A defective door handle on late model Ford F-150 pickups could fail and pop open in the event of a crash, leading the Detroit maker to recall more than 360,000 of the trucks, it has announced.
The recall is the latest in a series of problems to strike Ford, a maker that has been gaining significant ground, in recent years, by emphasizing high quality and a focus on safety.
The latest action involves Ford F-Series pickups built between January 18, 2008 and November 30, 2009 at the maker’s truck plants in Kansas City and Dearborn, Michigan. A total of 280,946 trucks from the 2009 and 2010 model-years with chrome interior door handles are covered in the U.S. Another 68,000 models were sold in Canada, and 14,000 in Mexico.
During regular usage, the springs inside the door handles may fail or weaken, and the handles may not return to the fully-closed position. In the event of a collision, the maker said, that may cause a door to pop open – however Ford claims it has not been notified of any accidents or injuries related to the problem.
That underscores the tightening scrutiny potential safety problems are now receiving in the wake of last year’s numerous recalls at Toyota. The maker was sharply criticized – and ultimately paid out nearly $50 million in fines – for failing to respond quickly enough to potential safety problems.