Here is something that has been going on with Land Rover since 2015: the electronically controlled door latch systems fail and the doors open while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into a door latch recall ordered by Land Rover in 2015. The investigation is concerning the automaker’s Range Rover SUVs. Moreover, NHTSA learned about the 2015 recall when Land Rover contacted the agency about this defect.
The recall saw Land Rover repair more than 65,000 model year 2013-2016 Range Rover and 2014-2016 Range Rover Sport SUVs. This was because any of the doors could fail to latch in the primary or secondary closed positions. And that is something to think about: pretty dangerous.
Range Rover door latch problem
Moreover, the recalled SUVs are equipped with Land Rover’s “Unilatch Keyless Vehicle” entry system. And all the door latches are controlled by the Keyless Vehicle module. When we hear about the problem, one of our main concerns is about what is the automaker’s view. And here it is: problem was because of a defect in the control logic for the keyless system release motor. It blocked the release lever from returning to its “home” position. The condition made it seem like the latch and striker were connected properly. However, the door wasn’t properly latched and closed.
Now, what can be done to fix the problem? Land Rover dealers updated the keyless system software. However, NHTSA says owners still complained about their doors opening after the recall repairs were made. Some other complaints were made too. Some report their doors opened, but their SUVs were never repaired. And why? It seems like Land Rover didn’t include all the affected vehicles in the recall.
You are probably thinking about how dangerous this problem is. Imagine the driver making a turn at about 15 mph with a nine-month-old child seated in the rear seat closest to the door.
“Another passenger was seated on the rear driver’s side and quickly reached over the child’s car seat to keep the child from falling from the moving vehicle. As a result, the passenger sustained fractured ribs. Medical attention was required.” 2015 Land Rover Range Rover owner Edina, Minnesota.
When talking to NHTSA the owner said that they took the SUV to a dealer. The software was updated and the lock was replaced there. The sad part is that the incident happened after the 2015 door latch recall. But this specific Range Rover was not included in the recall. And here is why: the 2015 recall included Range Rovers manufactured until March 9, 2015. Furthermore, the SUV that had its door unlatch and open was built on March 14, 2015. So it was outside the recall period.
So now, NHTSA calls its investigation a “recall query.” The goal is to determine if the recall included enough Land Rover SUVs. And also to determine if the repair procedures were good enough to permanently fix the door latch problems.