Dearborn, Mich. – March 15, 2017 – Ford Motor Company has recalled 5,470 Mustang sports cars with defective interior door handles. The recall impacts models produced between Jan. 13 and Jan. 31 of this year, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Affected models include left interior door handles equipped with misoriented spring mechanisms. This defect may cause the door to open when subjected to inertia loads of 30gs or more. Motorists involved in accidents that impact the driver side are likely to suffer serious injury due to the faulty door handle. However, there have been no reported injuries connected to the defect.
Timeline of Events
In early January, a tier-two supplier noticed a missing spring in the left-hand door latch assembly designated for the Mustang. The company began an internal investigation, notifying both Ford and the original OEM parts producer, Key Plastics of Felton, Pennsylvania. Key Plastics immediately froze shipments containing the component and started its own inquiry. At the same time, engineers at the Ford assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, found one vehicle containing a left-hand door handle with loose springs. This lead to a widespread evaluation in which 843 vehicles were reviewed. Approximately 14 contained the defective door handle assembly.
In February, the Critical Concerns Review Group at Ford looked over the data collected and determined that the fixture may be in violation of one or more Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The body ordered tests to determine how the door handles performed with one loose or missing spring. Engineers conducted the trials in early March and determined that the fixture was a serious safety hazard, as it came unlatched when subjected to a 30g force.
The Field Review Committee looked over the test results and soon after recommended that vehicles containing the defective left-hand door assemblies be recalled. Dealers received notification March 14.
Ford has ordered dealers to inspect affected models and replace door handle springs, if necessary, free of charge, according to the NHTSA. The car maker intends to notify impacted Mustang owners, via mail, April 24.