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The auto maker, under pressure from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, announced Thursday that it was adding about 1.5 million cars, SUVs and vans to the recall, bringing the North America total of recalled vehicles this year to nearly 2.4 million. (Keith Srakocic/AP)
The auto maker, under pressure from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, announced Thursday that it was adding about 1.5 million cars, SUVs and vans to the recall, bringing the North America total of recalled vehicles this year to nearly 2.4 million. (Keith Srakocic/AP)

Door-latch recall spurs Ford to lower pretax-profit estimate Add to ...

A pesky and growing recall of vehicles with door latches that can pop open while being driven will be so costly that Ford Motor Co. is reducing its estimate of pretax profits for the full year.

The auto maker, under pressure from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, announced Thursday that it was adding about 1.5 million cars, SUVs and vans to the recall, bringing the North America total of recalled vehicles this year to nearly 2.4 million.

The door latch trouble has dogged Ford since 2014 and has affected much of its North American model lineup. At least 3 million vehicles have been recalled due to the problem. The recalls come after a 2015 NHTSA investigation found 1,200 customer complaints about doors failing to latch.

Thursday’s expansion and an earlier recall announced on Aug. 4 will cost the company about $640-million that will go against third-quarter pretax profits, Ford said in a regulatory filing. That caused the Dearborn, Mich., auto maker to reduce its full-year pretax profit estimate to $10.2-billion (U.S.). That’s lower than its most recent guidance of $10.8-billion or more.

The latest recall includes the 2012 through 2015 Ford Focus, the 2013 to 2015 Ford Escape and C-Max, the 2015 Ford Mustang and Lincoln MKC and the 2014 through 2016 Ford Transit Connect small van.

Ford says a spring tab in the door latches can break, and the doors either won’t close or could pop open. Dealers will replace the latches for free. The company said it knows of one crash and three injuries that may be related to the problem.

The Aug. 4 recall was similar to Thursday’s, but it was limited to Mexico and 16 states with high temperatures and sunlight exposure. Thursday’s move expands the recall countrywide in the United States to include just more than 2 million vehicles.

The additional recalls come after NHTSA opened an investigation into the problem. Ford says customers who want to know if their vehicle is included in the recall can go to www.ford.com, click on safety recalls and enter their vehicle identification number.

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