The problem, or I should say ‘the jam’ as in door jamb, is that both side rear passenger doors on my 2012 Ford Fiesta are not working on the close. The car doors won’t stay closed or stay shut. When you try shutting either door it just bounces back out a little. When I try it I get the same result. Neither door will latch closed.
This is no ordinary open and shut predicament. I tried an easy fix of lifting the door handle while rotating the latch. That trick doesn’t work for this car’s latching dilemma as the latches aren’t stuck in the wrong position. As you can clearly see in the photo below, upon breaking they actually remain in the correct rotational position to latch when the door is closed. The latch just rotates freely. Lifting and lowering the outside and/or inside door handle has absolutely no affect on the latch. It seems the latch assembly is broken internally.
It’s scary to think that the latches might have just suddenly released the doors to open while carrying passengers in the back seats!
As a public service I have decided to chronicle and publish for public record this ongoing saga as the story of the 2 broken door latches unfolds.
Is this a Ford Fiesta Recall waiting to happen?
Has anyone out there had 2 door latches fail on a new car? Only 35,772 miles on my 2012 Fiesta when both rear passenger side door latches failed within 12 hours of each other. Is both doors failing at the same time just a coincidence? I think not!
My car developed a pair of double D’s overnight.
Double D-fective flapping doors that is!
My Ford Fiesta safety issue case #CAS-4651084-H7G4M8
My Fiesta has never been involved in an accident, no body damage, no evidence of attempted break-ins and no apparent reason to cause 1, let alone both, rear passenger side door latches to malfunction and prevent closing of the rear side doors. And, absolutely no warning or indication of any looming or pending problem with the operation of either door nor my fingers, hands, wrists or arms… although I do get a bout-of-gout in my knee occasionally. I just opened each door normally to find it broken upon shutting. What I find extremely strange, and at this time still unexplained by anyone, is that both doors failed within 12 hours of each other in exactly the same manor. Seems like too much to be a coincidence, doesn’t it. There must be some sort of a connection. So what’s the connection? Do these 2 doors share a symbiotic relationship where one cannot go on without the other? Do the electric door locks associated with the latches have something to do with it? What is the “real” cause of the latches failing? What else might be or go wrong with the doors???
The passenger side rear door is almost never used since I rarely carry more than one hitchhiker :-) at a time. That door has been opened and closed maybe 30 times or less since I purchased the car… and I never pick up hitchhikers – really. Well, not since the doors broke anyway :-). If you can’t open and close a car door many hundreds or even thousands of times perhaps you should have your hand checked for tendinitis, or just maybe the door is faulty. In all my years I have never experienced any car, my car or any other car with even one faulty door latch – never! It’s always been my hand, ha-ha.
A Serious Safety Hazard
It seems to me that a failing door latch represents a significant public safety hazard. How many Ford Fiesta’s have this safety issue? How many hands are getting tendinitis trying to close those doors? What if the door latch had failed while I was in motion? What if the door swung out and hit someone, something or another vehicle while I was making a turn? What if one of my grand kids fell out of my back seat because the door latch failed and then swung open? What if something tumbled out onto the roadway and caused someone to have an accident or just damaged their vehicle?
Door Latches Should Be Fail Safe!
“A door that will close and remain securely closed is on my short list of things I would expect to work on each and every car no matter what!“
Rear Side Door Latch Failure #1
The first door malfunctioned and failed to close in a parking lot after placing some groceries in the back behind the driver’s seat on Wednesday June 25, 2014 at approximately 10:30 PM. I had to drive home with the driver side rear passenger door dangerously free to swing wildly.
Rear Side Door Latch Failure #2
The passenger side rear seat door failed to close the next morning after placing a travel bag into the back seat area around 9:00 AM on Thursday June 26th. It was my daughter’s birthday and I was on my way to Torrance California to celebrate with her. I figured I would go see a Ford dealer once I got to Torrance, which I did. So I tied the 2 doors closed from the inside and set off on the 300 mile dive to join my daughter and other family members for her birthday.
The following day Friday June 27th 2014 I visited the Ford Dealership on Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance, AutoNation Ford. I must say that I was treated exceptionally well but was informed that since my car mileage was now 36,072 my rear door repairs would not be under warranty unless Ford Motor Company made an exception. Inferring that since I drove 300 miles to Torrance for my daughter’s birthday I would lose out on warranty coverage because of the extra 72 miles above the 36,000 mile warranty. The dealer did kindly take the car into the service area to determine exactly what would be the extent of the needed repairs. They advised me that 2 new complete door latch assemblies would be required and that the closest parts were in Sacramento. I explained that I would have to take my car to a dealer near my home as I could not stay for 5 to 7 days to complete the repair.
The Pending Solution?
This morning (07/01/2014) I called Ford Motor Company at (800) 392-3673 and talked with a nice customer care service representative (Steven) who created a service / safety review report Case #CAS-4651084-H7G4M8. I was advised that a copy of the report would also be forwarded to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Steven told me that they would look into it and my best course of action now would be to work with a local Authorized Ford Dealer as they are the ones in a position to work with Ford to resolve this. I contacted Colorado River Ford at (928) 757-3131 as per Steven’s suggestion. I initially spoke with Charles at Colorado River Ford. I am currently waiting for Colorado River Ford to get back to me with information as to what they are able to work out with Ford Motor Company.
07-09-2014: No communication from Ford Motor Company or Colorado River Ford
07-09-2014: Called Ford Motor Company and spoke with customer service rep Stephanie. She opened a new case #CAS-4860114-T7N7J2 and has escalated the matter up to a regional supervisor or similar level person. According to Stephanie, the highest level. Was also informed I should expect a call back from Ford Motor Company within 2 days. I also learned that someone from Colorado River Ford did contact Ford Motor Company but did notes do not reflect that they tried to negotiate a warranty repair or advance my claim and nobody from Colorado River Ford advised me that they had indeed contacted Ford. From my perspective it seems like Colorado River Ford just dropped my request for assistance.
Added Note 07-09-2014: Parts to perform the needed repairs are scarce and/or currently not available from Ford dealers or local/regional Ford parts warehouses. This is an indication to me that other Ford Fiesta owners are likely to be experiencing similar issues leading to a run on door latching mechanisms needed to correct my Fiesta’s defect. When I finally do get this resolved I hope the new parts are of better quality than the ones that failed.
07-14-2014: No callback within 2 days as promised. I was promised by Stephanie at Ford Motor Company that a high level Ford case rep would call me within 2 days of opening the new case #CAS-4860114-T7N7J2. Today is the 3rd business day. Thursday and Friday last week are the 2 full days that lapsed without being contacted by Ford.
07-15-2014: I called Ford customer care again since they have taken no action and have not bothered to honor their commitment to contact me to resolve this issue. Today I spoke with Shannon for about an hour. Shannon opened yet a 3rd case #CAS-4889525-R7K7F0. If Ford was as good at contacting their customers as promised to resolve issues they could cut down on creating case numbers and composing lengthy reports. This time I was promised a callback in 1 day by Shannon. So on or before the end of 07-16-2014 I might get a call from “Leroy” my Ford regional manager.
National Backorder No Parts Available
07-15-2014: Today also I learned that the required parts to repair the doors on my Fiesta are on “national backorder”. This information was obtained directly from Ford customer care. The customer care rep actually inquired about the door parts. She conveyed to me that before she could even state the model and year, the parts person said, “if this is for a Fiesta 2012 the door parts (latching mechanisms) are on National Backorder”. More evidence to indicate Ford has a serious problem with defective Fiesta door latches.
07-17-2014: Leroy, the regional Ford manager DID NOT CALL me on 07-16-2014 as promised by Shannon on 07-15-2014.
08-23-2014 The Resolution:
As of last week my doors are repaired after much back and forth between me and Ford. Mostly Leroy was not returning my requests for communication about having my doors repaired under warranty and the fact that the parts were on National backorder. Parts became available about 3 weeks ago now. The result of my effort is that Ford finally agreed to pay for the repair of one(1) door and I had to pay for the other. Leroy claims that in order for the car to be repaired under warranty the repairs must be completed while the mileage is 36,000 miles or less and within 3 years of purchasing the vehicle new, whichever comes first. I was within the 3 years but my mileage was slightly over. However, Ford still kicked in on the repair with their out-of-warranty customer assistance program with the sum of $250 toward the $514 dollar repair cost for both doors.
So the bottom line here is if you need anything repaired on your Ford make sure you get it to an Authorized Ford dealer before the car is out of warranty by even 1 day or 1 mile. Warranty wise it makes no difference where you are when it breaks or the circumstances, if your car is not being repaired at the dealer exactly within the warranty you loose out on full warranty coverage.
I have nothing but high praise for my local dealer (Colorado River Ford) but as far as Ford Motor Company Customer Care is concerned my comments are probably better left to your imagination!