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Federal Regulators Investigating Ford Focus for Door Latch Problems on 2000 Ford Focus

WASHINGTON August 24, 2004; The AP reported that Federal regulators are investigating reports of failing rear door latches on the 2000 Ford Focus, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday.

NHTSA has received 17 complaints that one or both rear doors opened while the Focus was moving, usually while the driver was turning a corner. In some of those cases, drivers reported that the back doors opened even though they should have been locked.

Ford Motor Co. said it is cooperating with the investigation. The company has received 16 additional complaints and 28 warranty claims regarding rear door latches. No injuries from the alleged defect have been reported.

There are approximately 261,000 Focus vehicles from the 2000 model year on the road.

NHTSA said Tuesday it has upgraded its investigation, a step that often comes before a vehicle recall.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov