This year has been a relatively quiet one for Ford Motor Co. concerning major vehicle recalls. In March, Ford recalled approximately 3,500 Taurus, Explorer and Lincoln MKS vehicles over concerns that an improperly molded seam could break and cause fuel to leak, resulting in a fire hazard. Now, Ford is voluntarily recalling about 13,100 vehicles due to the possibility of the child locks on the rear doors not working properly, Reuters reports.
The recall affects 2013 models from the Explorer, Taurus and Lincoln MKS lines. No accidents or injuries have been reported from the potentially defective child locks. The child locks could malfunction, which means the child safety locks could turn off automatically and allow the doors to be opened from the inside. According to the New York Times blog, child safety locks are a standard safety feature that are intended to prevent children from opening rear doors with the inner door handle.
Ford Motor Co. sent the NHTSA a letter detailing that “an improperly formed component” could allow the door to open even if the child safety lock was on. However, Ford also said that the doors on the recalled vehicles would not open under the regular door locks. The recalled models were manufactured at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant between November 29, 2012 and December 12, 2012. The child lock problem was found in early December during a routine audit of a supplier, which prompted an investigation that led to the recall.
Although Ford states its recall is voluntary, the New York Times notes that automakers are required to contact the NHTSA within five business days to outline their plan for a formal recall once they are “aware of a safety problem.” Ford said authorized dealers will test and repair the rear child safety locks for free if necessary.