August 18, 2004
Lawsuit alleges some Ford door latches are defective
Toronto, Ontario – A Canadian law firm has commenced a class action lawsuit against Ford (in Canada and the U.S.), and its suppliers Magna International, Magna Donnelly, Dortec Industries, Intier Automotive Inc., and Atoma Latching Systems Group alleging that defective door latches in the following Ford vehicles can open in a side impact crash or rollover accident:
- 1997 – 2000 Ford F-150s;
- 1997 – 2000 Ford F-250 -Super Light Duty;
- 1997 – 2000 Ford Expeditions;
- 1997 – 2000 Lincoln Navigator and Blackwood.
The claim by the law firm of Will Barristers: Morin & Miller (on behalf of Maurice Poulin), alleges that deaths and serious personal injuries have been reported and are the subject of a number of lawsuits in the United States.
The claim seeks the cost to replace all allegedly defective door latches throughout the country. It is estimated that the cost would be approximately $1,300.00 for a four-door vehicle. In the U.S., there may be as many as four million vehicles with allegedly defective door latches. It is estimated that there may be 300,000 to 400,000 Ford vehicles in Canada. On behalf of the class, a claim for punitive damages in the sum of $527 million is being advanced.
The law firm claims that Ford had knowledge of the alleged defect that can be traced back to October 1995. In August 1997, Transport Canada conducted side impact crash testing of a Ford F-150. A Transport Canada video, which was given to Ford, shows the non-impacted side door opening on impact at a speed of 32 kph.