2002 Wagon hatch problem

My 2002 Ford Focus Wagon has a back hatch that won't latch.
I found that *some* Ford Focus wagons are in this recall:
http://www.automotive.com/2002/49/ford/focus/recalls/55051.html
However, when I put my VIN in the Ford website, it says my vehicle has no outstounding recalls. I'm assuming this is due to the fact that we bought the vehicle in Oregon, not one of the states listed in this recall notice.
However, I appear to be having the exact same issue... twice the dealership has "fixed" it only to have the hatch refuse to latch again shortly thereafter (usually a good distance from home). It is under warranty for 4 more months.
What do I do? Oregon's lemon law only covers the first year or 12,000 miles. I'd like Ford to freakin' fix their crummy product, as the vehicle is basically worthless if the rear hatch won't latch. But everytime they "fix" it, it just breaks again.
One thing is for sure, I'll never buy another Ford.
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Sounds like they are masking this problem with a lubricant or an adjustment, when the latch needs replacing. The latch on my 2000 wagon has been flawless.

Oh come on. Vehicles have thousands of parts. You'd condemn an entire vehicle line because of one of these parts?
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We had my wife's Honda for 8 years and not one single little thing ever broke. Our Subaru is going on 4 years and the only issue we've ever had was a squeaky steering wheel which was fixed AND HAS REMAINED FIXED.
If Honda can do it, why can't US automakers?
I just think the Focus is a crappy car. It served its purpose for a couple years for me, and I could see if it was a window jamming or some other minor issue, but this is A DOOR NOT LATCHING. I can't lock it or drive it on the freeway (while holding the rope I use to tie the latch to the center console). I certainly can't haul my dog around while it's like this. IT IS A MAJOR PROBLEM, AND THE AUTHORIZED FORD DEALERS ARE UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO FIX IT. And I think THAT is why we will never again buy a Ford... it's not so much that it happened, it's the service after the fact.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You're comparing a sample size of 1 Honda vs 1 Focus. Your Honda is atypical. If you look at the 2005 JD Powers Vehicle Dependability numbers, Honda had 201 problems per 100 vehicles while Ford had 231. Honda is better but it's not exactly an earth-shattering difference.

You're entitled to your opinion. I just crossed 100,000 miles with mine and I'm keeping it.

Seems that you could as an emergency measure, tie the rope from the roof rack down under the bumper, from left side to right and vica versa, making an "X" over the rear hatch.
That way, you should be able to get the vehicle back home without the dog jumping out.

This is a major problem. Since the car is under warranty, you can take it to a different Ford dealer.
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Couple of things about people that complain so bitterly about Ford dealers. First, generally they haven't made much effort to find a better dealer, and second, they often don't treat their dealer very well (I don't know if either applies to Mark, just talking in general here). I have been with my dealer since I bought my Focus early 2000, and I like them very much. But I always try to be decent to them (they are human beings after all).
For anyone in the Ottawa area, it's Dan Murphy Ford.
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Mark wrote:

This is a recall for the back doors, not the hatch. I thought it was for the hatch, too. Had th erecall done and it was the back doors. Here's a clue:
---
Consequence: IF NOT LATCHED PROPERLY, THE DOOR MAY OPEN WHILE THE VEHICLE IS IN MOTION. IF AN OCCUPANT FELL OUT OF THE VEHICLE, PERSONAL INJURIES COULD OCCUR.
---

Have you tried lubricating it yourself? I would probably try white lithium grease.
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I have a different issue with my 2003 Focus Wagon, and it is more an annoyance than anything. The latch works fine, but the back door squeaks as I'm driving down the road. It appears that the squeak is coming from the door rubbing against the weatherstripping. I have sprayed a bunch of silicone lubricant all over the weatherstripping, and that made it a little better, but it still squeaks. Anybody else have this issue?
Thanks, Bryan Walton
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