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Oct 18, 2017

Ford to recall about 1.3 million vehicles in North America for door latch fix

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WASHINGTON — Ford Motor Co (F.N) said on Wednesday it would recall 1.34 million 2015-17 Ford F-150 and 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks in North America to add water shields to side door latches at a cost of US$267 million.

The No.2 U.S. automaker said the safety recall is due to a frozen door latch or a bent or kinked actuation cable in the affected vehicles, that may result in a door not opening or closing.

A Ford spokeswoman, Elizabeth Weigandt, said customers would be notified next month but did not have a timetable for when parts will be available. Dealers will install water shields over the door latches and inspect and repair door latch cables if needed.

Ford has now recalled more than five million vehicles for varying door latch-related issues since 2016, but the company said the issue in the new recall is different from prior ones.

The company in November 2016 sent a bulletin to dealers that warned some 2015-2017 Ford F-150 trucks could have inoperative latches during freezing temperatures. The bulletin told dealers to install a rain shield to address the problem. The company initially alerted dealers in 2015 about the issue.

Weigandt said Ford's decision to issue a recall is driven by data. "When the data indicates a safety recall is needed, we move quickly," she said.

Ford said the cost of the new recall would be reflected in its fourth-quarter results. Ford said it continues to expect full-year adjusted earnings in the range of US$1.65 to US$1.85 per share.

The company said it was not aware of any accidents or injuries associated with the issue but said because of the fault, the door may appear closed, increasing the risk of the door opening while driving.

Ford has previously disclosed plans to spend US$935 million on other recalls announced since August 2016.

In March, Ford said it would spend US$295 million to recall 211,000 vehicles in North America to replace potentially faulty side door latches and 230,000 vehicles for under-hood fire risks.

Ford previously recalled nearly four million vehicles for door latch issues in six separate recalls since 2014, including 2.4 million vehicles recalled in August 2016.

In September 2016, Ford said it was taking a US$640-million charge for its expanded side-door latch recalls.

Ford shares fell 0.7 per cent to US$12.19 in late trading Wednesday.