WASHINGTON—U.S. auto safety investigators on Tuesday said they are opening an investigation into 346,000 Ford Escape sport utility vehicles because a weld in the door assembly may fail, potentially resulting in a door inadvertently opening while driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 118 questionnaires alleging a failure of the spot welds in the check arm bracket for the front doors in 2020–21 model year Ford Escape vehicles.
NHTSA said it has 25 reports of minor injuries and one report of minor property damage tied to the issue that prevents a vehicle door from operating properly.
Some owners said door windows had stopped working. Many consumers report hearing a popping noise when opening the door as the door check bracket begins to separate from the door.
Ford said it is “working with NHTSA to support their investigation.”
Some owners were quoted $1,800 to $2,500 in repair costs to replace a front driver-side door that needed to be replaced. Others say they can still close doors but there are creaking and grinding noises when in use.
NHTSA’s preliminary evaluation is a first step before the agency could demand a recall.
By David Shepardson