By on October 18, 2017

2017 Ford F-150 Dallas Cowboys Edition, Image: Ford

On Wednesday, Ford Motor Co. recalled 1.3 million F-150 and Super Duty pickups to fix faulty side door latches. In the affected vehicles, a frozen door latch or a bent actuation cable could result in a door that neither opens or closes — nullifying the only thing it’s responsible for.

However, the real risk comes from faulty doors that appear to be functional but latch improperly when shut. Points of entry that may appear to have shut as intended could still have latches that don’t engage with the striker effectively, allowing for a seemingly closed door to swing open suddenly while a vehicle is in motion. 

Ford has made plans to install water shields on affected models. Dealers will also inspect the vehicles to ensure the condition of door mechanisms and replace parts if applicable. The recall involves approximately 1,344,605 vehicles in North America, including 1,101,107 in the United States, 222,408 in Canada, and another 21,090 in Mexico. Affected models include F-150s from the 2015 through 2017 model years and Super Duties from 2017.

Door latches appear to be a bit of a sore spot for Ford right now. Earlier this year, the company had to recall 211,000 late model Ford Fusions, Fiestas, and Lincoln MKZs. That issue was an expansion of another door-related recall from 2016 and affected both North America and Europe. All in, Ford’s door problem has garnered multiple investigations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and resulted in millions of recalled units over the last four years.

Through the first quarter of 2017, the reoccurring latch problem has cost the automaker nearly $300 million in recalls. A recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that the automaker expects to lose another $267 million resulting from this most recent issue.

Our advice is to take your F-Series into your dealership as directed and always wear a seatbelt. Ford claims it is unaware of any injuries or accidents associated with the problem.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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22 Comments on “Ford’s Reoccurring Door Latch Problem Results in Massive F-Series Recall...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Door latches have been around for what – 500, 1000, 2000 years?

    There can only be a few reasons Ford is struggling with this:
    1. Poor IP communication from the old guard to the new.
    2. Insufficient FMEA before tooling.
    3. Insufficient validation parameters during testing.
    4. Aluminum, because it’s not steel. :)

    Having doors open spontaneously is bad, but having door *not* open can be scary. We experienced a stuck door on our old Odyssey from time to time, and it suddenly gets real when you can’t get your kids out of the car.

  • avatar

    This is what happens when you hire a guy that knows about airplanes to run an auto company and he drastically lowers quality to raise profits.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Yeah, because aircraft mfrs make money by cutting corners on quality.

      • 0 avatar

        Lately it looks like aircraft companies try to make money by lobbying for crippling tariffs on competitor’s planes ;)

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Boeing has cried poor previously, even when EADS (Airbus) won the contract for the AAR contract.

          Boeing won out with Congress. Then! Boeing cried poor over the AAR contract handed to them requesting $50 billion! This is after Boeing stated they could produce the tankers for the same price as EADS.

          • 0 avatar

            There’s a lot more to that story, such as the Airbus tanker being way out of the Air Force’s ideals and then schmoozing contract changes to spell out their aircraft instead of Boeing’s. Robert Gates did the right thing and made everyone take a year time-out.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Um, I do believe the Airbus is superior to the when it’s ready and 50 billion over run Boeing Tanker.

            There is not more to the story. Boeing cried when it lost the contract and forced Congress to stop EADS from gaining the contract. Boeing stated it could produce the tankers for the same price, then cried they need $50 billion more to produce them.

            So, the US taxpayer is now footing a much larger amount of money for a product that is going to be only as capable or more probable less capable.

    • 0 avatar

      Did the previous generation get shields over latch mechanisms? Nope. Has any previous generation F-150 come with shields over latches? Nope.

      I’m not aware of any Ford/FMC car or truck to ever come with shields for door latches, or any car anywhere.

      I’m sure engineers thought they had all the bases covered, although there’s a good chance the latches could be reacting to the aluminum shells, when combined with moisture in the door.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Yup, the engineers did as they were told, produce the cheapest piece of crap door latch.

        They knew what they were doing.

        • 0 avatar

          “Built Ford Tough” with Dennis Leary being tossed from a moving F-150 or F-250 at 58 miles per hour whose door flings open suddenly severing his spinal cord.

          By the way, the Ford Edge that Mark Baruth reviewed earlier this week has to be one of the worst vehicles, by a wide margin, in its segment. It’s a total piece of $hit.

    • 0 avatar

      “Built Ford Tough” with Dennis Leary being tossed from a moving F-150 or F-250 at 58 miles per hour whose door flings open suddenly severing his spinal cord.

      By the way, the Ford Edge that Mark Baruth reviewed earlier this week has to be one of the worst vehicles, by a wide margin, in its segment. It’s a total piece of $shit.

  • avatar

    So…Ford can’t get doors right, but they want me to trust their EcoBoost technology to run as long as an NA drivetrain?

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      Doubt it’s the aluminum, quite a few Ford products with door latch issues that did not have aluminum bodies.

      Luckily seems to only affect those that live in cold weather, I live in San Diego and my 2015 F150 2.7L Ecocboost was an early production model, haven’t had an issue with over 60,000 miles of driving so far.

    • 0 avatar

      Well…if it’s a Ford NA drivetrain then the bar is set pretty low.

  • avatar
    Prove Your Humanity 2+9=?

    Door latches shouldn’t be a weak point. That technology was perfected decades ago, and slightly improved bit by bit since then.
    This can only be manifest cheapness. Penny wise and pound foolish.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Cheapness is he answer. Just have a look at the Chinese “military” grade interior of the F150.

      • 0 avatar

        Yep, real shocking EBF, BAFO, and DW have nothing to add but brainless, requisite “piece of sh!t” comments, when ever the F-150 or Ford is shown in a less-than-positive light.

        Of course they’re silent as church mice when there’s any mention of record-breaking F-150/F-series/Ford sales, other accolades or breakthroughs, technological or otherwise.

        Ford is jumping in with lots of risky gambles and I’m the one recommending friends and family, already considering new Fords instead buy (lease!) boring, simple, outdated (but popular) cars and trucks from Toyota and GM for a painless experience.

  • avatar

    Latches nowadays are very complex, you wouldn’t believe it (more than 100 parts in some cases). Mechanics and electrics, even sometimes electronics are involved! The security system has to know the status of the latch (open/ajar/closed, locked/unlocked, etc.) as well as the system that unlocks these doors remotely/electrically and enables/disables said security system. BTW, the latch housings are plastic, with a steel frame containing the securing components where it marries with the door jamb.

  • avatar

    Could this be because they are built just that Ford tough?

    Also can we start calling them suicide doors?

  • avatar

    It’s not because the body is aluminum. The issue is ice forming in the latch mechanism. Mine is currently in for the forth time. The first time was pre-recall and the dealership knew nothing about it. Once it got taken into the service bay and sat a few minutes it worked perfectly. The next two were for two different recalls. This latest one after both recalls is because the shielding didn’t work on the last one. It’s on day three at the dealership with Ford Customer “Care” saying they have additional steps and to have the dealer call them for instructions. Problem with that is I think it’s just a dance. They’ve had it since 7 AM Monday. It’s now Tuesday evening and Ford hasn’t gotten back to the dealership with what to do. I called “Care” again and they said it could take 24-48 hours for them to respond. WTF? In the meantime there sits my $45,000 truck at the dealership I can’t drive in the winter. I hope the class action lawsuit going through the courts results in a decent settlement not for the money but to kick Ford in the gonads.

  • avatar

    When I was a Tech in the 1980s, Ford couldn’t engineer a decent oil-pan drain plug.

    By the 1990s, Ford lost the ability to engineer a spark plug.

    You really think they’re capable of engineering something complex?

    Ford sells a lot of vehicles because consumers graduate (or not) from public schools. (i.e., no experience with the real world, overly-sheltered, never had to research anything important that wasn’t spoon-fed to them via “The Internet”, incapable of performing due diligence.)

    GM has problems. They’re mostly fixable by firing the top few layers of dead-weight management; and setting appropriate goals for the engineering staff. Ideally, we’d end CAFE, and roll-back emissions standards so that ten speed automatics and cylinder deactivation weren’t needed; and we’d end the diversion of resources from those (and other) politically-motivated wastes of time, money, effort, and enthusiasm.

    Ford needs to build a car-crusher as the final process at the end of each of their assembly lines.

    No comment on Mopar; once the French get control over them, it’ll be a moot point.

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