On July 7th, 2023, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into a Ford vehicle, their 2020-2021 Ford Escape, the Blue Oval model. The investigation comes after the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) received over 100 complaints behind an issue with the front doors.
The investigation aims to gather more information regarding the failure of the vehicle's door check arm attachment point. According to the report, if more information is found and verified over the defective door, it could affect an estimated 346,071 2020-2021 Ford Escape crossovers. As mentioned in the report, the issue stems from the “spot welds in the check arm attachment points within the front door assembly,” which may fail and could potentially cause the door not to open or close properly. This issue could also pose a risk for drivers on the road, as it could cause the door to remain slightly open while the vehicle is in motion.
The NHTSA opted to open an investigation into the issue after receiving 118 complaints via its Vehicle Owner Questionnaires (VOQs). Of the 118, 25 of the complainants reported accounts of minor injuries, as well as property damage as a result of the issue. Owners of the Ford vehicle also reported hearing a popping noise when opening their doors, which indicates that the door check bracket has begun to separate itself from the door.
What Does This Mean for Owners of the Ford Escape?
According to the report, continued use of the door after the problem begins to develop can lead to a “dislodged door check,” which can lead to a slippery slope where the door will fail to latch when closed, which would prevent the door from opening or even opening inadvertently when the vehicle is in motion. What does this mean for drivers of the Ford Escape? For now, because the NHTSA is in the preliminary investigation phase of this case, meaning they are currently seeking to determine whether or not this issue will create an unreasonable risk for drivers on the road, they currently do not have any safety measures in place, or steps drivers can take to ensure they are safe while behind the wheel of the Ford Escape.
Ford Vehicle Investigations Continue
Earlier this year, the NHTSA concluded its investigation into the 2011-2017 Ford Explorer models after it received a total of 6,500 complaints revolving around exhaust odors in the passenger cabin. According to the reports, the NHTSA found that the majority of the leaking issues were caused due to the upfitting of law enforcement vehicles. The installation of lights, cages, sirens, and other items were the cause of the high levels of carbon monoxide in the vehicles. Once the investigation was concluded, Ford issued a safety message that included instructions on how to properly seal any leaks caused by the installation of the add-ons at no cost to law enforcement.
Every year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration routinely investigates potential issues with vehicles that may not necessarily be remedied by recalls. In some cases, these issues can prompt lawsuits from owners, that’s where we come in. For more information regarding the investigation behind the Ford Escape, or any of the other recently reviewed vehicles from Ford, you can contact our law firm. At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys are here to ensure you have the best chance possible at getting the justice you deserve after you’ve been injured by a recalled vehicle. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to the 2020-2021 Ford Escape, you can contact us today by completing our free, no-obligation case evaluation form today.