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Misaligned Door...


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I opened the left rear door the other day to get something out of the rear seat. When I shut it it didn't sound right, made a metal on metal sound instead of the smooth clamp it usually makes. Upon closer inspection...the door had become misaligned and the latch on the door frame was striking the bottom edge of the receptacle on the door!

How the hell could that have happened? No accident, no sign of attempted intrusion, no marks on the vehicle anywhere. The door looked normal from the outside, that latch just didn't line up anymore. One day it was fine, the other day it wasn't. I had 5 people in the car the day before but how could that have misaligned the door? Maybe it got slammed...

Took it to the dealer and they aligned it under warranty but they're all as boggled by this as me. This is the only Lexus that dealer has had to align a door on, save from after an accident, in the 16 years they've been open...

Any ideas?

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I did a lot of thinking about this, so here is my deduction Watson.

You mentioned that you had 5 people in your car the other day, so while you weren't looking, one of the passengers opened the door with enough force to spring the rear door hinge, or make this hinge shift position slightly. This would now make a slight misalignment on the striker plate, just enough to hear that metallic sound when closing the door. It was now so slight that visually you couldn't see this misalignment. Possibly, in your cars assembly at the factory this hinge wasn't tightened up to the proper torque causing it to shift position fairly easy.

What do you think? 190px-Thinker.png

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here is my guess,

you say it was hitting the bottom edge, so I deduce the misalignment was a top to bottom rather that in to out or left to right.

Of the passengers in the back seat, middle or left side rear, where they "heavy" people? I am guessing that when the person(s) that exited the vehicle from the rear left side used the door, most notably the top edge of the door, as a brace to pull them out of the car. When they grabbed the top edge of the door to help hoist themselves up, the extent of their leverage was enough to skew the door enough that the latch was now misaligned.

hey, it's late, and I am tired. I am grasping at straws here.

steviej

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No...like I said that would misalign the door downward so that the latch on the doorframe would strike the TOP of the receptacle in the door. The door was misaligned UP as if someone lifted up on the door. Theres no way someone could have misaligned the door upwards by putting their weight on it. Plus the dealership measured the door's gap and examined the hinges and it wasnt the door that was misaligned, it was the latch on the door frame.

Anyways if carrying 5 passengers in a 5 passenger car, none of which were over 180lbs would misalign the door I want my $40,000 back.

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Anyways if carrying 5 passengers in a 5 passenger car, none of which were over 180lbs would misalign the door I want my $40,000 back

Don't hold your breath. LOL :D

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how bout this....the opposite.

#1. Someone got in the back seat, but the bottom of the door was just flush on top of the sidewalk or curb. They get in, their weight lowers the car a tad but the door doesn't move cause it is on the curb. They then step out a little to get the door off the curb and then close it and off you go.

or

#2. Someone slammed the door HARD and it caused the door frame mounted latch to move slightly.

or

#3. A totally mistery that will never be solved.

steviej

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how bout this....the opposite.

#1. Someone got in the back seat, but the bottom of the door was just flush on top of the sidewalk or curb.  They get in, their weight lowers the car a tad but the door doesn't move cause it is on the curb.  They then step out a little to get the door off the curb and then close it and off you go.

or

#2. Someone slammed the door HARD and it caused the door frame mounted latch to move slightly.

or

#3. A totally mistery that will never be solved.

steviej

How about a rear seat passenger leaned so hard on the arm rest that it pushed the door down and moved the latch plate?

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I thought about that and there was one time we were parked by a hill and I was afraid of that happening, but you'd see dirt/damage on the bottom end of the door.

My guess is the slammed hard idea is the only one that makes sense.

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