Some Things Never Change Dept: It was 25 years ago, but I can recall as if it was yesterday. Not long after I acquired my first Land Rover, a 1972 Series III 88”, I was rounding a left-hand turn in my Northwest Washington DC neighborhood when the passenger side door flew open without warning. At the same time, some cassette tapes (dating myself, ok fine) went sliding across the seat and out the open door, clattering unceremoniously onto the pavement.
I hadn’t owned the vehicle long at that point, but I’d owned it long enough that I wasn’t really surprised.
Like so many things encountered on a daily basis by the average Series Land Rover owner, I chose a practical approach to dealing with the problem. I ignored it to see if it would go away. It did, sort of. I don’t know if I ever fixed it, but I don’t recall it happening again. To be fair, it wasn’t much later that I tore the whole vehicle down and rebuilt it on a newer chassis. Part of which rebuild included removing the bulkhead and replacing its rotten door pillars and footwells. In which process the door alignment gets checked and checked again on several occasions.
Subsequent to that experience I can recall a half dozen or so other Series Land Rover excursions where a door popped open either on the road or off. Usually off, and while perched in some precarious and chassis-twisting off camber and cross-axled position. Again, always just shrugged off and attributed to a half century or so of wear and tear, thin metal, poor adjustment, and just, well, “Series-ish-ness.”
“What’s the point of all this?” you may be asking yourself. Or, you may already be on some other website or you may even be asleep. If you are here, and awake I will now tell you the point. Here it is.
US Federal authorities are now investigating the efficacy of recall repairs to late model Range Rovers that have had the EXACT same problem as my 88”.
In 2015, JLR recalled over 65,000 Range Rovers from model years 2013-2016 and Range Rover Sports from 2014-2016 after reports of the doors opening while driving. The vehicles received an update to their keyless entry systems, as it was thought the software update would ensure the doors were latched properly and would stay shut.
Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that it has received four new post-recall complaints about more doors opening suddenly. In all four cases, owners (well, the vehicles, actually) already had the software update performed.
What’s old is new again.
JLR says it’s cooperating with the investigation. No worries, I can tell them how to fix it:
Step 1: Remove BODY from CHASSIS ASSEMBLY...
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