Ford Motor Company is recalling about 6,500 new vehicles in the United States and Canada to replace a defective rear door lock that may have a faulty child safety mechanism. According to a news report in The Detroit News, the Dearborn automaker is recalling some 2013 Ford Focus, C-Max and Escape vehicles because the child lock on the left rear door may have been installed incorrectly.

In correspondence to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford officials said that the child lock may not engage when the operator uses normal turning force to activate it and the operator may incorrectly believe that the child lock is engaged.

Faulty Installation of Safety Locks

Ford has said that it is not aware of any crashes or injuries connected to the recall. This auto defect recall covers 5,675 vehicles in the United States and 859 in Canada. The vehicles were all built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne and Louisville from November 16 to November 21, 2012.

When the recall begins, dealers will replace the defective child safety locks. Owners should start receiving their notices by the end of the month. Ford has said that it temporarily halted shipment of vehicles on after it found out about the problem and initiated an investigation into the issue. During this investigation, Ford officials say they learned a supplier had sent a mixed stock of parts, which led to the faulty latches being installed.

Serious Dangers to Young Children

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. In 2009, 1,314 children ages 14 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes and about 179,000 were injured. One CDC study even found that in one year more than 618,000 children ages 0 to 12 rode in vehicles without the use of child safety seats of booster sear or a seat belt at least some of the time.

Child safety locks in vehicles offer an extra layer of safety and protection for our young ones. When these locks fail to work the way they are supposed to, the consequences can be devastating.

If your child has been injured as a result of a defective child safety lock, you may be able to seek compensation from the manufacturer by filing a product liability claim. An experienced product liability attorney will be able to give more information to injured victims and their families about pursuing their legal rights.