2020-21 Ford Escape SUVs investigated over doors that could open suddenly

Most drivers don’t pay too much attention to the doors of their cars … unless they open when they shouldn’t.

In the case of Ford Escape SUVs built in 2020 and 2021, the situation has become problematic. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday that it’s received reports of 25 minor injuries to occupants when doors opened while the vehicles were in motion because they failed to securely latch when closed.

According to NHTSA documents, the agency has had 118 complaints that spot welds in a door assembly bracket can fail. Many Escape owners contacted by the agency reported a popping noise when they opened the door as a bracket begins to separate. The agency says continued use could dislodge the door, and it could fail to latch when closed.

The investigation is looking at 346,000 Escapes to determine if the problem poses an “unreasonable risk” to safety and could prompt a recall by Ford. Ford says it’s cooperating.

Two years ago, the manufacturer recalled certain 2021- and 2022-model-year Escape and Bronco Sport crossovers for improperly manufactured rear brake pads that wouldn’t stop the vehicles within the government-mandated distance.