Ford, Dodge recalling thousands of vehicles, government says

Monday, February 7th 2005, 10:37 am
By: News On 6

DETROIT (AP) _ Ford Motor Co. is recalling nearly 359,000 Focus cars because their rear passenger doors may not latch properly, officials said Monday. The defect has prompted some complaints from motorists.

The recall affects four- and five-door Focus cars from the 2000-2002 model years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a Ford spokeswoman said. All of the vehicles were sold or are registered in 20 Eastern and Midwestern states and the District of Columbia.

One person reported a minor wrist injury because of the defect, Ford spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said. There are 33 complaints about the defect listed on the safety agency's Web site.

The defect is caused by corrosion of the latch. The door may be difficult to open and close, and eventually may not close at all.

Also Monday, the safety agency said DaimlerChrysler is recalling 26,000 Dodge Durango SUVs from the 2005 model year because the fuel tank filler valve may not fully close after refueling, and fuel could leak. DaimlerChrysler hasn't yet determined when the recall will begin, NHTSA said.

Kinley said Ford will begin notifying customers about its recall March 1. Ford dealers will replace corroded latches for free or will clean and lubricate unaffected latches to prevent corrosion.

The states where the affected Focus cars were sold or are registered are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.