NHTSA opens probe into 642,000 Ford cars and SUVs

Door latch issues have plagued Ford’s many models leaving consumers to latch their cars with ropes and seat belts. As a result of its recalls, Ford has made downward revisions to its adjusted full-year pre-tax profit forecast to $10.2 billion from a July 2016 prediction of $10.8 billion.

In a significant development for U.S. automobile manufacturer, Ford Motor Co, the country’s safety regulators have stated that they have opened preliminary investigations into 642,000 Ford sport utility vehicles and cars related to steering issues and door latch warning light.

Last month, the United States’ second biggest car manufacturer, Ford Motor Co, had expanded its recall of its vehicles due to a side-door latch issue. Due to this recall the company had reduced its adjusted full-year pre-tax profit forecast to $10.2 billion from a July 2016 prediction of $10.8 billion.

As of yesterday, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a probe on 380,000 2011-2013 Ford Edge SUVs having received 1,560 reports of “door ajar” lights. Consumers had earlier reported of uncertainties as to whether their vehicle’s door was properly latched.

In the door-latch probe, safety issues including that of doors opening while the vehicle is being driven, doors unable to be locked while the vehicle is on the move, and interior dome lights staying on continuously were reported. Although there are no reports of crashes, yet, one injury has been reported due to the issue.

In a further expansion of the probe, on Monday, the NHTSA stated that they are opening a separate investigation into 262,000 2010 Ford Fusion cars for issues related to steering.

547 complaints on this issue has been received, including ones involving sudden failure of power steering and general failure of the system. These have been linked to 4 injuries as 12 crashes.

Previously, Ford had issued a recall of its 2011 and 2012 Fusion cars. The NHTSA had previously investigated the issue in 2014.

Last month, Ford had expanded its recall for door latches. While earlier it had recalled 1.5 million vehicles, the new recall involves 2.4 million vehicles.

Ford spokeswoman, Elizabeth Weigandt, has stated that the company will cooperate with NHTSA.

“We continuously evaluate our processes for potential improvements and when the data indicates a safety recall is needed, we move quickly,” said Weigandt.

Since 2014, Ford has recalled nearly 4 million vehicles due to the door latch issue.

The company has clarified that the expansion of the recall was at the NHTSA’s request.

The recall includes the 2013-15 Ford C-MAX and Ford Escape, 2012-15 Ford Focus, 2015 Ford Mustang and Lincoln MKC and 2014-16 Ford Transit Connect vans.

In 2015, the NHTSA had said that it has received 1,102 reports related to the problem, while Ford said it had received 10,883 warranty claims related to door latch failures.

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