Ford Recall Affects Vehicles Registered in Arkansas - Elliott & Smith Law Firm

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May 03

Ford Recall Affects Vehicles Registered in Arkansas

In a March 25, 2020 press release, Ford Motor Co. announced that it is recalling almost 270,000 vehicles throughout North America to fix a dangerous, defective door latch.

Southeast Arkansas’ ABC affiliate KTBS News Channel 3 covered the details of the recall, explaining that the flaw is a crack in the lever that secures the door. When it fails, the door is not completely closed and may unexpectedly open.

The affected vehicles include Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ manufactured from 2014 through 2016, as well as the Fiesta models produced during 2014-2015.

Car owners should note that the defect is especially sensitive in areas with high temperatures. Ford named 16 US states in which the flaw could be magnified, including Arkansas.

In most cases, Ford stated that it will be obvious that the door of the vehicle is not closed. However, some users may believe the latch is secured after repeated attempts to close the door. Once the vehicle is underway, doors could open at high speeds. The automaker said that there have been no fatalities or injuries reported, and the company is not aware of any crashes caused by the defective door latch.

Timothy Smith is a founding partner at Elliott & Smith Law Firm in Fayetteville, AR.

Through his experience in defective products cases, he had a few thoughts regarding product recalls. “Many manufacturers issue recalls as soon as they become aware of a defect in a product, and this is true in the situation with Ford. The problem is that there can be a time lag until companies are able to address the flaw, such as through a repair. During that period, owners of the product might continue to use it as they normally would. Ford may not be aware of any accidents at this point, but that could escalate very quickly.”

In its statement, Ford mentioned that owners of affected models would be notified about a fix for the defective door latch starting May 4, 2020.

They can take vehicles to their local dealerships, who can replace the side door latches with properly functioning devices.

Upon hearing the details, Mr. Smith pointed out “I’m sure the company is doing its best to get the word out, but any accidents related to a defective product are actionable regardless of whether there’s a recall. Claims based upon manufacturing and design flaws don’t rely on there being a recall in advance. The key is meeting the elements of a product liability case, in which it’s not necessary to prove the manufacturer was negligent.”