The NHTSA has begun examining 2004-05 model year VW Touaregs after receiving a report that the exterior door handle may at times not allow the door to latch. The investigation was prompted by an injury suffered by a girl who had her hand smashed in between the door and door frame of her father's Touareg after the door swung open unexpectedly. The Touareg investigation will be covering more than 53,000 vehicles. VW has responded by issuing technical service bulletins to dealers requiring them to fix exterior door handles that are sticking, although it claims the vehicles have a warning system that tells occupants when the doors are open.

Man, hasn?t everyone at one point had his/her hand or fingers or some other appendage mauled by a car door? I nearly had my fingers chopped off by an overzealous power window once. My brother had his whole hand mangled in a van sliding-door accident. Perhaps the NHTSA should decree that all vehicle doors be welded shut and occupants must enter Dukes of Hazard-style through the windows.

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