WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into an estimated 400,000 2012-'13 Ford Focus vehicles following consumer complaints that the doors may fail to latch or open inadvertently.
Federal safety regulators said they have received 73 reports from consumers alleging that the doors failed to latch, with several reports indicating that the "door ajar" warning light appeared on the dash.
"Some drivers allege that the door opened while the vehicle was being driven," NHTSA said in a summary posted on its website on Wednesday. "Complainants with a failed door latch indicate that in some cases the door had to be physically tied down to keep it shut, while others stopped driving the vehicle out of fear of the door opening while driving."
One injury was reported.
NHTSA has opened a "preliminary evaluation" into the matter. Such an action sometimes precedes a vehicle recall, but the cars have not been recalled at this point.
"We take the safety of our customers very seriously and we are cooperating with the agency on the issue," wrote Ford spokesman John Cangany in response to a query from Edmunds.
Edmunds says: Owners of these vehicles must wait for federal safety regulators to finish their work before taking any action. But if you have an immediate concern, it's best to contact your Ford dealer now.