A Canadian law firm on Tuesday says door latches on Ford F-series trucks are defective and has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $400 million in damages, Reuters reports.
The complaint, filed Tuesday in Ontario, says Ford knew or should have known that the door handles on 400,000 F-series trucks made between 1997 and 2000 have a design defect that causes them to fly open when the vehicles are in slow speed, side impact or roll over crashes.
Class-action status is sought for the lawsuit, which was filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, said Paul Miller of Will Barristers: Morin and Miller, who is a co-counsel on the case.
Ford engineers recommended in March 2000 that the vehicles be recalled to fix the defective door latches, according to the Canadian law firm, but Ford decided to cancel the recall a week later, it said.
It will cost about $994 per four-door vehicle to replace the door latches the law firm said.
Deaths and serious personal injuries have been reported due to the defective latches and are the subject of a number of lawsuits in the United States, according to the law firm.
A law firm in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, is also planning to file a lawsuit against Ford to seek payment for the replacement of door latches on over four million vehicles in the United States.
Ford spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes said the door handles and latch assemblies fully comply with all government and industry standards, according to the Reuters report.