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Carbon Monoxide Issues Continue to Plague Ford Explorer

Steve Wagner


  • The Center for Auto Safety says Ford failed to fix a carbon monoxide issue addressed in 2017. Approximately 1.3M Ford Explorer 2011 thru 2017 models could have serious, and deadly defects.
  • Since the investigation started a year ago, more than 1,300 additional consumer complaints concerning carbon monoxide (CO) exposure in the SUVs have been received.
  • The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Higher levels of CO inhalation may create disorientation for a driver and cause an accident.
  • Despite reports of recalls, many defects go unnoticed and unfixed, leaving this opportunity to remind drivers to be better informed on all motor vehicle recall issues and to check for updates on vehicle and vehicle-related repair news.

Ford Explorer Carbon Monoxide Complaints Prompt Recall Concerns … Again

The Center for Auto Safety has again put pressure on Ford Motor Co. to recall 1.3 million of its Explorer SUVs because of ongoing complaints by owners of carbon monoxide (CO) leaking into the vehicle cabin. The investigation that started last year in October, has now increased in motorists complaints and defect occurrences prompting the group to push the automaker to officially address safety concerns with a recall.

After the 2017 investigation, Ford did offer free repairs to the air conditioner, replace liftgate drain valves and inspect the sealing of the vehicle for free but did not issue a recall. Investigators for the automaker said they did not finding unsafe carbon monoxide levels and the 2011 through 2017 Ford Explorer models in question are safe.

The Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigation reports 41 alleged injuries related to the Explorer SUV. A crack in the exhaust manifold on these affected Explorers could be the cause of fumes entering the cabin.

In July of 2017 more than two dozen 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. 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.

While most recall safety issues relate to the brakes, engine, seatbelts, or the air bags, CO and exhaust issues can also arise and when they do, create significant safety concerns for the consumer and everyone they share the road with. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out. Higher levels of CO inhalation may even cause death. The symptoms may look similar to seasickness or alcohol intoxication. CO can affect you whether you’re parked, driving, or near a car leaking the fumes.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Can Be Deadly

If you are experiencing any of CO poisoning symptoms listed or feel you may be at risk form a motor vehicle defect, please visit your doctor immediately and speak with an attorney at Wagner Reese at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation. You can also connect with us by submitting our online form and our attorneys will promptly review your information.

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