Think your children are safe in the back seat thanks to your car’s child safety lock? If you’re driving a Ford Focus, C-Max or Escape, you may want to think again. Ford has recalled about 6,500 new vehicles in order to replace a rear door lock that may have a defective child safety lock.
The automaker announced the recall in both the United States and Canada of some 2013 Ford Focus, C-Max and Escape vehicles because child safety locks on the left rear doors could have been installed incorrectly.
In a statement made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford said, "The child lock may not engage when the operator uses normal turning force to activate the child lock, and the operator may incorrectly believe the child lock is engaged.” According to Ford, the recall covers 5,675 vehicles in the United States and 859 in Canada.
The defective vehicles were built at Ford's Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne from Nov. 16-21, 2012. Dealers will examine the vehicles and replace the rear door latch if necessary. Owners of affected cars will be notified beginning on March 25.
Ford stopped shipment of vehicles from that plant on Nov. 20, after the problem was first discovered. The company then began an investigation into the issue. In the course of that review, Ford learned that one of its suppliers had sent a mixed stock of parts, leading to the faulty latches being installed.