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Ford Recalls Explorers Over Carbon Monoxide Concerns

Steve Wagner

Ford Agrees to Explorer Recall, Taking Millions Off The Road

The Center for Auto Safety has called on Ford to recall all of its 2011 through 2017 Ford Explorer SUVs, taking more than 1.3 million vehicles off the road. The push came after a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation that heard more than 2,700 vehicle owner complaints over carbon monoxide (CO) concerns. The investigation also reported 41 injuries and three accidents that could also be linked to the Ford Explorer.

According to an earlier investigation report by the NHTSA, “Typical complaints say exhaust fumes enter the cabins while the Explorers are operating at full throttle, such as when going uphill or merging onto freeways. Owners of the Ford Explorers also say the fumes can be triggered by turning on the air conditioning in recirculation mode.”

In July, more than two dozen Austin, Texas police officers were found to have elevated or high levels of CO in their blood. The department was forced to park more than 400 Ford Explorers after the incident. Ford has since stayed busy inspecting and repairing police cruisers all across the country and blame vehicle modifications such as installing emergency lights as the cause of the leak rather than product defects.

Fears over CO poisoning first appeared before the police cruiser issues though. In June of 2014, a Florida mother sued Ford for making her and her 5-year-old-daughter ill. The lawsuit claimed that exhaust smells would fill the cabin through the auxiliary rear air conditioning.

Ford Will Offer Free Inspections and Repairs

Although Ford released a statement saying it is “confident in our current methods for quickly identifying and addressing potential vehicle issues,” the company also announced it is offering free inspections and repairs to reduce the potential for exhaust to enter vehicles. Owners of the 2011 through 2017 models should start receiving letters with the recall and inspection information as early as next month (November 2017). All vehicles made during these years can be brought in and inspected and repaired regardless of mileage or warranty status.

Not sure if your vehicle has been recalled? Check the NHTSA site and enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Customers with questions also can call a dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Warning Signs

According the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Upset Stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Chest Pain
  • General Confusion

CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you passout. Higher levels of CO inhalation may even cause death.

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If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, or injured as the result of a faulty vehicle or related products, call Wagner Reese. Contact us now at (888) 204-8440 to schedule an appointment in our Indianapolis or Carmel offices, or use our convenient, confidential contact form.


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