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Old 07-20-2015, 03:09 AM   #1
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Going to report door latch to NTSB

My interior door latch just failed, due to being cheap pot metal at a critical point. This would make you possibly trapped in an accident or fire. It really is a huge safety item. And being a former firefighter and fire inspector, this would not fly in a building. This latch assembly should be recalled and replaced with a more robust design. Everyone who has had this latch fail should report it to the NTSB. They will act if they get enough reports. If you had yours replaced by the same latch assembly you are not safe. Remember if you're trying to get out in an emergency you might pull extra hard making it fail it is human nature.
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Old 07-20-2015, 03:20 AM   #2
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Inner door latch
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:01 AM   #3
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That's not good at all !! It doesn't work at all now?
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:57 AM   #4
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Hmmm. Sure looks like the striker on the handle failed and not the door latch.
Also appears that you can open the door with a kitchen utensil, pen, screwdriver ect.

I suggest you contact the handle manufacturer and ask for help. If you think you have uncovered a safety defect, then you should report it to NHTSA here: https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/
The NTSB may forward the complaint for you however they will not follow up on it.

The emergency exit issue is real so please do keep us posted on the response you get from the manufacturer.

Also, did you use any lubricant(s) on the striker to relieve stress caused by friction?

My initial thought is that you have a defective part. I hope it is a rare occurrence.
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:25 PM   #5
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You need to report to the manufacture. Also the NHTSA is your point of contact. NTSB is for accident investigation. Later RJD
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:45 PM   #6
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On what?

What type of unit is this on?
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:57 PM   #7
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It looks like Forest River has a recall for a lock issue. You might check out this link to see if it applies to your unit.
http://rvdailyreport.com/owner/fastec-recalls-2864670-door-locks-2/
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Old 07-20-2015, 01:21 PM   #8
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It's a cheap pot metal casting. It should not fail under any circumstances, due to being an exit. Unfortunately for me I'm about 2200 miles from home. I did a temporary fix by running a screw through the handle that now acts as the lever. Also unfortunately I bent by door over centering it drilling the hole. Wow is that door cheap too.
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Old 07-20-2015, 02:13 PM   #9
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I have the same latch in my 2002 5th wheeler that I only use 3 months a year. I have had to replace the latch assembly twice already; something I never expected to ever have to do. It is absolutely the cheapest construction possible. I think it is less a design issue and more of a construction issue. I suspect that the original drawings called for real steel parts and not the pot metal junk used today! Yes, it is a safety entrapment issue but good luck with trying to get the government to step up with a fix.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:00 PM   #10
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I have a 2015 321BHTS and am not sure mine is any better. I will definately check it out ASAP. Thanks for the advisory/warning.
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