to persist without any recall from Ford, or any other correction to its misleading advertising.

As a result, the suit claims that consumers have had to shell out their own money to fix the doors. Additionally, they have overpaid for the vehicle, which has diminished value because of the alleged defect.

The lawsuit seeks indicative relieve over false advertising, as well as unspecified damages.

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