Ford is under investigation by U.S. auto safety regulators over complaints that the front doors of some Ford Escape vehicles will inadvertently open while driving, according to a filing Tuesday— the latest probe into the model following an investigation that resulted in a recall earlier this year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received 118 complaints over the last year for Ford Escape vehicles from the 2020 and 2021 model years, suggesting “continued use” of front doors could cause them to fail to open or open inadvertently while the vehicle is being driven, according to a filing.
The filing suggests the issue is caused by a failure of the spot welds in the door’s check arm bracket—which connects the doors to the vehicle—which could be damaged over time.
Several drivers reported hearing popping noises when attempting to open the door, which could indicate the doors are dislodging from the vehicle, causing them to fail to latch when closed, according to the filing.
Of the 118 complaints regulators received, 25 included incidents where drivers sustained injuries, while one reported minor property damage.
Ford did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes, though the automaker has not warned drivers of a potential problem.
346,071. That’s the estimated number of vehicles that could be affected, according to the filing.
Ford recalled 86,656 Escape vehicles in May after an investigation determined some were equipped with defective engines that would fail and subsequently cause engine oil and fuel vapor to release. Ford reported three incidents of under-hood fires caused by the defect, which impacted Escape vehicles manufactured between 2020 and 2023. The automaker issued a warning to Escape owners in June, though it cautioned those who suspect their vehicle to have the issue to turn their vehicle off immediately if they hear any unexpected engine noises. The recall also included some Maverick and Lincoln Corsair vehicles.