The NHTSA has expanded an investigation into door-latch failures in 2011-13 Fiestas to include 2013 Fusions and Lincoln MKZs. There are 485,983 potentially affected vehicles currently in the US.
The initial investigation began in September when people reported that the doors of their 2011-13 Fiesta would fly open while the vehicle was in motion. 2 injuries were reported, both when people were trying to close the door while the car was in motion.
That investigation was upgraded to an engineering analysis, which is the step before a recall would be ordered if a problem is found. The investigation also expanded to include Fusions and MKZs as these vehicles use the same door-latch part.
In response to a NHTSA request, Ford reported that it had received 451 reports relating to the problem and 1,079 warranty claims relating to door latch failure.
The company also stated that it does not believe a latched door would unlatch and that warnings come with a door that does not latch.
The NHTSA has countered that the rate of occurrence of doors unlatching is comparable to other door-latch failure investigations. It also questioned the effectiveness of warning systems given the high number of complaints.
Stay tuned for more information. The investigation could result in a recall or it could be dismissed without further action.